President Bill Clinton
Soon after Clinton took office in 1994, North Korea threatened to abandon its commitment to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty behind. North Korea refused an international inspection related to the treaty. This led the Clinton administration to seek to bring the nation back into the fold.
Former President Jimmy Carter was secretly sent to Pyongyang to pave the way for a diplomatic agreement.
Clintons administration successfully established a deal known as the Joint Framework Agreement which offered $4 billion worth of nuclear, energy, economic and diplomatic benefits in exchange for the halting of North Koreas nuclear program in 1994. The deal also included two light-water nuclear reactors, which were believed to be more difficult to use to make weapons than Pyongyangs plutonium reactor.
The International Atomic Energy Agency was set to oversee all of this and do routine inspections.
"This agreement will help achieve a longstanding and vital American objective -- an end to the threat of nuclear proliferation on the Korean Peninsula, Clinton said at the time.
President George W. Bush
Bush famously named North Korea as one part of the three-part axis of evil with Iraq and Iran in his State of the Union speech as president in 2002.
North Korea is a regime arming with missiles and weapons of mass destruction, while starving its citizens, he said.
Later that year, the country confirmed what Bush said by admitting it had been secretly conducting a nuclear-weapons program for several years and proceeded to withdraw from its agreement with the Clinton administration shortly thereafter.
By 2004, U.S. officials believed North Korea had developed between two and eight nuclear weapons.
The Six-Party Talks comprising China, North Korea, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the U.S. began in 2003 and continued over a number of years until 2009 under President Obama. In 2005, the group offered some energy and economic assistance if North Korea would give up its renewed efforts to build up its nuclear program, which Pyongyang tentatively agreed to.
But that plan didnt really hold and North Korea said it had successfully completed a nuclear test in 2006. In 2007, an agreement was reached to send $400 million worth of fuel, food and other aid in exchange for North Korea shutting down its main nuclear reactor.
Just before leaving office, Bush sent a personal letter to leader Kim Jong Il asking him to uphold his end of the bargain.
President Barack Obama
Obama had to deal with a nuclear test by North Korea in mid-2009. The U.N. Security Council quickly adopted sanctions banning arms transfers to and from the country.
Obama sent an envoy to North Korea at the end of the year, asking leader Kim Jong Il to begin denuclearization talks, but his regime didnt make any major moves toward pursuing them.
Some more progress was made in 2012 when new leader Kim Jong Un agreed to halt nuclear tests in exchange for food aid.
North Koreas pursuit of nuclear weapons continued, however.
Obamas administration put the ball in North Koreas court by outlining conditions it required before diplomatic negotiations could occur, but Jong Uns regime has maintained for years that its nuclear program is necessary for defense.
He went as far as to threaten the military might of the U.S. in 2014 as debates over true capabilities of the North continued.
Last September, after yet another nuclear test, Obama said the U.N. and members of the original Six-Party Talks would vigorously implement those resolutions and that there were consequences for North Koreas actions.
Before Obama left office, the U.S. led the U.N. Security Council to imposed sanctions on North Korea in November meant to slash its coal exports by 60 percent.
Edited by lowrider, 15 January 2018 - 11:52 AM.