Regional Overview

Chronology from Sep 2011 to Dec 2011

: ROK Special Representative Lim Sung-Nam visits Washington and meets US Special Representative Glyn Davies to discuss “a wide variety of issues, including next steps in the Korean Peninsula.”

: Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Fujimura Osamu announces revision of the three principles on arms exports.

: Japanese Prime Minister Noda visits New Delhi on Tuesday afternoon to reinforce relations and boost trade and investment based on a free trade agreement between the two countries that came into force in August.

: Japanese Prime Minister Noda visits Beijing and meets Chinese leader. The trip was originally scheduled for Dec. 12-13, but was canceled at the request of the Chinese.

: Japanese Foreign Minister Gemba visits Myanmar and meets President Thein Sein and other top leaders.

: ROK Special Representative Lim Sung-nam visits Beijing and meets counterpart Wu Dawei to “evaluate the situation on the Korean Peninsula following Kim Jong Il’s death and discuss the direction of future plans for the North Korean nuclear issue.”

: US hosts Japan and India for the first-ever trilateral dialogue to exchange views on regional and global issues of mutual interest.

: Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) announces that North Korean leader Kim Jong Il died on Dec. 17 while traveling on train.

: Leaders from China, Burma, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam meet in Naypyidaw to discuss Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Strategic Development Partnership.

:   Malaysian Defense Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi visits Beijing and meets Minister of Defense Liang Guanglie and Guo Boxiong, vice chairman of China’s Central Military Commission. They agree to advance bilateral military cooperation.

: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visits Moscow and meets President Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin.

: Laos suspends a $3.5 billion dam project on the lower Mekong River after a meeting of water and environment ministers from Mekong River Commission.

: Australian Defense Minister Smith and South Korean counterpart Kim Kwan-jin sign an agreement to improve military cooperation.

: Robert King, US special envoy for North Korean human rights issues and USAID Deputy Assistant Administrator Jon Brause meet Ri Gun, director of US affairs, DPRK Foreign Ministry, in Beijing.

: The Philippines commissions the 3,390-ton frigate BRP Gregorio del Pilar, an old US Coast Guard cutter, as its biggest and most modern warship.

: US Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman visits Taipei and meets President Ma Ying-jeou to discuss “how the United States and Taiwan can work together to tackle tomorrow’s energy challenges.”

: China joins Mekong River security patrols with forces from Myanmar, Laos and Thailand for the first time.

: Japan approves a new set of financial sanctions against Iran.

: .Ma Xiaotian, deputy chief of the PLA General Staff, meets Defense Secretary Sharma in New Delhi for the fourth Sino-Indian Defense Dialogue.

: US Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Michele Flournoy and Chinese Deputy Chief of the PLA General Staff Ma Xiaotian meet in Beijing for the 12th annual Sino-US Defense Consultative Talks.

: The US and China announce implementation of the Megaport Initiative to monitor for “nuclear and other radioactive materials in cargo containers” at Shanghai’s Yangshan Port.

: Indonesia and South Korea sign a joint servicing agreement that allows them to “share military supplies as necessary during their joint exercises, UN peacekeeping operations, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.”

: Special Representative Glyn Davies and US envoy to the Six-Part Talks Clifford Hart travel to South Korea, Japan, and China to discuss Korean Peninsula issues.

: Australian Defense Minister Stephen Smith visits India and meets counterpart A.K. Antony. They take steps to build on the strategic partnership under the framework of the 2009 Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation.

: Indonesian Parliament ratifies the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

: US State Department Advisor for Nonproliferation and Arms Control Robert Einhorn visits Seoul to encourage the ROK to participate in mutual sanctions against Iran and to review the US-ROK Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement.

: Secretary of State Clinton visits South Korea to participate on the Fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness.

: Secretary Clinton visits Burma and meets senior officials including President Thien Sein and pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

: Commander-in-Chief of Myanmar Defense Services Min Aung Hlaing visits China and meets Vice President Xi Jinping and Xu Caihou, vice chair of the Central Military Commission, to promote and deepen military cooperation.

: Japanese Ministry of Defense reports six Chinese Navy ships transit Okinawa prefecture in international waters to conduct exercises in the Pacific Ocean.

: Chinese and ROK navies hold fourth joint search and rescue exercise.

: Premier Wen Jiabao visits Brunei and meets state officials.

: The Sixth East Asia Summit is held in Bali.

: President Lee, Prime Minister, Noda, and Premier Wen meet in Bali to discuss issues of regional security and economic cooperation.

: Leaders of Japan, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam meet in Bali for the Third Mekong-Japan Summit.

: ROK President Lee Myung-bak meets Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in Bali. They agree to improve “defense industry cooperation” and to help Indonesia carry out its “economic development blueprint.”

: Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Indonesian President Yudhoyono meet in Bali.

: President Obama announces the transfer of 24 excess US F-16s to the Indonesian Air Force and an expansion of the Peace Corps program in the country.

: South Korea, Japan, and the US hold trilateral talks on the resumption of the stalled Six-Party Talks, at the East Asia Summit in Bali.

: President Obama visits Australia and meets Prime Minister Julia Gillard. They announce an agreement to station additional US forces in Australia beginning in 2012.

: Burma is chosen by ASEAN foreign ministers to be ASEAN chairman in 2014.

: Secretary Clinton visits Manila and meets President Aquino, Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario and Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin to discuss ways to increase collaboration and signs a “declaration calling for multilateral talks to resolve maritime disputes.”

: Li Jinai, director of the political department of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA), visits North Korea to discuss ways of strengthening military cooperation.

: APEC Leaders Meeting is held in Honolulu.

: South Korean Navy and Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force hold a biennial joint naval exercise off the east coast of Busan.

: Prime Minister Noda announces Japan’s participation in the negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact.

: ROK Special Representative Lim Sung-nam visits Vienna and meets US Special Representative for North Korea Policy Glyn Davies.

: The Dalai Lama visits Mongolia amid protests from Beijing against what they consider “efforts to engage in activities to split China.”

: Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang visits Seoul and meets President Lee Myung-bak “to strengthen strategic cooperation between the two countries.”

: Tenth Shanghai Cooperation Organization Prime Ministers Meeting is held in St. Petersburg, Russia.

: Former Soviet military officer Viktor Bout, who was arrested in Bangkok in 2008, is convicted in New York of “conspiracy to kill US citizens and officials, deliver anti-aircraft missiles and provide aid to a terrorist organization.”

: Indian Defense Minister A.K. Antony visits Tokyo and meets Defense Minister Ichikawa Yasuo.

: First ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting Plus (ADMM+) Experts Working Group Meeting on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief is held in Beijing.

: ROK Unification Minister Yu Woo-Ik visits the US and meets Deputy Secretary Burns and Sen. Joe Lieberman in an effort to strengthen coordination on North Korean affairs.

: South Korean President Lee Myung-bak visits Russia and meets President Dmitry Medvedev. They agree to move forward on a joint trans-Korea gas pipeline project.

: Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs Lim Sung-nam, travels to China and meets Chinese counterpart Wu Dawei.

: US Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Michael Posner and Special Representative Mitchell visit Burma and meet senior officials, representatives of international organizations, and civil society groups.

: Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung visits Japan and meets Prime Minister Noda. They reaffirm commitments established in the Joint Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity in Asia Framework and collaboration on nuclear power and “development of rare earths” produced in Vietnam.

: India’s External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna visits Japan and meets Prime Minister Noda and Foreign Minister Gemba.

: Disaster relief departments of China, Japan and the ROK meet in Beijing to improve disaster management cooperation.

: Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang visits the Philippines. He and President Aquino sign several agreements on information sharing and creating a hotline for maritime issues, such as piracy, smuggling, disaster response, and protection of marine resources.

: Assistant Secretary Campbell visits Seoul to debrief ROK officials on the outcome of the US-DPRK talks in Geneva.

: Deputy Secretary of State William Burns visits Beijing meets State Councilor Dai Bingguo, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, and other senior Chinese officials to discuss bilateral, regional, and global issues including the South China Sea and human rights.

: ROK Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs Lim Sung-nam visits Russia to meet Deputy Foreign Minister Alexei Borodavkin.

: China’s Vice Premier Li Keqiang visits Seoul and meets First Vice Foreign Minister Park Suk-hwan.

: Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta visits Japan and meets Prime Minister Noda and Foreign Minister Gemba Koichiro.

: Russian delegation visits Seoul to discuss gas supplies to South Korea and the construction of a pipeline via North Korea.

: Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell visits Jakarta and Manila.

: US Special Representative Mitchell visits Burma and meets democracy movement leader Aung San Suu Kyi, Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin, and representatives of civil society.

: Representatives from the US and North Korea meet in Geneva for what is described as a “continuation of the exploratory meetings.”

: Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang visits Pyongyang. While there he states that China intends to “make a positive contribution to promoting the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and safeguarding regional peace, stability and development.”

: US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta visits Asia with stops in Indonesia, Japan and South Korea.

: Japanese Prime Minister Noda visits Seoul and meets President Lee.

: US appoints Glyn Davies as special representative for North Korea policy.

: The Philippines and the US armed forces hold a 10-day Amphibious Landing Exercise (PHIBLEX). The training activities take place in different locations and involve the participation of more than 2,000 US forces.

: President Lee Myung-bak visits the US and meets President Obama.

: US Congress ratifies the Korea-US (KORUS) Free Trade Agreement.

: Myanmar President Thein Sein and 10 Cabinet members visit India and meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other senior officials.

: The second US-China Asia-Pacific Consultations are held in Beijing.

: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin visits China and meets counterpart Wen Jiabao and President Hu Jintao.

: Vietnamese Communist Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong visits China and signs an agreement to seek “basic and long-term solutions for sea-related issues, in the spirit of mutual respect, equal and mutually beneficial treatment.”

: ROK Special Representative Lim Sung-nam visits Washington and meets US officials to brief them on the results of last month’s second round of inter-Korean talks held in Beijing and coordinate a joint stance on North Korea’s nuclear weapons programs.

: Lim Sung-nam becomes South Korea’s special representative for peace and security affairs on the peninsula, which entails serving as ROK envoy to the Six-Party Talks.

: Korea, Japan, and China open a secretariat for trilateral cooperation in Seoul.

: Philippine President Aquino visits Japan and meets Prime Minister Noda. They say in a joint statement that their countries share the basic values of “freedom, democracy, fundamental human rights and the rule of law” and “common strategic interests” such as “ensuring the safety of sea lines of communication.”

: The US announces that it will sell Taiwan $5.85 billion worth of military equipment including an upgrade of its fleet of F-16A/B aircraft.

: Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs Wi Sung-Lac and DPRK Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Ri Yong Ho meet for a second round of talks aimed at restarting the Six-Party Talks.

: The 66th session of the UN General Assembly is held in New York.

: Japanese Prime Minister Noda Yoshihiko visits New York to meet US President Barack Obama and attend a session of the UN General Assembly.

: Vietnam and the US hold their second defense dialogue in Washington and sign an agreement which includes the establishment of a regular defense dialogue mechanism and cooperation in maritime security, search and rescue, studying and exchanging experience in UN peace keeping activities, and humanitarian aid and disaster relief.

: Philippine President Benigno Aquino visits the US and makes stops in New York and Washington but does not meet President Barack Obama.

: South Korea’s ruling Grand National Party (GNP) presents the Korea-US free trade agreement (KORUS FTA) to a parliamentary committee in the first step toward its ratification despite objections from opposition party.

: Ambassador Derek Mitchell makes his first visit Burma as the US coordinator for policy on Burma.

: Wi Sung-lac, South Korea’s envoy to the Six Party Talks visits the US. He meets Stephen Bosworth, special representative for North Korea policy, and Clifford Hart, who is expected to be named the chief US envoy to the Six-Party Talks.

: China issues a white paper entitled China’s Peaceful Development in which it claims that “China’s peaceful development has broken away from the traditional pattern where a rising power was bound to seek hegemony.”

: Noda Yoshihiko succeeds Kan Naoto as Japan’s prime minister.

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