US Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday stressed the United States is willing to engage with North Korea as long as it takes steps to give up nuclear weapons.
He also vowed the United States would protect its Asian allies against any provocative acts by the North, but said Washington wants a peaceful solution to rising tensions in the region.
"We are prepared to reach out but we need (the) appropriate moment, appropriate circumstance," Kerry said, adding that North Korea had to take steps towards giving up its nuclear programs.
"They have to take some actions. Now how many and how much I want to have a discussion with folks back in Washington (about)... but they have to take action," Kerry told a small group of reporters.