India condemns North Korea rocket launch, tests own missile
NEW DELHI: India condemned North Korea’s long-range rocket launch on Wednesday even as it tested one of its own ballistic weapons, which were developed when India was a nuclear pariah itself.
“India expresses its concern at the launch of a rocket... in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1874. India calls on DPRK to refrain from such actions,” a foreign ministry statement.
“This unwarranted action... has adversely impacted peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula,” it added about the launch which provoked global outrage and triggered plans for an emergency session of the UN Security Council.
Earlier Wednesday, defence scientists successfully test-fired India’s medium-range nuclear-capable “Agni I” missile from a site off the eastern coast of the country.
The missile, which has been tested repeatedly before, has a range of 700 kilometres (420 miles), capable of hitting targets in regional rival Pakistan.
India was subject to US-led sanctions on its nuclear programme after its first atomic test in 1974. These were hardened in 1998 when New Delhi declared itself a nuclear weapons state after conducting five test nuclear explosions.
New Delhi refuses to sign the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty (NPT) and the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), which it views as discriminatory and in favour of existing nuclear powers.
Following efforts to be compliant with these international agreements, in 2008 it received a waiver from the countries party to the Nuclear Suppliers Group, giving it access to foreign civilian nuclear technology and resources.
In April this year, India test-fired the “Agni V” missile for the first time which has a range of more than 5,000 kilometres and is capable of delivering a one-tonne nuclear warhead anywhere in rival China.
The test provoked little concern or condemnation, which many analysts said pointed to India’s acceptance as a responsible user of nuclear and missile technology.
Nuclear-armed North Korea insisted that its rocket launch was a purely peaceful scientific project designed to place a satellite in orbit.
But the United States and allies South Korea and Japan view it as a disguised ballistic missile test banned under the UN resolutions triggered by its nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009. afp