India slams N Korea test, fears Pak links
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India Tuesday expressed "deep concern" over the nuclear test conducted by North Korea and urged it to "refrain from such actions which adversely impact peace and stability in the region".
"It is a matter of deep concern that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea has acted in violation of its international commitments," Foreign Ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said.
New Delhi is worried Pakistan could be linked to the test. Islamabad, as is widely known, has helped North Korea develop its uranium enrichment programme. Interestingly, at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva Tuesday, Pakistan again blocked commencement of negotiations on the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty soon after participants roundly condemned the North Korean nuclear test.
These developments, a South Block source said, was not a mere coincidence. "In New Delhi's calculus, the role of Pakistan is not far behind when we discuss North Korea in the context of the nuclear programme," the source said.
North Korea had detonated nuclear devices in 2006 and 2009 also but the latest explosion is especially worrying as it is believed to have been a uranium device — the earlier ones were plutonium bombs — thus confirming suspicion that the nation has been enriching weapons-grade uranium for years with help from Pakistan.
Islamabad-Pyongyang co-operation in uranium enrichment is believed to have blossomed in 1990s when North Korea suspended its plutonium enrichment programme after a compromise with the United States.