Pakistan Nuclear Proliferation - 31 March 2005

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Postby Alok_N » 02 May 2005 02:01

since ramana raised the Q of *why* Germany did it and not *if* Germany did it, I'd like to point out the obvious ...

If Germany wants to go nuclear someday (and why wouldn't they want it?) then it is in their interest to have the NPT disrupted ...

and wouldn't it be nice if "rogue" states led by the packees caused havoc to the NPT?

Germany can standby innocently and when the treaty is mud, quietly walk in to the new regime and say, "Yes, we may as well get some nukes now that even koreans have it. Thank you".

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Postby JE Menon » 02 May 2005 02:25

Spoken like a true Chankiyan. Japan's behaviour towards Pakisatan may be explained in similar terms as well, I suppose. :D

If there were no proliferation, Japan and Germany would have had to submit "forever" to the post-WWII nuclear hegemony. Proliferation, ironically, leads to a less stable world but increased options for these two. Was it a deliberate ploy? Let say it was not. But the fact remains that Germany was a proliferator, and Japan can go nuclear tomorrow if it chooses to do so - having accumulated the necessary materials over these past years. The ground realities are therefore very much in favour of both these countries going nuclear, with Japan likely to go first and Germany to follow in a more discreet fashion. Personally, I have no problem with that. But I would expect some of the current permanent Security Council members - who are not inclined to expand membership in the manner expected by the aspirants (guess who?) - to get their undies in a twist over that one. Coincidence I suppose.

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Postby kgoan » 02 May 2005 03:07

IIRC, during the mid-80's there were a number of questions about Germanys future role and possible nuclear ambitions. I think even Time magazine had an article, in the context of the rising Mark, that talked about it.

It may *seem* as if the idea of German and Japanese nuclear stuff is so far out of left field that it's ridiculous - but it's not. It *seems* ridiculous simply because we're unfamiliar with the issues and Germany and Japan are virtually always portrayed as the perfect "nice guys" type.

They may well be nice guys, but that doesn't mean they're stupid or are any the less ambitious than any other major power - let alone during the high point of the "realpolitik" (spelling?) era.

We'll get the same level of "astonishment" if Oz pulls a nuke out of it's akubra.

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Postby ramana » 02 May 2005 09:29

I can understand the centrifuges being purloined from URENCO. But without the hexaflouride gas plant from Germany the centrifuges are useless. That is why I think the Germans did it willfully. Also recall the Germans were at the forefront of all advanced HEu separation technology and the NPT game was to prevent the spread of nukes in Europe. India was collateral.

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Postby Johann » 02 May 2005 11:25

There are secret actions, but rarely secret sentiments behind policies in liberal democracies.

Every democracy that has wanted the bomb, or resented the NPT's effect on their own options has had open debates in its press and academic circles.

I have never seen serious thought in Germany regarding acquisition of a national deterrent since NATO integrated nuclear planning and delivery in to the alliance mechanism and Germany joined the NPT.

The question will not arise unless there is some sort of collapse of NATO. Even if there is, Germany would barring fundamental shifts in attitude seek an arrangement with a European nuclear power, either France or, France and the UK.

Germany as a strategically independent military and nuclear power is not something most Germans dare think about - that is an almost unimaginable contingency option for them. Adenauer's vision of a prosperous and strong Germany that avoided self-destruction by integrating itself as a partner in to frameworks that are bigger than it. Germany has not even considered abandoning that.

I dont doubt that at some level the Germans realised that selling them a UF4 plant would contribute to the Pakistani bomb, but the interests of commerce came first.

The West German 'economic miracle' did not come simply by making good products, but through the aggressive and collaborative promotion of trade interests by businessmen, bureaucrats and politicians. The Germans key industries were things like machine tools and chemicals. They were not going to turn down major contracts from almost a dozen countries from South America to the Subcontinent willing to spend billions in cash.

One semi-related matter from the 1950s - the French were vital NATO allies, but that didnt stop German businessmen from selling vast quantities of war surplus stocks to the FLN in Algeria (part of the long standing Egyptian-German connection) and shipping them through Hamburg. The German government didnt stop them, but they didnt protest too hard either when the French started to attack the dealers.

There was a somewhat similar episode in the 1962 when Egyptians announced ballistic missile tests, and caught the Israels completely by surprise. They mounted mission to identify and scare off assisting German scientists and engineers involved in the project, and the German government quietly advised these people that the Israelis were serious, and that they probably could not protect them from the consequences if they continued. Why didnt they do the same thing in the 1970s and 1980s? Times had changed. The Israelis generally found it easier to act against the recieving states, where action was possible at all.
Last edited by Johann on 02 May 2005 11:43, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Alok_N » 02 May 2005 11:42

Johann wrote:
Every democracy that has wanted the bomb, or resented the NPT's effect on their own options has had open debates in its press and academic circles.

I have never seen serious thought in Germany regarding acquisition of a national deterrent ...


Germnay, perhaps, is an exception in that regard ... they are extremely shy about discussing anything that may be regarded as a resurgence of their Nazi past ...

the reluctance of present day Germans to discuss events of WWII is legendary ... in general, it is difficult to gauge what is on the German mind post-unification ... surely, any talk of verboten weapons will be buried in mutiple shrouds.

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Postby Johann » 02 May 2005 11:54

Alok, the discussion in the 1950s over the question of whether a national nuclear deterrent was needed was very open in West Germany.

The question was resolved in the 1960s through the adoption of the compromise of NATO's flexible response - the establisment of the alliance's Nuclear Planning Group, and the equipping and training of sections of the Luftwaffe to drop American controlled weapons. Not long after the Germans signed the NPT, and there has been no debate over a unilateral German deterrent since.

Even if NATO were to fail Germany's first instinct would be for a European, or at least Franco-German solution. See above.

In my experience the Germans are very frank about WWII and Nazism, in fact almost obsessed with probing themselves, however painful it might be. A very different approach from the Japanese, and I think the difference is Neuremberg.

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Postby Umrao » 02 May 2005 18:03

One should not forget in the zeal Of Uncle to teach Russians a lesson for their Vietnam (support )mis adventure in supporting TSP.

Unlce through his proxy W. Germany actively aided and abetted TSP to aquire all Nukes, while not overnight but glide gently down so as to check mate any Nuke threat by USSR to TSP for hosting Mujhadeen (now known as Alqaeda because of corporate mergers). In addition The PRC played its own game by giving all the delivery vehicles via pongyang and the designs.

One must read the Reluctant spy ( about Van ho Lee's activities ) and how the Chinese got the technology thru proxy Xerox Kahn fronts.

All in all Its all coming to bite the hands that fed.

The jokers here might try to deflect the culpability of W Germany by displaying irrelavant knowlege of theirs on that country and other isues.

The simple fact that uncle had known Xerox Khan doing hanky panky for years enough testimony of the indulgent unles and aunts. As expediency over principles preached was the bane of the whole thing.

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Postby AJay » 02 May 2005 20:19

Tim wrote:but even the Soviets managed to crack the COCOM system briefly and gain access to submarine propeller technology from Japan and Norway.


Ca. 1983-85, there was a news item that muerdered bodies of couple of British Pakistani origin scientists were found in the Thames. This was related to SONAR technology to detect submarines by their propeller sound signatures. At that time I remember thinking "Wow, this is straight out of Tom Clancy". After that, there was absolutely no news about this anywhere. It was as if it never happened. Somebody please tell me that they remember this and I have not read too much Tom Clancy and mixing up fact and fiction :)

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Postby AJay » 02 May 2005 20:28

JE Menon wrote:We can advance arguments about market development, etc., but in the nuclear field, it would again be a sticky position.


To add to what JEM is saying, the size of the potential market would be rather small and the consequent risk of "Bhasmasura Hastha" is not worth it, which should rule out the economic reasons for any rich countries. Swedes make lot more money selling Bofors and shells, so could Germany.

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Postby AJay » 02 May 2005 20:32

JE Menon wrote:But I would expect some of the current permanent Security Council members - who are not inclined to expand membership in the manner expected by the aspirants (guess who?) - to get their undies in a twist over that one. Coincidence I suppose.


Does anybody know the status of Brazilian nuke weapons? They are the first (and only ?) one to ratify the NPT in their own legislature. Have they stopped their nuke devlopment altogether?

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Postby Umrao » 02 May 2005 20:40

It was Mitsibushi CNC machines that gave the precsion required for the propellers to avoid cavitation ( there by create a distinct sonic signature) and there by avoid detection. That was a quantum leap for the Russians.

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Postby ramana » 02 May 2005 20:44

Brazil and Argentina signed a mutual pact (Treaty of Tlatelolco) to renounce nukes and also joined the NPT. Prior to the mutual pact they had active programs.
-----------------
Umrao jaan, It was Toshiba and there were a number of demonstrations thrashing Toshiba boom boxes.

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Postby JE Menon » 02 May 2005 20:46

Is there any declassified paper that looks at (perhaps among other things) the prospects of a nuclear Germany in the post cold war environment? Or a magazine or newspaper article?

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Postby Neela » 02 May 2005 20:58

Alok_N wrote:
Johann wrote:
Every democracy that has wanted the bomb, or resented the NPT's effect on their own options has had open debates in its press and academic circles.

I have never seen serious thought in Germany regarding acquisition of a national deterrent ...


Germnay, perhaps, is an exception in that regard ... they are extremely shy about discussing anything that may be regarded as a resurgence of their Nazi past ...

the reluctance of present day Germans to discuss events of WWII is legendary ... in general, it is difficult to gauge what is on the German mind post-unification ... surely, any talk of verboten weapons will be buried in mutiple shrouds.



Present day Germans?Im not sure whom you mean here....but what Im sure of is that the new generation (<25yrs old) are already ready to get out of that mould simply because they have absolutey nothing to do with what happened 60-65 years back.
What Ive also noticed is that present day middle-aged people were fed more of thier gory past than the new generations. With so much detail, it has led to the point of them being ashamed even though they look at those events as strangely as you and me do.
The newer generations are ready to talk back to those people who refer to their past and IMO thy've got every right to do so.

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Postby Alok_N » 02 May 2005 21:11

Neela wrote: With so much detail, it has led to the point of them being ashamed even though they look at those events as strangely as you and me do.


Yes, that was my impression ... but that is all I was going by ... I have no experience of dealing with germans <25 years of age ...

the "shame" was once explained to me by a Senior Editor of Welt On Sontag (sp?) which I believe is an important newspaper ... he had consumed a lot of alcohol which allowed me a rare glimpse into his psyche/shame ...

but, I don't want to make much of this ... if folks claim that Germans are all cool and open and academic and dying to talk about the Nazis, I'll accept it.
Last edited by Alok_N on 02 May 2005 21:37, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Umrao » 02 May 2005 21:17

Stand Corrected Toshiba indeed

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Postby Sunil » 02 May 2005 21:41

Ajay,

Dajibhoy and Sharif? I don't think it was related to this.

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Postby udy » 02 May 2005 22:18

iirc, the initial announcement of a pakistani nuclear test was by the german chancellor and the japanese priime minister of that time.

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Postby AJay » 03 May 2005 00:37

ramana wrote:Brazil and Argentina signed a mutual pact (Treaty of Tlatelolco) to renounce nukes and also joined the NPT. Prior to the mutual pact they had active programs.


Ramana

What I remember was that just about the time when Pranab Mukherjee was calling CTBT by its true name (I am sure BRForumites do not need a reminder but his heavy bengali accent makes it sound like "Shitty Bitty"), Brazil delivered the frist ratification of NPT to UN and there was a big hoop la about the whole affair. Brazil was being held out to be a model for all NPT hold-outs, especially India.

I was left wondering whether ratifcation was such a big thing or the whole affair was hyped to get India (and Pakistan who would sign only if India does) to sign NPT, the logic being that Brazil and India are about the same size and are approximately at about the same developmental stage and had huge potential (along with OZ). Looks like Brazil and AU have dropped off the radar altogether for sometime. Nothing exciting ever happens in these two potential future super star countries.

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Postby Leonard » 03 May 2005 01:44

SPEAKING FREELY
Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty is a crock
By Bhaskar Dasgupta

Speaking Freely is an Asia Times Online feature that allows guest writers to have their say. Please click here if you are interested in contributing.

The 188 signatories to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) gathered in New York Monday for another review of the contentious regime. People have started making noises about it, but it's going to be quite predictable. A whole load of documents will be produced prior to the review conference; the pacifists and left-leaning folks will demonstrate vociferously; North Korea and Iran will be hauled over the coals for daring to want nuclear weapons; Israel will maintain a discreet silence; India will bellow about unfair treatment; Pakistan will squirm about its proliferation history; the United States will tie itself in knots trying to navigate some extremely contradictory policy shoals; France will be petulant; the United Kingdom will be diplomatically active; Russia will be lost as usual; the conference will end with some high-sounding declaration, and that will be it. Frankly, if you ask me, it's a complete crock, and the treaty should be torn up.

It is conducive to repeat what I concluded for Iran in 2003. "Iran will have its nuclear weapons, if not today then tomorrow. As I mentioned, there is no downside to Iran and only an upside, which makes it very difficult to convince Iran to give up its nuclear weapons program. It cannot be threatened, cannot be bribed, and certainly cannot be forced. The neighborhood is tough and to expect Iran to resign its nuclear aspirations is rather too naive. All that the world should do now is to try to address the structure around nuclear power states. As we have seen with the press reports about Saudi Arabia wanting Pakistani Nuclear weapons, it's a mutual deterrence issue. The nuclear genie is out of the bottle and no amount of swearing and shouting will cause it to go back in again. 'Welcome (premature, mind you) to the nuclear club, Iran'."

Let me cut to the chase: I recommend that the NPT be hung, drawn, quartered and dropped neatly into the rubbish bin. While it was useful for many years during the Cold War, it has proven to be spectacularly ineffective in the past decade. So what's the big deal about the NPT? To summarize the NPT: five defined nuclear powers, namely the US, the UK, France, China and Russia, promise not to transfer nuclear weapons; not to help others acquire them; and to pursue nuclear disarmament. The non-nuclear weapon states promise not to get nuclear weapons; accept safeguards from the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and in return for that they get civilian nuclear energy help.

It entered into force in 1970 and a huge number of countries ratified it. So far so good. Right now, we have Israel, Pakistan, North Korea and India who possess both nuclear weapons and delivery vehicles. While Pakistan and India have tested weapons, thereby removing all doubt, North Korea has publicly claimed to have nukes and is suspected to have test fired a short-range missile over the weekend. Israel is strongly suspected to have nuclear weapons, although this has not been officially confirmed. To top it all, North Korea withdrew from the NPT. What is the end result? If the objective was to stop nuclear proliferation, then it failed miserably. We have the examples of the above countries to prove it. If the objective was to reduce and stop nuclear disarmament - then that has failed miserably as well.

The nuclear-weapon states absolutely do not desire to do anything that will reduce or remove their nuclear-weapons capability. For example, it is the nuclear weapons capability that gives France and Russia their extra influence in the world. The US and Russia are busy upgrading their arsenals - the US is thinking about upgrading its major warhead designs (heavy discussions have been heard lately about spending more than US$2 billion on a routine 10-year overhaul to extend the life of the aging warheads, such as the W-76) while Russia is working on better delivery systems; the US has refused to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and so on. On the other hand, for a country to achieve nuclear weapons, it only has to start spraying money around in corrupt or crazy countries such as Pakistan and North Korea, respectively, and they will get all that they need. We have seen and heard how Libya, Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia have attempted to gain this knowledge. So frankly, the NPT has been proven to be well and truly useless.

If so, what is the alternative? This requires going back to the drawing board. The main reason why nuclear weapons were dreaded, as opposed to say battle tanks or cruise missiles, is their sheer destructive power. In other words, the sheer potential to virtually wipe out the entire earth many times over is what got people terrified. The anti-nuclear campaign was in full swing starting from the late 1950s and gained a head of steam, but after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the foot was taken off the accelerator.

In addition, with the passage of time, nuclear weapons have lost their terror, as none has been used in anger since World War II. The doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction kept usage of nuclear weapons down to zero. It is a mutual suicide weapon, but recently, given the impact of terror attacks, fear has become generic. Gone are the days that massive rallies would take place about the removal of nuclear weapons, but now, people are more driven by what a few terrorists could do, rather than what a whole structure that owns and manages nuclear weapons can do.

In other words, the worry is more about individuals rather than states. Given that most states are heading towards democracy and responsible government, the worry is about these individuals, terrorists and the few failed or terrorist harboring states.

Given this background, what can one do?

First, what one can do is to give up this NPT business and concentrate on and address the "root causes". Namely, protecting of civilians from warfare, going after the terrorists and sorting out failed or threatening states. The International Criminal Court (ICC) needs to be bedded down, a real anti-terrorist treaty should be embedded, and finally the recently proposed UN reforms should be taken a step further to allow international intervention.

Th Geneva Conventions should be given more teeth and should be further incorporated into national law. Put another way, just as the UN and European Human Rights Conventions are now incorporated into English law, similarly the Geneva Conventions, with some improvements, should be incorporated into various national laws. At the very least, no country that does not have these conventions and treaties as part of its own legal system should be allowed to be part of the UN Security Council. This will provide the necessary teeth for the prevention of wholesale massacres and genocide of civilians. If anybody wishes to pop off a nuke, they should know the penalties.

Second, the ICC is a very good measure, but needs to be improved. This column is not the place to go into the needed improvements, but the big guys should again be part of ICC, otherwise it does not make sense. Some improvements need to be made to get countries like the US, India and China and others to sign up, and some of their objections are pretty valid. It is vital to address genocide, massacres and other crimes against humanity globally. I can understand and appreciate the objections that the US has raised and those need to be addressed as well, in case any tin-pot dictator or rocket scientist gets hold of nuclear weapons or goes about selling them, he will be hauled over hot coals.

Third, within the ICC or some other framework, a real anti-terrorist treaty has to be bedded down. Anybody who is going after civilians for political, social or religious purposes outside the national and international laws is a terrorist. Interpol needs to be strengthened, extradition treaties implanted into the treaty - this rat's nest of bilateral treaties has to go - perhaps Interpol can develop a structure like that of the World Trade Organization. Intelligence sharing, targeted eradication, information sharing, good databases, better passports and security, good border controls and so on will stop or at least make it very difficult for terrorists to go about getting nuclear technology. The IAEA is a good idea and needs to be given sharper teeth and a bigger scope to handle chemical and biological weapons.

The final part is to look at the UN reforms more critically and aggressively. In particular, some sort of international consensus mechanisms should be drawn up, so that failed or failing states can be looked at much earlier and if required with much more force than currently applied. In addition, we also should not be in a position to allow situations like Rwanda happen again, though some Security Council members are not sure. Again, this column isn't the place to go deeper into the UN reform proposals, but they definitely must be made more concrete and more rigorous.

Failed states and freely available nuclear weapons technology are not a good combination. The objective is to be realistic about all this. Nuclear technology is out there. We might as well bring the states into the structure, rather than persist in a structure that fails in its basic objectives. Nineteenth century American author, poet and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson warned of this: "Man is a shrewd inventor, and is ever taking the hint of a new machine from his own structure, adapting some secret of his own anatomy in iron, wood, and leather, to some required function in the work of the world. But it is found that the machine unmans the user. What he gains in making cloth, he loses in general power."

All this to be taken with a grain of salt.

Dr Bhaskar Dasgupta works in the financial sector in London. He has extensive international experience and is currently working on his second doctorate in terrorism and international relations, at Kings College London.

(Copyright 2005 Dr Bhaskar Dasgupta.)

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Front_Page/GE03Aa01.html

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Postby AJay » 03 May 2005 01:50

Sunil wrote:Ajay,

Dajibhoy and Sharif? I don't think it was related to this.


Sunil

I don't remember the names. I am trying to dredge through my memory of the news item. The details are very vague but something like - come to think of it, the pair were not brits of Pakistani orign but Pakistanis working in UK - one young woman and another many - both went missing and later their bodies were dredged from the Thames. It was mentioned that they were working in somthing related to SONAR. Sorry it is too hazy at this point.

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Postby Tim » 03 May 2005 02:00

Calvin,

I wouldn't go that far. I do think that a capitalist system and market forces can sometimes help explain contradictions in national policy - in this case, Germany adhering staunchly to the NPT but simultaneously undermining it.

Johann clearly knows more about German export controls than I do, and I find his argument that there was greater official involvement persuasive. My familiarity with German export control policy is primarily through the Iraq case. My impression was that the Germans had holes in the system - but it's entirely possible that the bureaucracy was more involved than I'm aware. Perhaps I'm only cynical about the French... :D

JEM - we continue to agree (a terrible thing, no doubt - sorry for any embarrassment it may cause). I would point out, thought, that from the perspective of private interests (particularly those with influential lobbying efforts), a few hundred million dollars can be a great deal of money. Especially in the nuclear sector, where civilian exports have virtually collapsed since the early 1970s. Westinghouse's desperate attempts to export a couple of reactors to China since the 1990s are an example of the kinds of pressure private corporations can put on the US government in pursuit of a few hundred million in profit.

Now I'm really not a conspiracy theorist who believes that multinational corporations control governments (well, maybe in some parts of the world... :D ), but I have spent a lot of time in Washington and have seen how they can influence, distort, and sometimes even ignore policy in a democratic society (and get away with it). I find those kinds of explanations more compelling than the idea that the German government deliberately set out to undermine the NPT as part of a long-term plan to nuclearize, which seems to be at least one other idea emerging from this thread, both out of my own experience in a different democracy and for the reasons that Johann has raised about German society.

Re: open source books on nuclear German options. I'm sure there are a number of books out there on proliferation and on European defense from the 1960-1980 period that look at the question quite openly. They may not be from official sources, but they are academic. I know I've read a couple, but it's been a long time since I worked on European nuclear issues. You might also check old RAND studies, which are still available on the web and in libraries. There was quite a lot of discussion in the Kennedy administration about a Multi-Lateral Force (MLF - subject of a famous Tom Lehrer song for those old enough to remember it), which would have put tactical and intermediate range nukes in the hands of NATO partners. The Italian Navy even built a cruiser (the Veneto, I think) that was originally equipped with Polaris tubes, in response to this policy option (which was eventually declined in favor of a dual-key option and the NPT).

So I'm sure there's some stuff out there. I've just gotten back from some travel, and am kind of overwhelmed. If I get a chance, I'll see what I can pull up in a library search. But I'm sure there's a bunch of stuff out there in older US edited volumes.

Tim

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Postby Tim » 03 May 2005 06:31

I was just so excited... :wink:

Actually, I'm not sure what happened. My interface from my home computer is always a lot more interesting, and eccentric, than from work. I'm sure there's a good reason - I just have no idea what it is.

Admins, feel free to delete two of the three messages. Posterity can only take so much of me at a time :D

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Postby Rangudu » 03 May 2005 06:43

The long return time when posting replies needs to be fixed. Often people mistakenly press "Submit" many times thinking the connection crapped out only to find their post repeated twice, or thrice :)

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Postby Sunil » 03 May 2005 09:05

AJay,

Dig a little more - I am curious.

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Postby jrjrao » 03 May 2005 14:11

Washington Post today:

U.S. Called Unprepared For Nuclear Terrorism
Security experts consider a terrorist nuclear strike highly unlikely because of the difficulty in obtaining fissionable material and constructing a bomb. But it is a conceivable scenario, especially in light of the lax security at many former Soviet nuclear facilities and the knowledge of atomic scientists in such places as Pakistan.

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Postby ramana » 06 May 2005 21:51

X-posted...
DRUDGE has links to NYT report on NoKo.

May 6, 2005
U.S. Cites Signs of Korean Preparations for Nuclear Test
By DAVID E. SANGER and WILLIAM J. BROAD
WASHINGTON, May 5 - White House and Pentagon officials are closely monitoring a recent stream of satellite photographs of North Korea that appear to show rapid, extensive preparations for a nuclear weapons test, including the construction of a reviewing stand, presumably for dignitaries, according to American and foreign officials who have been briefed on the imagery.

North Korea has never tested a nuclear weapon.

Bush administration officials, when asked Thursday about the burst of activity at a suspected test site in the northeastern part of the country, cautioned that satellites could not divine the intentions of Kim Jong Il, North Korea's leader, and said it was possible that he was putting on a show for American spy satellites. They said the North Koreans might be trying to put pressure on President Bush to offer a improved package of economic and diplomatic incentives to the desperately poor country in exchange for curtailing its nuclear activities.

"The North Koreans have learned how to use irrationality as a bargaining tool," a senior American official said Thursday evening. "We can't tell what they are doing."

Nonetheless, American officials have been sufficiently alarmed that they have extensively briefed their Japanese and South Korean allies and warned them to be prepared for the political implications of a test.

On Thursday morning, Mr. Bush spoke at length about North Korea with President Hu Jintao of China, who has been his main interlocutor to Mr. Kim's government. The White House refused to say whether the two men had discussed the new evidence, focusing instead on what officials said was Mr. Bush's determination to get North Korea back to the negotiating table in six-nation talks.

American intelligence agencies have debated for years over the extent of North Korea's technical abilities, and whether it has successfully turned its stockpile of nuclear fuel into warheads. That debate has become particularly fevered since Feb. 10, when the North publicly boasted that it had manufactured weapons.

The accounts of North Korea's activities have come from three American officials who have reviewed either the imagery or the intelligence reports interpreting them. They were confirmed by two foreign officials who have been briefed by the Americans, but who cautioned that their countries had no independent way of interpreting the data.

Officials at one American intelligence agency said they were unaware of the new activity.

Since October, American officials have periodically seen activity suggesting preparations for a nuclear test, chiefly at the site in the northeast part of the country, near an area variously called Kilchu or Kilju. But in recent weeks, that activity appears to have accelerated.

Several officials said they had never before seen Korean preparations as advanced as those detected in recent days, including the digging of a tunnel. That tunnel resembles the one used in Pakistan for nuclear tests in 1998.
One of the creators of Pakistan's program, Abdul Qadeer Khan, traveled to North Korea repeatedly and has admitted to Pakistani interrogators that he supplied nuclear technology to the North, American intelligence officials said.

But officials said Thursday that they had not seen any evidence that North Korea was getting outside help with its current activity. "What we're seeing is everything you need to test," said a senior intelligence official who has reviewed the evidence. "We've never seen this level of activity."

Asked if the intelligence agencies, which have often been sharply divided about North Korea's nuclear abilities, had differences of opinion about the satellite photographs, the official said: " This looks like the real thing. There is wide agreement in the community."

But another American intelligence expert noted that so far, intelligence agencies had not seen the telltale signs of electronic equipment that is often used to monitor the size and success of a test, leading to "some debate about whether this is the real deal."

The intelligence official who reviewed the imagery, and others familiar with the evidence, said it was entirely possible that the activity was an elaborate ruse by Mr. Kim, to strengthen his bargaining position with the five other nations in the talks that he has boycotted: the United States, China, Russia, Japan and South Korea.

Mr. Kim is considered skilled at the art of escalating a crisis, and a senior diplomat said Thursday that the United States had not raised a public alarm "because we don't want to play his game."

In late 2002 and early 2003, North Korea threw out international inspectors and said it was preparing to reprocess 8,000 spent nuclear fuel rods into bomb fuel, the C.I.A. and other intelligence agencies have told Congress. In recent months, they have said that they believe all 8,000 rods were turned into bomb fuel.

The head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Vice Adm. Lowell E. Jacoby, went further last week, telling the Senate Armed Services Committee that North Korea was believed to have the "capability" to mount a warhead on one of its long-range missiles.

Particular interest and concern was aroused in the White House by the construction of the reviewing stand, which appears luxurious by North Korean standards, several miles from the suspected test site.

An American official who confirmed that the images showed the reviewing stand recalled that in 1998, after Western intelligence was surprised by a North Korean missile launching, analysts went back over satellite imagery and other data to see if they had missed anything.

"What was interesting is they had built a reviewing stand for that launch, but that wasn't noticed," he said. "They had visitors from other countries in. We had seen movement, but we didn't know what for. The idea was that they invited other people to watch this other thing."

While satellite imagery is often hard to interpret, nuclear arms experts say it is easy to distinguish tunneling for a nuclear test site from, say, a mine. While both require the removal of vast quantities of rock, only a test site puts the rock and other sealing materials back into the hole after the weapon is installed deeply inside. The goal is to create a impenetrable barrier that keeps the powerful blast and radioactivity locked up tight inside the earth.

In this case, a senior intelligence official who specializes in nuclear analysis and has seen the images said, "you see them stemming the tunnel, taking material back into the mine to plug it up."

"There's grout and concrete that goes into the hole, and normally you don't see that in a mine. A mine you want as open as possible."

"There's a lot of activity," he added, "taking stuff in as opposed to taking it out."

He described the site as isolated and rugged, with enough of a mountain extending above the hole to contain a weapon equal in force to the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima.

Beyond the technical debate over North Korea's nuclear abilities and what kind of help it got from Dr. Khan's network and other suppliers over the years, the United States government has also debated whether Mr. Kim would determine a test to be in his interest.

Many in the intelligence agencies, along with outside experts, long assumed that Mr. Kim benefited by keeping the world guessing. The absence of a test proving North Korea's weapons ability has allowed China, North Korea's major supplier of food and fuel, to argue that the country may simply be boasting, that there was still time to work out the problem, and that sanctions or quarantines of the country would only drive it into a corner.

But that thinking has begun to shift. A senior European diplomat deeply involved in the issue said this week that he suspected that North Korea was "now pursuing the Pakistani model."

Pakistan and India were both condemned and subjected to economic sanctions after their 1998 tests. But all of those were lifted after the United States determined it needed Pakistan's help immediately after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

"The North Koreans may be thinking that in two or three years, it too may be regarded as just another nuclear power, outside of the Nonproliferation Treaty, the way we now view Pakistan and India and Israel," the official said.

Thom Shanker contributed reporting for this article.
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We dont know how true it is or if it a psy-ops article in the NPT Review Conf. month?

Can anyone find the location of thei Kilchu in Noko? Also note the same topography of Chagai mountain. I guess they are sure it wont vent to have a reviewing stand.

Leonard
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Postby Leonard » 06 May 2005 22:06

Ramanna ...

Here's a SITE MAP ...

http://cns.miis.edu/research/korea/nuc/map.htm


This PDF file from OZ --- has some MAPS ...

http://www.aph.gov.au/library/pubs/CIB/ ... 3cib33.pdf

Calvin
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Postby Calvin » 07 May 2005 19:51

What do we know about the Khosa test site in Pakistan.

http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/world ... kharan.htm

Wazir Khan Khosa
Kharan Desert

Pakistan conducted at least one underground nuclear test on 30 May 1998, in a vertical shaft at a site in the Kharan Desert, about 100 kilometers from the site of the first test at Ras Koh. The test was conducted near settlement of Wazir Khan Khosa [aka Wazir Khan Khoso] at 28°20'N 68°52'E, not far from the Unharwah [aka Unar Wah] railway station [at 28°18'"N 68°54'E] in the Jacobabad District [aka Upper Sind Frontier District]. Other nearby populated placed include Jumma Dakhan and Bari.

Foreign minister Gohar Ayub Khan claimed that Pakistan conducted two more tests on 30 May 1998, whereas foreign secretary Shamshad Ahmed maintained that country had conducted just one test that day. Prime minister Sharif and Information Minister Syed Mushahid Hussain took two separate groups of journalists to the Ras Koh test site, at which point it was disclosed that the 30 May test had been conducted elsewhere, in the Kharan desert.


http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/world ... e-test.htm
In the autumn of 1998 a report leaked from Los Alamos Nuclear Laboratory indicated that air samples acquired from the Kharan Desert test by US intelligence aircraft contained traces of plutonium. Pakistan, at the time of the tests, had not had time to develop a warhead from the minimal quantities of plutonium generated by the research reactor at PINSTECH. The most plausible explanation was that North Korea had participated in a joint test of an atomic weapon.

It is noteworthy that the second small test at Wazir Khan Khosa, in the Kharan Desert was at such a great distance from the first larger test at Ras Koh. In contrast, India conducted multiple tests in close proximity. This creates the appearance that there were aspects of the Wazir Khan Khosa test that needed to be hidden from the staff that was conducting the Ras Koh test. It is also of note that Pakistan publicized the Ras Koh test by releasing a video/film of that test, but did not release any publicity concerning the Wazir Khan Khosa test.

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Postby jrjrao » 11 May 2005 22:33

I wanna be a MuNNA too!, says North Korea.

U.S. official says North wants to be a ‘Pakistan'

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Postby Srinivasan » 13 May 2005 07:11

Not sure if this has been posted before, apologies if it has. Recognizes Khan and his band of proliferators is as much, if not more dangerous, than Al-Queda - No surprise at BR of course . Nails the Pakistani govt/military regime pretty good, pity nobody's listening.

http://www.twq.com/05spring/docs/05spring_albright.pdf

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Postby Umrao » 13 May 2005 18:56

Now I'm really not a conspiracy theorist who believes that multinational corporations control governments (well, maybe in some parts of the world... ),


yes yes its right in our backyard called Spincity :roll:

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Dana Rorbacher..

Postby Prem » 13 May 2005 23:20

Did some one catch Congresman Dana Rorbacher on Dennis Miller show last night ?
I cant find the link on the net.

HE was very candid about China giving Nuke tech to TSP and TSP transfering the same to North Korea (Nok) He mentioned that all the worthies in Dc know that PRC is the headmaster of NK And TSP and that the very plane carrying the Nuke stuff made a refuling stop in China is a open secret. He was venting his frustration about US rewarding the culprits instead of confronting them. This guy is an old India basher but was kind of sympathetic to India regarding PRC territorial claims against it.
He was echoing the wise BR conclusion about NPT= Nuclear Proliferation Tripod (NPT) = Nok
Prc
Tsp

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Postby Suraj » 14 May 2005 23:55


kgoan
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Postby kgoan » 16 May 2005 22:02

Dear me. It would seem that the real hero of the whole Xerox Khan expose has just outed himself - and this hero is . . . Mansoor Ijaz, surprise!

How the fuk does such an mindless braggart getaway with this tripe?

http://www.gulfnews.com/Articles/WorldN ... eID=164378

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Postby svinayak » 16 May 2005 22:08

The MIT and Harvard-trained nuclear scientist who helped track Khan's signature on weapons proliferated to Iran, Libya and North Korea said "the larger strategic design in Khan's scheme was to put Pakistan at the centre of a pan-Islamist nuclear umbrella that stretched from Libya and Egypt in the west to Malaysia in the East."

ramana
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Postby ramana » 16 May 2005 22:14

kg, He is blowing the cover on Mahmood Ahmed and protects Baig (and Gul?) He is still not very clear on why Iran turned in the AQK network? and If Iran turned AQK why is US still angry with them?

Forget his bragging. If people trusts him they deserve whats due to them. We should stick to his facts and see how they match other evidence. Note the full extent of the transfers. Even Chinese designed shell casings for the "toys".


Did the AQK network revelations out other investigations before their time?

Also why did Iran turn in TSP and AQK?

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Postby Umrao » 17 May 2005 00:41

kg, He is blowing the cover on Mahmood Ahmed and protects Baig (and Gul?) He is still not very clear on why Iran turned in the AQK network? and If Iran turned AQK why is US still angry with them?

Forget his bragging. If people trusts him they deserve whats due to them. We should stick to his facts and see how they match other evidence. Note the full extent of the transfers. Even Chinese designed shell casings for the "toys".


Did the AQK network revelations out other investigations before their time?

Also why did Iran turn in TSP and AQK?


last question first.

Because Iran saw the game being played by unkil thru his GUBO TSP.

2) If Iran turned AQK why is US still angry with them?
Precisely because Iran turned AQK and the hollowness of Allie of terror is there for all to see.

"Even Chinese designed Toys" that puts Unlce and PRC in the same legaue.

These things taht are coming out are onl tip of the ice berg. There is much more that Unkil, Iran and TSP know, in adition to NoKO and Chincoms.

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Postby Sunil » 17 May 2005 00:56

Iran had to sell out Pakistan before Pakistan sold them out. The Iranian exposure of the nuclear blackmarket also raised embarassing questions for the Americans as to how such a stalwart ally like Pakistan could be doing things like this after 9-11.

In one stroke the Iranians screwed both the Americans and the Pakistanis.


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