Burma has at least two uranium refining and processing plants in operation for crushing, grinding, cleaning and milling (refining) the uranium ore into ''yellowcake'' (U308), a concentrate of uranium oxides in powder form. Yellow cake is later converted to uranium hexafluoride (UF6) for enrichment to provide fuel for reactors or fissle material for nuclear weapons.Who's helping them? North Korea.
Cooperation between North Korea and the Burmese regime on nuclear matters began in earnest in September 2000 when a MOU was signed by Burma's Lieutenant General Thein Hla and North Korea's Major General Kim Chan Su. Four more detailed contracts were signed in 2001-02. ... The "official" agreements between the two countries covered nuclear related activities at two sites and involved North Korea's assistance to help with installing, maintaining, training and supplying equipment at the uranium refining and enrichment plant at Thabike Kyin. At the second reactor site at Naung Laing the North Koreans agreed to help with the construction of an underground facility and a nuclear reactor.
After the Bush administration lied to the world about Saddam Hussein buying yellowcake from Nigeria, this Burmese news is a tough sell. Hillary Clinton tried a few days ago, but the Boston arrest of Gates and Obama's subsequent comment ran off with the headlines. Now, of course, Bill Clinton is in North Korea.
It's a scary world out there. But we are preoccupied with the equivalent of a summer of shark attacks.