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India test-fires nuke-capable rocket able to hit China

Today's smooth launch gives the emerging global power a major boost.

Missile india april 2012Enlarge
Replica missiles from the Akash Weapon System are displayed during the Republic Day Parade on January 26, 2009 in New Delhi, India. (Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)

India successfully launched a new nuclear-capable missile today that is able to hit China, reported the Associated Press.

The Agni-V missile launches the emerging global power into a "select group of countries," a scientific adviser to India’s defense minister told the Hindustan Times. The was no immediate comment from China, said AP

"The nation stands tall today," Defense Minister A K Antony said, hailing the event as "a major milestone," according to the Press Trust of India

The only other countries believed capable of launching an Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile are the United States, Russia, France and China, reported The Hindustan Times.

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The ballistic missile, which took off just after 8:00 local time from India's Wheeler Island, has a range of more than 3,500 miles, or 5,000 km, said The Hindustan Times, allowing it to reach Chinese cities Beijing and Shanghai.

The weapon must go through additional testing and other government processes before joining India's arsenal, said AP, but the smooth launch positions India as a nation of growing regional strength. 

The event follows the failed launch of a rocket launch by isolationist North Korea, an attempt that saw international condemnation because it violated a UN ban, said AP

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/india/120419/india-test-fires-rocket-capable-hitting-china