Photograph by KNS/AFP/Getty Images.
North Korea has agreed to suspend nuclear activities, including uranium enrichment and nuclear and long range missile tests, according to U.S. and North Korean officials.
In exchange, the country will receive 240,000 metric tons of much-needed food aid.
The State Department says that North Korea will allow International Atomic Energy inspectors to monitor compliance with the moratorium. According to the Associated Press, the announcement follows the first U.S.-North Korea talks since the death of Kim Jong-il in December. Before his death, the countries were reportedly close to an agreement. North Korea released a statement from Pyongyang on Wednesday that confirms the agreement.
The news appears to meet the preconditions to start up the six-nation talks on disarmament for aid that were suspended three years ago.
While the somewhat surprising announcement is encouraging, as AFP notes, many are skeptical of the staying power of the agreement. North Korea has a history of going back on its word when international tensions increase.