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U.S. To Send Food Aid To North Korea After It Agrees To Suspend Nuclear Weapons Tests

“North Korea announced on Wednesday that it would suspend its nuclear weapons tests and uranium enrichment and allow international inspectors to monitor activities at its main nuclear complex,” a move “signal[ing] that North Korea’s new leader, Kim Jong-un, is at least willing to consider a return to negotiations and to engage with the United States, which pledged in exchange to ship tons of food aid to the isolated, impoverished nation,” the New York Times reports. Some “analysts said the agreement allowed Mr. Kim to demonstrate his command and to use his early months in power to improve people’s lives after years of food shortages and a devastating famine,” the newspaper writes (Myers/Choe, 2/29).

State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland “said in return the U.S. will work to finalize details for a proposed package of 240,000 metric tons of food aid ‘with the prospect of additional assistance based on continued need,'” the Associated Press/ notes (2/29). However, an unnamed senior administration official “explained that monitoring mechanisms would have to be firmly in place before food aid can begin to flow,” according to Foreign Policy’s “The Cable” blog (Rogin, 2/29).