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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 26, May 1998

INDIA NUCLEAR TESTS, 11& 13 MAY

Editor's note: please see Disarmament Diplomacy, No. 25, for initial statements and reaction from India, Pakistan, the UN, the European Union, Australia, Canada and the US.

STATEMENTS BY INDIA

Statement to Parliament by Prime Minister Vajpayee, 27 May

'Suo Motu Statement by Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee in Parliament,' available on Government of India web-site http://www.indiagov.org, 27 May 1998

"I rise to inform the House of momentous developments that have taken place while we were in recess. On 11 May, India successfully carried out three underground nuclear tests. Two more underground tests on 13 May completed the planned series of tests. I would like this House to join me in paying fulsome tribute to our scientists, engineers and defence personnel whose singular achievements have given us a renewed sense of national pride and self-confidence. ...

In 1947, when India emerged as a free country to take its rightful place in the comity of nations, the nuclear age had already dawned. Our leaders then took the crucial decision to opt for self-reliance, and freedom of thought and action. We rejected the Cold War paradigm and chose the more difficult path of non-alignment. Our leaders also realised that a nuclear-weapon-free-world would enhance not only India's security but also the security of all nations. That is why disarmament was and continues to be a major plank in our foreign policy.

During the 50's India took the lead in calling for an end to all nuclear weapon testing. Addressing the Lok Sabha [Lower House of parliament] on 2 April, 1954, Pt. Jawaharlal, to whose memory we pay homage today, stated 'nuclear, chemical and biological energy and power should not be used to forge weapons of mass destruction'. He called for negotiations for prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons and in the interim, a standstill agreement to halt nuclear testing. This call was not heeded.

In 1965, along with a small group of non-aligned countries, India put forward the idea of an international non-proliferation agreement under which the nuclear-weapon States would agree to give up their arsenals provided other countries refrained from developing or acquiring such weapons. This balance of rights and obligations was not accepted. In the 60's our security concerns deepened. The country sought security guarantees but the countries we turned to were unable to extend to us the expected assurances. As a result, we made it clear that we would not be able to sign the NPT.

The Lok Sabha debated the issue on 5 April, 1968. Prime Minister...Indira Gandhi assured the House that 'we shall be guided entirely by our self-enlightenment and the considerations of national security'. This was a turning point and this House strengthened the decision of the then Government by reflecting a national consensus.

Our decision not to sign the NPT was in keeping with our basic objectives. In 1974, we demonstrated our nuclear capability. Successive Governments thereafter have taken all necessary steps in keeping with that resolve and national will, to safeguard India's nuclear option. This was the primary reason behind the 1996 decision for not signing the CTBT, a decision that also enjoyed consensus of this House.

The decades of the 80's and 90's had meanwhile witnessed the gradual deterioration of our security environment as a result of nuclear and missile proliferation. In our neighbourhood, nuclear weapons had increased and more sophisticated delivery systems inducted. In addition, India has also been the victim of externally aided and abetted terrorism, militancy and clandestine war.

At a global level, we see no evidence on the part of the nuclear-weapon States to take decisive and irreversible steps in moving towards a nuclear-weapon-free-world. Instead, we have seen that the NPT has been extended indefinitely and unconditionally, perpetuating the existence of nuclear weapons in the hands of the five countries.

Under such circumstances, the Government was faced with a difficult decision. The touchstone that has guided us in making the correct choice clear was national security. These tests are a continuation of the policies set into motion that put this country on the path of self-reliance and independence of thought and action.

India is now a nuclear-weapon State. This is a reality that cannot be denied. It is not a conferment that we seek; nor is it a status for others to grant. It is an endowment to the nation by our scientists and engineers. It is India's due, the right of one-sixth of human-kind. Our strengthened capability adds to our sense of responsibility. We do not intend to use these weapons for aggression or for mounting threats against any country; these are weapons of self-defence, to ensure that India is not subjected to nuclear threats or coercion. We do not intend to engage in an arms race.

We had taken a number of initiatives in the past. We regret that these proposals did not receive a positive response from other nuclear-weapon States. In fact, had their response been positive, we need not have gone in for our current testing programme. We have been and will continue to be in the forefront of the calls for opening negotiations for a Nuclear Weapons Convention, so that this challenge can be dealt with in the same manner that we have dealt with the scourge of two other weapons of mass destruction-through the Biological Weapons Convention and Chemical Weapons Convention.

Traditionally, India has been an outward looking country. Our strong commitment of multilateralism is reflected in our active participation in organisations like the United Nations. This engagement will continue. The policies of economic liberalisation introduced in recent years have increased our regional and global linkages and my Government intends to deepen and strengthen these ties.

Our nuclear policy has been marked by restraint and openness. We have not violated any international agreement either in 1974 or now, in 1998. The restraint exercised for 24 years, after having demonstrated our capability in 1974, is in itself a unique example. Restraint, however, has to arise from strength. It cannot be based upon indecision or doubt. The series of tests recently undertaken by India have led to the removal of doubts. The action involved was balanced in that it was the minimum necessary to maintain what is an irreducible component of our national security calculus.

Subsequently, Government has already announced that India will now observe a voluntary moratorium and refrain from conducting underground nuclear test explosions. We have also indicated willingness to move towards a de jure formalisation of this declaration.

The House is no doubt aware of the different reactions that have emanated from the people of India and from different parts of the world. The overwhelming support of our citizens is our source of strength. It tells us not only that this decision was right but also that our country wants a focussed leadership, which attends to their security needs. This, I pledge to do as a sacred duty. We have also been greatly heartened by the outpouring of support from Indians abroad. They have, with one voice, spoken in favour of our action. To the people of India, and to Indians abroad, I convey my profound gratitude. We look to the people of India and Indians abroad for support in the difficult period ahead.

In this, the fiftieth year of our independence, we stand at a defining moment in our history. The rationale for the Government's decision is based on the same policy tenets that have guided us for five decades. These policies have been sustained successfully because of an underlying national consensus. It is vital to maintain the consensus as we approach the next millennium. In my statement today and in the paper placed before the House, I have elaborated on the rationale behind the Government's decision and outlined our approach for the future. The present decision and future action will continue to reflect a commitment to sensibilities and obligations of an ancient civilisation, a sense of responsibility and restraint, but a restraint born of the assurance of action, not of doubts or apprehension. Avoiding triumphalism, let us work together towards our shared objective in ensuring that as we move towards a new millenium, India will take its rightful place in the international community."

Joint Statement, Department of Atomic Energy and Defence Research and Development Organisation, 17 May

'Joint Statement by Department of Atomic Energy and Defence Research and Development Organisation', New Delhi, 17 May; available on the Government of India web-site http://www.indiagov.org

"The current series of testing 5 nuclear devices during 11-13 May, 1998 in the Pokhran Range is the culmination of years of pioneering work done by the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO).

DAE has done pioneering R & D work in various aspects of nuclear science and technology. It has developed comprehensive indigenous capabilities in designing and building nuclear power reactors, fuel reprocessing plants and many other fuel-cycle related activities. DAE has also developed and built research reactors and strongly promoted the peaceful uses of atomic energy in industry and agriculture. The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) is one of the largest multi-disciplinary laboratories in the country with the capability to build new technological systems in a wide range of areas. The fissile material used in these 5 tests are completely indigenous, and have been produced by local mastery over the relevant technologies by DAE establishments.

DRDO is one of the largest agencies in the country which is engaged in research and development of advanced weapons and systems for the Armed Forces. DRDO is also at the forefront in a spectrum of advanced defence technologies.

It has a large number of mission-oriented programmes involving design, development and proving of defence systems along with Transfer of Technology to Production Agencies. DRDO's experience and expertise in explosives and explosives-related technologies and in systems engineering and integration constitute an important part in the 5 devices tested in the present campaign.

The design and development of various kinds of nuclear explosives, e.g. fission, boosted fission, thermonuclear and low yield, has been carried out by BARC based on more than 25 years of R & D. BARC has also worked out several new concepts like long shelf life of device components and optimisation of the yield-to-weight ratio. Further, the fabrication of fissile materials to suitable shapes was also performed by BARC. The PNE experiment of May 1974 was an early and successful demonstration of India's capability in nuclear devices.

One of the laboratories of the DRDO had the task of 'weaponising' proven designs. This activity involved design, testing and production of advanced detonators, ruggedised high volt trigger systems, interface engineering, systems engineering and systems integration to military specifications. Three other laboratories have made contributions in aerodynamics, arming, fusing, safety interlocks, flight trials etc. DRDO has, further, conducted a series of trials and achieved the necessary operational clearances. Additionally, DRDO shouldered the burden of field engineering associated with the conduct of the 5 tests along with DAE.

DRDO and DAE have effectively and efficiently coordinated and integrated their respective technological strengths in a national mission to confer the country with a capability to vacate nuclear threats.

The 3 tests conducted on 11 May, 1998 were with a fission device with a yield of about 12 kT, a thermonuclear device with a yield of about 43 kT and a sub-kilo tonne device. All the 3 devices were detonated simultaneously. It may be noted that the yield of the thermonuclear device tested on 11 May was designed to meet stringent criteria like containment of the explosion and least possible damage to building and structures in neighbouring villages. On 13 May, 1998 two more sub kilo-tonne nuclear tests were carried out. These devices were also detonated simultaneously. The yields of the sub-kilo tonne devices were in the range of 0.2 to 0.6 kT.

The tests conducted on 11 May as well as on 13 May were fully contained with no release of radioactivity into the atmosphere.

The measured yields of the devices agree with expected design values. A complex software package developed by DAE has been used in device design and yield estimation.

The tests conducted during 11-13 May, 1998 have provided critical data for the validation of our capability in the design of nuclear weapons of different yields for different applications and different delivery systems. These tests have significantly enhanced our capability in computer simulation of new designs and taken us to the stage of sub-critical experiments in the future, if considered necessary.

DAE and DRDO would like to place on record their thanks to the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force for excellent support to the campaign. They would also like to record their gratitude to the current Government, as well as those in the past, for reposing confidence in the ability of DAE and DRDO to meet nuclear threats."

STATEMENT BY PAKISTAN

Statement by Ambassador Munir Akram in the Plenary Meeting of the Conference on Disarmament, Thursday 14 May 1998

"This Spring session of the Conference on Disarmament opens at a defining moment for the post-Cold War world security order. It is also a moment of destiny for the 140 million people of Pakistan.

2. Since its independence, our nation has confronted the endemic hostility of our neighbour, India. We have thrice been subjected to aggression by this country, which dismembered our State in 1971, and is even now engaged in an eight-year brutal war to suppress the right of self-determination of the people of occupied Jammu and Kashmir. This country has deployed almost the whole of its million-and-a-half-man Army, its Air Force and its Navy on our frontiers. This third large[st] conventional force in the world is being further augmented through the acquisition of advanced arms worth billions of dollars.

3. Before assuming office, the present Hindu fundamentalist leadership of this country had declared that it would conduct nuclear tests and 'induct' nuclear weapons. It had also threatened to conduct attacks on Pakistan across the Line of Control in Kashmir. It has carried out the first of these threats. Nuclear weapons proliferation is now a fact of life in South Asia.

4. In evaluating the grave environment created by India's three plus two nuclear weapons tests, and in evolving an equitable and effective response, it is essential to bear in mind the history and context of nuclear proliferation in South Asia. It is essential to be aware of the ambitions of India, and the compulsions of Pakistan. It is essential to recall the inertia and the responsibility of certain major powers for this development which has grave portents for regional and international peace and security.

5. India's ambition to acquire nuclear weapons, though often disguised by chronic deceit and hypocrisy, has been no secret. Prime Minister Nehru, while inaugurating the Indian Atomic Energy Commission in 1948, declared that 'every country would have to develop and use the latest scientific device for its protection.'

6. India has proceeded systematically to acquire and develop nuclear weapons. It acquired a research reactor and other nuclear facilities outside safeguards in the 1960s. It refused to sign the NPT in 1968. It insisted on the legitimacy of 'peaceful nuclear explosions'. Then, India meanwhile diverted nuclear fuel from its 'civilian' programme to explode a so-called 'peaceful' nuclear device in May 1974. Since then, the scope of its unsafeguarded nuclear facilities and fissile material stocks have expanded exponentially.

7. Nuclear weapons development has been accompanied by the development of nuclear delivery systems, specially ballistic missiles. This was done initially under the cover of a civilian space programme, pursued with the cooperation of several advanced countries. The short-range Privthi missile was tested 20 times. Four to five of these missiles are being serially produced every month. The Privthi's declared targets are Pakistan's strategic facilities and assets and almost all our cities. The intermediate-range Agni has been tested four times. It is likely to be developed soon for deployment, against China and Pakistan.

8. India has developed its nuclear and missile programmes with the active assistance and cooperation of several industrialised countries. This must be mentioned, not in anger but for the record. Canada supplied India's unsafeguarded CIRRUS research reactor, a heavy water plant, a nuclear fuel complex and two power reactors. The United States provided unsafeguarded heavy water, assistance in the construction of reprocessing facilities and in training dozens of experts in reprocessing. France offered exchange of personnel and special training in plutonium extraction from spent fuel.

9. Similarly, India's missile development is not indigenous. India's missile chief visited various US missile bases and research facilities in 1962 and, on the way back, concluded an agreement with Switzerland for Project Indigo, an IRBM [Intermediate-Range Ballistic Missile] programme. In 1963 and 1964, the doyen of the Indian missile programme participated in the development and launch of the US Scout missile, which has provided the technological basis for the Agni missile. Several Western countries collaborated in the launching [of] 350 rockets in India's space programme and the Space Launch Vehicle (SLV 3), whose first stage provided the motor for the Agni. Equipment and technologies - the Viking rocket engine, liquid-fuel technology, guidance and navigation systems, high-altitude rocket simulation, electronics - were acquired from these Western countries. The Privthi is based on the Viking and SA-2 technologies. Finally, despite the MTCR [Missile Technology Control Regime], India obtained at least one cyrogenic engine from Russia, with 80% of the design and technical information already in its hands.

10. Pakistan's actions in the nuclear and missile fields were taken, at each stage, in response to the escalatory steps taken by India. Pakistan was able to develop the capability for nuclear enrichment and in missile research and development, not withstanding discriminatory embargoes and restrictions. We have the technological and other capabilities now to develop the various aspects of our programmes to respond to India's past, present or future escalatory steps.

11. However, Pakistan has never resorted to adventurist or irresponsible actions. Our policies have been marked by restraint. After India's 1974 nuclear test, we did not reciprocate. We did not feel the need to do so if India's nuclear weapons development did not go any further. Similarly, Pakistan exercised unilateral restraint in the production of highly-enriched uranium despite our concerns regarding India's larger plutonium stockpile. Pakistan has held back so far from deploying its missiles. In response to India's 24 missile tests, Pakistan has conducted only one missile flight test so far.

12. Despite the fact that every escalatory step on the nuclear proliferation ladder was initiated by India, it is Pakistan which has been consistently subjected to a series of discriminatory penalties, sanctions and restraints designed to prevent us from acquiring the capability to respond to the Indian escalation.

13. After India's 1974 nuclear explosion, the same country which had provided India an unsafeguarded research reactor, reneged on its contracts to provide Pakistan safeguarded fuel for our Karachi power reactor, halted shipment of a fuel fabrication plant and terminated all civilian and safeguarded nuclear cooperation with Pakistan. In 1976, the US Congress passed the so-called Symington Amendment which penalized acquisition of enrichment and reprocessing capabilities but only after 1976, thus effectively exempting India but not Pakistan. In 1979, US economic assistance to Pakistan was terminated for contracting to purchase a reprocessing plant from France. Soon, that country was also obliged to renege on its contract to supply this safeguarded reprocessing plant to Pakistan. But it was not halted from providing India a vital shearing machine for its unsafeguarded reprocessing facility. In 1980, the US decided to ship 38 tons of enriched uranium to India. In 1985, France took up the supply of enriched uranium to India. Discrimination against Pakistan was further compounded by the specific legislation aimed against Pakistan, specially the so-called Pressler Amendment which required the US President to annually certify that Pakistan - but not India - did not possess a nuclear device.

14. Such discrimination against Pakistan was all the more unjustified because our preference, at every step of India's push towards proliferation, was to press for political solutions and mutual restraint.

15. The initiatives taken by Pakistan to arrest nuclear proliferation in South Asia are a matter of historical record. Even after India's 1974 nuclear explosion, Pakistan proposed:

  1. a joint Indo-Pakistan declaration renouncing the acquisition or manufacture of nuclear weapons, in 1978;
  2. mutual inspections by India and Pakistan of each other's nuclear facilities, in 1979;
  3. simultaneous adherence to the NPT by India and Pakistan, in 1979;
  4. simultaneous acceptance of full-scope IAEA safeguards, in 1979;
  5. a bilateral or regional nuclear test ban treaty, in 1987;
  6. a South Asia Zero-Missile Zone in 1994.

16. Pakistan also suggested various modalities to advance the goal of non-proliferation in South Asia: bilateral talks, five-nation talks, a multilateral conference. We fully supported initiatives by the US, first for five-nation talks and later for nine-nation consultations regarding non-proliferation and security in South Asia. While India predictably opposed all these initiatives, what was most disappointing for Pakistan is the alacrity with [which] these initiatives were jettisoned by their author in the face of India's obdurate and bellicose rejection. Such supine responses are at least consistent. They are all too evident even today. After all, India's 1974 test was accepted as [a] 'peaceful' nuclear explosion by some. And, when India threatened to veto the CTBT in this Conference, it was told in high-level letters that it need not adhere to the Treaty so long as it did not block the Treaty's transmission to the General Assembly. The Ambassador of a great power in New Delhi went further and assured that even an Indian veto of the CTBT would have no impact on bilateral relations. He was proved right by events.

17. This track record does not inspire any confidence that the new endeavours which are now urged are more sincere or will be more effective.

18. The events of the past few months have vividly confirmed our conviction that it is Pakistan and not India which is the real target of the non-proliferation crusade. The missile tests conducted by India over the past months evoked no concern or comment, even [as] sanctions were loudly threatened against Pakistan and China. When the BJP-led government declared its aim of inducting nuclear weapons and conducting nuclear tests, no official concern was expressed, despite the warning conveyed in the letters sent by Prime minister Nawaz Sharif to the leaders of the major powers. Similarly, the concern expressed by Pakistan's Foreign Minister in this Conference on 19 March this year evoked no response. Instead, the high visiting envoys of the sole super power sang paeans of praise - even in Islamabad - for the 'restraint and responsibility' of the new Indian government. We are now witness to this 'restraint and responsibility'!

19. Such apparent gullibility did not greatly impress the Pakistani leadership. We were hardly amused when, soon after these visits, MTCR sanctions were instituted against a Pakistan-government entity. Meanwhile, no sanctions were considered for India's development of submarine-based missiles.

20. We also saw other curious and disturbing signals. The Indian Defence minister, notwithstanding the well-known improvement in Sino-Indian relations, suddenly declared that China rather than Pakistan was the 'number one threat' to India's security. He falsely asserted that China has deployed missiles in Tibet aimed at India.

21. Evidently, in the Indian view, it was felt that its nuclear tests were more palatable if they were seen as serving the goal of 'containing' China. Reported moves at the recently concluded NPT PrepCom meeting to accommodate India's concerns on the FMCT, full-scope safeguards, etc., have added fuel to speculation about new deals and alignments.

22. Conspiracy theories have gained further credence due to the alleged absence of advance warning about the Indian nuclear tests. We have repeatedly been told of the awesome capabilities of the National Technical Means of one power. Indeed, sanctions have been (wrongly) imposed on Pakistan (and China) on the basis of 'evidence' said to be acquired through such NTMs. In December 1995, these NTMs detected Indian preparations for a test, enabling the international community to take measures to pre-empt these tests. Why was it different now? Was this really an intelligence failure?

23. A report circulated in Washington by an anti-Indian 'political action group' dated 7 May - i.e. 4 days before the 11 May tests - stated that 'in the meantime preparations for an Indian nuclear test have been further confirmed by our sources in India, (who so far have never been wrong, having millions of pairs of eyes and ears fixed on the ground) who report all kinds of feverish night time activities, in the vicinity of Pokharan in Rajasthan State sixty miles from the Pakistan border. The question is, will the United States allow the fundamentalist Hindu fascists in Delhi to circumvent US non-proliferation laws? Only time will tell.'

24. Well, the Hindu fundamentalists have acted. Now, unequal restraint is again urged on Pakistan.

25. The press statement issued by India on 11 May that 'it would be prepared to consider being an adherent to some of the undertakings in the CTBT' dependent on 'a number of reciprocal activities' and that 'it would be happy to participate in FMCT negotiations,' indicates a game plan to ease the cost of the nuclear tests. In India's eyes the CTBT seems to have shed its inequity overnight. Forgetting its 'not now, not later' declaration, India appears to have given up its call for 'nuclear disarmament within a time-bound framework'. It was, after all, only a ploy. All of us suspected as much.

26. Interestingly, the demands being made now by some of the major powers appear to match the Indian 'offers'. Is this coincidence?

27. India has, however, asked for a price - undefined 'reciprocal activities' - for its acceptance of the CTBT. Is this a reference to India's desire for technology to carry out sub-critical nuclear tests? Or is this a reference to its demand for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council? Or even more ambitiously, is this a demand by India to be formally acknowledged as a nuclear-weapon State? Regrettably, at least two nuclear powers have expressed an interest in eliciting what price India may be asking for adherence to the CTBT. Is it merely a coincidence that the same two powers have recently expressed an interest in exploring deals for civil nuclear cooperation with India?

28. For Pakistan, the series of nuclear weapon tests conducted by India on 11 and 13 May have significantly altered the strategic and security equation in our region. As the Indian press statement itself has stated: 'These tests have established that India has a proven capability for a weaponised nuclear programme. They also provide a valuable database which is useful in the design of nuclear weapons of different yields for different applications and for different delivery systems. Further they are expected to carry Indian scientists towards a sound computer simulation capability which may be supported by sub-critical experiments if considered necessary.'

29. Furthermore, as Mr. Joshi, the Indian Minister for Science and Technology, is quoted as saying on 12 May: 'Indian scientists will put a nuclear warhead on missiles as soon as the situation requires. India has not closed its option to conduct more tests if and when necessary. In the meantime work on the Agni Phase-II has started in earnest.'

30. What Pakistan confronts today is not merely a nuclear-capable State. We face a nuclear-weaponized power. It is strange that senior officials of a major nuclear power continue to argue, unconvincingly, that India has not 'weaponized' yet. We wonder if they would be convinced of this if India actually delivers a nuclear weapon against one of its neighbours?

31. In the new strategic environment, it is extremely disingenuous for anyone to call on Pakistan to exercise restraint, or to sign the CTBT or agree to FMCT negotiations. These calls are, of course, consistent with the discrimination to which Pakistan has been historically subjected.

32. The Government of Pakistan has adopted an important principle that 'we will accept obligations and commitments in the field of nuclear non-proliferation only if these are equitable and non-discriminatory'. We will not accept unilateral obligations or commitments. We will not accept commitments which would permanently jeopardise the ability of Pakistan to deter the nuclear and conventional threats which India poses to our security.

33. Pakistan has consistently acted as a responsible member of the international community. We have not resorted to Adventurism and provocation. But Pakistan will not allow itself to be subjected to any international conspiracy to compromise its security. We will not endorse any scheme which fosters or accepts India's nuclear or political hegemony in the region. The Indian tests are a direct and most serious challenge to Pakistan's security. It is Pakistan alone which [will] decide on and take the measures required to guarantee our security. The people of Pakistan, after decades of discrimination, have a right to insist that their nation's security and independence be fully respected by all the members of the international community.

34. In his statement before the Pakistan Senate yesterday, my Foreign Minister has stated:

'The news of the carrying out of two further nuclear tests today by India, corroborates our assessment and provides further confirmation, if any were needed, about India's consistent pattern of irresponsible behaviour. The blind pursuit of intrinsic and inherent hegemonic impulses, reflected too often in Indian behaviour and ignored largely by the international community, despite Pakistan's repeated efforts to draw attention to them, has definitely encouraged and emboldened India to throw all caution to the winds.

The invoking of mandatory sanctions under US laws against India hardly constitutes an effective response to Indian provocative actions or compensates for errors of judgement, which have seriously disrupted the regional strategic balance.

India is now admittedly testing the whole range of nuclear weaponry, including battlefield/tactical nuclear weapons which are Pakistan specific. India's actions, which pose an immediate and grave threat to Pakistan's security, will not go unanswered.

Pakistan once again reiterates that responsibility for consequences that will inevitably ensue would lie squarely with India and those who have colluded and acquiesced in the weaponization of India's nuclear programme."

INTERNATIONAL COMMENT

United Nations

Statement by Spokesperson for the Secretary-General, 13 May

"The Secretary-General is deeply disturbed over the Government of India's announcement of two more nuclear tests on 13 May... India has stated that this is expected to complete the current series of tests and has made a qualified offer to adhere to some of the undertakings of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty selectively. The Secretary-General continues to look forward to the unequivocal assurance of India and all other States that the international community's norm on nuclear testing and non-proliferation would be adhered to in order that progress towards nuclear disarmament - a common desire of all States and peoples - can be achieved as soon as possible."

Source: UN Press Release SG/SM/6560, 13 May.

Security Council Presidential Statement, 14 May

"The Security Council strongly deplores the three underground nuclear tests that India conducted on 11 May...and the two further tests conducted on 13 May...despite overwhelming international concern and protests. The Council strongly urges India to refrain from any further tests. It is of the view that such testing is contrary to the de facto moratorium on the testing of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, and to global efforts towards nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament. The Council also expresses its concern at the effects of this development on peace and stability in the region.

... The Council appeals to India, and all other States which have not yet done so, to become parties to the NPT, and to the CTBT, without delay and without conditions. The Council also encourages India to participate, in a positive spirit, in the proposed negotiations with other States for a fissile material cut-off treaty in Geneva with a view to reaching early agreement.

With a view to preventing an escalation in the arms race, in particular with regard to nuclear weapons and their delivery systems, and to preserving peace in the region, the Security Council urges States to exercise maximum restraint. The Council underlines that sources of tension in South Asia should only be resolved through dialogue and not by military build-up. ..."

Source: United Nations Press Release SC/6517, 14 May.

G8

G8 Statement on Indian Nuclear Tests, 'Regional Statements', Birmingham, UK, 15 May 1998

Full text

"We condemn the nuclear tests which were carried out by India on 11 and 13 May. Such action runs counter to the will expressed by 149 signatories to the CTBT to cease nuclear testing, to efforts to strengthen the global non-proliferation regime and to steps to enhance regional and international peace and security. It has been met by immediate international concern and opposition, from governments and more widely. We underline our full commitment to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty as the cornerstones of the global non-proliferation regime and the essential foundations for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament. We express our grave concern about the increased risk of nuclear and missile proliferation in South Asia and elsewhere. We urge India and other states in the region to refrain from further tests and the deployment of nuclear weapons or ballistic missiles. We call upon India to rejoin the mainstream of international opinion, to adhere unconditionally to the NPT and the CTBT and to enter into negotiations on a global treaty to stop the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons. India's relationship with each of us has been affected by these developments. We are making this clear in our own direct exchanges and dealings with the Indian Government and we call upon other states similarly to address their concerns to India. We call upon and encourage Pakistan to exercise maximum restraint in the face of these tests and to adhere to international non-proliferation norms."

Australia

Statement by Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, 14 May

"The Government considers that India's actions could have the most damaging consequences for security in South Asia and globally. It risks a regional arms race and is flagrant defiance of the international community's strong support for nuclear non-proliferation... India must immediately sign the CTBT, join the international non-proliferation regime and forswear forever the use of nuclear weapons."

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs Media Release FA59, 14 May.

China

Foreign Ministry Statement, 14 May

"In disregard of the strong opposition of the international community, the Indian Government conducted two more nuclear tests... The Chinese Government is deeply shocked by this and hereby expresses its strong condemnation. This act of India's is nothing but an outrageous contempt for the common will of the international community for the comprehensive ban on nuclear tests and a hard blow on the international effort to prevent nuclear weapon proliferation. It will entail serious consequences to the peace and stability in South Asia and the world at large. The international community should adopt a common position in strongly demanding India to immediately stop the development of nuclear weapons.

The Indian Government itself has undermined the international effort in banning nuclear tests in defiance of universal condemnation so as to obtain...hegemony in South Asia and triggered off [a] nuclear arms race in the region. And yet it has maliciously accused China of posing a nuclear threat to India. This is utterly groundless. Ever since China possessed nuclear weapons, it has advocated the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons and has unilaterally and unconditionally undertaken not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon States and nuclear-free zones. This gratutitous accusation by India against China is solely for the purpose of finding an excuse for the development of its nuclear weapons. The Chinese Government will continue to closely watch the development of the situation."

Source: Chinese Embassy in Washington, web-site http://www.china-embassy.org

France

Foreign Ministry statement, 11 May

"France reiterates its commitment both to the cause of disarmament and non-proliferation and to the improvement of security and stability in South Asia. In this context, it expresses its concern and calls on all the region's States to show restraint.

The implementation of the Indian Government's declarations on its participation in the negotiation of a treaty cutting off the production of fissile material for use in nuclear weapons (FMCT) and its attitude to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty will be the subject of close scrutiny on our part. France calls on India to sign this treaty."

Source: Foreign Ministry Daily Press Briefing, 12 May.

Germany

Statement by Ambassador Gunther Seibert to the CD, 14 May

"The German Government calls upon the Indian Government to live up to its great responsibility for peace and stability in the region and to do everything in its power to support the international nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament efforts. The Non-Proliferation Treaty must be applied universally. India must not stay away from it forever. We appeal to India to sign the Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty now so that nuclear tests will become a thing of the past once and for all. We call upon India to enter into a concrete security dialogue with its neighbours in order to avert the threat of a nuclear arms race in the region. ... Recent events have shown how important the efforts aimed at further substantial steps in the direction of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation are."

Japan

Statement to the CD by Ambassador Akira Hayashi, 14 May

"India conducted, in spite of earnest appeals from every corner of the globe, two more nuclear tests on 13 May. These actions run directly counter to the global aims of the ultimate elimination of nuclear weapons and the ban on nuclear testing. It is said that these explosions completed a series of tests but the damage caused by them and their ultimate effects on the goals of international disarmament are immeasurable. ...

The Japanese peoples' feelings and opposition to the nuclear tests are reflected in the resolution adopted by the Upper House of the Japanese Diet on 13 May. The resolution states...that the entire country of Japan, being the only country in the world to have suffered nuclear devastation, profoundly regrets the nuclear tests and strongly appeals to the Indian Government to halt immediately its nuclear weapons programme. ...

Having made Japan's unequivocal opposition against nuclear testing clear, I would like to emphasize that the Indian nuclear tests should in no way be seen as an impediment to our work in the CD. Instead, we should learn from them and work even harder towards the goal of global nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation."

Malaysia

Foreign Ministry statement, 12 May

"The action by India is a serious setback to keep[ing] the region free of nuclear weapons and undermines the efforts of the international community towards attaining a complete ban on nuclear testing... Malaysia calls on India to cease developing its capability to produce nuclear weapons immediately.... Malaysia further underlines the need for nuclear-weapon States to demonstrate stronger commitment to the goals of nuclear disarmament and the elimination of these weapons through a programmed reduction and elimination of their nuclear arsenals." Source: Malaysia deplores India's nuclear tests, Reuters, 12 May.

Russia

Remarks by President Boris Yeltsin, 12 May

"[India is] a friendly country with which we have good relations. During my visit to India later this year I will try to solve this problem. ... India has let us down with its explosions but I think that by diplomatic means... we should bring about a change in its position."

Source: Yeltsin regrets Indian nuclear test, United Press International, 12 May.

Remarks by Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov, 12 May

"We will not support sanctions. ...We plan to use our special relationship with India, and our influence there."

Sources: Yeltsin regrets Indian nuclear test, United Press International, 12 May; Yeltsin condemns India N-tests, urges diplomacy, Reuters, 12 May..

South Africa

Foreign Ministry Statement, 13 May

"The South African Government is deeply concerned [by the tests]... As a matter of principle South Africa opposes all nuclear tests since they do not contribute to promoting world peace and security. South Africa believes that security is provided by nuclear disarmament rather than by nuclear proliferation. South Africa repeats the hope that these tests do not result in an arms race in South Asia."

Source: South African Foreign Ministry web-site, gopher://gopher.polity.org.za

United Kingdom

Statement to Parliament by Foreign Secretary Robin Cook, 14 May

"The recent nuclear tests by India undermine the efforts of the international community to prevent nuclear proliferation and may encourage other States who wish to do the same. Nor will these tests help the security of India. An increase in tension in the region cannot be in the interests of India, and the escalation of an arms race in the Sub-Continent cannot help tackle the poverty in which millions of its people live. The sharp reaction by China demonstrates the danger that such tests will increase danger rather than strengthen security. ...

[W]e regret and condemn these nuclear tests. Britain is a leading advocate of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. We firmly believe that their provisions provide Britain and all members of the international community with the strongest basis for confidence in their international security. Nobody's long-term interest are secured by encouraging the spread of nuclear weapons. ..."

Source: Statement by the Foreign Secretary, Mr. Robin Cook, House of Commons, London, Thursday 14 May 1998, Foreign & Commonwealth Office website, http://www.fco.gov.uk

United States

Remarks by President Clinton, 12 May

"I want to make it very, very clear that I am deeply disturbed by the nuclear tests which India has conducted, and I do not believe it contributes to building a safer 21st Century... This action by India not only threatens the stability of the region, it directly challenges the firm international consensus to stop the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction... I...urge India's neighbours not to follow suit - not to follow down the path of a dangerous arms race... [O]ur laws have very stringent provisions, signed into law by me in 1994, in response to nuclear tests by non-nuclear-weapon States - and I intend to implement them fully."

Source: Clinton condemns India nuclear tests, Reuters, 12 May.

Remarks by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, 20 May

"The leaders in New Delhi have made a grave historical error... India's rash action is sure to heighten security tensions throughout southern Asia. And other nations may be tempted to follow India's wrongheaded example. ... [However,] if Pakistan's leaders do not test, they will defy India's expectations and foil India's desire to drag Pakistan's world-standing down."

Source: US urges India to sign Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty,

© 1998 The Acronym Institute.

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