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India Restarting Missile Development

Fri., Aug. 1, 1997

Despite strong international opposition, India intends to resume development of a long-range ballistic missile capable of hitting targets deep inside China or Pakistan.

Work on the Agni missile, which has a range of 1,550 miles, was halted three years ago after criticism from the United States and other Western nations that India was escalating an arms race in South Asia.

“It has been decided to accord high priority to the next phase of the Agni program,” Defense Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav said in a statement given to Parliament on Wednesday and made public Thursday.

It was the first confirmation of the project’s renewal after weeks of speculation. Yadav did not say what the next phase would be or when scientists would resume work.

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