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In exchange, the United States pledges to provide sanctions relief, aid, oil, and two light-water reactors for civilian use.Earlier in the year, the CIA assessed that North Korea had produced one or two nuclear weapons.
In December, Obama administration officials hold their first bilateral meetings with their North Korean counterparts.
Pyongyang reveals its new centrifuge for uranium enrichment, which was built secretively and swiftly, as well as a light-water reactor under construction, suggesting that despite sanctions, the regime is committed to advancing its weapons program.
North Korea ratifies the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), a multilateral agreement whose dozens of signatories have committed to halting the spread of nuclear weapons and technology and promoting peaceful cooperation on nuclear energy.
North Korea built its first nuclear facilities in the early 1980s. Bush and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, known as the START treaty, limits the deployment of offensive nuclear weapons abroad.
The United States announces it will withdraw roughly one hundred nuclear weapons from South Korea as part of the original Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. The governments of North and South Korea agree to “not test, manufacture, produce, receive, possess, store, deploy, or use nuclear weapons,” as well as ban nuclear reprocessing and uranium enrichment facilities.
The treaty also commits the two Koreas to use nuclear energy only for peaceful purposes.
The following month, North Korea withdraws from the NPT after disrupting IAEA monitoring equipment and expelling inspectors.
Amid an increasingly tense climate, South and North Korea, China, Japan, Russia, and the United States launch a diplomatic initiative known as the Six Party Talks. Treasury Department designates the Macau-based Banco Delta Asia a primary money laundering concern and freezes million North Korea holds there.
As part of the agreement, the United States asserts that it has no intention of attacking North Korea.
North Korea carries out an underground nuclear test with an explosion yield estimated around one to two kilotons.