On May 11, 1998, the world was reminded that nuclear proliferation was still an issue, as India shocked the world by conducting three underground nuclear tests in the Rajasthan Desert in western India. Although, India had conducted a "peaceful nuclear explosion" in 1974, it was generally assumed that they were not overly active in developing more nuclear devices. Indian officals claimed that they were a fission device, a low-yield device and a thermonuclear device. Two days later, India conducted two more sub-kiloton tests.

Pakistan further increased global tensions when they conducted five nuclear tests on May 28, 1998. Officals did not release any information about the types or yields of the tests. Two days later, Pakistan conducted one more nuclear test. Pakistan had pursued the development of nuclear weapons since 1972. Their bomb development has been rumored to be greatly assisted by the Chinese.

The United States placed economic sanctions on both countries as required by the 1994 Nuclear Proliferation Act. Both countries have announced a moratorium on further nuclear testing.

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