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Mar 01, 2012 at 06:17am IST

North Korea agrees to suspend nuclear activities: US

Washington: North Korea has agreed to suspend its nuclear activities and accepted a moratorium on long-range missile launches, the US announced on Wednesday, following breakthrough in talks with Pyongyang.

"To improve the atmosphere for dialogue and demonstrate its commitment to denuclearization, the DPRK has agreed to implement a moratorium on long-range missile launches, nuclear tests and nuclear activities at Yongbyon, including uranium enrichment activities," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.

North Korea has also agreed to the return of IAEA inspectors to verify and monitor the moratorium on uranium enrichment activities at Yongbyon and confirm the disablement of the 5-MW reactor and associated facilities, she said in a statement.

N Korea agrees to suspend nuclear activities: US

North Korea has also agreed to the return of IAEA inspectors to verify and monitor the moratorium on uranium enrichment activities at Yongbyon.

The breakthrough, just over two months after the death of longtime dictator Kim Jong Il, was achieved during the just concluded third exploratory round of US-North Korea talks in Beijing, she said, but quickly noted that the Obama Administration still has profound concerns regarding North Korean behaviour across a wide range of areas.

"But today's announcement reflects important, if limited, progress in addressing some of these," she said.

The top official said that the US 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.

At the US-North Korea meeting in Beijing on February 23 and 24, she said, the US reaffirmed that it does not have hostile intent toward North Korea and is prepared to take steps to improve our bilateral relationship in the spirit of mutual respect for sovereignty and equality.

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