In Positive Move, Burma to Sign Additional Protocol

by David Albright and Andrea Stricker

November 19, 2012

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In a remarkable decision, the President of Burma (Myanmar) announced today ahead of President Obama’s historic visit to the nation that his government will sign the Additional Protocol and send it to parliament for ratification. The Additional Protocol will allow the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to more efficiently and effectively provide assurance of the absence of undeclared nuclear materials and activities in Burma. ISIS has for several years assessed evidence and suspicions of undeclared nuclear activities in Burma including cooperation with North Korea and urged the reclusive regime to take steps to clarify its nuclear activities and sign the Additional Protocol.

This latest move by Burma is extremely positive for its on-going push for openness about the nuclear issue and for building confidence and transparency with the international community. As part of the process of implementing the Additional Protocol, Burma should answer questions the IAEA has about any past nuclear activities and the procurement of sensitive equipment possibly used or intended for nuclear purposes.

Independently, it should invite the United Nations Panel of Experts on North Korea to visit the country and answer questions about past suspicious transfers and cooperation with North Korea.

The international community should congratulate Burma for taking the step of signing the Additional Protocol and reiterate that continued transparency will garner economic and political incentives.

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