Washington, Jul 7: North Korea paid several million dollars to top Pakistani Army officials to gain access to secret nuclear technology and sensitive equipments required in manufacturing a nuclear bomb, disgraced nuclear scientist A Q Khan has claimed by releasing a secret letter in this regard, a major American daily has reported.
According to the letter posted by The Washington Post on its website, which is accompanied by a story, Jon ByongHo, Secretary of the Workers party of (North) Korea, in a letter dated July 15, 1998 asks A Q Khan, who then was the project director of the Kahuta Research Center, to give "agreed documents" and "components" to a North Korean Embassy official in Islamabad.
In the letter, the authenticity of which according to The Post has been confirmed by senior US and western officials, Jon says that "3 millions dollars have already been paid to Army Chief Gen J Karamat and half a million dollars and 3 diamond and ruby sets have been given to Gen Zulfiqar Khan".
Both Karamat and Khan have refuted the allegations. In an e-mail from Lahore, Karamat said that Khan, as part of his defense against allegations of personal responsibility for illicit nuclear proliferation, had tried "to shift blame on others".
He said the letter's allegations were "malicious with no truth in them whatsoever", The Post said.
Khan called the letter "a fabrication". A senior Pakistani official, who asked not to be named "to avoid offending" Khan's supporters, said the letter "is clearly a fabrication".