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Myanmar gave up nuclear programs, president says

Myanmarese President Thein Sein said Monday the country had given up its plan to develop nuclear programs in cooperation with Russia in the mid-2000s.

He told visiting Korean President Lee Myung-bak that Russia offered to build two 10 megawatt nuclear reactors for civilian, not military, use.

But the country’s military junta did not pushed the project due to its inability to manage it, he was quoted as saying by Lee’s security aide Kim Tae-hyo.

In 2007, Russia's atomic energy agency and Myanmar signed a deal to build nuclear research reactor. Reports said reactors would use low enriched uranium consisting of less than 20 percent uranium-235.

The two leaders also discussed Myanmar’s alleged military cooperation with Pyongyang.

The defector, whose identity was withheld, has served his five-year prison term here for illegal entry into the country since March 2010.

Most defectors from the repressive state have made their way into South Korea after crossing the border into China and moving into a third country such as Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia.

The two leaders also discussed Myanmar’s alleged military cooperation with Pyongyang.

Thein Sein said that his country has never cooperated with North Korea in terms of nuclear programs, and that Myanmar will abide by the U.N. Security Council resolution 1874 banning Pyongyang’s long-range rocket launch.

Lee also pledged to increase South Korea’s level of assistance to Myanmar and share South Korea’s development experience. The leaders also agreed to expand bilateral cooperation in energy, resource development and construction of infrastructure.

To deepen the countries’ friendship, the leaders agreed to increase people-to-people exchanges and cooperation in areas of sports and culture.

By Song Sang-ho (sshluck@heraldcorp.com)

 

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