The American Interest

Pakistan, Our Untrustworthy Partner

As the first contingent of U.N. weapons inspectors arrived in Iraq last November, U.S. government sources leaked a disturbing story about one of our key “allies” in the War on Terror.  Pakistan apparently has been helping North Korea with her nuclear-weapons program for years, in return for missile technology that would strengthen her own hand against India.  According to the New York Times, the illicit relationship “now appears much deeper and more dangerous than the United States and its Asian allies first suspected.”  Kim Jong Il’s regime provided its partners in Islamabad with the missile parts they need to build a nuclear arsenal capable of reaching every strategic site in India, while, in return, Pakistan provided Pyongyang with the designs for gas centrifuges and much of the machinery it needs to make enriched uranium for its nuclear-weapons project, which would threaten South Korea, Japan, and 100,000 American troops in the region.

The disclosure about Islamabad’s nuclear ties to Pyongyang came in the wake of an unclassified CIA analysis stating that North Korea could now build several plutonium bombs and add one every year until about 2005.  By the middle of the decade, she could produce enough plutonium to make up to 50 bombs per year.  This estimate does not include additional bombs that could be made under Pyongyang’s covert uranium-enrichment...

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