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Myanmar Pressed to Come Clean on Seized North Korean Shipment

U.S. Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) this week called on Myanmar President Thein Sein to reveal how weapon-sensitive goods reportedly confiscated in transit to the Southeast Asian state were to be dispersed and employed, the Associated Press reported on Thursday.

Japan reportedly intercepted a North Korean-origin lot of metal pipes and specialized aluminum alloy bars in August. The claimed contraband -- said to have applications in building uranium enrichment centrifuges or missiles -- has raised questions over Myanmar's assertions that it has ended its armed forces relationship with Pyongyang, according to AP.

Lugar, in a Tuesday letter to Thein Sein, also welcomed Myanmar's pledge to accept heightened U.N. monitoring of any atomic operations.

Claims of an illicit delivery enable Myanmar to prove its openness, Lugar added in the document.

"Peace and stability within [the Association of Southeast Asian Nations] are potentially impacted by the intended purpose of the ship's cargo," the lawmaker stated. Myanmar is an ASEAN participant nation.

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Country Profile

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This article provides an overview of Myanmar’s historical and current policies relating to nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation.

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