NEWS // “North Korea agrees to suspend nuclear activities”
We get to live another day. Maybe.
Clinton said the United States will meet with North Korea to finalize details for a proposed package of 240,000 metric tons of food aid, referring to it as “nutritional assistance.” She said intensive monitoring of the aid would be required.
North Korea, which appealed for the aid a year ago to alleviate chronic food shortages, issued a similar, although differently worded statement released simultaneously in Pyongyang.
An unidentified spokesman from North Korea’s Foreign Ministry said in its statement carried by the state-run news agency that the North agreed to the nuclear moratoriums and the allowance of U.N. inspectors “with a view to maintaining positive atmosphere” for the U.S.-North Korea talks.
Wednesday’s announcement follows talks in Beijing last week between U.S. and North Korean negotiators, the first since negotiations were suspended after Kim’s death in December from a heart attack.
Before his death, the U.S. and North Korea were close to such an agreement, which appears to meets U.S. preconditions for restarting the six-nation talks suspended three years ago. The talks also include China, Japan, Russia and South Korea.
“The United States still has profound concerns but on the occasion of Kim Jong Il’s death I said it is our hope that the new leadership will choose to guide their nation on to path of peace by living up it to its obligations,” Clinton said.
Clinton said the United States will judge the new regime led by Kim’s youngest son, Kim Jong Un, by its actions.
The U.S. said it had no hostile intent toward North Korea and was prepared to increase people-to-people exchanges, including in the areas of culture, education, and sports.
North Korea’s willingness to agree to the moratoriums and allow in U.N. inspectors is a major sign of the country’s intentions in the early days of the rule Kim Jong Un, who is believed to be in his late 20s.
Although the North has conducted two nuclear tests and has developed a battery of ballistic missiles, it says it is constructing its own light water reactor to generate electricity to alleviate chronic power shortages.
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