The U.S. administration on Thursday will lift some trade sanctions against North Korea and move to take it off the U.S. terrorism blacklist - a remarkable turnaround in policy toward the communist regime, which President George W. Bush once branded as part of an "axis of evil."
North Korea handed over a long-awaited accounting of its nuclear work to Chinese officials on Thursday, fulfilling a key step in the denuclearization process.
In exchange, the U.S. is fulfilling its promise to erase trade sanctions under the Trading With the Enemy Act, and notify Congress that, in 45 days, it intends to take North Korea off the State Department list of nations that sponsor terrorism, White House press secretary Dana Perino said.
"The United States welcomes the North Korean declaration of its nuclear programs," she said.
"North Korea has pledged to disable all its nuclear facilities and tomorrow will destroy the cooling tower of the Yongbyon reactor," she said. "North Korea also pledged to declare its nuclear activities. This information will be essential to verifying that North Korea is ending all of its nuclear programs and activities."