U.S. encourages North Korea to avoid provocations

North Korea should avoid taking provocative action in relation to upcoming military actions, the U.S. State Department said on Friday.

Marie Harf, the deputy spokesperson for the State Department, made the remarks on Friday during her daily press briefing. When asked about the upcoming visit of South Korea's foreign minister, Harf said the visit will include a discussion on a wide range of regional global issues, including North Korea. She said the U.S. position is unchanged in regards to North Korea.

"We do still believe the onus is on North Korea, that they have to live up to their international obligations," Harf said. "They've committed on multiple occasions to denuclearize. It is - it's a key topic of discussions with the South Koreans, will be next week, but there are a host of other issues we work on together as well. I think those are - all probably be on the agenda, but certainly it's up to North Korea now to take steps to come back in line with those obligations."

When asked if the U.S. was concerned about upcoming military procedures by North Korea, Harf said North Korea should not take provocative actions. She said such actions would not be in the interest of the region nor would they be in the interest of North Korea itself.

"We've certainly said that the North Koreans should not take provocative actions; they should do the opposite," Harf said. "They should refrain from doing so because it's not in their interest and it's not in the interest of security on the peninsula or in the region. So I don't want to prejudge or guess about what might happen or what they might do in the next few months, but it's clear to say that we are encouraging them not to take those kinds of actions."