New Nuke states a threat to security: Pranab

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New Delhi, Feb 5: India today strongly opposed emergence of additional (new) nuclear weapon states, saying it would only further endanger international security.

Without naming Iran, India also once again expressed serious concern over the nuclear weapons falling into the hands of non-state actors. ''We do not wish to see the emergence of additional nuclear weapon states, for it will only further endanger international security,'' External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said while addressing the tenth Asian security conference here. He said India's goal continued to be a world free of nuclear weapons.

Mr Mukherjee said a principal cause of concern in recent years has been the threat of nuclear proliferation.''This is not limited only to new states acquiring nuclear weapons capability, but also extends to the very real threat of terrorist groups laying their hands on nuclear material and even fully assembled nuclear weapons,'' he added.

The Minister stressed that these two security challenges were interlinked and products of the demand-supply dynamic.

''On the supply side, the proliferation problem is a product of two factors. One is the inability of states to sufficiently safeguard their nuclear material, technology and facilities against attempts to procure weapons of mass destruction (WMD) relevant items. The second factor is deliberate and callous proliferation by states, including failure to exercise adequate control over personnel engaged in nuclear programmes.''

UNI

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