Aug. 15, 1945: Korean Peninsula splits into communist North Korea and U.S.-backed South Korea following end of Japanese colonial rule.

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

July 27, 1953: An armistice ends the Korean War.

Jan. 21, 1968: A 31-member North Korean commando team reaches Seoul in a failed attempt to kill then-South Korean president Park Chung-Hee. All but one is killed.

Jan. 23, 1968: The USS Pueblo is attacked and captured with its crew of 82 in the Sea of Japan off North Korea's east coast. One American sailor is killed in the attack.

July 4, 1972: Two Koreas issue a joint communique, agreeing 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 United Nations.

June 1994: Former President Jimmy Carter visits North Korea and its leader, Kim Il Sung, proposes a summit with South Korean President Kim Young-sam.

July 8, 1994: Kim Il Sung, who had ruled North Korea for 46 years, dies of a heart attack just before the summit, which is canceled.

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

May 1997: Red Cross representatives from two Koreas meet in Beijing to discuss humanitarian aid to the North.

Feb. 25, 1998: South Korean President Kim Dae-jung proposes an inter-Korean summit in his inauguration speech. North Korea does not respond.

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

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

March 10, 2000: President Kim Dae-jung says in Berlin that South Korea is ready to help North Korea rebuild its tattered economy.

March 17, 2000: Two Koreas start secret talks in China on an inter-Korean summit.

April 10, 2000: Two Koreas announce agreement on leaders' summit.

June 13, 2000: Kim Dae-jung and North Korean leader Kim Jong Il begin their unprecedented inter-Korean summit in Pyongyang.