U.S. in talks with China over denuclearized North Korea

The U.S. is involved in high-level discussions with China in an effort to get North Korea to agree to denuclearization, according to a State Department press briefing on Tuesday.

Patrick Ventrell, the acting deputy spokesperson for the U.S. State Department, said that Secretary of State John Kerry is taking part in discussions with China to determine what steps the two countries can take together in regards to North Korea.

"This meeting is part of an intensive dialog we're having among our experts about how we can get the North Koreans to not only change their position, but work toward a denuclearized North Korea and come in compliance with their obligations," Ventrell said. "So that's what we're working toward very intensively with the Chinese."

Ventrell also commented on recent statements by U.S. Special Envoy for North Korean Human Rights Issues Robert King. On Monday, King said the U.S. would be open to providing food aid to North Korea. Ventrell said that North Korea's actions have not yet generated the confidence necessary to trust that the aid would reach the people that need it the most.

"Ambassador King was very clear on raising our human rights concerns with the DPRK and made some very clear and strong statements about that," Ventrell said. "But in terms of food aid, we've long said that we have no ill will toward the North Korean people, and first of all, we want the regime to make the decision to spend money on its people and better feed and take care of its own population. But on - if we were to have confidence that they would - the food aid would actually get to the people, that's something we're willing to consider. But the actions they've taken have not engendered or generated that kind of confidence in the near past."