14.11.09 16:09Untitled DocumentSeite 3 von 5http://www.dictatorwatch.org/articles/threatassess.html
North Korea began to sell related reactor technology to the SPDC in 2006, which is the same year that it started to receiveyellowcake shipments.It is at this point that the reactor situation for Burma becomes confused. There is no firm evidence that the Russian reactor has been delivered. Moreover, following a strong earthquake in Magwe in September 2003 (reported by Irrawaddy), suspiciondeveloped that the site was moved to the Setkhya Mountains (which are southeast of Mandalay, long-known to have nuclear related facilities, and which lie near the Myit Nge River). Dictator Watch sources say that a reactor is to be built in Kyauk Pa Toetownship of Thabeikkyin, which would complete a vertically-integrated operation there: nearby mines, mill, enrichment facility,and reactor. Ball and Thornton report that there are actually to be two reactors, in Myaing and the Setkhya Mountains. Whatever the site or sites, the program is designed to enable the extraction of plutonium from spent reactor fuel, and the production of sufficient quantities of Plutonium-239 to make atomic weapons.
In 2001, Science and Technology Minister U Thaung said to Burma Army officers who were to be sent to Russia to study nuclear technology that the program's goal was to produce an atomic bomb by 2020. Former Foreign Minister Win Aung, who diedrecently in Insein Prison, said to such State Scholars at this time that China supported the objective.This time frame is reasonable for a weapons program based on enriched uranium, provided the SPDC can acquire or manufactureenough centrifuges. Ball and Thornton argue that via the reactor-based plutonium extraction method, the SPDC may be able to build a bomb by 2014. It is also important to recall the option of outright weapon acquisition. Than Shwe is constructing a defenseagainst a foreign military intervention, of which having nuclear arms would be the bulwark. It seems unlikely, considering how -thanks to Total, Chevron and other multi-national corporations - his financial fortunes have improved, that he would not attemptto purchase one directly from North Korea. Of course, he would pursue both uranium enrichment and plutonium extraction programs, in emulation of the North, but as these take years he would inevitably be attracted by a straightforward purchase. (Thisis also one way that the North could make up for assassinating South Korean officials in Rangoon in 1983.)Than Shwe has the ability to pay whatever Kim Jong-il might demand, even hundreds of millions of dollars for a single weapon,if need be. (He is so wealthy now that he has constructed an imperial city.) Note: Such acts do happen. The Washington Post just reported that China in 1982 gave Pakistan enough enriched uranium (50kilograms), and a basic blueprint, to construct two atomic bombs. The U.S. became aware of, but never disclosed, this transfer.
Dictator Watch has reported a great amount of intelligence about the SPDC's efforts both to acquire and produce a wide variety of missile systems, including land and ship based, SAM, TOW, rockets, and ballistic missiles. The most worrisome of our intelligence is that the SPDC has purchased short range ballistic missiles (SRBM) from North Korea, with a range of 300 miles,and that these have been placed at at least four locations near Burma's border with Thailand. We also reported that both Russiaand North Korea are helping the SPDC build factories to produce rockets and other precision-guided munitions.Missile proliferation to Burma is now well-documented. Kyodo News reported in 2003, from a U.S. intelligence source, thatBurma was negotiating to buy North Korean missiles. The Congressional Research Service reported in 2006 the sale of ballisticmissiles by North Korea to other countries, although Burma was not mentioned. More recently, the evidence includes the UnitedStates efforts in the summer of 2008 (noted by Congressman Royce) to deny a North Korean cargo flight airspace rights over India to fly from Burma to Iran, and which cargo reportedly included missile components; and the U.S. shadowing of the Kang Nam 1 freighter this past summer, which had a similar cargo.On the other hand, even though the SPDC has acquired sophisticated missile systems, it is unlikely to possess the miniaturizationtechnology necessary to scale down nuclear weapons to the requisite size. Only China, which has developed the technologydomestically, and which also secured designs from the U.S. through espionage (the W-88 design), would be in a position totransfer the technology to Burma, and also North Korea, but in the present day would be unlikely to do so to either. (Russia aswell can almost certainly be ruled out as a source of the technology.) The only rationale for having such missile systems,therefore, defaults to their use as part of a defense against a foreign intervention.(One wild card, though, is the presence of Pakistani nuclear scientists Muhammad Ali Mukhtar and Suleiman Asad in Burmasince 2001, escapees of the A. Q. Khan network. (Khan was the individual who received the earlier mentioned Chinese enricheduranium.) Both scientists are weapons design experts, and were connected to the charity UTN, other Pakistani scientists fromwhich the CIA learned briefed Osama bin Laden - in mid-2001 - on how to make nuclear weapons. Source - Deception: Pakistan,the United States, and the Secret Trade in Nuclear Weapons, by Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott-Clark, via the HistoryCommons website)
SPDC defense plans