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Updated: July 22, 2010 17:35 IST

Clinton warns Myanmar on North Korea cooperation

AP
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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivers her speech at a luncheon, marking the 15th Anniversary of the US-Vietnam Relations in Hanoi, on Thursday. Photo: AP.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivers her speech at a luncheon, marking the 15th Anniversary of the US-Vietnam Relations in Hanoi, on Thursday. Photo: AP.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton warned Myanmar’s military rulers on Thursday against any cooperation with North Korea on a nuclear programme and called on the junta to hold free and fair elections this year.

In Vietnam for regional security talks with senior officials from around Southeast Asia, Ms. Clinton said the U.S. was concerned about reports that North Korea has delivered military equipment to Myanmar, also known as Burma.

“We continue to be concerned by the reports that Burma may be seeking assistance from North Korea with regard to a nuclear programme,” she added. “We will be discussing further ways in which we can cooperate to alter the actions of the government in Burma and encourage the leaders there to commit to reform and change and the betterment of their own people.”

Ms. Clinton also said she shared concerns about upcoming elections in Myanmar, which U.S. officials say hold no hope of being free and fair. Myanmar has said it will hold elections this year but has not given a date, and it appears unlikely that opposition figures will be able to participate.

Myanmar’s problems, Ms. Clinton said, have an impact “not only on the people of that country but on their neighbours, as the outflow of refugees continues,” contributing to regional instability.

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