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.
“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. 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 China.