North Korea has agreed to suspend uranium enrichment, as well as nuclear and long-range missile tests, following talks with the US.
The US State Department said Pyongyang had also agreed to allow UN inspectors to monitor its reactor in Yongbyon to verify compliance with the measures.
In return, the US is finalising 240,000 tonnes of food aid for the North.
The move comes two months after Kim Jong-un came to power following the death of his father, Kim Jong-il.
Correspondents say the move could pave the way for the resumption of six-party disarmament negotiations with Pyongyang, which last broke down in 2009.