Search

 

Cablegate: Burma: Rumors of Construction of a Nuclear Reactor

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

Tuesday, 20 January 2004, 09:44
S E C R E T RANGOON 000088
SIPDIS
NOFORN
EO 12958 DECL: 01/09/2014
TAGS PGOV, PARM, PREL, BM, RS, KS, KNPP
SUBJECT: BURMA: RUMORS OF CONSTRUCTION OF A NUCLEAR REACTOR
NEAR MINBU
REF: STATE 297614 AND PREVIOUS 03 RANGOON 1427
Classified By: COM Carmen Martinez for Reasons 1.5 (B,D)
1. (S/NF) An expatriate businessmanXXXXXXXXXXXX recently volunteered to an Embassy Officer that he had heard rumors that a nuclear reactor was being built near Minbu, in central Magway Division on the Irawaddy River. The businessman added that he personally had seen a “massive” barge containing large-sized rebar being unloaded on a trip to the area. After asking local residents about the rebar’s purpose, he was told that similar size barge shipments were arriving almost weekly and that the rebar was to be used in the construction of unnamed/unidentified factories. In the opinion of the businessman, the quantities involved as well as the diameter of the rebar suggested a project larger than “factories.” Along these lines, the businessman noted that there was a new airport near Minbu with a landing strip that, based on its length and thickness, seemed excessive, adding that “you could land the space shuttle on it.”
2. (S/NF) Comment: Rumors of construction of a nuclear facility in/near Magway Division date back to 2002 and generally refer to alleged Goverment of Burma (GOB) and Russian cooperation on a nuclear research reactor project. Similar rumors, sans the “Russia” angle, have been circulating with greater frequency within diplomatic and expatriate circles since a November 2003 Far Eastern Economic Review (FEER) article which described signs of growing military ties between North Korea and Burma. While we have no direct evidence of this alleged cooperation, rumors of ongoing construction of a nuclear reactor are surprisingly consistent and observations of activity such as that described above appear to be increasing, as are alleged sightings of North Korean “technicians” inside Burma. Martinez

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 


Ethiopia: Conflict, Drought, Dwindling Food Support, Threatens Lives Of 20 Million

Hunger is tightening its grip on more than 20 million Ethiopians who are facing conflict in the north, drought in the south and dwindling food and nutrition support beginning next month, the UN food relief agency warned on Thursday... More>>


Euro Med Monitor: Syria Cross-border Aid Mechanism Extension Is Necessary For The Survival Of Millions

Permanent members of the UN Security Council should extend the cross-border aid to northwestern Syria, Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor said Tuesday in a statement...
More>>


Commonwealth Secretariat: Island Nations Urge Commonwealth Leaders To Bolster Ocean Climate Action
Small island nations are calling for strengthened global support for ocean and climate change action, just days before Commonwealth leaders convene in Kigali, Rwanda... More>>

World Vision: Deeply Concerned For Thousands Affected By Afghanistan Quake
World Vision is deeply concerned about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Afghanistan in the wake of a powerful earthquake in the early hours of this morning... More>>



Malaysia: UN Experts Welcome Announcement To Abolish Mandatory Death Penalty

UN human rights experts* today commended an announcement made by the Malaysian government that it will abolish the country’s mandatory death penalty and encouraged Parliament to take concrete steps to pass the agreement into law... More>>


Ukraine: Bachelet Briefs Human Rights Council On Mariupol
Excellencies, Further to Human Rights Council resolution S-34/1 adopted at its 34th Special Session, I present you with an oral update on the grave human rights and humanitarian situation... More>>