Japan's foreign minister to visit U.S. this month to discuss N. Korea

The survey, which was conducted through individual conversations with 50 North Korean citizens previous year, found that 43 of the respondents were highly negative on the nuclear development in North Korea, according to Beyond Parallel, a project of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies think tank.

This is according to the North's state-run Korean Central News Agency which said Saturday that North Korea made this remark at the World Disarmament Conference in Geneva on Tuesday.

North Korea has threatened to "counter the US" if Washington holds joint military exercises with Seoul while still enforcing sanctions against Pyongyang.

"In decades-long history of the DPRK-US talks, there had been no case at all where we sat with the US on any precondition, and this will be the case in future, too, " a spokesperson for North Korea's Foreign Ministry said in comments carried by KCNA.

The U.N. request coincided with the United States imposing its largest package of unilateral sanctions against North Korea on Friday, intensifying pressure on Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons and missile programs.

The Japanese government is keeping a watchful eye on the recent shift in the North's diplomatic policy, saying Tokyo will continue pressuring North Korea until it is prepared to "seek a dialogue" and give up its nuclear and missile development programs.

State media has also hit back at Washington, reiterating the North's long-held assertion that the U.S. used biological and chemical weapons against civilians during the Korean War.

North Korea said Saturday it is willing to have talks with the United States, but that it rejects preconditions and Washington's demands that it must first demonstrate its willingness to denuclearize.

"Whether peace desired by our nation and the rest of the world settles on the Korean Peninsula or a situation that no one desires is developed in the vicious cycle of confrontation depends entirely on the attitude of the U.S.", the spokesman said, according to KCNA.

Moon has sought to use the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics that ended last Sunday to open dialogue between Washington and Pyongyang, while the North mounted a charm offensive during the Games, sending athletes, cheerleaders and high-level delegations.

  • Sylvester Abbott