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Monday, August 10, 2009

Is Burma trying to obtain nuclear weapons?

Nicolas Kristof reports on the possibility that Burma is building a plutonium nuclear reactor that is suitable for weapons development, courtesy of their friends the North Koreans.
Here is a photo of a suspect Burmese building that concerns intelligence experts. As you can see, it is near a river –- like the 5 MWe reactor in Yongbyon, North Korea, whose basic design was copied and built in Syria as well. The building has large power lines feeding it. And it’s certainly an unusual building to have in a remote part of impoverished Burma.
While the prospect of Burma's repressive regime going nuclear is a disturbing one, what's more disturbing is the presence of North Korea as Burma's nuclear patron. You may recall that the Syrian el-Kibar reactor that was destroyed by Israel in September 2007 had been built by the North Koreans and financed by the Iranians.

Arms Control Wonk gives a detailed analysis of the site here.

The Obama administration's ineffective action in the face of nuclear proliferation by North Korea is deeply disturbing.

What could go wrong?


At 9:13 PM, Blogger M Brueschke said...

"Recent analysis of satellite imagery has brought a potential location for Burma’s nuclear program to light. The facility, roughly 10 miles east of Pyin Oo Lwin, can be seen in the image below. This facility was under construction in 2005 when the imagery was captured.."

Looks like Bush dropped the ball on this too, too busy not pressuring Iran and DPRK to notice it.


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