Did Pakistan Test a North Korean Bomb?
The Asia Times says that Pakistan may have tested a North Korean bomb in 1998, rather than a Pakistani bomb.
This would raise questions about both programs. It the bomb was North Korean, does Pakistan have a bomb that works? A Muslim bomb?
If it was North Korean, does that mean that North Korea has actually put its plutonium from reprocessing into bombs?
According to the Carnegie Endowment’s book Deadly Arsenals, Pakistan claims to have conducted five tests on May 28, 1998; however, they produced only one seismic signal, which tends to indicate only one explosion, with an indicated yield of 6-13 kilotons. Another test on May 30, 1998, produced a seismic indication of a bomb with a yield of 2-8 kilotons.
The Asia Times article says that the “only” bomb A.Q. Khan exploded in Pakistan was a North Korean bomb, which tends to undercut its theory, since the Carnegie Endowment (and other sources) say Pakistan tested at least two bombs, if not more.
In any case, the allegation strengthens the article’s claim that Pakistan’s refusal to allow the US (or the IAEA, or some neutral organization) to interrogate A.Q. Khan leaves this issue murky, and the US acceptance of Pakistani stonewalling is a major failure of US non-proliferation policy.