US - Korea

Chronology from Jan 2020 to May 2020

: South Korean Unification Minister Kim Yeon-chul says the ROK government is aware of Kim’s location during parliamentary session, and that his absence could be because of “coronavirus concerns.”

: North Korean media outlet Rodong Sinmun releases report stating North Korean leader Kim “sent his appreciation” to workers of the Wonsan-Kalma tourist zone.

: Trump says he has a “very good idea” about the condition of North Korean leader Kim, but “can’t talk about it.”

: South Korean special adviser to the President Moon Chung-in says Kim Jong Un“is alive and well,” adding that the ROK government position is “firm.”

: Satellite imagery analysis emerges depicting North Korean leader Kim’s personal train at Wonson on April 21 and 23. Kim does not celebrate Military Foundation Day publicly.

: Trump says reports concerning Kim’s ailing health are “fake news,” “incorrect,” and are based off “old documents.  

: Trump says he doesn’t know about Kim’s health and wishes him well.

: CNN, citing officials, says US intelligence is closely monitoring reports on Kim’s health.

: North Korea-focused undercover media outlet Daily NK reports that Kim Jong Un’s health is in jeopardy following cardiovascular procedure on April 12, and is receiving treatment in Hyangsan County.

: South Korea’s Blue House says there are no unusual signs concerning North Korean leader Kim’s health.

: North Korean Foreign Ministry denies that North Korean leader sent any recent personal letter to Trump.

: Trump says he received personal letter from Kim Jong Un to press and during phone call with Moon.          

: South Korea’s ruling Democratic Party wins 180 of 300 seats in National Assembly elections in a landslide victory, to the United Future Party’s 103.

: US departments of State, Treasury, and Homeland Security, along with the FBI release interagency report detailing North Korean cyber offensive campaign to launder money and extort companies to funnel resources for nuclear weapons program.

: Kim Jong Un is notably absent from celebrations of country’s founding father Kim Il Sung’s birthday.

: South Korean JCS says North Korea fired two short-range projectiles believed to be anti-cruise missiles from Wonson province on eve of national founder Kim Il Sung’s birthday and South Korean elections.

: US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper says he discussed importance of an “equitable” defense cost-sharing agreement with South Korean counterpart Jeong Kyeong-doo, following reports that a tentative agreement was reached.

: North Korea’s director of central emergency anti-epidemic headquarters Pak Myong Su says there are no cases of COVID-19 in the country.

: DPRK Director General of the Foreign Ministry criticizes Pompeo’s call for renewed sanctions, despite Trump’s letter, and warns against further provocations against North Korea.

:  North Korea fires what appear to be two short-range ballistic missiles toward the East Sea.

: Pompeo says he called for renewed pressure and sanctions against North Korea at G7 teleconference.

: Trump holds phone call with South Korean President Moon Jae-in requesting medical equipment.

: Kim Yo Jong issues a press statement saying Trump sent a personal letter to Kim Jong Un expressing well wishes and offering assistance on COVID-19.  

:  North Korea fires two projectiles presumed to be short-range ballistic missiles toward the East Sea.         

: Trump, in an address to the nation, says the US may reevaluate travel warning to South Korea if the COVID-19 situation improves.     

: US Department of the Army suspends travel to and from South Korea by soldiers and their family due to COVID-19.

: South Korean JCS says North Korea fired three projectiles from Hamgyong Province toward the East Sea.         

: South Korean JCS says North Korea fired two short-range projectiles from Kangwon Province toward the East Sea.

: US Department of State issues a Level 3 travel advisory to South Korea due to COVID-19.

: Trump decries Parasite’s Oscar win, saying “We’ve got enough problems with South Korea on trade. On top of that, they give them best movie of the year?”                

: US CISA and the FBI release six Malware Analysis Reports (MARs) and update one MAR shedding light on malicious cyber activity from North Korea.

: US Department of State spokesperson Ortagus issues a press statement expressing concern over the vulnerability of North Korea to COVID-19, offering support and aid.

: Harris responds to criticism over his facial appearance, US Department of State spokesperson Morgan Ortagus also defends Harris.

: US Ambassador to South Korea Harry Harris says further work needs to be done on Special Measures Agreement, but gaps are closing. 

: US President Donald Trump says China has been “very helpful” with respect to Kim Jong Un, and says the US will be working closely with China on North Korea in luncheon remarks following US-China Phase One Trade Agreement signing with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He.

: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-hwa hold trilateral meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu; Pompeo urged South Korean cooperation in the Middle East, and Kang urged quicker reconciliation efforts with DPRK.

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