Kerry says N Korea remains far from steps needed for talks with US

US Secretary of State John Kerry (C) attends a meeting South Korea's foreign minister Yun Byung-Se at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Seoul on May 18, 2015.

SEOUL - US Secretary of State John Kerry said North Korea has "not even come close" to taking the steps needed to rein in its nuclear weapons programme for Washington to initiate talks, adding it was necessary to boost pressure on the isolated country.

Kerry, speaking in the South Korean capital, said it was likely that the North will be referred to the International Criminal Court if its current behaviour on human rights continues.

North Korea is already under heavy UN sanctions for its missile and nuclear tests.