N. Korea should aim at denuclearization with sincerity: Suga

A day after North Korea called for unconditional high-level dialogue with the United States, the Japanese government's top spokesman said Pyongyang should first show a willingness to discuss denuclearization.

"We do not speculate what North Korea's intentions are but any dialogue should lead to denuclearization, and North Korea should first show its sincere attitude toward denuclearization," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said during a press conference on Monday.

North Korea proposed in a statement Sunday that senior-level talks should be held between North Korea and the United States "to defuse tensions on the Korean Peninsula and ensure peace and security in the region."

The offer came a few days after North Korea abruptly cancelled planned talks with South Korea as the two sides failed to resolve differences over the level of chief delegates.

On Wednesday Japan, the United States and South Korea are scheduled to hold senior working-level talks in Washington to discuss issues pertaining to North Korea.

North Korea apparently aims to improve its ties with the United States through direct talks and to stabilize the regime under its leader Kim Jong Un. It conducted a de-facto long-range missile test in December and a third nuclear test in February.