US - Korea
Chronology from Jan 2017 to May 2017
: Secretary Tillerson addresses the UNSC on North Korean developments. North Korea responds with a failed missile launch.
: Secretary of State Tillerson floats North Korea dialogue idea and suggests regime change is not a US goal.
: White House hosts US senators for top-level briefing on North Korea. US Pacific Command’s Adm. Harry Harris provides House Armed Services Committee testimony.
: North Korea conducts live fire exercise to mark the 85th anniversary of the Korean People’s Army.
: President Trump hosts UNSC diplomats at the White House, urging stronger sanctions and suggesting ‘it’s time to solve the problem.” USS Michigan pays a port call in South Korea in a show of support.
: North Korea says it is prepared to strike a US aircraft carrier.
: Vice President Pence suggests in Sydney that Chinese pressure might provide a chance for peace on the Korean Peninsula. USS Carl Vinson begins exercises with Japanese ships in the western Pacific.
: North Korea arrests US citizen Tony Kim (Kim Sang Dok) of the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology at Pyongyang’s international airport.
: Media reports Chinese and Russian troop movements toward their borders with North Korea. Both Beijing and Moscow deny the reports.
: Vice President Pence signals strong US resolve in Seoul and warns North Korea against further provocations.
: North Korea missile launch fails as Vice President Mike Pence arrives in Seoul.
: Day of the Sun parade in Kim Il Sung Square displays an array of missiles, including a possible ICBM.
: Trump suggests the US is prepared to deal with North Korea without China. US reports indicate that the DPRK has readied a nuclear test site. Japan’s Prime Minister Abe Shinzo tells legislators that DPRK missiles could carry sarin gas. China warns against the use of force.
: President Xi Jinping urges President Trump in a call to move to a peaceful resolution over North Korea. Foreign journalists visiting Pyongyang for the 105th anniversary of the birth of Kim Il Sung are told to prepare for a “big” event – an unveiling of a street.
: President Trumps signals that China will get a better trade deal with the US if it cooperates on North Korea.
: Secretary of State Tillerson and National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster describe the Syria strikes as a warning and the movement of the USS Carl Vinson carrier strike group as motivated by DPRK actions.
: Presidents Trump and Xi discuss North Korea and trade, with the US signaling China’s concern about North Korea’s passing a threshold in nuclear and missile development.
: DPRK fires a missile into the East Sea in advance of the Trump-Xi summit.
: Former President Park Geun-hye is arrested.
: UN broadens its inquiry into DPRK crimes against humanity. North Korea conducts another rocket engine test for possible ICBM use.
: IAEA warns that North Korea has doubled the size of its uranium enrichment facility. US House Resolution 1644 is introduced to expand US sanctions to target front companies and enablers funding the DPRK nuclear program.
: US and China pledge to get the DPRK on a “different course.” The DPRK responds the next day with a test of a new high-thrust rocket engine. Trump tells reporters at Mar a Lago that Kim Jong Un is “acting very, very badly.”
: US Secretary of State Tillerson visits Seoul, suggesting an end to strategic patience and negotiations, and that military options remain on the table. President Trump tweets that North Korea “is behaving very badly,” and that China “has done little to help!”
: ROK Supreme Court votes to uphold the impeachment of Park Geun-hye.
: China proposes that the US and ROK halt joint exercises in exchange for a North Korean freeze on its nuclear program. Foreign Minister Wang Yi warns of “accelerating trains coming toward each other.”
: US Ambassador to the UN Haley dismisses China’s suggestion of a dual suspension, decries Kim Jong Un as not “rationale” and displaying “unbelievable, irresponsible arrogance,” and emphasizing that “all options are on the table.”
: South Korea receives initial parts of the US THAAD missile defense system.
: SWIFT banking system blocks DPRK banks.
: ROK vows to protect firms against China pressure over THAAD.
: DPRK launches four missiles into the sea off Japan’s northwest coast. The missiles averaged a distance of 1000 km and altitude of 260 km.
: US announces visit by Secretary of State Tillerson to Korea, Japan, and China.
: US and South Korea conduct Foal Eagle joint military exercises.
: US withholds visas for North Korean representatives due to attend talks hosted by the National Committee on American Foreign Policy (NCAFP) on March 1 in New York.
: UN Security Council (UNSC) holds an emergency meeting over the DPRK missile launch; US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley states, “it is time to hold North Korea accountable – not with our words, but with our actions.”
: Kim Jong Nam, elder half-brother of Kim Jong Un, is assassinated at the Kuala Lumpur airport.
: North Korea launches an improved Musudan intermediate-range missile; it flies 500 km, landing in the East Sea (Sea of Japan).
: Defense Secretary Mattis meets ROK Defense Minister Han Min-koo and promises an “effective and overwhelming” response to any North Korean use of nuclear weapons against the US or its allies.
: South Korea Unification Ministry reports North Korea’s Minister of State Security Kim Won Hong has been purged in a further sign of a “crack in the elite.”
: US Defense Secretary-designate James Mattis vows to embrace allies and diplomacy in Senate confirmation hearings.
: China and Russia reportedly agree to “countermeasures” against US THAAD system in South Korea.
: Former Defense Secretary William Perry acknowledges “it is a matter of when, not if, North Korea will have an operational ICBM” and suggests dialogue over military options.
: Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken cautions that “with every passing day, the threat does get more acute” and that “we exercise sustained, comprehensive pressure on North Korea to get it to stop these programs, to come back to the negotiating table, and to engage in good faith on denuclearization.”
: President-elect Donald Trump tweets of North Korea’s imminent ICBM capability that “it won’t happen” and chastises China for not doing more to rein in North Korea.