US: North Korea agrees to moratorium on nuclear program

posted at 11:35 am on February 29, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Breakthrough or breather?  The US announced today that North Korea has agreed to a moratorium on nuclear tests and enrichment at the Yongbyon facility as well as long-range missiles.  It’s the latest in a series of temporary truces, but at least this one has the novelty of coming under new management:

The United States said on Wednesday that North Korea had agreed to a moratorium on nuclear tests and long-range missile launches and to allow nuclear inspectors to visit its Yongbyon nuclear complex to verify a halt to all nuclear activities including uranium enrichment.

The U.S. announcement paves the way for the possible resumption of six-party disarmament negotiations with Pyongyang and follows talks between U.S. and North Korean diplomats in Beijing last week.

“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,” the State Department said in a statement.

“The DPRK 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,” it said.

Under the iron-fisted reign of Kim Jong-il, North Korea occasionally made similar agreements in order to get food and fuel from the West.  The US State Department noted in its announcement that they will finalize the transport of 240,000 tons of “nutritional assistance,” which apparently helped push the new truce forward.  That would indicate that the new regime run by Kim’s son Kim Jong-un is worried about instability due to famine in the transition between tyrants.

Even the Obama administration is viewing this as only an incremental and temporary step:

Hillary Rodham Clinton is calling North Korea’s agreement to suspend nuclear activities and accept a moratorium on testing “a modest step” in the right direction.

Unfortunately, it’s a step taken so often before that it’s become the North Korean version of the Hokey Pokey.  At one time, the DPRK shut down Yongbyon altogther in exchange for American food and fuel, only to reactivate it when Kim Jong-il decided he wanted more leverage in negotiations.  So far, there is nothing in this agreement that distinguishes it from other temporary accords, including the desperation for food and fuel from a regime that can’t even feed its own army on a consistent basis.

Still, one might expect the new kid on the block to play hardball a little longer in order to reinforce his credentials as the new Dear Unchallenged and Brutal Leader of the world’s largest prison population.  Either the army has tired of brinksmanship and wants the new tyrant to start integrating the DPRK into the rest of the world, or the famine is worse than we think.


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How much of our money did we bribe them with this time?

wildcat72 on February 29, 2012 at 11:37 AM

LOL.

Pork-Chop on February 29, 2012 at 11:37 AM

This is great news…
I was a little worried about NK……

Now we can get back to what really matters….
Birth control or something.

Electrongod on February 29, 2012 at 11:38 AM

What’s up with the picture of Chaz Bono?

Red Cloud on February 29, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Seems I’ve heard this one before…

sandee on February 29, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Q:Which country is holding the stick with the carrot on it?

A:North Korea

portlandon on February 29, 2012 at 11:41 AM

After getting humanitarian aid from the US an agreement was reached. Side note, O gets to keep his peace prize.

Kissmygrits on February 29, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Wait a minute. Didn’t this putz get whacked in Beijing last month? I’m telling you, these commies ain’t kosher.

Rixon on February 29, 2012 at 11:42 AM

North Korea saying they’re no longer nuclear is like Jerry Sandusky saying he no longer reads Hardy Boys books.

MadisonConservative on February 29, 2012 at 11:42 AM

How much of our money did we bribe them with this time?

wildcat72 on February 29, 2012 at 11:37 AM

240,000 tons of it

kirkill on February 29, 2012 at 11:42 AM

Still, one might expect the new kid on the block to play hardball a little longer in order to reinforce his credentials as the new Dear Unchallenged and Brutal Leader of the world’s largest prison population.

Well actually it’s a council, headed by his uncle that is in charge. L’iler Kim is basically a figurehead at this point, which might be a good thing in that there may be rational people who are interested in their own survival in charge. Sucks to be a North Korean, but I’d rather have a prison population than another Korean war.

And I remain skeptical of any NK agreement.

rbj on February 29, 2012 at 11:42 AM

They’ll do just as they always do, take the money, then do what they damn well please.

The Taliban is going to do the same thing.

I’ll be glad when we finally get a President who isn’t so naive.

sage0925 on February 29, 2012 at 11:43 AM

Kid Jong Uhhhhhng wants him some Amerika cakes…

Jeddite on February 29, 2012 at 11:43 AM

I’ve got some nuclear activity for NK – nuke all of them now. Make them glow in the dark for 1000 years.

rjulio on February 29, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Yeah, like you can take anything Chaz Bono says seriously.

CorporatePiggy on February 29, 2012 at 11:46 AM

Eric Cartman must be running low on butter and flower to roll himself in.

NotCoach on February 29, 2012 at 11:46 AM

That’s what I loved in Israel’s negotiation approach until Clinton-sponsored leftards took over in 1992:

no talking with terrorists

. You feel like having a pissing contest with Mossad? Do you worst, then die quickly and violently.

Archivarix on February 29, 2012 at 11:47 AM

Either the army has tired of brinksmanship and wants the new tyrant to start integrating the DPRK into the rest of the world, or the famine is worse than we think.

Or they think that they can screw around with the West and Obama in particular.

Happy Nomad on February 29, 2012 at 11:48 AM

The NK’s don’t agree to anything unless their backs are to the wall. Hillary! should demand the reactors be taken apart BEFORE any food or fuel is shipped.

But she’s not that smart.

GarandFan on February 29, 2012 at 11:49 AM

Lets fall for it again. I’m sure that this time they’re being honest.

Mimzey on February 29, 2012 at 11:51 AM

Breakthrough or breather?

Rope-a-dope.

petefrt on February 29, 2012 at 11:51 AM

I’m guessing China can only allow one rouge state to have the lime light at time. Iran has the spot light for now.

LoganSix on February 29, 2012 at 11:52 AM

That would indicate that the new regime run by Kim’s son Kim Jong-un is worried about instability due to famine in the transition between tyrants.

Good thing Obama stepped in to shore him up in exchange for nothing.

If this little creep is still around killing his own people and doing other evil in five, ten, twenty years, we’ll have Obama to thank for it.

forest on February 29, 2012 at 11:53 AM

“This has all happened before. It will all happen again.”

Mitoch55 on February 29, 2012 at 11:55 AM

They’ll do just as they always do, take the money, then do what they damn well please.

The Taliban is going to do the same thing.

I’ll be glad when we finally get a President who isn’t so naive.

sage0925 on February 29, 2012 at 11:43 AM

THAT’S the ticket!
Food for thought, as it were.
Meanwhile, back in the real world …
A child can see this disingenuous claim for what it’s worth: Ø
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on February 29, 2012 at 11:56 AM

Does anyone else feel like this is a lost opportunity? The only way this nightmare will end is from a revolution from within by the NK people. Do to that we have to stop propping up that regime through the “concession-bribes-threats-bribes” charade.

Cut off all ties and eventually things will get bad enough that the people over-throw their dictator. It’s tough love, but it’s the only practical long-term solution to North Korea. It’s either that, or invade and replace, which I don’t support.

Meric1837 on February 29, 2012 at 11:56 AM

Hillary! should demand the reactors be taken apart BEFORE any food or fuel is shipped.

But she’s not that smart.

GarandFan on February 29, 2012 at 11:49 AM

Yeah…how about an awkward laugh and a plastic button with “Reset” written on it? It worked so well with Russia.

WOOT!..SMART POWER!!

Mimzey on February 29, 2012 at 11:57 AM

Iran is about to enter the nuclear-tech-for-rogue-states business and drive North Korea’s margins down, so Kim’s liquidating that division at the market peak.

Fabozz on February 29, 2012 at 11:58 AM

Looks like Hillary has found herself another reformer. I’m sure it will work out just as well…

Aplombed on February 29, 2012 at 11:59 AM

Either the army has tired of brinksmanship and wants the new tyrant to start integrating the DPRK into the rest of the world, or the famine is worse than we think.

I can’t imagine North Korean military leaders–or Nork leadership as a whole–desiring any kind of ‘integration’ with the rest of the world. They can’t let up on their people for an instant, a heartbeat, especially not during a famine since starving people are desperate people and desperate people are capable of, well, desperate acts, even in that concentration camp of a country.

I’m guessing the famine is worse than thought and that the Army is also suffering its effects, not just the general populace. Whatever food is sent to North Korea will be consumed by the military and the Party. Don’t send it.

troyriser_gopftw on February 29, 2012 at 12:01 PM

Hillary Rodham Clinton is calling North Korea’s agreement to suspend nuclear activities and accept a moratorium on testing “a modest step” in the right direction.”

Why does North Korea have nuclear weapons again…?

… What? Oh!

Seven Percent Solution on February 29, 2012 at 12:01 PM

What do they want this time?

Philly on February 29, 2012 at 12:02 PM

This time, they really, really mean it.

a capella on February 29, 2012 at 12:02 PM

The correct headline for this is:

“US GETS PLAYED BY NORTH KOREA AGAIN”

How long until we learn what this is costing us, again?

And how long until the Norks start banging their tin cup for more, again?

JEM on February 29, 2012 at 12:05 PM

Good grief are our leaders stupid.

SMART.POWER!

search4truth on February 29, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Yeeeeah, riiiiight.

WannabeAnglican on February 29, 2012 at 12:08 PM

Fool me once, twice, a hundred, a thousand, a million, a billion, a trillion times, shame on you… when oh when will we wise up?

aposematic on February 29, 2012 at 12:12 PM

US: North Korea agrees to moratorium on nuclear program

CORRECTED HEADLINE:

US Charley Brown: North Korea Lucy agrees to moratorium on nuclear pulling football away at the last moment

landlines on February 29, 2012 at 12:16 PM

It turns out that Kim Jung Un will do anything for a piece of cake.

VinceOfDoom on February 29, 2012 at 12:24 PM

Question to neocons: Would you like for North Korea and Iran to have nuclear weapons? Or would you like that they renounce such programs?

You never hear neocons saying they want these countries to give up these pursuits. You never hear them express that desire in any way. The only desires they express are for military attacks – regardless of anything else. I think they like the idea that these rogue nations may be trying to produce nuclear weapons. Because then they can take out the big guns and hit them. That’s exciting for them.

If a poll was conduct amongst some conservatives as to whether Sweden should be attacked, I’m betting it would pan out somewhere 50/50. And the 50% that said no, could probably be turned if you said that ABBA was considering reforming.

The fact is, neocons love to kill things they ideologically don’t like. But they gotta have a pretext.

keep the change on February 29, 2012 at 12:35 PM

They will even pay us back with the counterfeit money they’ve printed. Time for Madeline Aldull to raise the champagne glass again!! Fool me once….

Deano1952 on February 29, 2012 at 12:38 PM

More bad news for REAL America. Better hope for a market crash or terrurrism or something.

KeninCT on February 29, 2012 at 12:45 PM

If a poll was conduct amongst some conservatives as to whether Sweden should be attacked, I’m betting it would pan out somewhere 50/50. And the 50% that said no, could probably be turned if you said that ABBA was considering reforming.

The fact is, neocons love to kill things they ideologically don’t like. But they gotta have a pretext.

keep the change on February 29, 2012 at 12:35 PM

1.) I bet you’ve never been to Sverige,
2.) So you dissed the most popular band in Euro (continental) history,
3.) That there “pretext” thingy was disgustingly demonstrated by FDR, LBJ, and BillyJeff.
(how soon y’all conveniently forget when cornered)

Now what were you saying about “neocons”?

~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on February 29, 2012 at 12:46 PM

This is total BS. Everybody in gov’t knows that the food is
for their army.

lilium479 on February 29, 2012 at 12:50 PM

The fact is, neocons love to kill things they ideologically don’t like. But they gotta have a pretext.

keep the change on February 29, 2012 at 12:35 PM

Sort of like how paleocons like to move aside so other people can kill the Jews that they don’t like.

MadisonConservative on February 29, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Maybe this guy is actually going to feed and educate his people. Until otherwise prefer to give him benefit of the doubt.

jeanie on February 29, 2012 at 12:56 PM

KeninCT on February 29, 2012 at 12:45 PM

I think the Norks want food, not to sell child brides. Better not get your hopes up.

NotCoach on February 29, 2012 at 12:58 PM

Let them starve or let China feed them, we owe North Korea nothing. They are just exploiting Western hopes that Jong-Un might be a ‘reformer’ in order to extract some short-term concessions to stabilize the country while Jong-Un consolidates his rule. Give them nothing.

Lawdawg86 on February 29, 2012 at 1:01 PM

I don’t believe them. Give them nothing.

dogsoldier on February 29, 2012 at 1:16 PM

The NK army must be hungry, so we will send them some lunch. As soon as they boys get some food, they will start acting up again.
Yeah, let’s keep doing the same thing and expect a different result.

Wallythedog on February 29, 2012 at 1:23 PM

Well they pulled this one before on Clinton and it worked. They got lots of handouts and more unsupervised time to work on their nuke and missiles – so with another Dem in the WH, why not try again?

dentarthurdent on February 29, 2012 at 1:33 PM

Sort of like how paleocons like to move aside so other people can kill the Jews that they don’t like.

MadisonConservative on February 29, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Godwin’s Law strikes again. From the idiots guide to arguing, Page 1. Are you saying that North Korea wants to kill Jews?

keep the change on February 29, 2012 at 1:40 PM

While hope springs eternal, I’m not holding my breath in hopes North Korea will actually stick to the agreement. It might be 3 months, it might be 1 year but odds are they will threaten or activate their program again to initiate leverage for more aid. While we think we are playing the carrot and the stick approach, they are the ones who are actually successfully implementing it on us.

Why does the Yahoo headline read “North Korea gives up nukes”? They didn’t give up their existing nukes only future nuke production. Is this healine ignorant or trying to paint a rosier picture than reality can justify?

uskorea on February 29, 2012 at 1:42 PM

I still haven’t heard any objection to the facetious accusation that neocons would like to attack Sweden. They probably took it seriously, and scratched their chins and said to themselves, hey, he’s right. It would be nice to attack Sweden. Hmmmmm . . .

Because, you know, being socialist and all, and most likely anti-Semetic to boot, maybe it would be a good thing. Let’s attack Sweden, too. Bunch of socialist, muslim-coddling, ABBA-loving, anti-Semites! Ditto Norway, France, Germany, England, and Latvia. Especially Latvia.

keep the change on February 29, 2012 at 1:49 PM

Sort of like how paleocons like to move aside so other people can kill the Jews that they don’t like. MadisonConservative on February 29, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Aw, thanks for the gratuitous off-topic slam.

Coming from someone George Washington would not have even considered a patriot…

Akzed on February 29, 2012 at 1:51 PM

OT

Davey Jones died.

“Oh what can it mean, to a
Daydream believer and a
Homecoming queen?”

Akzed on February 29, 2012 at 1:52 PM

keep the change on February 29, 2012 at 1:49 PM

I don’t seek out mental asylums to engage loons, why should you be any different? I really do hope though you have close family members or friends who can intervene on your behalf before it is too late.

NotCoach on February 29, 2012 at 1:53 PM

We should not accept a moratorium, NOTHING less than a TOTAL destruction of all facilities associated with the nukes, PERIOD. We have played this game before and they seem to wind up with the upper hand and continue to make idle threats. We need to squash this twerp and move on. Once less thorn in our side and that of others around him.

j bo on February 29, 2012 at 2:19 PM

US: North Korea agrees to moratorium on nuclear program

Do our politicians ever learn?

This is exactly what Clinton fell for. Clinton bought Kim’s promise to halt nuclear work in exchange for massive monetary and material aid. Of course Kim took Clinton for every penny he could and continued all along to develop nuclear weapons.

In effect we paid for Kim’s nuclear research with our aid to North Korea and now we’re going to do it all again, how stupid can our political leaders be?

RJL on February 29, 2012 at 2:39 PM

Kim Jong Er?

LizardLips on February 29, 2012 at 2:46 PM

I don’t seek out mental asylums to engage loons,

I don’t know who you are, and where you are coming from, but, if you can rephrase that sentence so that it makes, I’ll read it again.

keep the change on February 29, 2012 at 3:21 PM

keep the change on February 29, 2012 at 1:40 PM

You set the bar, pal. Don’t swing if you can’t take a lick yourself.

MadisonConservative on February 29, 2012 at 3:40 PM

Akzed on February 29, 2012 at 1:51 PM

Did I hurt your feelings, sweetheart? So sorry that I responded to an accusation that the dominant sect of conservatism “kills things” in kind. Buck up, buttercup. If you don’t like the terms, talk to the Ronulan you’re backing up.

MadisonConservative on February 29, 2012 at 3:42 PM

Godwin’s Law strikes again. From the idiots guide to arguing, Page 1. Are you saying that North Korea wants to kill Jews?

keep the change on February 29, 2012 at 1:40 PM

And by the way, I wasn’t even referencing Nazism, you empty-headed imbecile. You and your ilk are all too happy to stand back and watch Israel be reduced to ashes.

MadisonConservative on February 29, 2012 at 3:43 PM

Is Fearless Leader wearing a Navy peacoat from one of Pueblo crewmen?

profitsbeard on February 29, 2012 at 3:45 PM

The US State Department noted in its announcement that they will finalize the transport of 240,000 tons of “nutritional assistance,” which apparently helped push the new truce forward.

Why the hell doesn’t China just send them the food?

They’re right next door.

Dr. ZhivBlago on February 29, 2012 at 4:21 PM

That Panda almost looks human!

KOOLAID2 on February 29, 2012 at 4:25 PM

Why the hell doesn’t China just send them the food?

Because they’re not chumps.

Thanks, State Department, for helping to prop up one of the worst dictatorships in history. Kudos all around.

sandberg on February 29, 2012 at 4:44 PM

Why the hell doesn’t China just send them the food?

They’re right next door.

Dr. ZhivBlago on February 29, 2012 at 4:21 PM

They’d just be hungry again in an hour.

Ronnie on February 29, 2012 at 5:33 PM

A fool for a president and more of our money soon to be parted.

dunce on February 29, 2012 at 7:04 PM

keep the change on February 29, 2012 at 12:35 PM

What evidence do you have that anything North Korea says, signs, pronounces, or “renounces” means ANYTHING REAL???

The choice is between positive action and self-delusion. Which choice makes you feel safer??

landlines on March 1, 2012 at 12:06 AM

Deja Vue

Jimbobby on March 1, 2012 at 2:23 AM

Bridge for Sale, Nice Neighborhood, Close to Shopping

FineasFinn on March 1, 2012 at 11:06 AM