US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her Japanese counterpart Seiji Maehara on Thursday affirmed their co-operation with Seoul in the wake of Pyongyang's deadly attack on a South Korean island.
They held 15-minute telephone talks amid a flurry of diplomacy as tensions stayed high on the divided peninsula after four people died in Tuesday's shelling by North Korea of a border island, the Japanese foreign ministry said.
They also affirmed their shared view that "China possesses an important role" in using its influence on Pyongyang to help ease tensions, the ministry said.
Clinton said that the United States will continue to co-ordinate its efforts with Japan in the wake of the latest attack as well as recent revelations of North Korea's uranium enrichment programme, the statement said.
Clinton and Maehara also discussed their hopes to hold trilateral talks in Washington in December with their South Korean counterpart Kim Sung-Hwan, according to national television network NHK.
At least four people, including two civilians died when North Korea on Tuesday fired 80 shells on to Yeonpyeong island, which lies near the disputed Yellow Sea border, prompting South Korea to retaliate.
It was Pyongyang's first shelling attack on civilians since the 1950-53 war.
The United States and South Korea, which are preparing a joint naval show of force including sending a US aircraft carrier to deter the North, are calling on the international community to back their efforts.
Beijing has expressed its concerns over the incident and urged the two Koreas to talk.