One of the world’s most isolated states has taken the first step towards international normalization as North Korea announces its intention to suspend uranium enrichment and nuclear missile tests, contingent on 240,000 metric tons of food aid from the US and their pledge of “no hostile intent”. While US officials welcome this ‘first step’, there are still lingering concerns over the commitment of North Korea. Under Kim Jong-Il, the US and North Korea had many similar diplomatic endeavors, however North Korea repeatedly left the table before their conclusion. Although willing to engage with North Korea, the Obama administration will undoubtedly proceed with caution: the issues of what to do with North Korea’s existing nuclear arsenal and the administration’s reticence to mingle the humanitarian aid with nuclear disarmament will certainly be hurdles in this week’s negotiations in Beijing. As one of the first significant actions of the new North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, the course of these negotiations are sure to set the tone for US-North Korean relations for years to come.