News



DATE=5/13/98
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
NUMBER=2-232137
TITLE=INDIA NUCLEAR (L)
BYLINE=DOUGLAS BAKSHIAN
DATELINE=NEW DELHI
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 

INTRO:  INDIA CONDUCTED TWO MORE UNDERGROUND NUCLEAR TESTS 
WEDNESDAY, JUST TWO DAYS AFTER IT STUNNED THE WORLD WITH ITS 
FIRST NUCLEAR BLASTS IN 24 YEARS.  NEW DELHI CORRESPONDENT 
DOUGLAS BAKSHIAN REPORTS.

TEXT:  A GOVERNMENT STATEMENT SAYS THE NEW TESTS WERE CARRIED OUT
IN THE POKHRAN RANGE IN THE WESTERN DESERT STATE OF RAJASTHAN, 
WHERE INDIA'S NUCLEAR TESTING AREA IS LOCATED.  

THE STATEMENT SAYS THE TESTS WERE CONDUCTED TO GENERATE 
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AND THE BLASTS COMPLETE THE PLANNED SERIES
OF TESTS. 

THE STATEMENT REPEATS A GOVERNMENT OFFER TO CONSIDER OBEYING SOME
ASPECTS OF THE GLOBAL TEST BAN TREATY.  INDIAN OFFICIALS THIS 
WEEK SAID THEY REMAIN COMMITTED TO THE PROCESS OF GLOBAL 
DISARMAMENT.

IN NEW DELHI, PRIME MINISTER ATAL BIHARI VAJPAYEE SAID THE 
DECISION TO CONDUCT THE TESTS WAS TAKEN AFTER A LOT OF THOUGHT 
AND WAS  NOT  INTENDED TO GENERATE FEAR.  MR. VAJPAYEE'S 
HINDU-NATIONALIST GOVERNMENT BROKE THE NATION'S 24-YEAR-LONG 
SELF-IMPOSED MORATORIUM ON NUCLEAR TESTING MONDAY, WHEN IT 
CONDUCTED THREE NUCLEAR BLASTS. 

INDIAN OFFICIALS SAY THE TESTS ARE IN THE INTERESTS OF NATIONAL 
SECURITY.  THEY SAY NEW DELHI FACES THREATS FROM ITS NEIGHBORS 
CHINA AND PAKISTAN.  CHINA IS A DECLARED NUCLEAR POWER AND 
PAKISTAN HAS A NUCLEAR CAPABILITY. 

INDIAN POLITICAL AND MILITARY ANALYSTS SAY THESE TESTS GIVE INDIA
A WEAPONS CAPABILITY -- THOUGH IT HAS NOT ACTUALLY ASSEMBLED ANY 
WEAPONS.  THEY SAY THE GOVERNMENT IS NOW READY FOR A DIALOGUE ON 
THE NUCLEAR ISSUE. 

ANALYSTS SAY WITH THE PRIMARY TESTS OUT OF THE WAY, INDIA IS 
MOVING A STEP CLOSER TO SIGNING THE COMPREHENSIVE TEST BAN 
TREATY.  ANALYSTS SAY THE DECLARED NUCLEAR POWERS CONDUCTED SUCH 
TESTING BEFORE THEY SIGNED. 

INDIA HAS LONG CRITICIZED THE TEST BAN TREATY, SAYING IT 
DISCRIMINATES IN FAVOR OF NATIONS THAT HAVE NUCLEAR WEAPONS.  
INDIA SET OFF ITS FIRST, AND ONLY OTHER NUCLEAR DEVICE IN 1974.  
(SIGNED)

NEB/RAE

13-May-98 9:14 AM EDT (1314 UTC)
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Source: Voice of America
.