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Musharraf says A Q Khan transferred centrifuges to N Korea
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August 24, 2005 18:39 IST

Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf [Images] said disgraced scientist A Q Khan's had provided North Korea with centrifuges and their designs.

"Yes, he passed centrifuges -- parts and complete. I do not exactly remember the number," Musharraf told Japan's [Images] Kyodo news agency, but played down the roles these transfers had played in North Korea's bid to acquire nuclear weapons capability.

In February 2004, Khan, regarded as the father of Pakistan's nuclear programme, had confessed to having supplied nuclear technology and know-how to North Korea, Libya and Iran. He was subsequently pardoned by the President but had been in virtual house arrest here since then.

Musharraf said Khan could not have been of immense help to North Korea's nuclear weapons programme because his laboratory was engaged in uranium enrichment and not in other steps needed to make a nuclear bomb such as conversion of uranium into gas and development of trigger mechanisms and delivery systems.

"So if North Korea has made a bomb... Dr A Q Khan's part is only in enriching the uranium to weapons grade," the president said.

If the North Koreans have acquired such a bomb-making capability, they "must have got it themselves or somewhere else -- not from Pakistan," he was quoted as saying.

Complete Coverage: Pakistan's nuclear bazaar

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