Burma’s Nuclear Program Isn’t for Atomic Weapons: Military Chief
BURMA

Burma’s Nuclear Program Isn’t for Atomic Weapons: Military Chief

Snr. Gen Min Aung Hlaing delivers addresses during meeting with officials at Kalaw, Southern Shan State, Burma, in 2011. (Photo: The Irrawaddy)

RANGOON—Burma’s military chief says the country plans to use nuclear technology for medical, research and energy purposes but will not develop atomic weapons, a statement that came a month after the government said it would declare any nuclear material in the country.

State media on Saturday reported the comments made by the armed forces commander at the graduation ceremony for the military’s Medical Academy.

“In modern medical treatment, nuclear medicine is effectively used to treat cancer with radioactive isotopes and radioactive therapy,” Vice Senior Gen Min Aung Hlaing told the graduating class on Friday at a ceremony on Rangoon.

“The military will not develop nuclear technology to produce weapons of mass destruction but will conduct studies and experiments for peaceful purposes in accordance with international standards to use in the medical sector, in laboratory research for science and in the electrical energy sector,” the Burmese-language state-owned Myanma Ahlin reported. English language dailies did not carry the comments.

There has long been speculation, bolstered by reports from defectors, that Burma may be secretly developing a nuclear program of some sort with the help of North Korea.

The reformist government of President Thein Sein last month announced it would sign an international agreement that would require it to declare all nuclear facilities and materials. Although it would be up to Burma to decide what to declare, it could provide some answers concerning its acquisition of dual-use machinery and its military cooperation with Pyongyang that the US and other nations regard as suspect.

Thein Sein’s agreement to allow more scrutiny by UN nuclear inspectors was viewed as a willingness to go beyond democratic reforms that have improved relations with Washington, which culminated in a visit by President Barack Obama last month, the first by a US president to the country also known as Burma.

Burma’s previous military government persistently denied embarking on a nuclear program, decrying such allegations as groundless and politically motivated.

Wracked by corruption and mismanagement from a half-century of military rule, the country’s health care is in shambles and ranks among the worst in the world.

Wealthy cancer patients fly to neighboring countries like Thailand and Singapore for treatment, while others wait months for treatment in Burma.

The new government has increased the budget for health and has also vowed to seek foreign help in expanding the country’s power industry, which is in such a sorry state that blackouts and limited service are common and have prompted public protests.


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5 Responses to Burma’s Nuclear Program Isn’t for Atomic Weapons: Military Chief

  1. “The military will not develop nuclear technology to produce weapons of
    mass destruction but will conduct studies and experiments for peaceful
    purposes in accordance with international standards to use in the
    medical sector, in laboratory research for science and in the electrical
    energy sector,” 
    Dear Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, this kind of nuclear medicine research is not military project. This kind of research should be doing by civilian academics at University or Civilian Government research center.
    Military must give up nuclear research. Military can do research on conventional weapons/arms project but it must not be broken International arms control law.

  2. What has anything to do with Defense Ministry if the nuclear project is for energy(electric power) and for medical research? But Medical and research? Does research mean weapons? If it really were for peaceful manner, it must not be under defense ministry.

  3. Min Aung Laing
    How many scientists are available or qualified in Burma for research. You have no “A”, but you want to be “Apple”. The world knows that you are talking about the rubbish. You, are now living in the poorest country but you can not be compared with North Korea who has support from his own people in some extent to overcome the US influence at least.  Do you know who start or initiate the Korean war ? Everybody know US is fear of communist dominance in Asia so there were Korean and Vietnam wars for US, UK , EU weapon test and research.  Transferring bama  military power  to the Burmese people (Min Ko Naing), stop killing and raping own ethnics and  building  the effective and speedy economy in Burma are the most crucial matter to be emphasized.  If you are incapable to resit the control of than shwe (slave, puppet), let your military power transfer to democratic Min Ko Naing who is the ethnic sympathizer.    If you do so ethnically and morally , you will be forgiven by people. Than shwe choose you not because of your ability but your name Min Aung Laing and weak, unethical and selfish behaviors. Your name “Min Aung Laing” (conquered king) is helping cruel Than shwe who arrogantly recognizes himself as a bama king. However, U Min Ko Naing (kill bama king) is respectable national hero so he is the next president of Burma in future.

  4. George Than Setkyar Heine

    Now look who’s talking man!
    The guy even doen’t know what he is talking about as well.
    Medical research is NO CONCERN of the MILITARY specifically for a ragtag OUTIFT (Burma Army) in a country like Burma.
    Military does RESEARCH WORK on WEAPONS and DELIVERY SYSTEMS only if Min Aung Hlaing does not know yet.
    Ask the US, Russia, China and all others for that matter man!
    Only CIVILIAN LABORATORIES DO RESEARCH on CURES for CANCER and other TERMINAL DISEASES.
    The Burma Army has NO CASE much less CAUSE to DO MEDICAL RESEARCH on CANCER and other CURES for terminal maladies idiot!
    Of course NOBODY is a FOOL as well to FALL for that KIND of CHEAT TALK coming out of the mouth of a guy like Min Aung Hlaing only a PUPPET/STOOGE of Than Shwe’s since day one until today I say.

  5. We all notice that the sizes of his two eyes are not the same. What is going wrong?

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