Pyongyang is calling on the Security Council to be impartial in assessing whether North Korea poses a nuclear threat.

Pyongyang issued its appeal in a letter to this month's president of the Security Council, Russian Ambassador Sergey Lavrov.

The six-page document cautions the Security Council against bidding for Washington. A translated version of the letter says, "the United Nations is at the crossroads of whether it will maintain the international order led by the United Nations or give way to the establishment of [a] dangerous world order led by an individual country."

The letter, dated Thursday, June 26, was signed by North Korea's Minister of Foreign Affairs Paek Nam Sun. It also reiterates Pyongyang's call for direct talks with Washington as a next step. The Bush administration has insisted on multilateral negotiations, including other countries in the region to resolve the North Korea nuclear crisis.

Pyongyang's letter comes just one week after the United States revived efforts to reach an agreement on a Security Council statement condemning Pyongyang's nuclear program. In the past, North Korea has said that it would view punitive measures by the Security Council as a declaration of war.

But a spokesman for the U.S. mission to the United Nations says that the United States is continuing to press for a Security Council action on North Korea. The draft text of the U.S. statement, circulated last week, calls on North Korea to comply with international nuclear safeguards and to dismantle its revived nuclear weapons program.

China and Russia have blocked previous U.S. efforts in the Security Council to condemn North Korea since its withdrawal from the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty earlier this year.