From a speech by former U.S. secretary of defense William Perry at the Woodrow Wilson Center Monday:
In the last week of May 1999, I visited Pyongyang. We were received with great courtesy. In fact, the signal that we were going to be received with great courtesy was when we were given permission to land our military plane at Pyongyang. . . .
As a consequence of these meetings, we did nail down that there would be a continuation of the nuclear restraint. . . . We also laid out to them our two alternatives. And while they were clearly interested in normalization, they were also clearly conflicted on giving up their missile program. As a result, as we left Pyongyang, we did not have a decision on that point. . . .
Since then, we've had a number of follow-on meetings . . . which were inconclusive, and then finally one in Berlin just a few months ago. . . . And at that meeting, the first small, positive step was taken. . . . We agreed at that meeting to start talks on what it would take to move toward normalization, and we also agreed that a precondition for those talks . . . would be that the United States would ease sanctions, and particularly ease sanctions on consumer products for North Korea, and that the North Koreans would suspend missile testing while these talks were underway.
And to put that in context, I have to tell you that while we were in Pyongyang, a long-range missile was already being prepared for firing last summer. So from that time till this time, that launch has been suspended.