BEIJING (AP) -- North Korea agreed Tuesday after arduous talks to shut down its main nuclear reactor and eventually dismantle its atomic weapons program, just four months after the communist state shocked the world by testing a nuclear bomb.North Korea Agrees to Wind Down Nuclear Program (AP News via The New York Times)
The deal marks the first concrete plan for disarmament in more than three years of six-nation negotiations, and could potentially herald a new era of cooperation in the region with the North's longtime foes -- the United States and Japan -- also agreeing to discuss normalizing relations with Pyongyang.
Under the deal, the North will receive initial aid equal to 50,000 tons heavy fuel oil within 60 days for shutting down and sealing its main nuclear reactor and related facilities at Yongbyon, north of the capital, to be confirmed by international inspectors.
For irreversibly disabling the reactor and declaring all nuclear programs, the North will eventually receive another 950,000 tons in aid.
The agreement was read to all delegates in a conference room at a Chinese state guesthouse and Chinese envoy Wu Dawei asked if there were any objections. When none were made, the officials all stood and applauded.
When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson