Regional Overview

Chronology from Jan 2018 to May 2018

:  President Donald Trump announces that his administration has postponed decisions about imposing steel and aluminum tariffs on the European Union and other US allies until June 1. Tariffs on South Korea are lifted because the two countries have agreed on alternative measures to reduce the US trade deficit with Seoul.

: South Korean Moon and North Korean Chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea hold a summit in Panmunjom. They sign a joint declaration pledging to end hostilities and denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.

: India’s Prime Minister Modi visits China and meets President Xi in Wuhan.

:  Mike Pompeo is confirmed as US secretary of State.

:  South Korean Director of National Security Chung Eui-yong meets National Security Advisor John Bolton in Washington, DC, to exchange ideas.

:  ROK President Moon and Japanese PM Abe discuss latest developments on the Korean Peninsula by phone.

:  A tour bus carrying 34 Chinese tourists falls from a local bridge in North Hwanghae Province of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

:  North Korea announces decision to close its nuclear test site and stop test launches of mid-to-long-range missiles.

: President Trump hosts Prime Minister Abe of Japan to Mar-a-Lago.

:  US Department of Commerce bans US companies from providing exports to ZTE for seven years because of the company’s failure to comply with a previous consent order for violating export ban on sales to Iran and North Korea.

: China and Japan resume high-level economic talks for first time in nearly eight years.

: Chinese Special Envoy Song Tao visits North Korea and meets Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang.

: UN report puts Myanmar’s armed forces on a UN list of government and rebel groups “credibly suspected” of carrying out rapes and other acts of sexual violence in conflict.

: Japanese FM Kono meets ROK counterpart Kang to discuss upcoming summit between North and South Korea.

: South Korea’s head of the presidential National Security Office Chung Eui-yong visits Washington and meets National Security Adviser John Bolton.

: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un talks about prospects for dialogue with the US, his first official comment on a planned summit with President Trump.

: Myanmar’s military sentences seven personnel to 10 years in prison and hard labor as alleged accomplices in the killing of 10 Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state.

: Chinese President Xi met with UN Secretary-General António Guterres at the Great Hall of the People.

: Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan meets Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at Zhongnanhai in Beijng.

: International Criminal Court turns down petition to prosecute North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and others for the suspected abductions of Japanese citizens.

: Russia’s President Putin meets State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Moscow.

: United States, India, and Japan hold ninth trilateral meeting in New Delhi.

: State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi meets DPRK Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho during Ri’s stopover in Beijing.

: Acting Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Susan Thornton visits Malaysia to co-chair 31st US-ASEAN Dialogue with Malaysia Ministry of Foreign Affairs Secretary General Ramlan Ibrahim.

: Great Mekong Sub-region (GMS) Summit in Hanoi, Vietnam.

: UN Security Council blacklists 27 ships and 21 companies for helping North Korea evade sanctions.

:  Rex Tillerson’s commission as US secretary of State ends.

: India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj meets Prime Minister Abe in Tokyo.

: China’s State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi meets Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on the sidelines of the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) Summit in Hanoi, Vietnam.

: President Moon meets Director of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs Yang Jiechi at Cheong Wa Dae.

: Special Representative of President Xi and Director of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs Yang Jiechi visits Seoul and meets President Moon.

: Myanmar’s Parliament elects U Win Myint to be president of Myanmar.

: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits China and meets President Xi in Beijing.

: Deputy Secretary of State Sullivan meets Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman in Washington to affirm the importance of the US-Malaysia Comprehensive Partnership.

: Deputy Secretary of State Sullivan meets Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi in Washington to reaffirm the US-Indonesia Strategic Partnership.

: Navy destroyer USS Mustin conducts freedom of navigation operation in the South China, sailing within 12 nm of Mischief Reef. China condemns the activity saying it “seriously harmed the country’s sovereignty and security” and that “provocative behaviour by the United States will only cause the Chinese military to strengthen its defence capabilities.”

: South Korean President Moon visits Vietnam and meets President Tran Dai Quang, and other Vietnamese leaders.

: Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano visits China and meets Foreign Minister Wan Yi. They agree that China and the Philippines will cautiously proceed with discussions on joint oil and gas exploration in the South China Sea.

: H.R. McMaster, US national security adviser, Japan counterpart Yachi Shotaro, and Korean counterpart Chung Eui Yong meet in San Francisco.

: Australia-ASEAN summit is held in Sydney.

: President Trump speaks with President Moon to discuss efforts to prepare for their upcoming engagements with North Korea.

: Deputy Secretary Sullivan meets South Korea’s Foreign Minister Kang and Japanese Foreign Minister Aso Kono in Washington DC.

: President Trump signs the Taiwan Travel Act (TTA).

: Prime Minister Turnbull and Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc sign a new Australia-Vietnam strategic partnership agreement.

: President Trump speaks with President Xi about recent developments related to North Korea and speaks with President Vladimir Putin about bilateral relations mutual national security priorities and challenges.

: South Korea Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha meets Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan of Singapore to discuss bilateral issues and ways to step up cooperation between the ROK and ASEAN as well as between the ROK and Singapore, the ASEAN chair for 2018.

: Trade ministers from 11 Pacific Rim countries sign the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

:  US announces a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 to protect US national security. The sanctions are not immediately imposed to give time for affected countries to come to agreements on voluntary restraints with the US.

: Representatives from US and ROK meet in Honolulu for first round of talks to develop the 10th Special Measures Agreement (SMA), which will enter into force in 2019.

: India hosts biennial naval engagement, Milan 2018. The exercise includes naval personnel from 23 countries and ships from 16 navies from across the Indo-Pacific region.

: ROK President Moon sends a five-member delegation headed by National Security Council Adviser Chung Eui-yong and National Intelligence Service Director Suh Hoon to North Korea to meet leader Kim Jong-un. They agree to hold the third inter-Korean summit in the joint security area of Panmunjom in late April.

: USS Carl Vinson and two other US Navy ships make a port call in DaNang, marking the first US carrier to a Vietnamese port since the end of the Vietnam War.

: Vietnam President Tran Dai Quang visits India and meets President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

: US announces it is cutting aid to several assistance programs in Cambodia due to “recent setbacks to democracy.”

: Australian Prime Minister Turnbull visits US and meets President Trump in Washington.

: US and Thailand host 37th Cobra Gold joint military exercise in Thailand. Primary activities include a staff exercise, a field training exercise, and humanitarian civic assistance projects in Thai communities with participants from 30 countries.

: President Moon meets UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in Gangneung.

: President Moon and Japanese Prime Minister Abe hold a summit in Pyeongchang.

: ROK President Moon and Vice President Pence hold bilateral meeting at the Blue House in Seoul.

: Vice President Pence meets North Korean defectors in Seoul and visits Cheonan Memorial.

: President Moon meets Chinese Special Envoy Han Zheng, a member of the Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

: Vice President Pence and Prime Minister Abe hold a bilateral meeting.

: Vice President Mike Pence visits Japan and South Korea.

: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte orders end to all foreign scientific research missions in waters off the country’s northeast in the region called Benham rise, which his government has renamed Philippine Rise.

: Russia‘s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev approves the deployment of Russian military aircraft to the island of Iturup (Japan: Etorofu) off the northeast coast of Japan.

: US Special Representative for North Korea Policy and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Korea and Japan Joseph Yun travels to Tokyo and Seoul to coordinate on the DPRK and other alliance and bilateral issues.

: Japan’s Foreign Minister Kono Taro visits China and meets  Premier Li Keqiang.

: US releases an unclassified summary of the National Defense Strategy.

: Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Japan’s Prime Minister Abe Shinzo meet in Japan.

: US and ROK hold second meeting of the Extended Deterrence Strategy and Consultation Group (EDSCG) in Washington, DC.

: USS Hopper, a guided-missile destroyer, conducts a freedom of navigation operation in the South China Sea, sailing within 12 nm of Scarborough Shoal.

: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland co-host Vancouver Foreign Ministers Meeting on Security and Stability on the Korean Peninsula. The 20 participating countries included the United States’ Korean War allies.

: National security chiefs of South Korea, the US, and Japan meet in San Francisco to coordinate policies on North Korea.

: President Moon speaks by phone to Chinese President Xi Jinping to discuss bilateral relations, high-level inter-Korean talks and the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

: President Moon Jae-in speaks by phone to President Donald Trump to discuss the prospect for inter-Korean talks.

: US and ROK agree to delay joint military exercises until after the Winter Olympics and the Paralympics.

Date Range