Disarmament Groups Condemn Indian N-Tests
NEWS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 11, 1998
CONTACT: Daryl Kimball, (202) 546-0795, extension 136
(May 11, 1998, WASHINGTON, DC) Following the announcement today by
recently-elected Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee that India has
conducted three nuclear weapon tests, experts from a coalition of nuclear
disarmament and non-proliferation organizations condemned the Indian
government's action and urged restraint by India's neighbor, Pakistan.
Vajpayee said that the devices tested were a fission device, a low-yield
device and a thermonuclear device. India first conducted a nuclear test in
"We strongly condemn India's decision to conduct nuclear tests and urge
Pakistan to exercise the utmost restraint so that the escalation of nuclear
tensions is South Asia is not taken to higher and more dangerous levels,"
said Robert K. Musil, Executive Director of Physicians for Social
"India's decision to resume nuclear weapons testing underscores the
necessity of global adherence to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and swift
U.S. Senate approval of the Treaty," said Tom Z. Collina, Director of Arms
Control and International Security Programs at the Union of Concerned
"It is unclear whether this is the starting point of an Indian nuclear
build-up or a last flurry of tests before signing the Comprehensive Test Ban
Treaty," said Christopher Paine, Senior Research Associate at the Natural
Resources Defense Council.
The Treaty, which bans all "nuclear weapon test explosions and all other
nuclear explosions," has been signed by 149 countries, including the five
declared nuclear weapon states. So far, India and Pakistan have refused to
sign the Treaty. Thirteen countries have ratified, including Britain and France.
The Treaty would make it much harder for countries to produce new and more
threatening types of nuclear weapons. The Treaty would also help prevent
nuclear proliferation because it would prevent nations seeking nuclear arms
— like Iran and Iraq — from making smaller nuclear warheads, which are more
easily deliverable by ballistic missiles.
Earlier this year, the President called on the Senate to approve the CTBT in
1998. However, Senator Jesse Helms, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee, so far has refused to hold hearings on the Treaty. He suggests
that the U.S. should resume nuclear testing. In January, a Helms
spokesperson said "Chairman Helms has been supportive of the need for
nuclear testing ...."
"The days of nuclear testing should be over -- nuclear arms races undermine
the security of all nations. India's provocative and dangerous nuclear test
decision should be met with universal condemnation and renewed efforts by
all nations to draw down nuclear tensions and nuclear arsenals," said Daryl
Kimball, Executive Director of the Coalition to Reduce Nuclear Dangers.
For more information on nuclear testing and the Test Ban Treaty, see the
Coalition's web site at: <http://www.clw.org/org/pub/clw/coalition/ctbindex.htm>