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Burma/Myanmar's alleged nuclear weapons programme

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: UN nuclear watchdog asks regime to allow inspections
Date of publication: 22 December 2010
Description/subject: "The United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, wrote to Burma’s ruling military junta recently asking that it be allowed to visit alleged nuclear sites in Burma, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal on Friday that cited unnamed US officials..."
Author/creator: Thomas Maung Shwe
Language: English
Source/publisher: Mizzima
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 23 December 2010


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: Is Myanmar Working With North Korea on a Nuclear Weapons Program?
Date of publication: 08 July 2010
Description/subject: Evidence continues to surface suggesting Myanmar’s possible interest in launching a covert nuclear power program with potential North Korean assistance. As part of the continuing saga of North Korea’s deviant machinations, new information has surfaced on Pyongyang’s suspected assistance to Myanmar (Burma) to develop what may be a nuclear weapons program. To be sure, Pyongyang’s suspected complicity with Burma’s possible nuclear ambitions is not entirely new. A strategic dossier published by a high-profile think tank in late 2009 sought to determine if the country’s aspirations of having a civilian nuclear reactor had any military applications.
Author/creator: Frank O'Donnell
Language: English
Source/publisher: Oil Price_Geopolitics
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://oilprice.com/Geo-Politics/International/Is-Myanmar-Working-With-North-Korea-on-a-Nuclear-Weapons-Program/Print.html
http://oilprice.com/pdf/Geo-Politics/International/Is-Myanmar-Working-With-North-Korea-on-a-Nuclear-Weapons-Program.pdf
Date of entry/update: 13 October 2010


Title: Nuclear Pipe Dream?
Date of publication: July 2010
Description/subject: Burma’s emerging nuclear weapons program is met with an ambiguous international response... "Based on evidence accumulating over the the last several years, it appears that the Burmese generals have the intent, motivation and money to develop nuclear weapons. History also shows they have the mindset necessary to disregard their own people’s welfare, as well as the opinions of their regional neighbors and the international community. Yet analysts say it is clear that the military regime is nowhere near having the means—in terms of technology and expertise—to accomplish their nuclear objectives. So how will the region and the rest of the international community respond? Especially given the fact that sanctions, isolation and engagement have all previously failed to influence the regime? Thus far, outside reactions have been as ambiguous as the junta’s clandestine program. On June 4, the international spotlight was refocused on Burma’s nuclear ambitions when Al Jazeera broadcast a documentary produced by the Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB), which provided the strongest and most concrete evidence to date that the Burmese military junta is in the primitive stages of producing a nuclear weapon...."
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 18, No. 7
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 30 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: Than Shwe Angry about Kelley Report
Date of publication: 30 June 2010
Description/subject: "The Burmese junta supremo, Snr-Gen Than Shwe, is reported to be angry at government officials who are responsible for the junta’s nuclear program after he read the report of Robert Kelley, the former director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, who described Naypyidaw's nuclear program as “unprofessional” and “quite primitive.”..."
Author/creator: Wai Moe
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 30 June 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: North Korea helps Burma begin nuclear weapons program
Date of publication: 04 June 2010
Description/subject: "MILITARY-ruled Burma has begun a nuclear weapons program with the help of North Korea, a new investigation revealed, citing an army major defector and years of "top secret material"."
Language: English
Source/publisher: AFP
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 04 June 2010


Title: Expert says Burma ‘planning nuclear bomb’
Date of publication: 03 June 2010
Description/subject: "A five-year investigation by DVB has uncovered evidence that Burma is embarking on a programme to develop nuclear weaponry. At the centre of the investigation is Sai Thein Win, a former defense engineer and missile expert who worked in factories in Burma where he was tasked to make prototype components for missile and nuclear programs..."
Author/creator: ROBERT KELLEY
Source/publisher: Democratic Voice of Burma
Format/size: English
Date of entry/update: 04 June 2010


Title: Myanmar's military ambitions
Date of publication: 02 June 2010
Language: English
Source/publisher: Aljazeera
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 04 June 2010


Title: Asean's New Dilemma: Burma's Nuclear Ambition
Date of publication: 30 May 2010
Description/subject: "...Burma's nuclear ambition can further dampen Asean-US relations in the future. Already, there was the first casualty when the US downgraded the high-powered economic roadshow which was meticulously planned months ahead between the Office of US Trade Representatives and Asean economic ministers through the US-Asean Business Council..."
Author/creator: Kavi Chongkittavorn
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 04 June 2010


Title: Nuclear Related Activities in Burma -- Expert Analysis
Date of publication: May 2010
Description/subject: "The Democratic Voice of Burma has been accumulating information about a nuclear program in Burma for years, but recently they have come across a source with truly extraordinary information. He worked in special factories making prototype components for missile and nuclear programs. Like the Israeli technician, Mordecai Vanunu, he has brought hundreds of color photographs of the activities inside these factories. DVB has asked us to organize this information and analyze what it means. The goal of this report is to report our findings to DVB in support of their documentary film on Al Jazeera. We are also providing a great deal of raw data for the nonproliferation community to assess..."
Author/creator: Robert E. Kelley, Ali Fowle
Source/publisher: Democratic Voice of Burma
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 04 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: Deep Connections between Myanmar’s Department of Atomic Energy and the DTVE
Date of publication: 28 January 2010
Description/subject: Summary: "Through internet searches, ISIS identified extensive links and associations between Myanmar’s Department of Technical and Vocational Education (DTVE) and Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), under the greater Ministry of Science and Technology. In particular, the Director General of the DAE, Dr. Ko Ko Oo was also at one point director of DTVE. In addition, directors and deputy directors of the DTVE have appeared regularly at nuclear conferences together, despite the lack of organizational justification for the DTVE’s apparent interest in nuclear energy. Significant personnel links exist within the Myanmar Ministry of Science and Technology between these two agencies. Internet searches establish that Dr. Oo was director of the DTVE as recently as 2004. Dr. Oo was Director General of the Ministry of Science and Technology as recently as 2006, a post that he may still hold. He often appears at conferences with different administrative titles, and therefore it is difficult to track changes in career position precisely. The DTVE and DAE also at one point shared an address, phone number, and fax number until the Department of Atomic Energy relocated to the new capital of Naypidyaw. The DTVE is also now located in Naypidyaw, but no current address can be found."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS)
Format/size: html
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: Myanmar: Beneath The Surface (video)
Date of publication: 23 December 2009
Description/subject: "Two years ago the world watched in dismay as Myanmar's military junta brutally crushed the so-called Saffron Revolution. It was the only show of mass opposition to have occurred inside the country in almost 20 years. Filmmaker Hazel Chandler entered the country undercover for People & Power to find out how Myanmar's people are fairing, and to investigate disturbing claims that the regime may be trying to develop nuclear weapons."
Author/creator: Hazel Chandler
Language: English
Source/publisher: Al Jazeera (People and Power)
Format/size: Adobe Flash (23 minutes)
Date of entry/update: 25 December 2009


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: 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: Myanmar's secret military tunnel network - 25 June 09
Date of publication: 25 June 2009
Description/subject: "New images have emerged showing the construction of a series of secret tunnels in Myanmar, reportedly built with North Korean help. The images broadcast by the Democratic Voice of Burma in Oslo show tunnels large enough for heavy vehicles to drive through."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Aljazeera
Format/size: Adobe Flash
Date of entry/update: 04 June 2010


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: Unconventional wisdom on Burma
Date of publication: 03 November 2007
Description/subject: US intelligence believes Burma is seeking to develop nuclear weapons from technology provided by North Korea, according to two former senior US government officials.
Language: English
Source/publisher: The Australian
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 14 October 2010


Title: An Untimely Quest
Date of publication: July 2007
Description/subject: Regardless of Burma’s right to pursue peaceful nuclear technology, its capacity to do so safely and practically should be the most immediate concern... "As speculation mounts over Burma’s nuclear collaboration with Russia, perhaps o­ne fear can be laid to rest. The proposed research reactor will not allow Burma’s military leaders to produce nuclear weapons—at least not yet. So what benefits can be derived from such a facility, and what purpose might it serve in Burma? ..."
Author/creator: Edward Blair
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 15, No. 7
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 May 2008


Title: Burma Plays Nuclear Card
Date of publication: July 2007
Description/subject: Assurances of peaceful intentions arouse o­nly skepticism... "Burma’s confirmation of plans to build a 10-megawatt nuclear reactor with the help of Russia’s federal atomic energy agency Rosatom has created nervousness and anxiety among Burma observers. The regime in Naypyidaw, facing international isolation and sanctions, claims that the planned nuclear reactor is to be built for a “peaceful purpose.” Back in January 2002, then-deputy Foreign Minister Khin Maung Win declared that Burma’s “interest in nuclear energy for peaceful purpose is longstanding.” Such assurances have met with skepticism o­n the part of the international community and Burmese at home and abroad, however..."
Author/creator: Aung Zaw
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 15, No. 7
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 May 2008


Title: Thein Oo Po Saw: Burma’s Spokesperson for Nuclear Power
Date of publication: July 2007
Description/subject: Burma’s nuclear ambitions have been the subject of serious discussions at the country’s constitution-drafting National Convention, which has convened intermittently since 1993. These discussions have been led by Thein Oo Po Saw, a US-trained nuclear scientist.
Author/creator: Aung Zaw
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 15, No. 7
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.irrawaddy.org/article.php?art_id=7737
Date of entry/update: 03 May 2008


Title: Burma’s Nuclear Ambition
Date of publication: June 2007
Description/subject: The Irrawaddy charts the timeline on the evolution of Burma's efforts to create a nuclear research facility... "Burma’s nuclear ambitions, spotlighted by last month’s announcement that Russia has agreed to help the regime build a nuclear research facility, date back at least seven years. In December 1995, the junta signed the Bangkok Treaty, banning the development, manufacture, possession, control, stationing, transport, testing or use of nuclear weapons under the terms of the international Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Five years later, after a visit to Moscow by Burma’s minister for science and technology, U Thaung, the junta’s nuclear plans became clearer..."
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 15, No.6
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 May 2008


Title: Burma and Nuclear Proliferation: Policies and perceptions
Date of publication: May 2007
Description/subject: Executive Summary" Before 2000, the idea that Burma might one day become a nuclear power was considered fanciful. Ever since it regained its independence in 1948, Burma had been a consistent supporter of global nuclear disarmament and had played an active role in international organisations dedicated to that end. Nor could it claim the strategic rationale, economic strength or technological expertise to support a nuclear industry, let alone develop a nuclear weapon. Yet, in 2000, the ruling State Peace and Development Council announced that it planned to purchase a small nuclear reactor from Russia. Construction was due to begin in 2003, but was repeatedly postponed, probably due to financial problems. A new agreement was signed in May 2007. The response to the regime’s announcement of a nuclear research program was almost uniformly negative. There was widespread scepticism that Burma could manage such a complex and demanding project, a sentiment shared by the International Atomic Energy Agency. There were also concerns that Burma would be unable to keep secure any radioactive materials produced by the program. There were even claims that the regime secretly planned to use the reactor to build a nuclear weapon. These claims were rightly dismissed as far-fetched and self-serving, but they seemed to be given some substance in 2003 by reports that Burma was developing close links with North Korea, a notorious proliferator of nuclear and ballistic missile technology. Despite the lack of any supporting evidence, some activist groups claim that Burma already possesses nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them. It is highly unlikely that Burma currently has any intention of acquiring nuclear weapons, from North Korea or anywhere else. Claims that it might try to do so in the future are equally speculative, but are made a little more credible by Burma’s exaggerated threat perceptions. Ever since the armed forces took back direct power in 1988, the regime has been the target of a range of external pressures, including from some of the world’s most powerful countries. The aggressive rhetoric that has accompanied these pressures, and the support openly shown for Burma’s opposition movement, has helped create a siege mentality among Burma’s leaders. Even now, they fear intervention by the United States and its allies – possibly even an invasion – to restore democracy to Burma. These concerns have already prompted the regime to consider the acquisition of ballistic missiles. There have also been suggestions that a few Burmese generals envy North Korea’s apparent ability to use its nuclear weapons capabilities to fend off its enemies and win concessions from the international community. It is important not to over-react to these reports. Even if confirmed, they probably reflect the views of a very small minority in Burma’s military hierarchy. Such reports, however, illustrate the scope for misperceptions, on both sides, which can lead in turn to policy errors and even more serious misunderstandings.
Author/creator: Andrew Selth
Language: English
Source/publisher: Griffith Asia Institute
Format/size: pdf (214K)
Date of entry/update: 31 May 2007


Title: Burma’s Nuclear Program: Dream or Nightmare?
Date of publication: May 2004
Description/subject: "Burma has long been suspected of harboring nuclear ambitions...Perhaps the best example of the military junta’s questionable priorities is its determination to build a nuclear reactor. This project has caused considerable unease in the region, and in centers like Vienna and Washington. Over the past few months, this concern has begun to turn to alarm, as reports have emerged suggesting that the reactor may be built with the assistance of North Korea. This has raised the specter of a future nuclear weapons program that could intimidate Burma’s neighbors and be used as a bargaining chip against the US and its allies..."
Author/creator: William Ashton
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 12, No. 5
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 01 August 2004


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


Title: BURMA: RUMORS OF CONSTRUCTION OF A NUCLEAR REACTOR
Date of publication: 20 January 2004
Description/subject: 'An expatriate businessman XXXXXXXXXXXX recently volunteered to an Embassy Officer that he had heard rumors that a nuclear reactor was being built near Minbu, in central Magway Division on the Irawaddy River. The businessman added that he personally had seen a “massive” barge containing large-sized rebar being unloaded on a trip to the area. After asking local residents about the rebar’s purpose, he was told that similar size barge shipments were arriving almost weekly and that the rebar was to be used in the construction of unnamed/unidentified factories. In the opinion of the businessman, the quantities involved as well as the diameter of the rebar suggested a project larger than “factories.” Along these lines, the businessman noted that there was a new airport near Minbu with a landing strip that, based on its length and thickness, seemed excessive, adding that “you could land the space shuttle on it.”...'
Language: English
Source/publisher: US Embassy, Rangoon, via Wikileaks
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 24 December 2010


Title: US Warns Myanmar On Nuclear Reactor Aspirations
Date of publication: 22 January 2002
Description/subject: "The United States warned Myanmar on Tuesday that it must honor its obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty, after Yangon signalled that it intended to build a nuclear reactor with Russian help..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Space Daily
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Yangon's Nuclear Ambitions Alarm Asia And Europe
Date of publication: 18 January 2002
Description/subject: "Myanmar's wish to develop a nuclear research reactor has alarmed many of its Asian neighbours as well as the European community. 'Myanmar is committed to developing a nuclear research reactor for medical purposes,' Foreign Minister Win Aung said recently. While he said that 'it will be some time' before the reactor is built, his words have been startling nonetheless. This is especially so following numerous reports in recent weeks that Russia has signed a deal with Myanmar to supply a reactor..."
Author/creator: Larry Jagan
Language: English
Source/publisher: The Straits Times
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Russia Negotiating to Help Impoverished Nation With Reactor Project : Burma Seeks Nuclear Research Plant
Date of publication: 14 July 2001
Author/creator: Thomas Crampton
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Herald Tribune
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003