Myanmar's Secret Nuclear Program Revealed

Defector says North Korea helping Myanmar develop a nuclear weapons program.

ByABC News via logo
June 4, 2010, 6:37 AM

June 4, 2010— -- With the help of North Korea, Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, has acquired components for a nuclear weapons program, including technology for uranium enrichment and long-range missiles, ABC News has learned.

A defector from Myanmar -- an army major and deputy commander of a top-secret nuclear facility -- escaped the country with thousands of files detailing a secret nuclear and missile program.

"The purpose is they really want a bomb. That is their main objective," said defector Sai Thein Win, the major who says he visited the installations and attended meetings at which the new technology was demonstrated.

"They want to have the rockets and nuclear warhead," he said.

The dissident group Democratic Voice of Burma commissioned an analysis of the information. ABC News is the only U.S. television network given access to the interviews and documentary evidence.

The pictures and blueprints show missiles, components for uranium enrichment and the secret nuclear facility, located near the city of Maymo.

The defector said that's where Myanmar intends to build a nuclear reactor and enrich uranium for weapons. The regime has long feared an attack by the United States and feels threatened by its own people, who staged an uprising in 2007.

While the program appears to be in its early stages, United Nations experts have studied the report and consider it credible.

U.S. Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., canceled a trip to Myanmar Thursday to study the evidence.