The timelines below present significant events that have influenced the ROK-U.S. Alliance Post-Korean War. We have divided these events into 2 categories: North Korea and ROK-U.S. Alliance.

KDVA is currently in the process of researching Post-Korean War significant events and will be continuing to add more events from the 1953 to present day era. We welcome your feedback!


1985: Dec:  DPRK signs Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and discloses the existence of the Yongbyon facility
1991: Aug:  DPRK and ROK join the United Nations
1992: Jan:  DPRK and South Korea agree to denuclearize the Peninsula

May:  IAEA begins inspections, says DPRK has processed more plutonium than reported

1993: Mar:  PRK refuses IAEA’s inspector requests and threatens to leave the NPT
1994: June:  DPRK quits the IAEA

June:  Former President Jimmy Carter has a private visit to DPRK and meets with Kim Il-sung

July:  Death of Kim Il-Sung. Kim Jong-il becomes the new leader of DPRK.

July:  The United States and DPRK sign the Agreed Framework, where the US promises aid in exchange for DPRK halting its nuclear activities

1996: Severe famine and an estimated three million North Koreans die of starvation.

Sept:  A DPRK submarine runs ashore in Gangneung. All but one person on board is killed in a skirmish with ROK forces. 17 South Korean soldiers died.

1998: June:  A DPRK submarine is captured in South Korean waters. All crew are found dead.

The Geumgangsan Resort is open to South Korean tourists in DPRK.

2000: June:  Kim Jong-il and South Korean president Kim Dae-Jung meet in Pyongyang.

Aug:  Separated-family reunions are held.

Nov:  Second separated-family reunions are held.

2001: Feb:  Third round of separated-family reunions are held.
2002: Jan:  President Bush includes North Korea in the ‘axis of evil’ mentioned in his State of the Union address.

Sept:  DPRK admits to kidnapping Japanese nationals in the 70s and 80s

Dec:  DPRK states they will restart Yongbyon

2003: Jan:  DPRK leaves the NPT; Creation of the Party of Six

May:  DPRK leaves agreement with ROK to denuclearize the peninsula

2004: Kaesong Industrial Complex opens
2005: Feb:  DPRK publicly admits it has nuclear weapons for self-defense

Feb:  US freezes DPRK funds; DPRK abandons resolve to obtain nuclear weapons

2006: Oct:  DPRK conducts first nuclear weapons test
2007: Feb:  DPRK promises to disable and declare nuclear facilities

Oct:  Second Inter-Korean summit in Pyongyang between Roh Moo-hyun and Kim Jong-il

2008: New ROK President Lee Myung-bak takes hardline stance on DPRK

June:  DPRK demolishes cooling tower at Yongbyon

July:  Geumgangsan Resort closes to South Korean tourists after one is shot by North Korean military personnel after straying into a military area

Aug:  DPRK says it will reverse dismantlement of Yongbyon because US will not take DPRK off terrorism list

Sept:  DPRK hosts a military parade for their 60th anniversary, Kim Jong-il is not present

Oct:  US agrees to take DPRK off terrorism list, DPRK opens up for IAEA inspections

2009: April:  DPRK walks out of Six Party Talks

May:  DPRK conducts second nuclear weapons test

Aug:  Two American journalists are released from DPRK after Former President Bill Clinton negotiates their release

2010: Feb:  DPRK relaxes free market restrictions after previous year’s currency revaluation sparks unrest

March:  DPRK sinks the ROK warship Cheonan

Nov:  DPRK reveals new centrifuge for nuclear development

2011: Dec:  Kim Jong-il dies, Kim Jong-un takes power
2012: DPRK promises to halt uranium enrichment process

DPRK conducts several ballistic weapons tests

2013: Feb:  DPRK’s third nuclear weapons test

Dec:  Kim Jong-un’s uncle, Chang Song-taek, is executed for attempting to overthrow the state

2014: Dec:  DPRK and US fight over alleged cyber-hacking of Sony Pictures
2016: Jan:  DPRK announces first hydrogen bomb test

Feb:  Kaesong Industrial Complex’s operations close down indefinitely

May:  First Workers Party Congress is held in over 40 years, Kim Jong-un is officially elected leader

2017: Feb:  Kim Jong-nam, Kim Jong-un’s half-brother, is killed in Malaysia

July:  DPRK fires a long-range ballistic missile

Aug:  DPRK threatens to fire on Guam; President Trump threatens military action against DPRK

2018: Jan:  DPRK and ROK have joint participation in the Winter Olympics, held in Pyeongchang

April:  Chairman Kim and President Moon Jae-in meet at Panmunjeom; promise formal peace and shared goal of denuclearization

May:  DPRK announces dismantlement of Punggye-ri nuclear testing site

June:  Trump and Kim meet in Singapore; pledge to denuclearize the peninsula

Aug:  Satellite imagery shows DPRK starts dismantling missile testing site at Sohae


Feb:  President Trump and Chairman Kim meet in Hanoi; no agreement was reached

April:  Kim Jong-un travels to Russia for the first time and meets Putin

June:  President Trump becomes the first sitting US President to take a step on DPRK soil when he met briefly with Chairman Kim at the DMZ.

Nov:  ROK sends back two DPRK fisherman accused of killing other crewmembers of their boat

Nov:  Movement of railcars at the Yongbyon facility suggests possible movement of radioactive material

Dec:  DPRK conducts rocket testing at Sohae.

Chairman Kim states that DPRK is no longer bound by their self-imposed nuclear moratorium

2020: President Moon suggests allowing South Korean tourists to visit North Korea; Ambassador Harris urged Seoul to be in consultation with Washington with regards to the issue

Created and updated by Ms. Julie Huynh and Ms. Stacey Scholten, KDVA Interns


2018: Jan: United States and Republic of Korea agree to postpone military exercises until after the Olympics

Feb: United States agrees to meet with North Korea

April: Panmunjom Declaration for Peace is signed by Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae-In

May: North Korea criticizes US-ROK military exercises and refuses to continue talks with South Korea

June: United States and South Korea agree to indefinitely suspend major military exercises to encourage ongoing talks with North Korea

June: US and North Korean leaders meet in Singapore, historically marking the first meeting between a US President and North Korean leader; the topics discussed included the possibility of peace between the two nations, denuclearization and POW/MIA remains

Sept: United Nations authorizes ROK troops and material to cross the line of demarcation to repair communication infrastructure between North and South Korea

Oct: North and South Korea meet alongside United Nations Command, led by the United States, to begin disarming the shared border of the two countries

Oct: The 43rd US-ROK Military Committee Meeting was held by General Joseph F. Dunford Jr., US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and General Park Hanki, ROK Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Oct: The 50th Security Consultative Meeting was held in Washington D.C., by ROK Minister of National Defense Jeong Kyeongdoo and US Secretary of Defense James Mattis leading their delegations

2019: Feb: South Korea and the United States agree on a deal to increase the burden sharing on the side of South Korea in regards to US military personnel stationed in the country

Feb: US and North Korea meet in Hanoi for the second time to discuss North Korea’s nuclear weapon and missile programs

Mar: South Korea discusses possibly reinstating economic projects aimed at assisting the two Koreas to incentivize North Korea’s nuclear disarmament compliance

Mar: ‘Key Resolve’ and ‘Foal Eagle’ US-ROK joint military exercises are discontinued and replaced with shorter exercises

Apr: Special Measures Agreement, signed by South Korea goes into effect, temporarily increasing the allocated ROK funding for US troops

May: United States State Department approves the future sale of air defense missiles to South Korea, amid rising tensions between North and South Korea

June:  A South Korean general is expected to eventually take over US-ROK military command following the transfer of wartime operational control (OPCON) from Washington to Seoul

June:  United States military personnel in the process of moving from Yongsan Garrison (located in the capital of Seoul) to Camp Humphreys (south of capital)

Aug: United States and South Korea proceed with annual military exercises despite opposition from North Korea

Nov: The smaller scale exercise ‘Combined Flying Training Event’ is set to replace the once annual ‘Vigilant Ace’ aerial exercise, one of the major exercises suspended in December 2018

The 44th Military Committee Meeting held with ROK Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Park Hanki, and US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley

The 51st Security Consultative Meeting was held in Seoul with ROK Minister of Defense Jeong Kyeongdoo and US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper

Dec:  United States Forces Korea returned four military installations to South Korean control and will make arrangements to return 13 others in accordance with an agreement reached during the 200th Status of Forces Agreement Joint Committee meeting

Created and updated by Ms. Nicole Ruiz, KDVA Intern