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North Korea

Volume 449: debated on Wednesday 19 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what her assessment is of the effectiveness of efforts to limit the illicit flow of nuclear material to North Korea; and if she will make a statement. (81729)

We are not aware of any flow of illicit nuclear material. North Korea's graphite-moderated reactor at Yongbyon has been fuelled using indigenously produced natural uranium fuel.

Pakistani scientist Dr. A. Q. Khan has admitted to having supplied uranium enrichment technology to North Korea, although North Korea denies having a uranium enrichment programme.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment she has made of the potential for proliferation of (a) nuclear weapons material and technology and (b) missile technology from North Korea to state or non-state actors. (81731)

North Korea's willingness to supply to others ballistic missile systems and technology is well established. Given the complexity of ballistic missiles and the necessary support systems, we believe it is extremely unlikely any non-state actor would seek to procure them.

While North Korea might be willing in principle to supply nuclear weapons material and technology to others, we do not currently assess this to be a significant risk. We and our allies, however, are monitoring continuously for any indication North Korea might be considering such a transfer.