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United States: government considers imposing sanctions following India's detonation of three underground nuclear devices.

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PETER CAVE:   The United States has confirmed that it’s considering imposing its own unilateral sanctions on India in addition to any sanctions which may be imposed by the world community.  But President Clinton says he will go ahead with a planned visit to India later this year.  More from Agnes Cusack in Washington.


AGNES CUSACK:   The United States has a range of tough penalties it can impose on India for carrying out nuclear tests.  Under the US non-proliferation laws passed in 1994, the Clinton Administration can cut off all assistance, except humanitarian aid and withdraw support for loans from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.  White House spokesman, Mike McCurry.


MIKE McCURRY:   The President is deeply distressed by the announcement of three nuclear tests.  He has authorised a formal presentation of our displeasure to be made to the government in New Delhi.  While it was foreseen, given the electoral program of the newly-elected party that they might take this step, it still flies in the face of an international consensus about the need to promulgate and nurture the new regime on a comprehensive test ban, and we will certainly be sharing those thoughts and others with the new government in India.


AGNES CUSACK:   Pakistan is putting strong pressure on the US State Department to act against its rival.  Pakistan has told the US the entire South-East Asian region is waiting to see whether America will uphold the law and slap sanctions on India.  It’s warned a failure to act would show the US as prepared to let India get away with what is clearly a very provocative act.


PETER CAVE:   Agnes Cusack reporting.