The United Nations Security Council has unanimously approved a statement urging North Korea to cancel any planned nuclear weapons test.
In the non-binding statement issued on Friday, Security Council members urge North Korea not to undertake such a test. They also call on Pyongyang to return without pre-conditions to six-party talks on its nuclear program.
Russian envoy Vitaly Churkin gave the statement to reporters today as the Council continued to meet behind closed doors at U.N. headquarters in New York.
The statement goes on to say that if the test were carried out, it would represent a clear threat to international peace and security, and would prompt the Security Council to take action consistent with its responsibility under the U.N. charter. That action was not specified.
North Korea has said testing a weapon is a necessary defensive measure against what it calls U.S. aggression.
Washington has warned of "international repercussions" if North Korea goes ahead with the nuclear test.
Japan's chief Cabinet secretary, Yasuhisa Shiozaki, said today Tokyo has increased its monitoring of North Korea.
South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-Moon said that if he becomes the next U.N. secretary-general, he will consider visiting North Korea to help resolve the standoff over its nuclear program.
Ban is expected to be confirmed as the next U.N. chief next week.