• After World War II, Japanese occupation of Korea ends with Soviet troops occupying the north and United States troops occupying the south.

  • The Democratic People's Republic of Korea is proclaimed and is headed by Kim Il-sung.
  • The south declares independence, sparking a North Korean invasion and the Korean War.
  • An armistice signed in 1953 ends the Korean War.
  • Widespread floods lead to a severe famine, prompting international aid in the form of food support.
  • The U.S., Japan, and South Korea halt oil shipments to North Korea after North Korea reportedly admits to developing a uranium-based nuclear program.

  • North Korea conducts its first nuclear weapons test, promoting economic and commercial sanctions from the United Nations.

  • The government relaxes free market restrictions after a 2009 currency revaluation wiped out much of the nation's cash savings.
  • The United Nations approves new economic sanctions against North Korea after the nation stages another nuclear test. Additionally, China restricts exporting items that could be used to make nuclear weapons to North Korea.

  • The U.S. imposes new sanctions on North Korea, including sanctions targeting the military, as well as the banking and shipping industries.


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