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North Korea (DPRK) -Burma relations

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: A Sourcebook on Allegations of Cooperation between Myanmar (Burma) and North Korea on Nuclear Projects
Date of publication: 15 March 2010
Description/subject: A collection of press and Internet articles.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Federation of American Scientists
Format/size: pdf (9.97MB)
Date of entry/update: 20 March 2010


Individual Documents

Title: Myanmar, North Korea stay brothers in arms
Date of publication: 05 September 2013
Description/subject: "If a press statement from the US Department of Defense is to be believed, President Barack Obama is quite pleased with the reform process underway in Myanmar, especially recent progress ''that's been made on human rights''. The message was conveyed by US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in late August when he met with his counterparts from the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Brunei, including Lieutenant-General Wai Lwin, the current defense minister of Myanmar, a former pariah state turned darling of the West. But there was an important caveat in Hagel's statement that indicated Washington's main concern in Myanmar is not democracy and human rights. Rather, he stressed ''it's important that Myanmar sever ties with North Korea''. Evidently Myanmar has not rolled back relations with Pyongyang despite persistent pressure from Washington, including during then secretary of state Hillary Clinton's historic visit to Myanmar in December 2011, and believed behind-the-scenes prodding from Japan and South Korea..."
Author/creator: Bertil Lintner
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 29 May 2014


Title: S. Korea: Myanmar halting arms purchases from N. Korea
Date of publication: 15 May 2012
Description/subject: "Myanmar's president has confirmed that his country bought weapons from North Korea during the past 20 years and assured his South Korean counterpart that it will no longer do so. In a meeting with visiting South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, Myanmar President Thein Sein said his country never had nuclear cooperation with North Korea but did have deals for conventional weapons, Lee's presidential Blue House said in an announcement Tuesday. Thein Sein told Lee that Myanmar will no longer buy weapons from North Korea, honoring a UN ban, South Korean presidential official Kim Tae-hyo told reporters traveling with Lee, according to Blue House officials in Seoul..."
Author/creator: Aye Aye Win
Language: English
Source/publisher: Associated Press (AP)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 16 May 2012


Title: Nuclear Fallout ("Irrawaddy" interview with Dr. Robert E. Kelley)
Date of publication: December 2010
Description/subject: Nuclear scientist and former director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Dr. Robert E. Kelley made headlines earlier in 2010 when he published a report claiming that Burma’s military junta was mining uranium and working toward developing a nuclear reactor. His report was commissioned by the exiled Burmese news agency Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB), which was, soon after, shortlisted for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize. His analysis has since come under attack from Olli Heinonen, a former colleague at the IAEA, as well as from Dr. David Albright, with whom he co-authored a report in January on alleged Burma-North Korea nuclear links. Kelley discussed these issues with The Irrawaddy, both before and after disclosures surfaced about a sophisticated uranium enrichment operation at Yongbyon in North Korea.
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 18, No. 12
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 26 December 2010


Title: S Korean FM approaching Burma with caution
Date of publication: 18 August 2010
Description/subject: "South Korea has said it will raise the issue of controversial military ties between Burma and North Korea when a senior government official visits the pariah state next week."
Author/creator: FRANCIS WADE
Language: English
Source/publisher: Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 September 2010


Title: South Korea to Discuss Nuke Rumors With Myanmar
Date of publication: 18 August 2010
Description/subject: South Korea's Foreign Ministry said Monday rumors about nuclear collaboration between North Korea and Myanmar would be discussed when a high-level envoy from Seoul travels to the Southeast Asian nation this week, the Yonhap News Agency reported (see GSN, July 23).
Language: English
Source/publisher: NTI
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 28 September 2010


Title: Yonhap (South Korea): S. Korea to address suspected Myanmar, N. Korea nuclear issue: ministry
Date of publication: 17 August 2010
Description/subject: South Korea will talk about possible nuclear cooperation between Myanmar and North Korea when a senior diplomat visits the Southeast Asian country next week, the foreign ministry here announced Monday.Vice Foreign Minister Shin Kak-soo is scheduled to visit Myanmar from Aug. 19-21, where he will deliver Seoul’s message encouraging fair elections on Nov. 7, according to ministry spokesman Kim Young-son. The elections will be the country’s first in two decades.
Language: English
Source/publisher: "BurmaNet News"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 28 September 2010


Title: Protecting the ‘Dear Leader
Date of publication: August 2010
Description/subject: The author of a Burmese biography of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il and his publisher have handed over several hundred copies of his book to the North Korean embassy in Rangoon after embassy officials complained it contained inaccuracies.
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 18, No. 8
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 31 August 2010


Title: Rogue Brothers in Arms
Date of publication: July 2010
Description/subject: Analysts have long suspected North Korea of supplying Burma with weapons and technology. Has the Dear Leader become a role model for Than Shwe as well? "Burma and North Korea, two of the world’s most oppressive, isolated and secretive nations, were previously not on speaking terms. But over the last two decades, Burma’s junta chief, Snr-Gen Than Shwe, and North Korea’s “Dear Leader,” Kim Jong Il, have formed a disconcerting partnership of convenience that, due to recent events, has garnered increased attention from the international community..."
Author/creator: WI mOE
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 18, No. 7
Format/size: HTML
Date of entry/update: 30 August 2010


Title: Deception and denials in Myanmar
Date of publication: 30 June 2010
Description/subject: "Myanmar's military government issued pro-forma denials after al-Jazeera aired an investigative report by the Oslo-based Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) alleging that Myanmar is attempting to develop nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. But as the international community weighs the evidence, the regime could soon face United Nations-imposed sanctions for its military dealings with North Korea..."
Author/creator: Bertil Lintner
Language: English
Source/publisher: Asia Times Online
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 16 November 2010


Title: 3 Statements in "The New Light of Myanmar" of 12 June 2010 on the Democratic Voice of Burma video, “Myanmar's military ambitions” broadcast on Aljazeera from 4 June 2010
Date of publication: 12 June 2010
Description/subject: 1) Press Statement of Ministry of Foreign Affairs on unfounded allegations against Myanmar regarding nuclear programme... 2) Press Statement of Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Myanmar’s relations with Democratic People’s Republic of Korea..."Al Jazeera airs incorrect news report saying Myanmar trying to possess nuclear weapons - News report based only on exaggerated fabrications of some deserters, fugitives, exiles"
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The New Light of Myanmar"
Format/size: pdf (223K)
Date of entry/update: 12 June 2010


Title: Myanmar's military ambitions (video)
Date of publication: 04 June 2010
Description/subject: "Top-secret material reveals that Myanmar is trying to build rockets and nuclear weapons"..."About Film In a new investigative documentary produced by DVB we have discovered that Burma’s ruling generals have started a program to build nuclear weapons. It has long been suspected that Burma has been pursuing a nuclear programme but now, for the first time, DVB provides evidence of how, where and why they are pursuing this goal. With a combination of high quality colour photographs taken from the military’s own top secret files, expert analysis and witness accounts DVB’s documentary exclusively reveals the detailed nature of the regime’s intent. The huge amount of evidence collected by DVB over the last 5 years also reveals that the ruling junta are trying to develop long-range missiles and digging themselves in with a series of military bunkers. Experts agree Burma is a long way from achieving its goals. But many believe that with its stated intent to one day acquire nuclear weapons its ambitions should be taken seriously. This groundbreaking information reveals the paranoia of Burma’s ruling generals and gives us a glimpse into the minds of the Burmese military. Elections later this year are aimed at convincing the world Burma are moving towards democracy, but in reality, fearing attack from the United States and an uprising by their own people, Burma is trying to become the next nuclear- armed North Korea."
Language: English, Burmese
Source/publisher: Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) via Aljazeera
Format/size: Adobe Flash (45 minutes total - 4 parts)
Date of entry/update: 07 June 2010


Title: Burma: A Nuclear Wannabe; Suspicious Links to North Korea; High-Tech Procurements and Enigmatic Facilities
Date of publication: 28 January 2010
Description/subject: "For several years, suspicions have swirled about the nuclear intentions of Burma’s secretive military dictatorship. Burma is cooperating with North Korea on possible nuclear procurements and appears to be misleading overseas suppliers in obtaining top-of-the-line equipment. Certain equipment, which could be used in a nuclear or missile program, went to isolated Burmese manufacturing compounds of unknown purpose. Although evidence does not exist to make a compelling case that Burma is building secret nuclear reactors or fuel cycle facilities, as has been reported, the information does warrant governments and companies taking extreme caution in any dealings with Burma. The military regime’s suspicious links to North Korea, and apparent willingness to illegally procure high technology goods, make a priority convincing the military government to accept greater transparency..."
Author/creator: David Albright, Paul Brannan, Robert Kelley, Andrea Scheel Stricker
Language: English
Source/publisher: Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS)
Format/size: html, pdf (1.32 K)
Alternate URLs: http://isis-online.org/uploads/isis-reports/documents/BurmaReport_28January2010.pdf
Date of entry/update: 01 February 2010


Title: Exploring Claims about Secret Nuclear Sites in Myanmar
Date of publication: 28 January 2010
Description/subject: "...Overall, the lack of specifics about many of the sites mentioned in the reports from opposition groups and defectors makes independent analysis using commercial satellite imagery very difficult. Those reporting the existence of secret nuclear sites in Burma should provide more direct and specific evidence, in addition to geographical coordinates, in order for some of the sites to be further investigated. ISIS does not want to overweigh the importance of debunking a few claims about secret nuclear activities in Burma. There remain valid suspicions about the existence of undeclared nuclear activities in Myanmar, particularly in the context of cooperation between Myanmar and North Korea. But the methods used in the public so far to allege secret nuclear facilities are flawed. Identification of suspect nuclear sites requires a more rigorous basis than is currently evident..."
Author/creator: Robert Kelley, Andrea Scheel Stricker and Paul Brannan
Language: English
Source/publisher: Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 01 February 2010


Title: BURMA: ANOTHER CONVERSATION ABOUT BURMA-DPRK
Date of publication: 10 November 2009
Description/subject: "...[NAME REMOVED] , who on [DETAILS REMOVED] informed Australian Ambassador Chan in Rangoon that Burma and the DPRK were engaged in “peaceful nuclear cooperation” (reftel), has changed [DETAILS REMOVED] story. In a November 9 conversation with Ambassador Chan, [NAME REMOVED] said there had been a “misunderstanding.” After Chan’s “blunt” response to the August revelation (Chan had responded with incredulity to the thought that the GOB might consider nuclear cooperation of any sort with the DPRK to be acceptable), [NAME REMOVED] had checked around Nay Pyi Taw. [DETAILS REMOVED] now says GOB-DPRK conversations were merely “exploratory.” ..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: US Embassy, Rangoon, via Wikileaks
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 24 December 2010


Title: Burma and North Korea: Smoke or fire?
Date of publication: 24 August 2009
Description/subject: Conclusion: "On security-related issues, Burma and North Korea are well known as information black holes. Given the isolated and secretive nature of both regimes, it is very difficult to determine the precise nature of their relationship. Also, both countries are at the centre of emotive and highly politicised debates about human rights, nuclear proliferation and regional security. The picture is clouded by rumours and speculative stories circulated in the news media and on activist websites. There is the danger too of individuals and groups deliberately encouraging anti-Naypyidaw or anti-Pyongyang sentiments, for partisan political reasons. Any suggestions of a secret WMD program, however, let alone one conducted by a rogue state like Burma, must be cause for serious concern. Some of the information that has leaked out of Burma appears credible, and in recent years other snippets of information have emerged which, taken together, must raise suspicions. Also, no-one underestimates the lengths to which Burma's military leaders will go to stay in power, and to protect the country from perceived external threats. With this in mind, many observers are looking to the IAEA or the Obama Administration to settle Burma's nuclear status once and for all. The Burmese JADE (Junta's Anti-Democratic Efforts) Act enacted by Congress in July 2008 stipulates that, within 180 days, the Secretary of State must issue a statement describing ‘the provision of weapons of mass destruction and related materials, capabilities, and technology, including nuclear, chemical, and dual'. Reports filtering out of Washington in recent months suggest that there have already been a number of confidential briefings to senior officials on this subject. However, the world is still waiting for an authoritative public statement from the US which will put all the rumours, blogs and newspaper stories into their proper perspective. There has always been a lot of smoke surrounding Burma's nuclear ambitions. Since June, the amount of smoke has increased, but still no-one seems to know whether or not it hides a real fire. As time passes, the need to find an answer to this important question can only increase."
Author/creator: Andrew Selth
Language: English
Source/publisher: Australian Strategic Policy Institute Limited
Format/size: pdf (249K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs07/Policy_Analysis47.pdf
Date of entry/update: 25 August 2009


Title: Burma's nuclear bomb alive and ticking/Time for a close look at Burma's nuclear programme
Date of publication: 02 August 2009
Description/subject: 2 linked articles.... Talk to regional security authorities or their embassy staff about Burma having a nuclear programme and it usually generates two responses - total disbelief or horror. Strategic defence studies expert Professor Desmond Ball and journalist Phil Thornton spent two years investigating rumours, speculation, misinformation and the small truths that all help to conceal the Burmese military regime's nuclear ambitions from serious examination
Author/creator: Desmond Ball, Phil Thornton
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Bangkok Post" (Spectrum)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 25 August 2009


Title: A Friend in Need
Date of publication: August 2009
Description/subject: "Signs of strengthening diplomatic and military ties between Burma and North Korea are creating unease in many world capitals"growing concern." US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said after attending a ministerial meeting of the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean) in Thailand in late July that military cooperation between Burma and North Korea "would be destabilizing for the region, it would pose a direct threat to Burma"..."
Author/creator: Wai Moe
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 17, No. 5
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 26 December 2009


Title: Burma's Missile Dream
Date of publication: August 2009
Description/subject: Naypyidaw appears to be intent on setting up a missile defense sytem to deter po tential enemies... "Is Snr-Gen Than Shwe delusional? Subordinates of Burma's paramount leader are said to have repeatedly heard him say how much he admires North Korea's use of missile technology to bully and defy its neighbors and the West. The bad news is that Than Shwe's hard-line military leaders and ministers may agree with him. However, Burmese opposition groups in exile suspect that army officers who disagree with Than Shwe's policy deliberately leaked secret documents to exiled media groups, including The Irrawaddy. These documents throw light on Burma's military ties with Pyongyang..."
Author/creator: Aung Zaw
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 17, No. 5
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 26 December 2009


Title: Is there a Burma-North Korea-Iran nuclear conspiracy?
Date of publication: 26 February 2009
Description/subject: "If the Obama Administration was looking for another foreign policy challenge, all it would have to do is take seriously the rumours circulating in Thailand that Burma is pursuing a secret nuclear weapons program, with help from North Korea and Iran. These stories have all the ingredients of a real security nightmare. The question is, are any of them true? ..."
Author/creator: Andrew Selth
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Interpreter" - weblog of the Lowy Institute for International Policy
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 04 March 2009


Title: ALLEGED NORTH KOREAN INVOLVEMENT IN MISSILE
Date of publication: 27 August 2004
Description/subject: SUMMARY: "North Korean workers are reportedly assembling “SAM missiles” and constructing an underground facility at a Burmese military site in Magway Division, about 315 miles NNW of Rangoon, according to XXXXXXXXXXXX . This unsolicited account should not be taken as authoritative, but it tracks with other information garnered and reported via XXXXXXXXXXXX. End Summary."
Language: English
Source/publisher: US Embassy, Rangoon, via Wikileaks
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 24 December 2010


Title: Pariah Partners in Arms
Date of publication: March 2004
Description/subject: "It has long been suspected that North Korea supplies Burma with weapons. But recent unconfirmed reports that the two secretive states are negotiating a nuclear deal are unsettling... Bilateral relations between Burma and North Korea were severed in 1983, after Pyongyang sent agents to Rangoon to conduct a terrorist attack against a visiting South Korean presidential delegation. Diplomatic ties have still not been restored. Over the past few years, however, these two economically stricken but highly militarized pariah states seem to have found some common ground. Depending on how it develops, this relationship could extend beyond mutual support to have wider strategic implications. Reports that the Rangoon regime has sought to acquire strategic weapon systems like submarines and ballistic missiles from Pyongyang have aroused concern in regional capitals and in Washington. There have even been suggestions that North Korea is secretly helping Burma to build a nuclear reactor, raising the spectre of a future atomic weapons program that could be used by Rangoon as a bargaining chip against the United States..."
Author/creator: Andrew Selth
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 12, No. 3
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 09 June 2004