NORTH KOREA AGREES TO HALT NUCLEAR TESTS, MISSILE LAUNCHES
Roxana Tiron and Nicole Gaouette
Bloomberg, March 1, 2012
North Korea agreed to a moratorium on nuclear tests and long-range missile launches in an accord with the U.S. that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called a “modest step in the right direction.”
The government in Pyongyang will also halt uranium enrichment at its facility in Yongbyon and permit verification by international inspectors, according to statements released yesterday by both countries. Further talks will be held on implementing the terms, which also call for the U.S. to provide food aid to North Korea.
The accord came out of talks between the U.S. and North Korea in Beijing on Feb. 23 and Feb. 24, the first since dictator Kim Jong Il died in December and his son, Kim Jong Un, inherited leadership of the impoverished, nuclear-armed country.
The new leader is following the “exact playbook” of alternating confrontations and negotiations established by his father and his grandfather, Kim Il Sung, according to David Maxwell, associate director of the Center for Peace and Security Studies at Georgetown University in Washington.
“I do not see this as any kind of change or breakthrough,” Maxwell said yesterday in an interview, adding that North Korea was angling for food aid.
The U.S. agreed to make final plans to provide an initial 240,000 metric tons of food aid, to be provided in 20,000-ton increments every month for a year, with the “prospect of additional assistance based on continued need,” according to a State Department statement.
North Korea’s Foreign Ministry said yesterday in an e- mailed statement that the talks “offered a venue for sincere and in-depth discussion” of measures to build confidence and improve relations.
(...) [artículo aquí]