Amid growing threats of another nuclear test by North Korea, the top nuclear envoys from South Korea, the United States and Japan met in the U.S. capital on Monday, local time.
The meeting was a follow-up to last month's trilateral summit in the Hague and is the first such meeting since November.
South Korea's chief delegate Hwang Joon-kook told reporters after the talks that the officials focused on ways to prevent further North Korean provocations.
They also discussed implementing stronger sanctions with the UN Security Council, should their efforts fail.
Hwang added the three officials agreed to seek various ways to resume dialogue that will lead to North Korea's practical denuclearization.
Following the trilateral session, the South Korean envoy met separately with his U.S. counterpart Glyn Davies and his Japanese counterpart Junichi Ihara.
Protesting a UN condemnation of its recent medium-range ballistic missile launch, North Korea raised tensions last month when it threatened to conduct a new type of nuclear test.
This sparked concerns a fourth nuclear test was in the works.
Recent satellite images of North Korea's nuclear test sites suggest Pyongyang is increasing its capability to conduct future tests, although no signs of an impending test have been detected.
But some experts say the regime could push ahead with a nuclear test in the coming weeks, in time for U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Seoul and Tokyo later this month.
Hwang Sung-hee, Arirang News.