Where Pariah States Meet
covering burma and southeast asia
Tuesday, June 25, 2024


Where Pariah States Meet

By WAI MOE Thursday, June 11, 2009


It is arguable whether democratic countries are currently working together in a spirit of cooperation to protect global human rights; however it is quite clear that two of the world’s pariah states are united in protecting each other’s interests.

A case in point was the announcement on Wednesday in North Korea’s state-run mouthpiece, the Korean Central News Agency, which proclaimed that “a meeting, film show and photo exhibition were held in Myanmar and a news briefing and film show in Russia from June 1 to 3 ...”

The article went on to say that both countries were hosting the events to mark the 45th anniversary of the date when leader Kim Jong Il joined the Central Committee of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK).

Despite the obscurity of the occasion, Htay Oo, the secretary-general of the Burmese junta’s loyal organization, the Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA), addressed the assembled audience at the Burmese event, effusing: “One of the feats performed by Kim Jong Il in leading the Party and revolution to a shining victory, shouldering upon himself the destiny of the country and nation is that he has strengthened and developed the WPK into a guiding force of the Songun revolution,” according to the North Korean media.

“Songun” is North Korea's "Military First" policy that grants the Korean People's Army a leading role in the affairs of state and allocates national resources to the army before civilians.

Apart from the slavish compliments bestowed on the Korean premier by the USDA leader, the other notable point about the announcement was that it was published one week late by the state press in North Korea, indicating that, perhaps, it had been held back to coincide with the date the United Nations Security Council announced it had agreed on more tightened sanctions against Pyongyang due to the country’s recent nuclear and missile testing.

The draft of the resolution on North Korea also included calls on all UN member states to carry out inspections of North Korean ships that may be carrying equipment related to weapons of mass destruction and toincrease vigilance over financial dealings with Pyongyang.

In the case of Burma’s military authorities, directives from the UN generally fall on deaf ears.

The North Korean press was reminding the world that it still had one friend—even it was only basket-case Burma.

Official diplomatic relations between Burma and North Korea were restored in April 2007 after a political row some 14 years before when Burma cut diplomatic ties with Pyongyang following the assassination on Burmese soil of four members of a South Korean delegation, including the deputy prime minister, under the government of President Chun Doo Hwan.

Although the two countries shook hands in 2007, Burma experts say the junta has enjoyed military relations with the North Korean regime since the early 2000s when the Koreans provided the junta bunker and tunnel technology, as well as truck-mounted, multiple rocket launchers and surface-to-air missiles.

“North Korean technicians have helped them [the Burmese junta] construct underground facilities where they can survive any threats from their own people as well as the outside world,” wrote Bertil Lintner, a Swedish journalist who has written on Burma for many years, adding that an extensive network of underground installation was built near the Burmese junta’s remote capital, Naypyidaw.

“It is not known if the tunnels are linked to Burma’s efforts to develop nuclear technology—in which the North Koreans allegedly are active as well,” he noted.

Kavi Chongkittavorn of Thailand’s The Nation newspaper has also said that the Burmese military regime were developing bunker and tunnel warfare and that the materials were provided by the North Koreans.

According to Burmese military sources, the ruling generals have stated at meetings with senior officials that, in reference to the Pyongyang model, if Burma had nuclear weapons, then powerful countries could not threaten them. 

On Sunday, the press in North Korea scrambled to bring home the headlines that Kim Jong Il is likely to elect his youngest son, Kim Jong-un, to succeed him as the next head of the communist state.

Two days later, the Burmese state-run-media published a news report about the Burmese leader Snr-Gen Than Shwe’s favorite grandson opening a school canteen in Rangoon.

The word in the street in both Burma and North Korea is that the leaders want their rule to become a dynasty.

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Dave Wrote:
'Axis of evil'? Let that term be consigned to the dustbin of history along with the Bush administration - it's not the least bit helpful to the Burmese cause to be associated with such nonsense.

SY Alam Wrote:
The head line that would be good to read is "ROGUE REGIME MEET ROGUE REGIME"
Ne Win Vs Than Shwe

timothy Wrote:
The axis of evil includes Burma, North Korea, Zimbabwe and Sudan. The supporters of this group are China and Russia. Both of them have veto power to derail any UN resolution attempts by the free world. That is why the USA and EU failed to send troops to Burma during the killing of monks in the Orange Revolution, or after the Cyclone Nargis disaster. The NLD should ask for foreign troops to enter Burma to protect the innocent people. Please read the UN Human Rights Charter.

plan B Wrote:
The one most important factor why Myanmar will never become North Korean-like is the religion that all Burmese were brought up with. After so many years of hardship, the essence of Buddhism still persist strongly. An asset as well as a disadvantage!
Than Shwe can hope that his grandson will aspire to be part of the dynasty he dreamt of.
One should aim to deal with the post-Than Shwe SPDC without the dynastic factors in mind.
Whoever controls the Tamadaw will be the one to deal with.
The Tatmadaw only respect their rank and file and Than Shwe's grandson is neither.

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