Regional Overview

Chronology from Apr 2007 to Jul 2007

: U.S. House of Representatives passes a nonbinding resolution urging Japan to formally apologize for coercing thousands of young women into sexual slavery during World War II.

: The Democratic Party of Japan wins 60 of the 121 contested seats in elections putting the ruling Liberal Democratic Party in a minority in the Upper House.

: 40th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting held in Manila.

:   According to the Singaporean Straits Times, a group of Vietnamese boats fishing in waters near the Spratly Islands came under fire from Chinese naval vessels in July. One fisherman was killed and several others hurt.

: ASEAN Senior Officials meet in Manila.

: Military to military talks between South and North Korea break down over a disagreement about the sea boundary between the countries.

: State Department announces that Secretary of State Rice will not attend the ARF meeting in Manila Aug. 1-2, drawing criticism from the region.

: A sixth round of general-level military talks at Panmunjom ends in rancor when the North walks out over the South’s refusal to countenance redrawing the Northern Limit Line (NLL), the de facto western sea border between the Koreas.

: The UN announces that its legal affairs office rejected Taiwan’s application for entry.

: Indonesian President Yudhoyono visits Seoul.

: First Session of the Sixth Round of Six-Party Talks resumes in Beijing after a four month recess.

: IAEA confirms that the DPRK has shut down its Yongbyon reactor.

: U.S. announces that President Bush will attend the APEC meeting in Sydney in September, but will not attend a meeting with ASEAN leaders in Singapore afterward.

: A magnitude 6.8 earthquake in northwestern Japan causes a fire and radioactive water leak at Kashiwazaki, the world’s largest nuclear plant.

: North Korea states that it has shut down its Yongbyon nuclear facility after receiving the first shipment of heavy fuel oil on July 13.

: Indonesian and Philippine foreign ministers sign agreements to improve cooperation in broad range of areas including security, trade, education and energy.

: First shipment (6,200 tons) of 50,000 metric ton heavy fuel oil as required by the Feb. 13 six-party agreement leaves South Korea for North Korea.

: Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill travels to Tokyo, Seoul, and Beijing for consultations on Six-Party Talks and bilateral issues.

: China executes the former head of the Food and Drug Administration Zheng Xiaoyu for taking bribes to approve untested medicine.

: North Korea extends an official invitation to IAEA inspectors to monitor the shutdown of nuclear facilities at Yongbyon, DPRK.

: IAEA meets in Geneva and approves the return of its inspectors to North Korea where they will monitor the shutdown of the nuclear facilities at Yongbyon.

: Thailand Supreme Court accepts the first criminal corruption charges against former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

: A military panel in Thailand approves the final draft of a new constitution which severely limits the power of future prime ministers.

: In conjunction with a visit by Prime Minister Nguyen Tang Dun, India and Vietnam sign a joint declaration on establishing a bilateral strategic relationship that envisages establishing a joint anti-terror mechanism and closer defense cooperation.

: APEC trade ministers meet in Queensland, Australia.

: Chinese FM Yang visits Jakarta and meets President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

: Koike Yuriko is sworn in as Japan’s defense minister.

: International Olympic Committee awards 2014 Winter Games to Sochi, Russia.

: Japan Defense Minister Kyuma Fumio resigns over comments suggesting the 1945 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were inevitable.

: Thailand announces it will extend a state of emergency in its southern provinces from July 19, 2007 to Oct. 18, 2007.

: Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi visits Pyongyang.

: The 10th anniversary of the Asian Financial Crisis.

: At a forum in Seoul, Gen. Burwell Bell, commander of U.S. Forces Korea, says that North Korea remains a threat despite its move toward dismantling their nuclear program.

: President Vladimir Putin visits President George Bush at the Bush family home in Kennebunkport, Maine.

: Former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick begins term as the 11th president of the World Bank.

: Tenth anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong by the British to China.

: Protestors march in Hong Kong asking for more democracy and for the first time a Roman Catholic bishop of Hong Kong participated.

: Vladimir Putin visits George Bush at the Bush family home in Kennebunkport, Maine.

: National Assembly election is held in Timor Leste.

: U.S. and South Korean officials sign the FTA in Washington despite threat from Democratic Congressional leaders to oppose ratification of the agreement.

: Chinese FM Yang Jiechi visits Mongolia, North Korea, and Indoneisa.

: The U.S. and Russian governments sign a Section 123 Agreement opening the road for further civilian nuclear cooperation.

: President Hu Jintao visits Hong Kong to swear in Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tseng and to attend the “Handover” festivities.

: Russia successfully tests new sea-based ballistic missile Bulava, which was designed to have a range of 6,200 miles and to carry six individually targeted nuclear warheads. It flew across the country and hit its target in Kampucha.

: A White House spokesman says the U.S. is “deeply troubled” by repeated North Korean short-range missile tests, which occurred on May 25, June 7, and June 27.

: IAEA inspectors arrive in Pyongyang to inspect Yongbyon and a new facility under construction in Taechon.

: The ninth Japan-China Consulations on the East China Sea and other matters is held in Tokyo.

: The U.S. House of Representative Foreign Relations Committee passes a resolution condemning Japan’s sexual enslavement of women during World War II and the resolution urges Japan to acknowledge and apologize to the “comfort women.”

: China arranges meeting between a U.S. delegation led by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Eric John and a Myanmar delegation led by Information Minister Kyaw San and Foreign Minister Nyan Win in Beijing. They discuss human rights issues including the detention of Aung San Suu Kyi.

: Chief of the U.S. Pacific Command Adm. Timothy Keating visits the Philippines for high level military and political discussions.

: Chinese President Hu Jintao, in a speech to the Central Party School that lays out his vision of China, states that the Communist Party should retain control for the foreseeable future and economic reforms should continue.

: North Korea announces that it has received funds from the once-frozen BDA accounts and is ready to fulfill its part of the Feb. 13 six-party agreement.

: The World Economic Forum on East Asia 2007 is held in Singapore.

: First plenary meeting of second phase of the Korea-Japan Joint History Research Committee is held in Tokyo.

: Amb. Hill announces in Seoul that North Korea has reaffirmed its willingness to shut down its nuclear reactor under the Feb. 13 agreement.

: FMs Song Min-soon and Sergei Lavrov have phone consultations over the current progress of the North Korean nuclear issue.

: Chinese Vice FM Dai Bingguo meets with Secretary Rice and National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley after the Senior Dialogue concludes.

: Thai prosecutors charge ousted Prime Minister Thaksin and his wife with corruption. The Supreme Court will decide July 10 whether to hear the case.

: ROK FM Song Min-soon holds phone consultations with FMs Yang Jiechi and Aso Taro regarding developments in the North Korean nuclear issue.

: Assistant Secretary Hill visits Pyongyang and has discussions on “all aspects of the six-party proecess” with DPRK Foreign Minister Pak Ui-chan and nuclear talks counterpart Kim Gye-gwan.

: The second U.S.-China Senior Dialogue is held in Washington.

: The 20th ASEAN-U.S. Dialogue is held in Washington, D.C.

: U.S. Congress passes International Nuclear Fuel for Peace and Nonproliferation Act of 2007. The bill establishes an international fuel bank be set up under the IAEA and be available to countries cooperating with IAEA inspectors.

: The Thai Cabinet proposes an internal security law that would allow the head of the army to overrule civilian authorities.

: Ambassador Hill says BDA funds have been transferred to North Korea.

: ROK FM Song Min-soon and Secretary Rice consult by phone over the North Korean nuclear issue and the KORUS FTA.

: Assistant Secretary Christopher Hill visits Japan to exchange views on North Korean issues.

: A U.S. Navy delegation led by Adm. Mike Mullen, Chief of Naval Operations, visits Vietnam for talks with the Vietnam Navy High Command.

: Assistant Secretary Hill visits Beijing and meets Vice FM Wu Dawei to discuss the Six-Party Talks.

: Assistant Secretary Hill and Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs Chun Yung-woo meet in Beijing to discuss progress in the upcoming round of Six-Party Talks.

: Vietnamese President Nguyen Minh Triet visits U.S. at the invitation of President Bush, the first time that a Vietnamese president has traveled to the U.S. since the end of the Vietnam War.

: Eighth round of negotiations over South Korean and Japanese exclusive economic zones are held in Seoul.

: Philippines Secretary of Foreign Affairs Alberto Gatmaitan Romulo pays an official visit to China at the invitation of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi.

: A full page advertisement in the Washington Post – running under the header “The Facts” – is taken out by Japanese Diet members and commentators, disputing claims that Japan engaged in “forceful coercion” of “comfort women.”

: The sixth meeting of the U.S.-China Joint Liaison Group on law enforcement cooperation in the areas of anti-corruption, anti-terrorism, cyber crime, human trafficking, IPR, and legal assistance is held in Beijing.

: The 12th meeting of the Korea-China Joint Committee on Environmental Cooperation is held in Huangshin, China over the issues of dust and sandstorm (DSS) response cooperation, Yellow Sea preservation, environmental industry cooperation, and environmental technology joint research.

: A Russian Finance Ministry spokesman states that Russia is preparing to help North Korea transfer funds from Banco Delta Asia; first withdrawals reportedly take place.

: Thai Assets Examination Commission (AEC) freezes more than 50 billion baht (about $1.6 billion) of former PM Thaksin Shinawatra’s assets.

: U.S. and Australian defense forces conduct the second part of a two-part Talisman Saber 2007 in Australia.

: The 100-member committee begins debate in drafting a Thai constitution.

: State of Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle and Indonesian Defense Minister Juwono Sudarsono announce a joint National Guard State Partnership Program (SPP) between Indonesia and Hawaii in coordination with U.S. Pacific Command.

: The 14th Korea-China Working Level Trade Talks are held in Seoul to discuss ways to further promote and cooperate on trade issues between the two nations.

: The Outreach G-8 Session is held in Heiligendamm following the summit to exchange views on innovation and intellectual property rights, investment liberalization, social responsibility, energy, climate change, and other developmental issues with China, India, Brazil, South Africa, and Mexico.

: Vice Premier Wu Yi is in Russia to attend the 11th International Economic Forum and activities related to “China Year in Russia.”

: China announces establishment of diplomatic relations with Costa Rica.

: North Korea conducts a short-range missile test off its western coast.

: Japan and Australia hold “2+2” meetings in Tokyo to boost security cooperation.

: The 31st G-8 Summit is held in Heiligendamm, Germany. President Bush meets Japanese PM Abe on the sidelines of the meeting June 6 to discuss issues on North Korea, energy, and climate change.

: Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla makes an official visit to China at the invitation of Chinese Vice President Zeng Qinghong.

: On the sidelines of the ACD meeting, FMs Song Min-soon and Sergei Lavrov discuss the North Korean nuclear issue and bilateral cooperation in the development of the Far East and the Siberian region.

: The sixth Asia Cooperation Dialogue is held in Seoul.

: China, Japan, and ROK Foreign Ministers’ meeting is held in Jeju, Korea. Bilateral meetings among the country were also held.

: Japan-U.S.-Australia Defense Ministerial Meeting is held on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue.

: Japan-ROK defense ministers meet on sidelines of Shangri-La Dialogue.

: Four North Korean defectors arrive in the port of Aomori Prefecture, Japan.

: Korea-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement in Goods enters into force. The agreement applies to Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, and Vietnam.

: North Korea rejects implementing the Feb. 13 denuclearization agreement until the BDA dispute is resolved.

: The second Japan-Russia Strategic Dialogue is held in Tokyo, Japan.

: The sixth IISS Shangri-La Dialgue is held in Singapore. Defense Security Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff U.S. Marine Gen. Peter Pace attend the meeting.

: U.S.-Philippine naval Carat exercise begins in the Muslim militant region of Basilan. 1400 U.S. forces are participating with a focus on anti-terrorism, counter-smuggling, and humanitarian activities.

: Thai Constitutional Court outlaws the former prime minister’s Thai Rak Thai party and bans 111 party leaders, including Thaksin Shinawatra, from politics.

: Assistant Secretary Hill meets Vice FM Wu Dawei to discuss the progress of the Six-Party Talks and the DPRK-related DBA fund issues. Hill also meets Assistant FM He Yafei to discuss U.S.-China bilateral issues.

: Former Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui visits Japan.

: Russian Strategic Rocket Forces states it has tested an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of carrying independent warheads.

: Korean and U.S. FTA delegations meet in Washington to complete the legal review process of the FTA text.

: The eighth Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) foreign minister’s meeting is held in Hamburg, Germany.

: Assistant Secretary Hill visits Indonesia to discuss bilateral and global issues, as well as progress on the Six-Party Talks.

: Pentagon releases annual report to Congress on China’s military power. Chinese Foreign Ministry expresses “strong dissatisfaction and resolute objection.”

: The full text of the U.S.-Korea FTA is released.

: Japan and China hold the eighth round of East China Sea talks in Beijing.

: U.S. and Japan hold a plenary session in Washington to discuss the civil use of the Global Positioning System and its augmentations.

: Japanese Foreign Ministry announces establishment of the International Manga Award. Foreign Minister Aso Taro will be on the selection committee.

: India cancels a training program visit by government officials to China over China’s refusal to issue a visa to an official from the Arunachal Pradesh region. China’s reason is that the official is a Chinese citizen, therefore no visa need be given.

: On the sidelines of the ASEAN Regional Forum’s security policy dialogue, U.S., Japan, Australia, and India meet for the first “exploratory meeting” to discuss security issues.

: The U.S. and Australia conduct the first-phase of the two-phased Talisman Sabre 2007 biannual joint and combined exercise in Alaska. June 12-July 2 is the second half of the exercise to be held in Australia.

: Assistant Secretary Hill on a Southeast Asia visit urges Burma to free Nobel laureate and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. However, the Burmese junta extended her house arrest for another year.

: U.S.-China strategic economic dialogue is held in Washington. U.S. Secretary of Treasury Paulson and Chinese Vice Premier Wu Yi head the delegations.

: A DPRK merchant ship Kangsong docks in Busan for the first time since the Korean War.

: First round of consultations, as prescribed by the seventh annual meeting of leaders of China, Japan, and the ROK held in January, is held in Beijing. Chinese Assistant Minister Cui Tiankai, Japanese Deputy Foreign Minister Yabunaka Mitoji, and ROK Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Shim Yoon-joe attend.

: The Chinese government announces that it has invested $3 billion with the Blackstone Group, a U.S.-based private equity firm.

: North and South Korea do a one time test-run of linked railroad tracks. To do the test-run, South Korea agreed to supply the North with $80 million of aid to develop light industry.

: Japanese Assistant to the Prime Minister Nakayama Kyoko in charge of the abductions issue meets Chinese Vice Foreign Ministers Wu Dawei and Dai Bingguo to discuss China-Japan relations and the North Korea nuclear issue.

: Sixth meeting of the High Level Task Force on the Drafting of the ASEAN Charter is held in Penang, Malaysia.

: The State Department expresses concern over a Russian deal to provide a nuclear research reactor for Burma which has “neither the regulatory nor the legal framework or safeguard provisions” to handle a nuclear program.

: Vietnamese President Nguyen Minh Triet makes a state visit to China at the invitation of Chinese President Hu Jintao.

: Chinese cargo ship Jinsheng collides with ROK cargo ship Golden Rose and does not render aid. All 16 crewmembers are lost on the Golden Rose.

: Washington announces new trade policy that incorporates labor, the environment, and intellectual property rights protection.

: The sixth Japan-ROK Politico-Military Talks are held in Tokyo to exchange views of the two countries on the emerging security environment, the security policies of the two countries, and shared common understandings.

: Adm. Timothy Keating, commander of Pacific Command, visits China to meet senior Chinese military and civilian leaders. He visits China’s eastern regional command in Nanjing, which has responsibility over the area of China directly across from Taiwan.

: Presidents Bush and Hu in a telephone call exchange views on climate change and North Korean nuclear issue.

: Some 108 U.S. House of Representative members write to President Hu Jintao asking China to stop aiding the Sudanese government and stop the deterioration of the situation in Darfur. The letter says that if China’s position remains unchanged, they would call for a boycott of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

: Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jose Ramos-Horta elected president of Timor Leste.

: Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Shiozaki Yasuhisa announces that PM Abe sent an offering to Tokyo’s Yasukuni Shrine in late April in his “private capacity.”

: Fifth inter-Korean general-level military talks are held at Panmunjom.

: Annual Thai-U.S. Cobra Gold exercises begin in the Thai resort town of Pattaya. Of a total of almost 5,000 personnel, 1,900 are from the United States with smaller contingents from Singapore, Japan, and Indonesia. Cobra Gold is the largest U.S.-led multilateral exercise in Asia.

: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong makes an official visit to the U.S. to meet President Bush, Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, among others.

: Japan-U.S. Security Consultative Committee (2+2) held in Washington, D.C. The 2+2 Joint Statement calls for greater Chinese military transparency, but does not mention Taiwan.

: Chinese Vice FM Yang Jiechi is appointed new foreign minister.

: Singapore and Indonesia sign an extradition pact and military cooperation agreement in Bali.

: Japan and the ROK hold first chairperson’s meeting on the Second Phase of the Japan-ROK Joint History Research Meeting.

: Lt. Gen. Daniel Leaf, Deputy Commander of PACOM, visits Hanoi to discuss cooperation potential with Vietnamese military officials.

: The DPRK and Myanmar normalize diplomatic ties; the agreement is signed during the second day of a three-day visit to Myanmar by North Korean Vice FM Kim Yong-il. Myanmar was the last ASEAN country to recognize the DPRK.

: The second ROK-U.S. Consultations on Reconstruction and Stabilization is held to share experiences with providing emergency relief and reconstruction assistance for countries hit by natural disasters.

: Japan and Russia conclude the first round of negotiations for the Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy agreement.

: Japanese PM Abe visits the U.S. at the invitation of President Bush.

: Asst. Secretary of State Christopher Hill, meeting with Cambodian National Police Commissioner Gen. Hok Lundy, urges the Cambodian police to combat trafficking in persons, a serious problem in Cambodia.

: Russia and Japan hold their 13th meeting of the Japan-Russia Agreement on Incidents Prevention at Sea in Moscow. An October 2006 search-and-rescue operations exercise by Japan’s Maritime Defense Force and the Russian Navy is evaluated to be enhancing communications and operability.

: The 2007 APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting II held in Adelaide, Australia; on the agenda is the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific, energy and climate change, and APEC reform.

: Boa’o Forum for Asia is held in Bo’ao, Hainan Provice. Chairman Wu Bangguo of the Standing Committee of the NPC delivers the keynote speech.

: China and India hold 10th round of border talks in India to pin down a framework agreement to define the 2,000 km boundary between China and India.

: Fifth meeting of the High Level Task Force on the Drafting of the ASEAN Charter is held in Hanoi, Vietnam.

: About 80 U.S. soldiers are in Indonesia for Garuda Shield 2007, a joint exercise with Indonesian forces that signifies the resumption of brigade-level, army-to-army exercises that had been terminated in 1999. Washington restored full military relations with Indonesia in 2005.

: The fifth Indoneisa-U.S. Security Dialogue is held in Jakarta.

: India-Japan-U.S. Joint Naval Exercises are conducted in Guam.

: Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill travels to Beijing to discuss issues related to the Six-Party Talks with Chinese and North Korean counterparts. North Korea misses April 14 deadline for closing its Yongbyon nuclear reactor.

: The U.S. Treasury Department announces the complete lifting of a freeze on $25 million in DPRK assets being held by Banco Delta Asia (BDA) in Macao.

: Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visits South Korea and Japan. Seoul and Beijing agree to open a military hotline between naval and air forces and regular Seoul-Shanghai shuttle flights are to be created. A Japan-China joint statement was issued during Wen’s visit to Japan.

: Malaysia and the Philippines hold annual naval drill MALPHI LAUT 10-2007.

: Fourth meeting of the High Level Task Force on the Drafting of the ASEAN Charter is held in Yangon, Myanmar.

: The U.S. asks China to join a global effort to maintain international maritime security during Beijing’s navy chief Vice Adm. Wu Shengli visit to Washington. Wu expresses interest in the 1,000-ship Navy plan.

: First U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer program to Cambodia begins with 28 U.S. volunteers who will be teaching English in villages across six provinces.

: U.S. President George W. Bush and Japan Prime Minister Abe Shinzo have a 20-minute conference call to discuss Abe’s upcoming U.S. visit, North Korea, Iraq, and “comfort women.”

: 14th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation is held in New Delhi, India. Sideline meeting is held between the ROK and China.

: U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez visits Moscow, Russia and Kyiv, Ukraine to meet senior government officials, business leaders, and civic groups to discuss economic reforms, World Trade Organization accession efforts, and bilateral trade ties.

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