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Chronology of Events
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1965.   Soviet-style nuclear reactor for research purposes constructed at Yongbyon, North Korea
1970. Second nuclear reactor acquired
1985.  Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) signed.
   U.S. argues Pyongyang constructed a covert nuclear reactor.
1989.  North Korean nuclear activities detected by French commercial satellite
1992.   Nuclear crisis erupts due to Pyongyang’s refusal to allow IAEA inspection of its nuclear facilities at Yongbyon.
1994.  Agreed Framework calls for 2 light water nuclear reactors and heavy oil to be provided to North Korea in exchange for Pyongyang’s nuclear freeze.
North Korea test-launches missile with a range of 1,700-2,200 km
2001.   IAEA argues North Korea has 1-2 nuclear weapons
2002. 10. American officials say North Korea privately admitted to running a highly enriched uranium (HEU) program
  11. Heavy oil supply suspended by the U.S.
Pyongyang resumes operation of nuclear facilities and expels IAEA monitors from the country
2003. 04. Pyongyang announces withdrawal from NTP
  08. 1st round of six-party talks held.
2004. 02. 2nd round of six-party talks held
  06. 3rd round of six-party talks held
2005. 02. 10 North Korea officially declares possession of nuclear weapons and an indefinite boycott of six-party talks
  03. 02 North Korea announces via KCBS (Korean Central Broadcasting System) the Foreign Ministry memorandum:“due to the apparent sincerity that President Bush’s second administration has shown, North Korea is willing to participate in the six-party talks if adequate conditions and justification for resuming the talks are presented.”
  03. 23
Park Bong-ju, North Korea Cabinet Premier, meets Chinese President Hu Jin-tao.
  04. 04 North Korea Foreign Ministry 1st Division Chief Kang Suk-ju makes top-secret visit to Beijing.
  04. 18 Kim Sook, Head of the South Korea Foreign Ministry‘s North American Affairs Bureau, confirms that the 5MW-class reactor in Youngbyun has halted operation.
  04. 25
The North Korea Foreign Ministry announces that it will regard US attempts to take the nuclear weapons issue to the UN Security Council as a declaration of war.
  05. 08 At a summit meeting in Russia, South Korea and China’s leaders urge the DRPK to return to the six-party talks. The North Korea Foreign Ministry suggests that contact should be made with the US in order to ascertain the status on the sovereignty issue.
  05. 11 North Korea announces that extraction of used nuclear fuel rods has been completed.
  05. 13

Contact is made between Joseph DeTrani, US State Department special envoy, Jim Foster, the Director of the State Department's Korea Office, Park Gil-yun, North Korea ambassador to the UN, and deputy ambassador Han Sung-ryul.
  05. 16 ~ 18 Vice minister-level South-North Korea talks held at Gaesung. Agreement is made to hold minister-level talks in the future.
  05. 25 The US announces suspension of operations to recover the remains of US troops in North Korea.
  05. 31 US President Bush makes comment on “efforts for a diplomatic solution to North Korea’s nuclear weapons issue”.
  06. 06 Contact is made between Joseph DeTrani, US State Department special envoy, Jim Foster, the Director of the State Department's Korea Office, Park Gil-yun, North Korea ambassador to the UN, and deputy ambassador Han Sung-ryul.
  06. 11 Agreement to “assure North Korea of regime security as well as actively pursue measures to normalize US-North Korea relations once North Korea gives up its nuclear program” made in South Korea-US summit talks.
  06. 17
North Korea leader Kim Jong-il meets South Korea Unification Minister Chung Dong-young at Pyongyang’s Youngbin Hall, expressing the willingness to “return to the six-party talks in July”
  06. 21 South Korea Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon expresses regret on the US-made remark ‘outpost of oppression’.
  06. 22 The US decides to provide 50,000 tons of food to North Korea.
  06. 23 South-North Korea minister-level talks held in Seoul. Agreement is made to draw up practical measures for peacefully resolving North Korea nuclear weapons issue through conversation.
  06. 30

Unofficial meeting held by Lee Geun, Head of North Korea Foreign Ministry’s US Affairs Bureau, and Joseph DeTrani, US State Department’s special envoy.
South Korea Ambassador to the US, Hong Suk-hyun, meets North Korea ambassador to the UN, Park Gil-yun.
  07. 09 North Korea announces that it will return to the six-party talks within the month of July.
  09. 13 ~ 19
The fourth round of six-nation nuclear talks in Beijing adopts a joint six-point agreement on Sep. 19, which includes a pledge that North Korea will dismantle all of its nuclear weapons and existing nuclear plans.
  09. 16 The U.S. Treasury Dept. puts Macao-based bank Banco Delta Asia on its blacklist on charges of illegal financial transactions including involvement in North Korean money laundering (financial sanctions begin).
  11. 09 ~ 11
First phase talks of the six-way dialogue’s fifth round adopt a chairman’s statement on the implementation of the September joint agreement based on the principle of “pledge to pledge” and “action to action.”
2006. 01. 18
Chief delegates to the six-party talks from North Korea, the U.S. and China meet in Beijing. North Korea wants the U.S. to first lift sanctions while the U.S. maintains its previous stance.
  03. 07 Chief delegates to the six-party talks from North Korea, the U.S. and China meet in Beijing. North Korea wants the U.S. to first lift sanctions while the U.S. maintains its previous stance.
  06. 01 The North Korean Foreign Ministry, through the news media, invites the
U.S. chief nuclear negotiator to Pyongyang for talks but Washington
  07. 05
North Korea test fires its long-range Daepodong-2 missiles.
  07. 16 The U.N. Security Council unanimously passes a resolution denouncing its missile launch. North Korea rejects the resolution.
  08. 18 U.S. broadcaster ABC reports that North Korea is preparing an underground nuclear test.
  09. 09 Twenty-four financial institutions worldwide including Chinese banks halt transactions with North Korea.
  10. 03
North Korea’s Foreign Ministry issues a statement that Pyongyang plans to conduct a nuclear test.
  10. 06 In a statement by its president the U.N. Security Council urges North Korea to abandon the plan.
  10. 09 The North’s official Korean Central News Agency announces that “a nuclear test was successfully conducted.”
  10. 16 U.N. Security Council resolution on sanctions on North Korea
  10. 31 North Korea agrees to return to six-party talks
  12. 18 ~ 22
The six-party talks resume after a 13-month hiatus. The talks end in deadlock as the US and North Korea fail to narrow differences on key issues - denuclearization and BDA.
2007. 01. 16 ~ 18 The top nuclear envoys from the United States and North Korea meet in Berlin to seek ways to resume the six-way nuclear talks.
  02. 08 ~ 13
The third phase of the fifth round of six-party talks resumes in Beijing. North Korea pledges to shut down its nuclear facilities in Yongbyon within sixty days and allow IAEA inspections, in return for energy aid equivalent to 50-thousand tons of heavy fuel oil. Delegates also agree that if North Korea takes further steps to report and disable all nuclear facilities, the North will receive an additional 950-thousand tons of energy aid.
  03. 19 The United States reaches an agreement with North Korea to allow the release of all $25m dollars of North Korean funds frozen in a Macao bank since 2005.
  05. 15 A spokesman for the North's Foreign Ministry says that Pyongyang is determined to swiftly start shutting down its key nuclear facilities as agreed in a February nuclear accord once the money transfer is concluded.
  06. 14
Macao Secretary of Economy and Finance says that Banco Delta Asia transfers 20 million dollars in North Korean accounts out of the bank.
  06. 21 ~ 22
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill makes his first visit to North Korea. Returing from his two-day visit to Pyongyang, he tells a news conference that North Korea reaffirms its commitment to fully implenting the February 13 agreement to disable its nuclear facilities.
  06. 25 North Korea confirms the transfer of its assets ($25m) from a Macao bank to one of its accounts elsewhere, saying the problematic BDA issue is resolved with the completed transfer.
  07. 14 ~ 31 IAEA delegation (first group) visits North Korea. IAEA completes the sealing of
five nuclear facilities in North Korea, confirming their shutdown.
  07. 18
IAEA chief, Mohamed ElBaradei confirms the shutdown of the North's five nuclear facilities.
  07. 18 ~ 20 Six-party talks resume. The parties agree to hold the next main round of talks in early September to discuss second stage implementation of the disabling of North Korea's nuclear facilities.
  07. 28 ~ 08. 11
Six IAEA inspectors (second group) install monitoring cameras and put seals on key equipment in North Korea's nuclear facilities.
  09. 02 ~ 03
The top nuclear envoys from the US and North Korea hold talks in Geneva on the normalization of relations between the two countries. North Korea agrees to report and disable all its nuclear programs and facilities by late this year.
  09. 10 ~ 15 A team of U.S., Russian and Chinese inspectors carries out a five-day on-site survey of North Korea’s Yongbyon nuclear facilities in preparation for the disablement of the North's nuclear weapons program.
  09. 27 ~ 10. 03
The six-party talks resume in Beijing. The United States agrees to keep its pledge to remove North Korea from its list of state sponsors of terrorism in exchange for Pyongyang's disablement of its key nuclear facilities.
  11. 01
A team of U.S. nuclear inspectors arrives in North Korea. The U.S. government confirms that North Korea begins disabling its nuclear facilities with the aid of a nuclear expert team.
  12. 01 ~ 03
A top U.S. nuclear envoy, Christopher Hill, visits to Pyongyang. U.S President George W. Bush sends a letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, emphasizing the need for a clear, full and complete nuclear program declaration from the North.
2008. 02. 19 U.S. nuclear negotiator Christopher Hill and his North Korean counterpart Kim Kye-kwan meet in Beijing. The two discuss North Korea's declaration of its nuclear programs and ways to resume the six-party talks.
  03. 13 ~ 14 U.S. and North Korean nuclear negotiators discuss the issues of North Korea’s uranium enrichment and nuclear collaboration with Syria in Geneva. North Korea denies its suspected nuclear collaboration with Syria.
  04. 08 Top U.S. and North Korean nuclear envoys begin negotiations in Singapore over Pyongyang's delayed nuclear declaration.
  04. 22 ~ 24 A U.S State Department delegation travels to Pyongyang. The U.S. and North Korea agrees to cooperate on verification of the North’s nuclear activities.
  05. 08 ~ 10
U.S State Department officials visit North Korea. North Korea gives the U.S. key documents related to its past nuclear activities and the operation of its main nuclear reactor in Yongbyon.
  05. 20
The nuclear envoys from South Korea, Japan and the U.S hold talks in Washington. South Korea’s top nuclear envoy Kim Sook confirms that the U.S. and North Korea have agreed to blow up the cooling tower at the North’s key nuclear facility in Yongbyon.
  06. 26 North Korea submits its nuclear declaration to China, the chair country for the six-party talks on ending Pyongyang's nuclear program. U.S. President George W. Bush says he will remove North Korea from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism within 45 days.
  06. 27
North Korea destroys the cooling tower of its main nuclear facility in Yongbyon. The demolition comes a day after North Korea has submitted its nuclear declaration.
  07. 10 ~ 12 Chief negotiators’ meeting (Beijing)…The participants of the six-party talks agree on the completion of North Korea’s nuclear disablement and energy assistance by the end of October. They also agree on principles on nuclear verification.
  09. 19 North Korea’s Foreign Ministry says the nation is in the process of restoring a nuclear facility in Yongbyon.
  10. 11
The U.S. State Department announces the removal of North Korea from the list of state sponsors of terrorism
  12. 04 ~ 05 Chief nuclear envoys of North Korea and the U.S. hold talks in Singapore to discuss a verification protocol. No progress is made.
  12 08 ~ 11 Chief negotiators in the six-party nuclear talks convene a meeting. The talks go into recess without any outcome, failing to adopt a verification protocol.
2009. 01. 20
Barack Obama is inaugurated as U.S. President.
  03. 24 North Korea’s Foreign Ministry says the U.N. Security Council’s hostile action against the North’s rocket launch is tantamount to its denial of the September 19th joint statement. The nation warns the six-party nuclear talks will lose its base and significance, if the September 19th statement is nullified.
  04. 05 North Korea fires a long-range rocket. (The North claims the rocket is the Eunha-2 space launch vehicle carrying the country’s communication satellite Gwangmyeongseong-2.)
  04. 13
The U.N. Security Council convenes a plenary session and adopts a presidential statement condemning the North’s April 5th rocket launch.
North Korea’s Foreign Ministry declares a boycott of the six-party nuclear talks and pledges to restore its nuclear facilities.
  04. 25 North Korea’s Foreign Ministry announces the nation has started reprocessing spent fuel rods at its Yongbyon nuclear complex.
  04. 29 North Korea’s Foreign Ministry warns of a nuclear test and an ICBM test launch.
  05. 08 A spokesman for North Korea’s Foreign Ministry says it would be pointless to open a dialogue with the U.S., which employs a hostile policy toward Pyongyang.
  05. 25

06. 12
North Korea conducts a second nuclear test.

The U.N. Security Council adopts Resolution 1874 calling for sanctions on North Korea.
North Korea’s Foreign Ministry announces it will weaponize all new plutonium it extracted and start a program to enrich uranium.
2012. 04.13


North Korea launches the “Unha-3” long-range rocket from the Dongchang-ri launch site in Cholsan County, North Pyongan Province. The launch turns out to be a failure.

The U.N. Security Council adopts a presidential statement condemning North Korea’s rocket launch.

North Korea successfully launches the “Unha-3” long-range rocket from the Dongchang-ri launch site.
2013. 01.22





The U.N. Security Council adopts Resolution 2087 calling for sanctions on North Korea.
North Korea’s Foreign Ministry announces it will end efforts toward denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and take physical countermeasures.

North Korea’s National Defense Commission says its long-range rocket launch and high-level nuclear test will be targeting the U.S.

Kim Jong-un decides to take “an important state measure” during a meeting of security and external affairs officials.

Kim Jong-un reaches “an important conclusion on protecting sovereignty” during an expanded meeting of the Central Military Commission of the Workers’ Party.

North Korea pushes ahead with a third nuclear test.

The U.N. Security Council adopts Resolution 2094 entailing tougher sanctions on North Korea.
North Korea’s Foreign Ministry says in a statement it will exercise the right to a preemptive nuclear strike.