North Korea: more than eight years of nuclear crisis
Ahead of bilateral talks between North Korea and the United States over Pyongyang's nuclear programme starting Monday in Geneva, here is a list of key dates since the latest standoff erupted:
- January 10: North Korea quits the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
- October 14: The United Nations votes economic and trade sanctions.
- December 18: Resumption of six-party talks launched in August, 2002 in Beijing between North and South Korea, China, the United States, Japan and Russia.
- October 9: North Korea tests its first nuclear weapon.
- February 13: China announces deal under which North Korea will disable nuclear plants at Yongbyon and allow UN atomic inspectors to return.
- July 18: The UN's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says the Yongbyon nuclear complex has been shut down.
- September 30: US negotiator Christopher Hill declares that nuclear envoys have reached a "comprehensive" nuclear deal with North Korea.
- March 13-14: Washington and Pyongyang hold talks in Geneva.
- July 12: Pyongyang agrees to allow thorough site inspections to verify that all necessary steps have been taken to disable its main nuclear facilities.
- August 26: North Korea says it has stopped disablement and will consider restoring the plants in protest at US failure to drop it from a terrorism blacklist.
- September 24: Pyongyang bars inspectors from the Yongbyon site.
- October 11: US announces it is removing North Korea from its list of state sponsors of terrorism after saying Pyongyang has agreed on steps to verify its nuclear disarmament.
- April 14: North Korea announces it will quit the six-nation talks and reopen the Yongbyon complex.
- May 25: Second North Korean nuclear test.
- June 12: The UN strengthens sanctions.
- October 24: Rare visit to the United States of a high-ranking North Korean envoy.
- November 3: North Korea announces it has produced more plutonium for its atomic weapons programme.
- December 8: US envoy Stephen Bosworth arrives in North Korea to try to coax it back to nuclear disarmament negotiations.
- May 12: North Korea claims it has carried out a successful nuclear fusion reaction.
- November 12: An American scientist says he has toured a modern new North Korean uranium enrichment plant equipped with at least 1,000 centrifuges, devices needed for the mass production of nuclear weapons.
- December 20: North Korea agrees to permit the return of IAEA inspectors, in a bid to ease tensions in the Korean peninsula after two deadly incidents between the two Koreas in March and November.
- February 1: North Korea has at least one secret nuclear military facility, according to a UN report.
- July 22: The foreign ministers of North and South Korea hold their first meeting since 2008.
- July 28-29: The United States holds high-level talks with North Korea in New York, the first since late 2009.
- August 24: North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il says the country is ready to impose a moratorium on nuclear testing and processing if six-party talks resume.
Monday October 24: New bilateral talks with the United States open in Geneva.
© 2011 AFP