US aid a step toward Korea nuke talks

In this Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2011 photo, North Korean farmers pass along a road past farm fields at a collective farm near the town of Sariwon, North Korea. In a landmark shift after three years of tensions, the United States is poised to announce in the coming days its first significant donation of food aid to North Korea _ a small but symbolic offer that is expected to pave the way for long-stalled discussions on dismantling Pyongyang's nuclear program. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

December 18, 2011 10:25:26 PM PST
The United States was poised to announce a significant donation of food aid to North Korea this week before the nation announced the death of supreme leader Kim Jong Il. The donation, which could now be delayed, would be the first concrete accomplishment after months of behind-the-scenes diplomatic contacts between the two wartime enemies. An agreement by North Korea to suspend its controversial uranium enrichment program would have likely followed within days.