North Korea agrees to suspend nuclear weapons tests

by Greta Kaul

North Korea has agreed to suspend uranium enrichment and tests on nuclear weapons and allow inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency to return to the country, the New York Times reports.

As part of the agreement, the U.S. will give 240,000 metric tons of food aid to North Korea. President Barack Obama said food aid would be given on purely humanitarian grounds, but North Korea insisted it be part of the agreement.

American officials are watching the leadership transition to leader Kim Jong-un, whose father, Kim Jong-il, died in December. New leadership could mean a changing approach for the country, which has been isolationist.

North Korea also agreed to a moratorium on launching long-range missiles, which have raised tensions in South Korea and Japan.

In the past, North Korea has backed out of agreements to alter its nuclear program. The North Korea Central News Agency's statement on the agreement said the country would carry out the agreement "as long as talks proceed fruitfully."

The U.S. State Department did not annoucne when the moratorium would begin or when inspectors would return to North Korea.