North Korea - South Korea

Chronology from Jan 2002 to Mar 2002

: North Korean media condemn joint air combat exercises of U.S. and South Korean troops as a “frenzied exercise in preparation for air battle.”

: Both Koreas announce simultaneously that ROK senior presidential secretary Lim will visit Pyongyang in early April as Kim Dae-jung’s special envoy.

: Senior presidential secretary Lim Dong-won warns that 2003 could see a new security crisis as in 1994. He also reveals that 150 Southern firms are operating in North Korea, and some 800 South Koreans are living in Pyongyang, Kumgang, and the Sinpo nuclear site.

: An ROK Red Cross youth delegation, returning after handing over gifts worth $470,000 at Nampo port, says North Korea has asked for Southern fertilizer aid.

: The Twenty-five North Korean refugees – six families and two orphan girls – arrive in Seoul.

: Rodong Sinmun, North Korea’s ruling party newspaper, questions the possibility of inter-Korean dialogue while U.S.-DPRK relations remain aggravated.

: China allows the 25 North Korean refugees to be flown to Manila, Philippines.

: Twenty-five North Korean refugees seek asylum in the Spanish Embassy in Beijing.

: North Korean tourism officials visiting Japan reportedly want up to 10 flights daily between Seoul, Pyongyang, and Beijing during the World Cup and Arirang festival.

: Hyundai Asan says it has paid $1.3 million in tourist fees to North Korea.

: The unification minister says Seoul may restrict travel by Northern defectors after one returned to the North for his wife, was caught, and reportedly shot, but escaped again.

: South Korea said it will send anti-malarial drugs and equipment worth $700,000 to North Korea next month via WHO.

: god (gee-oh-dee), a South Korean boy band, are to visit North Korea later this month and plant trees as goodwill envoys of the New Millennium Life Movement, an NGO.

: A DPRK statement blames the breakdown of the planned joint lunar new year event on the U.S. and anti-reunification forces in South Korea.
Mar. 4, 2002: The South’s Unification Ministry says that if the North agrees to resume family reunions, it will consider Mt. Kumgang as a venue.

: After arriving in Kumgangsan, the Southern delegates learn that Pyongyang has cancelled the joint event.

: Over 200 South Korean activists leave Seoul for lunar new year celebrations at Mt. Kumgang.

: A Korean People’s Army sergeant defects across the front line near the South’s new Dorasan rail station, just a day before Presidents Bush and Kim Dae-jung visit the same spot.

: Ten North Korean defectors arrive in South Korea via “a third country” (usually China), bringing this year’s total to 54.

: The unification minister says South Korea will seek to open a direct air route to the KEDO’s reactor site at Kumho in North Korea for workers and emergency medical teams.

: Pyongyang radio urges South Koreans to protest U.S. President George Bush’s visit to Seoul.

: DPRK media confirms that North and South have agreed, at a working meeting in Pyongyang, to hold a joint lunar new year festival at Kumgangsan toward the end of February.

: South Korea’s new foreign minister, Choi Sung-hong, calls on North Korea to resume talks with both South Korea and the U.S.

: South Korea gives $19 million to provide 100,000 tons of corn to the North via the WFP.

: Jeong Se-hyun, a former vice minister and NIS special advisor, replaces Hong Soon-young as unification minister.

: The ROK Unification Ministry reports that last year 1,686 one-way North-South sea voyages (down 18.7 percent) carried 837,000 tons of cargo (up 19.1 percent).

: South Korean opposition leader Lee Hoi-chang says he opposes official aid for the Mt. Kumgang tourism project absent concessions by North Korea.

: A joint meeting of the government, political parties, and social organizations in Pyongyang expresses its intention to re-establish inter-Korean dialogue at all levels.

: Kim Dae-jung says he has had a report that the North may be resuming work on cross-border rail links.

: South Korea’s Red Cross returns three Northern fishermen, rescued at sea by a Russian merchant ship and dropped off at the Southern port of Chinhae, via Panmunjom.

: North Korea invites the South’s Council for Reconciliation and Cooperation to Pyongyang to discuss a joint lunar new year event.

: Seoul denies a local press report that it plans to offset Hyundai Asan’s losses on the Mt. Kumgang tourism project from the Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation Fund.

: The ROK’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) reports that 583 North Koreans defected to South Korea last year, almost twice as many as in 2000.

: Pyongyang is reported as opposing plans of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) for a satellite communication link between South Korea and the consortium’s nuclear reactor site at Kumho, North Korea.

: South Korea’s unification minister says his ministry’s prime goal this year is to realize Kim Jong-il’s visit to Seoul, but that this can be neither guaranteed nor predicted.

Date Range