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Greetings to all friends and teachers here:

Yesterday i came across this idiom " deal breaker" when i was reading the VOA News article. I donot really understand the meaning of it, so i'd like to ask for help in what does it mean and how to use it correctly in my own writting and speach. Thanks in advance!

The sentence in the original article goes like this: " After agreeing in principle last month to dismantle its nuclear weapons programs, Pyongyang turned around and insisted the international community provide it with a light-water nuclear reactor first. The other parties to the talks have rejected this. Mr. Richardson said the North Koreans expressed some flexibility on the issue, and said he does not believe it is a deal breaker."

Does " deal breaker" mean the starting point in making a deal or deas it mean the most significant point in a deal? please explain a bit.
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I would understand a 'deal breaker' as something or someone that causes the deal to be cancelled or terminated. In other words breaking the deal means that the agreement becomes 'null and void' eg is no longer valid and binding to the parties.
Waïti.
I would say that a "deal-breaker" is a non-negotiable demand. If A refuses to agree with B's "deal-breaker," then "the deal is off" -- B walks away from the negotiations and no further compromises are considered.
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A "deal breaker" is "that which breaks (terminates, cancels) the deal." It can be a position that is unacceptable to the other party ("we will never allow you to have nuclear capacity" or "we will continue acquiring nuclear materials") or an action that violates the conditions of the deal (such as continuing nuclear research after promising to stop it).
Cf. sine qua non
JjfA "deal breaker" is "that which breaks (terminates, cancels) the deal." It can be a position that is unacceptable to the other party ("we will never allow you to have nuclear capacity" or "we will continue acquiring nuclear materials") or an action that violates the conditions of the deal (such as continuing nuclear research after promising to stop it).
Thx all the friends and teachers, the explanation here is really helpful!! ~~Let's see if i understand this idiom correctly now~~

Refering back to the sentence i quoted on First floor, the "deal breaker" in that case would be " providing a light water nuclear complex to North Korea" , so the guy said " he doesn't believe it is a deal breaker" implies that even if the light water nuclear complex is not provided, he doesn't think North Korea would insist on this issue and cancel the negotiation as a result.

Am i right?
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It does not mean that the agreement becomes null and void. It is used during the negotiation of an agreement. A "deal breaker" is a requirement which, if it cannot be fulfilled, would cause the negotiations to fail. For instance, when negotiating for peace country A wants territory B returned to them or they will not sign any agreement.
A deal breaker is a single negative aspect of a deal that outweighs all positive aspects to the point that one party no longer considers the deal acceptable. If you're dating someone, and you like them a great deal, but you just can't accept the fact that they smoke, and they're not willing to quit for you, then smoking was a deal-breaker.
I think by demanding a light water reactor, North Korea is not violating the original deal-the demand is in line with the original agreement.
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