Dr Khan and South Korea

An article in the November 19 South Korean Yonhap notes that South Korea received US,000 from the US government in 2005 as part of assistance to help improve Seoul’s export control systems, according to the report dated October 31 from the Government Accounting Office (GAO).

South Korea is the sixth-largest recipient of the assistance from the US International Nonproliferation Export Control Program (INECP) among seven countries picked for the GAO’s review. Those countries were selected because of ties to the nuclear proliferation network of Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan and continuing US efforts there to combat nonproliferation.

Hanbando Balance Inc, a South Korean firm, was punished with a one-year trading ban in 2004 after its machines were discovered in Libya’s nuclear weapons program. The International Atomic Energy Agency, a UN nuclear watchdog, had found the company’s balancing equipment, one of the major components of rotors in gas centrifuges, in Libya’s nuclear facilities in late 2003.

US believes the transfer took place through the network of Abdul Qadeer Khan, considered the father of Pakistan’s nuclear program, who privately sold technology and parts to other countries including North Korea.

The South Korean company was prosecuted in late 2004 but acquitted because of lack of evidence that it intended to break the domestic export control laws.

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