Pakistan is said to have had long-time economical relations with the North Korean government since the early 1970s.
Faced with having a weakened economy during the 1990s and China's reluctance to face Western pressure about selling its M-11 missiles, Pakistan sought an alternate supplier, in this case North Korea.
It is well known that assassinated Prime MinisterBenazir Bhutto had met with North Korean officials on several occasions during the 1990s to disclose a deal that would give Pakistan access to the North Korean Rodong long-range missiles.[clarification needed] In return, Pakistan would supply North Korea with civilian nuclear technology instead of money, due to lack of funds. However, the exchanges between the two nations has been mutually kept rather confidential and secretive. North Korea also has a consulate in Karachi. As close allies of the People's Republic of China, North Korea and Pakistan have been cooperating with each other in educational and cultural exchanges. There are many intelligence reports saying that many of North Korean students have been educated at Pakistan's universities, and Pakistan has expressed support for a future re-unification of Korea.
Allegations of nuclear assistance by Pakistan
Pakistan has been accused by US officials of having secretly supplied North Korea with nuclear technology for military purposes.
The CIA claimed to have tracked several air shipments between the two countries via satellite. The US Government believes that Dr. A. Q. Khan, a senior atomic research scientist, has travelled to North Korea several times and provided crucial technological aid to the North Korean government to create HEU. However, due to technical difficulties, North Korea abandoned its uranium-based programme and focused on developing a relatively easier plutonium programme. As it was seen as evidence[dubious– discuss], when North Korea conducted nuclear tests (See 2006 North-Korean test and 2009 North-Korean Test) using weapons-grade plutonium, despite Pakistan and other countries making advising North Korea not to carry out the tests.
In 2002, information leaked that Pakistan has been the source of North Korea's recent development in nuclear warheads, according to US intelligence officials.
Abdul Qadeer Khan was placed under house arrest by the Pakistan government and was made to publicly apologize to the Pakistan public for "embarrassing" the country.
The Pakistan government declined repeated calls for weapons inspectors to investigate Pakistan's nuclear facilities or any attempts for the CIA to directly question Dr Khan, despite growing Western pressure.
In November 2006, North Korea tested its nuclear warheads despite world pressure not to do so.
World attention quickly turned again to Pakistan following the test, however Pakistan's government was quick to point out that the bomb exploded by North Korea was plutonium based as opposed to Pakistan's uranium based weapons.