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Norks Attempt to Trade Nukes for Food

• February 29, 2012 10:28 am

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North Korea has agreed to halt its long-range missile tests and stop enriching uranium, one of the key components in a nuclear missile, the State Department announced.

Following a series of bilateral talks with the North Korean leadership, the regime "has agreed to implement a moratorium on long-range missile launches, nuclear tests, and nuclear activities at Yongbyon, including uranium enrichment activities," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said in a statement.

Nuland indicated that this announcement is among the first steps the North Koreans must take if it is to put itself back on good terms with the West.

"The United States still has profound concerns regarding North Korean behavior across a wide range of areas, but today’s announcement reflects important, if limited, progress in addressing some of these," Nuland added.

In return for halting its nuclear and military activities, the North Koreans will receive 240,000 metric tons of "nutritional assistance, along with the intensive monitoring required for the delivery of such assistance," according to the State Department. Envoys from both countries will finalize the details of the deal in the coming days.

During talks earlier this month, U.S. and North Korean officials also agreed to open up cultural communication between the two countries. This includes the increase in "people-to-people exchanges, including in the areas of culture, education, and sports," the State Department said.