Japan - Korea

Chronology from Oct 2002 to Dec 2002

: The Japanese government says that it is considering unilateral economic sanctions against North Korea to stop its nuclear weapons program.

:   PM Koizumi congratulates ROK President-elect Roh Moo-hyun for his electoral victory. Roh gives post-election press statements about the need to closely coordinate with Japan and the US in seeking a peaceful solution to the nuclear stalemate with North Korea.

: Two of the abductees (Chimura Yasushi and Hamamoto Fukie) formally announce that the five abductees wish to remain in Japan rather than return to North Korea.

: Mainichi Shimbun reports that documents obtained by nongovernmental organization groups in Japan describe internal criticism in the DPRK with regard to efforts at economic reform and the lifting of price controls in July.

: The five Japanese abductees reconvene as a group in Niigata for the first time since their homecoming in October to discuss their return to North Korea.

: The Japanese government decides to pay compensation to atomic bomb victims living outside the country, including Koreans.

:   U.S.-Japan’s “2+2 ministerial” meetings in Washington attended by Secretary of State Powell, Deputy Secretary of Defense Wolfowitz, Japanese FM Kawaguchi, and the Japanese Defense Agency’s Director General Ishiba, call on North Korea to come back into compliance with nonproliferation agreements.

: In a telephone conversation, PM Koizumi and President Kim express grave concern jointly at North Korea’s unsealing of the Yongbyon reactors and the obstruction of IAEA monitoring cameras in violation of the 1994 Agreed Framework.

: FM Kawaguchi expresses concern over reports of a North Korean freighter found carrying missiles in the Arabian Sea.

:   The UN Human Rights Committee decides to resume investigation of missing Japanese citizens abducted to the DPRK.

: Foreign ministers of Japan and China agree to work together to resolve North Korea’s nuclear issue in a peaceful manner.

: DPRK rejects a call by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for the DPRK to abandon its nuclear weapons program and allow foreign inspections

: U.S. Ambassador to Japan Howard Baker states that the three allies remain united in their determination to end the North Korean nuclear dispute through diplomacy.

: Official diplomatic documents to validate a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) between the ROK and Japan are exchanged and the agreement is scheduled to take effect from 2003.

: FM Kawaguchi acknowledges that Japan is not likely to provide food aid to North Korea this year.

: The DPRK ship salvaged by the Japanese Coast Guard was discovered to have been involved in illicit criminal activities in Japan.

: FM Kawaguchi said Japan would not give up on attempts to normalize relations with the DPRK even though deep differences exist but did not anticipate resumption of normalization talks before the end of the year.

: Japanese and DPRK officials meet for unofficial talks but fail to agree on how to proceed with negotiations to normalize relations.

: The DPRK bars a U.S.-led consortium from inspecting how the DPRK is using deliveries of fuel oil.

: Japan announces plans to launch the country’s first spy satellites by the end of March to monitor DPRK military moves.

: Japanese media reports that Tokyo is investigating the possibility that up to 80 more Japanese citizens could have been abducted to the DPRK.

: The DPRK announces that it is contemplating the end of its missile testing moratorium in reaction to Japanese efforts to develop a missile defense shield with the U.S.

: Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) announces decision to suspend heavy fuel oil shipments to North Korea.

: Trilateral Coordination and Oversight Group (TCOG) meeting in Tokyo.  Lee Tae-sik, ROK deputy foreign minister, Assistant Secretary Kelly and Tanaka Hitoshi, the head of the Asian bureau at Japan’s Foreign Ministry, discuss halting heavy fuel oil shipments to the DPRK.

: DPRK accuses Japan of sabotaging efforts to establish diplomatic ties by demanding the resolution of the abduction issue and the nuclear weapons program.

: A Japanese activist, deported from the PRC for allegedly helping North Korean defectors, claims he was physically abused during his week-long detention by PRC authorities.

: PM Koizumi holds consultations on North Korean nuclear revelations with Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji and ROK Premier Kim Suk-soo during ASEAN Plus Three meetings in Cambodia.

:   North Korea threatens to end missile testing moratorium if Japan does not show more flexiblity on the abductions issue and nuclear issue.

: Japanese FM Kawaguchi Yoriko asserts the absence of any preconditions in the next round of normalization talks with the DPRK.

: DPRK and Japan hold talks to normalize relations in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. DPRK rejects Japanese efforts to discuss the North’s nuclear weapons development program.

: Japan denies three North Korean state officials’ entry.

:  President Bush, Prime Minister Koizumi and ROK President Kim Dae-jung issue a trilateral summit statement during the APEC meetings in Mexico affirming their commitment to a peaceful Korean Peninsula that is free of nuclear weapons and urging the DPRK to give up its nuclear weapons program.

: Japan announces that it would stop financing two nuclear reactors in the DPRK and suspend talks on normalizing relations if there is no progress on ending the DPRK’s nuclear weapons program.

: U.S. discloses that DPRK admitted to having a new nuclear weapons program.

: Five Japanese kidnapped by North Korea in 1978 arrive in Tokyo.

: PM Koizumi discloses that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il gave his word during their summit in September that he would not divert economic assistance from abroad for military purposes.

: Japanese and ROK civic groups dedicated to rescuing those kidnapped by the DPRK hold a joint press conference in Seoul.

:   Japan’s National Police Agency officially includes four more victims on the list of Japanese citizens abducted by the DPRK.

: Authorities conclude that the DPRK ship sunk and then salvaged by the Japan Coast Guard was indeed a spy boat.

: Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi Junichiro said Tokyo would resume contact with DPRK regarding the issue of normalizing ties.

Date Range