The U.S. Ambassador-designate to Burma, Derek Mitchell stated yesterday that the country’s bilateral relationship with the United States cannot be fully normalized if Napyidaw fails to cut all illicit ties with North Korea.
Speaking during his Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing, Mitchell expressed “concerns about the lack of transparency in Burma’s military relationship with North Korea.”
He added that the issue of Myanmar’s relationship with North Korea is a high priority for the United States, stressing that the Burmese “government must adhere to its obligations under relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions and its other international nonproliferation obligations” as they pertain to North Korea.
The nomination of Mitchell marks a turning point in the United States’ diplomatic relationship with Burma (or Myanmar), which has undertaken considerable political and economic reforms in the past three years.
He was formally nominated by President Obama on May 17th, 2012. He is the first non-career foreign service officer to hold the post, and the first U.S. ambassador to work in the country since 1990.
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