A timeline on nuclear weapons development in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK):
1993: The DPRK shocks the world by saying it will quit the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty but later suspends its withdrawal.
1994: The DPRK and the United States sign an agreement in Geneva. The DPRK pledges to freeze, and eventually dismantle, its nuclear weapons programme in exchange for help in building two power-producing nuclear reactors.
September 17, 1999: US President Bill Clinton agrees to first major easing of economic sanctions against the DPRK since the Korean War ended in 1953.
July 2000: The DPRK threatens to restart its nuclear programme if Washington does not compensate it for the loss of electricity caused by delays in building nuclear power plants.
July 2001: The US State Department reports the DPRK is developing long-range missiles.
January 29, 2002: US President George W. Bush labels the DPRK, Iran and Iraq an "axis of evil."
November 11: The US, Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) halt oil supplies to the DPRK promised in a 1994 deal.
January 10, 2003: The DPRK says it will withdraw from the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty.
April 16: US, Chinese and DPRK officials announce talks in Beijing aimed at ending a nuclear standoff.
August 27-29: The DPRK joins first round of Six-Party Talks in Beijing, which also involve China, the US, Japan, Russia and the ROK.
February 25-28, 2004: Second round of the six-nation talks.
June 23-26: Third round of the six-nation talks.
September: The DPRK refuses to attend fourth-round talks, accusing US of "hostile" policies.
February 10, 2005: The DPRK announces it has nuclear weapons.
July 26: The fourth round of Six-Party Talks begins but ends in recess after 13 days with no agreement.
September 13: Talks resume.
September 15: US blacklists a Macao-based bank alleging it is involved in the DPRK's illicit activity such as money laundering and counterfeiting. The bank then freezes the DPRK assets.
November 9-11: Fifth round of Six-Party Talks.
January 3, 2006: The DPRK says it won't return to talks unless the US lifts financial restrictions imposed for its alleged currency counterfeiting and other illegal activities.
March 7: DPRK and US officials meet in New York to discuss the US' financial restrictions.
July 5: The DPRK launches seven missiles, including a long-range Taepodong-2, drawing international condemnation and a later UN Security Council resolution of condemnation.
September 26: The DPRK rejects further talks on its nuclear programme.
October 3: The DPRK says it will conduct a nuclear test in the face of what it claimed was "the US extreme threat of a nuclear war."
Yesterday: The DPRK says it has conducted its first nuclear test.
(China Daily 10/10/2006 page1)