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India hits out at Pak-N. Korea nexus
Rajeev Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 9
India heard the A.Q. Khan echo in North Korea’s first-ever nuclear weapon test announced today and said the development highlighted “dangers of clandestine proliferation”.

As Pyongyang’s announcement of an underground nuclear test made it the world’s eighth nuclear weapon power, New Delhi seized upon the opportunity to hit out at Pakistan-North Korea nexus.

The Ministry of External Affairs promptly issued a statement condemning the test and said: “We are deeply concerned at the reported nuclear test conducted by North Korea. It is unfortunate that it has conducted such a test in violation of its international commitments, jeopardising peace, stability and security in the Korean Peninsula and in the region. The test also highlights the dangers of clandestine proliferation. We are monitoring the situation and are in close touch with several countries.”

Pakistan’s disgraced scientist A. Q. Khan, who is regarded as father of Pakistan’s nuclear bomb, had admitted to having sold nuclear bomb technology to several countries, including Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), better known as North Korea.

North Korean nuclear test is bound to fuel a nuclear arms race in Asia, which already has three self-declared nuclear weapon powers - China, India and Pakistan. Besides, Israel is widely suspected to be in possession of nuclear weapons.

A logical fallout of today’s development is expected to be that DPRK’s immediate neighbours like South Korea and Japan may now nuclearise themselves in “self-defence”. It will mean radical geo-politic changes in the world’s biggest continent as Japan may now be forced to reverse its six-decade old policy of non-militarisation.

However, the North Korean announcement formally ends all confusion about the Communist country’s nuclear weapon status. This would mean that the international community will now have better clarity and an unambiguous approach towards North Korea.

Besides, analysts believe the North Korean announcement means a moral defeat for the Bush administration. When Mr George W. Bush became US President in 2000, North Korea’s nuclear reactor was frozen under a 1994 agreement with the US.

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