Recent media reports have suggested that Burma may have embarked on a covert program of nuclear cooperation with North Korea to provide the means for developing its own nuclear weapon capabilities. Those reports don’t provide conclusive evidence of either intention or capability, but the thought that any Southeast Asian leadership might be thinking of heading down the nuclear path is unsettling for Canberra and for other Southeast Asian governments. Burmese proliferation would certainly reawaken a sleeping proliferation dynamic across the subregion. And it would bring an abrupt end to the Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone, of which Burma is a member.

– Extracted from Rod Lyon, “A delicate issue: Asia’s nuclear future”, Canberra: Australian Strategic Policy Institute, p. 25.