Nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan said Monday that Pakistan’s nuclear technology doesn’t measure up to North Korea’s, though he denied any cooperation between the two countries to that end.
A day after the North conducted its sixth nuclear test, detonating what it claims was a powerful hydrogen bomb, Khan told BBC Urdu that Pyongyang’s highly qualified scientists are what gives them self-reliance when it comes to nuclear development.
Regarded as the father of Pakistan’s nuclear program, Khan has twice visited North Korea, finding that “Their scientists are highly capable, and most of them have studied in Russia,” according to Dawn.
Dismissing the notion of Pakistan playing a role in North Korea’s nuclear activities as “out of the question,” the scientists pointed out that the communist nation has “much better overall technology than ours. We have the same old and conventional technology.”
Khan didn’t deny that Islamabad and Pyongyang worked together on a non-nuclear missile program, however. “In fact, the Pakistani government itself announced that we were in contact with North Korea,” he said.
Speaking of North Korea’s hydrogen bomb, Khan said the weapon could level any city in a matter of minutes. “Hydrogen bombs are much more powerful than atom bombs. For instance, an atom bomb may destroy the area in the radius of 1.5 to two kilometres, but a hydrogen bomb can devastate an entire city.”
The US has called for an oil embargo against North Korea in response to its latest nuclear test, and Washington and South Korea recently agreed to lift payload restrictions on South Korean missiles.
Seoul is also developing a special warfare unit tasked with carrying out a “decapitation strike” against North Korean leadership, including supreme leader Kim Jong-un.