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Burma Dumps North Korea For Richer, Better Connected South

Burma’s turn away from its former relationship with China and North Korea reached a dramatic milestone in Asia overnight. According to a Voice of America report, Burma’s reforming president Thein Sein told visiting South Korean president Lee Myung-bak that his country will now enforce sanctions against North Korea.

In the past, Burma (aka Myanmar) has been a key ally of the North. Thein Sein acknowledged past cooperation in arms deals with North Korea, but rejected charges that Burma worked with the North on nuclear weapons. Given that the director of the CIA visited Burma last fall and that US and other Asian entente partners have greatly increased ties at all levels with Burma’s government, both Pyongyang and Beijing must clearly be worried about what exactly the visitors have learned — and how that knowledge will be used.

The last time a South Korean president visited Burma was in 1983. At that time, a group of North Korean commandos tried to kill him. Lee visited the site of the assassination attempt on this visit, and also met with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

South Korea and Burma plan to greatly expand trade relations; the Asian Game of Thrones proceeds.

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