Japan - Korea
Chronology from Apr 2003 to Jul 2003
: FM Kawaguchi states that it was too early to terminate KEDO activities pending more dialogue with North Korea over nuclear crisis.
: KCNA broadcast warns Japan not to follow U.S. embargo strategy, calls it attempted reinvasion of Peninsula.
: At a joint news conference, Korean and Japanese families with DPRK abductees in Seoul call for two governments to demand return of abductees and make this top priority.
: KCNA blasts Japan for implementing economic sanctions against the DPRK, and considers this a declaration of war. KCNA complained about DPRK ships being barred from Japanese ports, and condemned calls for Japan to restrict the sale of goods to its neighbor.
: Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Abe says that pressure is necessary to deal with the DPRK and that Pyongyang should not expect economic aid from Japan if it fails to take the necessary steps to normalize relations.
: KCNA broadcasts warn Japan against using safety inspections of DPRK freighters as a form of “sanctions” against the country.
: TCOG meeting in Hawaii to discuss North Korean nuclear weapons issues.
: Mainichi Shimbun reports 30 South Koreans conscripted by Japanese forces during World War II into labor camps in Siberia after Japan’s defeat sued the Japanese government for unpaid wages. The plaintiffs demanded ¥300 million in damages.
: Japan Transport Ministry detains two DPRK cargo ships at ports in western Japan (Maizaru) and in Hokkaido (northern Japan) for safety violations (the ship at Maizaru departs the next day after rectifying safety violations).
: Senior officials from Japan, the U.S. and Australia agree to cooperate in cracking down on DPRK ships suspected of smuggling weapons and drugs.
: Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and FM Kawaguchi praise Japan-Korea summit; agree on the need for “further measures” if the DPRK proves uncooperative; and for multilateral talks.
: In a speech before Japanese Diet, President Roh calls on Japan to be more sensitive to its history. States that he would be willing to meet with Japanese communist party leaders despite history of Korea anti-communism.
: DPRK authorities decide not to send the controversial Mangyongbong-92 ferry from Wonsan to Niigata in anticipation of extremely harsh customs and safety inspections by Japanese authorities.
: Roh-Koizumi summit. Both agree to seek a peaceful resolution to the nuclear crisis with North Korea.
: Fifty-eight Japanese and South Korean citizens’ groups submit a written request to both governments to take measures that will result in Japan apologies and compensation to victims of Japan’s militarism before and during World War II.
: U.S. Under Secretary of State John Bolton in congressional testimony says that North Korea uses funds from numerous sources, including from Yakuza-related activities in Japan, to fund their WMD programs.
: Japanese Diet enacts special legislation, the Three Laws Regarding Response to Armed Attacks, to respond to security emergencies.
: Chosun Ilbo reports that FM Kawaguchi confirmed to her counterpart Yoon Young-kwan that Japan was prepared to support economic sanctions against North Korea if diplomacy failed.
: KCNA broadcasts warn Japan against supporting the Bush administration’s hardline approach, saying that Japan will meet a “fatal fiasco.”
: Kyodo News Agency reports during Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz’s visit to Japan that government officials admitted a revision of the National Defense Outline is imminent and that Japan will deploy new missile defenses from 2006.
: Bush-Koizumi summit at Crawford, Texas. Two leaders confirm that nuclear weapons in North Korea are intolerable; that they will not give in to North Korean blackmail; and that complete, verifiable, and irreversible nuclear dismantlement was their joint goal.
: Osaka appeals court overturns ruling by a previous lower court relieving the Japanese government of responsibility for compensating victims of boat accident at the end of World War II killing 524 Koreans being sent back to Korea
: DPRK defector testifies before Congress that over 90 percent of North Korean missile technology is smuggled into the country through Japan.
: LDP lawmakers introduce legal revisions for discussion that would enable Japan to implement sanctions against the DPRK as necessary.
: At a rally for families of Japanese abductees, JDA chief supports a tough approach to the DPRK and promises that Japan would not be “blackmailed.”
: JDA Director General Ishiba Shigeru meets Indian DM Fernandes to discuss North Korean-Pakistani nuclear and missile cooperation.
: Yomiuri Shimbun reports that DPRK proposal at the April Beijing talks included Japan-DPRK normalization as a precondition for ending its nuclear program.
: Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly debriefs Japanese officials on Beijing talks.
: Outspoken Tokyo Gov. Ishihara calls the DPRK a “terrorist state” because of its kidnappings, missile sales, and drug-smuggling.
: Koizumi calls for DPRK to heed resolution on human rights abuses in North Korea passed by UN Human Rights Commission.
: Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Abe reaffirms that progress in Japan-North Korea normalization talks cannot occur without resolution of the abduction issue.
: Koizumi welcomes news of trilateral U.S.-DPRK-PRC talks on the nuclear crisis in Beijing April 23. Expresses hope that Japan will be involved in future talks.
: Chief Cabinet Secretary Fukuda welcomes North Korea’s apparent shift in policy toward accepting multilateral talks.
: In Japan, Koizumi and Russian DM Ivanov call on North Korea to allow international inspectors to monitor nuclear facilities.
: Japanese officials note that North Korea’s withdrawal from the NPT may not be official because Pyongyang did not fulfill the second condition for withdrawal, which is to notify all signatories.
: KCNA broadcast warns Japan against remilitarizing based on its support of the U.S. in the war against Iraq, warning Japan that it is within “striking distance” of North Korea.
: Mainichi Shimbun reports that Japanese fighters sought to intercept an unidentified aircraft that flew into Japanese airspace without authorization on April 1.
: Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) broadcasts condemn Japan for March 28 military satellite launches as a violation of the Kim-Koizumi Pyongyang Declaration and as the start of a new arms race in Asia.
: In a Washington Post interview, Japanese PM Koizumi supports the Bush administration’s policy toward North Korea, stating that the likelihood of a hostile outcome to the crisis is small.