Washington, April 20 (IANS) Refusing to criticise India for the launch of its long-range nuclear-capable missile Agni-V, the United States has contrasted New Delhi's "solid non-proliferation record" with that of North Korea.
"I would simply point out, because comparisons have been made to the DPRK (North Korea) and its actions, that India's record stands in stark contrast to that of North Korea," White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters Thursday.
North Korea, "has been subject to numerous sanctions, as you know, by the United Nations Security Council," he noted when asked to comment on India's launch days after Pyongyang's failed missile launch, despite international warnings.
However, like the State Department, Carney too chose to urge "all nuclear-capable states to exercise restraint regarding nuclear and missile capabilities, and continue to discourage actions that might destabilize the South Asia region."
At the State Department, spokesman Mark Toner repeated his Wednesday's formulation saying, "I think we urged all nuclear-capable states to exercise restraint regarding their nuclear and missile capabilities."
"But you're right, they did launch the Agni-V ballistic missile earlier today. So I don't have any further comment to what I said," he added.
Toner again recalled that "India has been, you know, very much engaged in the international community on non-proliferation issues. They've attended both the nuclear security summits, the one in DC and the one in Seoul."
"So we believe, they have a solid non-proliferation record and that they're playing a significant role internationally on the issue."
"I would just refer you to them. I think I'll let my comments stand on ." Toner said when pressed on India's launch despite the US call for "restraint".
(Arun Kumar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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