Regional Overview

Chronology from Sep 2017 to Dec 2017

: Reuters reports that Russian tankers have illicitly supplied fuel to the DPRK via transfers at sea.

: Trump tweets that China was “caught RED HANDED” allowing oil into the DPRK and preventing “a friendly solution” to the conflict with the DPRK. China blocks US effort to blacklist six foreign-flagged ships believed involved in illicit trade. ROK claims ship seizure over illicit petroleum trade with the DPRK.

: US Treasury announces sanctions against two DPRK officials behind ballistic missile program. China is reported to have broken sanctions on the sale of petroleum products to the DPRK with ship transfers.

: DPRK condemns the new UNSC sanctions resolution as an act of war.

: UN Security Council unanimously adopts Resolution 2397, which imposes new sanctions against North Korea.

: South Korean Coast Guard patrol vessel fires 249 warning shots at 44 Chinese fishing boats suspected of illegally fishing in South Korean waters.

: US releases National Security Strategy.

:  The inaugural US-India Counterterrorism Designations Dialogue convenes in New Delhi, India to discuss increasing bilateral cooperation on terrorism-related designations.

:  US and Singapore hold 10th annual Counter-proliferation Dialogue in Singapore.

:  Myanmar’s President Htin Kyaw visits Japan and meets Prime Minister Abe.

: ROK President Moon visits China and meets President Xi in Beijing.

:  The 15th Foreign Ministers Meeting of China, Russia, and India held in New Delhi.

: Senior officials from China and Japan meet in Shanghai and reach a tentative agreement on implementation of a crisis management hotline to avoid sea and air clashes in disputed areas of the East China Sea.

:  UN Under-Secretary General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman visits North Korea and meets Vice Foreign Minister Pak Myong Guk.

: US and South Korea conduct Vigilant Ace joint military exercise involving about 230 aircraft, characterized as the largest-ever such exercise. North Korea calls the exercise an “all-out provocation.”

: Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi visits China and meets President Xi. They hail close ties between the two countries and avoid any mention of the Rohingya.

: President Xi addresses the annual party-to-party talks in Beijing and says China’s Communist Party wants to boost its international image but “will not import other countries’ models, and will not export the China model.”

: North Korea tests an intercontinental ballistic missile that flies for 54 minutes giving it an estimated range at normal trajectory of over 8,000 nm. The US, Japan, and South Korea call for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council.

: Secretary Tillerson says Myanmar’s Rohingya population was subjected to “ethnic cleansing,” accusing the security forces of perpetrating “horrendous atrocities” against the Muslim minority.

: Air China announces that it suspended flights between Beijing and Pyongyang because “business was not good.”

: US unveils new sanctions targeting North Korean shipping and Chinese traders doing business with Pyongyang.

: President Trump announces that the US has re-designated North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism.

: Secretary Tillerson travels to Nay Pyi Daw to discuss the humanitarian crisis in Rakhine State and US support for Myanmar’s (Burma’s) democratic transition.

: Cambodia’s Supreme Court orders the country’s main opposition party to be dissolved.

: Cambodian opposition politician Sam Rainsy says the international community should cut ties with Prime Minister Hun Sen’s government after the court-ordered dissolution of the only challenging party.

: Lim Jock Hoi of Brunei Darussalam is named the new ASEAN Secretary General. He will assume the position on Jan. 1.

: President Trump skips East Asia Summit plenary meeting in the Philippines after being told the meeting would be delayed by about two hours.

: ASEAN and China agree to start negotiations on “a substantive and effective Code of Conduct in the South China Sea after concluding the Framework Agreement on Code of Conduct.”

: Senior officials from US Department of State, Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, India’s Ministry of External Affairs, and Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs meet in Manila to discuss a shared vision for increased prosperity and security in a “free and open Indo-Pacific region.”

: President Xi Jinping makes a state visit to Vietnam and Laos.

: The 11 remaining members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agree to its “core elements” and to move ahead despite US withdrawal from the group. The proposed agreement is renamed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

: Three US Navy carrier strike groups including USS Ronald Reagan, USS Nimitz, and USS Theodore Roosevelt conduct a joint exercise in the Sea of Japan (East Sea) near the Korean coast.

: The 25th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders Meeting is held in Da Nang, Vietnam.

: South Korea’s President Moon meets Chinese President Xi on the sidelines of the APEC meeting in Da Nang.

: The 31st ASEAN Summit and related meetings including the ASEAN+1 summits and the East Asia Summit are held in the Philippines.

: President Trump visits Asia with stops in Hawaii, Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam, and the Philippines.

: ROK President Moon Jae-in says military cooperation with the US and Japan is needed to rein in the rising threat from North Korea but is skeptical about a trilateral defense alliance.

: Myanmar’s State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi visits Rakhine State for the first time since hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims began fleeing the region.

: China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi visits Vietnam and meets counterpart Pham Binh Minh.

: Philippine President Duterte visits Japan and meets senior government leaders and Emperor Akihito in Tokyo.

: China and South Korea agree to to move beyond a yearlong standoff over the deployment of a US anti-missile system in South Korea.

: North Korea repatriates a South Korean boat and its crew as a “humanitarian” gesture after the vessel had entered the North’s waters.

: Defense Secretary James Mattis reaffirms Pentagon’s support for local counterterrorism operations with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana in Manila.

: Secretary Tillerson visits India and meets Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj to discuss India’s role in Afghanistan.

: Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong visits Washington and meets President Trump at the White House.

: US and ROK conduct a joint naval exercise near South Korea.

: Philippine government declares the end to the five-month siege of Marawi.

: The 11th ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) and ADMM-Plus is held in the Philippines.

: Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman says the US should take an objective view of China, after Secretary Tillerson said Washington wanted to “dramatically deepen” ties with New Delhi to counter China’s influence in Asia.

: Secretary Tillerson delivers remarks on US-India relations at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC and outlines a strategy for US engagement in Asia characterized as the “free and open Indo-Pacific framework.”

: North Korea sends a congratulatory message to China on the opening of the 19th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party.

: South Korean Vice Foreign Minister Lim Sung-nam and US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan meet in Seoul. Lim also meets Sullivan and Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Shinsuke Sugiyama to coordinate policies on North Korea.

: Nineteenth Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Congress is held in Beijing.

: Deputy Prime Minister Aso Taro and Vice President Mike Pence co-chair second round of the Japan-US Economic Dialogue in Washington DC.

: US Navy Strike Group 5, led by USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76), participates in a combined exercise with South Korea’s Navy near the Korean Peninsula.

: Malaysia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Anifah Aman announces that Malaysia has no plans to appoint an ambassador to North Korea.

: North Korea’s Foreign Minister Ri threatens to “shower fire” on the United States with “unprecedented strategic force.”

: US flies two B-1B Lancer bombers escorted by fighters from Japan and South Korea, while in the airspace of the two countries, over the Korean Peninsula.

: Eighth China-Russia consultation on Northeast Asia security is held in Moscow.
Oct. 10, 2017: European Union strengthens sanctions against North Korea by applying sectoral sanctions imposed by UNSC Resolution 2375.

: UN North Korea Sanctions Committee bans four ships with ties to North Korea from entering all ports outside North Korea.

: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un pledges to continue the country’s policy of simultaneously developing the economy and nuclear weapons.

: President Trump and Prime Minister Abe agree in a telephone conversation that pressure should be maintained on North Korea.

: Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha visits Washington and meets President Trump at the White House.

: Myanmar authorities take foreign diplomats and UN representatives on a tour of northern Rakhine State.

: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visits China and meets President Xi and other senior leaders.

: North Korea’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho accuses Trump of declaring war against his country, saying Pyongyang is ready to defend itself by shooting down US bombers.
Sept. 26, 2017: Japan provides $4 million to various organizations to assist people in the northern part of Rakhine State, Myanmar.

: US Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers along with F-15C Eagle fighter escorts fly in international airspace over waters east of North Korea.

: Kim Jong Un responds to Trump’s remarks at the UN, saying he “will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged U.S. dotard with fire.”

: President Trump, South Korea’s President Moon and Japan’s Prime Minister Abe Shinzo meet on the sidelines of UN General Assembly in New York.

: In a speech at the UN General Assembly President Trump refers to Kim Jong Un as “rocket man” and as being “on a suicide mission.” He also says that, “The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.”    

: Presidents Xi and Trump talk by telephone. The White House statement says, “The two leaders committed to maximizing pressure on North Korea through vigorous enforcement of United Nations Security Council resolutions.”  The Chinese version says, “The two leaders also exchanged views on the current situation on the Korean Peninsula.”

: US and Malaysia conduct a “Maritime Training Activity” (MTA) which appears to be a replacement for the annual Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercise series, which has been held for past 22 years.

: Chinese People’s Liberation Army-Navy (PLAN) and Russian Navy conduct Joint Sea 2017 military exercises in the Sea of Japan and, for the first time, the Okhotsk Sea. The exercises focus primarily on joint submarine rescue and anti-submarine warfare.

: North Korea vows to accelerate its weapons program in response to UN Security Council Resolution 2375.

: Japanese Prime Minister Abe visits India and meets Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

: US Ambassador to Cambodia William Heidt denies allegations by Prime Minister Hun Sen that Washington is seeking to oust his government.

: Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak visits Washington and meets President Trump at the White House.

: UN Security Council adopts Resolution 2375 in response to North Korea’s nuclear test on Sept. 3.

: Leaders of the BRICS nations – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa –meet in Xiamen, China. As host, President Xi Jinping calls on them to stand together against a growing tide of protectionism across the world.

: North Korea conducts its sixth nuclear test, a powerful nuclear device that it claims is a hydrogen bomb.

: North Korea conducts its sixth nuclear weapon test at its Punggye-ri test site. US Geological Survey reports a 6.3 magnitude earthquake in conjunction with the test. North Korea describes the event as a successful test of a hydrogen bomb.

Date Range