BEIJING - North Korea's willingness to cut a surprise deal with the United States on the future of its nuclear program does not signal any policy shift by the reclusive state's young new leader, a source with links to both Pyongyang and Beijing said.
The source, speaking on condition of anonymity, also warned against applying pressure similar to sanctions on Iran to get it to jettison its nuclear ambitions, saying any perceived insincerity from Washington would quickly drive Pyongyang from the table.
Just weeks after Kim Jong-un succeeded his father, North Korea agreed with the United States last week to suspend nuclear and long-range missile tests, uranium enrichment at a nuclear facility, and to allow nuclear inspectors back. At the same time Washington pledged to resume food aid.
Despite the agreement, the source told Reuters not to read too much into it. "There has been no change (in policy). The door has always been open" from Pyongyang's perspective, he said. The source has correctly predicted events in the past, telling Reuters about the North's first nuclear test in 2006 before it took place.