Wednesday, August 24, 2005


Ok, now is this is an error on the part of the BBC or on the part of Musharraf? I think it's the latter, because the BBC simply printed his press statement.
Apparently, Pakistan has now 'confirmed' that A Q Khan had sold centrifuges for Uranium enrichment to North Korea. Wasn't that almost a foregone conclusion, no matter if it wasn't official?

In his press statements, Musharraf then makes two statements which seem downright contradictory to each other:

1. "Dr Khan was not involved in the conversion of uranium into gas or other key steps needed to make the bomb."
2. "So if North Korea has made a bomb... Dr AQ Khan's part is only enriching the uranium to weapons grade"
So was or was not Khan involved in supplying the know how for Uranium enrichment to N Korea?

Converting Uranium to a gas, Uranium hexaflouride to be exact, is a standard known and essential way (but not the only one) to enrich Uranium. In fact, about the only reason a state with definite nuclear interests would want to 'convert Uranium to a gas', would be to enrich it. Also, enrichment is the key step to making a bomb. So, saying that Khan was not involved in 'converting Uranium to a gas' but was involved in 'enriching the Uranium' is at best, a poor attempt at political ambiguity, and at the least, an error which shows a lack of basic technical understanding.


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