The US and China have reached agreement on a new draft sanctions resolution to punish North Korea for its latest nuclear test, UN diplomats said.
The UN Security Council announced late on Monday that it will hold consultations on North Korea and non-proliferation later.
The diplomats said the US is expected to circulate a draft resolution to the full council at the meeting. Council members are then likely to send the draft to their capitals for review.
All 15 council members approved a press statement condemning Pyongyang's nuclear test and pledging further action hours after North Korea carried out its third atomic blast on February 12.
The swift and unanimous response from the UN's most powerful body set the stage for a fourth round of sanctions against Pyongyang. For the last three weeks, the US, a close ally of South Korea and Japan, has been negotiating the text of a new resolution with China, North Korea's closest ally.
Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, whose country holds the council presidency this month, told a news conference on Monday that a resolution on North Korea might be approved in March though the text had not yet been circulated.
Last month's statement from the Security Council called the underground test in February a "grave violation" of three UN resolutions that ban North Korea from conducting nuclear or missile tests.
North Korea's three nuclear tests - in 2006, 2009 and 2013 - occurred after Pyongyang was condemned by the UN for rocket rocket launches.
The Security Council imposed sanctions after the first two nuclear tests and after the North's rocket launch in December, which was viewed as part of the country's covert programme to develop ballistic missiles that can carry nuclear warheads.
The sanctions are aimed at trying to derail the country's rogue nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes. They bar North Korea from testing or using nuclear or ballistic missile technology, and from importing or exporting material for these programmes.