“North Korea has agreed to halt nuclear tests, long-range missile launches and enrichment activities at its Yongbyon nuclear complex in exchange for food aid from the United States,” according to CNN.
After decades of dealing with a vicious dynasty, the U.S. took steps to decrease the nuclear threat from North Korea.
“Today’s announcement represents a modest first step in the right direction. We, of course, will be watching closely and judging North Korea’s new leaders by their actions,” U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday before the House Appropriations Committee.
The new halt in the nuclear program can be attributed to a deal in which the U.S. would exchange food aid for the moratorium. The citizens of North Korea have been known to be malnourished, and will be receiving 240,000 metric tons of nutritional assistance, according to CNN.
Delivering food aid can be a task in itself.
Usually, recipient countries do not have the technological capabilities to determine which areas need aid the most and how to effectively deliver it. There is also a chance of government interference from the recipient country which would dilute the aid. There will be intensive monitoring to assure the delivery is made to those in need and not diverted to the military or government elites, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a statement.
The changes in the nuclear policy follow a change in the administration of North Korea. Long-time leader Kim Jong-il died this past December and was succeeded by his son Kim Jong-un.