Chronology of North Korea's Missile Program

North Korea's missile program has been of particular interest to its neighbors and the United States because of its potential when combined with the secretive country's nuclear weapons program. A timeline of North Korea missile milestones since August 1998:

-Aug. 31, 1998: North Korea fires a multistage Taepodong-1 missile over Japan and into the Pacific Ocean.

-Sept. 13, 1999: North Korea pledges to freeze long-range missile tests.

-Sept. 2002: North Korea pledges in summit talks with Japan to extend its moratorium on missile tests beyond 2003.

-May 2004: North Korea reaffirms its missile moratorium in summit talks with Japan.

-May 2005: North Korea fires a short-range missile into the Sea of Japan.

-March 2006: North Korea fires two short-range missiles.

-May 18: Japan says North Korea moved a missile to a launch site. Media reports identify it as a Taepodong-2.

-June 7: South Korea expresses deep concern over signs North Korea may be preparing to test fire a ballistic missile.

-June 14: The U.S. ambassador to South Korea warns of American countermeasures if North Korea conducts a missile test.

-June 16: The United States says a test of a Taepodong-2 long-range missile may be imminent.

-June 18: North Korea vows to increase its "military deterrent" to cope with what it called U.S. attempts to provoke war.

-June 20: A North Korean official is quoted as saying the country is not bound by the 2002 Pyongyang Declaration moratorium on missile tests.

-June 21: U.S. President George W. Bush warns North Korea that it faces further isolation if it test fires a long-range missile.

-June 21: A North Korean diplomat in New York demands direct talks with the United States. Washington rejects the demand.

-June 28: Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao says North Korea should refrain from aggravating regional tensions with missile launch.

-June 29: Bush warns that a North Korean missile launch is unacceptable. Visiting Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi says a launch would be followed by "various pressures."

-July 3: North Korea says it would respond to a pre-emptive U.S. military attack with an "annihilating strike and a nuclear war."

-July 5: North Korea launches a series of missiles.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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