WASHINGTON – North Korea raised hopes Wednesday for a major easing in nuclear tensions under its youthful new leader, agreeing to suspend uranium enrichment at a key facility and refrain from missile and nuclear tests in exchange for a mountain of critically needed U.S. food aid.
It was only a preliminary step but a necessary one to restart broader six-nation negotiations that would lay down terms for what the North could get in return for abandoning its nuclear weapons program. Pyongyang pulled out of those talks in 2009 and seemingly has viewed the nuclear program as key to the survival of its dynastic, communist regime, now entering its third generation.
The agreement, as per, includes the verification step so necessary to make this stuff happen.
It also opened the way for international nuclear inspections after years when the North’s program went unmonitored.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the agreement, which was announced at separate but simultaneous statements by the long-time adversaries, was a modest step but also “a reminder that the world is transforming around us.”
“We, of course, will be watching closely and judging North Korea’s new leaders by their actions,” Clinton told a congressional hearing.
I’m all for giving the new kid a chance to be decent and get NK back to being part of the human race.