north korea's foreign ministry made the announcement almost simultaneously. the leadership announced it will suspend nuclear testing, firing long-rang ballistic missiles and enriching uranium and will allow the international atomic energy agency to inspect facilities. in return, the u.s. will supply the country with 240,000 tons of food with the prospect of more in the future. the u.s. stopped supplying the aid three years ago. north korean officials want to hand out food by mid-april. residents will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of the country's founder, kim il-son. they want to move forward on an equal footing. secretary of state hillary clinton says u.s. officials will move cautiously.
she told a congressional panel that the administration still has profound concerns. nhk world reports from washington. >> i said that it is our hope that the new leadership will choose to guide their nation on to the path of piece by living up to its obligations. today's announcement represents a modest first step in the right direction. >> reporter: clinton warned that the u.s. will be watching north korea closely and will be judging the country's new leaders by their actions. weary of progress on north korea's nuclear enrichment, the united states demanded concessions from the north in exchange for food assistance. the united states also aims to resume the six-party talks on north korea's nuclear development to further stem the country's nuclear ambitions. the talks have been stalled for more than three years.
nhk world, washington. >> officials at the international atomic energy agency praised the agreement. they are monitoring work in north korea has been suspended since 2009. director general said in a statement that the iea is ready to resume work. inspectors will monitor facilities on request. inspectors were first dispatched in 1994. they were expelled in 2009. south koreans, of course, have a greater stake in what happens on the peninsula they share with their northern neighbors. their leaders, too, have welcomed the agreement. a foreign affairs and trade ministry statement expressed hope that the north koreans will follow through on their promises. steps towards denuclearization are a precondition. the statement says south korea will cooperate with countries
involved in the talks and said pyongyang's announcement reflects the close work officials have done to resolve the nuclear standoff. japan, too, takes part in the six-party talks. the foreign minister says the announcement is an important step towards resolving a number of concerns. he said in a statement that he hopes north korea and the u.s. will be able to work out the details smoothly. he said japanese government leaders would like to see a resumption of the talks and increased dialogue between north korea and other countries. russia has also welcomed the efforts to revive talks. a source spoke to the interfax news agency after the agreement and said russia approves efforts by the u.s. and north korea to realize dialogue and ease tensions on the korean peninsula. the world's biggest auto maker is about to get a lot more
powerful. ai is here to tell us more, ai, good morning. >> that's right, catherine, general motors is to join forces with the world's eighth largest. this u.s./french tieup will create the largest auto alliance. annual sales 50% more than any other car maker in the world. gm will acquire a 7% stake. the move coincides with the french car maker's plan to boost its capital. the auto maker's plan to coordinate the procurement of parts and materials. and that's to bolster operations mainly in the sluggish european auto market. true the grand alliance, the firms will develop small and mid-sized cars using a common framework. they aim to launch new models within four years and eventually boost their profits to about $2
billion annually. u.s. markets ended wednesday lower, but close out the month on a positive note. the dow jones gained ground for a fifth month in a row, the nasdaq briefly touched a 3,000 mark for the first time in nearly 11 years yesterday. let's see how stocks are in tokyo. ramin, stock markets are kicking off well in 2012. what do you think, can the momentum continue in march? >> that's the multi-billion dollar question, ai, and by that, i'm referring to whether greece can repay its bondholders later this month, even after its second bailout, and also geopolitical tensions in the east. those are the factors that may hold the markets back. march 1st for the nikkei and the topix this thursday morning, both indexes continuing to upper
momentum there, the nikkei up 52 points and topix up three points. we did see the nikkei up 10.5% for the month of february. boosted largely by the weaker yen, which helped exporters and sectors such as electrical machinery and i.t. and industry stocks as well. there were a couple of downsides, japan's largest memory chip maker, which filed for bankruptcy late in february is going to be d-listed at the end of this month. shares were down 97% yesterday. now, looking at currencies this thursday morning, again, we can see there the weaker yen does continue against the dollar and the euro, 81.20 to 24 dollar/yen, 108.26 to 28 against the euro. ai? >> key data later on today from china. >> definitely, that's going to
be a major focus, we got the pmi out of china, which is going to be both from the government, the official release, and also for the private sector will be coming out with its own pmi index. that will give another insight into the world's second biggest economy as well. ai? >> and ramin, i wanted to ask you, ben bernanke yesterday seemed to suggest the recent data we've been seeing shows a better trend. >> yeah, definitely. you've seen that in a lot of economic data in the u.s. from jobs, manufacturing, housing, and there was some suggestion there that economic numbers were better, which means investors, we did see a reaction there, the dollar bounced a touch, meaning the investors were thinking the f.e.d. may not be as many bonds, which would weaken the dollar. they stepped in to buy the green back, which helps the yen as it trends to be weaker. of course, domestically, japan
is counting down to the one-year anniversary of the march 11th disaster, which had a huge effect on japan but also the global economy, highlighting japan's major influence for the global economy, so we'll keep track of all of that, but for now, the nikkei and topix trading higher on march 1st, back to you. >> thanks for that update, ramin. the european central bank is providing another record amount of loans. the total amount is higher than the previous round in december, indicating special banks are still short of funds. the institutions were awarded a total of $530 billion euros. the central bank said 800 commercial banks in the region asked for the low interest rate three-year loans. market sources say some banks
and the oscar goes to -- the separation. >> as you just saw there, a separation won the academy award for best foreign language film. the movie became the first feature from iran to receive an oscar. "a separation" focuses on the lives of ordinary people. the award comes during a period of renewed tension between iran and the west. nhk world reports from tehran. [ speaking in a foreign language ] >> reporter: differences between a wife and husband boil over. their quarrelling takes place amid a society whose laws are based on islamic principles. the couple find them too confining and want more freedom. the wife wants to raise their only daughter abroad in a more
liberal society, but the husband wants the family to stay put. their dispute pushes the couple to divorce. the husband had wanted the family to stay in iran to care for his father, who suffers from alzheimer's. after his wife leaves, the husband hires someone to take care of his father. but the arrangement soon hits a roadblock. the caregiver, a devout muslim, cannot touch a man she's not related to.
the film portrays the kind of conflict many iranians face. >> translator: this movie can be interpreted as bravery in presenting themes. this is the element of its success. this movie has completely changed how you view iran compared to the old stereotype. >> reporter: "a separation" is both an artistic and financial success. it has won more than 80 prizes in and outside iran. in addition, it has made more money than any other iranian film. as in his previous films, he
turns his lens on ordinary people. it is through them that he exposes problems within iranian society. >> translator: my movies depict people facing various social problems. >> reporter: many young iranians find the film resinates. people like this 25-year-old say the movie impresses him. ongoing economic sanctions have been squeezing the people. many find it hard to get a job. although he graduated from a top university, he couldn't get the kind of work he wanted. nowadays, he makes ends meet by translating. he earns only around $400 a month, and his frustration is growing. he thinks "a separation" showed what it's like to be living in
iran and how stagnant life is becoming. >> translator: people in iran wonder why they are in such a dire state. they cannot help identifying themselves with the characters in the movie. >> translator: if i compare my movies to a map, my films just show destinations. they leave how to get there up to the imagination of the audience. i believe the audience will understand my films. it's important to allow the audience to think about problems posed by my movies. >> reporter: he hopes his film will make viewers reflect on what kind of life iranians face. nhk world, tehran. a group of evacuees from the
nuclear disaster has filed a compensation claim for more than $5 million with tokyo electric power company. the town mayor and evacuees representing 47 people from 22 households visited the government's arbitration body in tokyo on wednesday. they filed documents which demand tepco pay about $5.5 million in compensation. futaba town hosts the damaged plant and all 7,000 residents have been displaced to various areas across the country. the group was the first in the town to file for government-backed mediation. they were not satisfied with the compensation scheme previously proposed by the plant operator. the town formed a team of defense lawyers in december to file for the arbitration. >> translator: tepco should understand how we feel and
accept our demands as soon as possible. >> futaba plans to file claims at a pace of one a month for the rest of the evacuees, who have already prepared their documents. an earthquake that jolted a nation, a tsunami that jostled a coastline, out of control. japan marks the first anniversary of the march 11th disaster. what lessons have been learned? find out on "newsline" starting monday, march 5th. on sunday, join us for "lessons of march 11th, one year on." winter has been harsh in japan this year with record snowstorms in many areas. some 20 million live in japan's snow county, but there's never enough people to clear it all.
volunteers have been coming from all over the country to learn the basics so they can help out. >> reporter: traditional snow shoes are the best way to get about. learning how to walk in them is the first lesson. 20 keen snow shovellers signed up for this workshop held last month by a non-profit group. following the disaster last year, there's been a big jump in the number of people volunteering. >> translator: i'm fascinated by snow shoveling, and i really want to help people. >> translator: my first volunteer experience was after last year's disaster, so i decided to come here as well. >> reporter: the youngest participant is a 16-year-old. it took him two days and several train rides to get here from his home in osaka. >> translator: i really love
snow, my parents told me if i like it so much, i should go help people in need. >> reporter: learning how to shovel the snow takes a whole day. the beginners start by learning how to use a snow scoop. >> translator: if you only use your arm strength, you'll get worn out straight away. slide the shovels using the weight of the snow. you're still using your arms. >> translator: there's a knack to it, but getting it is hard. >> reporter: it's the elderly people who are counting on the volunteers' help. she is 85. she lives alone and does her best to clear the snow every morning, but her knees are bad, and this year there's just been too much snow to shovel.
the day before, this area had its heaviest snowfall in 16 years, leaving drifts 2 meters high. now she can't get through to her shed. the volunteers have all come from places that get very little snow. >> translator: the snow at the top is light, but underneath, it's much heavier because it's damp after a warm spell and some rain. >> reporter: he finds it hard, the snow's all packed down and difficult to shift. his wrists start to hurt. a veteran arrives and shows him how to do it. he should be cutting the hard packed snow into squares first. he tries doing it the way he's been shown.
gradually, he starts to get the hang of it. after two hours, the work is finally done. she can now reach her shed. >> translator: thank you very much. >> translator: thank you so much. thank you, everybody. >> translator: she thanked us, but it's us who should be thanking her. i'm grateful for this experience. >> translator: volunteering is a two-way relationship. people help others because they like to feel appreciated. >> reporter: in all this winter, more than 100 volunteers have taken snow shoveling classes like this. inspired by last year's disaster, many different kinds of volunteer groups have been spreading throughout japan. >> looks like hard work there. all right, well, we got some
snow here in tokyo as well, but today it feels more like spring. rachel ferguson joins us with the world weather forecast. >> well, certainly was feeling like winter across much of central japan yesterday. we had some significant snowfall even here in tokyo, a couple of centimeters were accumulating. however, today's a completely new day and different story altogether. it's going to be feeling like spring, dry, and also getting pretty warm. tokyo looking for a high of 14 degrees today, which is a jump of about 10 degrees from yesterday. it is going to be a little wet down towards western locations, starting to see showers now, but again, rain rather than snow as we have those warmer temperatures. a few showers moving up that eastern coast of the korean peninsula as well, but again, rain, spring-like temperatures continuing here for the next couple of days too. as for the beijing area and northern china, you have a blast of cold air coming down, so this
precipitation is going to be snow. we'll also see snow moving in parts of inland china here. it will be turning over to rain and some of it's going to be fairly heavy as well from southern in towards eastern china. further towards the west we go, northern myanmar as well as india seeing heavy showers, but into china and the philippines, light precipitation and scattered thunderstorms. temperatures are going to be set up like this, warm in taipei at 24 degrees, shanghai to 11 and spring temperatures around tokyo and seoul. 13 and 14 degrees respectively, 2 degrees in beijing and potential to see some snow. into north america, we have a storm you can see rotating in the clouds here. it is going to be a very windy system, that means you could see some high waves at the coast. rain at the coast rather than snow, but there will be plenty of snow around in the northern rockies, cascades, and sierras.
if i move out towards the east here, this is a slow-moving and potent storm system that's been moving through the u.s. over the last couple of days. here's the low and there's the front bringing the severe weather. i want to show you what happened with the storms in the midwest. this is showing you just the utter devastation caused when tornados ripped through the midwest. kansas, missouri, illinois, were all affected. what you're looking at here is the affects of a tornado in harrisburg, illinois. at least nine people altogether were injured -- were killed, i'm afraid actually, and more than ten were injured, i should say. the powerful storm hit this area around 5:00 a.m., causing just widespread damage and devastation. unfortunately, there are going to be more storms in the forecast today. take a look at what's happening right now, wednesday night, this is where the severe area is going to be. very widespread down in towards
louisiana there. flooding rains, damaging gusts, hail, as well as a potential for tornados still on the cards tonight. what's going to happen in the next 24 hours, a front is going to be left over. into thursday, more severe weather potentially, actually, the thunderstorms will extend over quite a wide area of the midwest and in towards the southeast. all right, here are your temperatures, this is quite telling too. you can see the warmth spreading up towards d.c. 19 degrees for the high here. by the time we get to new york city, 7 degrees. the clash between the warmer energy coming up from the south is what's really helping to ignite those storms. do take care. i'll be back a bit later on.
our lead stories this hour, the leadership of north korea has done an about face that could ease tensions on the korean peninsula. it's announced it will take steps towards denuclearization. western leaders hope the moves will end a diplomatic impasse. the u.s. state department made the announcement simultaneously. the disclosure follows talks last week in beijing on the north's nuclear issues. the leadership announced it will suspend nuclear testing, firing long-range ballistic missiles, and enriching uranium. and it will allow the
international atomic energy agency to inspect facilities. in return, the u.s. will supply the country with 240,000 tons of food with the prospect of more in the future. the u.s. stopped supplying the aid three years ago. north korean officials want to hand out food by mid-april. residents will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of the country's founder. the officials say their u.s. counterparts have promised to drop their hostile stance and want to move forward on an equal footing. officials at the international atomic energy agency praised the agreement. their work in north korea has been suspended since 2009. the inspector general said in a statement that the iea is ready to resume its work. inspectors will monitor the nuclear facilities on request. ieae inspectors were expelled in 2009.