Official Press Statements Issued by Ministry of External Affairs New Delhi, May 11, 1998
As announced by the Prime Minister this afternoon today India conducted three underground nuclear tests in the Pokhran range. The tests conducted today were with a fission device, a low yield device and a thermonuclear device. The measured yields are in line with expected values. Measurements have also confirmed that there was no release of radioactivity into the atmosphere. These were contained explosions like the experiment conducted in May 1974. These tests have established that India has a proven capability for a weaponised nuclear programme. They also provide a valuable database which is useful in the design of nuclear weapons of different yields for different applications and for different delivery systems. Further they are expected to carry Indian scientists towards a sound computer simulation capability which may be supported by sub-critical experiments if considered necessary. The Government is deeply concerned as were previous Governments, about the nuclear environment in India's neighbourhood. These tests provide reassurance to the people of India that their national security interests are paramount and will be promoted and protected. Succeeding generations of Indians would also rest assured that contemporary technologies associated with nuclear option have been passed on to them in this the 50th year of our Independence. It is necessary to highlight today that India was in the vanguard of nations which ushered in the Partial Test Ban Treaty in 1963 due to environmental concerns. Indian representatives have worked in various international forums, including the Conference on Disarmament, for universal, non-discriminatory and verifiable arrangements for the elimination of weapons of mass destruction. The Government would like to reiterate its support to efforts to realise the goal of a truly comprehensive international arrangement which would prohibit undergournd nuclear testing of all weapons as well as related experiments described as sub-critical or 'hydronuclear'. India would be prepared to consider being an adherent to some of the undertakings in the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. But this cannot obviously be done in a vacuum. If would necessarily be an evolutionary process from concept to commitment and would depend on a number of reciprocal activities. We would like to reaffirm categorically that we will continue to exercise the most stringent control on the export of sensitive technologies, equipment and commodities especially those related to weapons of mass destruction. Our track record has been impeccable in this regard. Therefore we expect recognition of our responsible policy by the international community. India remains committed to a speedy process of nuclear disarmament leading to total and global elimination of nuclear weapons. Our adherence to the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological Weapons Convention is evidence of our commitment to any global disarmament regime which is non-discriminatory and verifiable. We shall also be happy to participate in the negotiations for the conclusion of a fissile material cut-off treaty in the Geneva based conference on Disarmament. In our neighbourhood we have many friends with whom relations of fruitful cooperation for mutual benefit have existed and deepened over a long period. We assure them that it will be our sincere endeavour to intensify and diversify those relations further for the benefit of all our peoples. For India, as for others, the prime need is for peaceful cooperation and economic development.
Planned Series of Nuclear Tests Completed New Delhi, May 13, 1998 In continuation of the planned programme of underground nuclear tests begun on the 11th of May, two more sub-kiloton nuclear tests were carried out at Pokhran range at 12:21 PM on the 13 of May, 1998. The tests have been carried out to generate additional data for improved computer simulation of designs and for attaining the capability to carry out subcritical experiments, if considered necessary. The tests were fully contained with no release of radioactivity into the atmosphere. This completes the planned series of tests. Government of India reiterates the offer to consider adhering to some of the undertakings in the CTBT, in the framework of the proposal in its statement of the 11th May, 1998.
Press Release of the UN Permanent Mission of India on the UN Security Council's May 14 Statement Condemning Indian Tests New Delhi, May 15, 1998
We have noted with regret that the Security Council has adopted a Presidential Statement on May 14, 1998 on the underground nuclear tests which we have conducted. We are surprised by this, because the Council has never thought it necessary even to take cognizance of the many hundreds of nuclear tests carried out over the last 50 years, including in 1995 and 1996, when the de facto moratorium on testing, which the Council recalls, was already in place. 2. The tests which our scientists carried out are not directed against any country. Tests by themselves, and the reconfirmation of a capacity which had been demonstrated in 1974, do not jeopardise peace and stability. Nuclear weapons do, and the refusal of the nuclear weapons states to consider the elimination of nuclear weapons in a multilateral and time-bound framework, despite the end of the Cold War, continues to be the single biggest threat to international peace and stability. 3. It is because of the continuing threat posed to India by the deployment, overtly and covertly, of nuclear weapons in the lands and seas adjoining us that we have been forced to carry out these tests, so that we can retain a credible option to develop these weapons, should they be needed for the security of India's people, who constitute one-fifth of the world's population. 4. There is a strong national consensus supporting the Government's decision to authorise these tests to protect India's security. Internationally, there is a growing realisation that it is disingenuous of the nuclsear weapons states to insist that the retention of nuclear weapons is essential for their security but that the security of all other states depends on their abjuring these weapons. In this context, it is essential to recall that India has been subjected to aggression by one nuclear weapon state and to the threat of use of nuclear weapons by another. Our security concerns, therefore, go well beyond South Asia. 5. The Statement adopted by the Security Council, therefore, is to be viewed in this light and is completely unacceptable to us. India is a responsible member of the international community, and has consistently supported the United Nations. We were among the first to propose, and continue to promote, the goal of general and complete disarmament, and the elimination of all nuclear weapons. To this end, we have made a series of concrete proposals for the consideration of the international community, and the nuclear weapon states in particular. Every one of these has been thwarted and distorted for their own purposes by the nuclear weapons states. The CTBT, which we proposed in 1954 as a means of capping and eventually eliminating nuclear testing and refining by the nuclear weapons states of their weapons, and cooperation between them for this purpose. The NPT, which also India proposed, became a completely discriminatory treaty, legitimizing the possession in eternity of nuclear weapons by the five nuclear weapons states. At the end of the Cold War, when the world expected the nuclear weapons powers to move towards nuclear disarmament, since the stated reasons for their retention of nuclear arsenals had been removed, they have started to alter their nuclear doctrines to justify the possible use of nuclear weapons against non- nuclear weapon states. The nuclear weapon states have completely set their face against the overwhelming wish of the international community, and increasingly significant sections of their own domestic strategic and military opinion, for meaningful progress towards nuclear disarmament. The nuclear weapons states have adopted every ploy possible to deflect attention from their policies, which constitute the single biggest threat to international peace and security. The Statement adopted by the Council is in this unhappy tradition. 6. We would like to take this occasion to express our appreciation to the members of the international community, who have shown understanding to India's concerns and actions.