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(photo credit: AP [file])
Pakistan on Wednesday urged North Korea to abandon plans to carry out a nuclear test, saying introducing atomic weapons to the Korean Peninsula would destabilize the region.
Pakistan and North Korea have long been suspected of missile cooperation and in 2004 a top Pakistani scientist confessed to leaking sensitive nuclear technology to North Korea.
"The announcement by the Democratic People's Republic of North Korea regarding its intention to conduct a nuclear weapons test is a matter of deep concern for Pakistan," the Foreign Ministry said.
"We urge the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to desist from introducing nuclear weapons in the Korean Peninsula which would be highly destabilizing for the region," said the statement.
Islamabad urged Pyongyang to "seriously engage" in efforts aimed at keeping the Korean Peninsula region free of nuclear weapons.
On Tuesday, North Korea triggered a global alarm when it said it would conduct a nuclear test sometime in the future to bolster its self-defense, saying it was compelled to because of an "extreme threat of a nuclear war and sanctions and pressure" from the United States.
In 2004, Abdul Qadeer Khan, considered to be the father of Pakistan's nuclear weapons program confessed to leaking nuclear technology to North Korea, as well as Iran and Libya. Pakistani officials denied any government involvement in the nuclear technology transfers.
Khan has been pardoned despite his confession because he is regarded as a national hero but he has been living under virtual house arrest at his home in Islamabad.
Last month, Khan underwent surgery for prostate cancer at a hospital in the southern city of Karachi where he is recuperating at his sister's home.
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