North Korea has announced it is to carry out its first-ever nuclear test in a move likely to increase tensions in the region.
The reclusive communist state has carried out missile tests before which have angered its neighbours and the US.
The announcement, made on state television, has been condemned by Japan, South Korea and Washington.
The North Korean government said it was being compelled to act because of what it said were US “threats of nuclear war and sanctions”.
But it added that it would never use nuclear weapons first.
Pyongyang walked out of talks on its nuclear programme a year ago and has refused to return until Washington ends a financial crackdown.