U.S. and North Korea Agreement a Step Forward for Diplomacy

February 29, 2012

U.S. and North Korea Agreement a Step Forward for Diplomacy
Return of IAEA Inspectors and Food Monitors to Provide Needed Information

San Francisco – In response to today’s State Department announcement of a new agreement with North Korea suspending its nuclear and missile testing and allowing the return of IAEA inspectors in return for food aid, Ploughshares Fund Executive Director Philip Yun and Program Director Paul Carroll have released the following statements:

"This small step forward demonstrates once again that sustained diplomatic outreach is the best way to understand and deal with the threats posed by nuclear proliferation, particularly with respect to North Korea where options are extremely limited. The commitment for a ballistic missile and nuclear test moratorium for the time being limits North Korea’s ability to qualitatively improve its nuclear weapons capability.

While it is too early to celebrate, today’s agreement is a positive step toward increased security and stability on the Korean Peninsula. Removing the threat of a nuclear weapons or missile test will help to diffuse tensions in the region and create the conditions for further negotiations on North Korea’s nuclear program. It’s up to North Korea now to meet its commitment and be more transparent, and it’s up to the United States to aggressively follow up on this welcome first step.”

- Philip Yun, Executive Director, Ploughshares Fund

“The important gain in this agreement is a commitment not to test nuclear weapons or ballistic missiles, but also a new avenue for reliable information about one of the world’s most opaque regimes. We will gain reliable information that we can use to learn more about the regime and push forward with additional negotiations. With IAEA inspectors and food monitors on the ground, we can better understand North Korea’s abilities and foster progress toward de-escalating its nplouguclear program.”

- Paul Carroll, Program Director, Ploughshares Fund