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N. Korea Gives Up Nukes In Breakthrough

February 29, 2012 by staff 

N. Korea Gives Up Nukes In Breakthrough, North Korea agreed on Wednesday to stop nuclear tests, uranium enrichment and long-range missile launches, and to allow nuclear inspectors to visit its Yongbyon nuclear complex to verify the moratorium has been enforced.

The breakthrough, announced simultaneously by the US state department and North Korea’s official news agency, paves the way for a resumption of six-party disarmament negotiations with Pyongyang and follows talks between US and North Korean diplomats in Beijing last week.

It also appears to mark a significant policy shift by North Korea’s reclusive leadership following the death in December of veteran leader Kim Jong-il – althoughanlysts cautioned that Pyongyang has backtracked repeatedly on past deals.

“The DPRK, upon request by the US and with a view to maintaining positive atmosphere for the DPRK-US high-level talks, agreed to a moratorium on nuclear tests, long-range missile launches, and uranium enrichment activity at Yongbyon and allow the IAEA to monitor the moratorium on uranium enrichment while productive dialogues continue,” North Korea’s official KCNA news agency said.

North Korea is known formally as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

The state department said that in return the United States was ready to go ahead with a proposed 240,000 metric-tonne food aid package requested by North Korea and that more aid could be agreed to based on continued need.

“Today’s announcement represents a modest first step in the right direction,” secretary of state Hillary Clinton told a congressional panel on Wednesday, noting that Washington continued to have profound concerns over a range of North Korean activities.

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