Regional Overview

Chronology from Jan 2015 to May 2015

: Russia announces that it was informed that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has cancelled his planned May visit to Moscow.

: US-Japan Security Consultative Committee (2+2) meeting, hosted by Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Ash Carter with Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and Japanese Defense Minister Gen Nakatani is held in New York City.

: The 26th ASEAN Summit is held in Kuala Lumpur.

: TPP negotiators meet in Maryland.

: US and ROK announce a new agreement on the civil nuclear relationship.

:   Sixth Asian African Conference is held in Jakarta with representatives from 77 countries and 34 heads of state in attendance.

: US and Philippines conduct their annual bilateral military exercise Balikatan (Shoulder-to-Shoulder) at various locations in the Philippine.

: US, ROK, and Japan hold Defense Trilateral Talks in Washington.

: Annual US-ROK Integrated Defense Dialogue is held in Washington.

: 16th China-ASEAN Joint Cooperation Committee meeting is held in Jakarta.

: Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter visits Japan and South Korea to “affirm defense relationships with allies and build upon key initiatives of the rebalance to the region.”

: General Secretary of Vietnam Communist Party Nguyen Phu Trong visits China and meets General Secretary Xi Jinping and other Chinese Communist Party officials.

:   China hosts the first senior officials meeting of the Lancang-Mekong River Dialogue and Cooperation forum with representatives from Cambodia, China, Laos, and Myanmar participating.

: DPRK test-fires four short-range missiles into its western waters.

: Government of Myanmar and armed ethnic groups issue a joint statement on a finalized nationwide ceasefire agreement.

: South Korea applies to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

: China’s Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Affairs Wu Dawei meets Russian counterpart Igor Morgulov in Beijing where they “exchanged views on the resumption of the Six-Party Talks.”

: Deputy foreign ministers of China, Russia, and Mongolia hold the second round of trilateral meetings in Beijing.

: Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, visits Japan and South Korea.

: Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) visits Japan and China.

: The foreign ministers of South Korea, China and Japan meet in Seoul for the first time in nearly three years.

: Chinese and Japanese foreign and defense ministers meet in Tokyo for the first time since January 2011.

: Li Jinjun is appointed as the Chinese ambassador to the DPRK.

: The 9th ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting (ADMM) is held in Langkawi, Malaysia. Member countries sign a joint declaration underscoring their commitment to address common security challenges.

: A bomb released by a Myanmar jet kills four Chinese people near the border city of Lincang. Nine others are injured.” China’s Foreign Ministry calls on Myanmar to “thoroughly investigate the case and inform the Chinese side of the result.”

: North Korea fires seven surface-to-air missiles into the sea off its east coast.

: US voices concerns to Vietnam about Hanoi’s permission for Russia to use Cam Ranh Bay to refuel nuclear-capable bomber flights.

: TPP negotiators meet in Honolulu Hawaii.

: US Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert is injured in an attack by a knife-wielding assailant in Seoul.

: North Korea ends its four-month Ebola quarantine.

: North Korea fires two short-range ballistic missiles from Nampo into the West Sea (Sea of Japan) without designating any no-sail zones prior to the launches.

: US and South Korea conduct annual military exercises Key Resolve, lasting until March 13, and Foal Eagle.

: The 21st ASEAN Economic Ministers Retreat is held in Malaysia. Discussion topics include the ASEAN Economic Community and the Post-2015 Economic Vision and Strategic Action Plan.

: US deactivates its Joint Special Task Force-Philippines which was established in 2002 to help the Philippine military fight Abu Sayyaf and other terrorist groups.

: Philippines suspends oil exploration in Reed Bank in the South China Sea.

: President Thein Sein declares a state of emergency in the Kokang region of Myanmar, following intense fighting between ethnic-minority rebels and the army.

: Ashton Carter is sworn in as US secretary of defense.

: South Korea and Japan agree to allow a bilateral currency swap agreement established in 2001 to expire on Feb. 23, 2015.

: Andrew Hsia (Li-yan) is appointed minister of Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), which handles cross-strait policy with counterpart, Taiwan Affairs Office.

: US-Japan Extended Deterrence Dialogue is held in Japan.

: US and South Korea hold an annual tabletop exercise on political and military responses to a North Korea nuclear threat.

: Feb. 10: South Korea agrees to repatriate the remains of 68 Chinese soldiers killed during the Korean War.

: Second Japan-US Development Dialogue is held in Tokyo.

: Seventh round of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations are held in Bangkok.

:   New US Deputy Secretary of State Anthony Blinken visits East Asia with stops in South Korea, China, and Japan. He delivers remarks on US economic policy while in Tokyo. (

: Cobra Gold 2015, with military personnel from 24 countries participating, is held in Thailand.

: North Korea fires five short-range missiles off its east coast.

:  China responds to Philippine protests over activities near Scarborough Shoal, saying Philippine fishermen ignored instructions from Chinese patrols to leave the area.

: Chinese Defense Minister Chang Wanquan visits Bangkok. China and Thailand agree to increase military cooperation over the next five years.

: Philippines accuses China of ramming Filipino fishing boats off Scarborough Shoal (Philippines: Bajo de Masinloc, China: Huangyan) in the South China Sea and demands China respect its sovereignty over the territory. It also protests Beijing’s land reclamation at Mischief Reef (Philippines: Panganiban Reef, China: Meiji Reef).

: Seventh US-China Security Dialogue is held in Beijing.

: 13th Russian, Indian, and Chinese Foreign Ministers Meeting is held in Beijing.

: US Agency for International Development launches a new Sustainable Mekong Energy Initiative at a meeting of the Friends of the Lower Mekong – a coordination group of major donor countries and organizations – with representatives from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam in Pakse, Laos.

: Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) officials meet in New York.

: US-ROK Disarmament and Nonproliferation Consultation is held in Seoul.

: Chinese government accuses 15 Communist party officials in Tibet of joining underground Tibetan independence organizations, providing intelligence to the Dalai Lama and his supporters, or participating in activities deemed harmful to China’s security.

: President Barack Obama visits India to participate in the annual Republic Day celebrations and meets Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

: US and Vietnam hold seventh annual political, security, and defense dialogue in Hanoi.

: China’s Foreign Ministry confirms that 155 Chinese citizens are being detained in Myanmar for illegal logging, denying reports that they were trapped by an armed conflict in northern Myanmar.

: Fifth US-Philippines Bilateral Strategic Dialogue (BSD) is held in Manila. They express “concern over developments in the South China Sea that are inconsistent with the 2002 ASEAN-China Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and international law….”

: Ri Yong-ho, North Korea’s chief negotiator for the long-stalled Six-Party Talks meets former US special envoy for North Korea policy Stephen Bosworth and other US experts in Singapore.

: US State Department spokesperson reiterates US rejection of North Korea’s offer to suspend nuclear tests in exchange for scrapping joint military exercises with South Korea.

: China and the United States conduct a joint military exercise and symposium on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/DR) in Guangzhou and Haikou.

Jan. 13, 2015: North Korea offers to hold direct talks with the US on its proposal to suspend nuclear tests, and says dialogue could pave the way to changes on the Korean Peninsula.

: US State Department spokesperson calls North Korea’s offer to suspend nuclear tests as an “implicit threat,” saying it was “inappropriately” linking routine military exercises between Washington and Seoul to the possibility of a nuclear test.

: North Korea offers to suspend future nuclear tests temporarily if Washington suspends all upcoming military exercises in South Korea and its vicinity.

: US and Indonesia sign a Defense Institution Reform Initiative to begin the process of enhancing the performance of Indonesia’s defense establishment.

: Chinese and South Korean foreign and defense ministries meet to discuss bilateral and regional security issues. They agree to bolster cooperation to promote regional peace and reaffirm their “zero tolerance” toward North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.

Date Range