Analysis: North Korea deal promising, but questions persist
March 1st, 2012
03:18 AM ET

Analysis: North Korea deal promising, but questions persist

By Elise Labott

Never a regime to do something for nothing, North Korea took what Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called a "modest first step" in agreeing to halt its nuclear and missile program in exchange for food aid.

But Clinton knows full well that 20 years of broken promises by North Korea to successive American administrations, both Democrat and Republican, give good reason to pause before celebrating.

The deal though is a promising sign, a first step that is conciliatory rather than belligerent, as North Korea agreed to stop nuclear activity at its main facility in Yongbyon and impose a moratorium on nuclear tests and long-range missile launched in exchange for 240,000 tons of food assistance.

It also promised to allow international inspectors into nuclear sites that have gone unexamined for close to five years.

A refresher course on previous agreements between Washington and Pyongyang suggests a pattern by the North of agreeing to vaguely worded statements and making gestures meant to demonstrate its commitment to halt its program, only to cheat, stall and engage in nuclear antics. The North Koreans have been masters at extracting additional concessions from the international community to fulfill agreements it reneged on, all the while playing for the time needed to further develop nuclear weapons.

Since 1992, when it first agreed, then refused, to allow inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency, North Korea has been pulling the wool over the eyes of the international community.

In 1994, the Bill Clinton administration announced the Agreed Framework with North Korea, which provided for a nuclear-free peninsula in exchange for massive amounts of energy assistance from the United States.

After years in which North Korea launched missile tests, ultimately withdrawing from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the international community needed to find a better way to rein in the North.

In 2003, the U.S., China, Japan, Russia and South Korea began an effort to show the reclusive North a path back into the international fold if it curbed its nuclear ambition. After several rounds of the so-called Six Party Talks, the group reached an agreement with Pyongyang to halt its nuclear program, resume compliance with the non-proliferation treaty and allow international inspectors to return.

In exchange, North Korea would receive food and energy assistance and a chance to normalize relations with the United States.

The talks would be off and on again for more than two years without agreement. In the meantime, North Korea conducted a nuclear weapons test in 2006. There were flickers of promise in 2007, when North Korea agreed to close its main reactor at Yongbyon, The following year, it demolished the Yongbyon cooling tower and handed over thousands of documents on its nuclear program to the United States. In return, North Korea was taken off the U.S. list of states that sponsored terrorism.

But the euphoria was short-lived. When the talks resumed in December, Pyongyang refused to abide by a verification accord that Washington claimed had been agreed upon.

Since then, North Korea has launched another nuclear test, announced reprocessing of 8,000 nuclear fuel rods and enough weapons grade plutonium for a couple of nuclear bombs. And it promised it had no intention of either returning to talks or giving up its weapons.

Before his death, Kim Jong Il instructed officials to return to the table. An agreement for North Korea to once again suspend all nuclear and missile tests, and uranium production and allow the return for inspectors in exchange for food aid was close to being announced in late December, but Kim's death put everything on hold.

The main sticking point was the North demanded large quantities of food, which the U.S. has balked at out of fear it end up on some North Korean general's dinner table or on the black market to fund North Korea's nuclear development.

The Obama administration gave the new North Korean regime, led by Kim's son, Kim Jong Un, time to regroup, all the while emphasizing Washington was eager to pick up where the December talks left off.

Last week in Beijing, the U.S .envoy to North Korea Glyn Davies got encouraging news from his North Korean counterpart, leading to Wednesday's agreement. Pyongyang dropped its demand for foodstuffs and agreed to targeted "nutritional assistance" more appropriate for young children, pregnant mothers and the elderly than it would be for a banquet celebrating the 100th birthday of Kim Il Sung.

Officials see some positive signs in the fact that the new North Korean regime is picking up where the old one left off. And this first diplomatic move by the young new leader is being done within the self-declared 100 day mourning period for Kim Jong Il. This continuity suggests North Korea is interested in getting back to the table and begin to make further diplomatic progress.

But does the Obama administration think this time is different? It doesn't. Yet. Officials are being careful not to oversell what's happened, calling it a series of confidence building measures that can hopefully unlock the door to the resumption of most serious talks aimed at ending North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

They are hopeful, but cautious. They have been to this party before.

Filed under: Arms Control • Hillary Clinton • IAEA • Kim Jong Il • Kim Jong-un • North Korea • Nuclear • Secretary of State
soundoff (174 Responses)
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  5. tun.tin

    240,000 tons of food for what:

    March 2, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Reply
  6. Buster W.

    All the US needs to send is 2 grains of rice, 1 fish, and 1/2 of Soju. The Great Successor will be able to feed the whole country for 10 years with that. The Dear Leader would have been able feed the country for 50 years with only half the amount, but The Great Successor will need a few more years to perfect his skils.

    March 2, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Reply
  7. Monsanto

    I love how they call it "food". It's not food, it's genetically engineered poison created by Monsanto. A company who's own employees will not eat their own product. 240,000 tons of poison, watch the cancer and infertility rates spike as soon as they start consuming it.

    March 2, 2012 at 10:31 am | Reply
    • Feltch

      Monsanto is a monster. It must be destroyed.

      March 2, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Reply
  8. PantyRaid

    They should just let South Korea take care of them. Then they could be best friends!

    March 2, 2012 at 10:09 am | Reply
  9. allenwoll

    Balderdash : Give them to China (As if China would take them).

    March 2, 2012 at 9:52 am | Reply
  10. Jeff

    North Korea is holding off on its nuclear program because the leaders there know they are in desperate need of food. Once they receive this "huge" food aid package we are supposed to give them, they will just continue on like the way they did before.

    March 2, 2012 at 9:03 am | Reply
  11. 4commonsensenow

    Ok , here is my first coffee take. See that young man, which is what he is. forget about uniforms and all distractions. see that old men behind him. Now, old people can't keep ruling the world with fear forever. The people dont want it, i dont want it. Old people are staring to die, fact. Young people that are educated and in power have egos. In time everyone needs to prove themselves. Only people with nothing to lose put the barrel to thier skulls. Power people with nukes play politics. I worked with dome people in the past I would call leechers. They always looking for the free coffee handout, or free lunch.It never bothered me till I had kids to support.They live single, no responsibilty, and still leech.This country is not the same.Its not a leecher.Its on the outside of the fence looking at the family reunion.This young man is too young to label lost to a set way of doing things at this time.

    March 2, 2012 at 4:07 am | Reply
  12. Tsgt Smako

    This is stupid, they stopped their missile and nuke programs 10 times already, and that is just by my count. They rattle their saber, they say they will play nice if we give them food, fuel and cash, we give them food, fuel and cash, they tell us to go fu ourselves and we are back to the rattling saber again.
    HEY HILLARY! I promise I wont become a criminal when I can no longer feed my family after my job gets shipped off to China if you give me a couple million.

    March 2, 2012 at 12:38 am | Reply
    • Earnan M

      But this time they really mean it! Hionest!

      Not another penny. Not another grain of rice, not a drop of fuel, not a single bandaid or aspirin, until they let us into their reactors and enrichment plants with cutting torches and bulldozers.

      March 2, 2012 at 8:36 am | Reply
  13. This isnt America any more

    LoL ....... Feed them all dont worry about the people in america , you know the ones thats paid tax dollars and now they dont have jobs and wondering from day to day what to do . To Feed 1 million N.Korea's thats really funny . Just tell me why is America going to send them food ? Because what are they To lazy to grow there own crops ? or is it because they want to have over a Million People in there Army ? Send them Seeds and let them grow there own Food .. If any ever bad happens to America im just wondering Who is going to help us besides our Allies ? Im just tired of seeing our tax dollars being thrown away when it should help the ones that pays it , Im sorry but i lost all respect for the people who runs this country any more its all about money . Put it this way no matter what i think or what you think it doesnt matter unless your Rich then people will listen to what you have to say

    March 1, 2012 at 11:41 pm | Reply
  14. RobM

    Hault their nuclear program? They already have nukes! If America thinks they are gonna turn over every nuclear warhead in the armory for food for the poor they haven't been feeding since day one then I think I have finally lost all hope in our leaders today.

    March 1, 2012 at 11:32 pm | Reply
    • Earnan M

      So far they haven't been able to get their nukes to work.

      Let alone make them small enough to fit on a missile or even inside a plane.

      North Korea needs to be destroyed. Kim and the rest of his criminal gang need to be lined up against a wall and shot.

      Wikileaks brought something useful out into the public eye: the Chinese are just as fed up with the Norks as the rest of the world, and they're not going to go to war for them again.

      March 2, 2012 at 8:39 am | Reply
  15. MidWestern Boy

    Here we go again......... Fool us once or fool us 100 times, apparantly we will always be suckered.

    March 1, 2012 at 10:40 pm | Reply
  16. Matt

    Quick thought... while I understand the human suffering does no one else wonder why we are propping up this dictator by providing his government with food and energy... I can't think of a better way to get this population to revolt then just do nothing and let the government reap the results of the great communist system.

    Then again we as a nation never wanted a free and peaceful North Korea since that would take away the reason for having US soldiers in Japan and South Korea... both countries which already want us to leave.

    March 1, 2012 at 10:05 pm | Reply
  17. David Myers

    Mark B.: Well you are just plain follish! And that is the reality.

    March 1, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Reply
  18. almer dzananovic

    i think that North Korea will use the food to get more money for there nuclear program.

    March 1, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Reply
  19. North Korean Fellow

    We dus bowing smote op u awses adan.

    March 1, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Reply
  20. North Korean Fellow

    I fum nort kowea. U amewicans aw so tupid. Do u acktually tink we wi top owah nukier pogam? Oh so siwwy.

    March 1, 2012 at 7:21 pm | Reply
    • David Myers

      I don't believe your fake "bad english" for a second – Troll!

      March 1, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Reply
  21. aretiree

    This is great news and we should accept this as such until there is reason not to accept it as great news.

    March 1, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Reply
    • Christian Faith

      "This is great news and we should accept this as such until there is reason not to accept it as great news."

      My what a refreshingly logical and optimistic point of view in an otherwise skeptical and negative forum. Yes, N Korea has been an old dog that has repeatedly bit the hands of those that would feed it, but the old dog is dead- lets see if the new dog is any better. New dogs can learn new tricks that the old dog could or would not try. Besides, what good is a country that is always starving to death? I think that Kim Jong Un knows that the old ways will only get the same tired old results.

      March 1, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Reply
  22. Whatever

    North Korea is going to head down the same path to righteousness as did the former Soviet Union (USSR) under Mikhail Gorbachev. Of course, under Vladimir Putin, things are apparently getting somewhat tense now, but nevertheless, it is now known as the Russian Federation and no longer the old communist Soviet Union regime. Of course, that does not justify Vladimir Putin's former position as head of the KGB. I believe North Korea & even Cuba are slowly but most assuredly breaking the ranks of their communist dictatorships.

    March 1, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Reply
    • Paul

      Not a very informed opinion. Putin was never head of the KGB.

      March 1, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Reply
      • David Myers

        You are so pedantic and short-sighted. No he wasn't the head of the KGB. Yes he was a life-long upper member of the KGB. This minor error does not negate the posters comments. Get a life. Your current one is way to pedantic and literalist!

        March 1, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
      • C

        Uhm, yes, he was head of the KGB. But that wasn't the point of the post, so quit nit-picking. It just makes you look stupid when you try to correct someone who is already right.

        March 2, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • panzerduck

      Yeah, and have you ever been to Cuba. Seems hooked on tourism to me,

      March 1, 2012 at 8:14 pm | Reply
  23. mrdgroze

    Well if they break the agreement then we are where we were before and we will know that Un is like his father before him. But if they don't then we are a half a step ahead and making some sort of progress. There's no reason to place blame, we are testing the waters of a new leader and waiting to see if the shark jumps out to take our foot off.

    March 1, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Reply
  24. Robert Johnson

    Trust me, Charlie Brown. I won't pull the football away this time. Right!

    March 1, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Reply
    • David Myers

      Actually it's more like Lucy's daughter making the promise (for the first time ) to hold the ball and let Charlie Brown kick it. Don't know if the daughter (son) is the same as the mother (father) until we give it a try.

      March 1, 2012 at 8:48 pm | Reply


    And I presume if things go well, rightwing pessimists like you are going to say that the success had nothing to do with Obama's policies right?

    March 1, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Reply
    • Danteg8son

      I might buy your argument if you can show how Obama's policies magically resulted in Kim Jong Un being less of a whack job than his father.

      March 1, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Reply
  26. DrTom01

    People rally need to understand 240,000 tons of food assistance is a small price to pay. It is less that 1 week cost in Afghanistan, or the price of sending a carrier battle group to the South China Sea to monitor North Korea. Will North Korea break it's agreements, yes probably. The U.S. is dealing with the son of a lunatic who may be a lunatic himself. The U.S is giving simple foodstuffs that have little value on the open market and yes we have to hope the lunatic gives them to his starving people. Just keep in mind 240,000 tons of food assistance is not a extreme price to pay. Compared to everything else (except doing nothing) it is a cheap price to pay.

    March 1, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Reply
  27. condonate

    Rick Santorum's Policy directly from his GOP website:
    The issue of North Korea is of great concern to Santorum, but he is against the idea of initiating direct talks...Rick Santorum also advocates the use of selective assassination as a tool to contain the threat of nuclear from rogue nations like North Korea.

    As a rational moderate, I hope that Obama is re-elected. Democrat foreign policy trumps GOP every time.

    March 1, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Reply
    • DrTom01

      It is what Jesus would do.

      March 1, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Reply
  28. Robert

    North Korea has done this countless times before and reneged every time....

    March 1, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Reply

    The reality is that NK will disarm and dismandle its nuclear program once they see that President Obama is re-elected. But they could resume the production of weapons and their nuclear program if another Democratic is not elected in 2016! And that is simply because they fully well know that the Republicans are war mongers and they like to call other governments axels of evil and extremists as justificatioon for war. Furthermore, governments like NK are fully aware that wealthy Republican Americans like to use war as entertainment when all other forms of entertainment and pleasure are consumed or become a bore to them. So it is very important for the American people to keep Republicans out of office for as long as possible.

    March 1, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Reply
    • wiscokid

      I suggest you do a little research to find out which party has enjoyed majority position for the vast majority of modern history in America before you make such ridiculous statements..

      March 2, 2012 at 9:20 am | Reply
  30. Leucadia Bob

    This is what will happen if we give North Korea food:

    March 1, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Reply
    • David Myers

      That's supposed to be a meaningful comment? Very poor.

      March 1, 2012 at 8:52 pm | Reply
  31. CaliforniaBC

    ONE MORE foreign policy WIN FOR OBAMA!!

    March 1, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Reply
  32. After you, fat boy

    Okay... if the DPRK keeps their part of the bargain first, then and only then do they get fed.

    March 1, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Reply
    • David Myers

      What do you suggest then – letting his people starve for five more years and then feeding them if we don't see any further signs of nuclear arms buildup? This really is at least a win situation, if not a win-win. Win because fewer people starve – win win if it results in progress on reducing nucear arms prolliferation.

      March 1, 2012 at 8:54 pm | Reply
      • glenda

        This is just really stupid and if we feed this idiots before making homes and jobs and food for us Americans........I have no more respect for this fu country and I will move away.....I taught school in S. Korea and they are the biggest crooks and they want a war.......I say let's wipe them off the map , all of them and then stop troops from going to any country but our own. Stupid stupid America.......

        March 2, 2012 at 1:01 am |

    Well, there's a big difference with this current proposal for two very simple reasons! First of all Un's father broke the previous deal reached in 2005 simply because he realized that you just couldn't trust and work with an American dictator who frequently referred to your government as axels of evil. Secondly, Jong IL didn't trust W simply because W was once again an American dictator who acted like an axel of evil lunatic, invading a sovereign country in Iraq without just cause and proof of WMD's! And would you trust a murder who calls you a murder for not even committing a crime? I didn't think so!

    However, Jong Un is dealing with a real progressive, thrustworthy and intelligent American commander-in-chief in President Obama and he knows that President Obama didn't win the Noble Peace Prize for no reason. And for the first time in decades North Korea sees the opportunity to work with a genuine and constructive American President willing to create dialogue and establish a working relationship with NK that can actually lead to peace and stability in the region. Yo go kid Jong Un!

    March 1, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Reply
    • HowstheChangeGoing

      Wow dude, you got the whole shaft on that one!!!! Obama is not the promised one as you think, NK will reneg on it's end.....AGAIN, then what? Will you eat crow, no, you will blame it on republicans somehow. Lay off the frickin kool-aid for a bit.

      March 1, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Reply
      • DrTom01

        There is more than enough to blame Republicans for without this. Attempting to roll back reproduction rights to the 1950's, Tax Cuts for the Rich, Fighting for the 1% only, Deregulation of all polluters, Refusing to regulate Wall Street and Banks, Causing the debt crisis that caused the US Debt Rating to be lowered, refusing to even vote on Presidential Nominees, Bringing Congress to it's knees with filibusters of everything Republicans don't like, etc. Heck the list can go on for pages and pages. This is just a little piddly thing.

        March 1, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • HAHA

      Hahahaha, OBAMA is 'thrust'worthy isn't he? But seriously, no one is going to take you seriously if you can't (or do not care enough) to spell correctly. The content of your posts also has to be examined, but that is another topic.

      March 1, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Reply
    • David Myers

      And the bonus is: if Un sticks to the agreement and relations improve and North Korea's economic situation gets better, this shows the carrot approach and encourages moderates in Iran to consider doing the same.

      March 1, 2012 at 8:57 pm | Reply
  34. mike

    Dear US Government,
    I hereby waive all rights and desires to build nuclear weapons. Now, where is my food?

    March 1, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Reply
    • longtooth

      At McDonald's, where it always is.

      March 1, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Reply

    Is this a joke or what should have nuked them back in the 50's when we had the chance, now we are suppose to care for them for life I think NOT.

    March 1, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Reply
    • DrTom01

      1) Nuclear radiation blows in the wind back eventually into the U.S. 2) China, Japan and South Korea would strongly object to nukes landing across their border.

      March 1, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Reply
      • HowstheChangeGoing

        Shhhh, that statement made sense, an unheard of and endangered species on these boards!!!!

        March 1, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • bahahaa

      The United States needs a reason to keep troops in Asia, close to China. Without North Korea, there would be no reason to keeps the amount of troops the United States has in Asia, without raising suspicion to China. Just like the Soviets did in Cuba.

      March 1, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Reply
  36. ART

    Mike you suck and are full of sh*t

    March 1, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Reply
    • David Myers

      Pst! I think Mike is a troll! Notion: Don't feed the trolls – it only makes them think they matter.

      March 1, 2012 at 9:06 pm | Reply
  37. coffee

    I hope the U.S. isn't going to just give them 240,000 tons for food because we all know 200,000 tons will end up in Kim Jong Un's private stash. What they should do is ensure the food is spread among the people, allowing them to build up their strength to start a revolution. The North Korean population is so malnourished, that they will believe anything without question. Kim Jong Un will probably tell them that the food is a gift sent from the afterlife by the late Kim Jong Il.

    March 1, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Reply
  38. Leucadia Bob

    Don't do it! Make them eat McDonalds instead – then they'll be fat and useless like most Americans and then we can take over.

    March 1, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Reply
  39. Saboth

    NK has a new, young leader. He's been educated abroad and has seen how students/citizens of other countries live. His father was the one that broke the past promises, not him. Perhaps he realizes there is no future in the path NK was choosing, and has decided to join the world marketplace.

    March 1, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Reply
    • olga13

      That would be great if Kim Jung Um was really in charge, but he isn't

      March 1, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Reply
  40. Lester

    NK has agreed to nothing other than to postpone any additional nuclear activities until after food aid has been delivered. That is hardly a breakthrough, and could mean nothing more than the Party leadership doesn't want any internal instability while the new regime consolidates power. Party leaders have a problem on their hands, in that Kim Jong Un has the hereditary right to rule but he is far too young by Korean cultural standards. This raises the potential of a leadership struggle, which the NK elite hardly want to fight during the middle of a national food crisis. Continued engagement with the North Koreans is certainly appropriate, but progress should only be announced when it actually occurs.

    March 1, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Reply
  41. Dr. Knowitall

    Not sure, but I think this is a little deja vu !
    What did we give them the last time around when Jiminy Crickets brokered a deal with them ?
    I mean haven’t any of our state department employees watched Lucy and Charlie Brown kicking a football before ?

    March 1, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Reply
  42. justmeanddog

    Anyone who believes that the leaders of NK or Iran, for that matter, will keep their promises is out of touch with Reality and needs to be re-educated, perhaps in an NK work camp or an Iranian Prison.

    March 1, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Reply
  43. BogusPeavy

    Lets see, the only guys I can think of right away that lie as much as these guys are Iran. Imagine for a moment they slip and tell the truth? NOBODY will EVER believe them – ever. It will never matter what they say or appear to do. Same with Iran. You can only judge by deed. ONLY.

    March 1, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Reply
    • David Myers

      Woah! Are you forgetting the tea partiers, Rush Limbaugh, and the republican party? They lie at least as much! Given how much money they have to publicize their "views", I'd guess they lie way more often!

      March 1, 2012 at 9:09 pm | Reply
  44. BogusPeavy

    Lets see, the only guys I can think of right away that lie as much as these guys is Iran. Imagine for a moment they slip and tell the truth? NOBODY will EVER believe them – ever. It will never matter what they say or appear to do. Same with Iran. You can only judge by deed. ONLY.

    March 1, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Reply
  45. jo

    I recall Clinton and Albright gloating about their deal with North Korea. OF course.. after they were both gone we found out how well that really went. This will be no different. How short our memories are. Painfully short.

    March 1, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Reply
    • John

      Your memory must be non existent because the fact is that the North Koreans went along with the Clinton agreement right up until G.W. pulled the plug. Perhaps one of the dumbest moves in history. The again he was probably the dumbest president in history.

      March 1, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Reply
  46. johndoe5

    North Korea: promising? the idiot America is never learned from the past mistakeSSS.

    March 1, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Reply
  47. Christian Faith

    I believe that God is answering prayers concerning North Korea. I'm personally praying for Kim Jong Un, that God will open his heart and mind towards compassion and peace, and that he will ultimately become a Christian. Its time for the doors of North Korea to be opened, and for the suffering of its people to end. Though it won't all happen overnight, I do believe that something miraculous is taking place in this sheltered and dark place and that this is the mighty hand of God at work. All things are possible, only believe, and pray. 🙂

    March 1, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Reply
    • DoubleW

      Uh... (long, speechless pause)... Ok, right. yeah, what you said.

      March 1, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Reply
    • Dave

      I believe god is sh1tting his pants watching us muck up the planet.

      March 1, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Reply
    • ohyou

      "God" has given a crap about the North Korean people for over 64 years, what makes you think he cares now?

      March 1, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Reply
      • ohyou

        has not*

        March 1, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
      • Ty

        Obviously by you putting God in quotation marks, your obviously a non believer or you were and something bad may have happened in your life and you just decided there was no God because your life is crap now. Well guess what there are a lot of people whose lives are worse then yours.

        March 1, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
      • ohyou

        You are right, there are alot of people whose lives are worse then mine. And your point is? Doesn't change the fact of what I said before. Oh and im a non-believe, my life is awesome.

        March 1, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • Quiet Child

      On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." Romans 12:20

      March 1, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Reply
      • dude

        that only works if they know it is from you though, who knows what the NK government will say to their citizens as to where the food came from

        March 1, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • whoa!

      thank you for your prayers... as Jesus said: "As man thinketh, so is he".. and Buddha: "All that we are rises with our thoughts, we are what we think, with our thoughts we make the world". Ghandi: "Be the change you want to see in the world". People are so ignorant... angry, hateful thoughts create negative consequences in all the world, loving, positive thoughts bring good consequences... If you want peace, THINK peace!

      March 1, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Reply
  48. wolfman1


    March 1, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Reply
    • Ty

      I was going through reading the other posts and this is the first one that made me laugh instead of being angry or mad over the ignorance that other people have. Your definitely right though.

      March 1, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Reply
    • bahahaa

      Please explain to me why China would be laughing at us? They are more desperate to stop North Korea from making Nuclear weapons than the United States is.

      March 1, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Reply
      • martin

        that is INCORRECT. They know NK is NO threat to us, they never will be, China could care less...

        March 1, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
      • David Myers

        Martin, you're half right. China knows that N. Korea's nuclear weapons are not a threat to the US (at this point) the same cannot be said for S. Korea, China, Japan, etc.

        March 1, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
  49. moving1

    Rice, corn, bread, weat, pork chops, chicken, burgers, milk shake, weight gain pills is better than bombs.

    March 1, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Reply
  50. desert voice (troubledgoodangel or Nathanael or Bohdan or Voiceinthedesert)

    There is besides something "prophetic" in the fact that Kim Jong United Nations (UN for short) has been chosen as Korea's Great Leader. The UN is about union, the union of the Koreas, and the union of the United Korea with the world! Give the man a chance!

    March 1, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Reply
  51. roy

    Wonder how much higher our food prices will go? North Korean blackmail again ie feed us or we'll shoot you.

    March 1, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Reply
  52. desert voice (troubledgoodangel or Nathanael or Bohdan or Voiceinthedesert)

    I have heard that Kim's college friend from Switzerland is willing to visit his former friend in the North. Why not encourage that on the ambassadorial level? Someone should arrange and pay such visit. A powerful channel could be opened. I by all means support every such action that holds promise of a breakthrough!

    March 1, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Reply
  53. jACKSON

    BOGUS BOGUS BOGUS....same song and dance, only this time, coming from Yung Phat Dude instead of his Daddy.

    March 1, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Reply
  54. desert voice (troubledgoodangel or Nathanael or Bohdan or Voiceinthedesert)

    I in turn like the facial expression of Kim Jong UN. He seems a reasonable guy, anxious to engage the West in friendship. What probably stops him, is the hungry clique of generals, who want it both ways: to get unlimitted amounts of food to calm the population, and to retain all the perks they have had since the Korean War! I hope that the North Koreans get their act together soon. It is a pity. So many nice people caught in a sekt-like whirlwind of empty hate for their brothers, the South-Koreans!

    March 1, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Reply
  55. Ed

    The people are starving so they will "agree" to anything right now and after they get the needed U.S. food handout – they will go back to business as usual which is ignoring any agreement they make. We are the fools who fall for the same thing time after time.

    March 1, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Reply
    • BogusPeavy

      We didn't "fall" for it – we walked right up and offered this! Amazing. Like "here, take this food and yes, we know you have no intention of doing what you say." Great. GIVE that food to us here in THIS country where they're not lying to ya' – they ARE hungry. Believe that truth.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Reply
  56. Johnk

    Enough is enough, let them do it first and then we'll reward them. TNK should show good faith this time because they've lied many times before.

    March 1, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Reply
  57. Deathstalker

    I like what I hear lets see what happens.

    March 1, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Reply
    • Ed

      No need to wait. We send the food and they ignore the agreement. Then we do it all over again. They are an ally of China – let China feed them.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Reply
      • David Myers

        Don't you read? China does feed them – just not enough.

        March 1, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
  58. John K

    Boy is this country really stupid, dealing with the North Koreans is just like dealing with Hitler, and Stalin, all of them are crooked, ruthless, and can NEVER be trusted for they lie and never hold to a promise. All this food will go to the military of NK, screw its citizens. This country America, is run by a bunch of dopes!

    March 1, 2012 at 11:49 am | Reply
    • mmaxum2002

      Now listen, I'll give you my lunch money if you'll stop bullying me. Same thing, yes?

      March 1, 2012 at 11:57 am | Reply
    • Knucklehead

      If you want to know about liars ask the Sioux, the Navajo, the Hopi, etc., etc., etc.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Reply
      • David Myers

        For some of the readers here, you have to be very explicit. I know what you mean but your comment may just go over their heads if you don't explicitely state that those native tribes know who the liars are because without fail it was the US government of the time.

        March 1, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
  59. St Xavier

    What is very important to remember about, North Korea is important to the world WHY because THEIR THERE. Over the years the North Koren people have been tough to believe in only there government an as we all know the government did cause hard ship an DEATH to so many. Now there is AGAIN an opening for CHANGE for the much needed help for the people. In the past North Korea has entered into agreements an has cheated an broken them an it's understandable on OUR part that WE proceed with CAUTION . We can only hope this time the North Koren government will keep there word an help there people an not as in the past cheat an break the agreements they made an do what is right for the there nation.

    March 1, 2012 at 11:39 am | Reply
    • Ed

      Fool me once, same on you. Fools be 200 times, I'm an idiot. The U.S. is an idiot that never learns.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Reply
      • BogusPeavy

        It's posturing and posing. Little more while people here in THIS country really are starving. HERE Hillary – right in your old back yard. Help US for a change. Idiots, fools and criminals. They run it all.

        March 1, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
      • David Myers

        Or as George W. Bush said, "Fool me one time shame on . . .? Fool me two times . . .? . . . We don't get fooled again."

        March 1, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
  60. JC

    No peace treaty, no food. It should be that simple. This is nothing more than a short-term fix to a long-term headache. We've known for years that they couldn't feed their own people; China is in the same boat. Both are a threat to us. Sure, they have huge armies, and there is that saying from Montgomery. But there's also that note from Napoleon. Hungry armies aren't worth very much, are they? We should have crushed both these countries a long time back. We should really put the screws on now, but we won't. Why? Too many Americans are playing both sides, that's why. Corporate America has no national loyalties whatsoever.

    March 1, 2012 at 11:38 am | Reply
    • joep199

      I totally agree that corporate America has no loyalty, other than to its own profits. That being said, I don't think that we can "crush" our way to peace and prosperity. I think the fiasco in Iraq proved that point. It costs us very little to send them some food, and see if they live up to their end of the deal. If they do, some good has been done at no cost in American lives. If not, we haven't lost anything.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Reply
    • Knucklehead

      Never say never. We have more to gain from giving them another chance than not. You are a fool.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Reply
      • Ed

        The only thing we will gain is to feed them so they can survive and remain a thorn in our side. They will not change because they don't want to – to believe otherwise is foolish. The only way it could work is that the agreed to changes come 1st and then the food. That will also never happen.

        March 1, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
      • BobA

        deliver a set amount of grain spread out over 20 years, if they back out the grain stops.

        We are paying farmers to allow fields to sit empty, cut off farm entitlements and offer to buy grains grown on this land at a set price. Send this extra food to NK. it costs less than cruise missles

        March 1, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
      • David Myers

        Bob A: I like the way you think. Your's is the best comment in this comments section, so far! Bravo!

        March 1, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
    • Knucklehead

      We should crush China and North Korea? How do you propose we do that? With our large budgetary surplus? We can't even control a third world country.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Reply
      • jo

        Leave Detroit out of this..

        March 1, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
  61. taxed

    I cannot believe our dumbass government fell for that again. What about the million counterfeit US$100 bills that NK prints every year and uses to finance its military? I don't suppose we got them to destroy the press. Nope – it's just another massive giveaway of American taxpayer money. Our only consolation is that we will be borrowing the money from China.

    March 1, 2012 at 11:30 am | Reply
    • John K

      Well said and how true!

      March 1, 2012 at 11:50 am | Reply

    nemesis hav catch up with them.

    March 1, 2012 at 11:23 am | Reply
  63. IndiaRocks

    I happened to look up satellite images of Pyongyang a few days ago and to my astonishment I saw the city booming with modern infrastructure including skyscrapers and stadiums. If the North Korean people are starving, why did they cry their hearts out publicly when their leader died last month? I used to believe this BS propaganda spread by the American and Western media about the "misery and starvation" of the North Korean people, but not any longer.

    March 1, 2012 at 11:12 am | Reply
    • Mike

      Most despots spend lavishly on the city where they live. I don't think you can quite see the starvation of the North Korean peasants using Google Maps.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:26 am | Reply
      • Noodlez

        Right on the nose, sir.

        March 1, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • reggis

      Then why are they willing to make deals for food MORON??? I love how all you American hate mongers come out in full when a discussion like this comes up. You're hating just to hate. I got a suggestion for all you losers who can't stand the American Way of life: go back from where you came. If we're so unbearable really take a stand and stop using all things American. Are we the pillar of light that the US government would have the world believe? NO. But we sure as hell are better off then 75% to 80% of the world. As for your satellite images of Pyongyang, the North Koreans are infamous for building up their image as prosperous. I guarantee the "dear leader" doesn't want to look out his window at the true garbage heap he rules over.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:32 am | Reply
      • IndiaRocks

        @reggis: "we sure as hell are better off then 75% to 80% of the world": Is that why American kids carry guns to school and shoot random people?

        March 1, 2012 at 11:46 am |
      • markishere

        We're better off because we work to complete exhaustion, lose nearly half of our salaries for wasteful special interest/black hole programs, have no family life (due to having to work so much), no retirement "light at the end of the tunnel" and are in a stranglehold by a government that war mongers, lies and thieves. But at least we're not like Ethiopia.

        March 1, 2012 at 11:57 am |
      • Tyler Loges

        Seriously dude? Too soon. It's not even like it's some sort of epidemic; There are screwed up kids everywhere. Let's not pretend the Ohio shootings mean our country is a shithole.

        March 1, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
      • reggis

        IndiaRocks, Is that why we have child soldiers? Is that why we are going through a civil war ever other year? Is that why unions and our social sense of entitlement is bankrupting our country? Is that why class systems in our country are a formal of social oppression? Way to take a tragic news story and apply it irrelevantly to a discussion. Last time I checked kids taking guns to school didn't affect world peace or the stability of a nation. The incident of guns in schools is most prevalent in the US, agreed, but it's been on the a steady rise in Europe as well.

        March 1, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
      • Knucklehead

        None of us will be safe until everyone else is dead.

        March 1, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
      • reggis

        Markshere, then where's your U-haul and boxing packing up for greener pastures? My point still remains that as many problems as we have here Europe, Africa, South America, and Asia are all messed up as well. Three of the four are far worse off then we are. Your a perfect example of what I'm talking about. Since when was it the federal government's responsibility to provide for your retirement. Social security is so illegal and against the Constitution it's not even funny. Plus, Europe seems to be doing so well with that business model right now, right. No one said you had to work yourself to death in this country. You chose to do that to further your life style. If it's not working for you then change it. At least your not in India where once your born into a social class your never allowed to advance out of it.

        March 1, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
      • IndiaRocks

        American culture is s#!t – teens fool around like monkeys, couples have babies without even marrying, and if they do marry dads leave their children when they are infants, babies grow up without the moral and emotional support of their parents, which deprives them of education and values and easily leads them to drugs, alcohol and violence, and since guns are freely available without even requiring a license, they end up becoming gangsters and add to the filth that is the American society.

        March 1, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
      • bahahaa

        IndiaRocks you are so vapid. Your arguments are those of an elementary student.

        March 1, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
      • David Myers

        Actually they are a mixture of haters, Trolls. and haters who are Trolls!

        March 1, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • bahahaa

      They cry because if they don't, then they, along with their whole family, will be sent to labor camps, where they will be put to work until they die. And most of the "modern infrastructures" are just empty shells designed to make NK look lavish. They don't even have enough money to build rooms in most of those buildings.

      March 1, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Reply
  64. pointless1

    NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO Help..........

    March 1, 2012 at 11:10 am | Reply
  65. Gold Finger

    Maybe this is the fresh breath that NK needs. I wasn't alive during the Korean war. That was my grandfather's war. I think it is foolish to dedicate everything towards war. Both sides have done that or have at least spurred that on in the other. There is nothing wrong with a communist system that is dedicated to its people. Best wishes and prayers to this young man in being a good ruler. The cold war is over and its time to put this conflict to the past.

    March 1, 2012 at 11:09 am | Reply
  66. doug

    Great,,,, several million more on food stamps

    March 1, 2012 at 11:03 am | Reply
  67. jeff thompson

    My advice? Get the agreement in writing. And get N. Korea's written consent to our very detailed statement laying out an inspection regime and timetable. And do not send any food aid until the agreement is signed and the inspection system has been implemented.

    March 1, 2012 at 11:02 am | Reply
  68. alex

    This is what you call a smart foreign policy. This is SO much cheaper than invading countires and killing people and in the end screwing ourselves over. Obama administration has done a FANTASTIC job – North Korea, Lybia, Iraq, Myannmar and rebuilding our alliances all over the world which were DESTROYED by Bush and the republicans.

    March 1, 2012 at 11:02 am | Reply
    • Knucklehead

      Crush the entire world. Then we'll be free.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Reply
      • David Myers

        By global thermo-nuclear war? Right then we'll all be safe. Safely dead or back in the dark ages with nuclear winter and world-wide radiation poisoning.

        March 1, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
    • Earnan M

      Wow, delusions building upon delusions.

      Meanwhile, back in the real world... Iraq remains a mess. Libya is falling under the control of Islamists like al Qaeda. Myanmar remains a brutal military dictatorship...

      Pull your head out of Obama's backside. The lack of ovygen is making you sound really stupid.

      March 2, 2012 at 8:50 am | Reply
  69. thinkharder2

    New leaders can change the road a country is taking. Many examples...Just don't insist that they become the puppets of USA like South Korea.

    March 1, 2012 at 10:59 am | Reply
    • Jon

      Hey, we recognize that there's no room in the glove, what with them basically being China's puppet and all.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:10 am | Reply
      • thinkharder2

        Yes, unfortunately China and USA are pulling the strings, but give the new guy some space to reduce the tensions.

        March 1, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
  70. Andrew

    It behooves us all to keep trying but we've been here before. We're caught between our need to protect ourselves from rouge nations with nuclear weapons and our humanitarian impulse not to let people starve. Since the start we've had trouble with the paradox that a state that can produce a nuke but still can't can't feed it's people.

    March 1, 2012 at 10:56 am | Reply
    • SanfordFan

      Yes, we've been here before. You almost have to admire North Korean leaders for the way they play the rest of the world. So we are going to send the North Korean leaders another 240,000 tons of food so they can continue to flourish while most North Koreans starve or eat grass. i recommend we send them 240,000 tons of grass seed.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:16 am | Reply
  71. Marine57

    "Analysis: North Korea deal promising"
    Do you really believe that North Korea will keep its word?
    Boy have I got news for you!

    March 1, 2012 at 10:50 am | Reply
  72. Flemmdog

    This same party started back in '91 and they have been reneging ever since! You don't give people with bad credit a loan just like we shouldn't be playing this game again! Have NATO bomb the reactor and its facilities just like they need to do in Iran- it seems like the only way to get these countries to stop, and it may deter other countries from starting! I wouldn't give them shit. Period.

    March 1, 2012 at 8:04 am | Reply
    • American Patriot in Georgia USA

      Why flemmdog must we bomb anyone?

      Why are we in S.Korea?

      Why do we support the racist zionists?

      Whats the point?

      STFU dirty evil bitchdog

      March 1, 2012 at 8:25 am | Reply
      • reggis

        First off learn to cuss like an adult. You sound ridiculous. Bombing everyone we hate is a terrible policy I agree but if there was ever true tyranny in the world it's in N. Korea. Any ruling body predicated on the notion that the figure head is a god to be worshiped is scary no matter how you spin it.

        March 1, 2012 at 11:39 am |
      • BobA

        if they get desperate they will react and not in a good way,
        send monthly grain shipments, if they break the agreement the shipments stop.

        We are paying american farms to not plant food to maintain the price of grain. cut off farm entitlements but agree to buy the grain they plant on those lands. we aren't cutting our own food production and there is a chance that Kim Jung Un is not his father

        March 1, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
  73. mippi fag

    mippifag, you're not even an American. You're a dirty evil zionist propagandist plain and simple.

    I'm here to balance your evil comments.

    North Korea is way tougher and smarter than the dirty evil zionists in israel.

    North Korea can whoop the idf blindfolded.

    March 1, 2012 at 7:48 am | Reply
  74. mipoliitc

    well first of all remember the south korean ship that was sunk by a north korean sub , all this food aid will only go to the north korean military, the thugs of north korea fear the common folk and have ears anywhere and everwhere looking and listening for anything that is out of tune so they can kill it.

    these idiots are their own worse enemy like any other cruel leaders.
    i would not give north korea anything other than pics of usa nukes at the ready. period.

    March 1, 2012 at 7:08 am | Reply
    • Jon

      Then it's a good thing you're not in charge.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:10 am | Reply
    • Mike

      Unfortunately, Obama has already proven himself to be totally inept and easily fooled. I imagine that this Administration is already busy making the white flags.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:28 am | Reply
      • Earnan M

        Worse than that.

        This administration is using our money to arm and equip our enemies.

        In Libya.

        In Mexico.

        And now in North Korea.

        March 2, 2012 at 8:44 am |
    • Knucklehead

      Right on! Time to implement a foreign policy of unending war against anyone who doesn't show us proper respect!! It's what the Founding Fathers would do.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Reply
    • BobA

      Ah yes more graduates of the George W Bush school of diplomacy.
      hasn't the needless wars in the middle east shown the cost of war far exceeds the cost of diplomacy

      March 1, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Reply
      • Mark B.

        Everyone says needless wars in the Middle East. To them I say, it is either over there or over here. Your choice. They have never stopped attacking Israel and they will never stop attacking us. You are follish to ignore reality.

        March 1, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
      • David Myers

        Mark B.: Well, you are just plain follish. And that is the reality of the matter.

        March 1, 2012 at 9:36 pm |

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