North Korea has agreed to suspend uranium enrichment, as well as nuclear and long-range missile tests, in return for food aid from the US it was announced today.
The move comes two months after Kim Jong-un came to power following the death of his father, Kim Jong-il and correspondants believe it marks a significant step towards improving relations between the the U.S. and North Korea.
According to BBC News, the US State Department said Pyongyang has also agreed to allow UN inspectors to monitor its reactor in Yongbyon to verify compliance with the measures. The North is set to receive 240,000 tonnes of food aid in return for its efforts.
“Today’s announcement represents a modest first step in the right direction. We, of course, will be watching closely and judging North Korea’s new leaders by their actions,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said today before the House Appropriations Committee.
In 2005, North Korea agreed to give up its nuclear ambitions in exchange for aid and political concessions, as part of a six-nation dialogue process involving the two Koreas, the U.S., China, Russia and Japan.But the deal fell apart after it conducted nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009 and later disclosed a previously unknown uranium enrichment program that provided a second path to a bomb in addition to the already known plutonium program.