North Korea launched two ballistic missiles into the sea near Japan on Thursday ramping up tension ahead of the Tokyo Olympics and putting pressure on the new Biden administration in Washington..
Following are key moments in North Korea’s missile tests and its foreign relations, in particular with the United States, over the past few years.
North Korea test-fires the Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
North Korea conducts another Hwasong-14 ICBM test.
U.S. President Donald Trump warns North Korea might face “fire and fury”.
North Korea fires Hwasong-12 intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM).
North Korea carries out its sixth nuclear test, saying it has mastered hydrogen bomb technology.
North Korea fires a Hwasong-12 IRBM.
Trump threatens to “totally destroy” North Korea.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called Trump as a “mentally deranged U.S. dotard”.
U.S. B-1B bomber flies over the Korean Demilitarized Zone.
North Korea test-fires Hwasong-15 ICBM, capable of reaching the entire United States, and declares it has become a nuclear power.
North Korean official Kim Yong Chol expresses willingness for U.S. talks while visiting South Korea for the Winter Olympics.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s envoy delivers Kim’s invitation for Trump to visit North Korea; Trump agrees to meet Kim.
North Korea’s Kim and South Korean President Moon meet for first inter-Korean summit in more than a decade, pledging to work for “complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula”. They meet again in May and September.
Trump announces a June 12 summit with Kim in Singapore.
Kim, Trump hold their first summit, in Singapore, agreeing to denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula in exchange for U.S. security guarantees.
South Korea, U.S. announce suspension of joint military exercises.
North Korea returns remains of 55 U.S. soldiers
North Korea displays ICBMs at military parade.
White House unveils Kim’s proposal for second summit.
Kim guides test of “cutting-edge tactical weapon”.
Kim says he’s ready to meet Trump but warns of taking new path.
Trump and Kim end their second summit in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi without an agreement due to differences over demands by Pyongyang for sanctions relief and by Washington for North Korea to abandon nuclear weapons.
Kim supervises tests of rockets and a new short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) in first such tests since the November 2017 ICBM launch.
North Korea fires two KN-23 SRBMs
Trump said he did not consider the North’s missile tests “breach of trust,” calling it “standard stuff”.
Trump and Kim meet for the third time in DMZ on the Korean peninsula.
Kim inspects a large, new submarine, possibly designed for submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM).
July 25, 31
North Korea launches KN-23 SRBMs.
North Korea fires two more KN-23 SRBMs; Trump says the tests do not violate his agreement with Kim.
Aug. 6, 10, 16
North Korea fires more KN-23 and tactical missiles.
Kim oversees the test of a new “super-large” multiple launch rocket system (MLRS).
North Korea tests “super-large” MLRS.
North Korea test-fires new Pukguksong-3 SLBMs.
Trump says Kim and he get along well and “like” and “respect” each other.
North Korea tests the “super-large” MLRS.
North Korea says it is up to U.S. to decide what “Christmas gift” it wants.
Kim vows to further develop nuclear programmes and introduce a “new strategic weapon”.
March 3, 9, 14
North Korea tests MLRS and short-range missiles.
Kim supervises test of new tactical guided weapon; Trump sends letter to Kim offering help on the new coronavirus.
North Korea tests “super-large” MLRS.
Kim sends a get-well message to Trump who tested positive for COVID-19.
North Korea unveils a new ICBM and SLBM at military parade.
Trump says he has a very good relationship with Kim and stopped war; Biden likens Kim to Nazi Germany’s Adolf Hitler and calls him a “thug”.
North Korea fires two short-range cruise missiles but the United States plays down the first such tests under President Joe Biden and said it was still open to dialogue.