North Korea ready to resume nuclear talks

The state-run Korean Central News Agency report came hours after the UN Security Council deplored the sinking of a South Korean warship without directly condemning North Korea.
"The DPRK (North Korea) will make consistent efforts for the conclusion of a peace treaty and the denuclearisation through the six-party talks conducted on equal footing," the spokesman said.

Pyongyang, which walked out of the talks with China, Russia, the US, Japan and South Korea in April 2009, repeatedly said it wanted to restart negotiations to end its nuclear programme, but always demanded an end to UN sanctions first.

The statement warned that if "hostile forces" kept provoking Pyongyang, they would neither be able to escape North Korea's "strong physical retaliation nor will be able to evade the responsibility for the resultant escalation of the conflict".

The North took note of the Security Council's consensus statement, which "condemns" the March 26 sinking of the Cheonan without directly naming an attacker. Analysts said the carefully worded statement was a concession to China, one of isolated Stalinist state's few allies.

The council ended its discussion of the issue by adopting a statement "devoid of any proper judgment and conclusion without adopting any resolution on it", the KCNA report stressed.
Sin Son Ho, Pyongyang's ambassador to the UN in New York, hailed the statement a "great diplomatic victory".Pyongyang had earlier threatened military retaliation if a statement was adopted.

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