A high-level U.S. delegation arrived Tuesday in South Korea for talks on issues including regional security and North Korea.
South Korea's Yonhap news agency reports the delegation will meet on Wednesday with South Korean President-elect Park Geun-hye and senior officials.
The top U.S. diplomat for East Asian affairs, Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell, is leading the delegation.
The trip comes as the U.S., South Korea and other countries are pushing the U.N. Security Council to expand sanctions on North Korea after its rocket launch last month.
Protesters hold placards during denouncing military alliance between South Korea, the United States and Japan, Seoul, Jan. 15, 2013.
Meanwhile, a small group of activists gathered near the U.S. Embassy in Seoul to denounce Campbell's visit.
The group criticized any U.S.-South Korean-Japanese military alliance and called for a resumption of the six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear disarmament.
After arriving, the delegation relayed greetings from U.S. President Barack Obama to President-elect Park, who will take office next month.
The delegation is expected to travel to Japan on Wednesday for talks with officials in Tokyo.
North Korea says last month's rocket launch was a peaceful bid to put a weather satellite into orbit. But the U.S., South Korea and other countries have condemned it as a disguised test of long-range ballistic missile technology.
The U.N. Security Council has already imposed some sanctions against North Korea, following nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009.