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Issues & Insights Vol. 16 – No. 9 – Myanmar-DPRK relations: disarmament and nuclear nonproliferation dimension

With world attention focused on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s nuclear ambitions, tests, and threats, there are questions about the foreign policy of Myanmar’s new NLD-led government toward Pyongyang. Disagreements between the military and the NLD administration over sensitive issues, such as constitutional amendments, building a Federal Union, the peace process, and handling foreign relations, etc.. are inevitable. However, it is critical that the NLD administration cooperate and coordinate with military elites because the military’s role in political leadership cannot be neglected. An official statement condemning DPRK’s January nuclear test was issued for the first time by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs under the former regime. This paper examines whether this indicates a changing relationship with the DPRK. It discusses challenges facing Myanmar in implementing United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540 (2004) and concludes that allegations about Myanmar’s nuclear program are groundless.