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Nuclear decision offers hope for dialogue
Analysts give cautious welcome to agreement between US and North KoreaThe statue of Kim Il-sung, late North Korean leader
- Stephen Hong, Seoul
- March 2, 2012
The United States and North Korea announced on Wednesday that Pyongyang had agreed to a moratorium on nuclear testing and uranium enrichment activities and that the US will provide the North with 240,000 tons of food aid.
The announcement follows a third round of bilateral talks between the US and North Korea which took place February 23-24 in Beijing.
The six-party talks involving Japan, China, North and South Korea, Russia and the US, which aim at denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, have been stalled since 2008.
However, the analysts offered a note of caution, citing North Koreaâ€™s record of back-tracking on previous agreements.
â€śWe just have to wait and see if North Korea intends to honor the agreementâ€ť because challenges lie ahead in the process of fine-tuning details over its implementation, said Park Jong-chul, director of the Center for Unification Policy Studies.
â€śHowever it is a positive sign that dialogue has already started,â€ť he said.
James Byun Jin-heung, from Incheon Catholic University, said that though the agreement is â€śmeaningful,â€ť there is â€śa practical limitâ€ť as to what the agreement yields and whether it is a significant breakthrough towards North Koreaâ€™s actual denuclearization.
Sister Oh Hye-jeong, secretary-general of the Korean Bishopâ€™s Committee for the Reconciliation of the Korean People, called on the South Korean government to use this latest development to help repair strained relations between the two neighbors
â€śThe South Korean government must make more effort,â€ť especially in facilitating mutual exchanges including humanitarian aid to the North, she said.
â€śWe and the international community should not ask too much of North Korea, but wait and see if its change in attitude is genuine.â€ť
Seoul welcomes US North agreement