January 20, 2007 / 6:41 PM / 13 years ago

CHRONOLOGY-Timeline of the North Korean nuclear crisis

(Reuters) - Six-party talks aimed at ending North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme will resume in Beijing on December 18, the Chinese Foreign Ministry announced on Monday.

Following is a chronology of milestones in the North Korean nuclear crisis:

- October 2002: Top U.S. State Department envoy James Kelly confronts Pyongyang with evidence Washington says points to a covert uranium-enrichment programme. North Korea says “it is entitled to possess not only nuclear weapons but other types of weapons more powerful than them in defence of its sovereignty in face of the U.S. threat”.

- December 2002: North Korea says it plans to restart Yongbyon reactor, disables International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) surveillance devices at Yongbyon and expels IAEA inspectors.

- January 2003: North Korea says it is quitting the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty with immediate effect.

- August 2003: First round of six-way talks between North and South Korea, China, Japan, Russia and the United States on the nuclear issue takes place in Beijing. North Korea threatens to test nuclear bomb and test-fire new missile.

- February 2004: Father of Pakistani nuclear bomb, scientist bdul Qadeer Khan, admits he passed uranium-linked technology to Libya, Iran and North Korea. Pyongyang calls confession a lie.

- Second round of six-party talks held in Beijing.

- June 2004: Third round of talks take place in Chinese capital. U.S. proposes fuel aid and security guarantees to North Korea if it scraps nuclear programmes.

- February 10, 2005: North Korea officially says for the first time it has nuclear weapons and is quitting six-way talks.

- June 17: North Korean leader Kim Jong-il says North Korea can return to talks if United States meets certain conditions.

- July 26: Six-party envoys begin fourth round of talks, which deadlock as North Korea insists on civilian nuclear energy.

- September 13: The talks resume in Beijing after a recess.

- September 19: Six parties issue joint statement.

North Korea promises to give up its nuclear weapons and programmes. Other parties express willingness to provide oil, energy aid and security guarantees. Agreement says North Korea could have nuclear energy in future if it meets strict safeguards.

- November 9: Fifth round of talks break off without progress. North Korea later protests over U.S. crackdown on its finances.

- July 5, 2006: North Korea launches seven missiles from its east coast, including the long-range Taepodong-2.

- October 9: North Korea tests nuclear device.

- December 11: China’s Foreign Ministry announces a new round of six-party talks will resume in Beijing on December 18.

Source: Reuters

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