May 18: North Korea hints at transparency — then takes it
Last updated 12-31-08 at 11:40 a.m.
North Korean leader Jong-il Kim as depicted in a NK government released image
North Korea gave U.S. officials about 18,000 pages of documents detailing
its efforts in 1990, 2003, and 2005 to reprocess plutonium for nuclear
weapons. The country raised hopes that it was on the path toward denuclearization.
However, months later, any progress seemed to have
ground to a halt as North Korea rescinded the offer
to inspectors and said it would restart its plutonium reprocessing
plant at Yongbyon. The miasma was further complicated by reports that
President Kim Jong-Il had suffered a stroke, leaving many to question
who was calling the shots in the secretive country.