US - Korea
Chronology from Jan 2016 to May 2016
: US and ROK conduct the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle combined exercises. Command post exercise Key Resolve runs March 7-18.
: DPRK conducts a submarine-launched ballistic missile launch off its east coast.
: DPRK Foreign Minister Ri Su Yong proposes in an interview a halt to DPRK testing in exchange for a curtailment of US-ROK military exercises.
: Incoming UNC/CFC/USFK Commander Gen. Brooks defends the cost effectiveness of stationing troops in Korea in Congressional testimony.
: DPRK intermediate-range missile launch fails on the anniversary of Kim Il Sung’s birth.
: US and ROK hold a first meeting of the High-Level Bilateral Commission on Nuclear Energy, chaired by ROK Foreign Affairs Vice Minister Cho Tae-yul and Deputy Secretary of Energy Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall.
: President Park and ruling Saenuri party lose seats in the National Assembly elections. The opposition parties gain seats and mandates.
: US and ROK Marine Corps share in the enlarged Ssang Yong 2016 military exercises, a biennial amphibious landing drill.
: US Ambassador for North Korean Human Rights Robert King visits Korea, urging consideration of all human rights violators in the DPRK regime.
: President Obama and President Park attend the fourth and final Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) in Washington. They meet Prime Minister Abe on the sidelines.
: State Department releases a fact sheet offering US support and co-sponsorship of the UNHRC resolution on DPRK human rights.
: The Blue House holds an ad-hoc emergency National Security Council session to address inter-Korean tensions resulting from photos in the DPRK’s Rodong Sinmun of bombing drills targeting key Seoul facilities.
: UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) adopts a resolution on DPRK human rights, renewing the mandate of the special rapporteur and calling for a panel of independent experts to recommend mechanisms of accountability for the victims and ICC.
: Defense Secretary Carter announces the nomination of US Army Pacific Commander Gen. Vincent Brooks to replace Gen. Scaparrotti as UNC/CFC/USFK commander.
: Special Representative Sung Kim and Sanctions Policy Coordinator Daniel Fried meet Special Representative Kim Hong-kyun in Seoul to address UNSCR 2270, unilateral sanctions, and international coordination on DPRK provocations.
: The White House issues Presidential Executive Order 13722, leveling new sanctions against the DPRK.
: US Special Representative for North Korea Policy Sung Kim and ROK Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs Kim Hong-kyun meet in Washington to discuss DPRK nuclear issues.
: US and ROK agree to create a joint working group on THAAD deployment.
: US and ROK launch a High-Level Bilateral Commission on Nuclear Energy in Washington to better coordinate nuclear cooperation as part of the new 123 Agreement.
: Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se delivers a keynote address to the UN Human Rights Council, underscoring cooperation against DPRK human rights abuses.
: UNSC unanimously adopts Resolution 2270, the strongest sanctions yet imposed on the DPRK.
: Assistant Secretary of State for Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel meets Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se and Deputy Minister Kim Hong-kyun in Seoul to discuss DPRK provocations and bilateral and regional issues.
: Commander, US Pacific Command Adm. Harry Harris and UNC/CFC/USFK Commander Gen. Scaparrotti provide Congressional testimony on DPRK provocations.
: US Naval Forces Korea opens new headquarters in Busan, following relocation from Yongsan.
: President Obama signs HR 757, the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act, into law.
: Deputy Secretary of State Blinken and ROK Deputy National Security Advisor Cho Tae-yong meet in Washington to discuss North Korea provocations.
: President Park addresses the National Assembly on the shift to a hardline policy against North Korea, including the Kaesong shutdown.
: US State Department Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs releases a Fact Sheet on US Relations with North Korea.
: Gen. Joseph Dunford, Gen. Lee Sun-jin (remote) and Adm. Kawano Katsutoshi address measures to counter the DPRK threat, such as trilateral intelligence sharing.
: US Senate passes HR 757 (North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act of 2016) with a 96-0 vote, aimed at the DPRK’s nuclear development, human rights violations, and cyber threat.
: President Park announces the closure of the Kaesong Industrial Complex.
: Presidents Park Geun-hye and Barack Obama and then Prime Minister Abe Shinzo discuss the DPRK’s satellite launch by phone.
: US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper confirms the DPRK has facilities capable of uranium enrichment and a plutonium production facility at Yongbyon, which was shuttered in 2007. He cautions that plutonium could be reprocessed in weeks to months.
: Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se meets in New York with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Secretary of State Kerry on a stricter UN resolution against the DPRK.
: UN Security Council meets and strongly condemns DPRK launch.
: North Korea launches a satellite, the Kwangmyongsong-4, in violation of UN missile bans.
: US Undersecretary for Political Affairs-designate Thomas Shannon visits the DMZ and holds bilateral discussions on the ROK-US alliance, global cooperation, and North Korea policy.
: US Secretary of State John Kerry meets Chinese President Xi Jinping and Foreign Minister Wang Yi to discuss the North Korean nuclear test and a UN Security Council sanctions resolution.
: Defense Minister Han Min-koo describes THAAD deployment as a military necessity, a shift forward from the ROK’s prior wavering.
: Deputy Secretary of State Blinken meets ROK Foreign Affairs Minister Yun Byung-se and ROK Defense Minister Han Min-koo in Seoul, calling on China to play an “active leadership” role on DPRK nuclear concerns.
: ROK Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister Shin Dong-ik meets UN ambassadors from the US, China, Japan, UK, and other permanent and nonpermanent UNSC member nations.
: US Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets ROK Foreign Affairs Vice Minister Lim Sung-nam and Japanese Foreign Affairs Vice Minister Saiki Akitaka in Tokyo to discuss trilateral cooperation in response to the DPRK nuclear test and other issues.
: The US Congressional Research Service releases its report, North Korea-US Relations, Nuclear Diplomacy and the Internal Situation.
: ROK President Park Geun-hye addresses the public on the North Korean threat after the nuclear test and calls for enhancements in ROK-US defense readiness, to include consideration of the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system.
: North Korea conducts a fourth nuclear test of what is claims is a hydrogen bomb. Analysts dismiss the likelihood of a thermonuclear device.
: North Korea claims to have successfully tested a hydrogen bomb.