PAKISTAN'S NEW A-TEST DRAWS WORLD'S ANGER.
The 18-kiloton blast was larger than the bomb which devastated Hiroshima and will further enrage India just as tensions in the region were beginning to subside.
The explosion took place undeerground in remote desert hills 30 miles from the Iranian border and follows five other nuclear tests on Thursday.
But the blast was immediately attacked around the globe.
"In carrying out this further test Pakistan has acted in flagrant disregard of international opinion," said Foreign Secretary Robin Cook.
"It does nothing to enhance Pakistan's security and further escalates tension and heightens concerns about an arms race in south Asia. The need is now more urgent than ever for both Pakistan and India to work to lower tensions.
"The international community is united in its insistence that Pakistan should refrain from further tests."
US President Bill Clinton said yesterday: "These tests can only serve to increase tensions in an already volatile region."
Japan, Pakistan's biggest trading partner and aid donor, recalled its ambassador in protest.
The tests follow five nuclear blasts by India earlier this month and will further push the sub-continent into a deadly arms race.
This week the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council - including Britain - will meet to discuss the crisis.
On Friday relations between India and Pakistan appeared to be improving when Pakistan proposed that both countries sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and India suggested a mutual pledge of no-first strike.
But the latest test blast nudges the nations nearer to war.
Yesterday's explosion was seen as an attempt by Pakistan to signal it has more sophisticated nuclear devices than its rival.
The two nations have already fought three wars in the last 50 years.
France condemned the blast and hinted that it might jeopardise the sale of 32 Mirage fighter-bombers to Pakistan.
China also said it was "deeply worried and disturbed" by the latest test and Australian Foreign minister Alexander Downer branded it as "folly".
Foreign ministers of the world's eight leading industrialised countries will meet in London on June 12 to decide what further action to take.