US - Korea

Chronology from Sep 2011 to Dec 2011

: DPRK holds a massive memorial service for Kim Jong Il and declares Kim Jong Un as the North’s “supreme leader.”

: Lim Sung-nam, ROK’s chief negotiator to the Six-Party Talks, visits Washington and meets Special Representatives Davies and King to discuss next steps on North Korea.

: DPRK leader Kim Jong Il’s funeral ceremony is held in Pyongyang.

: ROK National Assembly’s Foreign Affairs Committee adopts a resolution demanding renegotiation of KORUS FTA, especially for the modification, reversing or abolition of the Investor-State Dispute settlement clause.

: DPRK’s Rodong Sinmun calls Kim Jung Un head of the Worker’s Party’s Central Military Commission.

: President Lee says that the ROK does not want to show hostility to the DPRK and that it is willing to soften its official stance toward the DPRK as much as possible.

: Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs Lim Sung-nam meets Chinese counterpart Wu Dawei to discuss North Korea in the aftermath of Kim Jong Il’s death and ways to revive the Six-Party talks.

: The US says that it is willing to continue talks with the DPRK on possible food aid and the resumption of the Six-Party Talks after the death of Kim Jong Il.

: Secretary Clinton offers prayers to the people of DPRK while urging the country’s new leadership to follow “path of peace” following the death of Kim Jong Il.

: ROK government expresses sympathy to the people of DPRK over the death of Kim Jong Il, but decides not to send an official condolence delegation to the communist nation.

: North Korean media report that DPRK leader Kim Jong Il died on Dec. 17.

: Yonhap reports that the US has agreed to provide up to 240,000 tons of food aid to North Korea based on North Korea’s pledge to implement initial measures of denuclearization that include a suspension of its uranium enrichment program.

: ROK imposes new sanctions on Iran, limiting financial deals with 99 Iranian groups and six individuals from the Middle Eastern country.

:   US Special Envoy for North Korean Human rights Issues Robert King and senior USAID official Jon Brause meet DPRK Director General for American Affairs Ri Gun in Beijing to discuss food aid.

: ROK Trade Minister Kim Jong-hoon says that KORUS FTA could be delayed until next February.

: ROK Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan says KORUS FTA could be delayed until after Jan. 1, as further consultations with the US may be needed.

: Derek Mitchell, US special envoy to Burma, visits Seoul to brief ROK government officials on the background of Secretary Clinton’s visit to the country.

: US Special Representative Davies and Clifford Hart, US envoy and chief representative to the Six-Party Talks, visit Seoul to meet ROK foreign minister, unification minister and national security adviser to discuss DPRK nuclear issues.

: US State Department Advisor for Nonproliferation and Arms Control Robert Einhorn visits Seoul to encourage the ROK to participate in mutual sanctions against Iran and to review the US-ROK Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement.

: US House Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific unanimously passes a resolution that calls on North Korea to disclose the whereabouts of and repatriate all those kidnapped during the Korean War.

: Opposition parties in South Korea vows to continue their campaign against implementation of the KORUS FTA.

: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visits South Korea to attend the Fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness held in Busan.

: President Lee signs 14 bills linked to the implementation of KORUS FTA.

: US and ROK agree to seek improvements to the Status of Forces Agreement following a series of crimes committed by US service personnel in Korea.

: KORUS FTA passes the ROK National Assembly with the ruling Grand National Party pushing a surprise floor vote.

: US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman meets senior ROK officials in Seoul to discuss US-ROK alliance issues. 

: South Korea, Japan, and the US hold trilateral talks on the resumption of the stalled Six-Party Talks, at the East Asia Summit in Bali.

: ROK’s main opposition party the Democratic Party rejects President Lee’s offer to demand renegotiations with the US on KORUS FTA after ratification.

: President Lee promises to renegotiate the investor-state dispute (ISD) settlement provision with the US within three months after KORUS FTA passes in the National Assembly.

: President Lee attends the APEC forum held in Hawaii.

: ROK Special Representative Lim Sung-nam visits Vienna and meets US Special Representative for North Korea Policy Glyn Davies.

: ROK agrees to resume sending medical aid to DPRK through the World Health Organization.

: About 1,000 people hold a candlelight vigil in Seoul to protest the KORUS FTA.

: ROK Unification Minister Yu Woo-Ik visits the US and meets Deputy Secretary Burns and Sen. Joe Lieberman in an effort to strengthen coordination on North Korean affairs.

: ROK military conducts large-scale military exercise as US and ROK agree to complete joint operational plan against DPRK this year.

: Assistant Secretary Campbell visits Seoul to debrief ROK officials on the outcome of the US-DPRK talks in Geneva.

: US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta visits Seoul to attend the 43rd Security Consultative Meeting.

: Representatives from the US and North Korea meet in Geneva for what is described as a “continuation of the exploratory meetings.”

: State Department announces that current US Special Representative for North Korea policy Stephen Bosworth will be replaced by Glyn Davies.

: Members of the ROK Democratic Party storm the committee room at the National Assembly to prevent deliberations and a vote on the KORUS FTA bill.

: US and DPRK begin talks in Bangkok on resuming efforts to recover the remains of US soldiers killed during the Korean War.

: UN Humanitarian Chief Valerie Amos visits the DPRK to assess the chronic food shortage situation.

: ROK’s ruling party officials vow to approve KORUS FTA within the month even in the face of strong opposition from opposition parties.

: President Lee Myung-bak makes state visit to the US, meets President Obama, delivers a speech before a joint session of Congress, and visits a GM plant in Michigan.

: US Congress approves long-delayed KORUS FTA.

: Lim Sung-nam becomes South Korea’s special representative for peace and security affairs on the peninsula, which entails serving as ROK envoy to the Six-Party Talks.

: President Obama submits three pending free trade agreements with South Korea, Panama and Colombia to Congress for approval.

: US government issues an apology for the rape of a Korean girl by a US soldier stationed in South Korea.

: President Obama warns that DPRK will face “greater pressure and isolation” if it continues its nuclear weapons program and hostile actions against ROK.

: ROK Special Representative Wi Sung-Lac and DPRK Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Ri Yong Ho meet for a second round of talks aimed at restarting the Six-Party Talks.

: ROK Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin states that Seoul and Washington are discussing a revision of restrictions on the range of South Korean missiles.

: ROK ruling party presents KORUS FTA to a parliamentary committee as a first step toward its ratification.

: ROK sends a shipment of flood aid (200,000 packets of baby food) to DPRK.

: ROK’s Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs Wi Sung-lac visits the US for consultations on the resumption of the Six-Party Talks.

: President Lee names Yu Woo-ik as the new unification minister and Hyun In-taek as special presidential advisor for unification policy.

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