The United States has directly warned the North Korean government that it will not live with a nuclear-armed regime in Pyongyang.

The US Assistant Secretary of State, Christopher Hill, said the message had been passed to North Korean officials at the United Nations.

He said North Korea was at a fork in the road: it could have a future or it could have nuclear weapons, but it could not have both.

North Korea announced this week that it planned to test a nuclear weapon, provoking international condemnation.