MATTHEW LEE - AP Diplomatic Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- South Korea's top diplomat says North Korea has completed preparations for a new nuclear test and only a political decision by the country's top leadership can prevent it from going forward.

After talks with Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Washington on Monday, South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin said the North would pay a price if it goes ahead as feared with what would be its seventh nuclear test in the coming days.

Park did not say what that price would be, but both he and Blinken urged Pyongyang to step down.

Both men say the door to negotiations without any preconditions remains open.