North Korea's reclusive regime has announced it will suspend its nuclear program in exchange for food aid from the U.S. The isolated country, which recently changed leaders, has long been a concern for Western leaders because of its erratic leadership and nuclear program.
Under the deal, North Korea agreed to stop long-range missile launches and to suspend work to enrich uranium at its Yongbyon nuclear facility. It also promised to allow U.N. nuclear inspectors to come into the country and verify its claims for the first time since 2009.
For its part, the United States will provide some 240,000 metric tons of food aid. Many North Koreans face starvation and don't get enough food.
Although diplomats are wary of North Korea's promises, many were cautiously optimistic that this agreement is a step in the right direction.
"The United States, I will be quick to add, still has profound concerns. But on the occasion of Kim Jong-il's death, I said that it is our hope that the new leadership will choose to guide their nation onto the path of peace by living up to its obligations." - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
"The agreements that the North Koreans have made are very welcome, but, obviously, they need to be followed up by actions. And commitments to do something are one thing. Actually doing them are another. So we will pursue this policy area with that approach in mind." - Jay Carney, White House Press Secretary
1. Where is North Korea? What do you know about it?
2. Who was Kim Jong Il?
3. Why would the U.S. be concerned that North Korea has access to nuclear weapons?
1. Why do you think U.S. officials are somewhat wary of North Korea’s offer?
2. Why do you think so many people in North Korea are starving even though the government and military are so powerful? What does that say about the regime?
3. Why is important to have U.N. weapons inspectors go in to countries like North Korea that make promises about their nuclear programs?