The United States announced a major diplomatic breakthrough with North Korea Wednesday.
Under an agreement reached in direct talks in Beijing last week, North Korea has agreed to allow the return of International Atomic Energy Agency nuclear inspectors, as well as to implement a moratorium on long-range missile tests, nuclear tests, and nuclear activities at Yongbyon, including uranium enrichment activities, the State Department said. In return, the United States will provide North Korea with a major food aid package.
"To improve the atmosphere for dialogue and demonstrate its commitment to denuclearization, the DPRK has agreed to implement a moratorium on long-range missile launches, nuclear tests and nuclear activities at Yongbyon, including uranium enrichment activities," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a press statement Wednesday. "The DPRK has also agreed to the return of IAEA inspectors to verify and monitor the moratorium on uranium enrichment activities at Yongbyon and confirm the disablement of the 5-MW reactor and associated facilities."
Despite the stunning breakthrough, "the United States still has profound concerns regarding North Korean behavior across a wide range of areas," Nuland's statement cautioned, but added that "today's announcement reflects important, if limited, progress in addressing some of these."
In return, the United States will "move forward with our proposed package of 240,000 metric tons of nutritional assistance along with the intensive monitoring required for the delivery of such assistance," she said.
CNN: North Korea agrees to halt nuclear activities for food
MSNBC: US says North Korea agrees to nuclear moratorium
Fox News: North Korea Suspends Nuclear Activities, Takes Food Aid
Guardian (UK): North Korea agrees to suspend nuclear activities, US says