The Soviet Union begins training North Korean scientists and engineers, enabling them to acquire basic knowledge to initiate a nuclear program
Nuclear Cooperative Agreement
North Korea and the USSR sign a nuclear cooperative agreement. Over the next 30 years Moscow provides North Korea with basic nuclear training and technology.
Yongbyon Nuclear Research Center
The Yongbyon Nuclear Research Center with the IRT-2000 research reactor is completed.
The Yongbyon reactor reaches a power rating of 2MW(th) and they begin to successfully pursue fission experiments wth materials purchased from the USSR in 1963
1970 - 1979
South Korea refuses North Korea's offer to forge a joint, covert nuclear program
Nuclear Weapons Assistance
1970 - 1979
Kim II Sung's request for nuclear weapons assistance are rebuffed by both China and the USSR
North Korea begins mining operations at various locations near Sunchon and Pyongsan.
North Korea completes construction of a Radiochemical Laboratory - a reprocessing plant used to separate plutonium from nuclear fuel at the Yongbyon Research Center. This allows them to establish a full plutonium fuel cycle
1984 - 1986
North Korea completes construction of a 5MWe gas-cooled, graphite moderated nuclear reactor for plutonium production
North Korea reaches dangerous levels of nuclear capacity with advancements due to the increased Soviet support for the nuclear program
North Korea joins the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty
North Korea's nuclear program is conclusively confirmed by U.S. satellite images - leading to the first nuclear crisis between the US and North Korea
1989 - 1994
North Korea is forced to deal with the fall of the USSR, normalization of Sino-Soviet relations, the death of Kim II Sung, an economic downturn and food and energy shortages. This slowed down their nuclear program significantly
North Korea attempts to acquire Soviet scientists with knowledge of high energy physics, however the scientists are detained by the Soviet officials.
North Korea signs the Safeguard agreement with the IAEA
North Korea pulls out of the agreement and in the same year tests the Nodong-1 missile.
North Korea signs the Agreed Frameworks with the U.S.
It was reported that North Korea provided Pakistan with the No-dong missile and production technology in exchange for gas centrifuge technology.
U.S. aid is given to North Korea in exchange for them to halt their missile program.
North Korea test fires Taepodong-1 missile over Japan.
A suspected underground nuclear facility in Kumchang-ri was discovered by U.S. spy satellite imagery. This lead to the U.S. congress to halt $35 million in heavy oil aid and inspections of the new facility by June 1, 1999
North Korea signed the Berlin Agreement
North Korea expels the IAEA inspectors
U.S. begins reporting on a secret North Korean Highly Enriched Uranium Program (HEU)
Resumption of activity in the Yongbyon reactor
Six Party Talk
2003 - 2005
Six Party Talks fail to make substantial progress due to North Korean acts of aggression via the missile tests in February 2003 and May 2005
George W. Bush turns down a proposition from the North to freeze its reactors in exchange for a list of concessions.
North Korea withdrawals from the NPT
The Six Party Talks continue
North Korea launches 7 missiles. The two short and medium range missiles were successful, while the long range missile was not.
North Korea conducts underground nuclear tests
Another agreement between North Korea and the U.S. was signed
Rotating teams of U.S. and Russia officials oversee the dismantlement though not the disposal of more then half of Yongbyon's 8,000 spent fuel rods
2nd Nuclear Weapon
North Korea tests its second nuclear weapon and expels IAEA again
North Korea tests the Unha-2 missile over Japan
North Korea reveals a secret advanced uranium enrichment plant
North Korea tests Kwangygongsong-3 satellite missile, but it fails
North Korea is successful in launching a satellite into orbit, using a long-range rocket. This sparks a lot of concern and discussion.