The statement came after North Korea handed over detailed data on its nuclear activities to China Thursday, breaking a deadlock in nuclear disarmament talks with China, the U.S., South Korea, Russia and Japan.
The six-party talks stalled late last year, when Pyongyang missed a deadline to transfer nuclear data as part of a deal under which the North was promised economic aid and diplomatic incentives.
Masahiko Komura said on the sidelines of a Group of Eight (G8) meeting of foreign ministers: "It's good that they made the declaration, but the issue is what's in it." "It would have been better if the declaration had included nuclear weapons."
Following North Korea's declaration the U.S. announced it would lift unilateral trade sanctions against the communist country and remove it from a terrorism blacklist. U.S. President George Bush told reporters the move was "a step in the right direction," but added that Washington remained concerned about North Korea's uranium enrichment activities and suspected sales of nuclear technology to other countries.
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who is also in Japan, said that North Korea should complete its denuclearization and that the U.S. would insist on verification, but that the move was an "important first step."
The North's nuclear programs are expected to dominate the agenda of talks of the eight rich nations on Friday.