WASHINGTON -- the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Received Information Roughly

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Byline: William Wan The Washington Post

WASHINGTON -- The Senate Foreign Relations Committee received information roughly five years ago that the government of Myanmar intended to develop nuclear weapons with the help of North Korea, according to Indiana GOP Sen. Richard Lugar.

The committee at the time relayed the details to U.S. officials but did not release the information publicly, according to Keith Luse, a committee staff member.

Lugar's statement, to be released Friday, comes ahead of a trip to Myanmar, also known as Burma, by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who will be the first of her rank to travel to the isolated and authoritarian country in half a century.

"With the upcoming visit, Senator Lugar wanted to throw a spotlight on this issue and make sure it's on the table in our talks with the Burmese government," Luse said. Lugar is the ranking Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee.

Myanmar officials have denied nuclear ambitions and told Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain, during a visit in June, that their country was too poor to pursue a nuclear arms program.

But for years, U.S. officials have kept close watch over the relationship between North Korea and Myanmar, two of the world's most heavily sanctioned governments and both accused of human rights abuses. …