Regional Overview

Chronology from Oct 2010 to Dec 2010

: South Korean President Lee Myung-bak calls for the revival of Six-Party Talks and North-South dialogue.

: The US Senate ratifies the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START).

: South Korea stages a live-fire exercise on Yeonpyeong Island near the disputed border. North Korea says it would not hit back despite having vowed deadly retaliation.

: UN Security Council meets in emergency session to discuss a Russian draft statement calling on both North and South Korea to refrain from escalation of the conflict but fails to reach any agreement on a coordinated statement.

: Russia expresses its extreme concern over South Korea’s upcoming drills and requests an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council. China also expresses its opposition to South Korea’s upcoming drills.

: South Korea, China, and Japan sign an agreement to establish a cooperation secretariat in Seoul next year.

: Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg leads a US delegation including National Security Council Senior Director for Asian Affairs Jeffrey Bader, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell, and Special Envoy Sung Kim to Asia for consultations with China on regional security issues.

: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin urges North Korea to “unconditionally comply with UN Security Council resolutions” on its nuclear development.

: The US releases its first Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review.

: Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Michael Somare, facing misconduct charges relating to late filing of annual tax returns, “steps aside” to concentrate on fighting the charges, and appoints Deputy Prime Minister Sam Abal as acting prime minister.

: China’s State Councilor Dai Bingguo visits Pyongyang and meets DPRK leader Kim Jong Il. China’s Xinhua reports that “The two sides reached consensus on bilateral relations and the situation on the Korean Peninsula after candid and in-depth talks.”

: Chairman of the JCS Adm. Michael Mullen visits Korea and meets his South Korean counterpart, Gen. Han Min-koo, and other senior officials.

: Secretary of State Clinton, Japanese Foreign Minister Maehara Seiji, and South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan meet in Washington.

: International Criminal Court (ICC) opens investigation into Cheonan incident and Yeonpyeong shelling to see whether either constituted “war crimes” on the part of the DPRK.

: Japan and the US conduct joint military exercise Keen Sword off the southern islands of Japan. The exercise is the “largest ever” joint exercise between the two militaries.

: US and South Korea finalize a supplementary agreement on the KORUS FTA.

: The US and ROK naval forces including the USS George Washington carrier group conduct exercises west of the Korean Peninsula to “demonstrate the strength of the [ROK]-US alliance and our commitment to regional stability through deterrence.”

: China proposes emergency consultations among delegates to the Six Party Talks.

: Chairman of the JCS Adm. Mike Mullen urges China to pressure North Korea to refrain from provoking South Korea and to abide by its denuclearization commitments.

:   US State Department issues the Annual Report on International Religious Freedom in which China is listed among “countries of special concern.”

: Special Envoy Bosworth travels to Beijing to meet his counterparts over the DPRK’s uranium enrichment facility and the possibility of the resuming the Six-Party Talks.

: North Korea fires artillery rounds on Yeonpyeong Island, killing 4 and injuring dozens of people.

: Defense Secretary Gates denounces North Korea for violating UN resolutions with its uranium enrichment facility.

: Special Envoy Bosworth meets Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan and ROK negotiator Wi Sung-lac in Seoul. Bosworth also meets his Japanese counterpart in Tokyo to discuss the most recent revelations regarding the DPRK uranium enrichment facility.

: Chairman of the JCS Adm. Mullen denounces the DPRK for seeking a uranium-based nuclear program in violation of its agreement to denuclearize.

: The New York Times reports that Siegfried Hecker was shown a highly sophisticated uranium enrichment facility during his recent visit to North Korea.

: Alleged arms dealer Viktor Bout is extradited to the US from Thailand. Bout was arrested in Bangkok in 2008 after trying to sell weapons to agents posing as Colombian rebels.

: The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Leader’s Meeting is held in Yokohama.

: Aung San Suu Kyi is freed from house arrest in Burma.

: The G20 Summit is held in Seoul.

: A report by UN experts charging North Korea with supplying nuclear technology to Syria, Iran, and Myanmar, which had been blocked by China for six months, is submitted to the UN Security Council for consideration.

: US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) Adm. Mike Mullen reiterates the US pledge to send an aircraft carrier into the Yellow Sea for joint drills with the ROK in the near future, despite objections from China.

: Minister for Foreign Affairs Kevin Rudd, Minister for Defense Stephen Smith, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates meet in Melbourne for the 25th annual Australia-US Ministerial (AUSMIN) Consultations.

: Burma holds an election that is described by outside observers as deeply flawed.

: President Barack Obama visits Asia with stops in India, Indonesia, South Korea, and Japan.

: The US and New Zealand sign a new partnership document, the Wellington Declaration, which covers general defense cooperation, nuclear nonproliferation, and South Pacific and Antarctic cooperation.

: China turns down Secretary Clinton’s reported offer to mediate talks between China and Japan over disputed islands in the East China Sea. Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu calls Clinton’s proposal “wishful thinking.”

: PLA Marine Corps conducts exercises in the South China Sea involving at least 100 warships, submarines, and aircraft. More than 200 military students from 40 countries and regions observe.

: The fifth East Asia Summit is held in Hanoi. Russia and the US are officially invited to join and accept membership in the forum.

: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visits Asia with stops in China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, and Australia.

: The 17th ASEAN Summit and related summits are held in Hanoi.

: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visits Honolulu where she meets Japanese Foreign Minister Maehara Seiji and gives a speech on US engagement in Asia.

: G20 Ministerial Meeting is held in Gyeongju, Korea.

: South Korea hosts a Proliferation Security exercise near Busan named Eastern Endeavor 2010. The exercise is designed to demonstrate the capacity to deter the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

: The second ASEAN Plus 3 Forum on nontraditional security threats, hosted by China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA), is held in Shijiazhuang, Hebei province.

: The first ADMM Plus 8 (ADMM+) is held in Hanoi. Defense ministers or representatives from the 10 ASEAN states and their eight dialogue partners (Australia, China, India, Japan, the ROK, New Zealand, Russia, and the US) attend.

: China releases nine Vietnamese fishermen that had been detained in the disputed Paracel archipelago in the South China Sea since Sept. 11.

: North Korea’s lead Six-Party Talks negotiator Kim Gye-Gwan meets Chinese Vice Foreign Minister and chief negotiator at the Six-Party Talks Wu Dawei in Beijing.

: Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister and chief Russian negotiator at the Six-Party Talks Alexei Borodavkin travels to Seoul to meet Wi Sung-lac, South Korea’s lead negotiator for Six-Party Talks, and Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan.

: ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting (ADMM) is held in Hanoi.

: South Korean Defense Minister Kim Tae-young meets US Defense Secretary Robert Gates in Washington for an annual Security Consultative Meeting (SCM).

: Secretary Campbell visits Seoul for talks on a wide range of issues.

: US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell visits Tokyo to discuss strategies to deal with North Korea.

: Vietnam demands the release of 11 fishermen who were arrested by Chinese authorities near the Paracel Islands on Sept. 11.

: ROK President Lee Myung-bak meets European Union (EU) President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso. They agree to form a strategic partnership and sign the Korea-EU free trade agreement (FTA).

:   The eighth Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) is held in Brussels, Belgium.  Australia, Russia, and New Zealand join as new members.

: UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference is held in Tianjian.

Date Range