U.S. says North Korea knows its international obligations

North Korea knows that denuclearization is part of the bargain when it comes to meeting its international obligations and future diplomatic talks, the U.S. State Department said on Thursday.

Patrick Ventrell, the department's acting deputy spokesperson, spoke to reporters about North Korea on Thursday as part of his daily press briefing. When asked if denuclearization was the precondition of future talks between the U.S. and North Korea in the future, Ventrell said North Korea knows its obligations.

"North Korea knows what it needs to do, the seriousness of the purpose it needs to show in terms of coming in line with its international obligations," Ventrell said.

The question came after the discussion of a recent visit to China by a North Korea military officer. The visit was one of the first high-profile visits by North Korea in the past six months. Ventrell said that China notified the U.S. about the visit in advance and that China shares the U.S. view that the Korean Peninsula should be denuclearized.

"We're committed to keeping the five parties of the six-party process very much united and focused on denuclearization and our core goal in that regard," Ventrell said.

Ventrell said that the U.S. did not yet know enough about the North Korean visit to determine if the meeting represented diplomatic progress.