US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said today it was up to North Korea to end "provocations" and improve ties with the United States after it freed two reporters in a mission led by her husband.
Visiting Nairobi at the start of a tour of Africa, Clinton said that she considered the release of the two reporters separate from an ongoing row with North Korea over its nuclear program.
"The future of our relationships with the North Koreans are really up to them," Clinton told reporters.
"They have a choice if they continue to follow the path that is filled with provocative action, which further isolates
them from the international community ... or they can decide to renew their discussions with the partners in the six-party talks," she said.
Clinton said she spoke only briefly over the telephone with former president Bill Clinton on his way back to the United States with the two reporters, Laura Ling and Euna Lee.
She said she voiced relief over their release but was not able to discuss his meetings with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il in more depth.
"We have been working hard on the release of the two journalists, we've always considered that a totally separate issue from our efforts to re-engage the North Koreans and to have them return to six-party talks and work toward a commitment for the full verifiable denuclearisation of the Korean peninusla," she explained.