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North and South Korea: a half century of conflict

Aug. 15, 1945: Korean Peninsula splits into Communist North and US-backed South, following end of Japanese colonial rule.

June 25, 1950: North Korea invades South Korea, launching the Korean War.

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July 27, 1953: Armistice ends Korean War.

July 4, 1972: Two Koreas agree to achieve peaceful reunification of their peninsula.

Sept. 4, 1990: Prime ministers of two Koreas hold talks for the first time.

Sept. 18, 1991: Two Koreas join the UN.

June 1994: North Korea's Kim Il Sung proposes a summit.

July 8, 1994: Kim Il Sung dies, two weeks before an inter-Korean summit.

April 1996: Washington and Seoul propose four-party talks with Pyongyang and Beijing.

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Feb. 25, 1998: President Kim Dae Jung proposes summit in his inauguration speech. North Korea doesn't respond.

April 18, 1999: First high-level meeting in four years between the two Koreas collapses after North Korea refuses to discuss the reunion of separated families.

June 1999: Two Koreas hold vice-ministerial talks to discuss fertilizer aid to the North. Talks collapse, partly because of a naval clash a week earlier in the Yellow Sea.

March 10, 2000: President Kim Dae Jung says the South is ready to help the North rebuild its economy.

March 17: Two Koreas start secret talks in China on an inter-Korea summit.

April 10: North and South Korea announce agreement on leaders' summit.

- Associated Press

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society