China - Korea
Chronology from Oct 2003 to Dec 2003
: The Korean Veterans Association calls on the government to bring to Seoul three North Korean escapees in China who are reportedly former South Korean soldiers taken prisoner by northern troops during the Korean War.
: Former South Korean prisoner of war 72-year old Jeon Yong-Il is sent to Seoul by Chinese authorities following his arrest for using a fake passport in an attempt to gain asylum in South Korea.
: A Chinese appeals court upholds a lower court ruling in Yantai sentencing Seok Jae-hyun to two years in prison, a 5,000 yuan fine, and confiscated photography equipment for attempting to smuggle North Koreans out of China.
: Ssangyong Motor Company’s creditors approve China’s Nanxing Group, a company specializing in the chemicals industry, as the preferred bidder to take a 55.4 percent stake in the company despite the Nanxing Group’s lack of experience in automotive production.
: Seoul District Prosecutor’s office arrests Lee Jung-jae, former ROK consul general in Hong Kong, for participating in a visa selling ring that illegally sold 265 South Korean visas between March 2000 and Feb. 2001 for approximately $227,200.
: Yonhap reports that the ROK government is planning to launch an international study group on the historical origins and role of the Goguryeo Dynasty in response to Chinese claims that the dynasty was established by one of China’s ethnic minorities. South Korean civic groups also demand that the ROK government support North Korea’s bid to include Goguryeo tomb murals on UNESCO’s list of world heritage sites.
: South Korean pastor Choi Jong-il is sentenced to nine years in prison in China for trying to assist North Korean refugees to defect to Seoul from Yanji, Jilin Province.
: The Justice Ministry announced that it has no plans to grant Korean citizenship to ethnic Korean-Chinese who are currently residing in the ROK and who have lodged a constitutional petition to demand they be granted legal status in South Korea.
: President Roh Moo-hyun visits protesting ethnic Korean Chinese and expresses sympathy for their plight on the 16th day of an illegal hunger strike by over 2,400 ethnic Koreans at eight churches in Seoul.
: The Justice Ministry announces that it would accept applications for Korean citizenship by all Korean-Chinese whose names remain on the domestic family registry in response to protests by Korean-Chinese in the context of new labor laws designed to crack down on illegal workers.
: North Korea and China sign “a treaty of cooperation in the enforcement of civil and criminal laws.”
: The Ministry of Information and Communication announces that Korea and China have agreed to join hands in developing fourth-generation mobile communication technology.
: Amidst pending ROK government plans to deport illegal workers, more than 5,000 Korean-Chinese, most of whom are illegal residents, present a petition to the Constitutional Court, calling for the government to grant them Korean citizenship.
: South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Kim Jong-hwan makes a five-day trip to China for talks on North Korea’s nuclear program.
: Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo arrives in Seoul for a four-day visit to consult the South Korean government on ways to facilitate six-party talks over Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program.
: North Korean leader Kim Jong-il and China’s Wu Bangguo “agreed in principle to continue to hold six-party talks.”
: Donald Tsang, chief secretary for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, meets with ROK National Assembly Speaker Park Kwan-yong and others during a three day visit to Seoul he stressed Hong Kong’s role as a strategic partner for South Koreans doing business on the Chinese mainland.
: Barclays Capital reports that a collapse of North Korea’s regime will not necessarily lead to a downgrade in Korea’s sovereign credit ratings, and may in fact turn the Korean Peninsula into a new Asian economic power.
: The Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency urges the government and private companies to be better prepared against copyright infringement in China targeting Korean intellectual properties from music albums to telecom brand names.
: China lifts its ban on the import of Korean livestock, nearly a year and a half after a few cases of foot-and-mouth disease were reported in the country.
: Leaders of China, Japan, and South Korea meet in Bali at ASEAN Plus Three gathering and agree to expand cooperation beyond economic fields to security and broader exchanges.
: The ROK Commerce Ministry announces that China has officially become Korea’s No. 1 export destination, surpassing the U.S. for the first time.