WikiLeaks: Burma Covertly Seeking Nuclear Bomb with Help of North Korea

WikiLeaks cables suggest Burma is building secret nuclear sites

The Guardian

The report states that Burma is pursuing several elements of the fuel cycle, as well as missile and bomb prototype development. And, it suggests that the junta is keeping its options open.

Witnesses in Burma claim to have seen evidence of secret nuclear and missile sites being built in remote jungle, according to secret US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks, heightening concerns that the military regime is seeking to develop nuclear weapons.

A Burmese officer quoted in a cable from the US embassy in Burma said he had witnessed North Korean technicians helping to construct an underground facility in foothills more than 300 miles (480km) north-west of Rangoon.

“The North Koreans, aided by Burmese workers, are constructing a concrete-reinforced underground facility that is ‘500ft from the top of the cave to the top of the hill above’,” according to the cable. The man is quoted as saying the North Koreans were “blowing concrete” into the excavation.

An expatriate businessman told the embassy in Rangoon he had seen a large barge carrying reinforced steel bar of a diameter that suggested a project larger than a factory. Other informants included dockworkers, who reported suspicious cargo.

The reports add rare detail to rumours that have circulated since 2002, most recently from a military defector this year, that Burma is covertly seeking a nuclear bomb with the help of North Korea. Both countries have strenuously denied this in the past and Burma insists there are no North Koreans in the country.