Washington, March 1 (IANS) As North Korea announced Wednesday to suspend its nuclear tests, long-range missile launches and uranium enrichment activity following last week's talks with the US, the latter described it as a "modest first step".
"Today's announcement represents a modest first step in the right direction," Xinhua quoted US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as telling the Senate while welcoming North Korea's announcement.
North Korea (also called the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)) held high-level bilateral talks with the US in Beijing last week.
On Wednesday, North Korea's foreign ministry announced to abide by the country's agreement with the US during the Beijing talks.
"The DPRK, upon request by the US and with a view to maintaining a positive atmosphere for the DPRK-US high-level talks, agreed to a moratorium on nuclear tests, long-range missile launches, and uranium enrichment activity at Nyongbyon," North Korea's foreign ministry spokesman told news agency KCNA.
"It will allow the IAEA to monitor the moratorium on uranium enrichment while productive dialogues continue," the spokesman added.
In a separate statement, US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said: "To improve the atmosphere for dialogue and demonstrate its commitment to denuclearisation, the DPRK has agreed to implement a moratorium on long-range missile launches, nuclear tests and nuclear activities at Nyongbyon, including uranium enrichment activities."
Nuland said the North Korea had also agreed to the return of UN inspectors to "verify and monitor the moratorium on uranium enrichment activities at Nyongbyon and confirm the disablement of the 5-MW reactor and associated facilities."