India on Tuesday expressed deep concern over the nuclear test conducted by North Korea, which comes at a time when the East Asian region is going through leadership transitions.
At 2.57 GMT, North Korea exploded an underground nuclear device, which international monitors recorded as several times bigger than its previous tests in 2006 and 2009.
The Vienna-based Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organisation said the explosion was twice as big as that of 2009. This is the first nuclear test in the regime led by Kim Jong-un, who took over after the death of his father Kim Jong-il in December 2011. “It is a matter of deep concern that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has acted in violation of its international commitments,” said External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin.
India also called upon “the DPRK to refrain from such actions that adversely impact the peace and stability in the region.”The North Korean nuclear weapons programme had got help in a big way from A Q Khan, regarded as the father of Pakistan’s nuclear bomb.
The test comes at a time when East Asian countries are going through leadership transitions. Japan’s new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe assumed office in December. In South Korea, President Park Geun-hye is all set to assume office on February 25. In China, a new leadership led by Xi Jinping is set to take over later this year.
In fact, China had warned North Korea against conducting any test. The North Korean ambassador was summoned to the Foreign Office in Beijing, where China expressed “strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition”.
It remains to be seen if China would allow the United Nations Security Council to issue any strong stricture or impose sanctions against North Korea.
While China had flayed North Korea for conducting nuclear test, it had not been shy of using its veto power to stop any resolution inimical to Pyongyang.