US - Korea
Chronology from Jan 2015 to May 2015
: Annual US-ROK military exercise Foal Eagle takes place in the ROK.
: US and ROK announce a new agreement on the civil nuclear relationship.
: The Wall Street Journal reports top Chinese nuclear experts estimate that the DPRK may have 20 warheads and may double that by 2016, with an ability to produce as many as 10 more annually. This exceeds most US estimates.
: US, ROK and Japan hold Defense Trilateral Talks (DTT) in Washington.
: Korea-US Integrated Defense Dialogue (KIDD) is held in Washington.
: US Secretary of Defense Carter visits South Korea and meets Minister of National Defense Han Min-koo and visits the ROK Navy’s 2nd Fleet Command to honor those lost in the 2010 sinking of the Cheonan.
: NORAD and US Northern Command Commander Adm. William Gortney raises concerns about DPRK nuclear and missile advances.
: DPRK declares a no-sail, no fly zone in the East Sea, but fails to notify the International Maritime Organization (IMO), as it has in the past.
: US House of Representatives delegation visits the ROK. The group meets the ROK president, deputy prime minister, minister of strategy and finance, foreign minister and National Assembly speaker.
: North Korea fires five short-range KN-02 missiles with a range of 140 km.
: South Korea announces its intention to join the PRC-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), despite US concerns.
: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey visits Korea.
: DPRK Ambassador to the UK Hyun Hak Bong warns of DPRK capabilities to respond with nuclear missiles “any time,” if attacked by nuclear weapons.
: US Department of Treasury Financial Crimes Enforcement Network issues an update of nations, including North Korea, that fail to comply with the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing standards, mandating that US financial systems respond.
: ROK and US mark the third anniversary of implementation of the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA). Trade continues to grow, with total volume at an all-time high of $145.2 billion, up from $126.5 billion in 2011.
: Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel visits Seoul and meets Deputy Foreign Minister Lee Kyung-soo, Vice Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yong, and senior Blue House officials to discuss a summer Obama-Park summit.
: DPRK launches seven ground-to-air missiles into the sea off its eastern coast.
: US Ambassador to the ROK Mark Lippert is attacked by a knife-wielding extremist in Seoul. As Lippert recovers, Koreans demonstrate strong support for him.
: DPRK Foreign Minister Ri Su Yong warns in Geneva that North Korea has the power to deter an “ever-increasing nuclear threat” by the US with a preemptive strike.
: North Korea fires two Scud-C or Scud-D-type missiles from Nampo some three hundred miles over the peninsula and into the East Sea.
: Annual US-ROK military exercise Key Resolve takes place in South Korea.
: UN Human Rights Council convenes its 28th regular session in Geneva. ROK Vice Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul delivers a March 3 keynote at the high-level segment.
: A conference co-hosted by CSIS marks the one year anniversary of the UN Commission of Inquiry Report on North Korean human rights violations, eliciting strong condemnation from the DPRK Mission to the United Nations.
: Korea Institute for Defense Analysis hosts fourth annual US-ROK tabletop exercise, with US Deputy Assistant Secretaries of Defense Elaine Bunn and David Helvey and ROK Deputy Minister for National Defense Policy Ryu Je-seung leading the delegations.
: North Korea launches fives missiles with a range of 200km into the East Sea.
: US Deputy Secretary of State Anthony Blinken visits South Korea, meeting First Vice Minister Cho Tae-yong and Defense Minister Han Min-koo.
: US Secretary of State John Kerry and ROK Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se meet on the sidelines of the 51st Munich Security Conference to discuss the US-ROK Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement, North Korea, Northeast Asia tensions, and global issues.
: US State Department issues its latest fact sheet on US-South Korea relations, which are described as a “deep, comprehensive global partnership.”
: In confirmation hearings, Defense Secretary-designate Ashton Carter describes the DPRK as “one of the most intractable security problems for the United States and our allies.”
: UN Food and Agriculture Organization releases its assessment of North Korea, showing that DPRK food production remained steady in 2014, contrary to the hopes of some US experts that sanctions might check economic progress and force denuclearization.
: ROK Deputy Minister for Multilateral and Global Affairs Shin Dong-ik and US Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Rose Gottemoeller lead the 2015 ROK-US Disarmament and Nonproliferation Consultation in Seoul.
: US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman meets ROK Foreign Affairs Minister Yun Byung-se in Seoul to discuss bilateral cooperation on regional and global security.
: US Special Representative for North Korea Policy Sung Kim visits Tokyo and Seoul and meets counterparts Junichi Ihara and Hwang Joon-kook to discuss North Korea policy. Sydney Seiler, special envoy for the Six-Party Talks, and National Security Council Director for Korea Allison Hooker joined the Tokyo discussions.
: US Special Envoy for North Korean Human Rights Issues Robert King addresses the European Parliament Subcommittee on Human Rights in Brussels, noting that the DPRK “has few supporters left,” that the UN Commission of Inquiry report was a “critical step,” not an end, and that increasing the flow of information in and out of North Korea is of great importance.
: Ri Yong-ho, North Korea’s chief negotiator for the Six-Party Talks meets former US special envoy for North Korea policy Stephen Bosworth and other US experts in Singapore.
: US and ROK officials launch a new division under Eighth US Army composed of the 2nd Infantry Division and a ROK mechanized infantry brigade. The combined division is under the command of US Maj. Gen. Thomas Vandal and ROK Brig. Gen. Ahn Sung-hwan.
: US State Department spokesperson reiterates US rejection of North Korea’s offer to suspend nuclear tests in exchange for scrapping joint military exercises with South Korea.
: US House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs hosts a briefing on DPRK nuclear, missile, and cyber threats.
Jan. 13, 2015: North Korea offers to hold direct talks with the United States on its proposal to suspend nuclear tests, and says dialogue could pave the way to changes on the Korean Peninsula.
: USS Martin and USS John McCain join Gwanggaeto the Great and several ROK vessels in joint naval exercises.
: ROK President Park Geun-hye’s New Year press conference emphasizes labor, free trade agreement (FTA) benefits, and economic innovation to grow employment and per capita income. On North Korea, Park calls for family reunions and expressed openness to an inter-Korean summit.
: US State Department spokesperson calls North Korea’s offer to suspend nuclear tests as an “implicit threat,” saying it “inappropriately” links routine military exercises between Washington and Seoul to the possibility of a nuclear test.
: North Korea offers to suspend future nuclear tests temporarily if Washington suspends all upcoming military exercises in South Korea and its vicinity.
: US FBI Director James Comey confirms DPRK was responsible for the attacks on Sony Pictures, with hackers “sloppy” in covering their tracks.
: Seoul issues its 2014 Defense White Paper, warning of the “nuclear weapons of North Korea” – a first-time description – and “considerable” advances in warhead technology.
: White House announces a new executive order imposing sanctions on 10 individuals and three companies engaged in DPRK financial activity.