Chronology of Recent Events on the Korean Peninsula

January 6, 2003

August, 1994

U. S. and DPRK sign the "Agreed Framework" in which the DPRK agrees to suspend activity at its graphite-based nuclear energy plants in return for fuel and the building of new "light water" reactors by the U.S. The U.S. also agrees to refrain from threatening North Korea with nuclear weapons.

December, 1997

President Clinton signs a secret four-page "Presidential Policy Directive (PPD)" outlining new guidelines for fighting a nuclear war. It states that U.S. strategy will shift its focus from fighting a prolonged nuclear conflict to one of responding quickly and decisively to more limited attacks against so-called "rogue nations," such as Libya, Iran, Iraq, or North Korea. It also says the United States will reserve the option of using nuclear arms to retaliate against "non-nuclear threats."

July, 1998

The "Rumsfeld Commission" concludes report declaring the DPRK and Iran "rogue states" which threaten U.S. interests.

December, 1998

U.S. accuses the DPRK of "developing secret underground nuclear plants" and declares that sanctions won't be lifted until the north's "missile technology" is suspended.

May, 1999

A U.S. inspection team visits the suspected underground site. According to the State Department, the team finds "no evidence of nuclear activity or violation of the Agreed Framework."

December, 1999

Five years after the Agreed Framework was signed, U.S. officials admit that they have delayed signing the contract for the construction of the light-water reactor, citing "complex legal and financial challenges."

June 15, 2000

Following a historic summit, North and South Korea sign a joint declaration stating they will "solve the question of the country's reunification independently by the concerted efforts of the Korean nation responsible for it." The agreement includes promises to reunite families divided by the war and to pursue other economic and cultural exchanges. Five days later, North Korea reaffirms that it will place a moratorium on its missile technology development. The North-South Joint Declaration stimulates a new upsurge in the Korean people's struggle for reunification.

May, 2001

President Bush declares that the U.S. will deploy a new "Ballistic Missile Defense" program in Asia. U.S. officials admit the program will directly target North Korea and may be used in a possible "pre-emptive strike."

June, 2001

The White House announces publicly that the U.S. will abandon the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty.

January 29, 2002

In his State of the Union address, President Bush says that the DPRK, along with Iraq and Iran, represent an "axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world."

March, 2002

The Pentagon reveals portions of its official Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) which contains plans for the first-strike use of nuclear weapons agaisnt non-nuclear countries including North Korea as well as Iraq, Iran, Libya and Syria.

October, 2002

The DPRK calls for a non-aggression treaty between the DPRK and the

U.S. as "a reasonable and realistic" basis for resolving outstanding issues, including the nuclear issue, between the two countries.

November, 2002

The Bush administration says that it will completely cutoff fuel shipments to north Korea.

December, 2002

The DPRK takes steps to restart its graphite-based nuclear reactors in order supply itself with electricity. The DPRK again reiterates its sovereign right to take measures to defend itself and points out that "the United States stopped supplying heavy fuel oil and thus ditched the DPRK-U.S. Agreed Framework (AF) after listing the DPRK as part of an 'axis of evil' and a target of its premptive nuclear attack."