Stati Uniti preoccupati per la cooperazione militare tra Birmania e Corea del Nord – Art. di Mark Landler
Pubblichiamo l’articolo del New York Times nel quale si
riportano le preoccupazioni espresse dal Segretario di Stato americano, Hillary
Clinton, in merito alla crescente cooperazione militare tra il regime di
Pyongyang e la giunta birmana. Quest’asse, sempre secondo la Clinton, potrebbe
destabilizzare l’intera regione ed in particolare i Paesi del Sud-est asiatico,
prima fra tutti la Thailandia. Sullo sfondo rimane lo spettro di un programma militare
di cooperazione nucleare. E’ molto
probabile che questo tema dominerà il Forum per la Sicurezza Regionale che inizierà domani, mercoledì 22 Luglio, a Phukhet.
l’Amministrazione Obama ha annunciato di voler procedere ad una profonda
revisione della sua politica nei confronti della Birmania, partendo dalla
considerazione che le sanzioni attuali si sono dimostrate inefficaci. Molti
pensano che solo quando questa nuova linea prenderà corpo, si potranno
verificare dei cambiamenti nell’atteggiamento della giunta militare.
frattempo, in questi giorni, Hillary Clinton ha avuto modo di parlare più volte
del Paese asiatico, condannando le violazioni dei diritti umani e le
persistenti violenze contro le donne attribuite all’esercito regolare. Il
Segretario di Stato americano ha espresso inoltre le proprie preoccupazioni per
il processo contro Aung San Suu Kyi, i cui capi d’accusa sono stati definiti
dalla stessa Clinton come “senza fondamento e totalmente inaccettabili”.
worried over Myanmar-N. Korea arms links
New York Times - Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, arriving here for a meeting of
Southeast Asian nations, expressed concern on Tuesday about what she called
growing evidence of military cooperation between North Korea and Myanmar, which
she said could destabilize the region.
Declaring that she takes the reports such cooperation “very seriously,”
Mrs. Clinton said that expanded military ties between the countries would “pose
a direct threat” to Myanmar’s neighbors. She singled out Thailand, an ally of
the United States and the host of the regional meeting, as being vulnerable to
a heavily armed Myanmar, a reclusive dictatorship also known as Burma.
Suspicions about North Korea’s relationship with Myanmar deepened recently
when a North Korea freighter appeared to be steaming toward Myanmar. American
officials, believing the ship might be carrying weapons or other illicit cargo,
tracked it until it reversed course.
North Korea is already suspected of supplying Myanmar with small arms and
ammunition, but some intelligence analysts contend that North Korea is also
helping Myanmar pursue a nuclear weapons program. They cite as possible
evidence newly published photos circulated by Burmese dissident groups of what
some analysts assert are a network of giant tunnels outside Myanmar’s jungle
capital, Naypyidaw, built with help from North Korean engineers.
Mrs. Clinton did not say whether the Obama administration shares suspicions
about any nuclear cooperation. But another senior administration official said
the United States had not discounted the possibility. “North Korea has a
history of proliferating,” said the official, who spoke on condition of
anonymity because only Mrs. Clinton was authorized to speak publicly in advance
of the conference.
Even without these links, Myanmar and North Korea are likely to dominate
the meeting of the Association of Southeast Nations, or ASEAN, which begins
Wednesday on the resort island of Phuket.
Mrs. Clinton plans to meet with the foreign ministers of several countries
to firm up support for the latest United Nations resolution against North
Korea, adopted after Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile tests.
Although the United States is putting most of its emphasis on enforcing the
sanctions in that resolution, it has begun discussing possible incentives that
the countries could offer North Korea, if its regime agreed to abandon its
nuclear ambitions and return to the bargaining table.
Officials declined to say what might be on the table, though they said it
would be a mix of familiar and new elements. In the past, the United States and
other counties have offered Pyongyang shipments of fuel.
“There are obviously a list of incentives, offers that could be made if the
North Koreans evidence any willingness to take a different path,” Mrs. Clinton
said at a news conference here, after arriving from New Delhi. “As of this
moment in time, we haven’t seen that evidence.”
The administration’s decision to broach the possibility of incentives,
officials said, will make it easier to persuade countries like China, which
have previously resisted sanctions against North Korea, from agreeing to
implement the tougher measures in the United Nations resolution.
North Korea is expected to send a delegate to the ASEAN conference, but
Mrs. Clinton did not plan to meet that person. American officials said there
was always the possibility of a chance encounter of a North Korean diplomat and
one of Mrs. Clinton’s lieutenants on the sidelines.
Mrs. Clinton also has no plans to meet with a representative of Myanmar. On
Tuesday, she used unusually tough language in discussing the country’s human
rights record and its treatment of Aung Sang Suu Kyi, the pro-democracy leader
on trial for violating her house arrest by sheltering an American man who swam
across a lake to her bungalow last May.
“We are deeply concerned by the reports of continuing human rights abuses
within Burma,” she said, “and particularly by actions that are attributed to
the Burmese military, concerning the mistreatment and abuse of young girls.”
The Obama administration has been reviewing American policy toward Myanmar
since February, when Mrs. Clinton declared that the existing sanctions against
its military regime had been ineffective.
But the United States will not announce a new policy at this meeting,
largely because repeated delays in the trial of Mrs. Aung Sang Suu Kyi have
made it difficult for the administration to develop a response. Mrs. Clinton
repeated her demand that Mrs. Aung San Suu Kyi be treated fairly, and dismissed
the charges against her as “baseless and totally unacceptable.”
“Our position is that we are willing to have a more productive partnership
with Burma if they take steps that are self-evident,” she said.
She called on the regime to release political prisoners and to “end the
violence” against its own people, including ethnic minorities. In recent
months, the military has launched a fierce offensive against the Karen
minority, driving refugees across the border into Thailand.
Both Chinese and American officials have pressed Myanmar to adhere to the
anti-proliferation measures in the sanctions against North Korea, which it has
pledged to do. Analysts say there is evidence, in the aborted voyage of the
North Korean freighter, that the regime got the message.
Without a new American policy to announce, however, the United States and
Asian nations are unlikely to break much ground in trying to bring the generals
who run Myanmar back into the fold.
Appearing with Mrs. Clinton, one of Thailand’s deputy prime ministers,
Korbsak Sabhavasu, said, “I think we basically almost just about share the same
thoughts and ideas on how to solve this problem.”
(21 Luglio 2009)