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Our Allies Were Not 'Misled'

Friday, March 25, 2005; Page A18

"U.S. Misled Allies About Nuclear Export," the March 20 front-page story about nuclear material exported to Libya, was flat wrong. Our allies were not "misled" by the United States about North Korea's proliferation activities. We provided an accurate account of the intelligence assessment of the most likely source of the nuclear material that was transferred to Libya through A.Q. Khan's network.

The reporter asserted that "Pakistan was mentioned only once in the briefing paper, and in a context that emphasized Pyongyang's guilt." In fact, the Khan network was cited several times, but the key point is that the briefing made clear that the nuclear material transferred to Libya went through the Khan network. The U.S. government has no evidence that the transfer was authorized by Pakistan's government.


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Whether the intended recipient was the Khan network or Libya is irrelevant to our proliferation concerns regarding North Korea. The fact that nuclear material found its way out of North Korea to any destination is a source of serious concern for the United States and other participants in the six-party talks. That is why we brought the matter to their attention.

SCOTT McCLELLAN

Press Secretary

White House

Washington


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