Kim Jong Un makes his first deal – halts nuclear program for food aid

North Korea’s offer to suspend uranium enrichment and allow international inspectors into the country breaks an impasse over its nuclear program…

The announcement marks the first agreement between the United States and North Korea since February 2007, when Pyongyang agreed to begin disabling its nuclear complex in return for $400 million worth of fuel oil and aid. The deal fell apart the following year, and North Korea, complaining the United States had not followed through on promises, resumed processing plutonium.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton described the agreement as “important but limited.” She said Washington “still has profound concerns” about Pyongyang’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and will watch to see if the regime adheres to its promises.

Former U.S. officials describe the agreement as worthwhile because it promises to interrupt North Korea’s nuclear program, if only temporarily. It also provides a test of the new regime’s intentions and trustworthiness.

The U.S. Agency for International Development tentatively plans to deliver about 20,000 metric tons of food a month over the next year, officials said. The food is appropriate for infants, small children and pregnant women. (The deal) also includes an increase in cultural, educational and sports exchanges.

via LA Times

 

For more history on North Korea, including two nuclear bomb detonations in 2006 and 2009, read about Korean Unification.

11 awesome achievements by the Department of Energy in 2011

Energy Secretary, Steven Chu
January 10, 2012
Re: Year in Review

 

Dear Colleagues,

As we enter the New Year and move forward with our efforts…(it’s) important to take a moment to reflect on the progress we have made.

Across the complex, our workforce is reducing nuclear dangers, expanding the boundaries of science and innovation, and accelerating the transition to a clean energy future.

We’re working together like never before to seize the technological lead in everything from batteries to biofuels to solar energy.

I thought I would share a few of the things we have accomplished together:

 

  • Our investments in wind and solar power have put the country on track to double renewable energy generation from 2008 to 2012.
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  • Overhauled and re-launched our website, Energy.Gov, to better communicate with the public.  Just recently, GovLoop named the new Energy.gov the top Federal website of 2011.  The Department’s website reform efforts are expected to save more than $10 million annually.
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  • We also started Powerpedia, a Department of Energy wiki-like site, that facilitates information sharing among employees.
  • Continue reading 11 awesome achievements by the Department of Energy in 2011