The United States says there is no comparison between a defiant North Korea and a "responsible" India or for that matter Pakistan, an ally "transitioning to its own form of democracy".
"I think that the characteristics of the North Korean - this particular North Korean regime and the particular historical facts among those three different cases are quite different," State Department Spokesperson Sean McCormack told reporters on Tuesday.
In Washington's judgement, India has been a responsible actor in regard to non-proliferation and believed that the civilian nuclear deal with New Delhi will benefit both countries as also the non-proliferation regime, he said.
McCormack was responding to a question whether North Korea might look at the examples of India and Pakistan, who also detonated nuclear devices against the wishes of the US, and hope to be accepted as a nuclear power in time.
"First of all, looking at the nature of each of those three governments in those countries - North Korea, India and Pakistan - I think they are all quite different."
"And in terms of their particular programmes, each has different historical pathways and I would note that North Korea was in fact a treaty signatory to the non-proliferation regime and it broke its commitments under the Non-Proliferation Treaty and I don't believe - certainly not India was a member of the Non-Proliferation Treaty," he said.
"With respect to India, we've made it very clear that we think that the deal that we have struck with India and now we are working with the Congress to pass is to the benefit of the United States, to the benefit of India and to the benefit of the non-proliferation regime worldwide," McCormack said.
"India has been a responsible actor in that regard. We have certainly made that judgment," he said noting that India was also the world's largest multiethnic democracy.
In terms of Pakistan, you have a country that has made the strategic decision to ally itself with those who are promoting freedom and democracy around the world, McCormack said.
"Now, granted, it is a country that is transitioning to its own form of democracy, making the changes necessary in terms of their domestic laws and their politics and even within their society that fundamentally realise Pakistan with the great, the broad sweep of the rest of the world, and that is towards greater freedom and democracy," he added.
"In the North Korea regime, you don't have that. You have a regime that is actually going in the other direction. So it gets to the nature of these particular governments," McCormack said.
US is also working very closely with the government of Pakistan on a whole wide array of issues in terms of their situation, where they stand vis-à-vis the rest of the world in terms of freedom, democracy and fighting terrorism.
"So the nature of these regimes is entirely different. In terms of our fundamental stance with regard to the proliferation of nuclear technology, development of nuclear weapons, that certainly has not changed," McCormack said.
Asked if it had the permission from Pakistani authorities to talk to AQ Khan, considered the father of Pakistan's nuclear bomb, who "was the mentor in many respects to North Korea", he said, "Well, I don't know who's talked to him lately, but he's out of business. And that's a good thing for non-proliferation efforts around the world."
Replying to another question on whether it would have been okay for North Korea to conduct a nuclear test if it were a democracy, McCormack said, "No, I'm just trying to draw some parallels here and I'm just trying to point out how all the cases were different."
"The United States has made it very clear that we are for the peaceful development of nuclear power. That is the deal that the vast majority of countries around the world have signed up to in the Non-Proliferation Treaty," he said.