Contact: Roland Watson, roland@dictatorwatch.org


June 21, 2009

Please forward.

News Story, via AP:

"A U.S. Navy destroyer is tailing a North Korean ship suspected of carrying illicit weapons toward Myanmar in what could be the first test of new U.N. sanctions against the North over its recent nuclear test, a leading TV network said Sunday.

The South Korean news network YTN, citing an unidentified intelligence source in the South, said the U.S. suspects the cargo ship Kang Nam is carrying missiles and related parts. Myanmar's military government, which faces an arms embargo from the United States and the European Union, has reportedly bought weapons from North Korea

Dictator Watch reported, in the July 2007 article, Burma: A Threat to International Security and Peace, that the military junta - the SPDC - had purchased SCUD missiles from North Korea, and targeted them at Thailand. Furthermore, our sources tell us that Burma is mining and milling uranium ore, and bartering the end product, yellowcake, to both North Korea and Iran for their respective enrichment programs.

The SPDC has further purchased a nuclear reactor from Russia, and has announced to its elite State Scholars, who study in Russia, the goal to develop nuclear weapons. North Korea is assisting with the nuclear program as well. In a worst case scenario, but which is by no means implausible, the SPDC could become a client of North Korea to buy such a weapon.

By identifying the Kang Nam and its cargo of missile components, the United States has demonstrated that it is well informed about these relationships. Under Section Ten of the Tom Lantos Block Burmese JADE (Junta's Anti-Democratic Efforts) Act of 2008, the State Department is required to prepare a Report on Military and Intelligence Aid to Burma, Subsection Three of which covers weapons of mass destruction. This report, under the terms of the Act, should have been made public by the end of January. It still has not appeared.

The Obama Administration should comply with the Tom Lantos Act, now, and reveal what it knows about the SPDC's missile and nuclear proliferation, including its contacts with North Korea, Russia and Iran. The connections between these countries constitute an extraordinary threat to international security and peace. The Administration must act, including by finding a way to compel both Russia and China to relent in their Security Council vetoes on behalf of Burma's dictators.

The North Korean regime is the most brutal in the world. The entire nation is an insufferable gulag. Burma, where democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi soon may be sentenced to prison, and where ethnic minority villagers in the east of the country are now under attack, is not far behind. The Obama Administration must be open about the threat of weapons of mass destruction, and the reign of terror, in both nations, and set the clear goal that the United States will do everything in its power to free the North Korean and Burmese people.