Spindelegger: “Stop the nuclear arms race in Asia”
Austrian Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister on Indian and Pakistani missile tests – warning against nuclear test in North Korea
Vienna, 26 April 2012 - Austrian Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger expressed deep concern about recent tests by India and Pakistan of missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads. “The testing of an Indian long-range ballistic missile a week ago and a medium-range ballistic missile by Pakistan on Wednesday are worrying events pointing to an intensification of the arms race on the Indian subcontinent.” India tested a long-range missile of the Agni V type with a range of 5,000 kilometres last Thursday, and Pakistan responded by testing a medium-range Hatf IV Shaheen-1A type missile with a range of up to 3,000 kilometres.
“A continuation of the nuclear arms race on the Indian subcontinent would not only be a threat to stability in Asia, but also a risk for world peace. The use of nuclear weapons anywhere on Earth would have catastrophic consequences worldwide. It is quite simply irresponsible to permit the sword of Damocles of nuclear destruction to continue to hang over mankind. The international community must be capable in the 21st century of regulating international relations without resorting to a permanent mutual existential threat. A system based on nuclear deterrents cannot be stable over the long-term”, the Foreign Minister said.
“It is my hope that India and Pakistan will turn away from the arms race spiral and dedicate themselves increasingly to bilateral and also global nuclear disarmament efforts. The only sustainable answer to the growing threat of nuclear weapons is their full and global abolition. Austria gives its full support to this proposal in every available international body”, Spindelegger continued, in reference to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Conference to be held in Vienna from 30 April to 11 May. The Treaty has 190 signatory states, but India, Pakistan and also Israel are not among them.
Furthermore rumours are gaining weight that a third nuclear test by North Korea must be reckoned with in the near future. “This will not create more security, but more insecurity. North Korea must stop playing with fire and return immediately to the negotiating table”, the Foreign Minister concluded.
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