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Abe told Jaitley about AQ Khan connection

The bullet train project may have been the centerpiece of the Japan prime minister’s visit to Gujarat last week, but the Pakistan angle in the North Korean missile crisis could push Delhi and Tokyo much closer together

Written by Jyoti Malhotra | Published: September 16, 2017 12:38 pm
North Korea missile launch, Shinzo Abe, North Korea missile over Japan, Japan, India Japan ties, Pakistan, Pakistan defence, North Korea Pakistan ties, Narendra Modi, Arun Jaitley, Indian Express Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks to media after North Korea’s missile launch, at his official residence in Tokyo, Japan, September 15, 2017. (Reuters Photo)

Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe was flying back home from Gandhinagar two days ago when North Korea fired off its missile, which flew 3700 km before landing in the sea off Hokkaido in northern Japan.

A furious Abe said Japan would “never tolerate (such) dangerous provocation,” while South Korea fired off two missiles simulating an attack on North Korea. The UN Security Council, in a meeting on Friday evening in New York, used much the same language, calling it “highly provocative,” and exhorted all member countries to “fully, comprehensively and immediately” implement all UN sanctions on North Korea. The sanctions are supposed to hit 90 per cent of North Korean exports, the money from which it uses it finesse its nuclear-missile programme.

The North Korea crisis had already found resonance in the India-Japan statement in Gandhinagar on Thursday, “the importance of holding all parties accountable” being the key operative phrase.

It seems that Shinzo Abe had told visiting ex-Defence minister Arun Jaitley that he was convinced that North Korea’s missile technology had been obtained from Pakistan’s AQ Khan, who had stolen the designs from various western countries.

Also read | North Korea sends missile over Japan: In the sky, a missile streak, on the ground, dancing with Kim 

Jaitley was visiting Tokyo last week, his last trip as Defence minister, soon after the Cabinet reshuffle gave the job to his former protégé and BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman.

As the North Korean crisis hits home in Japan, its unintended fallout could push India and Japan much closer together. The bullet train project may have been the economic centerpiece of the Abe visit to India – with its extremely low 0.1 per cent rate of interest over 50 years, along with transfer of technology, the project will not only turn out to be practically free, as PM Modi said, but could help kickstart several ancillary industries around it — but the Pakistan angle in the North Korean missile crisis could further lock Delhi and Tokyo into a tighter embrace.

The importance of Japan understanding Pakistan’s AQ Khan as the “black-marketeer” of missile and nuclear proliferation to North Korea, besides Libya and Iran, means that the penny has finally dropped in Tokyo.

This story has a back story. In 2011, ‘Washington Post’ reported a letter written by a former North Korean letter and sent to AQ Khan in 1998, stating that then Pakistan army chief Gen. Jahangir Karamat had been paid $3 million and asking for “the agreed documents, components, etc” be placed on a North Korean plane returning to Pyongyang, after delivering missile parts to Pakistan.

Jyoti Malhotra tweets @jomalhotra

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  1. Arvind Baba
    Sep 20, 2017 at 2:02 pm
    Abe should also tell Jaitley that how India trained and financed North Korean nuclear scientist to achieve Kim the rocketman alias. A research centre in the Himalayan foothills under scrutiny after the revelation that it trained North Korean scientists. When Abe told Jaitley about AQ Khan connection, it was difficult for Jaitley to hold his nerves because India was Khan’s fourth nuclear customer
    1. Rabia Javed
      Sep 18, 2017 at 7:50 pm
      And Modi must have told him his country relation with Iran where they have helped and train Iranian scientist to get bomb and confront US.
      1. Sudarshan Nityananda
        Sep 18, 2017 at 3:03 pm
        In a purely technical sense either Shinzo Abe or this correspondent do not have the facts. AQ Khan was primarily a prac ioner in the nuclear race and had no direct knowledge of missiles. So, he certainly helped N Korea with their nuclear program, after stealing some secrets about centrifuges from an establishment in Holland. Once he left Europe there was no chance for AQ to steal missile secrets. The missile tech must have come direct from CHina, because that's how China got even with Japan and N Korea and USA - by using N Korea to threaten them. Also, please give due credit to N Koraen engineers who have worked pretty much alone , once they got the basic tech from Pak and China.They are brilliant guys, just like our APJ, Ramanna and others.
        1. A
          Sep 17, 2017 at 5:52 pm
          1. North Korea (NK) has received full financial, technological and political support from China and Russia in its efforts to become a nuclear power. But A Q Khan connection story confirms that Pakistan too has provided technological assistance to NK. Right now it is clear that China is very cleverly using NK to bully South Korea, Japan, USA and the entire democratic world. 2. China’s expansionist designs, whether they are seen in the South China Sea islands or in Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim etc., have become a matter of great concern to Japan. 3. Obviously time has come for democratic countries, especially India, USA, France, Germany, Great Britain, Australia and Japan to come together and tell China that it cannot continue to secretly provide assistance to the rogue NK regime. d all these years to have good relationship with NK. 4. Those who are concerned about world peace wish to know whether developed countries would be able to compel China to end its strategic ties with the NK.
          1. S
            SMS Saravanan
            Sep 17, 2017 at 4:29 pm
            Bullet train is just a extravagant project for India n they could use it to upgrade the existing railway system, roadways n connecting of rivers.... many r helping North Korea directly n indirectly.... Pakistan or china or any other country could hav sold of nuclear secrets or they could hav found it themselves.... but North Korea is really provocating war which is bad for the whole world
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