UNITED NATIONS The U.N. Security Council will hold an emergency meeting on North Korea's apparent nuclear test at 9 a.m. EST (1400 GMT) on Tuesday, council diplomats said.
One Western diplomat said he hoped the council would approve an initial statement condemning the nuclear test on Tuesday and begin work on a more comprehensive council reaction.
Diplomats had said previously that the United States, South Korea and European members would want the Security Council to adopt a resolution that would impose new sanctions on Pyongyang in the event of a third nuclear test in defiance of earlier council resolutions. North Korea carried out nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009.
Getting approval on a council resolution, however, could take weeks. While China had made clear its opposition to a new North Korean nuclear test, council diplomats say Pyongyang's ally Beijing could be expected to put up some resistance to tough new sanctions to avoid angering North Korea.
Last month the 15-nation council adopted a resolution that tightened existing sanctions against Pyongyang in response to its December rocket launch. That resolution took a month to agree.
South Korea is the president of the Security Council this month. (Reporting By Louis Charbonneau; editing by Christopher Wilson and Mohammad Zargham)