Bartlett was a member of the congressional group that traveled to North Korea. He visited The Herald-Mail on Thursday to discuss the three days he spent there.
The group was led by U.S. Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa.
The purpose of the trip was to encourage North Korea to resume six-party talks over the country's nuclear weapons program, Bartlett said. The U.S., North Korea, China, Japan, South Korea and Russia are the six parties.
In a North Korean press release delivered by Bartlett, North Korea said it wants a peaceful solution to the stalled nuclear talks.
North Korea "reaffirmed its will to settle the nuclear issue peacefully through dialogue and negotiations and explained why it has decided to resume the six-way talks ..." according to the statement.
"Instead of repeating the unpleasant past," North Korea said it "would not stand against the U.S. but respect and treat it as a friend unless the latter slanders the former's system and interferes in its internal affairs," according to the statement.
Bartlett said North Korea was "paranoid" that the U.S. might launch a pre-emptive strike against the country and force President Kim Jong Il out of power.
While the United States would like a regime change, the U.S. lawmakers told North Korean officials that it would not force one, Bartlett said.
Bartlett said he was encouraged by the discussions with the North Korean officials.
"We went to them as fellow human beings, and I think we went there as a friend," Bartlett said.
The congressional group told the North Korean officials it wanted the six-party talks to resume in a matter of weeks, rather than a matter of months.
"They know at the end of the day they're going to have to give up their nuclear weapons ..." Bartlett said. "They told us they'd give it up."
In addition to the discussions, Bartlett said U.S. lawmakers got a glimpse of life in North Korea.
Describing the country as secretive, Bartlett said the military plane the group flew on was not allowed to stay there and had to fly to Japan after it dropped them off.
The group was not permitted to take their cell phones into the country and had no form of outside communication, Bartlett said.
There were photos everywhere of the North Korean president, and he described the country's subways as being clean and elaborate.
"It looks like the cars just rolled off the subway line," Bartlett said. "We have nothing like it in our subways. It looks like an art gallery."