US - Korea

Chronology from Oct 2007 to Dec 2007

: President-Elect Lee vows to revise “Sunshine Policy” with North Korea.

:   Former Seoul Mayor Lee Myung-bak of the conservative Grand National Party is elected president of South Korea.

: Sung Kim, director of the Korea Desk at the U.S. State Department visits North Korea to discuss the declaration of its nuclear programs. According to sources, North Korean officials repeatedly denied the existence of a uranium enrichment program during the visit.

: South Korean news agency Yonhap reports that North Korea responded verbally to the personal letter from President Bush to Chairman Kim Jong-il saying the North “appreciates President Bush’s letter, will fulfill its obligations and expects the U.S. to perform what it has to do.” It was unclear whether the North Korean message was from Chairman Kim.

: New York Philharmonic Orchestra announces that it will perform in North Korea on Feb. 26, 2008.

: South Korea withdraws its military forces from Afghanistan.

: Christopher Hill delivers a personal letter from President Bush to Kim Jong-il that urges North Korea to fully declare their nuclear programs.

: Christopher Hill, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, visits China, Japan, South, and North Korea to discuss the North Korea disarmament process.

: House of Representatives proposes citizenship to Korean War children.

:   President Roh proposes immediate four-party talks on peace on the Korean Peninsula.

: South Korea and U.S. conduct ground-breaking ceremony for $12 billion Yongsan base relocation project in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province.

: North Korea expresses gratitude for U.S. help in ending a high-seas standoff with Somali pirates, describing the maritime collaboration as a “symbol of cooperation” between the two countries “in the struggle against terrorism.”

: President Bush encourages U.S. Congress to pass FTA.

: U.S. team begins disabling North Korea’s nuclear facilities.

: President Roh calls for the National Assembly to ratify the KORUS FTA.

: South Korean Foreign Minister Song Min-Soon visits Canada and U.S.

: Nine-member U.S. team of nuclear experts arrive in North Korea to begin supervising the disablement of the nuclear facilities at Yongbyon, which is expected to begin within a week.

: U.S. Navy assists crew of hijacked North Korea ship of the Somali coast.

: U.S. and South Korea discuss visa waiver program and South Korea’s electronic passport progress.

: U.S. calls for talks among the U.S., South Korea, North Korea, and China regarding ending the Korean War.

: U.S. House of Representatives passes a resolution calling on Chinese government to stop forcible repatriation of North Korea refuges.

: U.S. says it plans to share advanced surveillance aircraft, the Global Hawk, with South Korea by 2011.

:   President Roh says his government will seek a one-year extension for South Korea troops in Iraq.

: Follow-on team comprised of 12 U.S. nuclear experts arrives in Pyongyang to negotiate specific steps in implementing the agreement to disable North Korea’s nuclear facilities by the end of the year.

: U.S. trade officials assert U.S. Congress will not debate KORUS FTA until U.S. beef imports resume to South Korea.

: U.S. and South Korea conduct talks to resume importation of U.S. beef.

:   South Korea begins environmental cleanup for 32 of 59 U.S. military facilities that will be returned to South Korea as part of 2004 land swap to reposition U.S. forces south of Seoul.

: U.S. nuclear disablement team arrives in North Korea to finalize a plan for disablement procedures for North Korean nuclear facilities.

: South Korea resumes annual military training exercise Hwarang, which was delayed during the October South Korea/North Korea summit.

: President Roh and North Korea Leader Kim Jong-il sign a declaration for the advancement of inter-Korean relations, peace and prosperity at the close of the inter-Korean summit in Pyongyang.

:   Beijing announces that a joint agreement reached at the Six-Party Talks on disabling North Korea’s nuclear facilities and declaration of its nuclear programs by Dec. 31 has been approved by all parties.

:   White House denies that President Bush will meet presidential hopeful Lee Myung-bak, saying that it didn’t want to interfere with South Korea’s politics.

:   At North-South Summit, Kim Jong-il and President Roh Moo-hyun discuss inter-Korean peace and investment plans.

: State Department spokesperson announces the U.S. has endorsed the draft joint statement that sets out the second stage of North Korea’s denuclearization process.

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