Regional Overview

Chronology from Apr 2005 to Jul 2005

: North Korea restarts construction on two nuclear reactors halted under the 1994 Agreed Framework.

: U.S. House of Representatives votes 333-92 to block the Bush administration from approving CNOOC takeover of Unocal.

: U.S. envoy DeTrani speaks with senior North Korean diplomat Ri Gun at an academic conference in New York.

: Dalai Lama’s envoys and Chinese officials meet in Bern, Switzerland; fourth meeting since the two sides renewed contact in September 2002.

: Thailand PM Thaksin makes an official visit to China.

: Presidents Hu and Putin meet at the start of a four-day visit to Russia.

: Minister Chung briefs VP Cheney and other officials in Washington on his meeting with Kim Jong-il.

: PM Koizumi expresses willingness to keep SDF in Iraq beyond the December deadline.

: U.S. authorities are given new powers to freeze assets of companies believed to be helping North Korea, Iran, and Syria pursue WMD programs.

: Korean Minister of Unification Chung Dong-young briefs Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley in Washington on his recent visit with Kim Jong-il.

: India and U.S. sign 10-year defense agreement that covers cooperation in weapons production and technology transfers.

: Japan’s Emperor Akihito visits WWII memorials in Saipan.

: Chinese customs officials seize 128 Japanese history textbooks over the color of Taiwan and depiction of contested Senkaku/Daioyutai islands.

: The 18th ASEAN-U.S. Dialogue held in Washington, D.C.

: President Arroyo admits a “lapse in judgement” by phoning an election’s official during May 2004 vote count.

: FM Downer says Australia will decide by August whether to sign ASEAN’s Treaty of Amity and Cooperation, thus making it eligible to attend the inaugural East Asia Summit in December.

: China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) offers unsolicited bid of $18.5 billion for Unocal, ninth largest U.S. oil firm.

: Donald Tsang appointed Hong Kong’s new chief executive.

: North and South Korea meet for Cabinet-level talks in Seoul; DPRK delegation leader Kwon meets President Roh; talks close with a 12-point joint statement, pledging to resume most previous channels of North-South cooperation and set up new ones.

: PM Koizumi and President Roh hold summit to discuss relations between Tokyo and Seoul.

: Vietnamese PM Phan Van Khai visits U.S., meets President Bush (June 21).

: ROK Unification Minister Chung meet with Kim Jong-il for five hours to mark the 2000 intra-Korea summit. DPRK states that it is ready to go back to the talks and give up short- and long-range missiles, as soon as Washington shows Pyongyang some respect.

: U.S. announces alternative UN reform package, which calls for addition of two permanent seats.

: Kang Chol-hwan, a DPRK gulag survivor and author, meets President Bush.

: President Roh visits Washington for summit with President Bush.

: A full-scale report of Japan-ROK Joint History Research, launched at a summit between PM Koizumi and President Kim Dae-jung in October 2001, is released, showing a perception gap on key historical events.

: Japanese FM Machimura travels to Brunei, Vietnam, and Cambodia to secure help in UNSC bid.

: SCO holds annual foreign ministerial meeting in Astana. The decision is made to admit Iran, India, and Pakistan as SCO observers.

: IISS “Shangri-La Dialogue” held in Singapore.

: Foreign ministers of Russia, China, and India meet in Vladivostok to discuss multipolar approaches to global problems.

: China scraps export tariffs on 81 categories of clothing, in response to the EU’s decision to impose quotas as well as U.S. decision to re-impose restrictions on Chinese imports.

: Russian FM Lavrov meets FM Machimura in Tokyo, discusses proposed Putin visit to Japan in late 2005.

: APEC ministers responsible for trade meet in Cheju.

: Russian oil magnate Khordorkovsky is sentenced to nine years in prison by a court in Moscow; Bush calls the verdict “unfair.”

: U.S. Commerce Secretary Gutierrez travels to Russia and China.

: Pentagon confirms deployment of 15 stealth fighters to South Korea and suspension of joint U.S.-North Korea program to recover remains of U.S. service men from the Korean War.

: South Korea and Japan sign bilateral agreement on currency swaps worth $3 billion.

: Team of scholars and civic organizations from China, Japan, and South Korea jointly publish middle school history textbook.

: Jakarta and GAM meet in Helsinki for another round of peace talks.

: President Yudhoyono visits U.S., meets with President Bush.

: Senior Japanese and U.S. officials meet in Washington for talks on base realignments, defense cooperation, and cost sharing.

: Chinese Vice Premier Wu Yi cancels meeting with Koizumi due to “sudden duty” in China.

: Nambariin Enkbayar of the People’s Revolutionary Party is elected president of Mongolia.

: WHO Assembly refuses Taiwan’s application for membership.

: ARF Senior Officials Meeting held in Vientiane, Laos.

: China announces new export tariffs on 74 types of goods.

: Negotiators conclude details on customs procedures and reductions in import tariffs on 5,000 items under the ASEAN-China FTA.

: U.S. adds four more categories of Chinese textile and apparel products to temporary quotas list.

: North and South Korea meet in Kaesong, North Korea to discuss inter-Korean issues. South Korea agrees to send 200,000 tons of fertilizer.

: U.S. warns Group of Four (Germany, Japan, Brazil, and India) that it will not support their UNSC bid unless they agree not to ask for vetoes. Japan’s ambassador to U.S. Kato Ryozo says the “Security Council is not like an aircraft, with first class, business, and economy seat.”

: U.S. and North Korea meet for secret working-level talks in New York.

: U.S. announces imposition of temporary quotas on three categories of clothing from China after deciding that a surge in imports is disrupting the U.S. market.

: Hu and Soong make joint statement mentioning “two sides, one China.”

: John R. Bolton nomination for UN Ambassador sent to full Senate without recommendations.

: DPRK spokesman states 8,000 fuel rods were removed at Yongbyon nuclear complex.

: Japanese Vice FM Yachi tells visiting ROK lawmakers that Tokyo is unwilling to share all intelligence on North Korea due to a distrust between Washington and Seoul.

: World leaders, including Pres. Bush celebrate in Moscow the 60th anniversary of victory over Nazi forces. Numerous side meetings occur.

: U.S. negotiator for the Six-Party Talks Joseph DeTrani meets with North Korean officials at Pyongyang’s mission to the UN.

: State Dept. reaffirms U.S. backing for Japan’s UNSC bid.

: Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) takes place in Kyoto.

: President Bush speaks with Chinese President Hu by phone on the North Korean nuclear impasse, the fate of the Six-Party Talks, and cross-Strait relations.

: Taiwan’s People’s First Party Chairman James Soong travels to China.

: President Chen reiterates there was no 1992 consensus; invites Hu to come and observe Taiwan’s sovereignty.

: USFK Gen. LaPorte says any military action against DPRK requires U.S. and ROK consensus.

: Deputy Secretary Zoellick travels to Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore, and the Philippines.

: Cobra Gold disaster response military exercises with U.S., Thai, Singapore, and Japan open in Chiang-Mai, Thailand.

: 2005 NPT Review Conference is held at the UN. No official statement is released.

: Japan extends Maritime Self-Defense Force refueling mission in the Indian Ocean for another half year.

: DPRK launches short-range missile into the Sea of Japan.

: North Korea responds, calling Bush a “hooligan bereft of any personality as a human being.”

: Rob Portman is appointed new USTR, calls beef trade issues top priority.

: FM Machimura leaves for an eight-day trip to the U.S., to discuss Japan’s bid for permanent UNSC seat and the DPRK nuclear program.

: In a press conference, President Bush calls North Korean leader Kim Jong-il a “tyrant” and a “dangerous person.”

: DPRK is kept on State Department’s state sponsors of terror list.

: President Hu and Philippine President Arroyo discuss bilateral relations and regional issues.

: Indonesian President Yudhoyono and President Hu signs joint declaration on strategic cooperative partnership.

: KMT Chairman Lien Chan visits China and meets with President Hu, the first meeting of Nationalist and Communist leaders since the 1949 split.

: President Hu and PM Koizumi meet on the sidelines of AAS to discuss anti-Japanese sentiment in China.

: Wall Street Journal reports that North Korea is planning a nuclear test.

: 80 Japanese lawmakers visit Yakusuni Shrine.

: DPRK Kim Young-nam and ROK PM Lee Hae-chan meet twice on the sidelines of the AAS; agree to resume inter-Korean talks.

: In his AAS keynote address, Japanese PM Koizumi offers apologies for Japanese aggression before and during World War II.

: Over 1,200 senior politicians, scholars, and businessmen attend the annual Boao Forum.

: Chinese President Hu visits Brunei, Indonesia, and Philippines; attends the Asia-Africa Summit (AAS).

: U.S. threatens to refer the nuclear issue to the UNSC should Pyongyang refuse to restart six-party process.

: G8 finance ministers meet in Washington.

: Australian PM Howard visits Premier Wen Jiabao, signs memorandum of understanding to work on an FTA.

: North Korea is reported to have shut down its five-megawatt reactor at Yongbyun to remove spent fuel rods for the purpose of reprocessing.

: More anti-Japanese protests in 10 Chinese cities.

: Tokyo announces deep-sea gas exploration rights will be awarded to private companies in disputed East China Sea area.

: In Germany, ROK President Roh says that “serious aid” to North Korean will only be possible when the nuclear problem is resolved; says “the possibility of North Korea’s collapse is very low” and he “has no intention to encourage it.”

: Former Indonesian President Megawati visits Pyongyang, carrying a “reconciliatory” message from President Roh.

: U.S. and China hold inaugural U.S.-China Global Issues Forum in Washington.

: Jakarta and Free Aceh Movement (GAM) hold peace talks.

: Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill says no deadline has been set for Six-Party Talks and no concessions will be offered to Pyongyang to return to the talks.

: Thomas Schieffer takes up post as new U.S. ambassador to Japan.

: Japan and ROK agree to step up efforts to complete an FTA by year’s end.

: In Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen, thousands protest Japan’s bid for UNSC seat, new textbook, and dispute over energy deposits in the East China Sea.

: U.S. and China agree to hold regular senior-level talks on political and economic issues. Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick will lead U.S. side.

: U.S. and Thailand conclude third round of FTA negotiations.

: Dalai Lama begins 11-day visit to Japan.

: Japanese FM Machimura and ROK FM Ban hold a side meeting at the Asian Cooperation Dialogue; discuss the Tokdo/Takashima dispute.

: PRC voices support for South Korea’s plan to play the role of a “balancer” in Northeast.

: Japan approves new junior high school history textbooks; Seoul and Beijing protest the “whitewashing of Japan’s militaristic past.”

: State Department issues a statement of concern over avian flu, which has killed 50 people in Southeast Asia to date, and offers bilateral technical and epidemiological help to affected countries.

: Over 20 million Chinese signed an internet petition to block Japan’s UNSC bid.

: Pope John Paul II dies.

: Anti-Japanese demonstrations in Chengdu, Shenzen, and Chongqing, express opposition to Japan’s efforts to secure permanent UNSC seat.

Date Range