US, North Korea reach food aid dealBy Ivy Mungcal 29 February 2012
For the first time in years, the United States is positioned to send food aid to North Korea after the Asian country agreed to several concessions regarding its nuclear program.
North Korean officials have agreed to stop nuclear tests, nuclear activities, uranium enrichment projects and long-range missile testing at the country’s main nuclear facility in Yongbyon, U.S. Department of State spokesperson Victoria Nuland said. North Korea also agreed to allow the return of International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors to verify and monitor this moratorium, Nuland said in a statement released Feb. 29.
As part of the deal, Nuland said the United States has “agreed to meet with the DPRK to finalize administrative details necessary to move forward with our proposed package of 240,000 metric tons of nutritional assistance along with the intensive monitoring required for the delivery of such assistance.”
Nuland did not confirm the timeline of the moratorium or the visit of the IAEA inspectors. She also did not specify when the talks focused on food aid will be held.
Until this recent announcement, the U.S. government has been careful not to officially attach food aid to nuclear-related talks. The New York Time says the United States relented after North Korea insisted that food and nutrition assistance should be part of any deal.
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