WikiLeaks: N. Korea Helping Myanmar's Nuke Sites

Myanmar's soldiers march during the 63rd Armed Forces Day Naypyidaw March 27, 2008. AFP/Getty Images

Myanmar's soldiers march during the 63rd Armed Forces Day in Naypyidaw March 27, 2008.
AFP/Getty Images

The U.S. embassy in Myanmar has pieced together accounts from witnesses who say North Korea is secretly helping the military dictatorship build nuclear and missile sites in its jungles.

Although witnesses told the embassy that construction is at an early stage, officials worry Myanmar could one day possess a nuclear bomb, the Guardian newspaper of London reported Thursday evening.

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The disclosure comes from the trove of secret State Department cables released to a number of news outlets by the document-dumping website WikiLeaks.

Both countries have denied the rumors that have been circulating since 2002, the Guardian reported. The dictatorship insists no North Koreans are in the country.

Still, in an August 2004 cable titled "Alleged North Korean involvement in missile assembly and underground facility construction in Burma," one officer told an embassy staffer that as many as 300 North Koreans are working at a jungle site, the Guardian reported.

The embassy doubted the claim about the North Koreas, writing that the officer "claims he has personally seen some of them, although he also reported they are forbidden from leaving the construction site and that he and other 'outsiders' are prohibited from entering."

Because of the severe electricity shortages in the country, the country has long wanted a civilian nuclear reactor and even signed a deal with Russia to build one, the Guardian reported. However, a lack of funds has hampered the project.

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  • Alex Sundby

    Alex Sundby is an associate news editor for CBSNews.com

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