...to get you up to speed. Funny how the Bushies let it slide for Six Months to inquire on the status of things in NK after dropping $95M, no?
BBC News Online charts the build-up of tension since North Korea's reported disclosure of a secret nuclear weapon programme.
3-5 October: On a visit to the North Korean capital Pyongyang, US Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly presses the North on suspicions that it is
continuing to pursue a nuclear energy and missiles programme.
Mr Kelly says he has evidence of a secret uranium-enriching programme carried out in defiance of the 1994 Agreed Framework.
Under this deal, North Korea agreed to forsake nuclear ambitions in return for the construction of two safer lightwater nuclear power reactors and oil
shipments from the US.
16 October: The US announces that North Korea admitted in their talks to a secret nuclear arms programme.
Mercurial: North Korean leader Kim Jong-il
17 October: Initially the North appears conciliatory. Leader Kim Jong-il says he will allow international weapons inspectors to check that nuclear
facilities are out of use. Meanwhile, on 18 October, five Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea 25 years before are allowed a brief visit home -
but end up staying, provoking more tension in the region.
20 October: North-South Korea talks in Pyongyang are undermined by the North's nuclear programme "admission".
US Secretary of State Colin Powell says further US aid to North Korea is now in doubt.
The North adopts a mercurial stance, at one moment defiantly defending its "right" to weapons development and at the next offering to halt nuclear
programmes in return for aid and the signing of a "non-aggression" pact with the US.
It argues that the US has not kept to its side of the Agreed Framework, as the construction of the lightwater reactors - due to be completed in 2003 -
is now years behind schedule.
14 November: US President George W Bush declares November oil shipments to the North will be the last if the North does not agree to put a halt to its
Rumsfeld says he won't be distracted by Iraq
18 November: Confusion clouds a statement by North Korea in which it initially appears to acknowledge having nuclear weapons. A key Korean phrase
understood to mean the North does have nuclear weapons could have been mistaken for the phrase "entitled to have", Seoul says.
27 November: The North accuses the US of deliberately misinterpreting its contested statement, twisting an assertion of its "right" to possess
weapons into an "admission" of possession.
4 December: The North rejects a call to open its nuclear facilities to inspection.
11 December: North Korean-made Scud missiles are found aboard a ship bound for Yemen, provoking American outrage.
The US detains the ship, but is later forced to allow the ship to go, conceding that neither country has broken any law.
12 December: The North threatens to reactivate nuclear facilities for energy generation, saying the Americans' decision to halt oil shipments leaves
it with no choice. It blames the US for wrecking the 1994 pact.
13 December: North asks the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to remove seals and surveillance equipment - the IAEA's "eyes and ears"
on the North's nuclear status - from its Yongbyon power plant.
22 December: The North begins monitoring devices from the Yongbyon plant.
23 December: The US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld warns Pyongyang that the US will not be distracted from North Korea by the situation in Iraq.
24 December: North Korea begins repairs at the Yongbyon plant.
North-South Korea talks over reopening road and rail border links, which have been struggling on despite the increased tension, finally stall.
25 December: It emerges that North Korea had begun shipping fuel rods to the Yongbyon plant which could be used to produce plutonium.
26 December: After UN confirmation that 1,000 fuel rods had been moved to the Yongbyon reactor, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency,
Mohamed El Baradei, expressed deep concern saying the plant "can be directly used to manufacture nuclear weapons - and there again we have no way to
verify the nature of the activity".
27 December: North Korea says it is expelling the two IAEA nuclear inspectors from the country. It also says it is planning to reopen a reprocessing
plant, which could start producing weapons grade plutonium within months.
31 December: The United Nations inspectors ordered out of North Korea left the country and arrive in the Chinese capital Beijing.
2 January: South Korea asks China to use its influence with North Korea to try to reduce tension over the nuclear issue.
3 January: South Korea offers to mediate between Washington and Pyongyang.
4 January: Russia says it will try to persuade North Korea to abandon its nuclear programme.
6 January: The IAEA passes a resolution demanding that North Korea readmit UN inspectors and abandon its secret nuclear weapons programme "within
weeks", or face possible action by the UN Security Council.
US says it is "is willing to talk to North Korea about how it meets its obligations to the international community". But it "will not provide quid
pro quos to North Korea to live up to its existing obligations".