North Korea - South Korea

Chronology from Oct 2002 to Dec 2002

: Southern President-elect Roh Moo-hyun warns that continued Northern nuclear defiance would negatively affect inter-Korean exchanges.

:   A report by South Korea’s Defense Ministry avoids designating North Korea as main enemy, but warns that the Korean People’s Army is expanding and the risk of provocation remains.

:   Seoul announces that groundbreaking for the Kaesong Industrial zone, set for Dec. 30, will be postponed.

: Kim Dae-jung says South Korea should take the lead in peacefully resolving the Northern nuclear issue. His security adviser, Yim Sung-joon, says that projects such as Mt. Kumgang tourism and restoring road-rail links will continue as “channels of communication.”

:   A second round of North-South maritime talks opens in Pyongyang.

:   In the ROK’s 16th presidential election, ruling party candidate Roh Moo-hyun, pledged to continue the Sunshine Policy, narrowly defeats the opposition’s Lee Hoi-chang, who sought a harder line toward the North, by 48.9 percent of the vote to 46.6 percent.

:   Twenty Northern defectors fly to Seoul from Beijing via Manila, taking this year’s total arrivals to over 1,000 – almost double last year’s figure.

:   The third working-level meeting of the panel for the reconnection of roads and railways between South and North Korea is held at Mt. Kumgang.
Dec. 15-17, 2002:  Red Cross talks at Mt. Kumgang provisionally agree on a sixth round of family reunions on or near the Lunar New Year (Feb. 1), but make no headway on other issues.

: South Korea strongly urges the North to retract its decision to reactivate its nuclear program.

: Economic talks in Seoul on implementing laws on business cooperation narrow differences, but fail to reach full agreement.

:   Seoul says its budget to resettle Northern defectors will rise 64 percent next year.

:   Talks at Mt. Kumgang on the proposed Kaesong Industrial Complex agree that construction will begin between Dec. 26 and Dec. 30.

:   The first overland tour to Mt. Kumgang, due on Dec. 11, is postponed by a week. (As of the end of the year, this has yet to take place.)

:   Mine-clearing in the DMZ for an eastern road-rail link is completed.

:   The United Nations Command (UNC) agrees to let Southern tourists cross the DMZ without prior approval, ending a dispute that was delaying cross-border links.

:   KCBS reports that the SPA Presidium on Nov. 13 adopted a decree setting up the Kaesong industrial zone and passed a law for it on Nov. 20.

:   A DPRK Education Ministry spokesman incites South Koreans to a “sacred war” against the United States over an accident last June in which an armored vehicle driven by U.S. soldiers crushed two schoolgirls.

:   Joint land surveys are held to fix optimum connection points for the east coast (Donghae) road and rail links.

:   North Korea’s Central Broadcasting Station (KCBS) reports that on Oct. 23 the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly (SPA) adopted a decree setting up the Mt. Kumgang Tourist Zone, and on Nov. 13 passed a law for the special zone.
Nov. 25-30, 2002:  A large group from South Korea’s Cheju island province visits the North.

:   The North’s Democratic Front for the Reunification of the Fatherland (DFRF) calls on South Koreans to join the North and “shatter the nuclear fuss made by the U.S.”

:   A Korean People’s Army (KPA) patrol boat that violated the Northern Limit Line retreats after the ROK navy fires two warning shots. Each side accuses the other of intruding in its waters.

:   Another North-South working meeting at Mt. Kumgang discusses relinking roads and railways, and passage of merchant ships through each other’s territorial waters.

:   The third session of the inter-Korean Committee for the Promotion of Economic Cooperation is held in Pyongyang. It agrees on several working groups, but fails to finalize basic laws on business cooperation initially agreed two years previously.

:   The fifth round of inter-Korean Red Cross talks, held at Mt. Kumgang, fails to agree on a next round of family reunions and other related matters.

:   A Southern working-level team visits Pyongyang to discuss building an industrial complex in Kaesong city, and also joint flood control on the Imjin river. There is more progress on the former than the latter.

: A Northern economic study group, led by Pak Nam-gi, chairman of the State Planning Commission, and including Kim Jong-il’s brother-in-law Jang Song-taek, spends nine days touring firms and economic facilities in South Korea. They go on to visit Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia for similar purposes, returning home Nov. 16.

:   A Northern taekwondo team visits South Korea for demonstration events.

: The eighth round of inter-Korean ministerial talks is held in Pyongyang and concludes with an eight-point joint statement, mainly to progress various economic projects.

:   The U.S. claims that, at talks in Pyongyang earlier in the month, North Korea, when confronted with evidence that it has a new covert nuclear program, admitted as much.

:   A North-South women’s meeting takes place at Mt. Kumgang.

:   North Korea’s team returns home from the Pusan Asian Games.

:   North Korea’s Han Pong-sil wins the women’s marathon at the 14th Asian Games held in Pusan, South Korea.

:   A North-South students’ meeting is held at Mt. Kumgang.

:   A second round of working-level talks on reconnecting inter-Korean roads and railways is held at Mt. Kumgang.

:   Arirang, a South Korean silent film, is screened in Pyongyang.

:   A Southern civic delegation for the first time joins in commemoration of the National Foundation Day of ancient Korea, in Pyongyang.

:   A Southern Roman Catholic delegation visits Pyongyang.

Date Range