US - Korea

Chronology from Sep 2019 to Dec 2019

: Kim calls for North Korea’s “positive and offensive security measures” at a year-end party plenum.

: Microsoft Corp. says it has taken control of 50 web domains used as a “command and control infrastructure” by North Korean hacking group Thallium to steal information.

: National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien says the US would be “extremely disappointed” should Kim resume testing and will “demonstrate” that disappointment.

: US denies reports that it asked South Korea to pay 10% to 20% more for US troops.

: Media report that the US is backing down from its demand for a five-fold increase in host-nation support.

: Trump says if North Korea tests an ICBM, the US will “deal with it.”

: Bolton laments Trump’s “failure” on North Korea.

: US provides Reuters with photos of US and ROK commandos simulating a raid on an enemy facility.

: The US and its allies call on UN members to report compliance on returning North Korean workers.

: North Korea criticizes the US for targeting its human-rights record and warns it will “pay dearly.” Kim Jong Un convenes a meeting of the Central Military Commission.

: Esper says he is hopeful for a restart of diplomacy with North Korea, although he and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Milley also describe the US “high levels of readiness.”

: Esper suggests North Korea will test if it doesn’t “feel satisfied.”

: Biegun arrives in South Korea for a three-day visit, urging North Korea to drop its “hostile” tone and return to nuclear talks.

: North Korea says its undertook a “crucial” test at Sohae the day before.

: US Assistant Secretary of State David Stilwell cautions North Korea against “ill-advised behavior” and notes that the US has “heard threats before.”

: Craft says the US is prepared to “simultaneously take concrete steps” with North Korea, but that the United Nations Security Council must respond to provocations.

: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he is “very hopeful” North Korea will abide by its commitments. North Korea lashes out at Pompeo and his calls for sanctions enforcement.

: Trump downplays North Korean missile tests, saying Kim Jong Un is “too smart and has far too much to lose.” Senior North Korean official Kim Yong Chol decries Trump as sounding like a “heedless and erratic old man.”

: North Korea’s UN Ambassador Kim Song says denuclearization is off the negotiating table with the US.

: Trump and Moon speak by phone and underscore that talks with North Korea should continue. North Korea says it carried out a “very important test” at Sohae.

: US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft warns that the Security Council is united against North Korea’s repeated missile tests. In a nod to diplomacy, US withholds support for a North Korea human rights debate at the UN.

: Commercial satellite imagery shows movement at North Korea’s Sohae Launch Facility, and Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui warns against the “relapse of the dotage of a dotard” in Trump.

: Kim appears atop a white horse at Mt. Paektu, with cadre fallowing, hinting at a more confrontational stance moving forward.

: North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Ri Thae Song described the US as dragging out talks and warns that that it is “entirely up to the US what Christmas gift it will select to get.”

: Trump states confidence in Kim, but also describes him as “Rocket Man.”

: FBI arrests US blockchain expert who aided North Korea.

: North Korea test fires two ballistic missiles on the US Thanksgiving holiday and a day ahead of the two-year anniversary of its long-range missile and nuclear testing moratorium.

: South Korea asks US for help in resolving issues with Japan.

: South Korea backs away from scrapping its intelligence-sharing pact with Japan after US pressure.

: Biegun suggests Kim hasn’t empowered his negotiators to engage seriously in talks.

: Esper denies reports of a US threat to cut troops over host-nation support.

: US walks out of military cost-sharing talks with South Korea; lead negotiator James DeHart describes South Korea as “not responsive to our request for fair and equitable burden-sharing.”

: Kim supervises air force drills for the second time in three days despite US and South Korea’s postponement of drills.

: South Korea and the US resume talks over US demands for enhanced host-nation support.

: The US and South Korea postpone joint Combined Flying Training event to allow for diplomacy with North Korea.

: Esper presses Seoul to pay more for US troops and maintain its intelligence-sharing pact with Japan.

: Esper arrives in Seoul, with an eye to alliance management with Korea and Japan in general, and host-nation support talks in particular.

: North Korea warns of retaliation over reduced—but not ended—US and South Korea military drills.

: South Korea reiterates its intent to terminate its intelligence-sharing pact with Japan, raising concerns in Washington.

: North Korea says the “window of opportunity” for talks with the US is closing.

: A South Korean parliamentarian suggests North Korea and the US will resume talks in mid-November.

: South Korea and the US suspend an air-power drill for a second straight year.

: North Korea tests a “super-large” multiple rocket launcher and short-range missiles, marking a dozen different tests since May.

: North Korean Central Committee Vice Chair Kim Yong Chol warns that the good relationship between Kim and Trump is no guarantee that tensions will not flare and that an exchange of fire could happen at any time.

: South Korea abandons its status as a developing country in the WTO after Trump criticism.

: North Korea asks for new US and South Korea solutions for conflict. The US wins a court battle over control of a North Korean cargo ship used to skirt sanctions.

: South Korean students break into the US ambassador’s residence in protest over increased host-nation support.

: Bolton writes in a letter to his political action committee that North Korea “isn’t our friend and will never be” and that they will “never give up their nuclear weapons. Period.”

: Kim rides a white horse on Mt. Paektu, revered as the birthplace of the Korean nation, symbolizing resistance to the US and a significant move in the near future.

: The United States and North Korea hold working-level talks in Stockholm.

: North Korea describes the US as having arrived at the talks “empty-handed,” although the US dismissed the assertion as not reflecting the “content or spirit” of the dialogue.

: North Korea announces a submarine-launched ballistic missile test, though with Kim absent during testing.

: KCNA announces working-level talks with the US within a week.

: North Korea urges Trump to adopt a bold move toward reviving diplomacy.

: KCNA reports that a lack of US progress casts doubt on future talks.

: Bolton contends that Trump’s courtship of Kim is increasing North Korea’s power.

: North Korea praises Trump’s “wise political decision” to fire National Security Adviser John Bolton.

: Trump says he “probably” won’t visit Pyongyang for a next round of talks with Kim, but might in the future.

: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reportedly invites US President Donald Trump to visit Pyongyang, according to South Korea’s Joongang Ilbo.

: US sanctions three North Korean state-sponsored groups linked to hacking and high-profile ransomware attacks.

: North Korea’s state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reports a test of a “super-large” multiple rocket launcher.

: North Korea says it is willing to resume talks late month, but calls for a new US approach.

: North Korea fires missiles despite moves to restart talks with the US.

: US Special Representative Stephen Biegun confirms that denuclearization talks have stalled.

: North Korea tells the UN to cut its international staff given undue US influence.

Date Range