Delegates said Lt Gen Hla Min's remarks were remarkably frank
Burma has abandoned research into nuclear power generation, its defence minister says.
The new government had "already given up all activities on nuclear issues", Lt Gen Hla Min told the Shangri-La Dialogue security forum in Singapore.But Hla Min insisted that the country had never pursued nuclear weapons.
In 2010, a defecting Burmese soldier and mechanical engineer accused his country of starting work on a nuclear-weapons programme.
Delegates said his remarks - spoken through a translator - were remarkably frank and an illustration of the reforms sweeping Burma, reported Reuters news agency.But he insisted that "it was not for defence, it was not for weapons", and said the research had "not progressed much due to our constraints".
Hla Min acknowledged that Burma's previous government had begun "academic studies" on nuclear technology.North Korea tiesIn the past, there have been repeated allegations that Burma was being helped in its nuclear research by North Korea - suggestions that re-emerged with the publication of diplomatic cables by Wikileaks in late 2010.
The new government had given up such activities, he said, and "we have no further plans to extend on this". More