North Korea - South Korea
Chronology from Oct 2001 to Dec 2001
: North Korea’s nuclear delegation leaves Seoul after its inspection tour.
: A Southern NGO delegation arrives in Mt. Geumgang to discuss joint lunar New Year celebrations with Northern counterparts, to be held around Feb. 12, 2002.
: South Korea reveals that 570 North Koreans defected to the ROK in 2001: the highest ever annual total, and almost double 2000’s 312. (The eventual year-end total was 583.)
: Hyundai announces a further cut in its Geumgangsan cruise tours from January, from 10 down to four monthly sailings. Speculation grows that the tours will cease altogether.
: South Korea’s Defense Ministry reveals that its post-Sept. 11 heightened security alert status was phased out in late December.
: Seoul’s National Statistical Office publishes figures on the widening economic gap between North and South. Southern per capita income was 12.7 times higher than that of the North in 2000.
: South Korea says it will provide the North with 100,000 tons of maize via the UN World Food Program.
: The North’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland reiterates a commitment to dialogue, but renews criticism of the South’s unification minister.
: A 20-strong North Korean nuclear delegation arrives unannounced in Seoul under KEDO auspices for a two-week tour of Southern nuclear and related facilities.
: Kim Dae-jung predicts that Korea will be reunified peacefully within 20 years.
: South Korea says it will simplify regulations on inter-Korean exchanges.
: The KPA fires three machine gun rounds at an ROK guardpost in the DMZ, which returns fire. No one is hurt. No explanation is given, but the incident does not escalate.
: The Seoul daily Chosun Ilbo reports that most chaebol are shelving projects they had planned in North Korea, as they are more trouble than they are worth.
: Seoul’s Unification Ministry approves a Won 6.2 billion ($4.77 million) investment by the ROK’s Kookyang Shipping to improve cargo handling at Nampo, the port for Pyongyang.
: Seoul says it will not subsidize Hyundai’s Mt. Geumgang tourism business.
: For the second day running, a DPRK patrol boat crosses the Northern Limit Line (NLL). The ROK rescues and returns a Northern fishing boat that had drifted south.
: Ministerial talks at Mt. Geumgang end with no agreements or joint statement. North Korea blames the ROK unification minister for being obstructive.
: Talks at Mt. Geumgang are extended an extra two days. Reports suggest – as it turns out, prematurely – that the next round of family reunions has been agreed.
: Sixth North-South ministerial talks open at Mt. Geumgang.
: South Korea threatens to link rice aid to progress on family reunions.
: South Korea accepts Mt. Geumgang as venue for the sixth ministerial talks.
: North Korea insists on Mt. Geumgang.
: Seoul says it would also accept Mt. Myohyang, north of Pyongyang, as a venue.
: South Korea regrets the North’s failure to implement agreements reached at the fifth ministerial talks, and insists that Pyongyang remain the venue for the next round as agreed.
: The organizing committee for the Asian Games, to be held in Busan in the fall of 2002, sends an official invitation to the DPRK.
: The North suggests a week’s postponement for tourism and economic talks, but insists on Mt. Geumgang as the venue for both these and the next ministerial meetings.
: The South proposes that the tourist talks be held at its own Mt. Sorak and that economic talks due on Oct. 23-26 take place in Seoul as previously agreed.
: The North proposes that the next tourism talks be held at Mt. Geumgang.
: North Korea unilaterally cancels family reunions, claiming that South Korea’s heightened security alert status makes it unsafe for civilians. Seoul protests vigorously.
: South Korea says it will offer 400,000 tons of grain to the North.
: The two Koreas exchange lists of names for the fourth family reunions, set for Oct. 16-18.
: Joint statement announces agreement on reviving tourism, including to discuss opening a land route to Mt. Geumgang.
: Inter-Korean talks on how to revitalize tourism open at Mt. Geumgang.