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February 29, 2012 12:11 pm

North Korea Suspends Nuclear Program for U.S. Food Aid

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A North Korean Soldier stands guard at the Korean Demilitarized Zone. Photo: wiki commons.

NY Times – North Korea agreed to suspend nuclear weapons tests and uranium enrichment and allow international inspectors to verify and monitor activities at its main reactor, the North’s official news agency and the State Department announced on Wednesday, as 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 He has since been replaced by a son, Kim Jong-un, and administration officials have been watching closely to see if his rise to power would alter the country’s behavior.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.

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