US - Korea

Chronology from Oct 2006 to Dec 2006

: Vietnam’s East Asia Commercial Bank closes all correspondent accounts to transfer money in and out of North Korea. The decision was the result of Vietnam’s entry into the WTO and growing ties with the U.S.

: Robert Gates sworn in at the 22nd U.S. defense secretary.

: Six-Party Talks held in Beijing and recess with little progress. On the sidelines Dec. 19, the U.S. and the DPRK meet to discuss the BDA issues.

: Eighth UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is sworn in.

: In Senate confirmation hearings, Robert Gates, defense secretary-designate states “strong military-to-military relations in Asia, particularly with Japan and South Korea, complement regional diplomacy with deterrence.”

: Presidential memorandum is sent to Secretary Rice to impose sanctions on North Korea as described in Arms Export Control Act and the Atomic Energy Act.

: U.S. Special Envoy on Human Rights in North Korea Jay Lefkowitz attends a UN meeting on North Korean human rights abuses. He states that China and South Korea should play an active role pressing North Korea to end abuses.

: U.S. and South Korean defense officials finalize military burden-sharing arrangements for 2007.

: South Korea announces it has informed the U.S. of its plan to reduce the number of Korean troops in Iraq while extending their deployment for one year.

: The U.S. and South Korea open their fifth round of bilateral meetings on a Free Trade Agreement in Big Sky, Montana.

: Korea rejects second batch of U.S. beef.

: U.S. Commerce Department reveals that luxury goods such as ipods and jet skis are on the list of items banned for export to North Korea under UNSCR 1718.

: Ambassadors Christopher Hill and Kim Gye-gwan begin two days of meetings in Beijing about resuming the Six-Party Talks; South Korea extends its deployment of troops in Iraq for a year.

: Korea rejects shipment of U.S. beef because of bone fragments.

: In Hanoi, Presidents Bush and Roh reaffirm their joint stance not to tolerate North Korea’s nuclear program.

: U.S. and South Korean defense officials begin two days of meetings on burden-sharing arrangements in Washington.

: South Korea announces it will not join Proliferation Security Initiative.

: First sub-ministerial meeting of the ROK-U.S. Strategic Consultation for Allied Partnership is held in Seoul with Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Yu Myung-hwan and Under Secretary Burns heading the respective delegations.

: President Roh nominates Lee Jae-jeong, senior vice president of the Advisory Council on Democratic and Peaceful Unification as unification minister; Song Min-soon, chief secretary to the president for unification, foreign, and security affairs as foreign minister; Kim Jang-soo, Army chief of staff, as minister of defense; and Kim Man-bok, first deputy director of the National Intelligence Service (NIS), as NIS director.

: North Korea announces that it will return to the Six-Party Talks after a secret meeting between Kim Gye-gwan, Christopher Hill, and Wu Dawei. U.S. tells North Korea that it is prepared to discuss issues surrounding Banco Delta Asia and to form a working group to address the issue.

: Secretary General-elect and ROK Foreign Minister Ban makes a working visit to China to meet President Hu, State Councilor Tang, and Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing and to discuss the North Korea nuclear standoff.

: Fourth round of U.S.-Korea talks on a Free Trade Agreement open in Jeju.

: U.S. and Korea reach agreement on transfer of wartime operational control at the 38th Security Consultative Meeting in Washington.

: ROK, U.S., and Japan foreign ministers hold a two-hour trilateral meeting at ROK FM Ban’s residence. This is the first trilateral meeting among the three countries ministers since October 2000.

: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in Seoul urges President Roh Moo-hyun to “take stock of the leverage we have” on North Korea.

: The 28th ROK-U.S. Military Committee Meeting (MCM) is held in Washington, D.C.

: U.S. Congress enacts National Defense Authorization Act for 2007, which requires appointment of a senior U.S. coordinator on Korea within 60 days.

: Ambassador Vershbow urges South Korea to “thoroughly review” economic ties with North Korea.

: UN General Assembly elects ROK Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon as the next UN secretary general.

: UNSC imposes sanctions on North Korea for its nuclear test.

: DPRK Korea Central News Agency declares U.S.-initiated UN sanctions an “act of war.”

: North Korea announces that it has successfully completed an underground test of its nuclear bomb.

: North Korea conducts an underground nuclear test.

: Ambassador Vershbow says the nuclear test makes bilateral talks with North Korea less likely.

: Presidents Roh Moo-hyun and George W. Bush have a 20-minute phone conversation regarding the announcement of the nuclear test by North Korea.

: U.N. Security Council issues an unanimous statement that a nuclear test would “jeopardize peace, stability and security in the region and beyond.”

: UN Security Council (UNSC) expresses “deep concern” about a possible North Korean nuclear test.

: U.S. sends a message to DPRK via their UN mission in New York not to conduct the test.

: North Korea announces that it would conduct a nuclear test at an unspecified future date.

: North Korea announces it “is set to conduct a nuclear test in the future.”

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