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Report: North Korea And Burma Working On Nuclear Program

by @ 1:11 pm on August 3, 2009. Filed under Foreign Affairs, North Korea

It must be nuclear Monday, because, in addition to a new report about Iran, we’ve got reports of a secret nuclear program in one of the world’s most reclusive nations:

Two of Asia’s most oppressive regimes may have joined forces to develop a nuclear arsenal, according to strategic experts who have analysed information supplied by a pair of Burmese defectors.

The men, who played key roles in helping the isolated military junta before defecting to Thailand, have provided evidence which suggests Burma has enlisted North Korean help to build its own nuclear bomb within the next five years.

Details supplied by the pair, who were extensively interviewed over the past two years by Professor Desmond Ball of the Australian National University and Thai-based Irish-Australian journalist Phil Thornton, points to Burma building a secret nuclear reactor and plutonium extraction facility with the assistance of North Korea.

Thitinan Pongsudhirak, the head of Thailand’s Institute of Security and International Studies, said: “The evidence is preliminary and needs to be verified, but this is something that would completely change the regional security status quo.

“It would move Myanmar [Burma] from not just being a pariah state but a rogue state – that is one that jeopardises the security and well-being of its immediate neighbours,” he said.

By the way, Burma’s neighbors include China, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Australia, and New Zealand.

As Dave Schuler notes, this is just the latest stop down a road of nuclear proliferation that started decades ago in Pakistan, who shared information with North Korea, who is now sharing information with Burma. My concern is that it’s spread so far now, that any idea that we’ll ever be able to halt nuclear proliferation is a fantasy, and that it’s only a matter of time before one or more of these weapons makes it into the hands of a terrorist group that has no moral compunction about using it on an American, European, or Israeli city.

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