Burmese Internet Users Share Video, Documents about North Korea
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Burmese Internet Users Share Video, Documents about North Korea

By MIN LWIN Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Amid revelations about recent secret meetings between Burmese and North Korean leaders and growing concerns that the two countries may be cooperating in illegal weapons programs, a video showing the 1983 bombing of the Martyr’s Mausoleum in Rangoon has attracted strong interest among Burmese Internet users.

The video, which has been on the Web site Youtube for at least a year, has suddenly become a big hit among Burmese both inside and outside the country, reminding them of a savage incident that resulted in the severing of relations between the two countries two-and-a-half decades ago.    

Apparently taken from Japanese news footage, the video shows a blast that killed 19 people, including 16 South Korean officials. The attack, by North Korean agents, was targeted at former South Korean President Chun Doo-hwan, who escaped death by being a few minutes late for a wreath-laying ceremony at the monument to Aung San and other assassinated leaders of Burma’s independence movement.

“The video footage is horrific, showing the killing and injuring of South Korean and Burmese officials. It reveals North Korea’s cruelty,” said an Internet user in Rangoon, Burma’s largest city.

The interest in the video comes amid growing evidence that Naypyidaw and Pyongyang are forging stronger military ties. Over the past two weeks, a series of documents have been leaked to exiled Burmese and international media organizations showing meetings between senior Burmese and North Korean military leaders.

“I am seriously wondering how these documents, including an MoU [Memorandum of Understanding] signed in North Korea, got out of Burma,” said one journalist in Rangoon.

The MoU appears in a top-secret document detailing a visit to North Korea by the Burmese junta’s No 3, Gen Thura Shwe Mann, and is related to North Korean technical assistance in the construction of a maze of tunnels in the Burmese regime’s capital of Naypyidaw.

Electronic copies of the MoU have been spreading widely among Internet users in Burma.
Some Burmese political analysts say they believe the documents were leaked by moderate military officials who are not happy with the Burmese senior leadership’s decision to restore diplomatic and military ties with North Korea.

“There are many moderate military officials who dislike what Snr-Gen Than Shwe did with North Korea, but they didn’t dare to criticize Than Shwe,” said a retired military official from Rangoon. 

“Many military commanders don’t like North Korea, because North Korean agents killed members of a visiting South Korean delegation and Burmese officials on Burmese land,” he added. “These confidential documents may have come from military officials who don’t want diplomatic and military relations with North Korea.”

Burma’s ruling military council has been sending secret delegations to North Korea since 1999. A North Korean delegation led by Deputy Foreign Minister Park Kil-yon met with his counterpart, Khin Maung Win, in Rangoon in June 2001.

Win Tin, a prominent member of Burma’s main opposition party, the National League for Democracy, said that the growing relationship between the two pariah states would likely pose serious challenges for the international community.

Quoting a Burmese proverb, he added: “It is look like saintly people in pursuit of virtue seek each other’s company.”

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MIC Wrote:
The text of the trip report has been posted (at burmatoday.net/regime/Shwe_Mann_NKorea_Trip_Report.pdf).
Additional photos have also been posted (at burmatoday.net/regime/Shwe_Mann_NKorea_Trip_Photos.pdf).

Confused Wrote:
“The video footage is horrific, showing the killing and injuring of South Korean and Burmese officials. It reveals North Korea’s cruelty,” said an Internet user in Rangoon, Burma’s largest city.

What is this article trying to portray? North Korea gov is cruel. So what?

All other gov is cruel too.

Do you get the picture?

MIC Wrote:
Is there a link to the MOU, or does the Irrawaddy plan to publish the text?

Khin Khin Aye Wrote:
I wish you could post that Youtube video to back up your argument.

Robert Wrote:
Assumed that this is true, why is the Irrawaddy not placing any link to this material on her site?

[Ed.: Here's the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTgP8B-IGug]

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