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DPRK's suspension of nuclear activities "modest first step": Clinton

03-01-2012 08:10 BJT

WASHINGTON, Feb. 29 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday that the agreement of Democratic People' s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to suspend its nuclear activities was a "modest first step."

"Today's announcement represents a modest first step in the right direction," Clinton said at a Senate hearing.

"We, of course, will be watching closely, and judging North Korea's new leaders by their actions," she added.

Clinton's remarks came after DPRK announced on Wednesday that it would suspend nuclear tests, long-range missile launches, and uranium enrichment activities as agreed with the United States in recent bilateral talks.

The country said it will also allow UN inspectors to monitor the moratorium on uranium enrichment "while productive dialogues continue."

In an almost simultaneous announcement, the U.S. government confirmed that the DPRK has agreed to the suspension.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland described in a statement the latest development as "important, if limited, progress," despite Washington's ongoing "profound concerns" regarding DPRK's moves.

Nuland added that the United States has agreed to meet with DPRK to finalize the details to move forward with proposed American food aid of "240,000 metric tons of nutritional assistance."

The DPRK and U.S. delegations met in Beijing on Feb.23-24 for the third round of the high-level talks, following previous meetings in July and October last year.

Editor:Zhang Jianfeng |Source: Xinhua

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