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Satellite images of possible Myanmar N-site

world Updated: Jul 24, 2010 00:27 IST
HT Correspondent

Satellite images seem to have discovered an installation that is part of the long-suspected secret Myanmarese nuclear programme, the military journal Jane's Intelligence Review says.

The photos of buildings and security fences near the Burmese capital, Naypyidaw, confirm reports by Myanmar army defector Major Sai Thein Win of machine tool factories and other plants alleged to be part of a nascent programme to build nuclear weapons, the magazine reports.

Major Sai said he worked at two factories involved in the nuclear program.

His report to a Burmese opposition news website, Democratic Voice of Burma, based in Norway, included documents and colour photographs of the interior of the installations.

"'They will not make a bomb with the technology they currently possess or the intellectual capability,” Jane's analyst Allison Puccioni was quoted as saying in The Age newspaper. "The two factors do make it possible to have a route to one."

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently expressed concern that North Korea and Burma may be expanding military ties and sharing nuclear technology.

Indian intelligence has in the past reported that renegade Pakistani nuclear scientists, some fleeing the West after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, have turned up in Myanmar before disappearing.

Myanmar has also sent dozens of its best students to China and elsewhere to study nuclear physics — despite having no publicly recognised nuclear reactors or facilities.

In a statement on Thursday, Jane's said Burma's nuclear program was "overly ambitious with limited expertise".