WASHINGTON — The White House Thursday urged restraint among nuclear capable states after India tested a long-range missile, but rejected any comparison between New Delhi’s behavior and that of North Korea.
“We urge all nuclear capable states to exercise restraint regarding nuclear and missile capabilities and continue to discourage actions that might destabilize the South Asia region,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney.
India’s test came a week after North Korea’s unsuccessful missile test a week ago drew stern US and international condemnation.
“I would simply point out because comparisons have been made to (North Korea) that India’s actions and India’s record stands in stark contrast to that of North Korea,” Carney said.
India earlier successfully test fired an Agni V rocket capable of delivering a one-ton nuclear warhead anywhere in rival China, marking a major advance in its military capabilities.
India views the rocket, which has a range of 5,000 kilometers (3,100 miles), as a key boost to its regional power aspirations and one that narrows — albeit slightly — the gap with Beijing’s missile systems.
The test leaves India knocking at the door of a select club of nations with inter-continental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), which have a minimum range of 5,500 kilometers.
Currently only the five permanent members of the UN Security Council — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States — possess a declared ICBM capability.