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Clinton Warns of Nuclear Ties Between Burma, North Korea


U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the Obama administration is concerned about the possible transfer of nuclear technology from North Korea to Burma.

Clinton made the remarks during a television interview Wednesday in the Thai capital Bangkok. The top U.S. diplomat later traveled to the seaside resort island of Phuket for the foreign minister's meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

She told reporters Tuesday that any military ties between the authoritarian regimes of North Korea and Burma would pose a direct threat to Burma's neighbors.

During Wednesday's interview, Clinton said she intends to raise the issue during the Phuket conference. She says it is important for Burma's neighbors to pose a united front against a possible Burma-North Korea military alliance.

The U.S. Navy last month tracked a North Korean ship believed to have been heading to Burma with a suspicious cargo. The ship returned to North Korea without ever reaching Burma.

The United States has threatened to stop any North Korean ships suspected of carrying weapons or nuclear parts. North Korea has said this would be an act of war

Clinton will sign on to ASEAN's Treaty of Amity and Cooperation, which the United States has never joined since it was drawn up in 1976. The pact is aimed at peacefully resolving regional disputes.

A delegation from North Korea is expected to attend Wednesday's talks, but Clinton said she has no plans to meet with them.

She said there are more incentives and offers that Washington could offer North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons program.

But she said there is no evidence the North Koreans are willing to take a different path than the one they are currently pursuing.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP

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