US - Korea

Chronology from Sep 2013 to Dec 2013

: ROK Foreign Ministry announces that negotiations with the US over the so-called 123 agreement on civilian nuclear energy will resume on Jan. 7, 2014.

: Japanese Prime Minister Abe visits the Yasukuni Shrine.

: South Korea approves private humanitarian aid to North Korea.

: Dennis Rodman visits North Korea to train basketball players.

: ROK Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kyou-hyun meets Deputy US Secretary of State William Burns to discuss the evolving security situation with North Korea, China’s expanded ADIZ, and Japan’s pursuit of the right of collective self-defense.

: South Korea’s expanded ADIZ goes into effect.

: North Korea denounces Vice President Biden’s recent trip to Asia saying the trip was meant to militarily contain North Korea.

: Korean Central News Agency announces that Jang Song Thaek was tried before a military tribunal for attempting to overthrow the state and summarily executed on Dec. 12.

: US and South Korea hold working-level talks on the transfer of wartime operational control (OPCON).

: South Korea’s head of the Defense Ministry’s Policy Planning office Lt. Gen. Ryu Je-sung visits Washington and meets Under Secretary of Defense for Policy James Miller, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State of East Asian and Pacific Affairs James Zumwalt, National Security Staff Korea Director Sydney Seiler.

: Ninth round of SMA negotiations are held in Seoul.

: North Korea confirms via the Korean Central News Agency that Jang Song Thaek has been purged and releases a list of accusations against him.

: South Korea announces expanded ADIZ that includes Ieodo and overlaps with both Japan’s ADIZ and China’s recently declared ADIZ.

: North Korea releases Merrill Newman.

: Vice President Joe Biden and President Park Geun-hye meet in Seoul and agree to cooperate on the row created by China’s newly declared ADIZ.

: ROK National Intelligence Service announces that Jang Song Thaek has likely been removed from power following the execution of his two closest associates in November.

: ROK Deputy Prime Minister Hyun Oh Seok expresses South Korea’s interest in holding talks to explore possibility of joining TPP.

: China’s Ministry of National Defense announces East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ).

: ROK Joint Chiefs of Staff approve the purchase of 40 F-35A stealth fighters with the option to later purchase 20 more over the course of four years beginning in 2018.

: Special Representative for North Korea Policy Davies reaffirms the US position that negotiations with Pyongyang cannot take place unless it suspends its nuclear program.

: Reports surface that North Korea is detaining a US citizen, 85-year-old Korean War veteran Merrill Newman.

: National Security Advisor Rice says in a speech at Georgetown University that the US should not seek to resume negotiations with North Korea as long as parts of Pyongyang’s nuclear program are still in operation.

: State Department issues a heightened travel advisory against North Korea.

: Seventh round of SMA negotiations kicks off in Washington.

: US Special Envoy on North Korean Human Rights Issues Robert King arrives in Seoul for talks with South Korean officials.

: Following the rejection of Boeing F-15 Silent Eagle, Lockheed Martin’s F-35 emerges as the only qualified contender for Seoul’s newly-restarted fighter jet project.

: Special Representative for North Korea Policy Davies meets South Korean Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Cho and Japan’s Director General for Oceanian Affairs Bureau in Washington to discuss North Korea’s denuclearization and conditions for re-entering the Six-Party Talks.

: South Korea again asks the US to explain allegations that the NSA targeted the Korean embassy following fresh reports that the NSA labeled South Korea a “focus area.”

: Special Representative for North Korea Policy Davies meets South Korean Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Cho Tae-yong in Washington.

: Sixth round of negotiations for the SMA are held in Seoul.

: Allegations surface that South Korea was targeted for wiretapping by the US National Security Agency (NSA). South Korea seeks clarification from the US.

: US-Korea Institute reports on its blog 38 North that North Korea appears to be digging two new tunnels near the Pyunggye-ri nuclear test site, prompting speculation that Pyongyang is preparing for another nuclear test.

: ROK Chief of the Presidential National Security Office Kim Jang-soo visits the US, meets National Security Advisor Susan Rice, Secretary of State John Kerry, and Secretary of Defense Hagel in Washington.

: US Army Pacific Commander Gen. Vincent Brooks says the current timeline for transfer of operational wartime control (OPCON) to the ROK is realistic.

: South Korea and US sign agreement to set up system for monitoring bioterrorism.

: Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin denies the ROK will join the US defense missile program.

: South Korea, Japan, and the US conduct naval drills off the Korean coast.

: ROK National Intelligence Service director Nam Jae-joon tells Parliament that the Yongbyon reactor has been up and running since August. Nam also confirms that North Korea is strengthening its military targeting Seoul and border islands in the West Sea.

: North Korea condemns the US and South Korea for “military provocations” ahead of planned US-ROK-Japan joint naval drills to be held off the coast of South Korea.

: Seoul remains silent following Japan’s controversial announcement of pursuing collective self-defense with US support.

: Blue House Foreign Affairs Secretary Ji Chul-ki says that South Korea is “greatly interested” in joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership and may bring up the possibility of entering negotiations at the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Forum in Bali, Indonesia.

: US experts, including former nuclear negotiator Stephen Bosworth, informally meet North Korean officials in London to discuss a revival of the Six-Party Talks.

: Secretary of Defense Hagel visits Korea. He visits the Demilitarized Zone, celebrates the 60th anniversary of the US-ROK alliance, attends the US-ROK Security Consultative Meeting, and signs with Korean counterpart Kim Kwan-jin a joint military strategy that reaffirms South Korea’s position under the US nuclear umbrella and outlines contingency plans for dealing with the North Korean threat.

: Fourth round of negotiations on Special Measures Agreement (SMA) is held in Washington.

: Former US envoy on North Korea Stephen Bosworth meets North Korean chief negotiator Ri Yong Ho in Berlin to discuss denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

: ROK Defense Acquisition Program Executive Committee restarts high-profile fighter acquisition project and rejects Boeing’s F-15 Silent Eagle as the winner of the project.

: China holds an unofficial seminar in Beijing to mark the 10th anniversary of the Six-Party Talks. The US and ROK decline to send official government representatives.

: Operations resume at the Kaesong Industrial Complex.

: US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins’ SAIS reports a resumption of activity at North Korea’s Yongbyon nuclear reactor.

: US Special Representative for North Korea Policy Glyn Davies meets South Korean Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs Cho Tae-yong in Seoul. Davies states that North Korea’s lack of a “positive attitude” toward denuclearization will hamper the Six-Party Talks process.

: ROK Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin asserts that the December 2015 deadline is not appropriate for Seoul to regain the wartime operational control at the National Assembly’s National Defense Committee meeting.

: US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel reports to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that North Korea’s chemical weapons are a threat to the ROK Air Force and USFK.

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