Regional Overview

Chronology from Jan 2003 to Mar 2003

:   Japan launches first two of four planned spy satellites.

:   JDA head Ishiba states that Japan will not develop nuclear weapons even if North Korea does so.

: South Korean Foreign Minister Yoon Yang-kwan meets with Secretary Powell in Washington.

:   Russian FM Ivanov harshly criticizes U.S. action in Iraq.

: President Bush complains via telephone to President Putin about Russian firms providing military hardware to Iraq.

:   U.S. Operation Iraqi Freedom begins against Iraq.

: President Bush calls Hu Jintao and congratulates him on his election as new PRC president.

:   U.S. National Institute of Health announces measures to prevent the spread of a mysterious pneumonia.

:   Russia’s lower house of Parliament indefinitely postpones ratification of U.S.-Russia nuclear arms reduction treaty because of U.S. threat of war against Iraq.

:   President Bush issues 48-hour ultimatum to Saddam Hussein.

:   PM Wen announces Beijing seeks to resume dialogue with Taiwan under the “one China” principle.

: At the conclusion of the NPC, President Jiang steps down and Hu Jintao is named his successor. Wen Jiabao becomes prime minister.

:   VP Dick Cheney says North Korea nuclear program could force Japan to “readdress the nuclear question.”

:   President Roh, yielding to pressure, authorizes a special prosecutor to investigate payments to the DPRK.

: The World Health Organization announces hundreds of people in China, Hong Kong, and Vietnam have fallen ill from a mysterious respiratory illness.

:   South Korea urges DPRK to enter into multilateral talks with U.S.

:   Indonesian Brig. Gen. Noer Muis sentenced to five years in prison for failing to prevent civilian massacres during East Timor vote for independence in 1999.

:   Japan announces it is deploying an Aegis equipped destroyer to the Sea of Japan.

:   The U.S. resumes military reconnaissance flights in the Sea of Japan.

:   The U.S. announces it will send six radar-avoiding F-117A “stealth” warplanes to South Korea for “Foal Eagle.”

:   UNICEF officials announces the DPRK will run out of food by June unless new aid pledges are given.

:   Washington issues protest against Pyongyang spy plane intercept.

: Presidents Bush and Jiang have a phone conversation on North Korea and Iraq.

:   DPRK test fires antiship missile in the Sea of Japan; also accuses the U.S. of plotting an atomic attack.

:   DPRK rejects U.S. proposal for multilateral talks, reiterates demand for direct dialogue.

:   U.S. Senate ratifies a treaty requiring the U.S. and Russia to reduce their nuclear arsenals by about two-thirds over the next decade.

: FM Tang meets with Secretary Powell on the sidelines of the UNSC meeting on Iraq.

:   Secretary Rumsfeld says U.S. troops have become “intrusive” to South Korea and could be relocated or redeployed.

: France, Russia, and Germany pledge to block any UN resolution authorizing war in Iraq.

:   President Macapagal-Arroyo announces there will be no combat role for U.S. troops in the southern Philippines.

: The 10th National People’s Congress (NPC) opens in Beijing.

: The U.S. deploys 24 B-1 and B-52 bombers Guam to deter any aggression by the DPRK.

: The U.S. and South Korea begin a month-long annual joint military exercise “Foal Eagle” on the Korean Peninsula.

:   Relatives and supporters of Japanese citizens abducted by the DPRK visit Washington.

: JDA head Ishiba tells Diet that the SDF cannot protect Japanese people from North Korean ballistic missiles and can only minimize the damage.

:   Kim Jong-il warns of a possible nuclear war if the U.S. attacks the DPRK.

:   Cuban President Castro meets PM Koizumi in Tokyo, offers to mediate the stand-off with the DPRK.

:   DPRK fighters intercept a USAF reconnaissance plane over the Sea of Japan about 150 miles off the DPRK coast.

:   Philippine President Macapagal-Arroyo orders military to defeat the Abu Sayyaf within 90 days, while chief of the armed forces announces that commanders who fail to perform will be replaced.

:   The DPRK restarts nuclear reactor at Yongbyon.

:   The UN charges former Indonesian armed forces chief Gen. Wiranto, among others, with crimes against humanity for violence surrounding East Timor’s 1999 vote for independence.

:   Secretary Powell announces the U.S. will donate 40,000 metric tons of food to the DPRK.

:   Roh Moo-hyun is inaugurated as ROK president, meets separately with PM Koizumi and Secretary Powell.

:   The DPRK fires antiship missile into the East Sea/Sea of Japan.

:   China rejects Secretary Powell’s appeal for a regional approach; calls for direct talks between the U.S. and the DPRK.

:   Secretary Powell visits Beijing; urges China to do more to resolve the  DPRK nuclear crisis.

:   Secretary Powell visits Tokyo.

:   Burma military junta invites the U.S. to open a “constructive dialogue toward humanitarian, economic and political development” on Burma’s political future, saying the regime would “welcome American advice on making the transition to a stable democracy.”

:   A DPRK MiG enters South Korean airspace (the first since 1983) for two minutes before being pursued across the border by South Korean fighters.

:   Deranged arsonist starts fire on Taegu subway train, killing hundreds of ROK commuters.

:   DPRK threatens to abandon the 1953 Korean War armistice if sanctions are imposed.

:   Hyundai Asan Corp Chairman apologizes for secret payment of $500 million to DPRK to secure business rights and bring about the landmark June 2000 North-South summit.

:   DPRK dismisses the IAEA decision to refer the nuclear crisis to the U.N. as “interference in [its] internal affairs,” calling the IAEA “America’s lapdog.”

:   Outgoing President Kim apologizes for scandal surrounding the payment of money to the DPRK.

:   DM Shigeru announces Japan would launch a military strike if it had firm evidence that the DPRK was ready to attack with ballistic missiles.

:   Japan urges the DPRK to reopen dialogue with the IAEA.

:   China and Russia issue statement that the standoff over North Korea’s nuclear program should be resolved through direct talks between Washington and Pyongyang.

:   The IAEA declares the DPRK in breach of its nuclear nonproliferation commitments and refers the matter to the Security Council.

:   South Korean opposition politicians demand special prosecutor be named to investigate government payments to the DPRK before President Kim went to Pyongyang.

: President Bush phones President Jiang to urge him to do more to help resolve the North Korean nuclear standoff.

:   North Korea warns that a decision to send more troops to the region could result in a preemptive attack on U.S. forces.

: North Korea announces it has reactivated its Yongbyon nuclear plant to produce electricity.

:   The ROK and DPRK re-open section of their land border for the first time in half a century. Nearly 100 South Korean tourism officials travel by bus to the Mt. Kumgang resort.

: FM Tang meets Secretary Powell in New York.

:   Defense Secretary Rumsfeld puts 24 long-range bombers on alert for possible deployment within range of North Korea to deter “opportunism.”

:   South Korean envoy Lim Dong Won visits Pyongyang, meets with No. 2 Kim Yong-sun, but not Kim Jong-il.

:   China Airlines flight from Taipei lands in Shanghai via Hong Kong, the first island carrier in 50 years to land in mainland China.

:   President Bush calls PM Koizumi; both agree to seek a peaceful solution to the Korean crisis.

: JDA Chief Ishiba tells Diet that Japan could launch a preemptive strike if Pyongyang begins preparations for a missile attack.

:   Under Secretary Bolton visits Japan.

:   DPRK chief delegate Kim Ryong Song and South Korea’s Unification Minister Jeong Se-hyun conduct Ninth Inter-Korean Ministerial talks in Seoul.

:   Under Secretary Bolton visits South Korea.

:   India signs deal with Russia to lease four long-range bombers and two submarines.

:   Japan announces it will cut its contributions to the UN by 25 percent.

:   Chinese FM Tang Jiaxuan meets Secretary of State Colin Powell in New York.

: Asst. Secretary Kelly visits Tokyo.

: Deputy FM Losyukov visits Pyongyang, meets with DPRK leader Kim Jong-il.

:   Japanese FM Kawaguchi and President-elect Roh meet in Seoul and agree to build closer bilateral relations.

:   Russian Deputy FM Losyukov visits Beijing to discuss North Korean nuclear program.

:   Asst. Secretary Kelly visits Indonesia.

:   Asst. Secretary Kelly visits Singapore.

: Under Secretary of State John Bolton visits China.

:   President-elect Roh visits U.S. military headquarters in Seoul.

:   Indonesian police arrest two more Bali bombing suspects.

:   Asst. Secretary Kelly visits Beijing; China offers to host direct talks between the U.S. and DPRK.

:   PM Koizumi visits Yasukuni Shrine; PRC and ROK immediately condemn visit.

:   Asst. Secretary of State James Kelly visits Seoul, meets ROK President-elect Roh Moo-hyun.

:   President Putin and PM Koizumi issue joint statement condemning North Korea’s NPT decision.

:   President Bush and PRC President Jiang Zemin confer by phone regarding North Korea’s NPT withdrawal.

:   North Korea announces withdrawal from the NPT, effective Jan. 11.

: Prime Minister Koizumi visits Moscow.

: Trilateral Coordination Oversight Group meets; issues joint statement supporting IAEA resolution.

:   IAEA issues resolution calling on the DPRK to fully comply with its nuclear agreements.

:   Burma’s junta leader Senior Gen. Than Shwe visits China.

:   Indonesian police present first case to prosecutors against Bali bombing suspect Amrozi.

:   PRC lodges protest against Japanese leasing of land on disputed Senkaku Islands.

: Ariz. Sen. John McCain says that the U.S. should allow Japan to develop nuclear weapons.

:   China warns the U.S. against taking part in Taiwan’s annual war games.

:   Taiwan Vice DM Chen Chao-min says the U.S. military is likely to participate in the 2003 “Han Kuang” exercises.

Date Range