North Korea reached a promising accord with the UN today, pledging to shut its main nuclear reactor in exchange for economic aid and political compromise from the US and its allies. IAEA inspectors returned today from the Yongbyon nuclear complex—the first visit since monitors were expelled in 2002—and will flood the site in several weeks.
The accession comes only after Washington agreed to bilateral talks and eased up on North Korean funds it had trapped in a Macau bank. The UN settled with the rogue state on a system to verify the powering down of North Korea's nuclear facilities, commending Pyongyang for its spontaneous and uncharacteristic cooperation. (Read more North Korea stories.)