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India's missile program was designed as means of countering the perceived threat from China, which has the capacity to strike targets anywhere in India.
Strangely, North Korean diplomats may take comfort in this.
The avowed nuclear power India has announced plans to test a new model of nuclear-capable missiles that would for the first time be capable of striking Beijing and Shanghai, according to The Associated Press.
The so-called Agni-V, India’s first Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile, has a range of 3,100 miles and New Delhi has described it as a bulwark against Chinese dominance in the region, the news agency said.
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A test launch was possible as early as Wednesday evening but NDTV reported that the launch was postponed until Thursday.
NewsX produced this video report:
The AP said that China currently is capable of launching missiles that can strike targets anywhere in India.
"It will be a quantum leap in India's strategic capability," said Ravi Gupta, a spokesman for India's Defense Research and Development Organization, which built the missile, was quoted as saying by the AP.
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According to the news agency, the US is calling for restraint, but only just. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said in Washington that the US urged all nuclear-capable states to exercise restraint in developing nuclear capabilities.
"That said, India has a solid non-proliferation record," Toner was quoted as telling reporters.