US - Korea

Chronology from Apr 2009 to Jul 2009

: The Obama administration names Philip Goldberg to lead a task force coordinating Washington’s political, military, and financial measures against the DPRK.

: President Obama extends sanctions on commerce with the DPRK for a year under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and the Trading with the Enemy Act.

: UN Development Program says that aid projects will continue as planned in North Korea regardless of the sanctions resolution. U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) also says plans to continue its medical aid projects for the DPRK.

: U.S. officials say the U.S. military is tracking a DPRK ship believed to be carrying illicit weapons in the Pacific Ocean.

: Secretary Gates orders the U.S. military to take defensive measures should the DPRK attempt to fire a ballistic missile toward Hawaii.

: DPRK newspaper Rodong Sinmun denounces the ROK for “begging” the U.S. for nuclear protection.

: President Lee and President Obama hold a summit in Washington. They adopt a statement for a “joint vision for the Korea-U.S. alliance.”

: Meeting with President Lee, Secretary Gates says the U.S. will use all means necessary, including nuclear arms, to defend the ROK against military threats from the DPRK.

:  UNSC unanimously passes Resolution 1874, which calls on UN members to inspect cargo vessels suspected of carrying military materials in or out of North Korea.

: DPRK Foreign Ministry denounces UNSC Resolution 1874 and says that North Korea would “weaponize” its existing plutonium stockpiles, begin a program to enrich uranium and take “firm military action if the United States and its allies try to isolate us.”

: Special Envoy Stephen Bosworth says the U.S. will do what is necessary for the security of its allies, but has no plans to invade the DPRK or overthrow its government by force.

: North Korea’s official news agency announces two U.S. journalists who committed a “grave crime” would be sentenced to 12 years of “reform through labor.”

: Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs Philip Crowley says the U.S. has no intention of relisting the DPRK as a state sponsor of terrorism despite nuclear and missile tests that escalated regional tensions.

: Former Defense Secretary William Perry says that if non-military options do not stem the DPRK’s escalation of tension, the U.S. must consider others, namely military options.

: U.S. delegation led by Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg visits Tokyo, Seoul, and Beijing for talks on how to respond to North Korea’s latest nuclear test.

: Secretary of Defense Gates says the U.S. would hold the DPRK accountable for selling or transferring nuclear material outside its borders.

: Yonhap reports the DPRK has restarted its nuclear reprocessing facility.

: North Korean newspaper Choson Sinbo reports that the DPRK will continue to raise the stakes no matter how seriously it is punished by the international community unless the U.S. takes direct action to resolve the nuclear crisis.

: North Korea announces that it no longer considers the Korean Armistice Agreement valid.

: President Obama criticizes the DPRK for its nuclear test, saying the world must “stand up to” Pyongyang and demand that it honor a promise to abandon its nuclear ambitions.

: South Korean government announces that it will fully participate in the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI).

: President Obama tells President Lee in a telephone conversation that “U.S. military strength and nuclear umbrella were expansive enough to protect South Korea.”

: DPRK conducts its second underground nuclear weapons test.

: DPRK fires two short-range missiles from its east coast.

: DPRK’s Korean Central News Agency states that Chairman Kim Jong-il has expressed condolences to the family of former President Roh Moo-hyun.

: Former ROK President Roh Moo-hyun commits suicide.

: President Obama says the KORUS FTA would enhance and promote bilateral ties and prosperity between the two allies.

: U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates says the 30 ground-based missile interceptor system of the U.S. “is only capable against North Korea, and that 30 interceptors in fact provide a strong defense against Pyongyang.”

: DPRK government newspaper Minju Joson says the DPRK will not come back to the negotiation table unless the U.S. and the ROK give up their “hostile policy.”

: Russian Ambassador-at-large Grigory Logvinov, Moscow’s representative to the Six-Party Talks, and U.S. Special Envoy Sung Kim meet in Moscow and agree to search for diplomatic solutions for settling the dispute surrounding the DPRK’s nuclear program.

: U.S. Special Representative for DPRK Policy Stephen Bosworth says he would consider visiting Pyongyang to revive stalled talks on dismantling the DPRK’s nuclear program.

: North Korea rejects bilateral talks with the U.S. and vows to strengthen its nuclear deterrent because the Obama administration is taking a hostile stance towards the country.

: The DPRK criticizes the U.S. for seeking to increase its military spending, vowing to bolster its own defense capabilities to cope with what it calls “increasing American threats.”

: An unidentified DPRK spokesman says President Obama is no different from his predecessor in trying to “stifle” countries that are uncooperative with the U.S.

: Secretary Clinton says the U.S. will not provide economic aid to the DPRK until it stops threatening to conduct further nuclear and missile tests and returns to the Six-Party Talks.

: Secretary Clinton says it is “implausible, if not impossible” that the DPRK will return to international talks on ending its nuclear ambitions.

: The DPRK says it will conduct a second nuclear test and test-launch ballistic missiles unless the UN apologizes for condemning its recent rocket launch.

: The ROK and the U.S. fail to agree on the completion date and cost-sharing for the relocation of U.S. troops on the peninsula.

: Gen. Walter Sharp, the commander of the U.S. forces in Korea stresses that Washington will continue to offer the ROK protection under its nuclear umbrella after the 2012 transfer of wartime operational control.

: The ROK Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee approves the KORUS FTA, paving the way for the entire Assembly to vote on the pact.

: The DPRK orders International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors and a separate U.S. nuclear monitoring team out of the country.

: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton criticizes the DPRK for its decision to restart its nuclear reactor and to boycott the Six-Party Talks.

: The U.S. and Japan propose lists of DPRK companies, banks, and missile-related equipment to be targeted by the UN sanctions that are to be enforced for the first time since they were imposed in 2006.

: The DPRK Foreign Ministry issues a statement saying the DPRK “resolutely rejects” the “unjust” action taken by the UN and that the DPRK “will bolster its nuclear deterrent for self-defense in every way.”

: The UNSC unanimously adopts a nonbinding President’s Statement on the DPRK rocket launch, condemning the action as a violation of a resolution banning the country from all missile activity and demanding no further launches.

: Yonhap reports that the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) wants a free trade pact with the ROK to be ratified without renegotiation.

: DPRK warns that it would take “strong steps” if the UNSC took any action in response to the launch, threatening to boycott the Six-Party Talks and restart its nuclear facilities.

: North Korean Supreme People’s Assembly (SPA) meets and reelects Kim Jong-il to a five-year term as the Chairman of the National Defense Commission (NDC). The SPA also promotes Kim’s brother-in-law, Jang Song-taek, to serve on the NDC.

: Chosun Ilbo reports that the DPRK notified the U.S., China, and Russia in advance of its plan to launch the long-range rocket. According to a ROK National Intelligence Service official, “it is unprecedented for the North to notify the U.S. in advance of the time.”

: North Korea launches a rocket, which ends up in the waters about 1,984 miles from the launch site, about double the range compared to the 1998 launch. U.S. analysts say the failure to launch a satellite might reveal a significant quality control problem in the DPRK.

: President Obama tells Chinese President Hu Jintao that the U.S. would consider a DPRK missile launch provocative and that the U.S. would seek punishment at the UN in response. Obama and President Lee agree on the need for “a unified response by the international community in the event that North Korea launches a long-range missile.”

: Reuters reports that President Barack Obama told President Lee Myung-bak that he wants to make progress on a free trade deal between the two countries.

Date Range