It looks as if there is an agreement but as the article points out there are still a lot of issues to be worked out. Agreements have become unstuck before.
North Korea agrees to nuclear disarmament
Last Updated: Tuesday, February 13, 2007 | 5:24 AM ET
The Associated Press
North Korea agreed at talks with the U.S. and four regional powers Tuesday to shut down its main nuclear reactor within 60 days and eventually dismantle its atomic weapons program.
Under the deal, the North will receive an initial 50,000 tonnes of heavy fuel oil for shutting down and sealing its main nuclear reactor, to be confirmed by international inspectors, Chinese envoy Wu Dawei said. The North eventually will receive another 950,000 tonnes in aid for irreversibly disabling the reactor.
North Korea and the U.S. also will embark on talks aimed at resolving disputes and restarting diplomatic relations, Wu said.
The Korean Peninsula has remained in a state of war for more than a half-century since the Korean War ended in a 1953 ceasefire.
The U.S. will begin the process of removing North Korea from its designation as a terror-sponsoring state and also on ending U.S. trade sanctions, but no deadlines were set, according to the agreement. Japan and North Korea also will seek to normalize relations, Wu said.
After the initial 60 days, a joint meeting will be convened of foreign ministers from all countries at the talks — China, Japan, Russia, the United States and the two Koreas. Another meeting of the nuclear envoys was scheduled for March 19.
Under a 1994 U.S.-North Korea disarmament agreement, the North was to receive 500,000 tons of fuel oil a year before construction was completed of two nuclear reactors that would be able to generate 2 million kilowatts of electricity.
That deal fell apart in late 2002 when the U.S. accused the North of conducting a secret uranium enrichment program, sparking the latest nuclear crisis that led to the six-nation talks.
In September 2005, North Korea was promised energy aid and security guarantees in exchange for pledging to abandon its nuclear programs. But talks on implementing that agreement repeatedly stalled on other issues.
In the last few days, the talks had appeared to be on the verge of foundering, and envoys made clear that their frustration was increasing and their patience growing thin. The current round was to conclude on Monday but as they progressed toward a deal, negotiators extended it late into the night and then into the early hours of Tuesday.
The U.S. envoy to the talks, Christopher Hill, emerged in the early morning hours of Tuesday looking weary after a marathon 16-hour negotiating session and announced that a tentative deal had been struck.
Hill said the draft agreement still must be reviewed by the home governments of the six countries at the talks, but he was upbeat about its chances. He said he was in "constant communication" with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
"We feel it's an excellent draft; I don't think we're the problem," he said at the time.
If Pyongyang follows through with its promises, they would be the first moves the Communist nation has made to scale back its atomic development after more than three years of six-nation negotiations marked by delays, deadlock and the North's first nuclear test explosion in October.
In September 2005, North Korea was promised energy aid and security guarantees in exchange for a pledge to abandon its nuclear programs. But talks on implementing that agreement snarled on other issues and that plan went nowhere.