SEOUL, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- Top American diplomat for East Asia said Wednesday there would be "more developments in the days ahead " in Washington's push to punish the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) for its rocket launch.
Kurt Campbell, the assistant secretary of state for East Asia, told reporters in Seoul that the United States is in talks with the key players at the United Nations, including China and Russia, over potential sanctions against Pyongyang.
"We're very clear in our position that provocative steps are to be discouraged," Campbell, who arrived in Seoul a day ago for a two-day visit, told reporters. "We are closely working with the key players including South Korea at the UN with respect to our diplomacy after the missile test late last year," he added, declining to comment on speculations of a possible nuclear test by Pyongyang.
The DPRK last month launched a satellite on the back of a long- range rocket in what Washington and its close allies suspect is a disguised missile test that undermines peace and stability in the region.
Pyongyang, banned by UN resolutions from conducting any ballistic missile tests, has said the launch was for scientific and peaceful purposes only.
Campbell, who said the purpose of the trip is to "interact" with the incoming South Korean government and show "strong determination of the second Obama administration to maintain" commitment to the region, said policy coordination between the two countries will continue under the new leadership in Seoul.
"We have every confidence that the United States and South Korea will maintain the closest possible partnership in coordination with respect to the diplomacy toward North Korea ( DPRK)," he said, adding the two sides have enjoyed "the unprecedented level of dialogue and closeness" over the past couple of years.
After meeting with key South Korean officials, the U.S. diplomat sat down with Park for the first time since she won the Dec. 19 presidential election and delivered personal messages from U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
The U.S. diplomat, who leaves for Japan later Wednesday, is accompanied by assistant secretary of defense Mark Lipper and national security council senior director for Asian affairs Daniel Russel.