North Korea said it is willing to return to the nuclear disarmament talks that it abandoned 18 months ago, saying it will make "consistent efforts" for a peace treaty.
Pyeongyang's sudden change of heart comes a day after the United Nations Security Council's condemnation of the sinking of a South Korean warship in March, referring to it as an "attack."
The Security Council, however, stopped short of directly blaming the secretive regime prompting Pyeongyang's UN Ambassador to call it "our great diplomatic victory."
Soon afterwards, North Korea's foreign ministry released a statement calling for the resumption of the six-way nuclear talks.
Its foreign ministry spokesperson said the country will work consistently for the conclusion of a peace treaty and denuclearization within the six-party framework.
The spokesperson added North Korea takes note of the UNSC's statement that it encourages issues on the Korean peninsula to be settled by peaceful means through direct dialogue and negotiation.
However, the statement released by the communist regime also warned that should "hostile forces" keep provoking the reclusive state, they would neither be able to escape its "strong physical retaliation nor will be able to evade the responsibility for the resultant escalation of the conflict."
Meanwhile, reacting to its northern neighbor's latest statement Seoul's foreign ministry spokesperson Kim Young-sun said the most important thing is for Pyeongyang to clearly show its commitment to denuclearization.
Kim added that Seoul will decide on the future path of the denuclearization process after closely monitoring actions taken by North Korea following this announcement and consulting with the rest of the six-party member nations.
Moon Conn-young, Arirang News.