WASHINGTON—The Obama administration talked to China on Tuesday about North Korea facing "further consequences" under a recent U.N. Security Council resolution if it conducts a nuclear test, the State Department said.

New Secretary of State John Kerry discussed North Korea's "continued provocative rhetoric" in a phone call with China's Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi. It follows Kerry's conversations this week with his counterparts from Japan and South Korea, key U.S. allies in the region.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told a news briefing that the three conversations "were remarkably similar" on the importance of implementing the commitments of the January resolution if the North takes further action that violates its international obligations.

Nuland said that all the countries are concerned that despite the strong measures in the resolution, "the provocative rhetoric continues, which means that we've all got to stay unified in watching this and making absolutely clear to (Kim) Jong-un that if it takes further action, so will we." Kim is North Korea's leader.

The resolution, supported by China, condemned a North Korean satellite launch in December that the U.S. and others say was a disguised test of banned missile technology. The resolution also toughened sanctions against Pyongyang and warned of "significant action" if it conducts a nuclear test.

North Korea, which counts China as it only major ally, subsequently announced that it will conduct its third nuclear test.


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South Korea's U.N. ambassador said Monday that a test "seems to be imminent."