Seoul, South Korea North Korea called Japanese officials "political imbeciles" Saturday for saying they will not accept Pyongyang as a nuclear power, less than a week after the reclusive communist state agreed to return to international arms talks on its atomic program.
In typically harsh rhetoric, North Korea also condemned the United States as "fanatic warmongers who destroy peace and security on the Korean peninsula."
The North agreed earlier this week to return to the international disarmament negotiations - which also include China, Russia, the U.S. and South Korea - in the first easing of tension after its Oct. 9 nuclear test. The talks have been stalled for a year.
A statement from North Korea's Foreign Ministry on Saturday said "there is no need for Japan to participate in (the talks) as a local delegate because it is no more than a state of the U.S. and it is enough for Tokyo just to be informed of the results of the talks by Washington."
The Foreign Ministry said most of the international community had welcomed North Korea's return to the talks, but that "it is only Japan that expressed its wicked intention," referring to comments by Tokyo that it will not accept a nuclear North Korea.
"The Japanese authorities have thus clearly proved themselves that they are political imbeciles," added the statement, carried by the North's official Korea Central News Agency, or KCNA.
An official from Japan's Foreign Ministry said the government was aware of North Korea's statement and was considering a response.