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.