US senator nixes Myanmar trip over nuclear concern
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Last Updated: Thursday, June 03, 2010, 18:49
Bangkok: A US senator on Thursday postponed a trip to Myanmar, saying it is a bad time to visit because of new allegations that its military regime is collaborating with North Korea to develop a nuclear program.

A statement issued by the office of Sen Jim Webb, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Subcommittee on East Asia and Pacific Affairs, said the allegations were still unproven, but that there were also concerns that Myanmar had broken a UN embargo on buying arms from North Korea.

"Until there is further clarification on these matters, I believe it would be unwise and potentially counterproductive for me to visit Burma," said his statement, referring to Myanmar by its former name.

Webb was supposed to go to Myanmar late today.

The trip by Webb, a Democrat from Virginia, had been scheduled to follow a visit by senior US State Department official Kurt Campbell last month, and would have overlapped with that of Premier Wen Jiabao of China, Myanmar's closest and most powerful ally, who arrived Wednesday in Myanmar.

Webb last year met Aung San Suu Kyi, head of Myanmar's pro-democracy opposition, and secured the release of John Yettaw, an American man sentenced to seven years in prison for secretly swimming to her house.


First Published: Thursday, June 03, 2010, 18:49

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