U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has offered to negotiate with North Korea for a peaceful resolution of tensions on the Korean peninsula if Pyongyang takes steps to honor its international obligations.
The top U.S. diplomat said Pyongyang has a "clear course of action available to it" and will find a "ready partner" for negotiations in the United States.
Kerry made the comment at a news conference with Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida on Sunday in Tokyo.
Kerry also reiterated Washington's commitment to the defense of Japan, a key U.S. ally in the region. North Korea has made repeated threats to attack the United States and its regional allies including Japan and South Korea in recent weeks.
Pyongyang has said the threats are in retaliation for joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises and U.N. economic sanctions aimed at punishing it for carrying out a series of nuclear and missile tests.
Kerry is to meet Monday with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to discuss North Korea's weapons programs.
Japan, which is within range of North Korean missiles, has deployed its own interceptor missiles around the capital.
While in Beijing, Kerry and China's foreign policy chief, Yang Jiechi, pledged to work together to resolve the crisis on the Korean peninsula. The two diplomats said Saturday they support the goal of a nuclear free Korean peninsula.