Pakistan's PM wants nuclear weapons-free Korean Peninsula

Pakistan's prime minister said Thursday his country supports a nuclear weapons-free Korean Peninsula and has shared what little information it had about North Korea's nuclear program with South Korea.

“As regards any limited information we had in the past it has been shared with the Korean government,” Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz told a breakfast meeting with reporters on the first full day his visit to South Korea. "It's a closed chapter. Pakistan is against proliferation in any form."

Aziz, the highest ranking Pakistani to visit South Korea since President Pervez Musharraf in November 2003, was to hold talks with President Roh Moo-hyun and Prime Minister Lee Hae-chan during his three-day stay.

Pakistan's relationship with North Korea was a focus of international attention after revelations that A.Q. Khan, the South Asian nation's top nuclear scientist, provided nuclear weapons technology to the communist country as well as to Iran and Libya.

Musharraf, who has insisted the Pakistani government didn't authorize or know about the proliferation, pardoned Khan in February last year.

Pakistan's president told The New York Times in an interview earlier this month that he believed North Korea had obtained "probably a dozen" centrifuges machines used to enrich uranium from a network headed by Khan.

South Korea, China, Japan, Russia and the United States are involved in efforts to get North Korea to abandon its nuclear programs, including weapons.

Earlier this month in Beijing, North Korea agreed in principle with the five countries to give up its nuclear program but a day later it placed conditions on that pledge.

Negotiations on implementing the agreement are scheduled for November.

"Pakistan believes that a nuclear free Korean Peninsula is good for the world," Aziz said, adding he was "very encouraged" that the six-nation talks will be successful, reports the AP.


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