US - Korea

Chronology from Jan 2012 to May 2012

: The Blue House rejects increasing calls to halt quarantine inspections on US beef imports after an US dairy cow was found to have mad cow disease.

: Park Geun-hye, a leading presidential hopeful, says that South Korea should halt quarantine inspections of US beef until it is confirmed safe to consume.

: Two South Korea retailers halt US beef sales over new case of mad cow disease in California.

: White House Press Secretary Jay Carney says the US has raised issue with the Chinese government about suspected missile cooperation between China and North Korea.

: UNSC adopts a President’s Statement condemning North Korea’s failed satellite launch and orders its sanctions committee to expand sanctions against North Korea.

:   North Korea withdraws its offer to accept IAEA inspections at the Yongbyon nuclear facilities in response to the withdrawal of the offer of food aid from the US.

: President Obama says that the US would work with the international community to further isolate North Korea after the country’s unsuccessful rocket launch.

: DPRK launches its rocket.

: North Korea holds the fifth session of the 12th Supreme People’s Assembly. Kim Jong Un is elected first chairman of the DPRK National Defense Committee.

: United Nations Security Council (UNSC) holds an emergency meeting to discuss the North Korean rocket launch.

: A legislative election is held in South Korea, with the ruling Saenuri Party surprisingly renewing a majority in the National Assembly.

: A ROK intelligence report reports the excavation at the Punggye-ri test site is in its final stages, hinting at North Korea’s intention of a third nuclear test.

: DPRK allows invited foreign press to tour the Sohae Satellite Launch Center and see the satellite.

: Pyongyang threatens to retaliate against any country that intercepts a DPRK rocket booster or collects the rocket debris.

: President Obama releases a Presidential Memorandum on sanctions on Iran.

: Peter Lavoy, acting assistant secretary of defense for Asian and Pacific affairs, tells the House Armed Services Committee that the US has suspended food aid to North Korea.

: President Obama visits South Korea to attend the second Nuclear Security Summit and hold a bilateral summit with President Lee.

: Gary Samore, special assistant to the president and White House coordinator for arms control and weapons of mass destruction, proliferation, and terrorism, says the DPRK will face a “strong response” if it goes ahead with its plan to launch a long-range rocket.

: President Lee Myung-bak says in a joint interview that ROK and the US are expected to reach a compromise on allowing Seoul to develop long-range ballistic missiles.

: Through Korea Central News Agency, DPRK claims that its planned rocket launch has nothing to do with a recent nuclear deal with the US.

: US announces exemptions for 11 countries from the newly passed Iranian oil and economic sanctions, and does not include South Korea on its list.

: IAEA spokeswoman Gill Tudor confirms that the agency received the invitation from DPRK on March 16 inviting the agency’s inspectors to return to the country.

: US State Department spokeswoman says the North Korean rocket launch would violate UN resolutions prohibiting the use of ballistic missile technology.

: DPRK announces its plan to launch an earth observation satellite, Kwangmyongsong-3.

: The US-Korea Free Trade Agreement takes effect.

: Special UN Rapporteur on North Korean Human Rights Marzuki Darusman calls on all states “to adhere to the principle of non-refoulement,” making a thinly veiled request to China to not return North Korean defectors.

: In a joint press conference with ROK Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan in Washington, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the US is opposed to the forceful repatriation of North Korean refugees, considering it a breach of international agreements.

: Ri Yong Ho, DPRK’s vice foreign minister and envoy to nuclear disarmament negotiations, and South Korean counterpart, Lim Sung-nam attend a two-day, academic forum on security in Northeast Asia in New York.

: Choi Young-jin, a former vice foreign minister and ambassador to the United Nations, is named South Korea’s new ambassador to the US.

: Robert King, US special envoy for North Korea human rights issues, and Jon Brause, senior U.S. Agency for International Development official arrive in Beijing to finalize arrangements for the first US government food aid shipment to DPRK in three years.

: DPRK threatens to launch a “sacred war” against ROK over alleged defamation of its leadership.

: Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman says that China hopes the US-DPRK agreement will lead to the speedy resumption of the Six-Party Talks.

: Parallel announcements regarding the food-for-nuclear/missile freeze agreement are issued by the US and the DPRK.

: ROK and U.S. begin military joint exercise Key Resolve, which will last two weeks. DPRK has previously called these annual drills a provocative act.

: Special Representative Davies announces that the US and DPRK “made a little bit of progress” in talks aimed at finding ways to resume the Six-Party Talks.

: Glyn Davies, US special representative for North Korea policy, and DPRK Vice Foreign Minister Kim Gye Gwan meet in Beijing.

: South Korean and US navies hold a series of joint anti-submarine exercises in the Yellow Sea.

: South Korean Ambassador to the US Han Duck-soo announces his resignation.

: DPRK National Defense Commission says there are nine preconditions for resuming talks, including that ROK must apologize for failing to show proper respect regarding Kim Jong Il’s death.
Feb. 9, 2012: Democratic United Party and the United Progressive Party deliver letters to the US Embassy in Seoul threatening to repeal the KORUS FTA unless it is renegotiated.

: After meeting ROK Deputy Foreign Minister Kim Jae-shin and ROK nuclear envoy Lim Sung-nam in Seoul, Assistant Secretary Campbell says, “the road to improve relations [with Washington] run through Seoul for North Korea.”

: DPRK chastises ROK and the US for its recent military drills and warns against the joint military exercises planned for March.

: Iran’s Ambassador to ROK Ahmad Masumifar says in an interview with JoongAng Ilbo, “We can find our own customers and if Korea joins this sanction, Korea will be deprived of Iran’s market.”

: Robert Einhorn, US State Department special adviser for nonproliferation and arms control, meets ROK Deputy Foreign Minister Kim Jae-shin in Seoul and urges South Korea to help put more pressure on Iran.

: Assistant Secretary Campbell, Lim Sung-nam, ROK representative for Korea Peninsula peace and security affairs, and Japanese counterpart Sugiyama Shinsuke attend a trilateral meeting in Washington; they offer hope for restarting talks with for North Korea.

: ROK Prime Minister Kim Hwang-sik visits Oman and the United Arab Emirates as the US continues to urge South Korea to reduce its Iranian energy imports.

: DPRK releases a statement that it remains open to suspending uranium enrichment in exchange for US food aid.

: President Lee meets Chinese President Hu Jintao in Beijing to discuss strengthening economic ties and North Korean and peninsular stability.

: Kurt Campbell, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, arrives in Seoul to discuss the situation on the Korean Peninsula following the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.

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