U.S., North Korea in Nuclear Deal
Image Credit: John Pavelka

U.S., North Korea in Nuclear Deal


The recent rounds of negotiations between the United States and North Korea, hosted in Beijing, had seemed to go well. But according to news this morning they may gone even better than many had hoped for, with Pyongyang reportedly having agreed to suspend uranium enrichment.

Commenting on the talks, U.S. negotiator Glyn Davies said: “I think we made a little bit of progress. I think what we have to do is evaluate and look at what it was that the North Koreans had to say to us, and then consult our allies and partners in the six-party talks.”

The negotiations took place on February 23-24, and agreement also appears to have been reached on a moratorium on nuclear and long-range missile tests.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Wednesday that North Korea had also apparently consented to International Atomic Energy inspectors being allowed to confirm the moratorium on uranium enrichment and confirm disablement of its nuclear reactor at Yongbyon.

“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,” the State Department said in a statement.

The State Department added the United States was now prepared to conclude details of a proposed food aid package, with 240,000 metric tons of nutritional assistance reportedly set to be sent to North Korea, with the possibility of more aid to be agreed upon based on need.

“The United States reaffirms that it does not have hostile intent toward the DPRK and is prepared to take steps to improve our bilateral relationship in the spirit of mutual respect for sovereignty and equality,” the statement said.

Such a breakthrough in tensions between the United States and its allies with North Korea should be applauded. Unfortunately, though, history suggests such progress is often fleeting. North Korea has made wide-ranging promises in the past only to go on to break them.

Still, there’s an important difference this time – North Korea has a new leader in Kim Jung-un. What role he may have played in North Korea’s apparent change of heart is unclear, but the next few weeks and months will undoubtedly make much clearer if North Korea is finally serious about following through on its promises. 

Bob Jensen
March 5, 2012 at 21:20

Same old song and dance. North Korea agrees to comply for food aide. Later they cheat. When will we get a clue?

March 1, 2012 at 12:59

Haha,this time it is not stupid Americans fall into clever NKoreas trap,no more.
The fact is a new,extremly young Kim has taken over the throne,US is really trying a new man to see whether he can follow China reform path,the difference is that this time China is solidly working to get the young Kim to reform,failing which it knows well that the responsibility would inevitably fallen on its shoulder,it does not want to take the responsibility of looking after a fail North Korea,neither does it want ro accept South Korean taking over the north,as a united Korea.The signs are good as Kim is counting over China’s support and knows well the consequence of failure.
The problem really is whether the young Kim can be successful with China backing this time round.
But the real solution is to return North China to China as china nuclear problem,and it will be extremly fasinating if that happen,US can see clearly whether China can accept the existence of an irrational nuclear power next to its door!Haha.
If Ron Paul takes over,then he will surely do this!

Tom Tran
March 1, 2012 at 02:46

Fair enough. At the time the US is spending big money on war while its economy sucks, giving away 240,000 tons of food or just some dozens of millions of dollars to calm down a hostile front is a wise policy. I give Clinton the credit for this smart step. In fact, the money is gonna spent on US farmers instead of giving a stack of cash to the supreme leader of NK, while a portion, hopefully, of the food will finally be given to the people in need. Obviously, no one will see this step as the beginning of the ultimate goal of disarming NK, given their infamous past and present behaviors. I bet money on an about-face decision from the secretive regime after getting the food.

March 1, 2012 at 01:19

@all. i disagree with the lot of you; i feel that this is a win-win situation for all sides. Indeed, while that food MIGHT go to the KPA, it is at least good to see that Kim-Jong Un is actually trying to feed his people, whomever they are. This is a marked step forward from the sabre-rattling and constant provocation of his father’s rule.

February 29, 2012 at 21:40

The issue here is, how will he avoid his puppet master (i.e. china)’s grip.

February 29, 2012 at 20:06

While it isn’t anything to sneeze at, I feel North Korea should be given the benefit of the doubt at this point. We truly don’t know the intentions of Kim Jong Un, we should place our hopes in reciprocation from him just this once.

the new leader calls for a tiny bit of trust imo, we in the US should know better than many how new leaders can create large changes in policy.

Hopefully China also encourages the move and further moves to end a state of war on the peninsula.

papa john
February 29, 2012 at 19:13

Again, stupid Americans fall into clever NKoreas trap. All the food aids will feed the NKorea army only. Just look at the “young general” Kim-young un’s face and starving children, one keeps wondering how stupid american negotiators are. Shame on you!

February 29, 2012 at 16:11

Naivete. The DPRK has – once again – gotten exactly what it wanted. The cycle resets, and begins to roll forward once more, so that a year or two from now, provocation will once more shake the peninsula, the world will respond with finger-wagging. The North will threaten the “puppet regime” and “US Imperialists” with any number of variations on “a sea of fire”, etc., and then – miraculously, cooler heads will prevail, and hundreds of thousands of pounds of food aid will once more placate (and prop-up) Pyongyang, while the New York times and NPR breathlessly praise the foreign policy triumph. If it weren’t so predictably tragic, it’d be hilarious.

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