DPRK Annual Chronologies


The North Korea Chronology was begun in 2000 as part of the Northeast Asia Cooperative Security Project, then housed at the Social Science Research Council with support from the Rockefeller Foundation, the W. Alton Jones Foundation, the Ploughshares Fund, and the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Compiled by Leon V. Sigal, Director of the Project, the chronology draws on official sources; news articles and op-eds in US newspapers; English-language editions of DPRK, South Korean, Japanese, and Chinese newspapers and news agencies; and selected reports from think tanks and other organization.

The chronology aims to provide a detailed compilation of North Korean missile and nuclear developments, as well as the responses of the US and others, including negotiations, sanctions, and the political and economic contexts for such actions.

To the extent possible, the dates reflect when events occurred, not when they are reported, and prior reports will be updated to reflect that. Any revisions will be noted on updated chronologies.

Sigal is the author of Disarming Strangers: Nuclear Diplomacy with North Korea, published by Princeton University Press, one of five nominees for the Lionel Gelber Prize as the most outstanding book in international relations for 1997–98 and named the 1998 book of distinction by the American Academy of Diplomacy.

Sigal was a member of the editorial board of The New York Times from 1989 to 1995. He served in the Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, in 1979 as International Affairs Fellow and in 1980 as Special Assistant to the Director.

Sigal began meeting with North Koren officials while at the Times. He has participated in dozens of Track II meetings with North Korean and US officials in Pyongyang, Singapore, London, and elsewhere, some of which he helped organize. These unofficial talks sought to persuade North Korea to abandon its nuclear and missile programs while trying to convince Washington to end enmity with Pyongyang, thereby satisfying North Korea’s desire to hedge against the rise of China. The talks may have helped open the way to temporary negotiated curbs in North Korean arming.

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