Japan - Korea

Chronology from Jul 2003 to Oct 2003

: TCOG meeting in Tokyo.

: DPRK’s Rodong Sinmun commentary warns that Pyongyang declaration between Kim and Koizumi last year is almost meaningless and that the two countries are inching toward war.

:   FM Kawaguchi in speech before the UN General Assembly calls on the DPRK to abandon its nuclear weapons program and resolve the abduction issue before Tokyo could normalize relations with Pyongyang.

: One year anniversary of the Koizumi-Kim summit in Pyongyang

: South Korea announces the lifting of import barriers for Japanese movies, pop songs, and video games from 2004.

: Japanese newspapers report that the Japanese Defense Agency is interested in incorporating into missile defense plans a new radar technology with improved detection capabilities for the DPRK’s Nodong ballistic missiles.

: DPRK Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) criticizes the maritime exercises, warning that Pyongyang would “further increase its nuclear deterrent force.”

: Yomiuri Shimbun reports that the Japanese government is considering a range of economic sanctions if the DPRK undertakes a nuclear test.

: Proliferation Security Initiative exercises take place in the Coral Sea involving the U.S., France, Australia, and Japan and seven other nations as observers.

:   Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara in a speech in Nagoya criticizes Deputy Foreign Minister Hitoshi Tanaka for appeasing North Korea.

:   On the sidelines of the WTO conference in Cancun, Japanese Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Takeo Hiranuma and ROK Trade Minister Hwang Doo Yun agree that their governments hold similar views on a range of issues being discussed at the meeting.

: Chosen Soren in Japan hold celebrations of 55th anniversary of DPRK.  No Japanese government officials are present in a departure from past practice.

: Mangyonbong-92 is cleared to depart from Niigata, returning to North Korea after inspection of cargo and meeting safety requirements.

: Japan’s FM Kawaguchi Yoriko announces that Japan will seek bilateral talks with DPRK on the abduction issue, even outside the six-nation framework to resolve the nuclear problem.

: Mangyongbong-92 arrives in port at Niigata and is met by anti-DPRK protestors.

: Six-nation talks over the DPRK’s nuclear weapons in Beijing.

: DPRK Mangyongbong-92 ferry makes first port call in Niigata, Japan in seven months.

: Japan and South Korea participate in naval military exercises hosted by Russia off the Russian Pacific Coast.

: Japanese newspapers report that the Defense Agency will make a budget request of $1.19 billion for the 2004 fiscal year in large part to introduce U.S. missile defense systems to defend Japan against the DPRK missile threat.

: Tokyo Shimbun reports that the DPRK offers to return the children of the five Japanese abductees in exchange for food aid from Tokyo and a commitment to close the abduction issue between the two countries.

: Japanese and German leaders reaffirm their commitment to peacefully address Pyongyang’s nuclear arms program, with Berlin expressing support for Tokyo’s efforts to resolve DPRK’s past abductions of Japanese.

: Nihon Keizai Shimbun reports that Pyongyang demands Tokyo pay ¥1 billion ($8.44 million) for the return of each abductees’ child to their families now residing in Japan.

: DPRK says that Japanese insistence on raising the abduction issue could lead to a scuttling of the upcoming six-party talks in Beijing.

: Korea International Trade Association reports that Japan-DPRK bilateral trade has dropped sharply in the first half of 2003 as bilateral relations have suffered because of the abductee and nuclear issues.

: TCOG meeting in Washington – U.S., ROK, and Japanese officials final coordination prior to six-party nuclear talks with the DPRK in Beijing.

: Japanese report says worrying about the threat from the DPRK’s nuclear weapons and missile programs, Japan may seek an anti-missile system in place within three years.

: U.S. and Japan consider forming a nuclear inspection team for the DPRK that comprises weapons experts from the two countries, as well as the PRC, the ROK and Russia.

: DPRK intimates an interest in allowing families of returned abductees to visit Japan.

: Japan plans to raise the abduction of its citizens by the DPRK at six-way talks to be held in Beijing on the crisis over Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions.

: Russia expresses the DPRK’s support for “six-sided talks” on resolving the complex situation on the Korean Peninsula.

: Ten people believed to be DPRK asylum seekers take refuge at the Japanese embassy in Bangkok

: PRC and the ROK protest against remarks by a senior Japanese politician playing down the Nanjing Massacre and Japan’s annexation of the Korean Peninsula.

: DPRK drops its opposition to multilateral talks on its nuclear weapons program if the U.S. guarantees not to undermine the Kim Jong-il government.

: Japan and the U.S. agreed to tighten measures to crack down on the DPRK’s drug smuggling, missile-related trade, currency counterfeiting, and other illegal activities.

: The Mainichi newspaper reports that Japan-DPRK relations remain deadlocked despite contacts in mid-June aimed by Japan at pushing for multilateral talks to resolve both the nuclear and abductee issues, while the DPRK insisted on one-on-one talks with the U.S. first.

: Japan, the ROK, and the U.S. agree in trilateral informal talks to halt the construction of light-water reactors in the DPRK if the DPRK fails to drop its nuclear ambitions.

: U.S., Japanese, and South Korean officials meet for informal talks on the DPRK and efforts to end the stalemate over its nuclear weapons programs.

Date Range