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The Nonaligned Movement coordination bureau led by Cuba has called for a halt in North Korea's nuclear tests and asked all affected countries to show restraint on the issue.

The movement, of which North Korea is a member, also called on the countries involved "to discontinue nuclear tests and not to transfer nuclear weapons-related materials, equipment and technology," a statement distributed to international media by Cuba said yesterday.

The communique said the group of 118 nations supports "de-nuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula." It said diplomacy and dialogue through peaceful means are necessary to find a solution.

The statement comes on the eve of the United Nations Security Council's scheduled vote today on a resolution that would impose nonmilitary sanctions on North Korea for the nuclear test it announced earlier this week.

Both the US and Russia have indicated that some changes in the resolution are necessary before it goes to the 15- nation body.

Cuba has not issued any opinions on North Korea's recent nuclear test, with its official media only reporting on the event itself.

Cuba assumed the three-year chairmanship of the movement during a summit in Havana last month. The group represents about two-thirds of the countries in the UN.

The statement said the movement supports nuclear disarmament and nuclear nonproliferation as "its highest priority."

Source: The Hindu News Update Service

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