Regional Overview

Chronology from Jan 2010 to Mar 2010

: Russia’s president signs an order implementing UN Security Council-approved sanctions against North Korea. The UNSC originally approved the sanctions in June 2009.

: India and the US announce the successful conclusion of negotiations granting rights to India to reprocess spent nuclear fuel.

: The G8 Foreign Ministers Meeting is held in Ottawa, Canada.

: The South Korean Navy frigate, Cheonon, explodes and sinks while on a routine patrol mission near Baengnyeong Island.

: Yonhap news agency reports that North Korea executed Pak Nam-gi, the country’s former top finance official, over the country’s failed currency reform.

: The White House announces that President Obama has canceled a planned trip to Australia and Indonesia to help ensure passage of a health care reform bill.

: South Korean Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan visits Beijing and meets Premier Wen Jiabao, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, and Public Security Minister Meng Jianzhu to discuss bilateral and regional issues, including the Six-Party Talks.
March 26, 2010: The US and Russia agree to a new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.

: Thailand’s Parliament passes an Internal Security Act, vowing to use “all means” to stop violence and allows authorities to deploy troops on the streets during mass anti-government rallies in Bangkok, to impose curfews, and ban gatherings.

: Myanmar’s military junta bars pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi from running in upcoming elections by passing the Political Parties Registration Law, which excludes anyone convicted by a court of law from joining a political party.

: China accuses the Dalai Lama of trying to “create chaos” in Tibet, on the eve of the anniversary of the March 10, 1959 uprising against Chinese rule that drove the Buddhist monk into exile.

: The US and ROK Combined Forces Command holds its annual joint military exercise Key Resolve/Foal Eagle “to improve the command’s ability to defend.”

: Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell travels to Asia with stops in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Vientiane, Jakarta, Bangkok, and Tokyo.

: China announces a 7.5 percent increase in defense spending for 2010.

: Deputy Secretary Steinberg and NSC Director for Asia Bader visit Tokyo.

: In a speech to the UN Conference on Disarmament, North Korean diplomat Jon Yong-ryong rejects South Korea’s appeal for the resumption of Six-Party Talks and states that the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula should be settled between the DPRK and the US as it is a product of the hostile policy of the US toward the DPRK.

: US Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg and National Security Council (NSC) Senior Director for Asia Jeffrey Bader visit Beijing to discuss a range of bilateral issues.

: Cheng Yonghua arrives in Tokyo to assume his post as China’s ambassador to Japan.

: US Six-Party Talks Envoy Bosworth visits Tokyo and meets Japan’s chief delegate to the Six-Party Talks Saiki Akitaka and Foreign Minister Okada.

: Thailand’s Supreme Court rules that the Thai government will confiscate frozen assets worth 46 billion baht ($1.4 billion) from deposed Premier Thaksin Shinawatra.

: South Africa confirms that it seized spare parts for T-55 tanks on a ship sailing from North Korea to the Republic of Congo.

: The Supreme Court in Burma rejects an appeal by pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi against an extension of her house arrest.

: The US and South Korean envoys to the Six-Party Talks, Stephen Bosworth and Wi Sung-lac, meet in Beijing with China’s envoy, Wu Dawei, in an effort to encourage North Korea to return to the forum.

: A US Department of Defense spokesperson announces it was informed that China “has postponed planned exchanges such as their chief of the general staff’s visit to the United States, the commander of US Pacific Command’s visit to China, and a visit to the US by one of China’s military region commanders.”

: The Dalai Lama visits Washington and meets President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton.

: Thailand deports the five-man aircrew, which had been detained since December 2009 along with their airplane and a 35-ton cache of arms from North Korea, after smuggling charges against them were dropped.

: Balikatan 2010 joint exercises involving the militaries of the US and the Philippine to provide humanitarian and civic assistance are held.

: Burma frees Tin Oo, who has been in prison or under house arrest for more than a decade and is vice-chairman of Aung San Suu Kyi’s opposition National League for Democracy.

: Japanese Foreign Minister Okada visits South Korea and meets his counterpart Yu Myung-hwan and President Lee. He calls for “enhancing the future-oriented bilateral relationship while not forgetting what happened in the past 100 years.”

: Wang Jiarui, head of the Chinese Communist Party’s International Department, visits Pyongyang and conveys a “verbal personal message” from President Hu Jintao to Kim Jong-il.

: The US Department of Defense publishes its Quadrennial Defense Review.

: A total of 14,000 soldiers from Thailand, the US, Singapore, Indonesia, Japan, and South Korea participate in the annual Cobra Gold exercise in central Thailand.

: The US Department of Defense informs Congress of the intent to sell an arms package to Taiwan worth more than $6 billion.

: The 40th annual World Economic Forum is held in Davos, Switzerland.

: China and Taiwan launch the first round of talks aimed at establishing a major trade pact known as the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA).

: Envoys of the Dalai Lama meet Chinese officials in Beijing for the ninth round of talks on Tibet. The two sides fail to reach any agreement.

: South Korean President Lee Myung-bak visits India and meets Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. They sign cooperation accords on peaceful uses of outer space, information technology, science and technology, and the transfer of prisoners.

: Japan and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) host a meeting in Tokyo of 17 Asian countries as well as nuclear security experts from the US and Australia to discuss ways to address nuclear terrorism.

: Prime Minister Hatoyama Yukio and President Obama each issue statements to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the signing of the US-Japan Security Treaty.

: Japanese Foreign Minister Okada Katsuya meets his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi to discuss ways of bringing North Korea back to the Six-Party Talks and other issues.

: Japan and South Korea refuse to accept North Korea’s call for early talks on a peace treaty, saying they have no plans to lift sanctions unless it first makes progress in scrapping nuclear weapons.

: Japan officially ends its eight-year naval refueling mission in the Indian Ocean as Defense Minister Kitazawa Toshimi states, “We will continue to act positively and proactively to contribute to international efforts against terrorism.”

: North Korea threatens a retaliatory attack and says it will exclude Seoul from all future talks on peace and security of the Korean Peninsula in response to a report that South Korea has a contingency plan to respond to an “emergency” North Korea.

: North Korean Ambassador to China Choe Jin-su says Six-Party Talks could resume only with the lifting of sanctions on North Korea and acceptance of its latest proposal for peace treaty talks.

:  A North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman calls for a peace treaty with the US saying it would “help terminate the hostile relations” between the two countries and “positively promote the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula at a rapid tempo.”

: White House spokesman Robert Gibb dismisses North Korea’s call for talks on a peace treaty to end the Korean War saying that the Six-Party Talks must resume before anything else happens regarding a peace treaty with North Korea.

: South Korean Defense Minister Kim Tae-Young says that the Six-Party Talks must resume before anything else happens regarding peace talks with North Korea.

: Robert King, the US special envoy for DPRK rights issues, says the DPRK must improve its “appalling” human rights record if it wants better relations with the US.

: US Defense Department announces that it will allow Lockheed Martin Corp. to sell Patriot air defense missiles to Taiwan to complete a $6.5 billion arms package approved under then President George W. Bush in late 2008.

: Defense Secretary Pradeep Kumar leads an Indian delegation to participate in annual high-level bilateral talks with China on defense issues – the first time ever that the defense secretary has visited Beijing as the leader of the delegation.

Date Range