North Korea Agrees to Play Nicer With Nuclear Program
Posted on Feb 29, 2012
Things might be a little different under Kim Jong Un. North Korea’s new leader and son of the late dictator Kim Jong Il has already set a different tone with regard to his relations with the West and neighboring South Korea by agreeing to make some not insignificant changes to North Korea’s nuclear program. Part of the motivation for this sudden show of relative good will is that the U.S. is offering an important kind of help to North Koreans. —KA
The New York Times:
North Korea agreed to suspend nuclear weapons tests and uranium enrichment and allow international inspectors to monitor activities at its main nuclear complex, the North’s official news agency and the State Department announced on Wednesday. The promises could end years of a standoff that has allowed the North’s nuclear program to continue with no international oversight and are part of a deal that included an American pledge to ship food aid to the isolated, impoverished nation.
Although the Obama administration called the steps “important, if limited,” they signaled a potential breakthrough in the impasse over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program following the death late last year of the country’s leader, Kim Jong-il. He has since been replaced by a son, Kim Jong-un, and administration officials have been watching closely to see if his rise to power would alter the country’s behavior. North Korea also agreed on a moratorium on launches of long-range missiles, which have in the past raised military tensions in South Korea and Japan.
AP / David Guttenfelder
New North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waves at Kumsusan Memorial Palace in Pyongyang after reviewing a parade of thousands of soldiers and commemorating the 70th birthday of his late father Kim Jong Il on Feb. 16.