Regional Overview

Chronology from Apr 2003 to Jul 2003

:   ROK and DPRK officials participate in ground-breaking ceremony for the Kaesong joint industrial park, north of the DMZ.

: North-South Korea divided family reunion held at Mt. Kumgang.

:   Japan announces suspension of economic aid to Burma pending release of Aung San Suu Kyi.

: ROK special prosecutor concludes 70-day investigation into secret payments made to North Korea, reprimands former administration, and charges three in connection with the scandal.

: 53rd anniversary of the Korean War. ROK urges North Korea to dismantle its nuclear program for international aid; 1 million Pyongyang residents participate in anti-U.S. rallies.

: PM Howard announces Australian soldiers and police will be sent to Solomon Islands (following request by its PM) to prevent drug dealers and terrorists from exploiting current instability.

:   WHO announces removal of SARS travel warning from Beijing.

:   Indian PM Atal Behari Vajpayee visits China, meets Premier Wen Jiabao and other officials.  Vajpayee announces Indian recognition of Tibet as a part of china; the two states issue joint declaration appointing special envoys to make progress on long-standing border disputes.

:   Indonesian police announce arrest of 10 JI members.

: DPRK vows retaliation and “strong emergency measures” if U.S. formally presents resolution to the UNSC.

:   ASEAN Regional Forum meets in Phnom Penh; calls on North Korea to rejoin the NPT and urges early release of Aung San Suu Kyi. Sec. Powell holds side meetings with counterparts.

: U.S. agrees to transfer Marine suspected in rape case to Okinawan authorities.

:   Red Cross request for access to Aung San Suu Kyi denied.

: DPRK announces it will “put further spurs to increasing its nuclear deterrent force.”

: U.S. presents draft UNSC resolution condemning North Korea’s nuclear weapons program; Chinese diplomats say its premature.

: ASEAN Plus Three and separate Plus Three (ROK, PRC, Japan) meetings in Phnom Penh.

:   WHO lifts SARS travel warning to Taiwan.

:   Malaysia hosts WHO meeting on SARS.

:   DPRK criticizes U.S. crackdown on illegal trafficking; says U.S. should “mind its own business.”

:   Japanese police demand U.S. military transfer marine suspected of May 25 sexual assault of Okinawan woman to local authorities.

:   ASEAN ministers meeting in Phnom Penh; ministers call for “peaceful transition to democracy” in Myanmar and early lifting of restrictions on Aung San Suu Kyi.

:   Bali bombing trial for the alleged operations chief of JI, Mukhlas, begins.

:   PM Thaksin announces Thai Muslim militants were planning terrorist attacks in Bangkok during the APEC meeting in October.

:   ROK and DPRK symbolic ceremony in the DMZ to commemorate joint railway (which is not yet operational).

: Thai police arrest man selling radioactive material for use in making  “dirty bombs.”

:   A candlelight vigil in Seoul marking the anniversary of the deaths of two school girls killed by a U.S. military vehicle draws nearly 20,000.

: WHO announces travel warning restrictions lifted for Hebei, Inner Mongolia, the Shanxi and Tianjin regions in China.

:   Eleven nation “coalition of the willing” supports U.S. Proliferation Security Initiative in Madrid.

:   Asst. Secretary Kelly hosts TCOG meeting in Honolulu; all agree that ROK and Japan participation in DPRK nuclear weapons talks is “indispensable.”

:   U.S. Senate votes to ban all imports from Burma.

:   Singapore PM Goh meets President Bush in Washington.

:   UN envoy Razali Ismail meets with Aung San Suu Kyi, presses junta for her release.

: Thai police arrest four suspected JI members who were reportedly planning to bomb embassies and beach resorts in Thailand.

:   PM Thaksin meets President Bush in Washington.

:   Japan detains two DPRK cargo ships.

:   DPRK claims nuclear weapons needed to reduce costs associated with its conventional forces.

:   Deputy Secretary of State Armitage visits Tokyo.

: ASEAN Plus Three meeting on SARS in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

:   DPRK suspends ferry service to Japan following Japan’s announcement of stricter safety and security searches.

: Japanese Diet enacts special legislation to respond to security emergencies.

: President Roh visits Tokyo, meets Emperor Akihito; holds summit with PM Koizumi.

:   U.S. and ROK officials agree on two-phase, multi-year consolidation of U.S. troops around “key hubs” south of Seoul.

: South Korean police seize 50 kilos of meth-amphetamine from Chinese ship that had transited DPRK.

:   Over 12,000 people gather in Hong Kong for a candlelight ceremony commemorating Tiananmen 14th anniversary.

:   DPRK warns naval clashes could trigger war.  South Korean Navy fires warning shots at a North Korean fishing boat hours later.

: President Bush and other international leaders call on Burma to immediately release Suu Kyi.

:   China and 10 other Asia-Pacific countries, including five ASEAN members, agree to establish an Asian Bond Fund worth more than $1 billion.

: President Hu and PM Mahathir meet on margins of G-8 summit.

: G-8 summit in Evian, France. President Hu is first Chinese leader to participate as observer.

:   South Korean Navy fires warning shots after North Korean fishing boats cross disputed maritime border.

:   China blocks Yangtze River and starts to fill Three Gorges Dam reservoir.

: ROK Navy fires warning shots at North Korean fishing boats.

:   St. Petersburg Tricentennial.  Numerous summit meetings occur on the sidelines including first meeting between PM Koizumi and President Hu. President Putin meets with President Bush, President Hu, PM Koizumi, among others.

:   Singapore removed from list of countries affected by SARS virus.

:   Aung San Suu Kyi and 19 National League for Democracy (NLD) top party members placed into “protective custody” after violent clashes between her supporters and opponents. Junta announces closure of NLD offices in Rangoon.

:   Deputy Defense Secretary Wolfowitz visits Singapore, Seoul, and Tokyo.

:   DPRK accuses ROK of sending warships across the disputed Yellow Sea border, warns of “irrevocable serious consequences.”

:   Pentagon official says, “everything is going to move everywhere,” as DoD rethinks its overseas military presence.

:   SCO summit in Moscow. Russia and China issue statement calling for reform of the UN to uphold its pivotal role in world affairs.

: Three U.S. members of Congress, led by Rep. Curt Weldon, visit  Pyongyang.

:   Burma’s military junta accuses Aung San Suu Kyi’s supporters of physically assaulting “peaceful” opponents during her trip to the north.

:   A Burmese pro-junta group threatens supporters of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

:   President Hu visits President Putin in Moscow.

: U.S. imposes trade sanctions on China for technology transfers that advanced the Iranian ballistic missile program.

:   Secretary Powell attends G-8 foreign ministers meeting in Paris.

: PM Koizumi visits Crawford, Texas, discusses cooperation on North Korea and rebuilding Iraq with President Bush.

:   WHO issues SARS travel warning for the whole of Taiwan.

:   White House releases unclassified version of National Security Policy Directive 23, outlining global missile defense system.

:   East Timor celebrates first year of independence.

:   Indonesia declares martial law in Aceh and begins military offensive.

:   Taiwan announces 35 SARS-related deaths, third-highest behind China and Hong Kong.

:   Philippines President Macapagal-Arroyo visits Washington, meets President Bush.

:   Taiwan’s minister of health resigns following SARS outbreaks at three major hospitals

:   China threatens to execute or jail for life anyone who breaks SARS quarantine orders and spreads the deadly virus intentionally.

: China joins 10 other countries as observers of annual Cobra Gold exercises in Thailand.  The focus this year is peacekeeping and antiterrorism training.

: Secretary of State Colin Powell visits Moscow, meets President Putin.

:   DPRK nullifies 1992 Inter-Korean Denuclearization Declaration.

:   Trial of Bali bombing suspect Amrozi begins.

:   President Roh visits U.S., meets President Bush; joint statement warns North Korea that escalation may result in “further steps.”

: Four Free Aceh Movement members arrested for April 27 Jakarta bombing.

:   WHO extends its SARS travel advisory to Taipei.

: U.S. Under Secretary of State John Bolton travels to Moscow in a bid to increase pressure on Iran and DPRK.

:   Seventy Chinese sailors aboard a diesel-powered submarine die in Yellow Sea training accident.

: PM John Howard visits President Bush in Crawford, Texas.

: President Bush announces that major combat phase in Iraq has ended.

: China reduces Golden Week holiday to a long weekend, discourages travel to rural areas.

: SCO foreign ministers meeting in Kazakhstan.

:   ASEAN-China emergency summit on SARS in Bangkok.

: WHO announces Vietnam is the first nation to contain the SARS epidemic.

:   China closes theaters, Internet cafes, discos, and other public venues to stop the spread of SARS.

:   Taiwan announces first SARS death and imposes 10-day mandatory quarantine on all arrivals from China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam, and Toronto.

:   A bomb explodes in Jakarta airport, injuring six.

: ASEAN Plus Three SARS meeting in Kuala Lumpur.

:   Balikatan-03, joint U.S.-Philippine training exercise in Luzon.

:   Asst. Secretary Kelly in Seoul and Tokyo for debriefing on trilateral talks in Beijing.

: Aceh talks cancelled.

:   Asst. Secretary of State James Kelly in Beijing for 3-day trilateral talks with North Korea and China.

:   Officials announce that public schools in Beijing will close for two weeks.

:   Burma’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi criticizes the military junta for refusing to start serious political talks.

:   Indonesian police arrest Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) leader Abu Rusdan.

:   Peace talks announced in Geneva between Indonesian government and Free Aceh Movement.

: PRC President Hu Jintao meets with DPRK Gen. Cho Myong-rok.

:   Chinese health minister and Beijing’s mayor removed from office over SARS handling.

:   Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri visits Moscow.

:   U.S., Japanese, and South Korean officials meet in Washington to discuss impending North Korea talks

:  Chinese Politburo announces all officials must be truthful on all aspects of SARS reporting, without delay or deceit.

:   Australian Navy seizes DPRK vessel, the Pong Su for smuggling illegal drugs.

:   The WHO warns that China has failed to report all SARS cases.

: ROK and PRC FMs Yoon and Li meet in Beijing; agree to multilateral dialogue to resolve DPRK nuclear issue.

:  Malaysia bans all tourists from China to stop the spread of the SARS.

: Japanese FM Kawaguchi visits Beijing, invites PM Wen to visit Japan.

:   DPRK cancels 10th South-North Inter-Ministerial talks scheduled for the same day.

: U.S. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice holds talks with President Putin in Moscow.

:   Chinese PM Wen Jiabao reports China is capable of curbing the spread of SARS.

:   Russian President Vladimir Putin urges the Russian Parliament to ratify the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty with the U.S.

: ROK National Security Advisor Ra Jong-yil meets with Chinese counterpart in Beijing for talks on North Korea.

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