US Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg arrived in Tokyo on Sunday, kicking off a tour to consult with world powers on negotiations aimed at ending North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.
Steinberg, who will later visit other member states of six-way disarmament talks with Pyongyang - China, South Korea and Russia, will meet Japanese Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone on Monday.
“I look forward to having very productive and intensive conversations with the leadership in Tokyo to continue our cooperation on a broad range of issues including the situations in North Korea,” he told reporters upon arrival.
North Korea withdrew from the talks after the United Nations condemned its April 5 rocket launch and tightened existing sanctions.
Pyongyang went ahead with its second nuclear test on May 25, sparking international condemnation and leading the Security Council to discuss a new resolution which could impose new sanctions.
North Korea has further fuelled tensions in the past week by launching six short-range missiles, renouncing the armistice that ended the Korean War in 1953 and threatening possible attacks on South Korea.
A defiant North Korea also is said to be preparing to launch another long-range missile.