US - Korea

Chronology from Apr 2007 to Jul 2007

: U.S. House of Representatives approves resolution condemning Japan’s sexual enslavement of women during WWII, some of whom were Korean, and urges Japan to apologize.

: South Korea announces it plans to issue e-passports as part of visa waiver program.

: U.S. calls for immediate release of South Korean hostages in Afghanistan, but affirms that it doesn’t negotiate with terrorists.

: First Session of the Sixth Round of Six-Party Talks resumes in Beijing after a four-month recess.

: South Korea and U.S. agree to provide political incentives for North Korea as part of denuclearization of the North.

: North Korea states that it has shut down its Yongbyon nuclear facility after receiving the first shipment of heavy fuel oil on July 13. IAEA verifies the shutdown on July 16.

: North Korean Lt Gen. Ri Chan-bok, who heads the North`s mission at Panmunjom, announces “Pyongyang wants direct military talks with Washington in the presence of a United Nations representative any place and any time.”

: UN inspectors head to Pyongyang to verify shutdown of North Korean’s Yongbyon nuclear facility.

: North Korea proposes bilateral talks with U.S. to replace armistice that ended Korean War in 1953.

: South Korea sends 1st shipment of 6,200 tons of fuel oil (of a total of 50,000 tons), to North Korea.

: South Korea’s Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Song Min-soon says South Korea should tie denuclearization of North Korea to the end of the Korean War.

: At a forum in Seoul, Gen. Burwell Bell, commander of U.S. Forces Korea, comments that North Korea remains a threat despite its move toward dismantling their nuclear program.

: U.S. President Bush pledges to include South Korea in visa waiver program with U.S.

: U.S. and South Korea rename military drills from RSOI (Reception, Staging, Onward Movement, Integration) to “Key Resolve.

: Bush and Roh agree to hold summit on sidelines of UN in September.

: Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi visits Pyongyang and meets with Kim Jong-il.

: U.S. and South Korea sign bilateral trade agreement.

: U.S. and South Korean officials sign the FTA in Washington despite threat from Democratic Congressional leaders to oppose ratification of the agreement.

: South Korean PM Han Duck-soo says Korea has accepted new U.S. labor and environmental standards in the FTA, to further U.S. congressional ratification.

: A White House spokesman says the U.S. is “deeply troubled” by repeated North Korean short-range missile tests, which occurred on May 25, June 7, and June 27.

: IAEA inspectors visit the Yongbyon nuclear facility and the under construction facility in Taechon in North Korea.

: North Korea announces that it has received funds from the BDA accounts.

: Amb. Hill announces in Seoul that North Korea has reaffirmed its willingness to shut down its nuclear reactor under the Feb. 13 agreement.

: U.S. head nuclear talks envoy Amb. Hill visits Pyongyang and has discussions on “all aspects of the six-party process” with DPRK Foreign Minister Pak Ui-chan and nuclear talks counterpart Kim Gye-gwan.

: U.S. and South Korean negotiators begin talks in Seoul to negotiate additional FTA proposal submitted by the U.S.

: Ambassador Hill says BDA funds have been transferred to North Korea.

: ROK FM Song Min-soon and Secretary Rice consult by phone over the North Korean nuclear issue and the KORUS FTA.

: Seoul holds inter-agency ministers’ meeting to discuss the ROK’s position on Washington’s proposal based on new U.S. trade policy guidelines.

: The 13th Security Policy Initiative is held in Seoul. Topics covered relocation of U.S. bases and transfer of wartime control from the U.S. to South Korea.

: North Korea conducts a short-range missile test off its western coast.

: North Korea rejects implementing the Feb. 13 denuclearization agreement until the BDA dispute is resolved.

: Korean and U.S. FTA delegations meet in Washington to complete the legal review process of the FTA text.

: The full text of the U.S.-Korea FTA is released.

: PM Han Duck-soo says that Korea will not renegotiate the FTA even if requested by the U.S., however further talks are possible as “additional negotiations.”

: South Korea says it will “thoroughly consider” the U.S. request for renegotiation of the FTA.

: North and South Korea do a test-run of linked train lines. To do the test, South Korea agreed to supply the North with $80 million of aid to develop light industry.

: Chief South Korean FTA negotiator Amb. Kim Jong-hoon tells Yonhap News in a phone interview that “if the U.S. demands South Korea renegotiate to reflect its unilateral view, we could break down the agreement. We couldn’t one-sidely accept a request to renegotiate the agreement that already reflects the balance of interests.”

: Washington presents Seoul with specific text based on the new trade policy guidelines incorporating labor and environment concerns and a request to hold additional bilateral consultations in the later half of June.

: Amb. Vershbow says the U.S. seeks to revise U.S.-Korea FTA based on new U.S. trade policy guidelines that call for higher labor and environmental standards.

: ROK Trade Minister Kim Hyun-chong tells Amb. Vershbow that FTA renegotiations would be “impossible.”

: Washington announces new trade policy that incorporates labor, the environment, and intellectual property rights protection.

: Amb. Vershbow says a peace treaty ending the Korean War could be negotiated before President George W. Bush’s term ends.

: U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Alexander Vershbow says South Korea’s policy of engagement with North Korea should keep pace with denuclearization process.

: The second ROK-U.S. Consultations on Reconstruction and Stabilization is held to share experiences with providing emergency relief and reconstruction assistance for countries hit by natural disasters.

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