Antonio Inoki, Upper House member and former popular wrestler, talks about his recent conference with Ri Su Yong, a key figure of North Korea, at Haneda Airport in a news conference on the evening of Sept. 11. (Kazuhiro Nagashima)

Upper House member and former professional wrestler Antonio Inoki returned to Japan on Sept. 11 after concluding a five-day visit to the reclusive country for the national foundation day where he discussed recent North Korean provocations.

Inoki greeted the media at Haneda Airport in Tokyo's Ota Ward that evening.

Inoki, 74, said he left Haneda Airport on Sept. 6 for Beijing and arrived in Pyongyang on Sept. 7. There, he talked with Ri Su Yong, vice chairman of Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea, for about one hour and 15 minutes on Sept. 8 regarding the country's development of ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons.

Inoki quoted Ri as saying that North Korea will continue to experiment and raise (its weapons’) level even more as long as the United States and the international community continue to apply pressure upon the country.

Ri also said during the meeting with Inoki that Pyongyang intends to further develop its technological capabilities and reinforce them if the U.N. Security Council approves fresh sanctions against the country.

North Korea conducted its sixth nuclear test on Sept. 3.

According to Inoki, Ri did not clearly react to the security council’s possible approval of a ban on crude oil exports to Pyongyang.

As for some Japanese Diet members’ desire to visit North Korea as soon as possible, Ri said they would be welcomed, according to Inoki.

Ri, a former ambassador to Switzerland, is apparently close to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, as he is said to have acted as a guardian for Kim when the regime leader was studying in the neutral country.

Ri held a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping when Ri visited the neighboring country in June.

Inoki, who has visited North Korea numerous times, returned there again because he said communication between both countries should not be halted.

Inoki's visit follows the Japanese government's call for its citizens to voluntarily restrain from traveling to North Korea as part of its sanctions against the country.