updated 10/9/2006 1:04:12 AM ET 2006-10-09T05:04:12

A timeline on nuclear weapons development in North Korea:

  • 1993: North Korea shocks world by saying it will quit the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, later suspends its withdrawal.
  • 1994: North Korea, United States sign agreement in Geneva, the North pledges to freeze, eventually dismantle, nuclear weapons program in exchange for help building two power-producing nuclear reactors.
  • Sept. 17, 1999: President Clinton agrees to first major easing of economic sanctions against North Korea since the Korean War’s end in 1953.
  • July 2000: North Korea threatens to restart nuclear program if Washington does not compensate for loss of electricity due to delays in building nuclear power plants.
  • July 2001: U.S. State Department reports North Korea is developing a long-range missile.
  • December 2001: President Bush warns Iraq and North Korea will be “held accountable” if they develop weapons of mass destruction.
  • Jan. 29, 2002: Bush labels North Korea, Iran and Iraq an “axis of evil.”
  • Oct. 4, 2002: North Korea tells visiting U.S. delegation it has a second covert nuclear weapons program, Washington says.
  • Nov. 11, 2002: U.S. and key Asian allies — Japan, South Korea — halt oil supplies to the North promised in 1994 deal.
  • Jan. 10, 2003: North Korea says it will withdraw from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
  • April 24, 2003: North Korea says it has nuclear weapons and may test, export or use them depending on U.S. actions, Washington says.
  • Aug. 27-29, 2003: North Korea joins first round of six-nation nuclear talks in Beijing, which include China, the U.S. Japan, Russia and South Korea.
  • Feb. 25-28, 2004: Second round of six-nation talks.
  • June 23-26, 2004: Third round of six-nation talks.
  • Feb. 10, 2005: North Korea announces it has nuclear weapons.
  • July 26, 2005: Fourth round of six-nation talks begins, ends in recess after 13 days with no agreement.
  • Sept. 13, 2005: Talks resume.
  • Sept. 15, 2005: U.S. blacklists a Macau-based bank for alleged involvement in North Korea’s illicit activity such as money laundering and counterfeiting, leads the bank to freeze North Korean assets.
  • Sept. 19, 2005: North Korea pledges to dismantle nuclear programs in exchange for pledges of energy assistance; U.S. pledges not to invade and to respect North’s sovereignty in an agreement ending talks.
  • Nov. 9-11, 2005: Fifth round of six-nation talks.
  • Jan. 3, 2006: North Korea says it won’t return to talks unless the U.S. lifts financial restrictions imposed for its alleged currency counterfeiting and other illegal activities.
  • July 5: North Korea launches seven missiles into the Sea of Japan, including a long-range Taepodong-2, drawing international condemnation and later a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning it.
  • Sept. 26: North Korea rejects further talks on its nuclear program, claims Washington wants to rule the world.
  • Oct. 3: North Korea says it will conduct a nuclear test in the face of what it claimed was “the U.S. extreme threat of a nuclear war.”
  • Oct. 9: North Korea says it has conducted its first-ever nuclear test.

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