If the warming ties between the US and Burma can lead to changes in Burma’s military dealings with North Korea this could be something to further cut into Kim regime’s sources of revenue:
Burma is under pressure to jettison its cozy relationship with North Korea after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton demanded assurances during a historic visit to the Southeast Asian country.
Clinton met her Burmese counterpart U Maung Lwin and visited Burmese President Thein Sein in the new administrative capital of Naypyidaw on Thursday. It was the first visit to the country by a U.S. secretary of state since 1962.
She urged the Burmese junta to end “illicit” ties with North Korea if relations with America are to improve.
In a press briefing on Wednesday, a senior State Department official said Burma’s ties with North Korea would be high on the agenda during Clinton’s visit. [Chosun Ilbo]
It is good to see that Secretary Clinton is continuing efforts cut sources of revenue for the Kim regime. Two other Pyongyang military allies Syria and Iran are also under pressure domestically and internationally so it will be interesting to see what happens if those regimes were ever to fall what the effects would be in North Korea as well?
Anyway back to Burma, I do find the change in policy in Burma towards the US interesting because of the once strong relationship they had with China. The Burmese regime must have really become dissatisfied with their relations with China to flip like this. It even appears that the regime is some what serious about making some democratic reforms. I am skeptical but I think it is worth the effort of the US to engage with Burma to see if they are serious about these reforms.