Washington, Jan 07 (Agencies): Japan has said the dispute over North Korea's nuclear programme can be resolved only through negotiations, but Pyongyang must take "concrete actions" before multinational talks can resume.

Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara on Thursday said Tokyo was "gravely concerned" over the North's threat to regional stability.

He cited two military strikes on South Korea since May, and the North's revelation it has a facility to enrich uranium that could provide it an alternative means to make a nuclear bomb.

Maehara was speaking in Washington at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies think tank, ahead of talks with US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

After the meeting with Clinton, he said North and South Korea should first reopen dialogue, and if the North "takes concrete actions," six-nation talks on North Korea which also involve Japan, the United States, China and Russia could resume.

The parties have been vague about what is required of North Korea to rejoin the talks that it abandoned in 2009, other than to say Pyongyang should meet its obligations under a 2005 agreement to abandon its nuclear programme in exchange for aid and security guarantees.

Clinton said Japan and the US were consulting very closely and were "determined to move forward to end (North Korea's) provocative behaviour" and denuclearise the Korean Peninsula.