Satellite images confirm Mullen’s fears of Pak adding to nuke arsenalMay 20th, 2009 - 5:21 pm ICT by ANI
Washington, May 20 (ANI): US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen’s fears of Pakistan rapidly adding to its nuclear arsenal are being proved right by satellite images of two nuclear sites.
According to the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), a US based arms control institute, commercial satellite images of Pakistan’s two nuclear sites in Dera Ghazi Khan and Rawalpindi shows Islamabad expanding its nuclear assets secretly.
The satellite photos reveal a major expansion of a chemical plant complex near Dera Ghazi Khan that produces uranium hexalfuoride and uranium metal. Both elements are used to produce nuclear weapons.
The pictures also suggest that Pakistan had put in place a second plutonium separation plant next to the old one in Rawalpindi, The News reports.
“All together, these recent expansion activities indicate that Pakistan is indeed progressing in a strategic plan to improve the destructiveness and deliverability of its nuclear arsenal,” the ISIS report stated.
The expansions would thus mean that Pakistan is now able manufacture smaller and lighter plutonium based fission weapons and thermonuclear weapons, the report said.
The report has certainly raised questions over the billions of dollars of US military assistance to Pakistan, speculations about which is that they are being sidetracked to expand Pakistan’s nuclear capability rather than utilizing it to counter insurgency. (ANI)
Tags: admiral mike mullen, chiefs of staff, deliverability, dera ghazi khan, destructiveness, expansion activities, fission weapons, isis report, joint chiefs of staff, nuclear arsenal, nuclear assets, nuclear capability, nuclear weapons, plutonium separation, rawalpindi, satellite images, satellite photos, separation plant, thermonuclear weapons, uranium metal