Contact: Roland Watson, roland@dictatorwatch.org


January 31, 2010

This is a new report from ISIS - the Institute for Science and International Security, on the putative involvement of Burma's military junta, the SPDC, in nuclear proliferation. The report's breadth and precision are greatly appreciated. The information on the computer-controlled machine tools, Namchongang, and New East, is very valuable.

(We would like to know, though, which companies from Germany, Switzerland and Japan exported the machine tools to Burma, and what specific machines were involved.)

As the report mentions me and Dictator Watch, I have a few other comments/clarifications:

Not all "evidence" about the SPDC's nuclear program has been made public.

It is a bit strong to say that we "claimed" that the Myit Nge River site was a uranium mine and mill. If you look at the Dictator Watch photo essay, I used the verb "suspected." I noted that the mine could be a quarry for construction materials, and was aware of the cement facility possibility for the nearby mill. But, I also secured the opinion of an academic who is a uranium expert, who said that from the images one couldn't be sure what the facility was for, and that uranium milling couldn't be ruled out.

We put the images out in the hopes that someone would conclusively identify the facility's purpose.

It is also important to note that it was under construction at the time. Further, information about this site came from a different channel than our other intelligence.

I would say, however, that the photo ISIS located of the Chinese team at the site is definitive. This is likely the facility that is producing the cement for Naypyidaw, including its tunnels.

About the defectors, the ISIS report is unclear.

"Dictator Watch head Roland Watson claims that much of Ball and Thorton’s information was published earlier by Dictator Watch, relying on the same defectors."

Regarding the closing clause of this statement, there have been three defectors that we are aware of, at least as of last summer. Ball and Thornton published the source they called Moe Jo, whom we previously had published, but without identification. They also had Tayza's accountant, who they called Tin Min.

Our reports are based on Moe Jo, the other, third defector, and other sources as well.

Points about the SPDC's program that we believe are important but that are not being given sufficient attention:

- The extent of the nuclear facilities in the Thabeikkyin area. (We haven't been able to locate satellite imagery for these facilities, although we are confident that they are there.)

- The bartering of yellowcake by the SPDC. (The ISIS article, quoting a European intelligence official, denies the milling of yellowcake - our sources disagree.)

- The acquisition by the SPDC of North Korean SRBMs.

- What really happened with the NK cargo flight that recently landed in Bangkok, and what was the full manifest for the 35 tons of cargo. (We received a report - we stress that it is unconfirmed - that the flight was bound for Burma but that U.S. jets forced it to enter Thai airspace after which Thai jets forced it to land. If this is true, the shipment could have been a second attempt to deliver the cargo carried by the Kang Nam 1 freighter last summer.)

- The acquisition by the SPDC of nuclear weapon components, along the lines described in the recent revelation by the Washington Post that China supplied enough enriched uranium for two atomic bombs to Pakistan in 1982.

- Why the U.S. won't publish the JADE Act Section 10 Report on Military and Intelligence Aid to Burma. The first edition of this annual report was never made public, contrary to the terms of the law. We are now entering the second year for which it is due. (The ISIS report should have mentioned this.)

The U.S. knows a lot more than it is saying. There is a cover-up. The ISIS policy recommendations are based on only part of the information that the U.S. has available.