Random thoughts: A matter of give and take | Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan

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There has been a great deal of sabre-rattling after North Korea’s hydrogen bomb test. The first reaction, with an aggressive rhetoric, came from US President Trump. The North Koreans are a poor but proud nation and it is worth noting that even an underdeveloped country can reach for the stars if their rulers are not corrupt and incompetent.

We had Bhutto, General Zia and Ghulam Ishaq Khan to do just that and we did not fail the nation. Today, the North Koreans stand tall and proud and we hope that the Americans will not undertake any foolish misadventure. Any provocation could result in unimaginable destruction in South Korea and Japan – a price that nobody can afford to pay.

One can’t help but wonder why the US has to act aggressively towards countries that are thousands of miles away. It has destroyed Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria and, to some extent, even Pakistan. If a nation takes a stand against these countries, they can ultimately hold their heads high. We have seen how Cuba and North Korea did not yield to American threats. The US and its allies laid their plots under false pretences. Syria is also not a threat to them. And yet, they are destroying the country.

The answer, of course, is Israel. Israel was also the reason for destroying Iraq under false accusations. Now Blair sheds crocodile tears, saying the invasion of Iraq was a wrong decision. Instead of creating a democratic setup, they simply left it in a terrible mess, with communal war and corruption running rampant.

Recently, a photograph was released showing Kim Jong-un inspecting, what the Western media called, a hydrogen bomb. The test confirmed that the yield of the bomb was approximately 60 mega tonnes of TNT, which is powerful enough to wipe out any large city in the world.

Pakistan has enjoyed good relations with North and South Korea since the early 1960s when Bhutto was the foreign minister. I once met a South Korean ambassador at a reception. He asked me about my impression of the North Koreans. I told him that re-unification would be in their best interests. “You are the same people,” I said. “Don’t let yourselves be driven by US policies of divide and rule. The Americans have never left a single country they entered during the Second World War. They won’t leave Japan and South Korea either and probably have nuclear weapons stored there. If you unify, you will be a powerful force militarily (with the help of North Korea) and economically (through South Korea).”

I have my reasons to believe that the Russian and Chinese leaders are not averse to North Korea’s nuclear capability. This way, North Korea keeps them safe on their eastern side.

The making of a hydrogen bomb is not so difficult once you have made an atomic bomb, which works as a trigger for it. The materials for fusion reaction can easily be made and the theory for it is available in books and is also on sale through Western suppliers. I had even suggested it in addition to a long-range ICBM to launch satellites or nuclear weapons. But both suggestions were ignored.

We have also missed the industrialisation boat in the early 1980s when Ghulam Muhammad Fecto was willing to invest Rs4 billion on the condition that I was given the task of implementing it. The suggestion was ignored.

Only mediocre people do not realise that give-and-take is the cornerstone of cooperation and trust. We supported China in the earlier years when they were isolated by the West by all possible means – including Western technology and diplomacy – and they have not forgotten. Their present support is the result of our initial assistance and successful diplomacy.