India tests Agni-V ballistic missile, tensions with China rise

By Ryan Maass   |   Dec. 27, 2016 at 2:55 PM
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NEW DELHI, Dec. 27 (UPI) -- India's Defense Research and Development Organization completed a test for its Agni-V ballistic missile, leading China to question the country's intentions.

The test marked the fourth demonstration of the weapon, which is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead at a range of over 3,100 miles The Hindu reported. The Defense Research and Development Organization hailed the event as a "huge success."

"The full range test-flight of the missile has further boosted the indigenous missile capabilities and deterrence level of the country," the agency said in a Facebook post. "All the Radars, tracking systems and Range Stations tracked and monitored the flight performance and all the Mission objectives were successfully met."

The test also earned the DRDO praise from high-ranking Indian government officials including President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The launch sparked tensions with China, one of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council. Times of India reports the country will question India's ballistic missile development at an upcoming meeting.

"The UN Security Council has explicit regulations on whether India can develop ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons," Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hua Chunying said.

The ministry went on to say India's ambitions with the Agni-V may be meant to counter China, noting the missile is capable of hitting targets in Pakistan, China, and other parts of Asia.

"China is willing to work alongside regional countries including India to maintain the long-lasting peace, stability and prosperity of the region," Chunying added.

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