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  Timeline of the Nuclear Age 2010s  2017

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In his annual New Year’s Day speech, Kim Jong-un proudly claims that North Korea has reached the final stages of preparation for testing a long-range missile.

37 of the U.S.’s top scientists, including Nobel laureates and former experts in nuclear arms, send a letter to President-elect Trump urging him to uphold the Iran nuclear agreement.

During an interview on ‘Meet the Press,’ Defense Secretary Ash Carter states that the American military will shoot down any North Korean missile fired at the U.S. or any of its allies.

In response to criticism from Trump, a spokesman of North Korea asserts that the nation will test its first intercontinental ballistic missile "anytime and anywhere."

Mild controversy erupts in the U.K. as reports indicate that a Trident missile went astray during a June test—a fact that Prime Minister May seemingly covered up when she urged Parliament to update Britain’s nuclear arsenal, including with Trident-armed submarines, in July.

Iran fires medium-range ballistic missile in defiance of UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which supports the JCPOA. In response, former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn declares that the U.S. has placed Iran “on notice.”

The Minuteman III ICBM is tested from Vandenberg Air Force Base in Central California as an “important demonstration of our nation’s ICBM capabilities,” according to Vandenberg’s Col. Chris Moss

North Korea fires an intermediate-range Pukguksong-2 ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan, receiving joint rebuke from President Trump and Prime Minister Abe of Japan, who were meeting in Florida. 

Russia secretly deploys a new cruise missile, which American officials argue is in violation of a 1987 arms control treaty between the two nations. 

In response to North Korea’s ongoing missile tests, China announces that it is suspending all imports of coal from the country.

The U.S. and South Korea begin conducting their month-long annual joint military exercises, including the ground, air, and naval exercises known as Foal Eagle, and the computer-simulated exercises known as Key Reserve.

The U.S. announces that it is deploying the Terminal of High Altitude Area Defense (Thaad) antimissile system in South Korea in response to North Korea’s continued tests. China aggressively opposes Thaad, arguing the system is a threat to its own security.

North Korea fires four ballistic missiles, with three landing in Japan’s exclusive economic zone. 

South Korea’s President Park Geun-hye is impeached. While Ms. Park was friendly toward the U.S. and supportive of its military presence in the wake of North Korea’s nuclear program, many opponents of Park’s administration advocate for disengaging with the U.S. 

South Korea and the U.S. conduct their largest joint military exercise to date, involving 300,000 South Korean troops and over 17,000 American troops.

The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals hears oral arguments in the Republic of the Marshall Islands’ lawsuit against the United States calling for negotiations for an end to the nuclear arms race and nuclear disarmament.

In a visit to East Asia, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announces that Trump's administration will not negotiate with a nuclear-armed North Korea.

North Korea conducts a ground jet test of a high-thrust missile engine, as part of its continued efforts to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile. 

In an interview with the New York Times, Lt. Gen. Jack Weinstein, who oversees the U.S.’s nuclear arsenal, argues the U.S. needs a nuclear upgrade in order to discourage Russian aggression.

North Korea launches a missile from its east coast, which American intelligence officials believe explodes immediately.

Nuclear ban treaty negotiations begin at the United Nations. American Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley boycotts the summit, along with envoys from allies such as Britain, France, and South Korea. Holding a press conference outside the doors of the proceedings, Haley argues that a ban is “unrealistic” in the world’s current climate.

North Korea fires a ballistic missile from its east coast, one day before the U.S.-China summit begins in Florida.

An American aircraft carrier and multiple warships are diverted toward the Korean peninsula, as a show of force in the wake of North Korea’s ongoing missile tests. Days later, it is discovered that the fleet traveled in the opposite direction from the Korean Peninsula for multiple days before correcting its course.

In the wake of its military parade, North Korea suffers embarrassment when an unidentified ballistic missile explodes immediately after launch.

The U.S. conducts another Minuteman III ICBM test at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

North Korea test-fires a ballistic missile, the day after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson convened a special session of the UN Security Council calling for new economic sanctions against North Korea. 

The U.S. conducts its third Minuteman III ICBM test at Vandenberg Air Force Base. A statement released by NAPF asserts that ongoing missile tests by both the U.S. and North Korea “can only be perceived as provocative in nature and an escalation of an already dangerous situation.”

South Korea elects new president Moon Jae-in, a proponent of resolving crisis with North Korea through dialogue, and an opponent of U.S. military involvement in the issue—particularly the stationing of the American Thaad antimissile system on South Korean soil, which previous president Park Geun-hye welcomed.

Following South Korea’s election, North Korea launches an intermediate-range ballistic missile, which lands in the Sea of Japan. Following the launch, North Korean officials claim that its new missile is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani is reelected. Firmly supportive of the JCPOA, Rouhani reasserts that Iran will not pursue nuclear weapons as they are “useless, harmful, and dangerous.”

A United Nations disarmament panel presents the first draft of the treaty to ban nuclear weapons. 

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approves the most restrictive sanctions against Iran since the signing of the JCPOA, to the outrage of Iranians and supporters of the nuclear agreement.

The Pentagon announces the success of a missile defense test at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, when an interceptor rocket collided with a mock intercontinental ballistic missile. 

South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in orders an investigation to determine why American missile launchers for the Thaad antimissile system continued to be brought into the country against his knowledge, after he had requested a halt to the project.

First cost estimates for Trump’s promise to overhaul the U.S.’s nuclear arsenal are released by the Congressional Budget Office, at $1.2 trillion—20 percent higher than the Obama administration’s estimates.

North Korea claims that it possesses an air defense system to defend its nuclear weapons program from American attack. 

South Korea tests missile capable of hitting any part of North Korea.

In a joint press conference from Moscow, Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin call on North Korea to suspend its ballistic missile program and call on the U.S. and South Korea to simultaneously halt their military exercises, in what is credited as a Chinese de-escalation proposal.

North Korea successfully test-fires first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), which lands in Japan’s exclusive economic zone, less than 200 miles off its coast.

The U.S. and South Korea conduct a joint ballistic missile drill in response to North Korea’s ICBM test.

122 nations adopt a United Nations treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons (nuclear ban treaty): “a legally-binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination.”  

North Korea fires 3 short-range ballistic missiles into Sea of Japan. First and third fail in flight. The second blows up almost immediately. 

North Korean missile travels over Japan and lands in ocean. It flew 1,667 miles horizontally and broke apart at the end of the flight, proving North Korea could reach US territory of Guam. 

North Korea conducts 6th-ever nuclear test, their first during Trump’s administration, at Punggye-ri testing site. Judging by the 6.3-magnitude earthquake it produced, the thermonuclear detonation had a 100 kiloton yield, making it 7x stronger than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima

North Korea fires second ICBM over Japan, causing sirens and warnings to go off on the island of Hokkaido. South Korea carried out a five-fire ballistic missile test in response. 

Trump addresses the United Nations for the first time as president, making threats against North Korea and criticizing/threatening Kim Jong Un, saying "Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself," and that the US would "totally destroy North Korea" if forced to defend itself or its allies. 

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un calls Trump a "dotard," a "frightened dog," a "gangster fond of playing with fire" and promises that the President will "pay for his remarks with fire." The Foreign Minister reports that the country may test a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific Ocean. 

North Korea claims Trump has declared war, and that this gives them the right to shoot down US warplanes. 

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