1910. Japan annexes Korea following wars on the Asian continent with China and Russia, ruling Korea as a colony until the end of World War II in 1945.
1945. At the end of World War II, Japan surrenders to the Western allies and ends its colonial rule of Korea. The Korean Peninsula is "temporarily" divided between the Soviet Union and the United States.
1948. Led by Kim Il Sung, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea was established in the northern half of the Korean Peninsula.
1950-53. The Korean War pits the communist North, backed by Russia and China, against the capitalist South, backed by the United States. The war is fought to a standstill, and ends with the 2 countries divided by a demilitarized zone along the 38th parallel.
1950s. Agriculture is collectivized .
1980. Kim Il Sung's son, Kim Jong Il, is announced as his father's successor.
1991. The Soviet Union collapses and the Russian government stops economic assistance to North Korea.
1993. In December, North Korea's government admits the failure of its 7-year economic plan.
1994. Kim Il Sung dies and is replaced by his son, Kim Jong Il, as the country's supreme leader.
1995. A flood devastates North Korea's agriculture, sparking widespread famine.
1996. Another flood further damages agriculture and mining.
1997. A drought paralyzes the North Korean agricultural sector and worsens the famine.
1998. North Korea amends its constitution to make room for the growth of a small private sector.
2000. South Korean President Kim Dae-jung and U.S. Secretary of State Madeline Albright pay an official visit to P'yongyang, marking the end of North Korean isolation.