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The UN atomic watchdog has asked Burma to be allowed to visit a number of suspect nuclear sites and facilities, a source close to the agency said Thursday.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) ‘has sent an official letter to Burma requesting access’ to the sites, the source told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The source was not aware whether any response had been received as yet.
Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that the IAEA’s safeguards department, which has already sought details in recent months from the Southeast Asian country about a purported nuclear drive, had sent a letter to the ruling military junta.
The watchdog’s request for information comes at a time when the United States and some Asian countries have expressed heightened concern about military – and possible nuclear – collaboration between Burma and North Korea.
Washington has suspected for years that Burma has a secret nuclear programme with the support of Pyongyang. According to recent diplomatic cables leaked by the the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks, witnesses have reported suspicious activity as far back as 2004, with dockworkers and foreign businessmen saying they had seen evidence of alleged secret nuclear and missile weapons sites being built deep in the Burmese jungle.