Chronology of Events

revised on 2 September 2020

DPRK (North Korea)

In sanctions related developments, the 1718 DPRK Sanctions Committee met on 11 December. On 31 December  the Committee issued its annual report (S/2014/896) and posted updated guidelines on its website. The guidelines included a new provision imposing a time limit of nine months on any holds placed by Committee members to consider a proposal.

November 2014

On 10 November, the Chair of the 1718 DPRK Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Sylvie Lucas (Luxembourg), briefed Council members in consultations on the work of the Committee. Several Council members made references to the human rights situation in the DPRK and said that the Council needed to address it. Prior to the briefing, on 7 November, the Council had received a letter from the DPRK (S/2014/797) that strongly condemned “anti-DPRK propaganda leaflet-scattering operations conducted by so-called non-governmental organisations” claiming that they were “intentionally tolerated and even patronized by South Korean authorities” and urged the UN and other international organisations to take action to prevent further such operations from taking place. The letter was not discussed in the consultations on 10 November. On 18 November, in its annual resolution on the human rights situation in the DPRK, the General Assembly’s Third Committee decided to submit the report of the Human Rights Council mandated DPRK Commission of Inquiry to the Security Council and encouraged the Council to consider relevant recommendations and take appropriate action, including through “consideration of referral of the situation in the DPRK to the ICC” and “effective targeted sanctions against those who appear to be most responsible for acts that the Commission has said may constitute crimes against humanity.” It was adopted by a vote of 111 in favour, 19 against and 55 abstentions (A/C.3/69/L.28/Rev.1). A Cuban amendment that would have replaced the provisions referring to the Security Council with a call for a new cooperative approach in the consideration of the human rights situation in the DPRK was defeated by a vote of 40 in favour, 77 against and 50 abstentions. In a 24 November letter to the Council, the DPRK rejected the resolution and stated that the hostile policy of the US compels the DPRK not to exercise restraint any longer in conducting a new nuclear test (S/2014/849).

August 2014

On 5 August, Council members were briefed in consultations by the chair of the 1718 DPRK Committee, Ambassador Gary Quinlan (Australia) on the quarterly update on the North Korean sanctions. On 20 August, under “any other business”, Council members discussed the 18 August DPRK request for the Council to hold an urgent meeting on the US-Republic of Korea joint military exercises. (The DPRK’s letter was a follow-up to the same request it made on 21 July.) Council members were not in favour of holding such a meeting.

July 2014

The Council discussed DPRK’s ballistic missile launches, a total of six short-range ballistic missiles were launched into its eastern coastal waters on 29 June, 9 July and 13 July, under “Other Matters” following consultations on Libya on 17 July. After the meeting, in agreed-upon “elements to the press”, Council President Ambassador Richard Eugène Gasana (Rwanda) said the Council condemned the launches “as violations of Security Council resolutions” and urged the DPRK to comply with relevant Council resolutions. In a 21 July letter to the Council (S/2014/512), the DPRK claimed that the launches were a “self-defensive exercise” in light of the “provocative ongoing joint military exercises by the US and South Korea” and called for an urgent Council meeting on the joint exercises. On 11 July, Australia, France and the US circulated a letter (S/2014/501) to Council members summarising the 17 April Arria-formula meeting on the report of the Human Rights Council’s Commission of Inquiry (CoI) on human rights in the DPRK (A/HRC/25/63). In the letter, the countries said the Council should formally discuss the CoI’s findings of widespread and systematic human rights violations and consider how to hold those responsible accountable.

May 2014

On 20 May, the chair of the 1718 Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Sylvie Lucas (Luxembourg), briefed Council members in consultations on the work of the Committee, as is required at least every 90 days by resolution 1718. The US announced that it would shortly circulate for approval a draft Implementation Assistance Notice (IAN) pertaining to the Chong Chon Gang case. (Chong Chon Gang was the DPRK-flagged ship detained by Panama on 15 July 2013 on its way from Cuba with weapons and military equipment hidden in a cargo of sugar in violation of the arms embargo against the DPRK. The IAN would alert member states to the kind of sanctions evasion techniques deployed in this case.) Several Council members emphasised the need for continued focus on the human rights situation in the DPRK based on the 7 February report from the commission of inquiry established by the Human Rights Council. (In a 14 April letter, Australia, France and the US transmitted the report to the Council.) 

April 2014

On 17 April, Australia, France and the US convened an “Arria-formula” meeting with the members of the commission of inquiry, Michael Kirby (chair, Australia), Sonja Biserko (Serbia) and Marzuki Darusman (Indonesia). Kirby briefed on the findings and recommendations of the commission’s final report. (In a 14 April letter, the three organisers of the meeting transmitted the report to the Council President [S/2014/276]). Speaking to the press afterwards, Kirby said that seven Council members had expressly supported a Council referral of the situation in the DPRK to the ICC, but noted with regret the absence of China and Russia. He repeatedly emphasised that it was difficult to imagine a stronger case than the DPRK for a referral to the ICC. The 1718 Sanctions Committee met on 10 April and discussed the 26 March rocket launches. (At press time, members had just received the PoE’s incident report on the case.) The Committee also continued to discuss how to respond to the Chong Chon Gang case. (Chong Chon Gang was the DPRK-flagged ship detained by Panama on 15 July 2013 on its way from Cuba with weapons and military equipment hidden in a cargo of sugar. The PoE concluded that the case constituted a sanctions violation.)

March 2014

On 5 March, the Council adopted resolution 2141 extending until 5 April 2015 the mandate of the Panel of Experts assisting the 1718 DPRK Sanctions Committee. On 6 March, the Panel’s final report under resolution 1874 was circulated. On 15 March, the Council received a letter from the DPRK “in connection with the fact that the United States of America’s hostile policy towards the DPRK has reached such a grave stage that it cannot be overlooked any longer”.  During informal consultations on 27 March, Council members discussed a possible response to the 26 March launch by the DPRK of two medium-range Rodong ballistic missiles into the East Sea between the Korean Peninsula and Japan and received a briefing by Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman.  Following the consultations, the Council president, Ambassador Sylvie Lucas (Luxembourg), said in agreed “elements to the press” that Council members condemned the missile launches as a violation of resolutions 1718, 1874, 2087 and 2095 and had agreed to consult on an appropriate response.

February 2014

The PoE’s final report under resolution 2094 was circulated to Council members on 10 February. The report confirms that the DPRK is continuing to develop its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes and describes in detail the types of techniques used to evade sanctions and recent violations, including the Chong Chon Gang case. On 20 February, the chair of the Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Sylvie Lucas (Luxembourg), briefed Council members in consultations on its work. Meanwhile, the DPRK continued to protest the annual joint ROK-US military exercises underway in February. It sent a letter to the Council on 7 February condemning the exercises and threatening to call off the family reunions unless the exercises were cancelled (S/2014/84).

January 2014

In a meeting on 24 January, the 1718 DPRK Sanctions Committee discussed the Panel of Experts’ incident report on the Chong Chon Gang case, circulated to Council members on 23 December. The DPRK reiterated its invitation to improve relations with the ROK in an open letter which was transmitted to the Council on 27 January (S/2014/53).

December 2013

On 20 December the 1718 DPRK Sanctions Committee met to discuss several incident reports from the Panel of Experts.

November 2013

On 11 November, the chair of the 1718 Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Sylvie Lucas (Luxembourg), briefed Council members in consultations on the work of the Committee. The Committee did not meet in November. (Its last meeting was on 25 October.)

October 2013

In a meeting on 25 October, the 1718 DPRK Sanctions Committee considered the Panel of Expert’s mid-term report which was mostly procedural. The Committee also continued its consideration of the Panama case with a briefing by the Panel of Experts on a trip it made to Cuba from 20 – 24 October.

September 2013

On 11 September, the Panel of Experts assisting the 1718 DPRK Sanctions Committee gave an update about its on-going investigation of the incident reported by Panama on 15 July involving a DPRK-flagged ship on its way from Cuba through the Panama Canal. (Panama detained the ship, Chong Chon Gang, after weapons were discovered hidden in a cargo of sugar.) The Committee also continued its discussion of the recommendations presented in the Panel of Expert’s 7 June final report, but there was no agreement reached.

August 2013

On 7 August, the chair of the 1718 Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Sylvie Lucas (Luxembourg), briefed Council members in consultations on the work of the Committee.

July 2013

On 1 July the DPRK Sanctions Committee met to discuss the recommendations contained in the latest Panel of Experts’ report. On 15 July, Panama detained a DPRK-flagged ship on its way through the Panama Canal from Cuba after weapons were discovered hidden in a cargo of sugar. Resolution 1718 says that states “shall prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer” to DPRK of combat aircraft and missile systems. The Panel of Experts is expected to investigate and report back to the DPRK 1718 Sanctions Committee

June 2013

The latest Panel of Experts’ report was published in June. The report concludes that the DPRK is continuing to develop its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes but that the sanctions are having an impact and are causing significant slowdowns. In particular, the report notes that the financial sanctions measures appear to be effective.

May 2013

On 16 May, the chair of the 1718 Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Sylvie Lucas (Luxembourg), briefed Council members in consultations on the work of the Committee. The Panel of Experts assisting the Committee submitted its final report under resolution 2050 on 13 May. The report was preliminarily discussed by the Committee on 31 May.

April 2013

On 8 April, the DPRK Sanctions Committee met to discuss cases of possible violations of the DPRK sanctions regime. Also, it seems the Committee, with the assistance of the Panel of Experts, started drafting the implementation assistance notice requested by the Council in resolution 2094 regarding the proper implementation of the provision in paragraph 22 that calls on states to prevent the supply to the DPRK of any item that might contribute to its nuclear or ballistic programmes and to cease other activities prohibited by relevant Council resolutions.

March 2013

The Council adopted resolution 2094 on 7 March, extending the mandate of the Panel of Experts and imposing additional sanctions against the DPRK in response to its 12 February nuclear test while tightening some of the measures already in place. On 15 March, the DPRK Sanctions Committee met and discussed technical issues related to the renewal of the Panel of Expert’s mandate, such as its new reporting schedule and the nomination process for its eigth member. (At press time, the Secretary-General had yet to appoint the eighth expert.)

February 2013

In a 12 February press statement, Council members strongly condemned the DPRK’s nuclear test that day as a grave violation of resolutions 17181874 and 2087. They recalled that resolution 2087 expressed the Council’s determination to take “significant action” in the event of a further nuclear test by the DPRK and said they would begin work immediately on an appropriate response in a resolution. During consultations on 21 February, Council members received the regular quarterly briefing by the 1718 Sanctions Committee chair, Ambassador Sylvie Lucas (Luxembourg), on the work of the Committee over the previous three months. The briefing was Ambassador Lucas’ first since assuming the chairmanship of the Committee on 1 January.

January 2013

On 22 January, the Council adopted resolution 2087 condemning the 12 December launch, noting that it used ballistic missile technology and violated existing resolutions. The resolution demanded that Pyongyang not proceed with further prohibited launches and that it suspend activities related to its ballistic missile programme. In the penultimate paragraph, the Council expressed its determination to take “significant action in the event of a further DPRK launch or nuclear test.” The resolution also contained two annexes. The first listed four DPRK individuals to be subject to the existing travel ban and asset freeze; the second annex designated six entities—five in the DPRK and one in Hong Kong—to be subject to an asset freeze. This included the Korean Committee for Space Technology, which—according to the resolution—orchestrated the DPRK’s launches on 13 April 2012 and 12 December 2012.

December 2012

On 12 December, following the missile launch by the DPRK, Morocco, as president of the Council, read out remarks to the press which had been agreed on by all Council members. (These so-called “elements” to the press are more informal than a press statement.) The remarks condemned the launch as a “clear violation” of resolutions 1718 and 1874 and recalled that in its 16 April presidential statement, the Council had demanded that the DPRK not proceed with further launches and expressed its “determination to take action accordingly in the event of a further DPRK launch”. Finally, the statement noted that Council members would “continue consultations on an appropriate response.” At press time, no formal Council action had been taken.

November 2012

On 29 November, the 1718 Sanctions Committee received a regular quarterly briefing from its chair, Ambassador José Filipe Moraes Cabral (Portugal).  The briefing, which was Ambassador Cabral’s last as chair, was held in consultations—as is customary for DPRK issues.  One of the topics discussed was the Panel of Experts’ midterm report, which was provided to the Committee earlier in November and which is scheduled to be submitted to the Council by 12 December.

October 2012

The 1718 Sanctions Committee on North Korea met on 24 October to discuss the 12 recommendations in the 14 June Panel of Experts report.

August 2012

Ambassador José Filipe Moraes Cabral of Portugal, the chair of the 1718 Sanctions Committee on North Korea, provided the regular quarterly briefing to Council members in consultations on 21 August.

June 2012

On 12 June, the Council adopted resolution 2050 extending the mandate of the Panel of Experts which assists the DPRK Sanctions Committee until 12 June 2013.

May 2012

Following the DPRK’s unsuccessful rocket launch on 13 April, the 1718 sanctions committee transmitted a letter of 2 May adjusting the measures against the DPRK, in accordance with the Council’s presidential statement of 16 April (S/PRST/2012/13). In the letter, the committee reported that it had designated three additional entities—companies based in Pyongyang—to be subject to the sanctio

April 2012

The Council adopted a presidential statement on 16 April strongly condemning the satellite launch and underscoring that the DPRK’s use of ballistic missile technology was a serious violation of Council resolutions 1718 and 1874. Three days earlier, the Council was briefed in consultations by the Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs.

March 2012

The Human Rights Council adopted a resolution expressing very serious concern at the ongoing grave, widespread and systematic human rights violations in DPRK.

February 2012

The third round of “exploratory talks” was held in Beijing on 23-24 February. The Council held regularly scheduled consultations on 10 Februray during which the Chair of the DPRK Sanctions Committee briefed members on the committee’s work.

December 2011

On 19 December, the General Assembly adopted its annual annual resolution condemning the DPRK’s human rights record. Earlier this month, Kim Jong-il—the leader and top military commander of the DPRK—died, and his youngest son, Kim Jong-un, became the DPRK’s supreme military commander on 29 December.

November 2011

On 16 November, the chair of the DPRK Sanctions Committee provided a regular briefing to Council members in informal consultations.

August 2011

On 23 August, the chair of the Committee on DPRK sanctions briefed Council members in informal consultations.

June 2011

On 10 June, the Council adopted resolution 1985, extending the mandate of the Panel of Experts that supports the DPRK Sanctions Committee until 12 June 2012. Later this month, the DPRK assumed the presidency of the UN Conference on Disarmament in Geneva.

May 2011

The chair of the DPRK Sanctions Committee delivered a 90-day briefing to the Council in informal consultations on 17 May.

March 2011

On 24 March during a debate on the situation of human rights in the DPRK, the Human Rights Council expressed its serious concern at the ongoing grave, widespread and systematic human rights violations there. The HRC extended the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on human rights in the DPRK for a period of one year.

February 2011

On 23 February, the chair of the 1718 Committee on DPRK sanctions briefed Council members in informal consultations.

December 2010

On 19 December, the Council held emergency consultations and a closed Council meeting at the request of Russia to discuss tensions on the Korean peninsula; Council members were unable to find consensus. On 20 December 2010 the 1718 Committee held its first open briefing to the wider UN membership.

November 2010

On 23 November, the DPRK shelled Yeonpyeong, a ROK island near a disputed maritime border, after the ROK fired artillery in the area during a military drill.

July 2010

On 9 July, the Council adopted a presidential statement that condemned the 26 March attack which led to the sinking of the ROK naval ship Cheonan and encouraged resuming direct dialogue and negotiation as early as possible in order to avoid conflicts and avert escalation .

30 June 2010

On 30 June, the Council President Claude Heller provided Council members in informal consultations with an update on the intensive process of discussions and bilateral consultations which he had undertaken. Earlier that month, on 14 June, the Council held an informal interactive dialogue with delegations from the ROK and the DPRK on the sinking of the Cheonan vessel. In a statement to the press the Council President said the Council was gravely concerned, called on the parties to refrain from any act that could escalate tensions in the region and said the Council would continue its consultations on the incident. On 7 June, the Council extended the mandate of the Panel of Experts until 12 June 2011.

27 May 2010

The ROK military conducted an anti-submarine drill, and the DPRK said it would cancel joint agreements with the ROK that aim to improve communication and prevent naval confrontations.

25 May 2010

The DPRK said it would cut ties and halt cooperation with the ROK, and accused it of repeatedly violating its territorial waters.

24 May 2010

ROK President Lee Myung-bak announced an ROK response to the sinking of the Cheonan including his intent to take the issue to the Council. The Secretary-General said he expected the Council to take appropriate action promptly and that he hoped for a quick resumption of the six-party talks.

21 May 2010

The DPRK again denied any involvement in the sinking of the Cheonan.

20 May 2010

The ROK released the report on the sinking that concluded a DPRK attack was the likely cause of the sinking of the Cheonan. A statement by the US said the report pointed overwhelmingly to the conclusion that the DPRK was responsible. A Chinese statement called for restraint by all parties and said China would be making its own assessment of the incident.

17 May 2010

US President Barack Obama spoke with ROK President Lee Myung-bak to discuss the investigation of the Cheonan sinking and to express full US support for defence against any aggression.

16 May 2010

Two DPRK ships crossed into ROK waters near the site of the Cheonan sinking and then returned to DPRK waters after warning shots were fired by ROK forces.

12 May 2010

The final report of the sanctions committee panel of experts’ first year of operation was submitted to the Committee.

3-7 May 2010

DPRK leader Kim Jong Il travelled on an unofficial visit to China from 3 to 7 May.

17 April 2010

The DPRK state news service reported that North Korea had no involvement in the sinking of the Cheonan.

29 March 2010

The DPRK announced its intention to construct a light water nuclear reactor.

26 March 2010

An ROK navy ship (the Cheonan) sank as a result of an explosion near a disputed maritime border between the DPRK and the ROK, killing dozens of sailors and raising tensions in the region. Initial investigations suggested that the explosion did not come from inside the ship.

9-12 February 2010

Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs B. Lynn Pascoe visited the DPRK to discuss issues of mutual interest. He was the highest-ranking UN official to visit the country since 2004.

11 February 2010

Council members were briefed by the chair of the 1718 sanctions committee in informal consultations.

27 January 2010

The DPRK and the ROK exchanged artillery fire near disputed coastal waters.

20 January 2010

Top ROK negotiator Wi Sung-lac travelled to the US to meet with officials about restarting the six-party talks.

11 January 2010

The DPRK stated its willingness to negotiate on its nuclear disarmament, but also insisted on the lifting of sanctions and a peace treaty.

11 December 2009

Thailand seized an aircraft reportedly carrying 35 tons of weapons and related material from the DPRK, appearing to constitute a violation of resolution 1874.

8 December 2009

US Special Representative for North Korea Policy Stephen Bosworth visited the DPRK, delivering a personal letter from US President Barack Obama to DPRK leader Kim Jong-Il.

19 November 2009

Council members met in informal consultations for a briefing from the DPRK Sanctions Committee on its regular ninety-day report and its Panel of Experts’ interim report.

10 November 2009

DPRK and ROK navy ships exchanged fire in disputed waters.

3 November 2009

The DPRK announced that it had completed processing 8,000 nuclear fuel rods, producing more plutonium for its nuclear weapons programme.

14 October 2009

The DPRK expressed regret for the deaths of six South Koreans killed on 6 September in floodwaters released upstream by the DPRK.

12 October 2009

The DPRK tested a number of short-range missiles off its eastern coast.

9 October 2009

President Lee Myung-Bak of South Korea and newly elected Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama of Japan held a joint news conference in which they expressed unity in confronting the DPRK over the nuclear and ballistic-missile issues.

24 September 2009

At a meeting on nuclear issues chaired by US President Barack Obama, the Council unanimously approved resolution 1887 which inter alia reaffirmed resolutions related to the DPRK’s nuclear weapons and missile programmes and to its non-proliferation obligations, including resolutions 825 (1993), 1695 (2006), 1718 (2006) and 1874 (2009).

14 September 2009

The Council held consultations where it heard that the Sanctions Committee continues to investigate an alleged shipment of arms from the DPRK to Iran; the Council extended the deadline for the interim report of the 1718 Committee’s Panel of Experts by 60 days.  

8 September 2009

The US froze the assets of the DPRK’s General Bureau of Atomic Energy and a corporation believed to facilitate the country’s missile programme.

3 September 2009

The DPRK’s Permanent Representative to the UN wrote to the Council rejecting the validity of sanctions imposed against it and stating that it would not respond to requests for information made by the 1718 Committee. The letter said the DPRK was continuing to weaponise plutonium, and that “[e]xperimental uranium enrichment has been successfully conducted to enter into the completion phase”.

26 to 28 August 2009

Officials from the DPRK and South Korea met in the DPRK to discuss the issue of resumption of reunions of families separated by the Korean War more than 55 years ago.

25 August 2009

South Korea launched its first space rocket (it failed to deliver a satellite into its proper orbit).

20 August 2009

The Security Council was briefed in informal consultations by the chairman of the 1718 Committee on the work of the Committee.

19 August 2009

The former US Ambassador to the UN, Bill Richardson, met with diplomats from the DPRK’s permanent mission to the UN in New Mexico (USA).

17 August 2009

The DPRK agreed to reopen its border with South Korea and allow the resumption of tourism and family reunions.

12 August 2009

Following consultations with the 1718 Committee, the Secretary-General informed the president of the Council that he had appointed seven experts to assist the Committee.

8 August 2009

In the Bay of Bengal Indian authorities detained and inspected a North Korean vessel for nuclear material or fuel.  The inspection did not detect any radioactive presence.

4 August 2009

The DPRK released two US journalists convicted of illegally entering DPRK territory. This took place during a visit by former US president Bill Clinton.

27 July 2009

The DPRK indicated that it was open to “a specific and reserved form of dialogue” on its nuclear issue.

21 July 2009

The US expressed concern at the possibility that the DPRK was developing military ties with Myanmar.

During the week of 20 July 2009

A “war of words” occured between US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the DPRK in the context of an ASEAN meeting in Thailand.

16 July 2009

The Committee imposed additional sanctions against a number of DPRK entities and individuals, as well as goods.  It was the first list of individuals drawn up by the Committee in line with resolution 1874.

Mid-July 2009

The DPRK indicated that it considered the six-party talks, from which it withdrew in April, dead.

6 July 2009

The Council met in private consultations to discuss the 4 July missile launches. After the meeting, the Council president conveyed Council members’ condemnation of the DPRK’s actions to the press.

4 July 2009

The DPRK launched seven ballistic missiles into waters off its east coast in violation of resolutions 1718 and 1874.

Mid-June 2009

A DPRK ship suspected of transporting weapons to Myanmar was placed under US navy surveillance, resulting in the vessel eventually heading back to the DPRK during the week of 30 June.

12 June 2009

The Council adopted resolution 1874, condemning the DPRK’s most recent nuclear test, expanding the existing arms embargo and authorising inspection of cargoes to and from the DPRK, as well as vessels on the high seas.

25 May 2009

The DPRK conducted an underground nuclear test that prompted the Council to hold an emergency session condeminng the test and citing it as a clear violation of resolution 1718.

24 April 2009

The 1718 Sanctions Committee designated three North Korean entities to be subject to assets freeze.

13 April 2009

The DPRK reacted to a presidential statement in the Security Council by expelling alll nuclear inspectors,  and saying it would boycott the six-party talks.

5 April 2009

At the request of Japan, the Council held an emergency session.

5 April 2009

US President Barack Obama condemned the launch and said it was provocative. He added that the US would take appropriate steps.

5 April 2009

The DPRK launched a three-part Taepodong-2 rocket with the official aim of placing a satellite in orbit. While the DPRK claimed success, it appeared that the rocket failed.

12 March 2009

The DPRK said it had acceded to the Convention on Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space and to the Outer Space Treaty.

18 December 2008

The General Assembly adopted a resolution on the human rights situation in the DPRK, for the first time sponsored by South Korea.

8 -12 December 2008

A round of six-party talks held in Beijing ended in an impasse.

11 October 2008

US agreed to remove DPRK from its list of states sponsoring terrorism.

1 -3 October 2008

US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Christopher Hill, visited the DPRK in an attempt to find a solution to the crisis.

24 September 2008

North Korea removed seals and surveillance cameras at Yongbyon, saying it intended to reactivate the reprocessing plant within a week. IAEA inspectors were also barred from the site.

19 September 2008

North Korea announced that it was reversing its position on deactivating Yongbyon as the US had not begun removing North Korea from the list of state sponsors of terrorism.

15 September 2008

North Korea reportedly conducted an engine ignition test for a long-range missile at the Tongchang-ri site.

9 September 2008

Kim Jong-il did not appear at a parade on marking the 60th anniversary of the country, prompting speculation he was ill.

2 September 2008

To combat North Korea’s worst food crisis in a decade, the WFP announced a major relief campaign.

26 June 2008

The US announced the removal of some trade sanctions under and its intention to drop North Korea from its terrorist list.

26 June 2008

Pyongyang submitted a declaration of its nuclear activities to China, the chair of the six-party talks.

mid-June 2008

Russia began food deliveries to North Korea.

30 May 2008

North Korea fired three short-range missiles into the Yellow Sea, well away from waters contested by South Korea.

16 May 2008

The US announced it would supplement the existing aid-for-disarmament deal with 500,000 tons of emergency food aid.

May 2008

North Korea handed over 18,822 pages of documents, the operating and production records of the Yongbyon reactor.

13 March 2008

A meeting between the chief US and North Korean negotiators was held in Geneva, little progress was made.

February 2008

The New York Philharmonic orchestra visited Pyongyang; the first significant US cultural visit. Subsequent routine military exercises between South Korea and the US drew sharp criticism from Pyongyang.

12 December 2007

North Korea signalled willingness to continue implementation of the six-party agreement.

early December 2007

President George W. Bush sent a letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong-il encouraging denuclearisation.

November 2007

A US-led team of specialists began disabling the Yongbyon facilities with hopes of completion by year end.

15 September 2007

Chinese, Russian and US experts completed a mission to North Korea to assess strategies for disabling the Yongbyon facilities.

12 September 2007

Media reports suggested that North Korea might be providing assistance with an alleged nuclear facility in Syria.

Early September 2007

At a bilateral working group in Geneva, North Korean negotiator Kim Kye-gwan advised his US counterpart Christopher Hill that Pyongyang would disclose and disable its programme by the end of the calendar year.

July 2007

North Korea closed down its Yongbyon reactor and invited the IAEA to monitor the shutdown process.

20 June 2007

The 1718 Committee adopted procedural guidelines.

June 2007

North Korea invited the IAEA to discuss procedures to verify and monitor suspension of operations. A team from the IAEA went to Pyongyang. Christopher R Hill, the US chief negotiator for the six-party talks, also visited Pyongyang and confirmed North Korea’s commitment to shut down the Yongbyon reactor.

Mid-March 2007

The sixth round of six-party talks among China, Japan, Russia, South Korea, the US and North Korea on implementing the 13 February agreement was cut short.

19 March 2007

The sixth round of six-party talks in Beijing reviewed progress made in the working groups and discussed next steps.

13 March 2007

IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei visited North Korea to discuss the return of inspectors and monitoring of the shut-down of the Yongbyon reactor.

13 February 2007

Pyongyang agreed to close its Yongbyon reactor within sixty days, in return for 50,000 tons of fuel aid or equivalent economic aid.

18 December 2006

Six-party talks between the US, Russia, China, South Korea, Japan and North Korea resumed in Beijing.

October 2006

The Sanctions Committee adopted lists of prohibited trade items in nuclear, chemical and biological materials.

14 October 2006

The Security Council adopted resolution 1718 imposing sanctions on North Korea and setting up a Sanctions Committee.

9 October 2006

North Korea announced that it had conducted an underground nuclear test.

6 October 2006

The Security Council unanimously warned North Korea against nuclear testing.

3 October 2006

North Korea announced that it would conduct a nuclear test.

15 July 2006

The Security Council adopted resolution 1695 condemning North Korea’s launch of ballistic missiles.

4 and 5 July 2006

North Korea launched seven missiles, including a long-range Taepodong-2.

9 November 2005

The fifth round of six-party talks collapsed after three days.

19 September 2005

North Korea agreed to abandon all of its nuclear programmes in return for the possibility of a light-water reactor and a non-aggression pledge from the US.

September 2005

The US imposed financial sanctions on a Macau bank and eight North Korean companies alleging counterfeiting and money laundering.

26 July 2005

The first phase of the fourth round of six-party talks began. After 13 days of talks and five draft agreements the talks were put on hold for three weeks.

10 February 2005

North Korea announced that it possessed nuclear weapons.

23 June 2004

The third round of six-party talks. The US offered fuel aid in exchange for North Korea freezing and dismantling it nuclear programmes.

25 February 2004

Second round of six-party talks.

28 April 2004

The Security Council in resolution 1540, a Chapter VII resolution, affirmed that proliferation of nuclear weapons, as well as the means of delivery (including rockets and missiles), constitute a threat to international peace and security.

27 August 2003

First round of six-party talks.

10 January 2003

Pyongyang withdrew from the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

16 October 2002

The US publicly accused North Korea of operating a secret uranium enrichment programme.

27 December 2002

North Korea expelled International Atomic Energy Agency nuclear inspectors.

31 August 1998

North Korea test fired a Taepodong-1 missile over Japan.

11 June 1993

North Korea suspended its withdrawal from the non-proliferation treaty one day before it would have taken effect, but announced that it would no longer allow International Atomic Energy Agency inspections.

12 March 1993

The Central People’s Committee announced North Korea’s withdrawal from the non-proliferation treaty.

31 December 1991

North and South Korea agreed on a nuclear-free Korean peninsula.

12 September 1985

North Korea signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty.