US - Korea

Chronology from Sep 2012 to Dec 2012

: Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan visits a US base at the DMZ and states that the US-ROK alliance will be “far outlasting” regardless of leadership change in South Korea.

: Yonhap reports that the incoming Park administration will not differ much in its foreign policy than that of the Lee administration, as both administrations see the US-ROK alliance as the center of South Korea’s relations with other nations.

: UN Security Council decision in response to the DPRK rocket launch is delayed due to China’s implicit opposition to tougher sanctions against North Korea.

:  Chosun Ilbo reports that Kim Jong Un at a banquet celebration for the recent rocket launch orders scientists in North Korea to build more powerful rockets.

: President-elect Park and President Obama hold a phone conversation and agree to lessen the security crisis in the region that resulted from the North Korean rocket launch.

: Park Geun-hye wins the South Korean presidential elections.

: US pressures China to endorse UN sanctions on North Korea in response to its rocket launch. China has not shown any signs of complying.

: US Department of State announces that it will implement tougher sanctions on North Korea. It also adds that it will continue to engage the regime through bilateral and multilateral dialogues and interactions.

: Kim Jong Un leads memorial service for Kim Jong Il, marking the first anniversary of his father’s death.

: South Korean Navy rescue ship retrieves the North Korean rocket debris.

: North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) states the DPRK satellite is circling the earth with a speed of 7.6 kilometers per second.

: DPRK launches its Unha-3 rocket. The UN Security Council condemns the launch and convenes a meeting to discuss the appropriate measures in response to the launch.

: DPRK announces that it will extend the planned rocket launch window by one week to Dec. 29 due to a technical problem with the rocket’s first-stage control engine module.

: ROK Minister of Knowledge and Economy Hong Suk-woo announces that the US and ROK have agreed to increase cooperation on shale gas.

: US extends Iran sanctions exemptions to nine countries including ROK, China, India, and Turkey for reducing purchases of Iranian oil over the past six months.

: Combined Forces Command announces that it has raised its alert level by one notch in response to DPRK’s threat to launch a long-range rocket. US Navy ships move into the region of the Korean Peninsula to closely monitor Pyongyang’s potential rocket launch.

: Department of State deputy spokesman Mark Toner announces that the US government will continue with diplomatic push to dissuade DPRK from carrying out the rocket launch, but also states that sanctions will be taken into consideration in case of a launch.

: Incoming Chairman of the US House Committee on Foreign Relations Ed Royce (R-CA) highlights DPRK’s planned rocket launch as a “wake-up call” for the US and a threat to peace and security in Northeast Asia.

: DPRK announces its plan to launch a satellite between Dec. 10 and Dec. 22. Department of State spokeswoman Nuland calls the launch a “highly provocative act” and urges DPRK not to proceed with the launch.

: White House Press Secretary Jay Carney dismisses the US secret trip to Pyongyang, saying that it is even “news” to him.

: Yonhap reports that a US delegation made a secret visit to DPRK in August in an attempt to prevent it from taking provocative actions before the US presidential elections.

: US Ambassador Sung Kim states that the US and ROK are ready to resume talks with DPRK, but only if DPRK displays a sincere commitment to dialogue.

: ROK government returns remains of two US soldiers killed during the Korean War as the Ministry of Defense completes an eight-month excavation for Korean War remains.

: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Dempsey travels to Seoul and visits the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).

: Department of State spokeswoman Nuland tells Yonhap that the Kim Jong Un regime has a clear choice between having improved relations with the US and continued isolation from the international community.

: Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) reports that with President Obama’s reelection, Korean exporters are likely to face higher trade barriers.

: ROK presidential candidate Park Geun-hye says that if elected in December, she would pursue “balanced diplomacy” between the US and China.

: US Ambassador Sung Kim expresses confidence in the continued stability of the US-ROK alliance, regardless of the outcomes of presidential elections in the US and ROK.

: President Obama wins reelection in the US presidential elections.

: ROK military officials acknowledge that the US-made cruise missiles that ROK was planning to acquire might be  partially incompatible with the F-15K.

: Foreign Minister Kim Sung-Hwan tells media that China will be an important partner in maintaining peace and security on the Korean Peninsula, explaining the need for Seoul-Washington-Beijing trilateral talks in the near future.

: Special Representative Davies says that regardless of the winner in the US presidential election, there will be no major changes in US policy toward North Korea.

: Assistant Secretary of State Campbell discusses the North Korean nuclear program in Seoul, emphasizing that the US-ROK alliance will remain strong regardless of the presidential election results in Washington and Seoul.

: Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Minister of Defense Kim Kwan-jin attend the 44th US-ROK Security Consultative Meeting in Washington and agree to pursue more active bilateral security consultation centered on the Korea-US Integrated Defense Dialogue (KIDD). They also decide to identify specific types of nuclear threats by North Korea and develop joint deterrence strategies designed for each threat type by 2014.

: US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Martin Dempsey and ROK Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Jung Seung-jo attend the 36th US-ROK Military Committee Meeting and reaffirm their commitment to not tolerate any aggression from North Korea and to further strengthen the Alliance’s deterrent capabilities.

: National Security Advisor Chun Young-woo says that South Korea should think about alternative plans if the civil nuclear cooperation agreement is not revised as it wants.

: Special Representative Davies travels to Seoul and meets counterpart Lim Sung-nam, National Security Advisor Chun Yung-woo, and other senior officials.

: ROK Ambassador to the US Young-jin Choi states during an annual parliamentary audit session that the civil nuclear cooperation agreement will become the priority issue to be discussed between new governments in the US and ROK in 2013.

: Vice Foreign Minister Ahn Ho-young and Deputy Secretary of State William Burns co-host the US-ROK Strategic Dialogue in Seoul.

: US-Japan-ROK trilateral meeting is held in Tokyo.

: In response to North Korea’s warning that its missile range can reach the US mainland, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland urges North Korea to stop bragging about its missiles and defends Washington’s decision to allow Seoul to extend its missile range.

: Blue House announces a new missile agreement with the US. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney reiterates that the missile deal is designed to improve ROK’s ability to defend specifically against DPRK ballistic missiles and the impact of revisions is thus limited.

: US military official states that the US is planning to redeploy a chemical unit to South Korea to strengthen the combined deterrence against North Korea, nine years after the withdrawal of the 23rd Chemical Battalion from South Korea in 2004.

:  US government official states that the Congress is expected to approve the proposed sale of Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicles to South Korea as a means of preparing the country to retake wartime operational control of its troops from the United States by 2015.

: President Lee Myung-bak seeks parliamentary support for his drive to reform South Korea’s armed forces, stressing that time is running short as the country is scheduled to assume wartime operational control over its forces from the US in 2015.

: Acting Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Rose Gottemoeller calls for North Korea to join the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).

: Secretary Clinton meets her South Korean and Japanese counterparts in New York and asks the two nations to lower tensions in Northeast Asia, while reiterating that Washington will not intervene directly in bilateral issues between Seoul and Tokyo.

: South Korea’s Cabinet approves a revised bill to extend missions of troops in Afghanistan until the end of 2013.

: Robert King, US special envoy for North Korean human rights issues, visits Seoul to discuss the latest human rights situation in North Korea.

: Lim Sung-nam, South Korea’s chief negotiator to the Six-Party Talks, visits Washington and meets Special Representative for North Korea Policy Glyn Davies and Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell to share evaluations of the situation on the Korean Peninsula.

: South Korea officially condemns the attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and the killing of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and his colleagues.

: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meets President Lee Myung-bak on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Vladivostok. She urges South Korea and Japan to find a calmer approach toward Dokdo/Takeshima and stresses the need for cooperation among South Korea, US, and Japan in resolving North Korea’s nuclear issues.

: President Barack Obama announces that if he is reelected, he will continue to confront North Korea unless it abandons its nuclear program.

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