US - Korea

Chronology from Jan 2022 to May 2022

: President-elect Yoon says he will “positively review” South Korea’s joining of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, an anti-China security partnership, if invited, according to a report.

: South Korea and the US sign their first bilateral document on joint space policy research, in their latest push to reinforce cooperation in the increasingly crucial security domain.

: North Korea holds a military parade in Pyongyang to mark a key national anniversary, in what was seen as a highly choreographed event to cement internal unity and highlight its military heft. During the parade, North Korea rolls out what appears to be a new type of solid fuel missile alongside the country’s largest-known ICBM.

: South Korea successfully test-fires two submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) consecutively earlier this week, in a sign the missile is nearing operational deployment.

: South Korea will set up a task force to deal with its potential participation in a US-led economic framework, as the United States accelerates preparations to launch the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF).

: US special representative for North Korea Sung Kim says that Seoul and Washington will respond “responsibly and decisively” to Pyongyang’s provocative acts while voicing concerns over its “escalatory actions.”

: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un oversees the successful test-firing of a new tactical guided weapon meaningful in improving the efficiency of tactical nuclear operations.

: North Korea holds celebrations for the 110th birth anniversary of late founder Kim Il Sung with fireworks and a mass dance performance in its capital, footage from state media showed.

: US nuclear-powered aircraft carrier enters the international waters of the east of the Korean Peninsula, in an apparent show of America’s military might.

: Head of the UN civil aviation agency urges North Korea to make prior notifications on its missile launches, saying Pyongyang’s unannounced missile tests pose a risk to international civil aviation.

: North Korea condemns the US for making the crisis surrounding Ukraine a human rights issue and imposing sanctions against Russia, denouncing US President Biden as “an old man in his senility” and a man of a “repeated slip of tongue.”

: US and its allies are prepared to deal with any further provocations by North Korea, says US special envoy for North Korea, noting the recalcitrant state may conduct a nuclear test in the future.

: US seeks to ensure peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region partly by reinvigorating its trilateral cooperation with South Korea and Japan, says US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman.

: South Korean delegates representing President-elect Yoon discuss the possible deployment of US strategic assets to South Korea in a meeting with US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan. 

: US Special Representative for North Korea Sung Kim and China’s Liu Xiaoming meet in Washington for talks on ways to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula. 

: Top nuclear envoys of South Korea and the IS agree to jointly push for a new UNSC resolution against North Korea over its recent series of ballistic missile launches. 

: Kim Yo Jong, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, blasts South Korea’s defense minister for highlighting Seoul’s “preemptive strike” capabilities and threatens the South for making such “reckless” remarks, according to Pyongyang’s state media.

: US imposes fresh sanctions on five North Korean entities involved in the North’s recent missile tests that included its first ICBM launch in over four years.

: South Korea conducts its first successful launch of a solid-fuel space rocket as part of a project to deploy civilian and military surveillance satellites, says the Defense Ministry.

: President-elect Yoon calls for closer trilateral cooperation with the US and Japan to deter North Korea from pursuing its nuclear weapons program in a meeting with Japan’s ambassador. 

: Biden administration seeks a 4.1% increase in defense spending, citing the US’ growing competition with China and threats from North Korea.

: US and South Korean intelligence believe the ICBM launched by North Korea was actually a Hwasong-15 missile disguised to look like the newer, larger Hwasong-17, according to South Korean military sources.

: North Korea says that it successfully test-fired a new ICBM, called the Hwasong-17, the previous day on the direct order of leader Kim Jong Un.

: North Korea fires an apparent long-range ballistic missile toward the East Sea says South Korea’s military. The North’s move came four days after it fired four artillery shots into the Yellow Sea, apparently using multiple rocket launchers.

: South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong and Secretary of State Blinken discuss North Korea’s missile tests over the phone, condemning them as violating UNSC resolutions.

: US condemns North Korea’s launch of an ICBM, vowing to take all necessary measures to ensure the security of the country and its allies.

: President-elect Yoon says that North Korea’s recent artillery firing was a violation of an inter-Korean military tension reduction agreement. 

: North Korea fires four suspected shots from its multiple rocket launchers into the Yellow Sea says South Korean military officials. 

: North Korea fires an apparent ballistic missile, but the launch ended in failure, says South Korea’s military. 

: USTR Tai says the South Korea-US free trade agreement (KORUS FTA) has greatly increased bilateral trade and investment but more can and should be done to advance the countries’ economic ties. 

: US imposes fresh sanctions on two Russian individuals and three entities for enabling North Korea’s weapons program, says the US Treasury Department. 

: Getting US-Korea ties back on track will be a top priority, says President-elect Yoon at his first press conference after the election results were released. 

: North Korea appears to be working to restore underground tunnels of its purportedly demolished Punggye-ri nuclear test site. 

: North Korea’s two most recent missile launches aim to test a new ICBM system ahead of a possible full-fledged ICBM test, says a senior US official. 

: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits the country’s space agency, saying the recent development of a reconnaissance satellite is aimed at collecting information on the US military in the region and its “vassal forces.” 

: Opposition candidate Yoon Suk-yeol is elected South Korea’s next president.

: US intensifies its intelligence collection activities around the Korean Peninsula.

: UNSC holds a closed-door meeting to discuss North Korea’s recent missile test, but fails to produce a text condemning the regime of its sanctions violations. 

: North Korea may resume nuclear and ICBM testing before the year’s end, says a US government report.

: Analysts say recent photos taken from space show new buildings and other signs of work at North Korea’s nuclear testing facility.

: The chief of the UN nuclear watchdog says that signs of activity have been detected at North Korea’s main Yongbyon nuclear complex and other facilities and called the reclusive regime’s nuclear program deeply regrettable. 

: North Korea fires a ballistic missile toward the East Sea. 

: South Korea wins an exemption from the United States’ expanded export restrictions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, says Seoul’s industry ministry.

: North Korea appears to continue producing fissile materials for nuclear weapons at its main Yongbyon nuclear facility, says a US monitoring website, citing recent satellite imagery of Yongbyon.

: South Korea backs a statement issued by 10 other members of the UN condemning North Korea’s latest missile launch in the strongest terms. 

: South Korea decides to ban exports of strategic materials to Russia as part of efforts to join global sanctions against Moscow following its invasion of Ukraine. 

: North Korea fires an unidentified projectile, says South Korea’s military. 

: North Korea ascribes the armed conflict in Ukraine to US “high-handedness and arbitrariness,” accusing Washington of having pursued “military supremacy” in disregard of Russia’s security concerns.

: Top diplomats of South Korea and the United States strongly condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and reaffirm their support for Ukraine. 

: Department of Defense spokesperson Kirby says the US welcomes South Korea’s decision to impose sanctions on Russia for what the US calls an unlawful and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. 

: South Korea vows to join the international community to impose export controls against Russia in case of a full-fledged invasion of Ukraine but stopped short of drawing up its own punitive measures against Moscow.

: President Moon Jae-in says South Korea will join international sanctions against Russia as he expressed regret over Russia’s attack on Ukraine, saying any use of armed force causing human casualties cannot be justified.

: In an apparent warning to North Korea and China, the United States deploys an unspecified number of F-35A stealth fighter jets to Okinawa.

: More than half of South Koreans support the acquisition of nuclear weapons either through indigenous development or the deployment of US assets, according to a survey by Chicago Council on Global Affairs. 

: Biden administration’s new Indo-Pacific strategy looks to cement trilateral cooperation with Asian allies, South Korea and Japan, as a core lever to counter China’s assertiveness and North Korea’s nuclear ambitions under its newly unveiled. 

: South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong, Secretary of State Blinken, and Japanese FM Hayashi urge North Korea to halt its destabilizing actions and return to dialogue.

: President Joe Biden nominates a senior member of the US foreign service, Philip Goldberg, as ambassador to South Korea.

: Top nuclear negotiators of South Korea, Japan and the US discuss ways to engage with North Korea. 

: North Korea harbors an undisclosed missile operation base built specifically for a unit equipped with intermediate-range and potentially intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), according to a CSIS report.

: Senior defense officials of South Korea, Japan and the US hold three-way talks to discuss ways to mitigate threats posed by North Korea, says the US Department of Defense. 

: Top diplomats of South Korea and the US express strong concern about recent advances in North Korea’s missile program and stress the significance of diplomatic efforts to resume talks with Pyongyang. 

: According to US congressional records, South Korea seeks to purchase six close-in weapon systems (CIWS) for its naval ships from the United States. 

: North Korea fires ballistic missile toward the East Sea said South Korea’s military. It conducted four other launches earlier this month, including those of what it claimed to be hypersonic missiles.

: South Korea’s top trade official calls on the United States to swiftly begin talks to revise Section 232 tariffs on Seoul’s steel exports. South Korean Trade Minister Yeo Han-koo made the request to US Trade Representative Katherine Tai during a meeting in Washington.

: North Korea sets off another volley of suspected short-range ballistic or tactical guided missiles. South Korean military authorities say the missiles landed in eastern waters off the Korean Peninsula.

: Department of Defense Press Secretary Kirby says the US is equally focused on dealing with the threat posed by North Korea just as it is with all other major security issues.

: North Korea fires two suspected cruise missiles from an inland area, its fifth such test this year. 

: Department of Defense Press Secretary John Kirby says the US . continues to call on North Korea to stop its provocations and instead return to dialogue to find ways to de-escalate tension.

: United States and seven other members of the UNSC call on all UN members to fully implement UNSC sanctions on North Korea. 

: State Department spokesperson says the US strongly supports humanitarian assistance for the people of North Korea but UNSC sanctions must be fully implemented at the same time. 

: North Korea holds policymaking politburo meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party presides over by Kim Jong Un and decides to consider restarting all temporally-suspended activities. 

: South Korea’s top nuclear envoy holds back-to-back phone talks with US and Chinese counterparts amid rising tension over North Korea’s apparent threat of nuclear and long-range weapons tests. 

: Top trade officials of South Korea and the US agree to strengthen their strategic partnership to actively respond to supply chain issues, new technologies, and other major trade issues. 

: Top nuclear envoys of South Korea, the US, and Japan hold discussion about North Korea’s latest missile test and agreed to maintain close trilateral cooperation in the region.

: United States blasts North Korea for its tactical guided missile test, which the North’s official state news agency revealed was conducted by its railway-based missile regiment.

: Secretary Blinken condemns North Korea’s recent missile tests as a violation of multiple UNSC resolutions and reaffirmed the “ironclad” security commitment to South Korea.

: North Korea fires two suspected ballistic missiles eastward, South Korea’s military said, after Pyongyang publicly warned earlier in the day of a “stronger and certain” response to the United States’ imposition of new sanctions.

: US Department of Treasury designates five North Korean individuals, one based in Russia and four in China, for illegally procuring materials for the North’s WMD and ballistic missile programs. 

: North Korea fires a suspected ballistic missile toward the East Sea, less than a week after it launched what it claimed to be a hypersonic missile. US Indo-Pacific Command characterized the North’s projectile as a “ballistic missile,” which highlights the “destabilizing impact” of the North’s illicit weapons program.

: Pentagon press secretary John Kirby says North Korea’s latest missile test is in violation of UN Security Council resolutions, regardless of whether it involved a hypersonic missile as claimed by the North, said. 

: Top nuclear envoys of South Korea and the US hold phone talks over North Korea’s latest launch of a ballistic missile and stressed the importance of maintaining the allies’ combined defense posture.

: United States and five other countries (Albania, Britain, France, Ireland and Japan) call on North Korea to cease missile tests and engage in denuclearization negotiations. They argue the tests will advance the North’s capabilities and add to its illicit arms exports.

: Senior diplomats of South Korea and Iran discuss Iranian assets frozen here under US sanctions, with the thorny bilateral issue on the table for talks in Vienna aimed at restoring the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal. During the meeting, South Korea’s First Vice Foreign Minister Choi Jong-kun expressed hope for an early agreement on the nuclear deal, while the two sides shared the understanding that Tehran’s frozen assets should be released soon.

: North Korea fires what appears to be a ballistic missile toward the East Sea. 

: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken condemns North Korea’s latest missile test in his telephone conversation with Japanese Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa. 

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