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June 17, 2000
US regrets Prithvi missile test: Reuters
The United States said Friday it regretted India's test of the short-range surface-to-surface Prithvi missile, saying the action could exacerbate tension in South Asia.
The United States also said it was worried that speculation about the nuclear programmes of India and Pakistan could accelerate a nuclear arms race in the region.
"We regret the Indian government's decision to proceed with this test. We have long urged countries developing missile systems, including India and others, to exercise restraint," said State Department spokesman Richard Boucher.
"Missile testing has the potential to increase tensions in the region and we hope that India will consider the impact of missile tests under current circumstances," he added.
The Indian missile was fired from a testing site at Chandipur-on-sea in the Bay of Bengal, an Indian defence ministry official said. He gave no details.
The missile, which western experts say is nuclear-capable, is part of India's decade-old integrated guided-missile development programme.
The army has adopted one version of Prithvi, with a range of 93 miles, while a version with a range of 150 miles for the Air Force is in an advanced stage of development.
A third version for the Navy also is being developed but no details are available.
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