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The US Envoy and Consul General in Chiang Mai rejected Thai social media rumors that the United States is building a secret missile base in Chiang Mai.
US Charge d’Affairs Michael Heath also rejected claims the US pentagon is pressuring the Thai air force to buy F35 stealth fighter jets.
The US envoy was responding to the rumors while meeting with the press corps at the US Ambassador’s residence in Bangkok.
He told the press corps that the new consulate in Chiang Mai will cost approximately US$280 million (9.3 billion baht) given its strict security requirements and the use of green technology.
Embassies and consulates of the United States are designed to be highly secure and able to withstand explosions, he said. A “secret or missile base” is not planned for the new campus, he insisted.
According to Mr. Heath, the Chiang Mai US Consulate General is responsible for the care of about 17,000 American citizens living in the northern region.
Rumors Fake News
Furthermore, he denied that the US Government had sent David Eubank, a former US Special Forces officer, and founder of Free Burma Rangers, to provide combat training to Karen villagers against Myanmar forces.
He said Mr. Eubank became a missionary after his retirement and that the Free Burma Rangers is strictly a relief organization that provides humanitarian aid, not weapons, to Karen villagers.
According to the US Envoy, rumors circulating that Gen Mark A Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made a secret visit to Thailand and met Gen Chalermpol Srisawat, commander of Thailand’s armed forces, were totally false and fake news.
Rather, Gen Chalermpol and his delegation were invited by the Pentagon by the State Department.
Gen Chalermpol visited the United States last December in order to discuss cooperation in education and training, among other issues, he said.
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