North Korea - South Korea

Chronology from Apr 2002 to Jul 2002

: Inter-Korean firefight in the Yellow Sea sinks an ROK patrol boat, killing five. Northern casualties are estimated at 30. Each accuses the other of shooting first.

: An inter-Korean firefight in the Yellow Sea sinks an ROK patrol boat, killing five. Northern casualties are estimated at 30. Each accuses the other of shooting first.

: ROK deputy foreign minister says Seoul supports NGO proposals to set up a camp for North Korean refugees in Mongolia, if Ulanbaatar agrees.

: North Korea and KEDO agree that from July 10 the North’s Air Koryo will fly between Yangyang in the South and Sonduk near the Kumho LWR site, carrying project staff.

: North Korea without notice stops discharging water at its Kumgangsan dam.

: Twenty-six North Korean refugees who had entered ROK and Canadian missions in Beijing arrive in Seoul via third countries, after China and South Korea reach an agreement.

: North Korean TV, which had been illicitly airing highlights of the soccer World Cup, for the first time shows a match involving the South Korean team.

: The North’s tourist body reiterates an invitation for Southerners to attend its Arirang festival, extended to July 15. Seoul insists on government-level talks first.

: The 2002 Pusan Asiad Organizing Committee sends a letter via Panmunjom, officially inviting North Korea to participate in the 14th Asian Games (Sept. 29 – Oct. 14).

: North Korea indefinitely postpones the Pyongyang International High-Tech Forum and Expo, set for June 28-29. Some 60 South Korean IT firms had planned to attend.

: The South returns three Northern fishing boats that entered its waters.

: The ROK Unification Ministry reports inter-Korean trade from January-May of $186.22 million, up 7.9 percent. Southern imports were $80.56 million (up 60 percent), to the North’s $105.66 million.

: A Unification Ministry poll finds that two-thirds of South Koreans support aid to the North; 21 percent favor raising it; 49 percent have a positive image of North Korea, 48 percent negative.

: Over 200 Southern civic activists return from Mt. Kumgang, having agreed to hold joint youth and women’s inter-Korean unification events in July and September respectively.

: The ROK Unification Ministry says it will double its resettlement facility for defectors from 150 to 300. Already 514 have arrived this year, up from 583 in all of 2001. The minister describes defectors as “a beginning of the reunification process.”

: It is revealed that some 500 Northern engineers will come South in November for two-three months training in power generation, as part of KEDO’s light-water reactor project.

: Southern Christian aid NGO flies 320 members direct to Pyongyang for a week’s visit. They return early June 18, after a promised joint service failed to materialize.

: A 20-member Southern trade union delegation goes to Mt. Kumgang for joint celebrations of the second anniversary of the June 2000 inter-Korean declaration.

: A KPA patrol boat crosses four miles into Southern waters and remains for four hours, in the eighth such incident this year. Nonetheless, the ROK Joint Chiefs of Staff say on June 19 that violations are down this year and that the North is avoiding confrontation.

: ROK Unification Minister Jeong Se-hyun says that North Korea’s economic dependence on South Korea is now comparable to its former ties with the USSR and China. He adds that 652 Southern companies are now doing business with the North.

: A ground-breaking ceremony is held in Pyongyang for the first inter-Korean college. Pyongyang University of Science and Technology is due to open in September 2003.

: South Korea completes shipment of 200,000 tons of free fertilizer to the North.

: First Southern professors to lecture in the North begin teaching an 18-month course on reactor operations to 1,400 Northern engineers at KEDO’s LWR site at Kumho. Two other ROK professors will lecture on IT management systems in the North in July and August.

: Hyundai Asan doubles its Kumgang cruises from 10 to 20 per month. Tours are fully booked through summer, thanks to official subsidies for students and separated families.

: The first ever North-South telecommunication talks are held in Pyongyang. Southern companies provisionally agree to jointly launch a mobile service later this year.

: A delegation from southern Kangwon province, which is split by the DMZ, visits its Northern counterpart to spray insecticide on pine trees and discuss other cooperation.

: North Korea notifies the South that it will discharge water from its Inman dam from June 3. It does so. South Korea had claimed that the dam was cracking.

: A diplomatic source cites DPRK Foreign Minister Paek Nam-sun in Moscow as saying that the North’s military is opposed to an east coast North-South rail link.

: South Korea indefinitely postpones issuing this year’s defense white paper to sidestep controversy over whether to continue to designate North Korea as “main enemy.”

: A 10-strong Northern team visits the South to inspect a nuclear power plant and Yangyang airport, which will be used for transport to Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization’s (KEDO) light-water reactor (LWR) site at Kumho.

: Park Geun-hye says Kim Jong-il promised to send the DPRK’s soccer squad South for a friendly game in September. There was no mention of the World Cup.

: The ROK unification minister says Seoul is considering giving materials worth $25 million to the North to expedite completion of North-South railway links.

: Park Geun-hye, daughter of ex-President Park Chung-hee and herself seen as a presidential contender, visits North Korea, dines with Kim Jong-il, and returns via Panmunjom.

: A chartered Korean Air plane flies 255 Cheju residents directly to Pyongyang for a week’s visit.

: The North pulls out of economic talks due the next day, alleging hostile comments by the South’s foreign minister. A separate economic visit due later in May is cancelled also.

: A fourth round of separated family reunions is held, this time at Mt. Kumgang rather than in Pyongyang and Seoul, briefly reuniting 848 elderly kin.

: Roh Moo-hyun, a strong supporter of inter-Korean reconciliation and former advocate of U.S. troop withdrawal, is nominated as the ruling Millennium Democratic Party’s presidential candidate.

: South Korea says it will spend $54 million to give 200,000 tons of fertilizer to North Korea for delivery over the next month in time for this year’s harvest.

: A final consignment of 100,000 tons of Southern maize aid is sent to the North.

: Ex-ROK Unification Minister Lim Dong-won visits Pyongyang as ROK President Kim Dae-jung’s special envoy. After talks with DPRK Leader Kim Jong-il and others, he returns with a commitment to resume inter-Korean cooperation, including a new offer of a second cross-DMZ rail link.

Date Range