DATE=5/23/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=NUKE TEST (L-ONLY) NUMBER=2-262724 BYLINE=JIM RANDLE DATELINE=PENTAGON INTERNET=YES CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: A U-S defense official says there have been recent signs that India and Pakistan are working toward another round of nuclear test --but he says the blast do not seem imminent. V-O-A Correspondent Jim Randle reports. TEXT: The official says U-S intelligence noticed activity at the sites of privious tests by India and Pakistan "a couple weeks ago" but says there was no indications that such tests are about to happen. But the official says Indian and Pakistani scientists can probably finish test preparations "in short order". The Pentagon's official comment follow a recent story in a Pakistani newspaper quoting unamed officials about Indian and Pakistani preparations for nuclear tests. And Pakistan Radio says that country's foreign office "is aware" of press reports about possible Indian test preparations. The Radio report says Pakistan would react to a new Indian test "according to what is best for its national security." A U-S official says Washington watches both nations' nuclear programs closely, and calls renewed nuclear testing "a step in the wrong direction" and "a mistake". Two years ago India and Pakistan set off a series of underground nuclear explosions, drawing criticism from a number of other nations, including the United States. Both sides are working on ballistic missiles that could reach each other's territory. India and Pakistan share a border and have fought each other in three wars since independence from Britain half a centuty ago. (Signed) NEB/PT-T/PT 23-May-2000 20:05 PM EDT (24-May-2000 0005 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .
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