Burma willing to allow in nuke inspectors
The Burmese government has said it is ready to open the country to comprehensive international inspection to make it clear that it does not have a covert nuclear programme.
The government said it would sign an agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that would mark an important breakthrough in the regime's relations with the rest of the world.
The move could also help dispel longstanding suspicions that it is pursuing a clandestine programme in co-operation with North Korea aimed at building nuclear weapons, it said.
According to the Guardian, Burma has yet to approach the IAEA formally about the proposal.
The IAEA's voluntary additional protocol, which the Burmese government said it will sign, would give the agency's inspectors wide discretion to visit sites of their choosing at short notice, whether the state has declared them to be nuclear-related or not, in order 'to assure the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities'.
According to the paper, the announcement, which was timed to coincide with Barack Obama's landmark visit to Burma this week, is part of a concerted effort by the president, Thein Sein, to break out of international isolation.
But US sceptics argue the country should not be rewarded until it has implemented the deal, the paper said.