Posted: 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 3, 2013
By Ahn Young-Joon and Kim Yong-Ho
PAJU, South Korea —
Recent events in the escalation of nuclear tensions on the Korean Peninsula:
March 7: The U.N. Security Council imposes tough sanctions against North Korea to punish it for conducting a nuclear test on Feb. 12 in defiance of U.N. resolutions banning it from nuclear and missile activity.
March 11: South Korea and the U.S. begin annual joint military drills. North Korea responds by cutting a hotline with South Korea and voiding the 60-year-old armistice ending the Korean War.
March 12: North Korean state media report that the country’s leader, Kim Jong Un, urged front-line troops to be on “maximum alert” and warned that “war can break out right now.”
March 20: Coordinated cyberattacks in South Korea knock out computers and servers at three major TV networks and three banks. North Korean involvement is suspected.
March 22: North Korea condemns a U.N. resolution approving a formal investigation into its suspected human rights violations.
March 27: North Korea cuts a military hotline to its Kaesong industrial complex, which is jointly run with the South. Operations at the complex continue.
March 28: The U.S. says two of its nuclear-capable B-2 bombers joined the military drills with South Korea.
March 29: Kim signs a rocket preparation plan and orders his forces on standby to strike the U.S. mainland, South Korea, Guam and Hawaii.
March 30: North Korea warns that “inter-Korean relations have naturally entered the state of war,” and says it would retaliate against any U.S. and South Korean provocations without notice.
Monday: The U.S. announces it sent F-22 stealth fighter jets to participate in the U.S.-South Korean war games.
Tuesday: North Korea’s atomic energy department says it will restart a plutonium reactor and a uranium enrichment plant at its main Nyongbyon nuclear complex and increase production of nuclear weapons material.
Wednesday: North Korea bars South Koreans from going to their jobs at the Kaesong industrial complex and closes the border to trucks carrying materials.