SEOUL — North Korea has expressed willingness to return to international nuclear disarmament talks, a sign that it is satisfied with the UN Security Council’s decision to avoid directly blaming it for the sinking of a South Korean warship.
South Korea responded to the announcement with caution Saturday, saying it wanted proof.
The Security Council last week expressed “deep concern’’ about the March sinking of the 1,200-ton Cheonan and findings by a South Korean-led international investigation that North Korea had torpedoed the ship. But it refrained from directly condemning North Korea — something the North had warned could trigger a military response.
A peace treaty was never signed after the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended with a cease-fire, leaving the two Koreas still technically at war.
North Korea “will make consistent efforts for the conclusion of a peace treaty and the denuclearization through the six-party talks conducted on equal footing,’’ its Foreign Ministry said Saturday in comments carried by the country’s official Korean Central News Agency.
That raised hopes North Korea would return to the nuclear talks, stalled since December 2008. South Korea said it would consult with other countries on how to push for North Korea’s denuclearization.