U.S. diplomacy on North Korea has been in slow gear since an agreement with the North to exchange food aid for nuclear concessions collapsed in the spring.
The visit by special representative on North Korea, Glyn Davies, also comes at a time of tension between U.S. allies Japan and South Korea over an island sovereignty dispute.
However, that should not affect their cooperation in diplomacy on North Korea's missile and nuclear weapons programs.
The State Department says Davies will hold trilateral talks in Tokyo next Wednesday to reaffirm "close coordination" on North Korea issues.
He will hold separate bilateral talks with Japan, and then with South Korea in Seoul.