Regional Overview

Chronology from Oct 2005 to Dec 2005

: Unification Minister Chung resigns; his resignation is accepted Jan. 1, 2006.

: Tan Sri Dr. Noordin Sopiee, Chairman and CEO of ISIS-Malaysia loses his long battle with thyroid cancer and the East Asia security community loses a trusted friend, mentor, and leading intellectual. We all mourn Noordin’s untimely passing.

: Philippine prosecutors file charges against four U.S. marines for alleged Nov. 2 rape that occurred while the men were in a joint exercise with Filipino forces.

: Indonesia’s Aceh rebels disband and demobilize armed wing of GAM.

: Thai forces start joint patrol of Malacca Straits with patrol boats from Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia.

: Japan-North Korea bilateral talks resume in Beijing. Japanese abductees, security concerns, and normalization are on the agenda.

: North Korean Vice Premier Ro Tu Chol visits China for discussions on bilateral issues.

: Beijing releases foreign policy White Paper assuring that China will “never be a threat to anyone” and will not seek hegemony.

: Japanese FM Aso states that China is “beginning to pose a considerable threat” due to increased military expenditures and the lack of transparency.

: OPEC holds talks with China to secure Chinese market share and to discuss investments into Chinese refinery infrastructures.

: Hong Kong legislators defeat a Beijing-backed proposal to revamp the Hong Kong political system because it did not have a timetable for one-person one-vote general elections.

: ROK Unification Minister Chung Dong-young meets with Secretary Rice in Washington to brief her on the outcome of the inter-Korea talks.

: DPRK official news agency reports North Korea will start to develop and build light-water reactors based on indigenous technology.

: Aceh Monitoring Mission reports that the last weapons held by Aceh Freedom Movement (GAM) turned over to the government.

: At the request of the U.S., the UNSC hears a briefing on human rights abuses in Myanmar.

: First shipment of U.S. beef since 2003 arrives in Japan.

: ROK President Roh makes state visit to the Philippines.

: East Asia Summit is held in Kuala Lumpur with ASEAN, China, Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, India in attendance and Russia as observer.

: Sixth WTO Ministerial Conference is held in Hong Kong.

: Seventeenth inter-Korea ministerial talks are held on Jeju island.

: PM Singh meets with ASEAN for the fourth India-ASEAN summit. India also meets with Japan and South Korea in separate bilateral meetings on the sidelines.

: ROK and ASEAN sign accord to complete free trade agreement by end of 2006.

: Russian President Vladimir Putin attends Russia-ASEAN meeting in Kuala Lumpur.

: ASEAN Plus Three (A+3) held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. There are no scheduled China-Japan or Japan-Korea side meetings due to Koizumi’s visit to Yasukuni.

: Japan partially lifts ban on U.S. beef.

: China releases white paper on “China’s Peaceful Development Road.”

: ASEAN annual summit and ASEAN Plus One meetings held in Kuala Lumpur.

: Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines agree to joint patrols of the Sulawesi Sea, an area often hit by kidnappers and pirates.

: Australia signs  Treaty of Amity and Cooperation with ASEAN for a seat at the East Asia Summit.

: Japan and the U.S. agree to extend the current agreement on Japan’s cost sharing covering U.S. forces in Japan for an additional two years.

: China and Thailand hold naval search and rescue exercises in the Gulf of Thailand.

: PM Koizumi announces decision to extend for one year SDF activities in Iraq.

: U.S. and China hold second Senior Dialogue in Washington.

: Ambassador Vershbow calls North Korea “a criminal regime.”

: Pyongyang threatens to boycott Six-Party Talks unless the U.S. lifts sanctions issued Oct. 21 on North Korean companies for alleged counterfeiting, money laundering, and arms sales.

: Indian PM Manmohan Singh visits President Putin in Moscow.

: 250,000 protesters in Hong Kong demonstrate for the right to directly elect their leaders.

: State Department condemns Myanmar’s military junta for extending opposition leader and Nobel Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi’s house arrest for 12 months.

: Mongolian President Enkhbayar visits China, signs agreements covering border demarcation, transportation, energy, education, and scientific research.

: KEDO board agrees to terminate light-water reactor project.

: U.S. restores mil-mil ties with Indonesia after a six-year ban over human rights concerns.

: Putin and Koizumi meet in Japan.

: Asst. Secretary of State Christopher Hill, in discussing nuclear standoff with Pyongyang, says “ it’s time for the Chinese to take a little more responsibility to clean up that mess.”

: U.S. and India hold first Defense Procurement and Production Group meeting to discuss ways to strengthen defense logistics, industrial, and technological cooperation.

: APEC Leaders’ Meeting is held in Busan with numerous side meetings. Bush meets with Roh, ASEAN leaders, among others. Roh meets with Koizumi for 20 minutes; Hu refuses to meet Koizumi at all.

: Agreement on 2006 New Year’s cross-Strait charter flights announced.

: President Hu state visit to Seoul, in advance of APEC.

: President Bush visits South Korea, Japan, China, and Mongolia and attends the APEC Leaders’ Meeting in Busan.

: The 17th APEC ministerial meeting is held in Busan, Korea.

: Petrochemical explosion at the Jilin Petroleum and Chemical Company in China spills 100 tons of benzene into the Songhua River. The benzene slick is expected to reach Khabarovsk in mid-December.

: U.S. completes pull-out from Uzbek bases.

: Fifth round of Six-Party Talks takes place in Beijing.

: President Bush meets the Dalai Lama at the White House.

: State Department cites China as one of eight “countries of particular concern” for denying religious freedom in its 2005 International Religious Freedom Report to the Congress.

: U.S. and India holds Cope India 2005 exercise near Calcutta, India..

: Twelfth round of inter-Korea family reunions held at Mt. Kumgang.

: Japan and North Korea resume negotiations for normalization of relations.

: North and South Korea agree to field joint teams for the Asian Games in Doha and the Olympic Games in Beijing.

: President Hu visits Vietnam.

: Koizumi reshuffles Cabinet. Abe Shinzo is named chief Cabinet secretary and Aso Taro is foreign minister.

: Former ROK President Kim Young-sam visits Taiwan.

: U.S. and Japan hold “2+2” meeting in Washington, release document detailing transformation and realignment of the alliance. Japan supports U.S. plan to replace the USS Kitty Hawk with a nuclear-powered Nimitz-class aircraft carrier in Yokosuka, Japan.

: Chinese President Hu Jintao visits Pyongyang.

: 11th round of inter-Korean economic talks held to discuss inter-Korea rail infrastructure, fisheries cooperation, and flood control projects. South and North open joint office to oversee inter-Korean trade in Kaesong.

: SCO Summit meeting in Moscow.

: Japan and the U.S. reach agreement on relocation of U.S. bases on Okinawa and the construction of a heliport at Camp Schwab.

: Singapore PM Lee conducts his first visit to China.

: Australia, Japan, and U.S. hold trilateral security talks in Tokyo to discuss Iraq, Afghanistan, and North Korea.

: Indonesia pulls another 2,500 troops from Aceh as part of August Helskini peace accord.

: U.S. Treasury Department designates eight North Korean entities for supporting WMD proliferation and freezes their U.S. assets.

: U.S.-ROK Security Consultative Talks held in Seoul.

: China’s State Council issues first White Paper on the state of Chinese democracy.

: ROK FM Ban Ki-moon cancels trip to Japan and reports that Roh-Koizumi December talks will be postponed due to Koizumi’s Yasukuni visit.

: Russia and China hold second round of Sino-Russian Strategic Security Talks in China.

: China cancels FM Machimura Oct. 23-24 visit due to Yasukuni visit.

: Defense Secretary Rumsfeld travels to China, South Korea, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, and Lithuania. He skips Japan.

: The U.S.-India Science and Technology Agreement is signed to facilitate “a wide range of scientific and technical cooperation.”

: New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson visits North Korea “to move the diplomatic process forward.”

: PM Koizumi visits Yasukuni Shrine.

: Philippines and U.S. militaries hold joint exercise Talon Vision and Amphibious Landing Exercise 06.

: PRC and Japan holds third round of China-Japan Strategic Dialogue in Beijing.

: Lien Chan, former KMT head, makes a private visit to China, one day after China rejects legislative speaker Wang Jin-pyng as Taiwan’s representative to APEC.

: New ROK Ambassador to the U.S. Lee Tae-shik arrives in Washington.

: U.S. and China conclude fourth round of textile talks with no agreement.

: Sean Garland, leader of Irish Republican Army splinter group, is indicted for conspiring with North Korea to circulate fake $100 supernotes in Asia and  Europe.

: Chinese conduct their second successful manned space launch, Shenzhou.

: Yasukuni Shrine association returns to South Korea Bukgwandaechoepbi, a stone monument memorializing the defeat of 16th-century Japanese invaders on the Korean Peninsula.

: Former President Lee Teng-hui begins two-week U.S. trip.

: Second China-ASEAN Eminent Persons Group Meeting held in Kuala Lumpur.

: Japanese PM Koizumi’s postal reform package is approved 338 to 138.

: Secretary Rice reaches agreement with Kyrgyz President Bakiyev for long-term rights to use Manas airbase “until the situation in Afghanistan is completely stabilized.”

: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice travels to Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, and Russia.

: U.S. hosts trade ministers in Zurich and Geneva ahead of December WTO ministerial conference and offers a plan to cut agricultural tariffs and subsidies.

: Former Indonesian President Megawati meets Kim Jong-il.

: Chinese Vice Premier Wu Yi meets DPRK Chairman Kim Jong-il in Pyongyang to discuss the next round of Six-Party Talks.

: Over 80,000 die in a magnitude 7.6 earthquake centered near Muzaffarabad in Pakistani Kashmir.

: IAEA and Director General Mohamed ElBaradei win 2005 Nobel Peace Prize.

: 21 bipartisan senators send a letter to USTR Robert Portman urging him to impose economic sanctions worth $100 million a month on Japan for its ban on U.S. beef imports.

: Alexander “Sandy” Vershbow confirmed as U.S. ambassador to ROK.

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