US - Korea

Chronology from May 2020 to Aug 2020

: North Korea broadcasts alleged encrypted spy message for first time on state-run Radio Pyongyang’s YouTube channel.

: US Department of Justice files civil forfeiture complaint against 280 North Korean-linked cryptocurrency accounts.

: North Korean TV stations air footage of damage caused by Typhoon Bavi as Kim Jong Un emphasizes need to minimize damage at politburo meeting.

: Esper says the goal of “complete, verifiable and irreversible” denuclearization of North Korea hasn’t changed, reiterating diplomacy as “best path forward.”

: South Korea reportedly to purchase 40 Lockheed Martin F-35 jets at the cost of $6.7 billion to be delivered by the end of 2021.

: During speech on first day of Republican National Convention, Trump says he improved the 2012 US-Korea free trade agreement.

: Kim Jong Un reportedly delegates partial power to sister Kim Yo Jong, among other close aides.

: Kim Jong Un says he will present a new five-year economic development plan at a Eighth Congress of the Workers’ Party in January 2021.

: Department of State says it regularly “coordinates on diplomatic efforts” with South Korea on inter-Korean affairs following US Ambassador to South Korea Harry Harris’ statement reaffirming importance of inter-Korean cooperation working group.

: President Trump says Kim Jong Un is among “world-class chess-players,” adding “we get along.”

: US and South Korea began computer-simulated annual Combined Command Post Training (CCPT/CPX) exercises planned to run until Aug. 28.

: Kim Jong Un lifts lockdown on Kaesong, insisting on closed borders and rejection of international flood aid.

: ROK Unification Ministry launches investigation into North Korean civic and defector groups.

: ROK Ministry of Defense releases $252.7 billion five-year defense blueprint including acquisition of light aircraft carrier and multi-tiered missile interception system.

: US Defense Secretary Mark Esper remarks that expanding “lateral partnerships with South Korea and other Asian nations can help deter China’s ‘bad behavior’” during Aspen Security Forum.

: Trump says North Korea would be “wanting to make a deal” if US presidential elections were not months away.

: Trump says “…you don’t know that, and they have spikes,” during interview when asked if he thought South Korea was faking its COVID-19 statistics.

: US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs David Stilwell says North Korea “must halt provocations, abide by its obligations under the UNSCRs, and engage in sustained negotiations” to achieve fully verified denuclearization during 33rd US-ASEAN Dialogue.

: US Deputy Special Representative for North Korea Alex Wong says “US is ready” to negotiate on North Korean denuclearization.

: Donna Welton, former assistant chief of mission at the Embassy in Afghanistan, named new envoy for defense cost-sharing negotiations with South Korea replacing Jim DeHart.

: Chicago Council of Global Affairs releases poll presenting that 90% of South Korean adults support the US-ROK alliance despite tensions over burden sharing.

: Kim Jong Un calls his nuclear weapons a “reliable, effective” deterrent that could prevent a second war in address celebrating 67th anniversary of the Korean War armistice.

: South Korea confirms former North Korean defector secretly crossed back to North Korea, but cannot confirm if he had COVID-19.

: North Korea declares state of emergency and places Kaesong under lockdown after allegedly finding South Korean runaway with COVID-19 symptoms in city.

: South Korea rejects UNC request to hold annual ceremony of Korean War armistice agreement at Freedom House in Panmunjom over coronavirus concerns and inter-Korean tensions.

: US flies spy plane RC-135W Rivet Joint over South Korea to reconnoiter North Korea, possibly in reaction to recent Central Military Commission meeting.

: Kim Jong Un rebukes officials during “field guidance” trip over “careless” construction of large-scale hospital planned for completion by October 10.

: Kim Jong Un presides over Central Military Commission meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party concerning “bolstering a war deterrent of the country.”

: South Korea says there were no discussions with US on US troop drawdown from Korean Peninsula following report that Pentagon provided troop cut proposals in March.

: North Korean Pyongyang science research council claims it is developing vaccine for COVID-19.

: Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan claims President Trump called South Koreans “terrible people” during private dinner, and questioned US protection of South Korea because “they don’t pay us.”

: Kim Yo Jong states that she doubts a US-North Korea summit will take place this year, adding that the summit would only serve to benefit the US.

: Pompeo says he is “very hopeful” about resuming denuclearization talks with North Korea.

: Kim Jong Un suspends planned military action against South Korea in fifth meeting of the Seventh Central Military Commission of the Workers’ Party.

: John Bolton, in his memoir, claims Trump thought the 2017 Singapore Summit with Kim Jong Un would be “great theater” and claims that Moon set unrealistic expectations concerning denuclearization.

: North Korea blows up inter-Korean liaison office in Kaesong, followed by US urging North Korea from “further counterproductive actions.”

: North Korean People’s Army’s General Staff says it is prepared to move armed forces into DMZ.

: North Korean state media threatens South Korea with “severe punishment” over tepid approach to inter-Korean relations, saying “no need to sit face to face with the South Korean authorities.

: North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Son Gwon vowed North Korea would build a reliable force to cope with long-term military threats from US, adding his country would “never again” provide US with “another package” that Trump could use to boast.

: North Korean director general of the American affairs department of the Foreign Ministry Kwon Jong-gun warns the US against meddling in inter-Korean affairs, threatening a “hair-riser” during American elections.

: North Korean Central News Agency says the country will cut all inter-Korean communication following order of Kim Yo Jong.

: Kim Jong Un convenes Politburo meeting of Workers’ Party concerning economic self-sufficiency.

: South Korean Ministry of Unification releases statement denoting suspension of leaflet activities as a risk to inter-Korean cooperation.

: Kim Yo Jong, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, threatens to withdraw from inter-Korean military agreement and exchange projects over anti-Pyongyang leaflet activity.

: In phone call Moon says he would accept Trump’s invitation to G7 summit.

: US Justice Department indicts 28 North Koreans with facilitating $2.5 billion in illegal payments for Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons and missile program.

: UN Command concludes that both North and South Korea violated 1953 armistice agreement during exchange of fire following multinational special investigation.

: Kim Jong Un, in first appearance in 20 days, convenes Central Military Commission meeting focused on increasing strategic nuclear deterrence capabilities, mentioning nothing on inter-Korean activity.

: South Korean President Moon Jae-in, in 3rd annual address to nation, says communications “not smooth” with North Korea, expressing hope for cooperation over coronavirus.

: Kim Jong Un extends greetings to Chinese President Xi Jinping, congratulating him on a successful COVID-19 response.

: North Korean military representative says South Korean military drills were a “grave provocation” and violated inter-Korean agreements.

: North Korean defectors-turned South Korean assemblymen Thae Yong-ho and Ji Seong-ho apologized for “rash, careless” remarks confirming Kim’s public disappearance.

: Pompeo reaffirms that denuclearization remains key US strategic goal following North Korean leader Kim’s public reappearance.

: North Korean soldiers fire at a South Korean guardpost across the DMZ, prompting South Korean retaliatory fire with no damages or casualties, in the first breach of 2018 inter-Korean military pact.

Date Range