Cable: North Korea helping Burma build missile site (with map)

Today’s story from the ongoing WikiLeaks release of US cables is that North Korea may be helping Burma build SAM site, as well as adding detail to rumors around since 2002 of N. Korean assistance in developing nuclear capabilities:

In a cable dated August 2004 titled “Alleged North Korean involvement in missile assembly and underground facility construction in Burma”, one of the embassy staff wheedled information from an officer during a visit to Rangoon. The officer was in an engineering unit working at the site, where surface-to-air missiles were allegedly being assembled. The site is the Irrawaddy river town of Minbu in Magwe division, west-central Burma.

Is this the site? The cable gives the lat-long as “20,00 N, 94,25 E” and if you look around in Google Earth in that area you see this:

Note that this new higher-resolution imagery was acquired in 2004, around the time of the cable (you can see the date in lower left corner and the stitching to lower-res imagery on left of image).

Here’s a closeup. You can note the roads leading up here, and the newly developed structures.

As I’m not an IMINT expert (image intelligence) I won’t comment further except to say that these cables are allowing a whole new dimension for study of international relations and political geography.


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