U.S. comments on Japan's visit to North Korea

The U.S. encouraged North Korea to open up diplomatically and fulfill its international obligations after North Korea's recent diplomatic visit from Japan, the U.S. State Department said on Tuesday.

Patrick Ventrell, the acting deputy spokesperson for the U.S. State Department, discussed the visit with the press during his daily briefing. Isao Iijima, an aid to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, visited with North Korean officials in Pyongyang on Tuesday. Ventrell said Ambassador Glyn Davies, the U.S. special representative for North Korea policy, will learn more about the trip during a visit to Japan this week.

"We have seen the media reports and we're aware of the visit," Ventrell said. "As he indicated earlier today in Seoul, Ambassador Davies looks forward to hearing about this trip when he meets with his Japanese counterparts in Tokyo in a couple of days. That will be May 16th to the 18th. So we really refer you to the government of Japan for more information on this visit."

Ventrell said he did not have more information on the recent visit, but he said the U.S. is closely coordinating with the five parties. He said the U.S. remains firm on its stance that North Korea must live up to its obligations of denuclearization.

"We've been clear that diplomatic progress will come when North Korea begins to live up to its commitments and international obligations and take steps to demonstrate that it's serious about denuclearization," Ventrell said.