US - Korea
Chronology from May 2022 to Aug 2022
: Vedant Patel, principal deputy spokesperson for the State Department, insists that THAAD is a “purely defensive measure to protect ROK” from North Korea threats. Criticism or pressure on South Korea to abandon its self-defense is inappropriate, states Patel.
: Washington agrees to launch formal talks with Seoul to minimize the adverse effects of the Inflation Reduction Act on South Korean electric vehicles.
: South Korea participates in Pacific Vanguard exercise, a US-led multinational maritime exercise, involving Australia, Canada, and Japan.
: South Korea waits for a ruling from the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes on the multibillion dollar damages suit that US private equity firm Lone Star filed against the country more than a decade ago.
: Seoul’s armed forces reveal that the ROK Navy joined a US-led multinational maritime exercise in waters off Guam earlier in August to enhance combined operational capabilities.
: South Korea launches government-civilian body tasked with an environmental impact assessment of the THAAD battery unit in Seongju. It consists of officials from provincial governments, environment and defense ministries, representatives of local residents, and experts in relevant private sectors. The Yoon administration has been pushing normalization of the battery.
: South Korean Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup meets troops at the Ground Component command, a wartime unit formed to conduct South Korea and the US’s Ulchi Freedom Shield exercise.
: Daniel Kritenbrink, US assistant secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, meets South Korean counterpart Yeo Seung-bae and makes courtesy calls on Foreign Minister Park Jin and Second Vice Foreign Minister Lee Do-hoon. Park raises concerns of Washington’s discriminatory treatment of Korean companies under the Inflation Reduction Act and Kritenbirk states that Washington is well aware of Seoul’s concerns and will continue consultations between the two governments. Kritenbrink reaffirms Washington’s “strong support” for Seoul’s “audacious” plan.
: Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association seeks a joint response with the European Union over the US Inflation Reduction Act that excludes electric vehicles assembled outside of North America from tax incentives.
: Seoul pushes for discussion with Washington over its new Chips and Science Act. South Korea’s industry ministry sets up a joint response team with private firms to review related trade regulations, boost communications with the US, and enhance monitoring of major nations’ moves regarding the law. Industry Minister Lee Chang-yang meets with related firms in the semiconductor, car, and battery sectors including Samsung, SK, LG, Hyundai, and Kia.
: Vedant Patel, US Principal Deputy Spokesperson for the State Department, reaffirms US commitment to the defense of South Korea and Japan.
: South Korea leads Ulchi Freedom Shield exercise for the first time, a sign of progress in the plan for the transition of wartime operational control (OPCON). South Korean Gen. Ahn Byung-Seok takes the commanding role as the two countries conduct the full operational capability (FOC) assessment, the second part of the three-stage program to assess the South’s capabilities to lead combined forces.
: US State Department spokesperson Price urges Pyongyang to respond positively to Seoul’s offer to help North Korea in exchange for denuclearization. The remarks come after Kim Yo Jong, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s sister, rejected South Korea’s offers.
: South Korea and the US begin Ulchi Freedom Shield (UFS) exercise. The first segment involves drills on repelling North Korean attacks and deafening the greater Seoul area while the second focuses on counterattack operations. The exercise also includes operational capability (FOC) assessment, a procedure for the envisioned transfer of wartime operational control (OPCON) from Washington to Seoul.
: South Korea reviews whether to file a complaint with the World Trade Organization over the Inflation Reduction Act.
: South Korea’s People Power Party (PPP) calls on the government to negotiate with the US to get South Korean-made electric vehicles eligible for tax benefits under the newly legislated Inflation Reduction Act. The PPP argues that Korea-made electric cars should receive equal tax benefits as those produced in the States in accordance with the free trade agreement between the two countries.
: South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin and US counterpart Blinken discuss the dismissal from Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, of President Yoon’s “audacious” initiative as the “height of absurdity.” They “expressed regret” over her statement.
: First Vice Foreign Minister Cho Hyun-dong conducts separate phone conversations with US Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley and EU mediator Enrique Mora to share the latest progress in negotiations to revive the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which is aimed at restoring a 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
: South Korean National Assembly speaker Kim Jin-pyo meets US Ambassador Goldberg to discuss ROK-US relations.
: Department Press Secretary Price states that the US sees the need to take “incremental steps” with North Korea to completely denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.
: In light of North Korea’s recent firing of cruise missiles, State Department Press Secretary Price reaffirmsthe US commitment to the defense of South Korea and the maintenance of strong sanctions against North Korea. Price states the US supports President Yoon’s initiative to engage with North Korea.
: South Korean Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup meets Gen. Paul Nakasone, commander of the US Cyber Command, to discuss cyber threats and ways to bolster the allies’ response capabilities.
: Major South Korean automakers, including Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Corp. voice concerns over the newly implemented Inflation reduction Act in Washington, which would provide tax incentives for electric vehicles solely manufactured in North America.
: North Korea test-fires two cruise missiles toward the Yellow Sea as President Yoon holds a press conference to mark the 100th day since taking office.
: Principal deputy spokesperson for the State Department states the US is concerned by North Korea’s “strengthened rhetoric” and is preparing for all contingencies amid signs North Korea is preparing for its seventh nuclear test. He also expresses concerns over the health of North Korean people during the pandemic.
: South Korea and the US hold regular defense talks on North Korea and a range of alliance issues such as THAAD during two-day Korea-US Integrated Defense Dialogue (KIDD). They agree to expand the size and scope of the combined Ulchi Freedom Shield exercise.
: Secretary of State Blinken highlights the importance of the US-South Korea alliance on South Korea’s Liberation Day.
: Poll by the Pew Research Center finds that nine out of 10 South Koreans hold a favorable view of the US and that 89% of South Koreans think the US is a “reliable partner.”
: President Yoon meets with Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates to discuss cooperation on vaccine development and other health issues. The South Korean government and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation sign a memorandum of understanding to expand international health partnerships and to enhance biotechnology manpower in low- and middle-income countries.
: Defense officials Park Nam-hee and Kelly Fletcher of South Korea and the US respectively, discuss cooperation in the area of defense-related information and communication technologies (ICT). Park and Fletcher exchange assessments of current trends regarding 5G networks and cloud computing.
: President Yoon hosts a dinner for US Ambassador Goldberg and US Forces Korea Commander Gen. Paul LaCamera to welcome the new ambassador to Korea and evaluate the security situation on the Korean peninsula.
: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un declares victory over COVID-19 at a national meeting where his sister, Kim Yo Jong, gives a speech stating her brother suffered a fever and blames the North Korean COVID-19 outbreak on leaflets flown across the border from South Korea.
: South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi agree that disputes over the US THAAD system should no longer hamper Seoul-Beijing relations. The ministers also discuss the supply chain issue and Park notifies wang of Seoul’s decision to join the US-led Chip 4 alliance “purely” in consideration of national interest.
: US imposes sanctions on virtual currency mixer Tornado Cash for its involvement in laundering over $455 million in virtual currency stolen by North Korea’s state-sponsored hacking group known as the Lazarus Group.
: South Korean Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup visits a US military base south of Seoul to highlight the “solid” US-ROK alliance and the need for thorough preparations for the upcoming Ulchi Freedom Shield (UFS) exercise.
: US Forces Korea (USFK) reveals that South Korean and US special commandos conducted combined military drills at Pilsung Range in an apparent show of firepower against evolving North Korean threats.
: South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin and Secretary Blinken discuss Indo-Pacific strategy on the sidelines of ASEAN-hosted annual sessions.
: US Ambassador Goldberg calls on North Korea to respond to Washington’s dialogue offers and stresses the firm goal of denuclearizing Korea through diplomacy.
: Unification Minister Kwon Young-se meets Ambassador Goldberg to discuss North Korea. Kwon also discusses ways to improve human rights in North Korea with Damon Wilson, president of the US-based National Endowment for Democracy.
: National Assembly Speaker Kim Jin-pyo meets Speaker Pelosi. Kim and Pelosi agree to support efforts to denuclearize North Korea and expand ties between the allies in other areas such as defense security, the economy, and technology. Rep. Kweon Seong-dong of the ruling People Power Party and Rep. Park Hong-geun of the main opposition Democratic Party also attend the meeting.
: President Yoon calls Speaker Pelosi to reaffirm his efforts to deepen the bilateral alliance and states that Pelosi’s visit is a sign of deterrence against North Korea.
: North Korea strongly denounces US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan and calls it an “impudent interference of the US in internal affairs of other countries” and that Washington is the root cause of “harassed peace and security in the region.”
: South Korean Minister of Science and ICT Lee Jong-ho meets Alondra Nelson, acting director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, to discuss ways to strengthen the countries’ technology alliance, such as through semiconductor and space exploration.
: Amid fears of a potential North Korean nuclear test, Secretary of State Blinken highlights the importance of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty during his address at the 10th NPT Review Conference at UN headquarters.
: South Korea’s foreign ministry refuses to comment on Nancy Pelosi’s expected visit to Taiwan but reaffirms position on the importance of “stability and peace” in the Taiwan Strait.
: South Korean Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup and US counterpart Austin decide to restart the allies’ Extended Deterrence Strategy and Consultation Group (EDSCG) in September and strengthen the Table Top Exercise (TTX).
: South Korean Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Lee Jong-ho visits US to discuss how to bolster military cooperation and ocean security with Secretary of Navy Carlos del Toro, Commander of US Indo-Pacific Command John Aquilino, and other senior military officials. A Korean fleet of warships, maritime aircraft, and around 1000 troops jointhe US-led Rim of Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC).
: In response to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s warning, State Department spokesperson Ned Price reaffirms that the US is firmly committed to the defense of South Korea and dismisses Kim’s threat as nothing new.
: President Yoon receives credentials of Philip Goldberg, newly appointed US Ambassador to Seoul.
: US Forces Korea (USFK) Commander Gen. Paul LaCamera stresses importance of strengthening the US-ROK alliance and notes that the Korean War has not ended and DPRK continues to be a threat.
: President Biden receives honorary Korean name of Bae Ji-sung by the ROK-US Alliance Friendship Association, as part of a weeklong commemoration to mark the end of the Korean War.
: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un warns that the Yoon administration and its “military gangsters” will face annihilation should it make any “dangerous attempt” like a preemptive strike. Kim stresses that his regime is “fully prepared” for any military confrontation with the US, referencing to the increasing frequency of US-ROK joint military exercises. This is the first time that Kim officially launched his position on the Yoon government.
: President Biden calls on Americans to honor those who sacrificed “everything to defend freedom and democracy” during the Korean War.
: NSC coordinator for strategic communications John Kirby states that the US and allies will take appropriate steps to hold North Korea accountable should it conduct a nuclear test.
: US military discloses photos of last week’s combined Marine Exercise Program (KMEP) drills with South Korean troops. This disclosure marks a shift from the allies’ low-key stance on the drills during the Moon administration.
: A ceremony for the Wall of Remembrance, a new Korean War monument in Washington, hosts around 3,000 people, including government officials, Korean War veterans and families, and other South Korean and US citizens. President Yoon celebrates the unveiling of this monument, saying that it represents the “firmness of the South Korea-US alliance.”
: US Undersecretary of State for Politics Affairs Victoria Nuland and First Vice Foreign Minister Cho Hyun-dong discuss the Extended Deterrence Strategy and Consultation Group (EDSCG). Nuland also meets South Korea’s top nuclear envoy Kim Gunn, Second Vice Foreign Minister Lee Do-hoon, and Foreign Minister Park Jin to discuss North Korea policy, global supply chain disruptions, and the war in Ukraine.
: President Biden talks virtually with Chey Tae-won, chairman of South Korea’s SK Group, and Gina Raimondo, US secretary of Commerce. They discuss SK Group’s investments in US manufacturing and jobs. This meeting is part of Biden’s goal to boost foreign investment in the US, especially in the semiconductor industry.
: A 14-member delegation from the American Chamber of Commerce in Korea (AMCHAM) meets more than 25 senior officials of the Biden administration to discuss the new US-led Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF). The delegation prioritizes South Korea as a key ally in the IPEF, identifies supply chains as important for US-ROK dialogue, and states that AMCHAN plans to create an IPEF working group to work on bilateral relations. AMCHAM proposes “concrete and strategic ways” that the US could deepen its economic ties with Seoul.
: South Korea seeks to coordinate with the US and other countries before announcing details of its “audacious plan” to revive North Korea’s economy in the event it accepts denuclearization.
: Kim Gunn, Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs, and Sung Kim, US Special Representative for North Korea, meet in Indonesia to craft a North Korea policy road map that will include economic incentives and security guarantees.
: To better handle North Korea’s missile threats, South Korea and the US plan to establish the Counter Missile Working Group (CMWG) and resume regiment-level or larger-scale combined field training programs, which were suspended in 2018. The summer allied training set for Aug. 22 to Sept. 1 will be called Ulchi Freedom Shield and will stage 11 combined field training sessions. In the first half of next year, both nations plan to conduct 21 combined training programs.
: South Korean Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup discusses regional security with US Ambassador Goldberg.
: South Korea’s National Intelligence Service Director Kim Kyou-hyun makes an unannounced visit to the US amid concerns over the possibility of a North Korean nuclear test.
: In its annual human trafficking report, US State Department downgrades South Korea to Tier 2 from its position of Tier 1 which it has held since 2002. South Korea’s foreign ministry vowed more efforts to combat human trafficking.
: South Korean National Security Advisor Kim Sung-han meets US Ambassador Goldberg to discuss the global comprehensive strategic alliance agreed by both presidents.
: South Korean Foreign and Trade Ministers Park Jin and Ahn Duk-geun participate in a virtual two-day Supply Chain Ministerial Forum co-hosted by Secretary of State Blinken and Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. Participants discusses ways to reduce short-term bottlenecks and solutions to longer-term supply chain challenges.
: South Korean ICT Minister Lee Jong-ho states that South Korea should be cautious in deciding whether to participate in a US-proposed chip alliance known as Chip 4 or Fab 4. The proposal puts South Korea in a delicate balancing act between the US and China.
: President Yoon meets Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to discuss rising inflation, stabilizing global energy prices, resolving supply chain disruptions, and strengthening the economic security alliance. Yellen advocated for bilateral “friend-shoring” to build more stable supply chains to reduce economic dependence on China.
: In a recently passed defense budget bill, the US House of Representatives stresses the need to maintain and possibly strengthen US military presence in South Korea.
: C.S. Eliot Kang, assistant secretary at the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, warns industry and government officials of North Korean IT workers posing as third-country citizens.
: Ambassador Goldberg stresses expanding bilateral relations in the face of global challenges such as interrupted supply chains, COVID-19, and Russia’s war in Ukraine.
: South Korea presidential official says Seoul and the US are using various channels to strengthen cooperation on semiconductors. This endeavor would also involve Japan and Taiwan.
: Ambassador to South Korea Goldberg speaks on evolving the bilateral relationship into a “comprehensive strategic one.”
: Commercial satellite imagery of North Korea’s Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Center shows the 5 MWe Reactor continues to produce plutonium for the country’s nuclear weapons program.
: Amid concerns that North Korea may conduct its seventh nuclear test, Department of State Counselor Derek Chollet visits Seoul to discuss ways to strengthen the US-ROK alliance.
: South Korea and the US consider the resumption of combined field training during their regular military exercise set for the next month.
: South Korea and the US conduct their first combined air drills, officials say, in an apparent show of force against North Korea’s growing military threats.
: According to South Korea’s military, North Korea fires artillery shots from multiple rocket launchers.
: At a G20 meeting, chief nuclear envoys of South Korea, Japan, and the US reaffirm their commitment to stronger trilateral cooperation against North Korea security threats.
: North Korean government-based hackers have stolen billions of dollars by raiding cryptocurrency exchanges and have also been planting operatives in tech jobs throughout the industry, as part of an evolving effort by the DPRK to gain revenue.
: Philip Goldberg, new US ambassador to South Korea, arrives in Seoul to fill a position that has been vacant for one and a half years.
: South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin, Secretary of State Blinken, and Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Hayashi Yoshimasa hold tripartite meeting to bolster cooperation on North Korea and pursue “future-oriented cooperation” to promote regional prosperity.
: During a G20 meeting in Indonesia, South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin calls for efforts to strengthen “rules-based multilateralism” and shared South Korea’s vision to play a greater role for global freedom. Park encouraged G-20 members to cooperate to assist Ukraine.
: South Korea and the US hold first session of their economic security dialogue, a channel established as part of a summit agreement between Presidents Yoon and Biden in May. South Korean Presidential Secretary for Economic Security Wang Yun-jong will soon meet with senior director for technology and national security on the White House NSC Tarun Chhabra.
: South Korea Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup discuss issues related to regional security and the bilateral alliance with Sen. Rick Scott. Lee asked for US Congress’ support for the development of a “global comprehensive strategic alliance.”
: In response to trilateral talks held on the sidelines of the NATO summit last month, North Korea criticizes South Korea, Japan, and the United States for pushing to boost trilateral military cooperation targeting the North.
: During an address at the NATO summit, Yoon calls on the international community to show resolve to denuclearize North Korea and stated that ROK will fulfill a bigger role and responsibility, especially in economic and cyber security areas.
: President Yoon talks briefly with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio during a gala dinner for NATO summit participants and expressed hope for future-oriented development of bilateral relations.
: JCS Chairman Gen. Won In-choul and US Indo-Pacific Command Chief Adm. John Aquilino hold virtual talks to discuss stepping up security cooperation amid concerns about the possibility of North Korea carrying out its seventh nuclear test.
: South Korea’s top nuclear envoy Kim Gunn meets senior Treasury Department official Brian Nelson to discuss North Korea’s development of a nuclear and missile program. Both sides agreed that the North will face tougher international sanctions and isolation if it “refuses to accept dialogue offers and continues provocative acts.”
: Amid growing security threats from North Korea, South Korea’s military plans to participate in a Cyber Flag exercise, a US-led multinational exercise on cyber operations, in October, officials say.
: US House Armed Services Committee endorsed annual defense policy bill for fiscal year 2023 that will maintain the current level of around 28,500 US troops in South Korea.
: During a major party meeting, Kim Jong Un and top officials discussed adding missions and revising organizational and operational plans of front-line military units of the Korean People’s Army (KPA).
: South Korea establishes a task force composed of key industry sectors such as semiconductors, cars, steel, and renewable energy resources for discussion with experts and the private sector on its strategy on the newly launched, US-led IPEF.
: Delegation of South Korean businessmen, led by chief of Korea International Trade Association (KITA) Koo Ja-yeol, meets US members of Congress and White House officials to discuss bilateral economic cooperation.
: In a show of readiness against North Korea security threats, South Korea and the US conduct a combined patrol flight over key former battle sites.
: Top military officers of South Korea and the US, Won In-choul and Gen. Mark Milley, hold virtual talks on North Korea’s military threats and agreed that the allies’ combined defense posture is “more solid than at any other time.”
: North Korean state media publishes photo of Kim Jong Un directing a meeting of military officials. A photo in the background, of South Korea’s east coast, triggers concerns of tactical nuclear weapons deployment.
: South Korea will establish a mission to NATO in Brussels, officials say, and President Yoon will focus on three purposes: strengthening the “value alliance” with NATO states and partner nations, building a foundation for a “comprehensive security network” with NATO, and holding a series of bilateral summits to focus on economic and security issues.
: South Korean satellite makes two-way communication with ground station at the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI), confirming Nuri’s satellite deployment capability.
: South Korea and the US tentatively agree to hold biannual Korea-US Integrated Defense Dialogue (KIDD) in July. Agenda items include Seoul’s push to strengthen the enforceability of US extended deterrence and expansion of combined military exercises.
: South Korea’s top nuclear envoy Kim Gunn meets senior State Department officials for updates on North Korea policies amid concerns of a DPRK nuclear test.
: South Korea’s Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup meets members of the American Foreign Policy Council (AFPC) to discuss regional security, the US-ROK alliance, and strengthening security coordination.
: After meeting with US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin states that South Korea and the United States will continue to hold ministerial-level dialogue to implement the outcome of their leaders’ summit last month.
: South Korea’s Vice Defense Minister Shin Beom-chul attends a US-led forum on support for Ukraine.
: South Korean Second Vice Foreign Minister Lee Do-hoon and US Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Jose W. Fernandez meet on the sidelines of the Minerals Security Partnership (MSP). They agree to bolster coordination for economic security issues and in industries such as semiconductors and batteries.
: Korea Aerospace Industries Co., South Korea’s sole aircraft manufacturer, says it has signed an agreement with the US defense firm Lockheed Martin to boost sales of advanced trainer jets in the United States.
: South Korea seeks to “normalize” security cooperation with Japan and strengthen trilateral collaboration involving the United States to address North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats, according to the Seoul’s defense minister.
: North Korea fires artillery shots, presumably from multiple rocket launchers, according to the South Korea’s military, in another show of force by the reclusive regime.
: North Korean state media reports that leader Kim Jong Un calls for stronger “self-defense” measures to tackle “very serious” security challenges while presiding over a key ruling party session earlier in the week.
: Defense Secretary Austin reaffirms US commitment to reinforcing “extended deterrence” against North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats during the annual Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore.
: Defense chiefs of South Korea, the United States, and Japan agrees to step up cooperation to counter North Korea’s missile threats through combined regular security exercises, including missile warning drills.
: Yoon gives credentials to new ambassador to the United States Cho Tae-yong. Cho says he will focus on expanding the scope of the bilateral alliance to entail broad elements for economic security by facilitating strategic communication efforts.
: South Korea and the United States fire eight ballistic missiles into the East Sea in response to North Korea’s missile launches the previous day, according to the South’s military.
: South Korea and the United States conduct a combined air power demonstration involving 20 warplanes, including F-35A stealth fighters, over the Yellow Sea, Seoul officials said, in another display of readiness following North Korea’s weekend missile launches.
: Top South Korean and US nuclear envoys hold an emergency meeting in Seoul, hours after North Korea test-fired another salvo of ballistic missiles into the East Sea.
: North Korea fires eight short-range ballistic missiles toward the East Sea, a day after South Korea and the US wrapped up joint drills near the peninsula involving a US aircraft carrier, according to the South’s military.
: Philip Goldberg is sworn in as US ambassador to South Korea.
: US says it is set to adjust its military posture to counter North Korea’s continued provocations and threats.
: South Korean Trade Minister Ahn Duk-geun drums up support from the US Congress to expand bilateral trade and investment. Ahn made the request during a meeting with Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Il), where the two noted the achievements of the May summit between Yoon and Biden, and discussed ways to deepen their economic ties.
: South Korean supergroup BTS highlights the need to respect one another as they made their first visit to the White House for a rare meeting with President Biden.
: South Korea approves a 750 billion won ($605 million) project to upgrade its Patriot missile defense system by 2027, according to the state arms procurement agency, in the wake of North Korea’s recent missile provocations.
: South Korea’s foreign ministry launches in-house economic security center to better handle global supply chain issues following months of preparatory work.
: China and Russia veto a US-drafted UNSC resolution to strengthen sanctions on North Korea over a spate of missile launches, the first time that the five permanent members of the Council have been divided on the issue since they began punishing Pyongyang in 2006.
: South Korean government expresses “deep regret” about an unprecedented rejection of a proposed UNSC resolution imposing sanctions on North Korea for its provocation.
: North Korea fires three ballistic missiles toward the East Sea, including an apparent ICBM, just a day after Biden wrapped up an Asia trip highlighting the US security commitment to Seoul and Tokyo.
: Chinese and Russian warplanes enter South Korea’s air defense identification zone (Kadiz) on two separate occasions without notice, prompting the Air Force to scramble fighters to the scene, according to the Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff.
: Yoon says South Korea will contribute to the newly launched Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) across all sectors and propose ways to cooperate on supply chain resilience, the transition to a digital economy, and clean energy and decarbonization.
: South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Group says it will invest an additional $5 billion in the United States for robotics and autonomous driving software development, just a day after announcing a similar size investment to build an electric vehicle plant in the US.
: US is not considering adding South Korea to Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, says a senior US official.
: South Korea and the United States agree to launch a ministerial-level dialogue to discuss cooperation on supply chains of key industry items and other economic security issues.
: Presidents Yoon Biden agree to begin discussions on expanding joint military exercises between the two countries amid growing nuclear and missile threats from North Korea.
: North Korea reports over 260,000 new suspected COVID-19 cases, with the total number of such cases surpassing 2 million, eight days after it first confirmed the virus outbreak.
: Presidents Yoon and Biden tour a Samsung Electronics chip plant, demonstrating their commitment to expanding their alliance beyond the security sphere to global supply chains and other key areas.
: US military has flown a reconnaissance plane toward the East Sea, an aviation tracker says, amid concerns about the possibility of another ICBM launch by North Korea.
: US commits to engaging with North Korea in serious dialogue and is willing to take “action for action” with North Korea toward the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, says National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.
: Chief nuclear envoys of South Korea and Russia hold phone talks to discuss the security situation on the Korean Peninsula following North Korea’s COVID-19 outbreak and missile tests.
: North Korea does not appear to have developed a hypersonic missile, but its tests to develop such a system warrant US concerns, says the head of the US Missile Defense Agency.
: Top diplomats of South Korea and the United States express concerns over recent COVID-19 outbreaks in North Korea and agree to continue consultations on humanitarian aid to the reclusive country during video talks.
: North Korea fires three short-range ballistic missiles toward the East Sea, its first missile launch since the inauguration of the Yoon administration.
: UNSC convenes an emergency meeting to discuss North Korea’s recent missile provocations but fails to produce a tangible outcome due to opposition from China and Russia.
: US calls for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss North Korea’s latest missile provocation.
: President Yoon says the alliance between South Korea and the US is a “linchpin” of regional peace and prosperity, during a meeting with US second gentleman Douglas Emhoff and other members of a delegation sent by Biden to attend Yoon’s inauguration ceremony.
: Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio underscores need to resolve his country’s longstanding diplomatic standoffs with South Korea as his foreign minister arrived in Seoul for the inauguration of Yoon Suk Yeol. He emphasizes the importance of cooperation between Seoul and Tokyo as well as trilateral partnerships involving Washington, citing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that “could shake up the foundation of an international order.”
: North Korea fires a submarine-launched ballistic missile four days after conducting a ballistic missile test.
: US imposes sanctions on virtual currency mixer Blender for helping North Korea launder stolen virtual currency, the first time the US has imposed sanctions on a virtual currency mixer, according to the Treasury department.
: US Senate votes unanimously to approve the nomination of Philip Goldberg, a career diplomat, as new US ambassador to South Korea
: North Korea launches a ballistic missile into the East Sea. Some experts say it could have been a Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) or a completely new missile.
: President-elect Yoon Suk Yeol meets with Australia’s ambassador to Seoul and asks for his country’s support for cooperation between South Korea and working groups under the Quad security partnership, says his spokesperson.
: US plans to move forward with a US-drafted UN Security Council resolution condemning North Korea’s recent missile activities, says US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield.
: US plans to boost deterrence against China and North Korea, partly by increasing “prepositioned stocks” of military supplies in the Indo-Pacific according to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.
: US-South Korea alliance is an incredibly important relationship that is vital to many issues in the region and around the world, a White House spokesperson says regarding President Joe Biden’s planned trip to Seoul.