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China maintains tough stand on India’s NSG bid, calls for ‘non-discriminatory’ solution

Beijing: China, which has been blocking India’s NSG bid, on Tuesday maintained its tough stand on the issue and called for a two-step “non-discriminatory” solution to admit non-NPT members into the 48-member elite grouping.

China’s remarks came as the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) at its meeting in Vienna on 11 November discussed a formula acting on India’s application to join it.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

“We maintain that we should follow two-step approach. First, we should find out a solution that is applicable to all non-NPT members applications to the NSG through consultations and discussions,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a media briefing in Beijing outlining China’s stand at the Vienna meeting.

The second step is to discuss specific non-NPT (Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty) members’ admission into the NSG, he said.

“We believe that the solution should be non-discriminatory and applicable to all non-NPT members and it must not damage the core value of the NSG as well as the authority, effectiveness and integrity of the NPT,” he said.

“We hope that we can enter into the second step after finishing the first step at an early date which is to talk about specific non-NPT members joining the NSG,” he said.

China’s stand for a non-discriminatory criteria is regarded significant as Pakistan, a close ally of Beijing too has applied for the NSG membership along with India. China, which has blocked earlier India’s entry on the ground that India has not signed the NPT, has held two rounds of talks with India and Pakistan about their admission into the group.

India has secured the backing of the US and majority of the NSG members based on its non-proliferation record in comparison to Pakistan which faced serious allegations of nuclear proliferation in the past specially with regard to its nuclear scientist Dr AQ Khan.

Geng said at the Vienna meeting of the NSG, members talked about the technical, legal and political matters relating non-NPT members accession to the NSG.

He said this is the first time the group talked about entry of the new members.

Earlier a statement by the Chinese Foreign Ministry said, “It is the first time a discussion, not only since the Seoul Plenary, but also since the NSG’s inception in 1975, for the Group to formally take up the issue of non-NPT states’ participation in an open and transparent manner.”

Geng said the discussion about the entry of new members is a “good start”.

“We believe it is good start and we will continue to support the NSG in following through on the first step and explore the final solution at an early date,” he said.

India has been maintaining that NPT membership was not essential for joining the NSG, as was the case with France.

First Published On : Nov 15, 2016 15:04 IST

Byculla Zoo penguin’s death: Maharashtra Lokayukta summons BMC officials for hearing

Mumbai: A day after the Central Zoo Authority demanded an explanation on the death of a female Homboldt Penguin in Mumbai Zoo, the Maharashtra Lokayukta has summoned BMC officials for a hearing on Friday, an official said.

Representational image. News18

Representational image. News18

“The concerned officials of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) have been asked to attend a hearing on the issue before Lokayukta Justice ML Tahilyani tomorrow,” said BMC’s Leader of Opposition Pravin Chheda.

“I had written a letter to the Lokayukta yesterday, highlighting the massive corruption and other irregularities in the acquisition of these endangered Humboldt Penguins of which one died on 23 October. The Lokayukta has taken note and called a hearing on the issue tomorrow,” Chheda told IANS.

After the hearing, Lokayukta Justice Tahilyani is likely to make a visit to the special air-conditioned enclosure where the remaining seven Humboldt Penguins, including four females and three males are in quarantine, he added.

In an apparent damage-control exercise, the BMC late on Thursday issued a ‘health bulletin’ on the seven birds at Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Udyan, or Mumbai Zoo.

“The seven Humboldt Penguins appear healthy and no abnormal signs are observed. All birds are observed to be feeding well and are active,” Director In-Charge of Mumbai Zoo Sanjay Tripathi said in a statement.

Yesterday, Central Zoo Authority (CZA) Member-Secretary DN Singh sought a reply from Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta on the issue and related points raised in a representation made by the Humane Society International, India (HSI).

The HSI questioned whether the Coex Aquarium in Seoul, South Korea is registered with the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) as a captive breeding centre for Humboldt Penguins and if the BMC had secured all the requisite import certification.

The HSI also raised doubts on the suitability and appropriateness for housing and care of the Humboldt Penguins at the zoo, under the norms prescribed by the CITES.

Since the death of the female flightless bird occurred due to Septicemia while in quarantine points to poor standards of care at the Mumbai Zoo, the CZA has asked the BMC to provide a detailed report on the autopsy carried out on the dead Humboldt Penguin by this weekend.

A major political row had erupted in Maharashtra after the death of the female bird, with most parties questioning the wisdom of keeping the endangered species in the harsh tropical climate of Mumbai.

The penguins, flown in from Seoul on 26 July, are undergoing an acclimatization spell in a specially-designed air-conditioned enclosure before going on public display later this month.

After the death of Dory, all major political parties have demanded that the remaining seven Humboldt Penguins be returned as they can survive only in cold regions and the warm Mumbai climate does not suit them.

A pet project of Yuva Sena chief Aditya Thackeray, son of Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray, the Congress and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena said these flightless birds were brought here for someone’s “childish stubbornness” and the mute bird died.

China pulls up chief negotiator Wang Qun for limited global support for anti-India position at NSG

The Chinese leadership has pulled up Wang Qun, its lead negotiator and Director General of the Arms Control Division at the Foreign Ministry, for failing to drum up significant global support for China’s position in Seoul which blocked India’s entry into the NSG.Highly placed Western and Chinese sources said that Wang Qun had told Beijing that at least one third of the NSG nations would endorse China’s position. However, the position was totally in the reverse, with as many as 44 nations backing India and China only having the support of four nations.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Beijing now fears that the fallout of the NSG outcome could have an impact on a crucial verdict expected soon from the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague in a case brought by the Philippines concerning China’s territorial reclamation activities in the South China Sea.
ALSO READ Member who blocked India’s entry into NSG must be held accountable, says USAs things stand, Beijing’s stance flies in the face of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) of which it is a signatory. China’s big fear now is India could use the same ploy that Beijing used in Seoul at the NSG plenary and back The Hague Court’s decision which is likely to go against China.Highly-placed sources said that the global support for India’s position at the NSG could well be leveraged by New Delhi to back the enforcement of ‘The Hague Judgment’ a scenario which could isolate China and could even trigger its exit from UNCLOS.
ALSO READ Despite ‘whole lot of problems with China’, PM Modi confident of NSG bidInformed sources said the focus now shifts from the NSG to the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague where a judgment is expected, which when enforced, could force China to give up land in favour of the Philippines.China has launched a worldwide propaganda campaign enlisting academics, legal experts, diplomats and foreign governments stating that such legal proceedings are invalid. But this position of China’s is contrary to the rules laid out by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) of which China is a signatory. China claims that it has the support of 60 nations who believe that arbitration at The Hague is illegal.
ALSO READ Indians ‘self-centered and self-righteous’; blocking India’s NSG bid ‘morally legitimate’: China’s state mediaChina’s worry now is that post its inability to generate global support for its anti-India position on NSG at Seoul, its position at the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague could meet the same fate, and this time, it could have to pay a very heavy price.High-level sources said on background that Seoul’s outcome has ‘shocked China’. The government thought that its emerging superpower status would guarantee the support of at least 15 nations against India.Western sources said China is ‘very sensitive’ to possibilities of being isolated, and the developments and outcome at Seoul ‘came quite close to isolation’.China is paranoid about might happen once the Permanent Court of Arbitration gives a verdict against Beijing and in favour of Philippines.To generate global support for its position at the NSG, sources said China is silently bracing itself for a Seoul fallout which would mean an overwhelming International demand on Beijing to accept The Hague court’s Judgment and give land to The Philippines.All of this, said sources, illustrates that China is happy to enforce the letter of the law when it suits its purpose, but is prepared to reject Internationally accepted regulations when it feels its interests are under threat. Its stand at the NSG meet in Seoul fits into that pattern.

Member who blocked India’s entry into NSG must be held accountable, says US

A week after India failed to get entry into Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) due to China-led opposition, the US today said one country can break consensus in the atomic trading bloc and insisted that such member should be held accountable.US Under Secretary for Political Affairs Tom Shannon asserted that the US is committed to ensuring India’s entry into the NSG while expressing “regret” that Washington was unsuccessful in making India a member of the bloc in its pleanary in Seoul last week.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We understand that in a consensus-based organisation, one country can break consensus. But in order to do so it must be (held) accountable not isolated.”I think what we need to do going forward is, for both of us India and the US, sit down and take a call what happened in the Seoul, take a close look at the diplomatic process which is significant and see what more we can do and how we can ensure that next time we are successful,” he said during an interactive session at the Foreign Service Institute.Calling India an “anchor of stability” in the Asia Pacifc region, US Under Secretary for Political Affairs Tom Shannon also said what China was doing in South China Sea is “madness” and it wants New Delhi to play a major role in the Indian Ocean.Shannon said managing the rise of China was a major challenge and that the US wants to work with India to have a strong and comprehensive presence in the Indian Ocean.Describing India a responsible and important player in the sphere of nuclear non-proliferation, Shannon said, “We are committed to having India join the Nuclear Suppliers Group. We believe that through the kind of work we have done, the civil nuclear agreement, the way India conducted itself, it is worthy of this.”On India’s NSG bid, he said the US would continue to work for India’s inclusion in the group.Shannon, who met Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar earlier in the day, said India’s recent entry into the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) highlighted that the country is a “responsible and important player in the road to non- proliferation.””We regret, in Seoul we and India, were unable to open space necessary to allow India to move into the NSG at this moment,” he said.When asked whether he thinks India will ratify the Paris climate deal before Obama administration’s tenure got over and, at the same time, it will become a member of the NSG, he said “I hope so”.He said India has given a commitment to ratify the climate deal.Shannon said that Indo-US civil nuclear cooperation was a very important symbol of friendship between the two countries.”Just a few weeks ago, President Obama and Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi welcomed the start of preparatory work on a site in Andhra Pradesh for six AP 1000 reactors to be built by an American company.”This is expected to provide jobs in both countries and bring clean, reliable electricity that will help meet India s growing energy needs while reducing reliance on fossil fuels,” he said.

NSG inter-plenary meeting in November to consider India’s bid

India is not out of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) sweepstakes yet. The US and other friendly countries are working behind the scenes to keep the country’s hopes alive.Sources say there is a possibility of an inter-plenary meeting sometime in November to discuss the process for allowing non-Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) signatories. The NSG has set up a panel, headed by Argentine ambassador Rafael Grossi, for informal consultations on India’s membership, they said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After India’s bid to seek a membership failed in Seoul, it attacked China in its official statement, saying “one country” raised procedural hurdles repeatedly. It didn’t, however, mention other countries like Switzerland, South Africa, Australia, Mexico and Brazil, which also raised objections.Even Ireland and New Zealand also blocked India’s entry, wanting the non-NPT criteria to be spelt out first. Ironically, most of the countries which raised objections were the ones where had made a personal outreach. They even prevailed to draft the operative para of the NSG statement that almost closed the door till India agrees to sign the NPT.The NSG statement says: “Participating governments reiterated their firm support for the full, complete and effective implementation of the NPT as the cornerstone of the international non-proliferation regime.”External affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup, however, asserted that India has already implemented all NPT provisions. “As far as NSG is concerned, it said the implementation of NPT is important to the extent that the goalpost remains the implementation of the NPT. We believe we have met the criteria and have all credentials to be an NSG member,” he said.Rejecting that Seoul meeting was a huge setback for Indian diplomacy, Swarup said these are continuing processes and we will continue to work very actively on this. “Today, Indian diplomacy doesn’t have fear of failure. If we don’t get the desired results, it only means we redouble our efforts,” he said.But many analysts wonder why India is so keen on the membership when it already has a waiver for civil nuclear trade. Further, since 2011, the NSG has incorporated a rule that would deny enrichment and reprocessing technologies even to members if they have not signed the NPT. This means even if India becomes a member, it will be condemned to a second-class membership.Meanwhile, former external affairs minister and senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha on Sunday joined the Opposition, calling it an ’embarrassment’ to India. He said there was no need for India to bid for membership as it stands to ‘lose and not gain’. He even alleged that people sitting in the government were ‘misguiding it every day’.He said India should not have gone to the elite grouping as an ‘applicant’ and should not accept NSG membership as it has already got what it needs. “I come under the category of brain dead. My class is that I do not have the status of giving any suggestion. I am saying this openly that I cannot even give suggestions. But I have publicly opposed the policy of my own government which they are following with Pakistan. If I have some experience of (issues involving) Pakistan and about foreign policy, I can say that nothing will come out of this (present policy). In two years, nothing has come out,” he said.BJP spokesman MJ Akbar, however, maintained that NSG membership was only a matter of time, and not too much time either.

Glimmer of hope: NSG likely to meet again before end of the year to discuss entry of non-NPT countries

NSG is likely to meet again before the end of the year to discuss membership of non-NPT signatories like India, which on Sunday made it clear to China, responsible for torpedoing its recent bid, that it was necessary to take care of India’s “interests” for forward movement in bilateral ties.The 48-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) is likely to meet again before the end of the year specially to discuss the process for granting membership to non-NPT signatories, thus providing another chance to India to press its claims after it failed to seal its entry into NSG at the plenary which concluded in Seoul on Friday. India faced strong opposition from China and a few other countries and the fact that it is not a signatory to the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) was used for foiling India’s bid.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>However, diplomatic sources today said that at the suggestion of Mexico, it has now been decided that another meeting of NSG should be held before the end of the year to consider the entry criteria for non-NPT countries. Normally, the next meeting of NSG would have been held sometime next year. Even as it emerged that NSG is likely to meet in the next few months, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said, “We will keep impressing upon China that mutual accommodation of interests, concerns and priorities is necessary to move forward bilateral ties.” His comments assume significance in the backdrop of Chinese Foreign Ministry’s assertion that Beijing’s opposition at NSG, which is a multi-lateral platform, will not impact the India-China ties adversely.Swarup also said that though India did not get “expected results” at the Seoul meeting, the country will continue to make determined efforts to get into NSG. “Today, the Indian diplomacy doesn’t have fear of failure. If we don’t get desired results it only means that we redouble our efforts,” Swarup said. “There are some processes which take longer, I would evaluate the NSG membership process in that category,” he said. China had voiced its opposition to Mexico’s suggestion for an early NSG meeting on non-NPT countries’ membership but the proposition found support from a large number of countries including the US. A panel for informal consultations on India’s membership has also been set up by the NSG and it will be headed by Argentine Ambassador Rafael Grossi. Grossi’s appointment came even as a top US official said that the NSG session in Seoul had ended with a “path forward” for India’s acceptance as a member. “We are confident that we have got a path forward by the end of this year. It needs some work. But we are confident that India would be a full member of the (NSG) regime by the end of the year,” the Obama administration official told PTI in Washington.China was unrelenting in thwarting India’s NSG bid despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging Chinese President Xi Jinping during a meeting in Tashkent on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit to support India’s case on its merits. An upset India later accused “one country”, a clear reference to China, of persistently creating procedural hurdles during the discussions on its application.

NSG option remains open for India, says MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup

New Delhi: Close on the heels of a setback on the issue of membership into the 48-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), India on Sunday said it is all set to get into the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) on Monday and that joining the NSG may take “slightly longer”.

“In the past also, we (India) have tried to get membership into restrictive regimes so to speak. We had applied membership into Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and MTCR. At that time, many people said we will never get it. We had applied 10 years back,” said Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup.

He said “this week alone”, India got membership into SCO and on Monday “we are going to become full members of MTCR”.

Image courtesy: Twitter/@MEAIndiaImage courtesy: Twitter/@MEAIndia

Image courtesy: Twitter/@MEAIndia

“As I said, there are some processes which take longer. I will evaluate the NSG membership process in that category,” he said.

The MTCR seeks to restrict the proliferation of missiles, complete rocket systems, unmanned air vehicles and related technology for those systems capable of carrying a 500 kg payload for at least 300 km.

Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar is likely to sign the document of accession into MTCR in the presence of Ambassadors of France, the Netherlands and Luxembourg on Monday.

Swarup, admitting that India “did not get the desired result” at Seoul vis-a-vis NSG, added: “Probably it will take slightly longer.”

Official sources said NSG is likely to meet again before the end of the year to discuss membership of non-NPT signatories like India.

On Friday, India had failed to seek entry into the NSG at the plenary meet in Seoul primarily due to technical objections raised by China.

Much to India’s discomfort, China’s objections also got support from a few other members like South Africa, Norway, Brazil, Austria, New Zealand, Ireland and Turkey.

India has blamed China for the same as the set back in Seoul came a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a 45-minute meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the SCO meet in Tashkent.

Sources on Sunday claimed at the suggestion of countries like Mexico, it has now been decided that another meeting of NSG should be held before the end of the 2015.

Swarup also said: “We will keep impressing upon China that mutual accommodation of interests, concerns and priorities is necessary to move forward bilateral ties.”

His comments assume significance as Beijing also said that its opposition to India at NSG will not impact bilateral ties adversely.

“Today, the Indian diplomacy doesn’t have fear of failure. If we don’t get desired results it only means that we redouble our efforts. There are some processes which take longer,” Swarup said.

dna Morning Must Reads: Impact of Brexit on global economy; Google, Facebook blocking ISIS videos and more

1. Brexit vote adds to uncertainty over global economy, impact won’t be seen soonBritain voted on Thursday to leave the European Union. Full report here.2. India NSG membership: Dragon leaves Elephant licking wounds at Seoul<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At least 16 countries raised procedural issues during the meeting in Seoul. Full report here.3. Karnataka: Three seniors arrested for alleged ragging Dalit nursing student from KeralaThe victim is still being treated a hospital in kerala and her internal organs have been severely damaged. More details here.4.Google, Facebook quietly move toward automatic blocking of extremist videosLeading tech giant have deployed system to block or rapidly take down Islamic State videos. Full report here.5. Ek Baar Phir: Arjun-Pari pair up againFor Mubarakan, the actor who never repeats the director or heroin, is set to break this pattern. More details here.

India NSG membership: Dragon leaves Elephant licking wounds at Seoul

Despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself leading a heightened diplomacy, India’s bid to secure membership to the 48-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) hit a dead end on Friday. Atleast 16 countries, led by China, raked up procedural issues as well as India not signing Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to scuttle India’s chances to the elite nuclear club. An upset ministry of external affairs (MEA) in a clear reference to Beijing, said one country persistently created procedural “hurdles” during the two-day discussions at Seoul, where the NSG concluded its plenary meeting.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While the Opposition bayed for the blood of the PM, terming the developments in Seoul as an “embarrassment” to India, many senior diplomats argued that India’s attempt to seek a high-table at the nuclear club was worth trying. Former foreign secretary Shyam Saran, who was instrumental in getting a waiver from the NSG in 2008, said there was nothing wrong in making a bid. India should no longer fear foreign policy failure. “If India sees an opportunity, New Delhi should be prepared to seize it even if there are risks involved,” he said. Many others also believes that diplomatic blitzkrieg for the NSG was also to test waters for making bid for more higher table, like that of a permanent seat at the UN Security Council.Strategic expert and director of Society for Policies Study, Uday Bhaskar said while the outcome was disappointing, it was not surprising.The NSG works through consensus with even a single country having capacity to halt a decision. Surprise for Indian diplomats was reservations expressed by Brazil and Switzerland. Both of them had earlier committed to support India’s bid. Fresh from Iranian nuclear crisis, the countries forcefully argued to making a case for countries to enter into the NPT, before being allowed to do nuclear trade. They also apprehended, that an exception granted to India would be exploited by other non-NPT countries as well. Pakistan’s application for the membership is also pending before the NSG.The criticism of India was not only that it had not signed the NPT, but also that it had not fulfilled the commitments it made while getting NSG waiver in 2008. Diplomatic sources here said that some countries raised the issue of India’s progress towards CTBT and also separation of its civilian and military nuclear reactors and reports about the safety of nuclear programme.The MEA statement, while blaming one particular country, said signing of the NPT was not necessary as per the NSG rules. But officials here say, there was no problem in signing the NPT if India is formally declared sixth legitimate nuclear power.At the end meeting, the NSG countries in a statement declared “firm support” for “full, complete and effective” implementation of the NPT as the cornerstone of the international non-proliferation regime. The wording was enough to carry a message that no exception will be made in the case of India. It, however, said the grouping will continue to have discussions on participation of countries which have not signed the NPT.MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup said despite procedural hurdles persistently raised by ‘one country’, a three-hour long discussion took place on Thursday night on the issue of future participation in the NSG, in which an overwhelming number of those who took the floor supported India’s membership and appraised India’s application positively.“We thank each and every one of them. It is also our understanding that the broad sentiment was to take this matter forward,” he said. He added that an early positive decision by the NSG would have allowed India to move forward on the Paris Climate Change Agreement.Chinese negotiator, Wang Qun, who is director general of China’s Department of Arms Control, told reporters that there was no consensus on the NSG membership of non-NPT countries like India. He insisted that for a country to be a member of NSG, signing of the NPT “is a must”. This rule has not been set by China but by the international community, he added.Chinese stand shows that Prime Minister Modi’s meeting with President Xi Jinping at Tashkent had failed to yield results.Stating that the PM needs to realise that diplomacy needs “depth and seriousness and not public tamasha,” Congress senior spokesman Anand Sharma said, “We do not know why India showed its desperation and allowed the country to be equated with Pakistan on the issue.”

China upsets India’s NSG plans at Seoul plenary meeting

Despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself leading a heightened diplomacy, India’s bid to secure membership to the 48-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) hit a dead end on Friday. Atleast 16 countries, led by China, raked up procedural issues as well as India not signing Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to scuttle India’s chances to the elite nuclear club. An upset ministry of external affairs (MEA) in a clear reference to Beijing, said one country persistently created procedural “hurdles” during the two-day discussions at Seoul, where the NSG concluded its plenary meeting.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While the Opposition bayed for the blood of the PM, terming the developments in Seoul as an “embarrassment” to India, many senior diplomats argued that India’s attempt to seek a high-table at the nuclear club was worth trying. Former foreign secretary Shyam Saran, who was instrumental in getting a waiver from the NSG in 2008, said there was nothing wrong in making a bid. India should no longer fear foreign policy failure. “If India sees an opportunity, New Delhi should be prepared to seize it even if there are risks involved,” he said. Many others also believes that diplomatic blitzkrieg for the NSG was also to test waters for making bid for more higher table, like that of a permanent seat at the UN Security Council.Strategic expert and director of Society for Policies Study, Uday Bhaskar said while the outcome was disappointing, it was not surprising. “It is evident that despite the determined attempt by the Modi government to persuade NSG members to support India. This did not materialise due to certain cynical realpolitik considerations,” he said. While saying that it was not a not a major setback for New Delhi, he called for recalibrating of nuclear diplomacy and outreach to ensure that its credibility to the nuclear domain is appropriately acknowledged.The NSG works through consensus with even a single country having capacity to halt a decision. Surprise for Indian diplomats was reservations expressed by Brazil and Switzerland. Both of them had earlier committed to support India’s bid. Fresh from Iranian nuclear crisis, the countries forcefully argued to making a case for countries to enter into the NPT, before being allowed to do nuclear trade. They also apprehended, that an exception granted to India would be exploited by other non-NPT countries as well. Pakistan’s application for the membership is also pending before the NSG.The criticism of India was not only that it had not signed the NPT, but also that it had not fulfilled the commitments it made while getting NSG waiver in 2008. Diplomatic sources here said that some countries raised the issue of India’s progress towards CTBT and also separation of its civilian and military nuclear reactors and reports about the safety of nuclear programme.The MEA statement, while blaming one particular country, said signing of the NPT was not necessary as per the NSG rules. But officials here say, there was no problem in signing the NPT if India is formally declared sixth legitimate nuclear power.At the end meeting, the NSG countries in a statement declared “firm support” for “full, complete and effective” implementation of the NPT as the cornerstone of the international non-proliferation regime. The wording was enough to carry a message that no exception will be made in the case of India. It, however, said the grouping will continue to have discussions on participation of countries which have not signed the NPT. Confirming that India’s application was discussed during the two-day deliberations, the NSG statement, under a sub-heading ‘Outreach’, said it shared information on all aspects of the 2008 Statement on Civil Nuclear Cooperation with India and discussed the NSG relationship with India.MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup said despite procedural hurdles persistently raised by ‘one country’, a three-hour long discussion took place on Thursday night on the issue of future participation in the NSG, in which an overwhelming number of those who took the floor supported India’s membership and appraised India’s application positively. “We thank each and every one of them. It is also our understanding that the broad sentiment was to take this matter forward,” he said. He added that an early positive decision by the NSG would have allowed India to move forward on the Paris Climate Change Agreement.Chinese negotiator, Wang Qun, who is director general of China’s Department of Arms Control, told reporters that there was no consensus on the NSG membership of non-NPT countries like India. He insisted that for a country to be a member of NSG, signing of the NPT “is a must”. This rule has not been set by China but by the international community, he added. Wang warned “if exceptions are allowed here or there on the question of NPT, the international non-proliferation will collapse altogether”.Chinese stand shows that Prime Minister Modi’s meeting with President Xi Jinping at Tashkent had failed to yield results. Modi had urged Xi to make a “fair and objective” assessment of India’s credentials as the two leaders met on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Summit.Official sources said that China was initially joined by Austria, Ireland, Switzerland and Brazil to question admission of a non-NPT country. They were later joined by other countries as well, who though mild raised the issue that once a window is opened, it would be discriminatory to block other non-NPT countries. In the NSG plenary, chaired by ambassador Song Young-wan of South Korea, the participating governments also called upon all states to exercise vigilance and to ensure effective implementation of all United Nations Security Council resolutions relevant to the work and purposes of the NSG.While the NSG did discuss India’s case for three hours on Thursday evening, Pakistan’s case was not taken up at all. Pakistan’s foreign secretary Aizaz Chaudhry remained in Seoul during the NSG plenary meeting, and it is learnt that his team met representatives from 25 countries on the sidelines of the session.Pakistan’s foreign office spokesman Nafees Zakaria said Islamabad would continue to highlight its strong credentials and pursue NSG membership based on non-discriminatory and objective criteria. He further said that Pakistani and Indian applications cannot be considered in isolation from the goal of maintaining strategic stability in South Asia.Diplomacy no tamasha: CongStating that the PM needs to realise that diplomacy needs “depth and seriousness and not public tamasha,” Congress senior spokesman Anand Sharma said, “We do not know why India showed its desperation and allowed the country to be equated with Pakistan on the issue.” The party also deplored external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj statement on Pakistan’s entry into the NSG, “based on merit”.“Absolutely shocking to equate India with Pakistan whose non-proliferation record is deplorable from the way it sold the nuclear material to the rogue states,” former Maharashtra CM and MoS to former PM Manmohan Singh Prithviraj Chavan told reporters here. Asked if India should sign the NPT, Chavan retorted: “Absolutely not… it’s a discriminatory treaty.”

US desires to see India’s NSG application be considered

The US desires to see India’s application for NSG membership be considered seriously even as its bid to enter the 48-nation grouping has hit a roadblock reportedly due to Chinese opposition.”We have made clear our desire to see India’s application be seriously considered,” State Department Spokesman John Kirby told reporters at his daily news conference yesterday.NSG members are scheduled to continue their meeting in Seoul today wherein countries supporting India’s application are expected to raise it again.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The US, Kirby said, has consistently supported and raised India’s membership to the NSG before its other 47 member countries.”We have made very clear our support of their application, and I have no reason to suspect that it was not discussed at this meeting. But what was discussed in the room and where they came down, I just do not know.”I will see what we can do to find out for you, but I do not know how complete an answer I am going to be able to give you,” Kirby added.China “belligerently” led opposition to India’s membership of NSG at a three-hour post-dinner meeting of the Nuclear Suppliers Group here last night which ended in a deadlock.Preceding the two-day plenary of the 48-member NSG, which began yesterday, China had repeatedly said that India’s membership was not on the agenda and is said to have made every effort to prevent any discussion on India’s bid.Indian official sources said that China was joined by Austria, Ireland and Brazil among other countries which questioned as to how a country like India which had not signed the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) can be admitted to the grouping.

Live: Big setback to India’s NSG dream as multiple countries oppose induction

In a massive setback to India, China along with three other countries on Thursday including Brazil, Austria and New Zealand opposed India’s induction into NSG citing India being a non NPT state. The plenary session of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) began in Seoul on Thursday as Prime Minister Narendra Modi held parleys with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Tashkent to make a last minute push for New Delhi’s entry into the 48-member elite group.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar is presently in Seoul to lobby for India’s entry into the elite group. Sources told ANI the NSG members will be meeting for a special session in Seoul tonight and India’s membership bid is likely to come up for discussion.Sources also said that the meeting between Prime Minister Modi and Chinese President is crucial in Tashkent because the decision taken there will be informed to the Indian team in Seoul. China, till now, has been playing the role of a dampener on the issue of clearing the way for India’s admission to the NSG by repeatedly stating that it is not on the agenda of the grouping, which began its plenary session in Seoul on Monday.China has maintained that more talks were needed to build a consensus on which countries can join the 48-nation NSG following the United States’ push to include India in the elite group. The countries, who oppose India’s membership, argue that its inclusion in the group would further undermine efforts to prevent proliferation and also infuriate New Delhi’s rival Pakistan.Islamabad, which enjoys the backing of its close ally China, has also responded to India’s membership bid and asked for its admission as well. Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz had said that the government’s “active and successful foreign policy” has blocked India’s entry into the NSG, adding that New Delhi would not be able to join the group alone.He also said that he had recently approached many countries, including Russia, Mexico, South Korea and New Zealand, to gain their support on Islamabad’s viewpoint that there should be a criteria-based approach while deciding about inclusion of any country into the NSG. ​With agency inputs19:50 IST Thursday, 23 June 201619:52 IST Thursday, 23 June 2016 Ireland and Turkey opposed India’s induction into NSG citing India being non NPT state.19:52 IST Thursday, 23 June 2016Mexico backed India’s induction into NSG

Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar may travel to Seoul to push for India’s NSG membership

Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar may travel to Seoul to push for India’s bid for NSG membership at the plenary of the 48-nation grouping on June 23-24.According to government sources, the Foreign Secretary is watching the situation “very closely” and, depending on the “feedback” from the official-level meeting of NSG ahead of the crucial plenary on Thursday and Friday in the South Korean capital, he may travel to Seoul to give a “final push”. The official-level session of NSG started on Monday.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With China leading the opposition against India’s entry into the elite Nuclear Supplier’s Group (NSG), New Delhi is in a diplomatic overdrive to reach out to countries to support its bid.Senior External Affairs Ministry Official Amandeep Singh Gill, in-charge of ‘Disarmament & International Security’ division, is already in Seoul to “garner” support as well as “explain” India’s case, sources said.The main meeting of the NSG Plenary on June 24 will happen a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi travels to Tashkent for Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Summit, which is also being attended by Chinese President Xi Jinping.Modi may meet Xi on the sidelines of the SCO summit and raise the issue of India’s NSG membership but whether the discussions pave the way for a seat for New Delhi at the nuclear high table is a moot point.China has been opposed to India’s entry into NSG on the ground that it is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). However, it has been batting for entry of its close ally Pakistan, also not a signatory to NPT, if India were to be inducted into the elite grouping.India has asserted that being a signatory to the NPT was not essential for joining the NSG, citing the precedent of France. India is seeking membership of NSG to enable it to trade in and export nuclear technology.The membership of NSG, which regulates global trade in nuclear technology, is expected to open up the international market for energy-starved India, which has an ambitious energy generation programme. India has set for itself an ambitious target of generating 63,000 MW of nuclear energy by 2030.The NSG looks after critical issues relating to nuclear sector and its members are allowed to trade in and export nuclear technology. Membership of the grouping will help India significantly expand its atomic energy sector.

Nuclear Suppliers Group plenary: Little movement since 2008 ‘relationship with India’ talks

The United States on Monday asked the members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) to consider and support India’s application to join the grouping during their plenary meeting in Seoul beginning on Tuesday.

This came a day after China’s statement that India’s inclusion into the group was not even on the agenda of the group’s meeting.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been actively pushing this issue with other countries.

During his five nation tour, he secured Switzerland’s promise to support India’s application for its entry into the NSG.

Representational image of nuclear power plant. Getty images

Representational image of nuclear power plant. Getty Images

“Switzerland welcomes an Indian contribution to the non-proliferation of nuclear arms,” said the President of the Swiss Confederation Johann Schneider-Ammann.

During his trip to Mexico, he secured the country’s support for the same as well. “Mexico recognises India’s bid to be part of the NSG. As a country, we are going to be positively and constructively supporting India’s request in recognition of the commitment by Prime Minister Modi to the international agenda of disarmament and non proliferation of nuclear weapons,” Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said.

British Prime Minister David Cameron too assured Modi of UK’s “firm support” for India’s NSG membership.

While the plenary meeting in Seoul will decide the fate of the country, let’s look at the progress made since 2008 when India’s application was considered for the first time.

According to its public statement, the Nuclear Suppliers Group met in Vienna on 21 and 22 August to discuss civil nuclear cooperation with India. The participating countries agreed to continue their deliberations.

The International Atomic Energy Agency released the “Statement on Civil Nuclear Cooperation with India” adopted by the NSG.

According to this, the participating governments had taken note of India’s efforts and voluntary steps taken in the direction of becoming a member of NSG. It further said, “With a view to intensification of dialogue and cooperation with India, the Chairman is requested to confer and consult with India….”

The NSG plenary meeting 2009 hosted in Budapest too said that the “plenary addressed the regular reporting and consultation requirements under the group’s 6 September 2008 Statement on civil nuclear cooperation with India, bearing in mind India’s voluntary commitments and actions.”

The public statement released after the 2010 NSG meeting held in Christchurch said “The Group continued to consider the implementation of the Statement on Civil Nuclear Cooperation with India. It noted actions taken to adhere to the NSG guidelines and the voluntary commitments made by India.”

Interestingly, the 2011 meeting in Noordwijk too considered “all aspects of the implementation of the 2008 Statement on Civil Nuclear Cooperation with India and discussed the NSG relationship with India.”

There appeared to be very little movement in the following years:

2012, Nuclear Suppliers Group Plenary, Seattle: continued to consider all aspects of the implementation of the 2008 Statement on Civil Nuclear Cooperation with India and discussed the NSG relationship with India.

2013, Nuclear Suppliers Group Plenary, Prague: Continued to consider all aspects of the implementation of the 2008 Statement on Civil Nuclear Cooperation with India and discussed the NSG relationship with India.

2014, Nuclear Suppliers Group Plenary, Buenos Aires: Shared information on all aspects of the 2008 Statement on Civil Nuclear Cooperation with India and discussed the NSG relationship with India.

2015, Nuclear Suppliers Group Plenary, Bariloche: Shared information on all aspects of the 2008 Statement on Civil Nuclear Cooperation with India and discussed the NSG relationship with India.

Considering that the only development has been deliberations and more deliberations, it remains to be seen if the Nuclear Suppliers Group Plenary, 2016 in Seoul will end in the same manner.

Or will Modi’s international outreach finally see India becoming a member of the NSG?

China pours cold water on India’s NSG hopes, says issue not on agenda

A day after external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj exuded confidence of persuading China into supporting India’s entry to the elite Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), Beijing on Monday said the matter was not even on the agenda of the plenary meeting of the 48-nation grouping in Seoul, scheduled on Wednesday.The confusion, however, reigned supreme, with no official word from the ministry of external affairs (MEA). Sources said foreign secretary S Jaishankar was flying to Seoul to make a last minute bid, even as the host South Koreans reported that applications of both India and Pakistan would be discussed.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>MEA official spokesperson Vikas Swaroop said while the government continued to remain optimistic on the issue, he, however, cautioned media not to speculate and wait for the outcome of the Seoul meeting.Sources here said the NSG meeting may discuss and set criteria and processes for the entry of new members, without going through applications of specific countries. China, along with some others, are saying that since India was being granted membership without being a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the grouping needs to set fresh standards for the same.India’s argument is that the criteria and processes were determined way back when it was granted a waiver in 2008. “Therefore, instead of going back to discussing the criteria and processes, the NSG members need to consider India’s credentials and track record (in following NSG mandated norms),” Swaroop said.In an effort to convince China, foreign secretary S Jaishankar was in Beijing on June 16-17, where he discussed “all major issues, including India’s membership”. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be in Tashkent to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit on June 23-24. He is slated to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines to discuss India’s membership to NSG.Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said in response to a question at a news briefing in Beijing that admission of countries yet to sign the NPT, including India, was not on the agenda of the Seoul conference. “The inclusion of non-NPT members has never been a topic on the agenda of NPT meetings. In Seoul this year there is no such topic,” she said.She acknowledged that foreign secretary S Jaishankar last week visited Beijing to discuss the issue, citing India’s growing demands for clean energy, and concerns regarding climate change as the basis for its membership bid. She added that the Chinese side apprised Jaishankar of Beijing’s stand.Chinese spokesperson significantly made three additional points. First, the time was not ripe for Indian membership as “the NSG is still divided about non-NPT countries’ entry into the NSG”. Second, further discussions were required to achieve consensus, and China hoped that under the “current circumstance”, “the NSG will have thorough discussion to make decisions based on consultation”. Third, China was unwilling to make an exception for India. The spokesperson made it unambiguous that the “NSG should discuss the entry issue of non-NPT countries as a whole instead of specific non-NPT countries joining.”Beijing’s response came a day after Sushma Swaraj at a news conference in New Delhi said, “China is not opposing membership of India in NSG, it is only talking of criteria and procedure. I am hopeful that we would be able to convince China as well to support our entry to the NSG.”India’s case for NSG membership is being strongly pushed by the US, which has written to other members to support India’s bid at the plenary meeting of the group in Seoul. While majority of the elite group members backed India’s membership, it is understood that apart from China, countries like Turkey, South Africa, Ireland and New Zealand were not in favour of India’s entry into the NSG.The membership of NSG will enable it to trade in and export nuclear technology and is also expected to open up the international market for energy-starved India. India is looking at 63,000 MW energy requirement through nuclear programme by 2030.On the possible outcome of the plenary meeting of the NSG, nuclear expert Dr Balachandran believes that the decision on the applications of India and Pakistan may be deferred till the inter-plenary meeting later this year, possibly after the missile technology control regime (MTCR) plenary session. Also, the membership may be offered to India and a decision on Pakistan’s application may be deferred to a later stage.

India’s NSG bid receives setback;China says issue not on agenda in Seoul meet

India’s hopes of making progress towards NSG membership at the plenary meeting of the 48-nation grouping which began in Seoul on Monday received a setback with China saying that this was not even on the agenda of the meeting.Nuclear Suppliers Group remains divided over non-NPT countries like India becoming its members, China’s Foreign Ministry said less than 24 hours after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had exuded hope that “we would be able to convince China to support our entry to the NSG.” Even as the 5-day annual NSG Plenary began in the South Korean capital, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying in Beijing said that India’s admission into NSG was not on the agenda.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We understand that non-NPT countries are concerned about their entry into the NSG. But since NSG is still divided about the issue, so it is still not mature to talk about the entry issue in the annual conference in Seoul,” she said. Beijing’s response came a day after Swaraj at a press conference in New Delhi had said “China is not opposing membership of India in NSG, it is only talking of criteria and procedure. I am hopeful that we would be able to convince China as well to support our entry to the NSG.” Officials in New Delhi sought to downplay the snub with the MEA Spokesperson saying that India remained “optimist”.The main meeting of the NSG Plenary on June 24 comes a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi will travel to Tashkent for SCO Summit, which is also being attended by Chinese President Xi Jinping. Modi may meet Xi during which he is expected to raise the issue of India’s NSG membership but whether the discussions will lead to break in the logjam is a moot point. “China maintains that NSG should have through discussion on the joining of the non-NPT countries in a way agreed by all parties, so as to make a decision based on agreement. This position is not directed against any country and applies to all non-NPT states,” Hua said.India’s case for NSG membership is being strongly pushed by the US, which has written to other members to support India’s bid at the plenary meeting of the group in Seoul. While majority of the elite group members backed India’s membership, it is understood that apart from China, countries like Turkey, South Africa, Ireland and New Zealand were not in favour of India’s entry into the NSG. China maintains opposition to India’s entry, arguing that it has not signed Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).However, it has been batting for its close ally Pakistan’s entry if NSG extends any exemption for India. India has asserted that being a signatory to the NPT was not essential for joining the NSG as there has been a precedent in this regard, citing the case of France.India is seeking membership of NSG to enable it to trade in and export nuclear technology. The access to the NSG, which regulates the global trade of nuclear technology, is expected to open up the international market for energy-starved India, which has an ambitious energy generation programme. India is looking at 63,000 MW energy requirement through nuclear programme by 2030.The NSG looks after critical issues relating to nuclear sector and its members are allowed to trade in and export nuclear technology. Membership of the grouping will help India significantly expand its atomic energy sector. India has been reaching out to NSG member countries seeking support for its entry. The NSG works under the principle of consensus and even one country’s vote against India will scuttle its bid.

India’s NSG membership not on agenda at Seoul meet, says China

Despite Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar visiting Beijing a few days back, China has said that India’s admission to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) is not part of the agenda at the annual plenary which begins in Seoul on June 24.According to a Hindustan Times report, Foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said that opinion within the member countries was divided, not only on India’s inclusion, but on the inclusion of all non-Nuclear Proliferation Treaty (NPT) members.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Further adding that the NPT was the ‘cornerstone’ for non-proliferation and that China thinks more detailed discussions are required on the issue, Hua added, “The inclusion of non-NPT members has never been a topic on the agenda of NPT meetings. In Seoul this year, there is no such topic.”
ALSO READ #dnaEdit | The American connection: Why US is so keen on India’s NSG berth The development comes a day after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said that China is not opposing India’s entry to the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG) but only talking about the criteria and procedures. Swaraj was also hopeful that India would be able to convince China to support entry into the NSG. She had also asserted that India would not oppose entry of any nation to the NSG, adding that their application should be considered on merit basis. India has been vying to join the 48-nation group, and has reportedly secured support from the United States, Russia, Britain, France and other world powers recently.
ALSO READ Cameron calls PM Modi, assures him of UK’s ‘firm support’ to India’s NSG bid China, however, stands as an obstacle to India’s application, arguing that it would enhance a nuclear competition in South Asia by isolating Pakistan. China wants the NSG to admit Pakistan as well, pointing out that both India and Pakistan possess nuclear weapons and had not signed the NPT.The NSG is one of the main tools for controlling the exports and proliferation of materials that could potentially be used in making weapons of mass destruction. It also tracks the black market trade of nuclear technologies.

India’s NSG bid to come up at Seoul plenary in June

Vienna: India’s membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group is expected to be deliberated upon by the atomic trading club at its plenary later this month in Seoul as a meeting in Vienna on India’s bid remained inconclusive.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. PTIPrime Minister Narendra Modi. PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. PTI

Though the US was strongly pushing India’s case and most member countries supported it, it was China which opposed it arguing that the NSG should not relax specific criteria for new applicants. The NSG controls access to sensitive nuclear technology.

A number of countries, which were initially opposed to India’s bid on the ground that it was yet to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), eased their positions and were ready to work out a compromise. However, China stuck to its position.

In the meeting, China did not openly oppose India’s membership directly but linked it to signing of NPT.

The NSG works under the principle of unanimity and even one country’s vote against India will scuttle India’s bid.

Besides China, the member countries in the 48-nation group which were opposed to India’s membership were New
Zealand, Ireland, Turkey, South Africa and Austria.

Sources here said chair of the NSG has taken note of views expressed by member countries and will list the matter
for further discussion at NSG plenary scheduled to be held in Seoul on 24 June.

It is understood India was hopeful of getting support from China as it had supported India’s case in 2008 when India got a waiver from the NSG to allow US’ nuclear trade with India.

India has asserted that being a signatory to the NPT was not essential for joining the NSG as there has been a
precedent in this regard, citing the case of France.

Mexico yesterday backed India’s NSG bid during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi there. The Mexican support
followed that of the US and Switzerland. Japan too has expressed its support for India’s inclusion in the grouping.

The NSG looks after critical issues relating to nuclear sector and its members are allowed to trade in and export
nuclear technology. Membership of the grouping will help India significantly expand its atomic energy sector.

The US has been pushing for India’s membership.

Ahead of the meeting here, US Secretary of State John Kerry had written a letter to the NSG member countries which
are not supportive of India’s bid, saying they should “agree not to block consensus on Indian admission”.

A joint statement issued after talks between Modi and Obama said the US called on NSG participating governments to
support India’s application when it comes up at the NSG Plenary later this month.

PTI

NSG membership: India’s bid to be deliberated upon in next plenary in Seoul later this month

India’s membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group is expected to be deliberated upon by the atomic trading club at its plenary later this month in Seoul as a meeting in Vienna on India’s bid remained inconclusive.Though the US was strongly pushing India’s case and most member countries supported it, it was China which opposed it arguing that the NSG should not relax specific criteria for new applicants. The NSG controls access to sensitive nuclear technology.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A number of countries, which were initially opposed to India’s bid on the ground that it was yet to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), eased their positions and were ready to work out a compromise. However, China stuck to its position.
ALSO READ NSG membership: Most members positive to India’s bid, China still playing spoilerIn the meeting, China did not openly oppose India’s membership directly but linked it to signing of NPT.The NSG works under the principle of unanimity and even one country’s vote against India will scuttle India’s bid.
ALSO READ NSG membership: Pakistan steps up diplomatic efforts, reaches out to Mexico, Italy seeking supportBesides China, the member countries in the 48-nation group which were opposed to India’s membership were New Zealand, Ireland, Turkey, South Africa and Austria.Sources here said chair of the NSG has taken note of views expressed by member countries and will list the matter for further discussion at NSG plenary scheduled to be held in Seoul on June 24.
ALSO READ NSG membership: China continues to oppose India’s bid as 48-nation club meet in ViennaIt is understood India was hopeful of getting support from China as it had supported India’s case in 2008 when India got a waiver from the NSG to allow US’ nuclear trade with India.India has asserted that being a signatory to the NPT was not essential for joining the NSG as there has been a precedent in this regard, citing the case of France.Mexico yesterday backed India’s NSG bid during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi there. The Mexican support followed that of the US and Switzerland. Japan too has expressed its support for India’s inclusion in the grouping.The NSG looks after critical issues relating to nuclear sector and its members are allowed to trade in and export nuclear technology. Membership of the grouping will help India significantly expand its atomic energy sector.The US has been pushing for India’s membership.Ahead of the meeting here, US Secretary of State John Kerry had written a letter to the NSG member countries which are not supportive of India’s bid, saying they should “agree not to block consensus on Indian admission”.A joint statement issued after talks between Modi and Obama said the US called on NSG participating governments to support India’s application when it comes up at the NSG Plenary later this month.

Bengaluru to get mega waste recycling park

Bengaluru is soon going to get a state-of-the-art mega waste recycling park in Madhugiri on the lines of Seoul in South Korea. According to a report in The Hindu, the waste recycling park will be set up in 2000 acres of land in Madhugiri in Tumakuru district, located 120 kilometers from the city. It is expected to take at least six to eight months for completion.At a press conference in the city, Minister for Bengaluru City Development K J George said the Urban Development Department would be soon initiating the project along with Karnataka Industrial Development Board (KIADB) for getting the land through consent process. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Based on the opinion from KIADB, the Urban Development Department will obtain clearance from the State Cabinet after discussions with KIADB, George said. The entire garbage recycling treatment will be done in a scientific manner without affecting the environment and nearby villages in lines with the Seoul initiative.The proposed park is expected to be have high-rise compound walls and plenty of trees and will not be affecting the nearby areas, added the minister. A New Delhi-based firm has also come forward to set up waste treatment plants to generate power from waste in about 30 locations in Bengaluru.Meanwhile, a high-power committee of the State government will have a meeting with various companies on June 5 for setting up waste-to-energy plants the minister reportedly added.

North Korean rocket puts object into space, angers neighbours, U.S. | Reuters

SEOUL North Korea launched a long-range rocket on Sunday carrying what it called a satellite, but its neighbours and the United States denounced the launch as a missile test, conducted in defiance of U.N. sanctions and just weeks after a nuclear bomb test.

The U.S. Strategic Command said it had detected a missile entering space, and South Korea’s military said the rocket had put an object into orbit.

North Korea said the launch of the satellite Kwangmyongsong-4, named after late leader Kim Jong Il, was a “complete success” and it was making a polar orbit of Earth every 94 minutes. The launch order was given by his son, leader Kim Jong Un, who is believed to be 33 years old.

The launch prompted South Korea and the United States to announce that they would explore the feasibility of deploying an advanced missile defence system in South Korea, which China and Russia both oppose, “at the earliest possible date.”

North Korea’s state news agency carried a still picture of a white rocket that closely resembled a previously launched rocket, lifting off. Another showed Kim surrounded by cheering military officials at what appeared to be a command centre.

North Korea’s last long-range rocket launch, in 2012, put what it called a communications satellite into orbit, but no signal has ever been detected from it.

“If it can communicate with the Kwangmyongsong-4, North Korea will learn about operating a satellite in space,” said David Wright, co-director and senior scientist at the Global Security Program of the Union of Concerned Scientists.

“Even if not, it gained experience with launching and learned more about the reliability of its rocket systems.”

The rocket lifted off at around 9:30 a.m. Seoul time (0030 GMT) on a southward trajectory, as planned. Japan’s Fuji Television Network showed a streak of light heading into the sky, taken from a camera at China’s border with North Korea.

North Korea had notified U.N. agencies that it planned to launch a rocket carrying an Earth observation satellite, triggering opposition from governments that see it as a long-range missile test.

The U.N. Security Council will hold an emergency meeting on Sunday to discuss the launch, at the request of the United States, Japan and South Korea, diplomats said.

Isolated North Korea had initially given a Feb. 8-25 time frame for the launch but on Saturday changed that to Feb. 7-14, apparently taking advantage of clear weather on Sunday.

North Korea’s National Aerospace Development Administration called the launch “an epochal event in developing the country’s science, technology, economy and defence capability by legitimately exercising the right to use space for independent and peaceful purposes”.

The launch and the Jan. 6 nuclear test are seen as efforts by the North’s young leader to bolster his domestic legitimacy ahead of a ruling party congress in May, the first since 1980.

North Korea’s embassy in Moscow said in a statement the country would continue to launch rockets carrying satellites, according to Russia’s Interfax news agency.

NEW MISSILE DEFENCE?

South Korea and the United States said that if the advanced missile defence system called Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) was deployed to South Korea, it would be focused only on North Korea.

South Korea had been reluctant to discuss openly the possibility of deploying THAAD.

“North Korea continues to develop their nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, and it is the responsibility of our Alliance to maintain a strong defense against those threats,” Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti, U.S. Forces Korea commander, said in a statement. “THAAD would add an important capability in a layered and effective missile defense.”

China, South Korea’s biggest trading partner, repeated what it says is “deep concern” about a system whose radar could penetrate its territory.

South Korea’s military said it would make annual military exercises with U.S. forces “the most cutting-edge and the biggest” this year. North Korea objects to the drills as a prelude to war by a United States it says is bent on toppling the Pyongyang regime.

The United States has about 28,500 troops in South Korea.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the United States would work with the U.N. Security Council on “significant measures” to hold North Korea to account for what he called a flagrant violation of U.N. resolutions on North Korea’s use of ballistic missile technology.

South Korea’s navy retrieved what it believes to be a fairing used to protect the satellite on its journey into a space, a sign that it is looking for parts of the discarded rocket for clues into the isolated North’s rocket programme, which it did following the previous launch.

China expressed regret over the launch and called on all sides to act cautiously and refrain from steps that might raise tension. China’s Foreign Ministry said late on Sunday that it had summoned the North Korean ambassador to “make representations and make clear China’s principled position”.

China is North Korea’s main ally, but it disapproves of its nuclear weapons programme.

Russia, which has in recent years forged closer ties with North Korea, said the launch could not but provoke a “decisive protest”, adding Pyongyang had once again demonstrated a disregard for norms of international law.

“We strongly recommend the leadership of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea think about whether a policy of opposing the entire international community meets the interests of the country,” Russia’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon strongly condemned the launch and urged North Korea to “halt its provocative actions”.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye said it was an unforgivable act of provocation.

Australia condemned what it called North Korea’s dangerous conduct while Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the launch was “absolutely unacceptable”, especially after the North’s nuclear test last month.

North Korea has said that its fourth nuclear test was of a hydrogen bomb. The United States and other governments have expressed doubt over that claim.

North Korea is believed to be working on miniaturising a nuclear warhead to put on a missile, but many experts say it is some way from perfecting such technology.

It has shown off two versions of a ballistic missile resembling a type that could reach the U.S. West Coast, but there is no evidence the missiles have been tested.

(Additional reporting by Jee Heun Kahng in SEOUL; Shinichi Saoshiro, Leika Kihara, Nobuhiro Kubo and Olivier Fabre in TOKYO; Megha Rajagopalan in BEIJING; Morag MacKinnon in PERTH; Louis Charbonneau at the United Nations; Matt Spetalnick, David Brunnstrom and Paul Simao in WASHINGTON; Alexandra Winning in MOSCOW; Writing by Tony Munroe; Editing by Ralph Boulton)

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