U.S. Announces N. Korea’s Agreement to Nuclear Moratorium

The United States announced a diplomatic breakthrough with North Korea Wednesday.

Under an agreement reached in direct talks in Beijing last week, North Korea has agreed to allow the return of nuclear inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency, and has agreed to implement a moratorium on long-range missile tests, nuclear tests, and nuclear activities  at Yongbyon, including uranium enrichment activities, the State Department said. In return, the United States will provide North Korea with a large food aid package.

In return, the United States will “move forward with our proposed package of 240,000 metric tons of nutritional assistance along with the intensive monitoring required for the delivery of such assistance,” she said.

Arms control experts welcomed the signs of progress in U.S. efforts to engage Pyongyang. But U.S. North Korea experts and foreign policy hands advised high caution in assessing Pyongyang’s intent, given its track record of abrupt reversals.

The return of nuclear inspectors to North Korea for the first time in three years would be a “very positive development,” Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations panel, said in a statement Wednesday. And he added, the United States has a humanitarian interest in helping the North Korean people receive food aid. “Resuming nutritional assistance to the DPRK is the right thing to do if we can ensure our aid will reach those in need.”

Source: Yahoo News

Image: The Guardian

Can Shale Oil Help America’s Economy?

After sitting idle for two decades, there’s steam billowing from the top of the big old steel plant in Youngstown, Ohio.

“Years ago we couldn’t figure out how to get it out of there in an economical way, but somebody came up with a better mousetrap,” said oil analyst Phil Flynn of PFGBest.  “Instead of only getting maybe 10 percent of that oil and gas out of the market, now we get 75 to 80 to 90 percent of that oil and gas out” he said.

Flynn, who is very enthusiastic when talking about the possibilities of natural gas, said this can change everything, including foreign policy. “We’re the Saudi Arabia of natural gas. This single-handedly can change the US economy” he said.

The shale oil industry seems to have many heading toward Ohio with dollar signs in their eyes. On its website, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources posted this statement: “In the spring of 2010, the Division started receiving a number of calls from landowners who were being approached by land persons seeking to lease the Marcellus Shale and subsequently, the Utica Shale beneath their property for oil and natural gas exploration. We expect the permitting and drilling to the Marcellus Shale and Utica Shale to increase but at a gradual pace.”

It’s too soon to say business is booming, but Tom Humphries, from the Youngstown Warren regional chamber of commerce, estimates more than 400,000 jobs could be created in the area from the shale oil industry.

Still, for now shale oil is tightly gripped in a tug of war with environmental concerns versus jobs and a domestic fuel source.


Source: Fox News

Image: Scientific American