North Korea signs the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) demands that inspectors be given access to two nuclear waste storage sites. In response, North Korea threatens to quit the NPT but eventually opts to continue participating in the treaty.
North Korea and the United States sign an agreement. North Korea pledges to freeze and eventually dismantle its old, graphite-moderated nuclear reactors in exchange for international aid to build two new light-water nuclear reactors.
October – The Bush Administration reveals that North Korea has admitted operating a secret nuclear weapons program in violation of the 1994 agreement.
January 10 – North Korea withdraws from the NPT.
February – The United States confirms North Korea has reactivated a five-megawatt nuclear reactor at its Yongbyon facility, capable of producing plutonium for weapons.
April – Declares it has nuclear weapons.
North Korea tentatively agrees to give up its entire nuclear program, including weapons. In exchange, the United States, China, Japan, Russia and South Korea say they will provide energy assistance to North Korea, as well as promote economic cooperation.
July – After North Korea test fires long range missiles, the UN Security Council passes a resolution demanding that North Korea suspend the program.
February 13 – North Korea agrees to close its main nuclear reactor in exchange for an aid package worth $400 million.
September 30 – At six-party talks in Beijing, North Korea signs an agreement stating it will begin disabling its nuclear weapons facilities.
December 31 – North Korea misses the deadline to disable its weapons facilities.
June 12 – The UN Security Council condemns the nuclear test and imposes new sanctions.
November 20 – A Stanford University professor publishes a report that North Korea has a new nuclear enrichment facility.
October 24-25 – US officials meet with a North Korean delegation in Geneva, Switzerland, in an effort to restart the six-party nuclear arms talks that broke down in 2008.
February 29 – The State Department announces that North Korea has agreed to a moratorium on long-range missile launches and nuclear activity at the nation’s major nuclear facility in exchange for food aid.
January 24 – North Korea’s National Defense Commission says it will continue nuclear testing and long-range rocket launches in defiance of the United States. The tests and launches will feed into an “upcoming all-out action” targeting the United States, “the sworn enemy of the Korean people,” the commission says.
March 30-31 – North Korea warns that it is prepping another nuclear test. The following day, the hostility escalates when the country fires hundreds of shells across the sea border with South Korea. In response, South Korea fires about 300 shells into North Korean waters and sends fighter jets to the border.
May 6 – In an exclusive interview with CNN, the deputy director of a North Korean think tank says the country has the missile capability to strike mainland United States and would do so if the United States “forced their hand.”
January 6-7 – North Korea says it has successfully conducted a hydrogen bomb test. A day after the alleged test, White House spokesman Josh Earnest says that the United States has not verified that the test was successful.
January 1 – In a televised address, Kim claims that North Korea could soon test an intercontinental ballistic missile.
January 2 – Trump ridicules Kim in a tweet. The president says that he has a larger and more functional nuclear button than the North Korean leader in a post on Twitter, responding to Kim’s claim that he has a nuclear button on his desk.
January 18 – Trump meets with Kim Yong Chol, North Korea’s lead negotiator on nuclear talks, and they discuss “denuclearization and a second summit, which will take place near the end of February.”