Abdul Qadeer Khan, the founder of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program, has claimed that the North Korean government paid bribes to officials in Islamabad in exchange for nuclear technology in the late 1990s, according to the Washington Post. Khan said $3 million was paid out to the Pakistani military for the sensitive information.
According to the Post:
“Some Western intelligence officials and other experts have said that they think the letter is authentic and that it offers confirmation of a transaction they have long suspected but could never prove. Pakistani officials, including those named as recipients of the cash, have called the letter a fake. Khan, whom some in his country have hailed as a national hero, is at odds with many Pakistani officials, who have said he acted alone in selling nuclear secrets.”
Though his claims could not be independently verified, he provided a letter that he says is from North Korean official Jon Byong Ho, proving the transaction.
As recently as last year, North Korea has claimed it has a functional uranium enrichment facility.
China Denies Rumors of Jiang Zemin’s Death
China’s state run Xinhua news agency denied reports that former President Jiang Zemin has died, saying, “[R]ecent reports of some overseas media organizations about Jiang Zemin’s death from illness are pure rumor.”
Rumors had spread on the internet after Jiang, 84, did not appear at a communist party 90th anniversary celebration. Broadcasters in Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea had reported his death.
Hong Lei, spokesman for China’s foreign ministry, refused to answer questions about the rumors and referred reporters instead to Xinhua’s correction.
Jiang was president for a decade, spurring major economic changes in China before leaving office in 2002. He also oversaw the handover of Hong Kong from Britain in 1997.
Stadium Collapse in the Netherlands Kills 1, Wounds 13
A sports stadium in the town of Enschede collapsed during repair work Thursday, trapping people under its roof and killing one.
The cause of the accident at the De Grolsch Veste stadium was not yet known. It was being renovated to increase its capacity by adding a higher level of seating. All of the injured are believed to be construction workers.
The De Grolsch Veste stadium is home to the FC Twente soccer club. The team was training elsewhere at the time of the accident.