China - Korea
Chronology from Apr 2002 to Jul 2002
: South Korean government officials express concern that the Chinese government will give severe punishments to three South Korean missionaries detained on charges of helping to smuggle North Korean defectors out of the country.
: Twenty-six North Korean defectors, including 23 who had sought asylum at the South Korean Embassy in Beijing, arrive in Seoul. On the same day, a North Korean woman enters the South Korean Embassy and requests asylum.
: The Bank of Korea signs a currency swap agreement worth $2 billion with China as part of measures to prevent the recurrence of another Asian financial crisis.
: South Korean Foreign Minister Choi Sung-hong and PRC Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan hold talks on the North Korean defectors issue on the sidelines of the Asia Cooperation Dialogue in Cha-am, Thailand.
: South Korean Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Energy announces that it is holding talks with the Chinese government to set up a complex for Korean manufacturers at Dandong, across the Yalu River from Sinuiju, on the North Korea-China border.
: Formosa Plastics Group (Taiwan) Chairman Wang Yung-ching visits North Korea to explore possible investments in North Korea.
: Chinese public security officials enter the South Korean compound and forcibly remove one of 23 North Korean asylum seekers, stimulating a firestorm of protest in Seoul.
: A Korean man is detained at Incheon Airport for smuggling one kilogram of methamphetamines on a flight from Yantian China.
: Nine North Korean defectors enter the South Korean compound in Beijing, bringing to 17 the total number of asylum-seekers housed at the compound.
: Three North Korean defectors enter the Canadian Embassy in Beijing and two additional defectors enter the South Korean Embassy in Beijing.
: A study by China’s Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation (MOFTEC) reveals that South Korea was involved in 15 of 19 antidumping investigations China has launched against imports during the past five years.
: Two Chinese tourists disappear after watching the China-Costa Rica World Cup soccer match in Kwangju.
: China publicly claims rights to three asylum-seekers who took refuge in the South Korean compound, arguing that the matter is one for Beijing and Pyongyang and not for Seoul and signaling that defectors to South Korean diplomatic compounds would be treated differently from other cases.
: China slaps duties on half of its annual steel imports as a market protection measure. Korean officials call for negotiations with China on the issue.
: The first North Korean refugees enter the South Korean compound, triggering talks between South Korea and China on how to handle these requests.
: The South Korean consulate draws criticism from human-rights activists by turning away a man who claimed to be a North Korean refugee. On the same day, two North Korean refugees who sought asylum at the Canadian Embassy arrive in Seoul.
: Three North Korean defectors who had sought asylum at the U.S. consulate in Shenyang arrive in Seoul via Singapore.
: Chinese government mission from Shandong’s Weihai province sends a 1,000-member economic mission to Seoul, according to the Korea International Trade Association and the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency.
: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economy Jeon Yun-Churl meets with Chinese counterparts to discuss bilateral economic cooperation and to participate in a tripartite meeting of finance ministers from South Korea, China, and Japan. The Korea-China Investment Cooperation Committee is launched in Seoul under the chairmanship of the Korean and Chinese finance ministers.
: Five North Korean asylum-seekers enter the Japanese consulate in Shenyang, despite Chinese attempts to retrieve them from the consulate. Video of the incident sparks severe criticism of China’s handling of North Korean asylum-seekers.
: South Korean government opposes a visit to Seoul by Taiwan’s First Lady Wu Shu-chen at the invitation of the Korea Association of Persons with Physical Disabilities, arguing that such a visit would contradict South Korea’s “one China” policy.
: Korean Air announces expanded flight service to China to 12 cities on 16 different routes 82 times per week. Korean Air anticipates over 1 million passengers on China-bound flights for the first time in 2002.
: Two South Korean missionaries, Cheon Ki-won of “Durihana Mission” and Pastor Choi Bong-il, were announced to have been detained in China for their activities assisting North Korean defectors and providing them with shelter.
: South Korea, Japan, and China agree to form a yellow dust monitoring network in talks among environment ministers from the three countries held in Seoul.
: The Federation of Korean Industries calls on the South Korean government to urge China to ease restrictions on business activities of foreign companies in a meeting with Minister of Commerce, Industry, and Energy Shin Kook-hwan.
: Air China Flight 129 from Beijing to Pusan crashes in bad weather on approach to Pusan’s Kimhae Airport. Only 38 of 166 passengers, including the Chinese pilot, survive the crash.
: A group of 500 ethnic Korean Chinese in South Korea announces a hunger strike to protest the Seoul government’s plan to crack down on illegal aliens.
: The Korean Peninsula suffers its worst bout of “yellow dust” from China, with concentrations of fine dust particles measuring up to 2,070 micrograms per cubic meter (70 times the normal concentration).