02:30 GMT +3 hours30 June 2016
Live
India's Agni II missile is seen in a rehearsal for the Republic Day Parade in New Delhi, India.

India Tests Nuclear-Capable Missile, US Looks the Other Way

© AP Photo/ Ajit Kumar
Asia & Pacific
Get short URL
1889943023

In a major sign of the country’s growing military prowess, India has launched a surface-to-surface ballistic missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead. The test highlights Washington’s hypocrisy when it comes to nuclear development.

The Prithvi-II missile, first tested in 1996, officially entered service with the Indian military in 2003, but has had a mixed success rate. In 2010, for instance, a missile specifically built for testing purposes failed.

On Monday, the Indian military launched an unarmed Prithvi-II randomly selected from its stockpile. While the missile missed its intended target, it did achieve the desired altitude and distance.

In theory, this gives New Delhi the ability to launch a nuclear-capable ballistic missile into Pakistan.

India developed nuclear weapons in 1998, but because they were not a member of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, few third-party countries would provide New Delhi with the missiles necessary to carry the weapons that could effectively deter an attack from Pakistan.

The Chinese government reportedly aided Pakistan’s development of nuclear-capable missiles. India’s latest test means that tensions could increase between the long-time rivals, with both New Delhi and Islamabad capable of using the threat of nuclear warfare over the conflict in Kashmir.

The United States has repeatedly discouraged India from developing ballistic missiles, but its response to this month’s test is decidedly different from the one given in the wake of North Korea’s recent actions.

Earlier this month, Pyongyang launched a satellite into orbit. Washington fiercely criticized the move as a veiled attempt at testing North Korea’s ballistic missile capabilities.

"Our concern though is that they do a space-launch but really it’s the same technology to develop ICBMs [intercontinental ballistic missiles]," a US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said ahead of the launch.

Following that incident, President Barack Obama felt compelled to assure South Korea of the strength of their alliance.

"The United States stands in solidarity with the ROK [South Korea] and will take the necessary steps to fulfill our ironclad commitment to defend the ROK and our other allies in the region," Obama told South Korean president Park Geun-hye.

On Wednesday, White House spokesperson Josh Earnest announced that President Obama plans to sign a bill that will impose additional sanctions on Pyongyang.

"The administration is deeply concerned with North Korea’s recent actions and their recent provocations, and I can confirm the president does plan to sign H.R. 757, which includes sanctions measures against North Korea and will serve to increase pressure on North Korea," Earnest told reporters.

Washington has given no indication that it will pursue similar sanctions against India.

Related:
India Considers US Lockheed Martin Offer to Manufacture F-16 Fighter Jets
India Praises Russia's 'Successful' BRICS Presidency
India, Israel Prepare $3-Billion Defense Deals
Tags:
ballistic missile launches, Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Josh Earnest, Barack Obama, North Korea, Pakistan, United States, India
Community standardsDiscussion
Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik
  • Сomment

All comments

  • ron
    If you are a member of the US/Zionist club, you're in. And why not join, most everyone else has.
  • goldcamshaft
    India, North Korea, Iran and any other countries in the world are entitled to produce weapons to defend their countries.
    I do not know much about missiles, but from a layman's point of view: isn't the machining of metal and electronic engineering basic technologies to produce a missile. Why do we not close them all down down? Isn't laws of Physics a basic from which missiles are produced? Why teach Physics in american universities?
  • art
    //.. they do a space-launch but really it’s the same technology to develop ICBMs ..//

    Its like taking anyone making a left turn on a certain intersection to custody and interrogate for a week because all drug dealers make a left turn on that intersection.
  • Ann in reply togoldcamshaft(Show commentHide comment)
    goldcamshaft, The US is going to find even more countries it doesn't like, arming themselves, after witnessing what the US has done in the middle east. Any leader worth his salt would take steps to protect their country from marauders and thieves. Bullies always want their victims to be as helpless as possible.
  • poovizhi.arasan
    Actually Yankisthan imposed a sanctions in 1999. It was withdrawn 3 years later. As in the case of Russia, the sanctions had no effect. Sanctions are most effective when an economy is Dollarised. India is not a dollarised economy and as in the case of russia can live with sanctions, but also thrive in it.
  • bobwollubi2090
    It is dangerous to place the fate of the world in the hands of one country or region, it is the job of the UN for it is supposed to serve the world's interests.
  • david.gillmans
    Support the Naxalite revolutionaries who are trying to turn that backward, class divided hell hole where only the upper class can have a good quality of life into a modern socialist nation.

    The Indian state is a tool of oppression subjugating the countless millions of poor and ignorant.
  • beein reply todavid.gillmans(Show commentHide comment)
    david.gillmans, you're welcome to live in the revolutionaries' glorious paradise.

    Elsewhere in Sputnik - "Russian-Indian hypersonic cruise missile could revolutionize arms industry"
    and
    "India test fires long range missile system developed with Israel"

    We're just trolling.
Show new comments (0)
Top stories