North Korean-Burmese alliance grows closer
posted at 5:15 pm on July 3, 2009 by Ed Morrissey
Any room for one more in the Axis of Evil Alternative Ethics Outlook? Burma, called Myanmar by the ruling military junta, sent its military leaders to North Korea for secret talks last year, resulting in a closer military and economic alliance just coming to light now, according to the Telegraph. Pyongyang has begun supplying the Burmese regime with weapons in defiance of UN arms embargos on both countries:
A 37-page document in Burmese obtained by Radio Free Asia detailed a visit by 17 Burmese officials, including General Thura Shwe Mann, the chief of staff of the army and Burma’s third-ranked leader, to Beijing and Pyongyang last November.
The stated aim of the visit was “to modernize the Burmese military and increase its capabilities through visiting and studying the militaries” of China and North Korea, and a memorandum of understanding was signed with North Korea counterparts on November 27.
The report also says the Burmese delegation was shown North Korean surface-to-air missiles and rockets, along with naval and air defense systems and tunnel construction, including how Pyongyang stores aircraft and ships underground to protect them from aerial attack.
None of this comes as any great shock, as Pyongyang needs all the customers it can get for its weapons systems, and Burma needs weapons systems to maintain its iron grip on power. The path of the Kang Nam, the North Korean ship trailed by the US Navy and suspected of illegal gun-running, originally appeared to lead to Burma, before American pressure forced it to turn around. This revelation confirms that Kim Jong-Il has turned the rogue nation of Burma into a client state.
If we needed more proof of Kim’s inclination to act as a proliferator, it would be difficult to find anything better. He partners with fellow rogue states to move weapons around the world while his people starve to death. The only action that will get his attention is a blockade, which is why Kim keeps threatening war when the US and its Pacific Rim allies attempt to impose it. It may not be a bluff; if we cut off his ability to sell weapons, Kim will have no choice but to either surrender to the six-party agenda or to attempt to seize the entire Korean peninsula.