Russia and China are urging the U.N. Security Council not to rush a vote on a resolution imposing penalties on North Korea for its claimed nuclear test, and instead wait for the results of a flurry of high-level diplomacy.
South Korea's president is scheduled to meet with Chinese leaders in Beijing on Friday while a senior Chinese envoy, State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan travels to Moscow for talks on North Korea's test.
The United States is urging a vote on Friday. A draft resolution circulated by the U.S. would place tough new sanctions on Pyongyang, including a strict arms embargo, a travel ban and financial restrictions.
Meanwhile, in Japan, the country's cabinet on Friday officially approved sanctions on North Korea that go beyond what the United States is asking from the Security Council.
The Japanese sanctions, announced earlier this week, include barring all imports from North Korea, banning North Korean ships from Japanese waters, and prohibiting most North Korean nationals from entering Japan.
The United States and other nations are still working to confirm whether the explosion reported in North Korea Monday was caused by a nuclear device.
North Korea says it was, and it is threatening to carry out further nuclear tests.
Pyongyang said earlier this week that it would regard any tough new sanctions as a declaration of war.