Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton appealed to North Korea's new leadership to choose a path to peace, respect human rights and improve relations with their neighbors.
In a statement released late Monday, Clinton said the US is deeply concerned about the welfare of the North Korean people.
She said the US is ready to help North Korea improve conditions for its people if the government is willing to work with the international community to "usher in a new era of peace, prosperity and lasting security on the Korean peninsula."
Clinton's comments came 24 hours after North Korea announced the death of leader Kim Jong Il and the succession of his son, Kim Jong Un.
Earlier on Monday, Clinton called for a stable transition but did not offer US assistance.