The United States will formally introduce a new draft U.N. Security Council resolution on North Korea on Thursday with the hope that it would be adopted 24 hours later, U.S. Ambassador John Bolton said.

The measure comes as the United States and Japan have said they want the council to pass a resolution imposing sanctions on North Korea over its claimed nuclear test by the end of the week. Both countries have sought to overcome China's reluctance to punish its impoverished ally too severely.

"There are still a lot of comments that have been made, and areas of disagreement, but as we've said repeatedly, we think this requires a strong and swift response," Bolton said.

Secretary-General Kofi Annan urged the United States on Wednesday to hold bilateral talks with North Korea and called on the communist nation not to escalate an "extremely difficult" situation.

Annan expressed concern at the reported nuclear test Monday as well as the North's threat to conduct another test and its warning that U.N. sanctions would be tantamount to a declaration of war. Those statements have further heightened tensions especially in Japan and South Korea.