US urges nuclear states to exercise restraint

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WASHINGTON: The United States has reacted to Pakistan’s test-firing of its first nuclear-capable submarine cruise missile with an appeal to all nuclear weapon states to exercise restraint.
At a State Department news briefing , US government spokesman John Kirby said he had seen reports of the missile launch but, instead of focusing on Pakistan, he underlined the need for all nuclear states to avoid such tests.
“We continue to urge all states with nuclear weapons to exercise restraint regarding nuclear and missile capability testing and use, and we encourage efforts to promote confidence building and stability with respect to those capabilities,” he said.
Such references to nuclear weapon states usually imply India and Pakistan as all other states with this capability have already signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and abide by its guidelines.
The US media, while reporting the State Department’s reaction, noted that both India and Pakistan continue to test nuclear-capable weapons and Pakistan’s latest test “ramps up South Asia’s nuclear one-upmanship”.
CNN quoted its analysts as confirming that the Pakistani missile could carry a nuclear payload and noted that Pakistan conducted the test less than a month after India launched its Agni-V missile.
Pakistan announced on Monday that it had successfully test-fired its first submarine-launched Cruise Missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead up to 450 kilometres. The announcement said that the new strategic weapon had given the country a “credible” second-strike capability, augmenting deterrence amid tensions with India.
The Babur-3 missile was fired from an underwater, mobile platform and an undisclosed location in the Indian Ocean and hit its target with precise accuracy, the Inter-Services Public Relations, the media wing of Pakistan Army, said in a statement.

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