Regional Overview

Chronology from Jul 2003 to Oct 2003

: TCOG meeting in Tokyo.

: President Chen says his party will push for new constitution in 2006.

: DPRK describes Secretary Rumsfeld as “politically illiterate” and a “psychopath.”

:   Presidents Putin and Bush meet at Camp David, Maryland, issue joint statement calling on DPRK and Iran to end their development of nuclear weapons. Putin states that a negotiated settlement with North Korea should include security guarantees.

:   In press conference, President Roh links the deployment of ROK troops to Iraq to stability on the Korean Peninsula.

:   SCO prime ministers meet in Beijing.

:   The United Nations 58th General Assembly meets in New York, President Bush addresses the assembly and calls for support to Iraq.

:   PM Koizumi is re-elected as head of the LDP by large majority.

: President Putin says Russian troops will not serve in Iraq.

: Eighth divided families reunion held at Mt. Kumgang, North Korea.

: President Bush phones Japanese PM Koizumi to seek support for reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

: Bali bomber Ali Imron sentenced to life in prison.

:   ROK National Security Council chief Ra Jong-yil states the UN’s role in postwar Iraq would be a vital factor in Seoul’s decision on sending combat troops.

: PNG agrees to accept an Australian police “cooperative intervention” force “as soon as possible.”

:   North Korea calls PSI exercise “a prelude to nuclear war.”

: Author proposes to Louanne Petronio on the Ponte Vecchio in Florence; July wedding planned.

:   PSI interdiction exercise “Pacific Protector” held in Coral Sea.

: Typhoon Maemi strikes South Korea, killing 85 people and causing at least $1 billion in damage.

:   U.S. Marine convicted of beating and raping an Okinawan woman; sentenced to 3.5 years in prison.

:   President Bush meets with the Dalai Lama.

: The fifth annual WTO Ministerial conference is held in Cancun, Mexico.

: An Indonesian court sentences Imam Samudra to death for masterminding the Bali bomb attacks.

:   A South Korean activist commits suicide in anti-capitalism protest at WTO meeting.

:   Former Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui at independence rally, initiates “Calls Taiwan Taiwan” campaign.

: Hong Kong government postpones consideration of controversial anti-subversion bill until more public consultations are held.

:   President Bush calls China’s currency policy “unfair.”

:   China notes that “some countries” have concern about PSI’s legality.

: Taiwan stages annual military wargame “Han Kuang 19” to demonstrate its defense capabilities.

:   SCO foreign ministers meet in Tashkent.

:   The Dalai Lama in U.K. newspaper interview announces his willingness to return to Tibet if China allows him to go back without preconditions.

: ASEAN Plus Three economic ministers meet in Phnom Penh

: Indonesian VP Hamzah Haz calls the U.S. the “terrorist king” during speech.

: Third PSI meeting in Paris. Statement of Interdiction Principles issued.

:   U.S. Treasury Secretary Snow visits Beijing, meets Premier Wen, Vice-Premier Huang, Central Bank Chief Zhou Xiaochuan, and Minister of Finance Jin Renqing; urges China to abandon its fixed currency and let the Renminbi float.

: An Indonesian court sentences cleric Abu Bakar Bashir, the spiritual leader of Jemaah Islamiyah, to four years in prison for treason.

:   Russian submarine carrying a crew of 10 sinks in the Barents Sea while being towed to a scrapyard, killing nine.

:   The Hong Kong government announces GDP shrank by 3.7 percent from April to June, due to SARS-related loss of economic activity in air travel, tourism, and hotel industry. Forecasters expect economic growth to rise in second half of 2003.

:   North Korea claims “disinterest” in future six-party talks; cites “practical measure to beef up nuclear deterrent force.”

:   Philippine Defence Secretary Reyes resigns and issues warning of well-organised effort by unnamed forces to topple the government.

: Additional U.S. trade sanctions against Burma go into effect, closing the U.S. market to Burmese imports; could force the closure of textile factories across Burma.

: Indonesia President Megawati criticizes Burma over Aung San Suu Kyi’s detention.

:   Six-party talks take place in Beijing.

:   ROK National Security Advisor Ra Jong-yil states that his government would stop all economic assistance to North Korea if “suspicions of nuclear weapons are confirmed.”

: Burmese Cabinet changes announced: intelligence chief, Gen. Khin Nyunt becomes PM; five ministers and two deputies retire; Gen. Than Shwe remains head of state.

:   U.S. special envoy for North Korea Jack Pritchard resigns.

:   A delegation of North Korean athletes arrives in South Korea for the World University Games.

: Russian military stage largest exercises in 15 years in the Far East under the leadership of Navy Commander in Chief Vladimir Kuroyedov. The exercises involve 70,400 servicemen and civilians, 61 ships, and 72 aircraft and helicopters to cope with crisis and conflict on the Korean Peninsula that results in a large number of Korean refugees to Russia. Japan, ROK, and U.S. ships and aircraft participated and China sent observers.

:   Nearly 2,000 students and activists hold rally demanding an end to ROK-U.S. alliance and the withdrawal of U.S. troops. Nearby, 500 demonstrators march in support of the U.S.

:   ROK President Roh, on the 58th anniversary of the Korean Peninsula’s liberation from Japan, promises DPRK economic help for ending its nuclear program.

:   U.S. officials announce joint operation by Thai anti-terrorism forces and the CIA has resulted in capture of Nurjaman Riduan Isamuddin, known as Hambali, an al-Qaeda top strategist and key figure in the 2002 Bali bombing.

: TCOG meeting in Washington – U.S., ROK, and Japanese officials final coordination prior to six-party nuclear talks with the DPRK in Beijing.

: President Chen repeats “one country on each side of the Strait” formulation.

:   Taiwan seizes dual-use chemicals from North Korean freighter.

:   ROK Navy fires warning shots on three North Korean boats that cross the Yellow Sea boundary.

:   Region-wide protests mark the 15th anniversary of the fall of the pro-democracy movement in Burma, amid calls for the immediate release of Aung San Suu Kyi.

: Bali bomber Amrozi is found guilty and sentenced to death.

: ASEAN Plus Three finance ministers meet in Manila.

: Indonesian General Damiri sentenced to three years for failing to prevent violence in East Timor and for gross human rights violations.

: Taiwan spokesman says executive branch will authorize referendum if legislature does not.

:   Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) conducts joint antiterrorism exercise.

:   Car bomb explodes outside Marriott Hotel in Jakarta.

: Chung Mong-hun, a Hyundai Group executive implicated in the transfer of $500 million to the DPRK, commits suicide.

: Pyongyang calls Under Secretary Bolton “human scum” for his criticism of Kim Jong-il.

:   Under Secretary Bolton visits Tokyo.

:   China denounces Pentagon report on Chinese military saying Washington was making excuses to sell advanced weapons to Taiwan.

:   Suicide bomber destroys Russian military hospital near Chechnya, killing 50.

: The Russian Foreign Ministry announces the DPRK favors six-sided talks, with Russian participation, to ease tensions over Pyongyang’s nuclear program.

: Philippines government officials announce leaders of the failed coup face a maximum penalty of 40 years in jail; 321 soldiers held for court-martial.

:   China and Russia issue statement calling for a quick start to talks to ban weapons in space.

:   U.S. Senate approves Singapore Free Trade Agreement.

: President Bush speaks by telephone to President Hu Jintao and encourages Hu “to stay involved in the process of discussion” with DPRK leader Kim Jong-il.

: Under Secretary Bolton visits Seoul, describes DPRK leader Kim Jong-il as a “tyrannical dictator.”

:   Defense Department report to Congress claims China is boosting military spending and deploying increasing numbers of ballistic missiles opposite Taiwan.

: Under Secretary of State John Bolton visits South Korea.

:   Red Cross officials meet Aung San Suu Kyi.

:   U.S. and China sign Container Security Initiative agreement. U.S. inspectors will work with Chinese officers to screen U.S.-bound cargo containers before they leave Chinese ports.

:   Under Secretary of State John Bolton visits Beijing for second session of U.S.-China security dialogue.

: President Bush calls PM Koizumi to welcome Parliament’s vote to authorize sending Japanese troops to Iraq.

:   President Bush signs bill banning Burma imports; issues executive order freezing assets of senior officials and prohibiting virtually all remittances to Burma.

:   Rebels officers storm a major commercial center in Manila’s financial district; accuse the government of corruption but deny they are part of a coup. 19-hour siege ends peacefully.

:   Cambodia holds its third democratic election, for the 123-seat National Assembly; Cambodian People’s Party party wins 47 percent of the votes, short of the amount required to form a government.  Rival parties refuse to join a coalition with PM Hun Sen.

:   China reports one new SARS death in Beijing, raising the mainland death toll to 349.

:   Japanese Upper House approves a controversial law allowing the dispatch of Japanese troops to Iraq in what could be the nation’s biggest overseas military deployment since World War II.

:   Philippines President Arroyo orders arrest of nearly 70 rogue junior officers suspected of plotting a coup.

: President Bush visits Korean War Veterans Memorial; DPRK demands U.S. apologize for the Korean War, dismissing the U.S. and ROK commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Korean War truce as a “disgusting farce.”

:   U.S. imposes sanctions on DPRK firm for export of missiles to Yemen last December.

: Presidents Bush and Roh agree by phone to keep pushing for multilateral talks on DPRK’s nuclear program.

:   International Maritime Bureau reports that international piracy has risen 37 percent (234 attacks) in the first six months of 2003.

: A U.S. Marine arrested by Okinawan police in June pleads guilty to charges of rape.

:   Reuters reports DPRK is prepared to declare itself a nuclear state unless the U.S. responds positively to its proposals by the Sept. 9 anniversary of the DPRK’s founding.

:   U.S. International Trade Commission approves antidumping duties on catfish imports from Vietnam and countervailing duties on computer memory chips from the ROK.

:   Fifth Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in Bali, includes call for Aung San Suu Kyi’s immediate release.

: Russian Deputy FM Losyukov urges U.S. and DPRK to start talks,  warning that their standoff was boiling over.

:   North Korea demands the U.S. drops its “hostile policy” and legally commit itself to a nonaggression pact.

:   UK PM Blair visits President Hu and Premier Wen in Beijing; meets Tung Chee-hwa and pro-democracy legislators in Hong Kong.

:   Malaysia PM Mahathir warns that ASEAN may be forced, as last resort, to expel Burma.

: Tung Chee-hwa visits Beijing to discuss Hong Kong’s political crisis. Premier Wen issues strong endorsement of Tung’s leadership.

:   IAEA Chief ElBaradei says DPRK represents biggest nuclear weapons threat.

:   ROK and DPRK exchange machine gun fire along the DMZ.

:   President Roh and PM Howard agree to cooperate fully to resolve the nuclear standoff during summit meeting in Seoul.

: ROK says it has “no scientific evidence” to confirm earlier reports of DPRK reprocessing.

:   Yang Bin (appointed by DPRK to administer a free-trade zone in North Korea) convicted of fraud and sentenced to 18 years in prison by China.

: Convicted JI terrorist Rohman al-Ghozi escapes from jail in Manila.

:   Bomb explodes in Indonesia’s Parliament.

:   DPRK and U.S. resume talks in Bangkok on recovering remains of U.S. servicemen killed in the Korean War.

:   Solomon Islands Parliament approves Australian intervention to restore order.

:   Taiwan legislature refuses to pass referendum law.

:   ROK National Intelligence Service (NIS) reportedly testifies that the DPRK has reprocessed some number of its spent fuel rods and has tested devices used to trigger atomic explosions.

:   Second Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) meeting, in Brisbane, to develop practical ways to prevent the global spread of WMD.

: Eleventh Inter-Korean Ministerial Meeting in Seoul; both sides agree to pursue “appropriate dialogue” to resolve nuclear weapons dispute.

: Indonesia Parliament approves direct presidential elections in 2004.

:   ROK  President Roh Moo-hyun visits PRC; meets with President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao.

:   Philippines indicts alleged leader of Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) Hambali and seven others for the 2001 Manila bombing.

:   The WHO declares the SARS virus is contained in Taiwan.

:   U.S. announces sanctions on DPRK firm for sales of missile technology to Iran.

: China and Russia block a U.S.-proposed statement condemning North Korea for reviving its nuclear weapons program in a meeting of the UN Security Council’s five permanent members.

:   Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly hosts TCOG meeting with Korean and Japanese counterparts.

Date Range