Return to homeNKNews.Org: http://nknews.org/
Travel Docs: http://www.traveldocs.com/kp/index.htm 37BC-668CE The Koguryo kingdom
(Gaogouli in Chinese) flourished during this time. At its height the
territory stretched from central Manchuria to south of Seoul, Korea.
It was later taught to be one of Korea’s three founding kingdoms.
(Econ, 3/31/07, SR p.8)
1912 Apr 15, Kim Il Sung, North
Korea's communist founder and leader (1948-1994), was born. In 1997
this date marked year one in the North Korean calendar.
1941 Feb 16, Kim Jong Il, son
of Kim Il Sung, was born in the far East of the Soviet Union. He
took over leadership of North Korea from his father in 1994.
1945 Aug 8, The Soviet Union
declared war against Japan. 1.5 million Soviet troops launched a
massive surprise attack (August Storm) against Japanese occupation
forces in northern China and Korea. Within days, Tokyo's million-man
army in the region had collapsed in one of the greatest military
defeats in history.
(SFC, 9/9/96, p.A19)(AP, 8/8/97)(AP, 8/6/05)
1945 Aug 15, Korea was
liberated after nearly 40 years of Japanese colonial rule, but it
soon faced the tragic division of the North and South along the 38th
1945 Sep 8, Korea was
partitioned by the Soviet Union and the United States. The US
invaded Japanese-held Korea.
(HN, 9/8/98)(MC, 9/8/01)
1945 Oct 10, The Workers' Party
of Korea (North Korea) was officially founded.
1945 Dec 27, Foreign ministers
from the former Allied nations of the United States, the Soviet
Union, and Great Britain agreed to divide Korea into two separate
occupation zones and to govern the nation for five years.
1945 Dec, The Soviets installed
Kim Il Sung (1912-1994) as chairman of the North Korean branch of
the Korean Communist Party.
1948 Jan 23, The Soviets
refused UN entry into North Korea to administer elections.
1948 Sep 9, The Democratic
People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) emerged out of Soviet
occupation. Kim Il Sung established the Democratic People's Republic
of Korea in the northern half of the Korean peninsula. Kim Du Bong
stood as Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly.
The North's first military parade had occurred seven months earlier.
1948 There was a rebellion on
Cheju Island. The documentary film “Red Hunt" was about the
brutality of the South Korean government during the rebellion.
(WSJ, 8/12/99, p.A20)
1949 Jun 28, The last U.S.
combat troops were called home from Korea, leaving only 500
(HN, 6/28/98)(WSJ, 5/26/00, p.W8)
1949 Jun 29, US troops withdrew
from Korea after WW II. [see Jun 28]
1949 Oct 6, China and Korea
established diplomatic relations. Korea became one of the first
groups of countries having diplomatic relations with new China.
1950 Jun 25, The Korean War
started as forces from the communist North invaded the South. It
lasted till 1953. A Truman administration statement that Korea was
“outside the US defense perimeter" in the Pacific was said to have
invited the attack. Gen. McArthur led a UN expeditionary force in
response to North Korea’s attack on South Korea. The Chinese entered
the war and the UN forces were pushed into a Christmas retreat. 2.5
million people were killed. No peace treaty was ever signed.
Millions died in the three-year conflict, with Seoul's defence
ministry putting military fatalities at 520,000 North Koreans,
137,000 Southern troops and 37,000 Americans. In 1990 North Korean
officials revealed that Stalin knew about and encouraged North
Korea’s aggression as did Mao Tse-Tung.
(NG, Aug., 1974, p.255)(WSJ, 8/8/95, p. A15)(SFC,
4/8/96, p.A-9)(SFEM, 11/10/96, p.12)(SFC, 2/17/96, p.A26)(AP,
6/25/97)(WSJ, 7/21/97, p.A22)(AFP, 6/24/20)
1950 Jun 26, President Truman
authorized the US Air Force and Navy to enter the Korean conflict.
1950 Jul 26-1950 Jul 29, US
troops killed up to 300 South Korean refugees trapped under a bridge
at No Gun Ri. The villagers had gathered there to avoid strafing
from US planes which killed some 100. US troops feared the refugees
included infiltrators from North Korea. The killings were not made
public until 1999. On Jan 11, 2001 the US Army admitted that
civilians were massacred and Pres. Clinton offered his regrets. The
US Army blamed the "fog of war" in apology and acknowledgement. In
2007 the Army acknowledged it had found, but did not divulge, that a
high-level document said the US military had a policy of shooting
approaching civilians in South Korea.
(SFC, 9/30/99, p.A1,16)(WSJ, 6/5/00, p.A32)(SSFC,
12/30/01, p.D2)(AP, 4/13/07)
1950 Jun 27, North Koreans
troop reached Seoul. UN Security Council called on members for
troops to aid South Korea.
(HN, 6/27/98)(MC, 6/27/02)
1950 Jul 24-1950 Jul 27, US
orders in the 25th Infantry Division were issued to treat civilians
in the Korea battle zone as enemy.
(SFC, 1/12/01, p.A8)
1950 Aug 18-25, The Battles of
the Bowling Alley took place during the Korean War in a narrow
valley north of Tabu-dong, Korea on the Taegu-Sangju road. There the
U.S. Army‘s 27th Infantry Division and the Republic of Korea‘s (ROK)
1st Infantry Division faced off against a determined effort by the
North Korean People‘s Army‘s 1st and 13th Infantry Divisions to
break through that segment of the Pusan perimeter. It was part of
the overall effort of the ROK forces and the U.S. Eighth Army to
stop the North Korean advance.
1950 Aug 31, Three North Korean
divisions opened an assault on UN lines on the Naktong River in a
push to take Pusan.
(SSFC, 11/7/04, Par p.4)
1950 Sep 1, US Company C, 1st
Battalion of the 23rd Infantry Regiment, was almost completely
annihilated as North Korean divisions opened an assault on UN lines
on the Naktong River. Only Company C and other elements of the 2nd
Infantry Division stood in the path.
(SSFC, 11/7/04, Par p.4)
1950 Sep 26, General Douglas
MacArthur's American X Corps, fresh from the Inchon landing, linked
up with the U.S. Eighth Army after its breakout from the Pusan
Perimeter. United Nations troops recaptured the South Korean capital
of Seoul from the North Koreans. [see Sep 27]
(AP, 9/26/97)(HN, 9/26/99)
1950 Sep 27, U.S. Army and
Marine troops liberated Seoul, South Korea.
1950 Sep 29, General Douglas
MacArthur officially returned Seoul, South Korea, to President
1950 Sep 30, U.N. forces
crossed the 38th parallel separating North and South Korea as they
pursued the retreating North Korean Army.
1950 Oct 2, Mao Tse Tung sent a
telegram to Stalin. China intervened in Korea.
1950 Oct 30, The First Marine
Division was ordered to replace the entire South Korean I Corps at
the Chosin Reservoir area.
1950 Nov 1, In North Korea US
Rev. Emil Kapaun (b.1916) began helping the wounded at the 2-day
battle of Unsan, where his 8th Cavalry regiment was overrun by
Chinese forces. He died in a North Korean POW camp in May, 1951. In
2013 he was awarded the Medal of Honor, an upgrade from an earlier
Distinguished Service Cross.
(SFC, 4/12/13, p.A6)
1950 Nov 1, USSR Communist
forces introduced the MiG-15 to the Korean War.
1950 Nov 6, A Chinese offensive
was halted at Chongchon River, North Korea.
1950 Nov 8, The first
air-to-air combat between fighter jets took place during an attack
on the Sinuiju bridges near the mouth of the Yalu River, when a US
Air Force F-80C belonging to the 16th Fighter Squadron encountered a
1950 Nov 9, The first
jet-Vs-jet victory in history was scored by Lt. Cdr. William T.
Amen, the commanding officer of VF-111 Sundowners in another attack
against the Sinuiju bridges, this time conducted by the US Navy
aircraft launched from the USS Philippine Sea (CV-47) aircraft
carrier. Amen downed a MiG-15 flown by Capt. Mikhail Grachev.
1950 Nov 25, Mao Anying
(b.1922), the eldest son of Mao Zedong and Yang Kaihui, was killed
by an American air strike during the Korean war.
1950 Nov 26, China entered the
Korean conflict, launching a counter-offensive across the Yalu River
against soldiers from the United Nations, the United States and
South Korea. North Korean and Chinese troops halted the UN
offensive. Over the next two weeks Mao Zedong's peasant army drove
an army of 350,000 American soldiers and marines and their Korean
allies the length of North Korea to hasty evacuation by land and
(WSJ, 6/24/96, C1)(AP, 11/26/97)(HN,
11/26/98)(Econ., 12/12/20, p.34)
1950 Nov 27, East of the Chosin
River, Chinese forces annihilated an American task force. Col.
Barber (d.2002 at 82) and 220 soldiers in Fox Company withstood a
5-day assault to protect an escape pass.
(HN, 11/27/98)(SFC, 4/23/02, p.A18)
1950 Nov 30, President Truman
declared that the U.S. would use the A-bomb to get peace in Korea.
1950 Dec 1, In North Korea a US
company of soldiers encountered a swarming Chinese assault near
Kunu-ri. Army Sgt. Richard Desautels was among those captured and
taken to a POW compound, known as Camp 5, near Pyoktong. In 2003
Chinese authorities said Desautels became mentally ill and died on
April 29, 1953, and was buried in a Chinese cemetery.
(SFC, 6/20/08, p.A11)
1950 Dec 4, In North Korea the
US Navy's first black pilot, Ensign Jesse Brown, was downed in his
fighter plane in the Jangjin Reservoir. Wing man Lt. j.g. Thomas
Hudner crashed landed his plane in a failed attempt to save Brown.
In 2013 Hudner returned to the site of the crash.
1950 Dec 5, Pyongyang in Korea
fell to the invading Chinese army.
1950 Dec 28, Chinese troops
crossed the 38th Parallel into South Korea.
1950-1953 The Korean War killed 2.5 million
people, with over 2 million of them civilians. 1.2 million soldiers
were killed including 34,000 Americans. No peace treaty was ever
signed. About 1.7 million Americans were involved and there was an
estimated 3 mil casualties including 36,914 Americans and over 1 mil
Chinese. In 1999 W.D. Ehrhart and Philip K. Jason edited "Retrieving
Bones: Stories and Poems of the Korean War."
(https://tinyurl.com/yxsk28xa)(NG, Aug., 1974, H.
E. Kim, p.255)(SFC, 4/8/96, p.A-9)(WSJ, 8/8/95, p. A15) (SFEM,
11/10/96, p.12)(SFC, 2/17/96, p.A26)(SFEC, 8/29/99, BR p.3)(WSJ,
10/6/99, p.A22)(Econ, 9/30/17, p.40)
1950-1953 Soviet pilots ran the air war over North
Korea and accounted for 70% of the casualties in that part of the
(WSJ, 6/13/00, p.A1)
1950-1960 In North Korea the Songbun caste system
began to take shape. The word translates as "ingredient" but
effectively means "background." Thus was a time when founder Kim Il
Sung was forging one of the world's most repressive states and
seeking ways to reward supporters and isolate potential enemies. The
system pushed peasants to the top of the caste ladder; aristocrats
and landlords toward the bottom.
1951 Jan 4, During the Korean
conflict, North Korean and Communist Chinese forces captured the
city of Seoul. UN forces abandoned Seoul, Korea to the Communists.
(AP, 1/4/98)(HN, 1/4/99)
1951 Jan 5, Inchon, South Korea
was abandoned by United Nations force to the advancing Chinese Army.
1951 Jan 17, China refused a
cease-fire in Korea.
1951 Jan 21, Communist troops
forced the UN army out of Inchon, Korea after a 12-hour attack.
1951 Jan 25, The U.S. Eighth
Army in Korea launched Operation Thunderbolt, a counter attack to
push the Chinese Army north of the Han River.
1951 Feb 21, The U. S. Eighth
Army launched Operation Killer, a counterattack to push Chinese
forces north of the Han River in Korea.
1951 Mar 7, U.N. forces in
Korea under General Matthew Ridgeway launched Operation Ripper, an
offensive to straighten out the U.N. front lines against the
1951 Mar 12, Communist troops
were driven out of Seoul.
1951 Apr 22-25, The Battle of
Imjin River in the Korean War. The 1st Battalion of the “Glorious"
Gloucestershire Regiment made a remarkable last ditch stand to allow
the British 29th Brigade to withdraw in the face of the oncoming
1951 Apr 25, After a three day
fight against Chinese Communist Forces, the Gloucestershire Regiment
was annihilated on “Gloucester Hill," in Korea.
1951 May 9, The U.S. Far East
Air Force launched a strike on Sinuiju, North Korea, on the Yalu
1951 May 16, Chinese Communist
Forces launched a second step, fifth-phase offensive [in Korea] and
gained up to 20 miles of territory.
1951 May 19, UN began a counter
offensive in Korea.
1951 May 21, The U.S. Eighth
Army counterattacked to drive the Communist Chinese and North
Koreans out of South Korea.
1951 Sep 13, In Korea, U.S.
Army troops began their assault in Heartbreak Ridge. The month-long
struggle would cost 3,700 casualties.
1951 Sep 13, Lt. Daniel J.
Marini led 40 marines to capture Hill 712 in Korea near Imjin River.
He received a Silver Star in 1997.
(SFC, 1/9/97, p.A18)
1951 Sep 13, American Lt. Alvin
Earl Crane was shot down while on a reconnaissance flight over North
Korea. His remains were returned by North Korea in 1990, but
positive identification by DNA only took place in 2005.
(SSFC, 5/14/06, p.B6)
1951 Sep, Some 90 US Marines
were killed taking a North Korea ridge called Hill 749. [see Sep 13]
(SSFC, 5/25/03, Par p.5)
1951 Nov 25, A truce line
between U.N. troops and North Korea was mapped out at the peace
talks in Panmunjom, Korea.
1951 Nov 27, Cease-fire and
demarcation zone accord was signed in Panmunjom, Korea.
1951 Dec 18, North Koreans gave
the Allies a list of 3,100 POWs.
1951 North Korea's leader Kim
Il Sung began sending thousands of orphans to countries including
the Soviet Union, Hungary and Poland, pleading with his communist
allies to take care of them.
1952 Jan 2, In Korea British
pilot Desmond Fredrick William Hinton (b.1922) was shot down while
on a bombing run targeting railway infrastructure. In 2011 North
Korea handed his re-mains over to British officials.
1952 Mar 18, There was a
Communist offensive in Korea.
1952 Mar 22, US Navy pilot
Kenneth Schechter (d.2013) was among a group of pilots ordered to
bomb North Korean rail and truck lines. Schechter’s plane was hit
and he was blinded, but managed to make a landing guided by group
leader Lt. Howard Thayer.
(SFC, 12/25/13, p.D2)
1952 Mar 27, Elements of the
U.S. Eighth Army reached the 38th parallel in Korea, the original
dividing line between the two Koreas.
1952 Apr 28, War with Japan
officially ended as a treaty that had been signed by the United
States and 47 other countries took effect. Japan regained
independence. The government immediately revoked Japanese
nationality from ethnic Koreans, called zainichi. Those loyal to
north Korea were called Soren and those loyal to South Korea were
(AP, 4/28/00)(Jap. Enc., BLDM, p. 216)(Econ,
1952 Jun 23, The US Air Force
bombed power plants on Yalu River, Korea.
1952 Sep 12, Soviet Lt.
Dobrovichin shot down an American B-29 bomber piloted by Capt. Ted
(WSJ, 6/13/00, p.A1)
1952 Oct 8, The Chinese began
an offensive in Korea.
1952 Dec 14, Eighty-four Korean
Communist prisoners interned on Pongam Island were killed during a
riot after attempting to escape.
1953 Mar 10, North Korean
gunners at Wonsan fired on the USS Missouri, the ship responds by
firing 998 rounds at the enemy position.
1953 Mar 25, The USS Missouri
fired on targets at Kojo, North Korea, the last time her guns fire
until the Persian Gulf War of 1992.
1953 Apr 20, Operation Little
Switch began in Korea, the exchange of sick and wounded prisoners of
1953 Apr 27, US General Mark W.
Clark issued Operation Moolah to coincide with Operation Little
Switch, an exchange of sick and wounded POWs between the Communist
and UN forces in North and South Korea. The US set up Operation
Moolah to award $100,000 to the first pilot to defect in a Russian
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Moolah)(Econ, 5/16/15, p.79)
1953 Jun 7, Pres. Eisenhower
announced that proposals for a Korean truce are acceptable to the US
and appealed to South Korea to accept terms to stop the war.
(SFC, 6/6/03, p.E2)
1953 Jul 14, There was a
Communist offensive in Korea.
1953 Jul 25, A truce ended the
(SFEC, 5/16/99, Z1 p.4)
1953 Jul 27,
An armistice ending fighting in the three-year Korean War was signed
by representatives of the United Nations, Korea and China in
Panmunjom. Lt. Gen. William K. Harrison represented the UN and Gen.
Nam Il represented North Korea. General Mark Clark, commander of the
UN forces, added his signature to the armistice agreement. Armistice
negotiations had begun in July 1951, when the outlook for reunifying
North and South Korea became bleak, and fighting continued. The
cease-fire provided for an exchange of prisoners of war and
established a 2 ½ mile wide demilitarized zone and a demarcation
line at the 38th parallel. Not all aspects of the agreement,
however, were finalized—the UN Commission for the Unification and
Rehabilitation of Korea was not suspended until 1977. N. Korea
measures 46,540 sq. miles, its population in 1974 was ~15 million
people. 33,651 Americans had died and 8,000 were still missing in
(NG, 8/74, p.255)(TMC, 1994, p.1953)(WSJ,
6/24/96, C1)(WUD, 1994, p.1685)(HNPD, 7/27/98)(HN, 7/27/98)(SFEC,
5/9/99, p.T10)(SFEC, 6/25/00, Par p.5)(SFC, 7/25/03, p.E6)
1953 Jul 27, Four neutral
countries, Sweden, Switzerland, Poland and Czechoslovakia, were
charged with referring the armistice.
(WSJ, 3/17/00, p.A1)
1953 Aug 5, Operation "Big
Switch" was under way as prisoners taken during the Korean conflict
were exchanged at Panmunjom.
1953 Sep 21, North Korean pilot
Lieutenant No Kum Sok defected and landed his aircraft at Kimpo
airfield outside Seoul. He collected a reward while denying any
knowledge of a bounty. American scientists were able to examine the
Soviet Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15, powered by a jet engine superior to
those then used in American fighter planes. It first saw combat in
Korea during November 1950, where its performance shifted the
balance of air power to Russian-backed North Korea.
1953 Nov 23, North Korea signed
10-year aid pact with Peking.
1953 Dec 26, U.S. was to
withdraw two divisions from Korea.
1953 A group of 1,200 North
Korean orphans arrived at the small, forested village of Plakowice,
where they lived in a former hospital building for six years under
the care of Polish teachers. In 2018 the documentary film "The
Children Gone to Poland" premiered at the Busan International Film
Festival in South Korea.
1954 Jan 20, Over 22,000
anti-Communist prisoners were turned over to the UN forces in Korea.
1961 Jul 11, China and North
Korea signed the Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual
Assistance. This committed China to defend North Korea if attacked.
1962 May, US Pvt. Larry Abshier
(19) deserted to North Korea and later died there of natural causes.
(SFC, 8/16/04, p.A5)
1962 Aug 15, US Pvt. James
Joseph Dresnok (21) defected to North Korea. His wife had recently
divorced him and he faced a court-martial. A British film crew met
with Dresnok in 2004. A documentary about his defection, "Crossing
the Line," was released in 2006 and made it to DVD in 2008.
(SFC, 8/16/04, p.A5)(AFP,
1963 Dec, US Cpl. Jerry W.
Parrish (19) deserted to North Korea and later died there of natural
(SFC, 8/16/04, p.A5)
1965 Jan 5, Charles Robert
Jenkins (b.1940) deserted his US Army post at the Korean DMZ hoping
to be arrested, turned over to Russia and returned to the US. His
plan failed and he ended up living in North Korea where he married
Hitomi Soga, a Japanese woman kidnapped by North Korea in the 1970s.
In 2004 Jenkins reunited with his wife in Indonesia and in September
turned himself in to US military authorities in Japan. [see Sep 1,
1965] In 2008 Jenkins with Jim Frederick authored “The Reluctant
Communist: My Desertion, Court-Martial, and Forty-Year Imprisonment
in North Korea."
p.A5)(SSFC, 5/23/04, p.A18)(WSJ, 7/12/04, p.A1)(AP, 9/1/04)(WSJ,
1965 Japan’s recognition of
South Korea enabled Koreans in Japan to become South Korean. Koreans
who did not became North Korean by default and went to Japan’s North
(Econ, 6/15/13, p.38)
1966 North Vietnam accepted an
offer by North Korea to send three companies of pilots who would
form a regiment equipped with 30 aircraft in total. They were to
wear North Vietnamese uniforms and Vietnam would provide the
aircraft, facilities and equipment. Only in 2000-2001 was the
participation of the North Korean pilots officially acknowledged by
Hanoi and Pyongyang.
1967 Jan 19, North Korean
artillery batteries fired on and sank ROKN PCE-56 off the north
Korean east coast killing 39 South Korean sailors.
1968 Jan 21, A group of 31
North Korean commandos trudged undetected for about 40 miles from
the border to the presidential Blue House of South Korean President
Park Chung-hee in downtown Seoul. South Korean security forces
repelled the assault. 28 North Koreans and 34 South Koreans were
(SFC, 9/19/96, p.A8)(AP, 12/25/03)
1968 Jan 23, North Korea seized
the U.S. Navy intelligence ship Pueblo, charging it had intruded
into the communist nation's territorial waters on a spying mission.
One crewman was killed in the attack. Cmdr. Lloyd Bucher (d.2004 at
76) was quickly separated from the 81-man crew. The crew was
released 11 months later.
(NG, 8/74, p.266)(AP, 1/23/98)(SFC, 10/2/01,
p.A15)(SFC, 1/30/04, p.A25)
1969 Apr 15, North Korea shot
down a US airplane above the Sea of Japan. All 31 men aboard the
plane were believed dead.
1968 Apr, The South Korean
Silmido Unit was forged of misfits to "blast Kim Il Sung's palace in
Pyongyang and cut his throat."
1968 Dec 23, The 82 crew
members of the US intelligence ship Pueblo were released by North
Korea, 11 months after they had been captured.
1970 Apr 30, Yoshimi Tanaka and
a group of students of the Red Army Faction, including Shiro Akagi,
seized a Japan Airlines jet and flew to Pyongyang, N. Korea, in
Japan's first ever case of air piracy. In 1996 Tanaka was sentenced
to 12 years in prison.
1970 Apr, North Korea
intercepted a South Korean fishing trawler. Most of the crew were
later repatriated but Lee Jae-geun, owner of the trawler, was held
for three decades before he escaped home.
(Econ, 10/26/13, SR p.3)
1971 May 10, Kim Jong Nam, son
of Kim Jong il, was born to Sung Hye Rim, a celebrated actress.
(SFC, 5/4/01, p.A15)
1971 Aug 23, South
Korea's Silmido Unit, organized in 1968 to kill North Korea's Kim Il
Sung, rebelled and murdered 18 of its 24 trainers. A film titled
"Silmido" was released Dec 24, 2003.
1972 Jul 4, Lee Hu-rak
(1924-2009), South Korean President Park Chung-hee’s top
intelligence officer, helped broker a joint statement in which the
two Koreas agreed to work toward peacefully reunifying their divided
peninsula. The July 4 joint communique was hailed as the first major
accord between the Koreas on unification since the Korean War ended
with a fragile truce in 1953.
1972 Dec 28, A North Korean
navy ship seized 25 South Korean fishermen aboard two boats. In 2013
Jeon Wook-Pyo, one of the 25, escaped an d made it back to South
1972 North Korean leader Kim Il
Sung (1912-1994) proclaimed an edict saying up to three generations
must be punished in order to wipe out the “seed" of class enemies.
1973 Sep, In North Korea Kim
Jong Il assumed the Workers Party's No. 2 post, the secretary for
the party's organization, guidance and propaganda affairs.
1973 Dec 10, North Korea and
India established diplomatic ties.
1973 North Korea made a filmed
version of the 8-act opera "The Flower Girl" and showed it across
(WSJ, 2/23/99, p.A20)
1973 Kim Jong il, son of North
Korean leader Kim Il Sung, authored “On the Subject of the Cinema."
A collection of his reviews, titled “The Art of Cinema," was
published in 2001.
1974 Feb, Kim Jong Il was
elected to the Political Bureau of the Workers Party's Central
Committee and formally becomes North Korea's future leader.
1975 Aug, North Korea seized 33
South Korean fisherman near their maritime border. In 2006 Choi
Uk-il, one of the 33, escaped to China and returned home to South
1976 Aug 18, Two U.S. Army
officers were killed in Korea's demilitarized zone as a group of
North Korean soldiers wielding axes and metal pikes attacked U.S.
and South Korean soldiers. Major Arthur G. Bonifas was attacked and
beaten to death by North Korean soldiers as he attempted to cut down
a poplar tree in the DMZ.
(SFEC, 6/25/00, p.T8)(AP, 8/18/02)
1977 Mar 9, Pres. Carter
proposed an end to travel restrictions to Cuba, Vietnam, N. Korea
and Cambodia effective as of March 18.
1977 Nov 15, Megumi Yokota (13)
disappeared after school in Niigata, Japan. It was later suspected
that she, and possibly 9 others, had been kidnapped by North Korea.
Shigeru Yokota (d.2020) found out 20 years later that his daughter
had been abducted to North Korea. In 2002 N. Korea admitted
the kidnapping. In 2014 Yokota's parents spent several days with
their 26-year old granddaughter, Kim Eun Gyong, in the Mongolian
capital of Ulan Bator.
p.A25)(SFC, 9/18/02, p.A10)(Reuters, 3/16/14)(AP, 6/6/20)
1977 North Korea passed a land
law whereby all land was made property of the state and
co-operatives, with no rights for sale or purchase. By 2007 even the
government was involved in apartment transactions to satisfy demand
for up-market housing.
(Econ, 11/24/07, p.48)
1978 Jan, South Korean actress
Choi Eun Hee (b.1928), while visiting Hong Kong, was kidnapped to
North Korea. Two weeks later her husband, Shin Sang Ok, prominent
South Korean producer and director, was searching for her in Hong
Kong when he was knocked out with chloroform and shipped to North
Korea. In 1986 Sang-Ok (d.2006) and his wife, while on a promotional
trip, fled to a US embassy in Vienna.
(http://tinyurl.com/bnoq)(Econ, 4/29/06, p.90)
1978 Jul, Yasushi Chimura (23)
and Fukie Hamamoto (23) disappeared from Japan. In 2002 they were
listed among those kidnapped by N. Korea.
(SFC, 9/18/02, p.A10)
1978 Jul, Kaoru Hasuike (20)
and Yukiko Okudo (22) disappeared from Japan. In 2002 they were
listed among those kidnapped by N. Korea.
(SFC, 9/18/02, p.A10)
1979 A North Korean chemist in
2004 reported that he witnessed the death of 2 men this year as the
regime tested chemical weapons on political prisoners.
1980 Oct 10, In North Korea Kim
Jong Il's status as the country's future leader was made public at
the Workers' Party congress, where he takes up other top positions.
1980 Oct, Zimbabwe’s President
Robert Mugabe signed an agreement with the North Korean President,
Kim Il Sung that they would train a brigade for the Zimbabwe
1980-1982 Luise Rinser (d.2002), German author,
visited North Korea 3 times and later authored “Diary of a North
(SFC, 3/19/02, p.A20)
1981 Aug, In Zimbabwe 106
North Koreans arrived to train the new brigade for the National
Army. North Korean-trained troops loyal to President Robert Mugabe
massacred thousands of civilians as the government tried to crush an
uprising led by Joshua Nkomo in the 1980s.
1983 Jan 8, In North Korea Kim
Jong Il's third and youngest son Jong Un is believed to have been
1983 Oct 9, The president of
South Korea, Chun Doo Hwan, with his cabinet and other top officials
were scheduled to lay a wreath on a monument in Rangoon, Burma, when
a bomb exploded. Hwan had not yet arrived so escaped injury, but 17
Koreans, including the deputy prime minister and two other cabinet
members, and two Burmese were killed. North Korea was blamed. In the
“Rangoon Massacre" a terrorist attack plotted by North Korea killed
17 South Korean officials on a visit to Burma.
(WSJ, 9/9/96, p.A18)(HN, 10/9/98)
1983 Keiko Arimoto was lured to
N. Korea while job hunting in Denmark. In 2002 N. Korea admitted to
having kidnapped her and listed her as dead.
(SFC, 9/18/02, p.A10)
1984 The North Korean film
“Emissary of No Return" won Best Director at a film festival in
Czechoslovakia. It was directed by Shin Sang-ok, kidnapped from
South Korea in 1978.
(Econ., 3/21/15, p.76)
1984-1998 Ri Jong Ok (d.1999 at 83) served as vice
president. He had helped Kim Il Sung build the North Korean
(SFC, 9/24/99, p.D6)
1986 North Korea started a
5-megawatt nuclear reactor at Yongbyon after seven years of
construction with Soviet help.
(SFC, 6/28/08, p.A3)
1986 Choe Deok-sin (aka Choi
Dok Shin) (1914-1989), a former South Korean foreign minister,
defected to North Korea along with his wife Ryu Mi-yong (1921-2016).
In 2019 their son , Choe In-guk, also defected to North Korea.
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Choe_Deok-sin)(SFC, 7/9/19, p.A4)
1987 Nov 29, A Korean Air
jetliner, Flight 858, disappeared off Burma over the Indian Ocean,
with the loss of all 115 people aboard. North Korean spies had
planted a time-bomb on the South Korean Air jet a day earlier and
got off in Abu Dhabi. Kim Hyon-hui and her accomplice were arrested
two days later in Bahrain, where they tried to kill themselves by
taking cyanide. The man died, but Kim recovered and was extradited
to Seoul. She was convicted of the bombing and was sentenced to
death. Even while on trial, she won admirers for her classic good
looks. She was eventually pardoned and became a best-selling author,
writing books about her time as a spy.
(WSJ, 9/9/96, p.A18)(AP, 11/29/97)(AP, 7/20/10)
1987 Kim Jong il, son of North
Korean leader Kim Il Sung, authored the treatise: “Theory of
1987 In North Korea work began
on the pyramid-shaped, 105-story Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang. Two
new walkways to the hotel, the world’s tallest unoccupied building.
(SFC, 8/1/17, p.A4)
1987 Lim Kook-Jae (33), a South
Korean fisherman, was abducted in the Yellow Sea. In 2008 he died at
one of the North's political camps in the northeastern port of
Chongjin after failed attempts to escape.
1988 North Korea introduced a
national public pension. As of 2013 less than a third of those aged
65 or more received one.
(Econ, 10/26/13, SR p.8)
1989 May 1, In North Korea the
Rungrado 1st of May Stadium, also known as the May Day Stadium, was
completed in Pyongyang.
1991 Sep 17, The U.N. General
Assembly opened its 46th session, welcoming new members Estonia,
Latvia, Lithuania, North and South Korea, the Marshall Islands and
1991 Dec 13, North Korea and
South Korea signed a non-aggression agreement aimed at eventual
1991 Dec 14, Former East German
leader Erich Honecker, facing extradition to Germany and trial on
manslaughter charges, was offered asylum in North Korea.
1991 Dec 24, In North Korea Kim
Jong Il (b.1942) became head of the armed forces under his ruling
father, Kim Il Sung.
(Econ, 9/13/08, p.49)(AP, 12/28/11)
1991 North Korea declared the
4-country armistice referee group a "non-existent organization."
(WSJ, 3/17/00, p.A1)
1992 The two Koreas agreed in a
pact to continue talks to demarcate the sea border while respecting
the Northern Limit Line (NLL) until a new border is set.
1992 Rev. Billy Graham went to
North Korea at the invitation of late North Korean President Kim Il
Sung. Graham returned again in 1994.
1993 Mar 11, North Korea
withdrew from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in a harsh rebuff
of Western demands to open suspected nuclear weapons development
sites for inspection. It later suspended its withdrawal.
(AP, 3/11/98)(AP, 4/24/03)
1993 Apr, In North Korea Kim
Jong Il was named Chairman of the National Defense Commission.
1993 Jun 11, North Korea pulled
Asia back from the brink of a possible nuclear arms race by
reversing its decision to withdraw from a treaty preventing spread
of nuclear weapons.
1993 Jul 10, President Clinton
ended his visit to Japan, then traveled to South Korea, where in a
speech to the National Assembly he denounced communist North Korea
for raising the specter of "nuclear annihilation."
1993 North Korea refused to
recognize the new Czech Republic as a replacement to Czechoslovakia
in the 4-country armistice referee group.
(WSJ, 3/17/00, p.A1)
1993 Russia annulled an
agreement obliging it to come to the aid of North Korea in case of
(SFC, 4/13/96, p.A-9)
1994 Mar 19, Talks between
North Korea and South Korea collapsed, imperiling a U.S.-brokered
deal to resolve the North Korean nuclear dispute.
1994 May 30, The U.N. Security
Council warned North Korea to stop refueling a nuclear reactor and
allow U.N. monitors to perform full inspections.
1994 Jun 11, The United States,
South Korea and Japan agreed to seek punitive steps against North
Korea over its nuclear program.
1994 Jun 16, Former President
Jimmy Carter, on a private visit to North Korea, reported the
Communist nation's leaders were eager to resume talks with the
United States on resolving disputes about Pyongyang's nuclear
program and improving relations. Carter made history as the first
former US president to visit North Korea. Carter's unofficial
four-day visit included a meeting with then-North Korean leader Kim
Il Sung. His intervention headed off a potential conflict and helped
seal an aid-for-disarmament agreement that lasted nearly a decade.
(AP, 6/16/99)(AP, 3/9/18)
1994 Jun 18, The presidents of
North Korea and South Korea agreed to hold a historic summit. Plans
were disrupted by the death of North Korean leader Kim Il Sung on
1994 Jun 28, North and South
Korea set July 25-27 as the dates for a historic summit. The summit
was derailed by the death of North Korean President Kim Il Sung on
1994 Jul 8, Kim Il Sung ("Great
Leader"), North Korea's communist leader since 1948, died at age 82.
His son Kim Jong Il ("The Dear Leader") succeeded him.
(AP, 7/8/97)(WSJ, 6/26/97, p.A14)
1994 Jul 9, Planned talks
between North Korea and South Korea were put on hold following the
death of North Korean dictator Kim Il Sung.
1994 Jul 19, Funeral services
were held for North Korean dictator Kim Il Sung, who had died July 8
at age 82.
1994 Oct 21, United States and
North Korea signed an agreement requiring the communist nation to
halt its nuclear program and agree to inspections. Fuel rods from
North Korea’s nuclear reactor were to be shipped out of the country,
but that did not happen. The deal unraveled eight years later. Kang
Sok Ju (1939-2016) was Pyongyang's chief negotiator.
10/21/99)(Econ, 7/21/07, p.41)(Econ, 7/25/15, p.23)
1994 Oct, Kim Jong Ryul, a
North Korean colonel who spent two decades going on European
shopping sprees for his country's rulers, faked his death at the end
of one of his trips and started a new, secret life in Austria in the
hope that the oppressive regime would crumble within years. He left
behind a wife and two children. In 2010 Austrian journalists Ingrid
Steiner-Gashi and Dardan Gashi authored an account of Ryul’s work
for Kim Jong Il.
1994 Nov 14, President Clinton,
in Indonesia, met one-on-one with the leaders of China, Japan and
South Korea, winning pledges to keep the pressure on North Korea to
freeze its nuclear weapons program.
1994 Nov 14, U.S. experts
visited North Korea's main nuclear complex for the first time under
an accord aimed at opening such sites to outside inspections.
1994 Dec 17, North Korea shot
down a U.S. Army helicopter which had strayed north of the
demilitarized zone -- the co-pilot, Chief Warrant Officer David
Hilemon, was killed; the pilot, Chief Warrant Officer Bobby Hall,
was captured and held for nearly two weeks.
1994 Dec 22, North Korea handed
over the body of American pilot David Hilemon, killed when his
helicopter was shot down over the communist country three days
1994 Dec 29, U.S. officials
confirmed the release in North Korea of Army helicopter pilot Bobby
Hall, 12 days after he was captured in a shootdown in which co-pilot
David Hilemon was killed. Due to the time difference, it was Dec. 30
in Korea when Hall crossed the demilitarized zone to freedom.
1994 An accord called the
Agreed Framework was made in which North Korea pledged to give up
its nuclear weapons program in exchange for billions in Western aid.
(SFC, 8/17/98, p.A8)(SFEC, 12/6/98, p.A28)
1994 Aoyama, a Japanese-born
North Korean engineer, began spying for Japan. In 1997 as an
industrial spy in Beijing he confirmed that North Korea had
developed a nuclear bomb.
(SFC, 11/28/02, p.F5)
1995 Mar, The Korean Peninsula
Energy Development Organization (KEDO) was formed. It was charged
with building 2 light-water reactors in North Korea.
(WSJ, 1/30/03, p.A1)
1995 North Korea expelled
Poland as a member of the armistice referee group.
(WSJ, 3/17/00, p.A1)
1995-1998 In 1999 North Korea reported that some
220,000 people died from famine over this period. South Korean
officials estimated that the population had fallen from 25 million
to 23 million. In 1998 a US congressional delegation estimated the
number to be 2 million.
(SFC, 5/11/99, p.A12)(SFEC, 8/15/99, p.A21)
1996 May 20, The US paid North
Korea $2 million to help recover the remains of US soldiers killed
during the Korean War.
(SFC, 5/21/96, p.A-11)
1996 May 23, A North Korean
pilot flew his unarmed Mig-19 jet to South Korea. Capt. Lee Chul Soo
(30) was the first pilot to defect since 1983.
(SFC, 5/24/96, p.A12)
1996 Jun 17, The UN sponsored
Conference on Disarmament agreed to admit 23 new members, among them
Iraq, Syria, Israel, North Korea and South Africa.
(SFC, 6/18/96, p.A10)
1996 Jun 19, A pending
application for membership in the International Air Transport
Association by North Korea could be accepted as early as next month.
(WSJ, 6/18/96, p.A10)
1996 Aug 15, In South Korea
some 6,000 police clashed with 7,000 students who protested for
reunification with North Korea and the removal of 37,000 US troops.
(SFC, 8/16/96, p.A17)
1996 Aug 24, In North Korea
American Evan Carl Hunzike was arrested for spying. He entered
illegally from China to get information on the domestic situation.
(SFEC, 10/7/96, A8)
1996 Sep 15, In North Korea the
Rajin-Sonbong Free Economic and Trade Zone, a 288 sq. ml. area with
a local population of 140,000, was being established behind barbed
wire in the northeast corner.
(SFC, 9/15/96, p.A15)
1996 Sep 18, A North Korean
submarine went aground off the coast of South Korea. The bodies of
11 crewmen were found dead nearby. Another 8-9 men were still at
large. Seven more were found the next day and shot to death.
(SFC, 9/19/96, p.A8)(SFC, 9/20/96, p.A14)
1996 Sep 22, In South Korea the
captain of the North Korean submarine, recently grounded, was
tracked down and killed. Another infiltrator and 2 South Korean
soldiers were also killed in 2 clashes.
(SFC, 9/23/96, A10)
1996 Nov 27, Evan C. Hunziker,
an American jailed by North Korea on spy charges, was set free,
ending a three-month ordeal.
1996 A North Korean defector in
1997 claimed that the government had banned abortions and was
encouraging women to bear children to increase the population in
order to maintain the army.
1997 Jun 30, North Korea agreed
to hold talks with South Korea in NYC beginning Aug 5.
(SFC, 7/1/97, p.A8)
1997 Oct 8, In North Korea Kim
Jong Il was named General Secretary of the Workers' Party, the
country’s top leadership post.
(SFC, 10/9/97, p.C2)(AP, 12/28/11)
1997 Nov 26, In a small but
symbolic step, the United States and North Korea held high-level
discussions at the State Department for the first time.
1997 Kim Dok Hong, a senior
member of North Korea’s ruling Worker’s Party, defected through
China to Seoul.
(WSJ, 1/7/03, p.A1)
1998 May 4, The Clinton
administration invoked sanctions against North Korea and Pakistan
for a secret 1997 missile deal. Pakistan’s military named the
acquired missile, Ghauri, after a famous Muslim warrior who slew a
Hindu emperor named Prithvi, the name of a Russian made Indian
(SFC, 5/14/98, p.A16)
1998 Jul 15, A letter,
supposedly written by Jo Byong Ho, a North Korean official, was said
to be addressed to Pakistani nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan. It
said that the chief of the Pakistani Army, Gen. Jehangir Karamat,
had been paid $3 million and asked that “agreed documents and
components" be placed on a North Korean plane after delivering
missile parts to Pakistan. The evidence suggested that Pakistan’s
top military officials were involved in the secret sale of equipment
to North Korea that enabled it to begin enriching uranium.
(SFC, 7/8/11, p.A4)
1998 Oct 24, Officials from the
US, China and North and South Korea seeking a permanent peace for
the divided Korean peninsula announced in Geneva they had removed
the last obstacles to full-blown talks.
1998 Dec 10, In North Korea it
was reported that a Fall scientific survey found that 62% of the
children under 7 years old suffered from stunted growth due to
malnutrition. An entire generation of children were feared to be
physically and mentally impaired.
(SFC, 12/10/98, p.C5)
1998 South Korea began running
a tourist resort at Geumgangsan (Mount Diamond), just on the
northern side of the divided Korean peninsula. Hyundai Asan began
operating the 4,900-acre compound. The collaboration halted in 2008
following the shooting death of a South Korean tourist. In 2001
North Korea told South Korean tourism officials to leave the resort.
(Econ, 10/28/06, p.49)(WSJ, 5/17/08, p.W7)(SFC,
1999 Jan 16, The US and North
Korea opened talks on inspections of a suspected underground nuclear
(SFEC, 1/17/99, p.A10)
1999 Jan 17, US talks with
North Korea over inspection of an underground nuclear site were
adjourned. North Korea demanded $300 million in compensation to
inspect the Kumchangni site.
(SFC, 1/18/99, p.A14)
1999 Mar 16, North Korea agreed
to allow US inspectors to visit a suspected nuclear weapons site in
exchange for assistance to increase potato yields.
(SFC, 3/17/99, p.A8)
1999 Mar 22, The Clinton
administration announced new food deals for North Korea to total $60
(WSJ, 3/23/99, p.A1)
1999 Mar 1, A US report on
policy with North Korea indicated that North Korea was involved in
the production and distribution of narcotics. An area 10-17 thousand
acres was estimated to be under poppy cultivation with opium
production at 30-44 annual metric tons.
(SFC, 3/27/99, p.A10)
1999 May 17, The US announced a
400,000 ton food aid donation to North Korea, as inspectors flew in
to check on nuclear weapons development.
(SFC, 5/18/99, p.C12)
1999 May 27, In North Korea US
inspectors found an empty tunnel at a suspected nuclear arms site.
(WSJ, 5/28/99, p.A1)
1999 Jun 2, The International
Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. atomic watchdog, reported it could no
longer verify the status of North Korea's nuclear program, prompting
the United States to seek economic sanctions.
1999 Jun 11, South Korean ships
rammed and briefly repelled 4 North Korean patrol boats. North Korea
warned South Korea to withdraw warships from disputed waters in the
Yellow Sea on the 5th day of a standoff.
(SFC, 6/12/99, p.A13)(SFEC, 6/13/99, p.A13)
1999 Jun 13, North Korea agreed
to talk to UN military officers in an attempt to resolve the naval
confrontations with South Korea.
(SFC, 6/14/99, p.A13)
1999 Jun 14, South Korean
warships sank a North Korean torpedo boat and damaged another in the
(SFC, 6/15/99, p.A1)
1999 Jun 22, Talks between
North and South Korea broke down after 90 minutes as North Korea
demanded and apology from South Korea for the naval clash in the
Yellow Sea where some 30 North Korean sailors were believed to have
died in a June 15 shootout.
(SFC, 6/23/99, p.A14)
1999 Jul 3, In Beijing talks
between the North and South Korea collapsed.
(SFEC, 7/4/99, p.A22)
1999 Jul 26, Japanese
government officials and US Sec. of State Madeleine Albright issued
a threat of economic and diplomatic consequences to North Korea if
it fires another rocket over Japanese territory.
(SFC, 8/3/99, p.A10)
1999 Aug 4, It was reported
that flooding in North Korea had claimed 42 lives.
(WSJ, 8/4/99, p.A1)
1999 Sep 2, North Korea
declared a new demilitarized zone with South Korea that placed 5
islands controlled by South Korea with North Korean territory.
(SFC, 9/3/99, p.A9)
1999 Sep 12, North Korea agreed
indirectly to freeze its missile testing program.
(SFC, 9/13/99, p.A10)
1999 Sep 17, The US lifted key
parts of its trade embargo against North Korea following North
Korea's pledge to refrain from testing long-range missiles.
(SFC, 9/18/99, p.A1)
1999 Dec, A US-led group signed
a $4.6 billion contract to build two nuclear reactors in North
1999 Nicholas Eberstadt
published "The End of North Korea." He viewed the country's
political decline as imminent and its economic decline as
(WSJ, 1/6/00, p.A20)
1999 Abdul Qadeer Khan, a
Pakistani scientist, visited North Korea and was shown 3 nuclear
devices according to a report he made public in 2004.
(SFC, 4/13/04, p.A1)
2000 Apr 9, North and South
Korea agreed to a summit meeting in June.
(SFC, 4/10/00, p.A1)
2000 May 18, North and South
Korea agreed to an agenda for their 1st summit meeting. In
2003 it was reported that South Korea's Hyundai business group drew
$186 million from a government-owned bank shortly before the summit
and allegedly spent the money on unspecified projects in the North.
In 2006 it was reported that Hyundai sent some $500 million to Kim
Jong Il to secure the June 13, 2000, summit with Pres. Kim Dae-jung.
(WSJ, 5/19/00, p.A1)(AP, 2/1/03)(Econ, 10/28/06,
p.49)(Econ, 8/29/09, p.76)
2000 May 29, North Korean
leader Kim Jong il began a 3-day to China and met with Pres. Jiang
Zemin and the ruling Communist Party’s inner circle. He received
promises of free food and other material assistance. Kim Jong Il had
not visited China since 1983.
(SFC, 6/2/00, p.A16)(Econ, 7/2/11, p.36)
2000 May, A visiting inspection
team found a tunnel complex, suspected of being a nuclear arms
project, unchanged from a year ago.
(WSJ, 5/31/00, p.A1)
2000 Jun 13, Pres. Kim Jong il
of North Korea met with Pres. Kim Dae Jung of South Korea in the 1st
meeting ever between leaders of the 2 countries. They agreed to try
to satisfy their people’s desire for reconciliation. Border
loudspeakers that blasted insults at South Korea were shut off.
(SFC, 6/13/00, p.A10)(SFC, 6/14/00, p.A1)(SFC,
2000 Jun 14, Pres. Kim Jong il
of North Korea and Pres. Kim Dae Jung of South Korea pledged
concrete steps toward unifying their divided peninsula and signed an
agreement to allow visits for some families separated for the last
(SFC, 6/15/00, p.A1)
2000 Jun 19, The Clinton
administration moved to lift trade sanctions against North Korea.
(SFC, 6/20/00, p.A12)
2000 Jun 21, North Korea
extended its ban on missile flight-testing and the US responded with
plans to renew talks to curb the long-range missile program.
(SFC, 6/22/00, p.A12)
2000 Jun 30, North and South
Korea signed an agreement to allow 100 people each to reunite with
families across their border beginning Aug 15.
(SFC, 7/1/00, p.A12)
2000 Jul 19, In North Korea
Russia’s Pres. Putin met with Kim Jong il. Kim promised to abandon
his missile program if other states provide technology for “peaceful
space research.’ Kim later said this was just a joke.
(SFC, 7/20/00, p.A13)(WSJ, 8/15/00, p.A1)
2000 Jul 27, North Korea joined
the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
(SFC, 7/28/00, p.D3)
2000 Jul 30, North and South
Korea agreed to hold regular high-level talks and to re-open their
suspended border liaisons to implement earlier agreements.
(SFEC, 7/30/00, p.A2)
2000 Jul 31, North and South
Korea agreed to reopen border liaison offices and reconnect a
railway linking their capitals.
2000 Aug 15, One hundred people
from North Korea and 100 people from South Korea held temporary
reunions with family members not seen in 50 years.
(SFC, 8/15/00, p.A13)
2000 Sep 15, Groundbreaking for
a new highway between North and South Korea was scheduled.
(SFC, 8/25/00, p.D5)
2000 Sep 1, South Korea
repatriated 63 North Korean spies as a gesture of reconciliation.
(SFC, 9/2/00, p.A13)
2000 Sep 17, In Korea a
ground-breaking ceremony was held at Imjingak for a railroad to
connect the capitals of North and South Korea.
(SFC, 9/18/00, p.A9)
2000 Sep 25, In Cheju, South
Korea, the North and South Korea defense ministers, Cho Sung Tae and
Kim Il Chul, met and pledged to work for reconciliation.
(SFC, 9/26/00, p.A11)
2000 Oct 10, Pres. Clinton met
with Vice Marshal Jo Myong Rok, the most senior North Korean
official to ever visit the US.
(WSJ, 10/10/00, p.A1)
2000 Oct 12, North Korea’s
Vice-Marshal Jo Myong Rok presented Pres. Clinton with a personal
invitation from Pres. Kim to visit Pyongyang. The Clinton
administration and North Korea issued a joint communique asserting a
decision to “fundamentally improve" their relations.
(SFC, 10/13/00, p.A17)(WSJ, 1/2/03, p.A1)
2000 Oct 22, US Sec. of State
Madeleine Albright arrived in North Korea to pave the way for a
possible visit by Pres. Clinton.
(SFC, 10/23/00, p.A10)
2000 Oct 23, Secretary of State
Madeleine Albright held groundbreaking talks in North Korea with
communist leader Kim Jong il.
2000 Oct 24, In North Korea Kim
Jong il promised not to launch any ballistic missiles during talks
with US Sec. of State Madeleine Albright in return for a package
that included the launch of a North Korean satellite.
(SFC, 10/25/00, p.A17)(WSJ, 10/25/00, p.A1)
2000 Nov 30, North and South
Korea made their 2nd exchange of 100 relatives each. Some 100,000
South Koreans were on waiting lists for family visits.
(SFC, 12/1/00, p.D8)
2000 Kang Chol-Hwan authored
“The Aquariums of Pyongyang," one of the first published accounts of
the North Korean gulags.
(SFC, 4/20/13, p.D1)
2000 North Korea launched a
nationwide fiber optic intranet known as Kwangmyong (bright).
(Econ, 2/3/07, p.43)
2000 The population numbered
(SFC, 6/13/00, p.A1)
2001 cFeb 25, A 3rd reunion
began as groups of 100 arrived in North and South Korea.
(WSJ, 2/26/01, p.A1)
2001 Mar 24, EU leaders ended a
2 day meeting in Stockholm announced that they would dispatch a team
of mediators to help the peace process between North and South
(SSFC, 3/25/01, p.C6)
2001 Apr 15, The 1st Pyongyang
International Marathon was set to start and end at the 70,000 Kim Il
(WSJ, 4/9/01, p.A22)
2001 Apr 17, It was reported
that the most recent harvest was the worst since the famine of 1997
and that only two-thirds of the food it needs was produced. Dr.
Vollertsen, a German physician who worked there for 18 months
(1999-2000) wrote in an editorial: “Peasants, slaves to the regime,
lead lives of utter destitution… North Korea suffers from
society-wide fear and depression because of the cruel system… The
people can’t help themselves, they are brainwashed, and too afraid
to overthrow their rulers."
(WSJ, 4/17/01, p.A14,20)
2001 May 1, In Japan Kim Jong
Nam (29), the son of Kim Jong il of North Korea, was detained with
his son as they attempted to visit Tokyo’s Disneyland. They were
later deported to China.
(SFC, 5/4/01, p.A14)
2001 May 2, In North Korea Kim
Jong il agreed to hold talks with visiting EU officials about his
missile program and tensions with South Korea. Kim Jong il announced
that North Korea would launch no ballistic missiles until 2003.
(WSJ, 5/3/01, p.A1)(SFC, 5/4/01, p.A14)
2001 May 14, The European
Commission announced that it would establish diplomatic ties with
(WSJ, 5/15/01, p.A1)
2001 Jun 6, Pres. Bush
announced plans to restart negotiations with North Korea on issues
ranging from missile production to border soldier deployment.
(SFC, 6/7/01, p.A12)
2001 Jul 13, It was reported
that record droughts persisted in Afghanistan northern China, North
Korea, Mongolia and Tajikistan.
(SFC, 7/13/01, p.D4)
2001 Jul 25, Kim Jong il of
North Korea rode by rail into Russia for a meeting with Pres. Putin.
(WSJ, 7/26/01, p.A11)
2001 Jul, The US State
Department reported that North Korea was going ahead with
development of its long-range missile.
2001 Aug 3, Kim Jong il arrived
in Moscow following 9-day train ride from North Korea.
(SFC, 8/4/01, p.A10)
2001 Aug 4, In Moscow Kim Jong
il and Pres. Putin signed a joint statement declaring that North
Korea’s missile program is not designed to threaten any nation.
(SSFC, 8/5/01, p.A12)(AP, 8/4/02)
2001 Sep 2, North Korea
announced a desire to reopen stalled peace talks with South Korea.
(SFC, 9/3/01, p.A8)
2001 Sep 6, North and South
Korea agreed to resume talks next week.
(SFC, 9/7/01, p.A16)
2001 Sep 15, North and
South Korea began a 4-day series of meetings.
(SSFC, 9/16/01, p.A28)
2001 Sep 17, In South Korea
negotiators for the North and South concluded 2 days of talks and
agreed on an exchange of family visits. The North agreed to soon
begin construction on its side of a railroad to link the 2 sides.
(SFC, 9/18/01, p.B10)
2001 Oct 16, It was reported
that flooding in North Korea had killed at least 81 people and
damaged vast amounts of cropland over the last week. This portended
an 8th year of food shortages.
(WSJ, 10/16/01, p.A1)
2001 Oct 26, North Korea said
it was no longer interested in dialogue with the US due to Pres.
Bush’s recent description of North Korea as “so suspicious and
(SFC, 10/27/01, p.A9)
2001 Dec 22, A fishing boat
from North Korea, suspected of spying, exchanged fire with Japanese
coast vessels and sank after a 6-hour chase. 15 crewmen were lost. 2
bodies were later recovered. North Korea later denied any links to
the fishing boat and accused Japan of a “smear campaign."
(SSFC, 12/23/01, p.A15)(SFC, 12/24/01, p.A4)(SFC,
2001 In 2004 the UN gathered
evidence suggesting the North Korea supplied Libya with nearly 2
tons of uranium in 2001.
(WSJ, 5/24/04, p.A1)
2002 Jan 29, Pres. Bush made
his 1st State of the Union address and declared that the “war
against terror is only beginning." Bush singled out Iran, Iraq and
North Korea as an “axis of evil."
(SFC, 1/30/02, p.A1)(SFC, 1/31/02, p.A1)
2002 Feb 19, President Bush
opened a two-day visit to South Korea. Bush urged the “despotic
regime" in North Korea to reunite with the free South.
(SFC, 2/20/02, p.A14)(AP, 2/19/07)
2002 Feb 21, Pres. Bush met
with Pres. Zemin in Beijing and both agreed to work on the
reunification of North and South Korea.
(SFC, 2/21/02, p.A12)
2002 Mar 15, China allowed 25
North Korean asylum seekers to leave the Spanish Embassy in Beijing
for South Korea by way of the Philippines.
(WSJ, 3/18/02, p.A1)
2002 Mar 25, North and South
Korea issued a joint statement with plans to resume dialogue to
(SFC, 3/25/02, p.A8)
2002 Mar 29, It was reported
that Russia had announced plans to build a nuclear plant for North
(WSJ, 3/29/02, p.A1)
2002 Apr 15-2002 Jun 29,
Festivities were scheduled in North Korea to celebrate the birthdays
of Pres. Jung-Il Kim and founder Il-Sung Kim
(SSFC, 3/17/02, p.A22)
2002 Apr 6, South Korea envoy
Lim Dong Won said North Korea is ready to resume dialogue with the
(SFC, 4/6/02, p.A8)
2002 Jun 23, Twenty-six North
Korean asylum seekers left South Korean and Canadian diplomatic
compounds in Beijing bound for South Korea, ending a monthlong
2002 Jun 29, A South Korean
patrol boat was sunk in the yellow Sea border waters and four South
Koreans were killed with 22 wounded. North and South Korea blamed
each other for the sea battle which cast a shadow over the South's
World Cup finale as well as reconciliation efforts on the peninsula.
(SSFC, 6/30/02, p.A14)
2002 Jul 31, In Brunei U.S.
Secretary of State Colin Powell met his North Korean counterpart for
an informal chat, as easing inter-Korean tensions stole the
spotlight at an Asia-Pacific security forum.
2002 Jul, North Korea
introduced some economic reforms that included the withdrawal of
state subsidies to state-owned enterprises and the legalization of
farmers’ markets. Kim Jong Il declared that farmers could sell any
extra produce in small-scale markets. Pak Pong Ju was the architect
of these reforms and in 2013 became prime minister under Kim Jong
(Econ, 3/13/04, p.41)(Econ., 2/28/15, p.33)
2002 Aug 3, North and South
Korea opened a fresh round of talks amid moves by the communist
North to improve ties with the United States and Japan and
revitalize its faltering economy.
2002 Aug 8, South Korea said 10
people were dead after four days of torrential rains that North
Korea reported had also caused scores of casualties and destroyed
crops in the hungry communist state.
2002 Aug 21, North Korean
leader Kim Jong il toured the shop floor of a Russian defense plant,
getting a firsthand glimpse of how Russia's Sukhoi fighter jets are
2002 Aug 22, North Korean
leader Kim Jong il made his second visit to Russia in a year,
meeting with President Vladimir Putin in Vladivostok.
2002 Aug 23, The United States
imposed symbolic sanctions on a North Korean company and the North
Korean government for exporting medium or long-range missile
2002 Aug 23, North Korean
leader Kim Jong il capped his second visit to Russia in a year with
a long meeting with President Vladimir Putin and a taste of the
consumer delights that are in short supply in his country. Putin
pressed North Korea on Friday to forge a new Asia-Europe freight
route by extending Russia's trans-Siberian railway across the Korean
peninsula to bypass China.
(AP, 8/23/02)(Reuters, 8/23/02)
2002 Aug 30, It was reported
that North Korea has made changes in its economic system that
included a phase out of its public distribution system, price
increases and salary increases.
(SFC, 8/30/02, p.A14)
2002 Sep 14, South and North
Korea have set a date to begin mine clearing and establish a
military hotline during reconstruction of railway links across their
fortified border divided for 50 years.
2002 Sep 17, Kim Jong-il
apologized to Japanese PM Junichiro Koizumi for abductions of
Japanese citizens and offered concessions on security issues of
global concern. Both leaders exchanged apologies. Of 11 Japanese on
an official North Korea list of those who were kidnapped in the
1970s and 1980s, only 4 were still alive. Details of the kidnapped
were made public Oct 2. North Korea announced that it will
indefinitely extend its moratorium on missile testing as part of the
North Korea-Japan Pyongyang Declaration signed during a meeting
between Japanese PM Junichiro Koizumi and North Korean leader Kim
(AP, 9/17/02)(SFC, 10/3/02,
2002 Sep 19, North Korea
announced it had made the city of Sinuiju on its border with China a
"special administrative region," a move South Korean media said was
the first step towards creating a new economic zone. The project was
soon mothballed after its first governor, Yang Bin, was jailed in
China for tax evasion. Yang Bin was formally sentenced in July 2003
for 18 years, and was fined for 2.3 million renminbi.
(Reuters, 9/19/02)(Econ, 10/2/10,
2002 Sep 28, In South Korea
torches from 44 diverse lands converged and rival South and North
Korean teams marched together as Asia kicked off its biggest
festival of sport.
2002 Oct 4, North Korean
officials told a visiting US delegation that the country has a
second covert nuclear weapons program.
2002 Oct 16, A Bush
administration official reported that North Korea had told the
United States it has a secret nuclear weapons program in violation
of a 1994 agreement signed with the Clinton administration.
(AP, 10/16/02)(SFC, 10/17/02, p.A1)
2002 Nov 14, Diplomats from the
United States, European Union, South Korea and Japan decided to cut
off the shipments of oil to North Korea in response to its violation
of a 1994 nuclear agreement.
2002 Nov 21, A US-led
consortium said it is suspending construction of 2 new nuclear
reactors in North Korea.
(SFC, 6/28/08, p.A3)
2002 Nov, North Korean leader
Kim Jong Il in a private message to Pres. Bush said the US and North
Korea "should be able to resolve the nuclear issue in compliance
with the demands of the new century." The message was not disclosed
2002 Dec 9, US and Spanish
forces seized an unflagged ship from North Korea that was carrying
Scud missiles to Yemen.
(SFC, 12/11/02, p.A1)
2002 Dec 11, Yemen said Scud
missiles found hidden aboard a North Korean ship seized by Spain and
the United States were destined for its army and demanded them back.
Pres. Bush ordered them released. Bush later created a coalition of
members to block arms shipments "of proliferation concern."
(Reuters, 12/11/02)(SFC, 12/12/02, p.A19)(WSJ,
2002 Dec 12, North Korea said
it was immediately activating the nuclear reactor at Yongbyon that
was shut down in 1994, due to suspension of fuel deliveries.
(SFC, 12/13/02, p.A1)
2002 Dec 22, North Korea said
it had begun removing U.N. monitoring equipment from a nuclear
reactor at the centre of the communist state's suspected pursuit of
2002 Dec 23, North Korea
dismantled UN surveillance cameras and broke locks on the Yangbyon
reprocessing plant for spent nuclear fuel.
(SFC, 12/24/02, p.A1)
2002 Dec 24, North Korea
ratcheted up its standoff with Washington, starting repairs at a
long-frozen nuclear reactor and warning that U.S. policy was leading
to an "uncontrollable catastrophe" and the "brink of nuclear war."
2002 Dec 26, The Int’l. Atomic
Energy Agency (IAEA) said North Korea had moved 1,000 fresh fuel
rods to a nuclear reactor that produces plutonium used in nuclear
2002 Dec 27, A defiant North
Korea ordered U.N. nuclear inspectors to leave the country and said
it would restart a laboratory capable of producing plutonium for
nuclear weapons. But the U.N. nuclear watchdog said its inspectors
were "staying put" for the time being.
2002 Dec 28, The U.N. nuclear
agency said its inspectors would leave North Korea early next week
after the communist state said it would expel them and press on with
its nuclear plans.
2002 Konstantin Pulikovsky, a
Russian representative in North Korea, authored “Orient Express," a
book on Kim Jong il’s journeys to Russia.
(SFC, 12/6/02, p.J3)
2002 North Korea’s leader Kim
Jong Il declared that subsidies to state-owned enterprises would be
withdrawn and that farmers could sell any extra produce in
small-scale markets. Pak Pong Ju was the architect of these reforms
and later became prime minister under Kim Jong Un.
(Econ., 2/28/15, p.33)
2002 North Korea’s first cyber
cafe opened. Access to the Internet was highly restricted.
(Econ, 2/3/07, p.43)
2002 The freighter Turubong 1
sailed from the North Korean port of Chongjin. Somewhere in the Sea
of Japan off the coast of the quiet village of Sakaiminato, its crew
dumped 522 pounds of amphetamines overboard for retrieval by
smugglers. In 2006 Japanese police made their first arrests in the
case, seven Japanese and a South Korean intermediary. Authorities
said North Korea was involved as a government.
2002-2005 North Korean animators produced parts of
a South Korean cartoon show featuring Pororo, a purple,
(Econ, 7/9/11, p.63)
2003 Jan 10, North Korea
announced that it was pulling out of the Nuclear Non-proliferation
(SFC, 1/10/03, p.A1)
2003 Jan 11, North Korea said
it might end a self-imposed moratorium on missile testing and warned
that it was ready to "mercilessly wipe out" other nations that
infringe upon its sovereignty. North Korea withdrew from the Nuclear
(AP, 1/11/03)(SFC, 6/28/08, p.A3)
2003 Jan 14, North Korea said
that it was running out of patience and warned it was prepared to
exercise "options" in its dispute with the United States over its
2003 Jan 23, South and North
Korea agreed to peacefully resolve the international standoff over
North Korea's nuclear programs after Cabinet-level talks.
2003 Jan, China ended a
“100-day campaign" to hunt down North Korean refugees. 3,200 were
deported and another 1,300 awaited deportation. A Christian
sponsored underground railroad reportedly helped some 300,000 North
Koreans escape their homeland.
(SFC, 2/15/03, p.A14)
2003 Feb 5, North Korea said
that it had reactivated its nuclear facilities and is going ahead
with their operation "on a normal footing."
2003 Feb 6, Pre-emptive attacks
on North Korea's nuclear facilities would trigger a "total war," the
communist state warned after Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld
labeled the North's government a "terrorist regime."
2003 Mar 2, Fidel Castro
offered to mediate with North Korea over its nuclear program, though
he acknowledged Cuba’s ability to stem the growing crisis was
2003 Mar 2, North Korea
deployed 4 MiGs to intercept a US RC-135S spy plane some 150 miles
off its coast.
(WSJ, 3/4/03, p.A1)
2003 Mar 21, North Korea
condemned the US-led war on Iraq and said American war games in
South Korea were pushing the divided peninsula "to the brink of a
2003 Apr 12, North Korea hinted
it could accept US demands for multilateral talks to discuss the
communist country's suspected nuclear weapons program.
2003 Apr 16, US, Chinese and
North Korean officials announced talks in Beijing to try to resolve
standoff over North's nuclear program.
2003 Apr 18, North Korea said
it was ready to begin reprocessing more than 8,000 spent nuclear
fuel rods. US experts said it will give the communist state enough
plutonium to make several atomic bombs.
(AP, 4/18/03)(SFC, 4/19/03, p.A3)
2003 Apr 25, Nuclear talks in
Beijing ended after U.S. officials said North Korea claimed to have
nuclear weapons and might test, export or use them.
2003 Apr 30, North Korea was
reported to be a country with 1.17 million military personnel, the
world's 5th largest. Its air force had more than 1,700 aircraft and
the navy more than 800 ships. In March Gen. Leon J. LaPorte said
"North Korea maintains a substantial chemical weapons stockpile and
a production capability that threatens both our military forces and
civilian population centers in South Korea and Japan." In addition,
he said, North Korea has the capability "to develop, produce and
potentially weaponize biological warfare agents."
2003 Apr 30, South and North
Korea agreed in Cabinet-level talks to peacefully resolve the
nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula.
2003 May 12, North Korea
declared that the 1992 agreement with South Korea to keep the Korean
Peninsula free of nuclear weapons was nullified, citing a "sinister"
2003 May 31, In St. Petersburg,
Russia, Japanese PM Junichiro Koizumi and Hu Jintao, the new
president of China, agreed in a summit to work at defusing tensions
over North Korea.
2003 Jun 2, North Korea said it
has nuclear arms.
(WSJ, 1/2/04, p.R10)
2003 Jun 5, The United States
agreed to pull its ground troops away from the Demilitarized Zone
separating North and South Korea.
2003 Jun 14, North and South
Korea connected railways at their heavily armed border in a symbolic
ceremony linking the two countries for the first time in more than a
half-century. North Korea still had 7 miles of tracks to complete
before trains could run.
(AP, 6/14/03)(SSFC, 6/15/03, p.A14)
2003 Jul 14, It was reported
that Kim Jong il of North Korea maintained an unpublicized trading
network and slush fund named Division 39 with a cash hoard as large
as $5 billion. Its operations included counterfeiting, drug
trafficking and trade in illicit weapons systems.
(WSJ, 7/14/03, p.A1)
2003 Aug 1, North Korea eased
its insistence on one-on-one talks with Washington and agreed to
join U.S.-proposed multilateral talks, where it will find little
sympathy for its suspected nuclear weapons programs.
2003 Aug 27, The US and North
Korea held direct talks for the first time in months, meeting for a
half-hour on the sidelines of a six-nation summit in Beijing
designed to resolve the standoff over Pyongyang's nuclear program.
2003 Aug 28, A North Korean
envoy at 6-nation talks said his nation intends to declare that it
has atomic arms and to test one as proof.
(WSJ, 8/29/03, p.A1)
2003 Aug 29, Six nations trying
to defuse a standoff over North Korea's nuclear program ended their
talks in Beijing with an agreement to keep talking.
2003 Sep 3, North Korea's
parliament re-elected Kim Jong il as the isolated country's top
leader and approved his government's decision to "keep and increase
its nuclear deterrent force" to counter what it calls a hostile U.S.
2003 Sep 15, More than 100
South Korean tourists flew to North Korea's capital on the first
commercial flight between the two countries since they were divided
nearly six decades ago.
2003 Oct 2, North Korea said it
is using plutonium extracted from spent nuclear fuel rods to make
2003 Oct 19, Pres. Bush said he
would consider a deal promising not to attack North Korea as long as
the guarantee is not a formal treaty.
(SFC, 10/20/03, p.A1)
2003 Oct 20, President Bush
pushed North Korea's nuclear threat to the forefront of a 21-nation
Asia-Pacific summit in Thailand.
2003 Oct 21, North Korea
rebuffed Pres. Bush's proposal to give it multi-nation security
assurances if it agrees to scrap its nuclear weapons program.
2003 Oct 22, A human rights
report on North Korea said hundreds of thousands of prisoners worked
in at least 36 hidden camps with torture and meager rations routine.
(SFC, 10/22/03, p.A14)
2003 Nov 20, A group of UN
agencies is asking for $221 million in international aid for North
Korea, where food shortages, poverty and poor health care services
have put the country in a state of "chronic emergency."
2003 Dec 1, North Korea said
the US military conducted at least 150 spy flights against it in
November and accused Washington of "watching for an opportunity to
crush" the communist regime.
2003 Dec 9, North Korea offered
an apparent counterproposal to a U.S.-backed plan to resolve the
standoff over its nuclear program, saying it would freeze the
project in return for energy aid and being removed from Washington's
list of countries that sponsor terrorism.
2003 David Hawk of the US
Committee for Human Rights authored his report “The Hidden Gulag:
Exposing North Korea’s Prison Camps."
2003 China began building wire
fences on major defection North Korean routes along the Tumen River.
Since September 2006, China began building wire fences along the
2004 Jan 1, North Korea
confirmed that it would allow a U.S. delegation to visit its main
nuclear complex next week, the first such inspection since the
isolated communist country expelled UN monitors more than a year
2004 Jan 6, North Korea offered
to refrain from producing nuclear weapons in order to rekindle talks
over its arms programs.
(SFC, 1/6/04, p.A3)
2004 Jan 10, North Korea said
it had shown its "nuclear deterrent" to an unofficial U.S.
delegation that visited the disputed Yongbyon nuclear complex.
2004 Jan 20, Amnesty Int'l.
released a report at the World Social Forum in Bombay, India, that
charged North Korea with public executions of people stealing food.
(SFC, 1/21/04, p.A12)
2004 Jan 28, Nigeria said North
Korea had agreed to share its missile technology. Nigerian VP
Atiku Abubakar reached the accord with Yang Hyong Sop, the visiting
VP of North Korea's Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly.
2004 Feb 9, Japan passed a law
making it easier to impose economic sanctions on impoverished North
Korea, prompting the communist country to demand that Tokyo be
barred from future multilateral talks on its nuclear program.
2004 Feb 23, Envoys from 6
nations gathered in Beijing for talks on the North Korean nuclear
(WSJ, 2/24/04, p.A1)
2004 Feb 28, Six-nation talks
on North Korea's nuclear program ended without any major
breakthrough. The North denounced the United States, saying it
wasn't willing to reach a settlement.
2004 Mar 25, China's Foreign
Minister Li Zhaoxing, arriving home from North Korea, saying his
three-day trip yielded an agreement from that country's reclusive
leader to "push forward" toward a third round of talks on its
2004 Mar 30, A North Korean
engineer credited with smuggling out documents on alleged gas
chamber experiments in the isolated communist state said that the
papers were fake.
2004 Apr 18, North Korean
leader Kim Jong il crossed into China in a special train for a
summit to discuss the North's nuclear weapons program with the
2004 Apr 19, North Korean
leader Kim Jong il reportedly held talks with Chinese President Hu
Jintao about the North's nuclear arms program and requests for
2004 Apr 20, China urged North
Korean leader Kim Jong il to rethink his demands for a written U.S.
pledge not to attack, saying only a softer line can ease the
standoff over Pyongyang's nuclear program.
2004 Apr 22, In North Korea 2
trains carrying oil and liquefied petroleum gas exploded near the
Ryongchon train station when workers knocked wagons against power
lines. Over 160 were killed including 76 children, 1,249 injured and
8,100 homes were destroyed. This was later believed to have been an
assassination attempt on Kim Jong Il. A mobile phone was used to
detonate a huge bomb a t a train station. The incident markedly
delayed the introduction of mobile phones in North Korea.
4/23/04, p.A1)(AP, 4/25/04)(SSFC, 4/25/04, p.A14)(WSJ, 4/28/04,
2004 Apr 28, The six nations
involved in resolving the North Korea nuclear arsenal dispute — the
United States, China, the two Koreas, Russia and Japan —scheduled to
begin working level talks May 12 in Beijing, China.
2004 May 22, North Korea agreed
to release the family members of Japanese citizens kidnapped by
Northern agents, and Japan pledged aid to the impoverished country
at a summit between the two nations' leaders.
2004 Jun 3, Germany’s Goethe
Center opened a reading room in Pyongyang, North Korea.
2004 Jun 4, The two Koreas
agreed, after an all-night negotiating session, to try to ease
tensions by, among other things, ending blaring propaganda efforts
on their border.
2004 Jun 22, North Korea, the
US, and four other nations agreed to discuss a freezing of the
North's nuclear program and inspections that would lead to its
2004 Jun 26, In Beijing, China,
4 days of talks on North Korea’s nuclear program ended with a
promise for further discussion.
(SSFC, 6/27/04, p.A24)
2004 Jul 21, South Korea
pledged to expand economic ties with North Korea while Japan said it
would seek normal relations with the communist state when a dispute
over the North's nuclear ambitions is resolved.
2004 Jul 28, The second wave in
the biggest mass defection of North Koreans to South Korea arrived
on a flight from Vietnam, bringing the total in the two-day airlift
to nearly 460.
(WSJ, 7/27/04, p.A1)(AP, 7/28/04)
2004 Sep 9, A huge explosion
rocked North Korea. The huge blast hit a mountainous area close to
an underground missile base that was listed as a possible uranium
enrichment site. North Korea later said that the huge cloud caused
by an explosion near its border with China was the planned
demolition of a mountain for a hydroelectric project.
(Reuters, 9/12/04)(AP, 9/13/04)
2004 Sep 29, Forty-four North
Korean men, women and children scaled the walls of the Canadian
embassy in Beijing in a likely bid for political asylum.
2004 Sep 12 , North Korea
opened its Ninth Pyongyang Film Festival.
2004 Nov 1, UN nuclear agency
chief Mohamed ElBaradei urged Iran to suspend uranium enrichment and
called on North Korea to dismantle its weapons program.
2004 In North Korea the Kaesong
Industrial Complex was set up and seen as a potent symbol of
reconciliation between North and South Korea. It combined the
South's capital and technology with the North's cheap labor.
2005 Jan 2 Shin Dong-hyuk
(b.1982) escaped from a prison camp in North Korea and made his way
to China. In 2012 former Washington Post journalist Blaine Harden
authored "Escape from Camp 14," an account of Shin’s escape. In 2015
Shin apologized for misleading people after changing key parts of
2005 Feb 2, The US said that
North Korea's nuclear initiative is a threat to world peace and
urged the secretive regime in Pyongyang to resume talks aimed at
ending the program.
2005 Feb 10, North Korea
announced for the first time that it has nuclear arms and rejected
moves to restart disarmament talks anytime soon, saying it needs the
weapons as protection against an increasingly hostile United States.
2005 Feb 11, North Korea
demanded bilateral talks with the US to defuse the tension created
by its announcement that it is a nuclear power. The White House said
it was not interested in one-on-one talks.
2005 Feb 18, The US envoy
Christopher Hill said the US and China agreed that North Korea must
end its nuclear ambitions and resolve the standoff through
2005 Feb 19, China's state news
said North Korea no longer wants to negotiate with the US and 4
other nations in an effort to ease the standoff over Pyongyang's
2005 Feb 21, North Korea’s Kim
told a visiting Chinese envoy that he is willing to return to
6-country talks if the US demonstrates its sincerity.
(WSJ, 2/22/05, p.A1)
2005 Mar 21, South Korea news
reported that North Korea said it has increased its nuclear arsenal
to help prevent a US attack.
2005 Mar 22, North Korea's
Premier Pak Pong Ju began a visit to China at a time of American
calls for Beijing to use its influence to prod the North back into
2005 Mar 23, Chinese President
Hu Jintao stepped up pressure on North Korea to return to nuclear
talks, telling its visiting premier that dialogue is the only way to
settle the dispute.
2005 Mar 27, Communist North
Korea for the first time confirmed an outbreak of deadly bird flu at
its poultry farms and said hundreds of thousands of chickens had
been culled to contain it.
2005 Apr 23, Leaders of the two
Koreas agreed to resume talks between their nations that broke down
last summer and to discuss the international standoff over the
North's nuclear weapons ambitions.
2005 May 1, North Korea
test-fired a short range missile.
(WSJ, 5/2/05, p.A16)
2005 May 22, A North Korean
cargo ship arrived in South Korea to pick up fertilizer, the first
such vessel from the isolated communist nation to dock here in 21
2005 Jun 9, North Korea boasted
it was building more nuclear bombs and had the ability to arm them
2005 Jun 21, A high-level
delegation from North Korea arrived in Seoul for bilateral talks and
was immediately confronted by demonstrators who angered the visitors
by displaying posters of their leader, Kim Jong Il, tied up in
2005 Jun 22, North Korea said
it would not need nuclear weapons if the US treated it like a
friend, as the isolated nation joined South Korea for high-level
2005 Jun 22, The US reported
plans to send 50,000 tons of food to North Korea.
(WSJ, 6/23/05, p.A1)
2005 Jun 23, The two Koreas
agreed to seek a peaceful resolution to the international standoff
over the North's nuclear program, but the rivals failed to set a
date for resuming stalled disarmament talks.
2005 Jun 28, South Korea's spy
agency said North Korea has cut most of its international phone
lines since late March over concerns that sensitive information
about its society will flow out of the isolated country.
2005 Jul 9, North Korea said it
will rejoin six-nation nuclear arms talks on July 25.
2005 Jul 22, North Korea
offered to abandon its nuclear weapons if the two sides in the
Korean War sign a peace agreement to replace the 1953 cease-fire
that halted hostilities but did not resolve the conflict.
2005 Jul 25, North Korean and
US negotiators held a rare one-on-one meeting in Beijing amid a
flurry of contacts between delegations to the six-nation talks aimed
at persuading the communist nation to relinquish its nuclear
2005 Jul 26, Six-party nuclear
disarmament talks opened in Beijing after a 13-month boycott by
North Korea, and the communist nation's envoy said his country was
ready to work on eliminating atomic weapons from the Korean
2005 Jul 27, North Korea said
it would give up its nuclear weapons only after the alleged US
atomic threat is removed from the divided peninsula and relations
with the US are normalized.
2005 Aug 2, North Korea's main
envoy said his country won't give up its nuclear weapons until an
alleged U.S. atomic threat against the communist nation is
eliminated, the first public comments from the North after eight
days of six-party negotiations.
2005 Aug 4, North Korea's envoy
to disarmament talks said that Pyongyang insists on retaining the
right to "peaceful nuclear activities," a condition that other
delegates say has deadlocked the talks.
2005 Aug 7, Envoys to North
Korean disarmament talks suspended their meetings for three weeks,
deadlocked over the North's insistence on retaining a peaceful
2005 Aug 11, A senior South
Korean official said that North Korea has the right to a peaceful
nuclear program, a view conflicting with Washington in its
disagreement with the hard-line Pyongyang regime that has snagged
2005 Aug 16, North Korean
officials visited South Korea's parliament for the first time in a
symbolic gesture of reconciliation with their democratic rivals.
2005 Aug 26, The first South
Korean tourists visited historic sites in Kaesong, North Korea, set
to become only the 2nd destination in the communist nation that can
be visited by ordinary citizens of its southern neighbor.
2005 Aug 27, North Korea
demanded the US rescind its recent appointment of a special envoy on
human rights in the communist country, warning the position could
hurt international efforts to end the North's nuclear weapons
program. Washington announced last week that Jay Lefkowitz, a former
adviser to President Bush, will be in charge of promoting efforts to
"improve the human rights of the long-suffering North Korean
2005 Sep 7, North Korea offered
to return the USS Pueblo, captured in 1968, if a top-level official
agrees to visit.
(WSJ, 9/8/05, p.A1)
2005 Sep 13, Negotiations aimed
at ending North Korea's nuclear weapons program resumed in Beijing
after a monthlong recess, but prospects for progress were uncertain
as Pyongyang remained insistent on its right to use civilian atomic
2005 Sep 13, Pres. Bush met
briefly with Chinese Pres. Hu Jintao in NYC on the sidelines of the
opening session of the UN General Assembly. Bush sought China's help
to stop nuclear weapons programs in North Korea and Iran and won a
pledge from President Hu Jintao to step up pressure on Pyongyang.
(SFC, 9/14/05, p.C1)(AP, 9/13/06)
2005 Sep 15, North Korea said
it won't give up its nuclear weapons without receiving a reactor for
generating power, stalling six-nation talks on Pyongyang's atomic
2005 Sep 16, North Korea
announced the introduction of the Stalinist country's first credit
card, but just how it would work was unclear.
2005 Sep 16, South Korea and
North and South Korea pledged to work to ensure peace and reduce
military tensions on their divided peninsula.
2005 Sep 19, North Korea agreed
to stop building nuclear weapons and allow international inspections
in exchange for energy aid, economic cooperation and security
assurances, a breakthrough that marked a first step toward
disarmament after two years of six-nation talks.
2005 Sep 20, North Korea
insisted it won't dismantle its nuclear weapons program until the US
gives it civilian nuclear reactors, casting doubt on a disarmament
agreement reached a day earlier during international talks.
2005 Sep 21, North Korea
accused the US of intending to disarm the communist country and then
"crush it to death with nuclear weapons," two days after a landmark
disarmament agreement that was expected to ease tensions.
2005 Sep 23, North Korean
leader Kim Jong Il ordered his aides to arrange a meeting with a
high-ranking U.S. official, possibly with President Bush.
2005 Oct 19, US envoy Bill
Richardson toured a North Korean nuclear facility and held a second
day of talks with government officials as part of his efforts to
encourage Pyongyang to dismantle its atomic weapons program.
2005 Oct 28, China's President
Hu Jintao flew to North Korea to meet with reclusive leader Kim Jong
Il ahead of new nuclear talks and was greeted by cheering crowds of
thousands on a rare visit by a leader of the North's last major
2005 Oct 28, North and South
Korea opened their first joint office to promote trade across the
heavily militarized border, just as Pyongyang is feuding with a
South Korean company about business in the North.
2005 Nov 1, Officials from
North and South Korea agreed to meet next month to work out details
on competing as a unified team for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
2005 Nov 3, North Korea's
abduction of Japanese citizens decades ago took center stage at the
opening of talks in Beijing between the former bitter enemies.
2005 Nov 8, The US State
Department issued its 7th annual report to Congress on religious
freedom. It cited Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi
Arabia, Sudan and Vietnam as restricting religious freedom.
2005 Nov 9, Negotiators trying
to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear ambitions focused on
the contentious details of how the North will disarm and what it
will get in exchange, with the U.S. and North Korean delegations
holding a separate meeting.
2005 Nov 10, Talks on North
Korea's nuclear programs turned sour as Pyongyang demanded that
Washington lift sanctions against firms suspected of weapons
proliferation and stop accusing the North of counterfeiting U.S.
2005 Nov 11, In Beijing the US
and North Korea urged each other to make concessions as a round of
six-nation talks aimed at ending the North's nuclear programs
concluded with no sign of progress or a date to meet again.
2005 Nov 12, North Korea stood
by its demand for aid in exchange for shutting down a
plutonium-producing nuclear reactor, saying it won't act until
Washington offers concessions.
2005 Nov 17, President Bush in
South Korea took a hardline stance against North Korea, saying the
US won't help the communist nation build a civilian nuclear reactor
to produce electricity until it dismantles its nuclear weapons
2005 Nov 22, The United States
and its partners in an energy consortium terminated a project to
build two light-water atomic reactors for North Korea as an
incentive to convince Pyongyang to dismantle its nuclear weapons
2005 Nov 28, North Korea
demanded compensation from the United States over a scuttled project
to build two nuclear reactors in the communist nation under a 1994
2005 Nov, In North Korea 21
members of cheering squads who traveled to South Korea for
international sports events were detained in a prison camp for
talking about what they saw in the South. South Korea, citing a
defector, reported their arrest in Feb of 2006.
2005 Dec 8, In South Korea
international activists kicked off a conference on human rights
abuses in North Korea by calling for the overthrow of Kim Jong Il's
regime and accusing Pyongyang of enslaving its people.
2005 Dec 24, China and North
Korea signed an agreement to jointly develop offshore oil reserves.
2005 Dec, North Korea moved to
ban international assistance as part of a campaign to regain control
over food distribution, limit outside contacts and avert possible
(WSJ, 12/27/05, p.A1)
2005 Jasper Becker authored
“Rogue Regime: Kim Jong Il and the Looming Threat of North Korea," a
look at North Korea under Kim Jong Il.
(WSJ, 4/27/05, p.D10)(Econ, 6/11/05, p.81)
2005 Bradley K. Martin authored
“Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader," a look at North
Korea under Kim Jong Il.
(WSJ, 4/27/05, p.D10)
2005 North Korea delivered over
a dozen intermediate-range ballistic missiles to Iran. [see April
(WSJ, 7/6/06, p.A4)
2005 North Korea’s government
urged its women to refrain from wearing trousers, saying Western
clothing dampen the revolutionary spirit and blur national pride.
2006 Jan 6, Stalinist North
Korea demanded billions of dollars in compensation for alleged
atrocities against its prisoners of war and spies formerly held in
South Korea. The demand sparked outrage among politicians in Seoul.
2006 Jan 8, The US and South
Korea withdrew their last remaining staff from the site of two North
Korean nuclear reactors, ending a decade-old construction project
amid rekindled tension over the North's nuclear ambitions.
2006 Jan 10, North Korean
leader Kim Jong-il passed through China on the way to Russia, a
source with knowledge of the stopover said. South Korean and
Japanese media said Kim was making a secret visit to China.
2006 Jan 13, A Hong Kong
newspaper reported that North Korea's secretive leader Kim Jong Il
is on a two-day visit to the southern Chinese province of Guangdong.
2006 Jan 15, North Korea news
reported that North Korea has awarded a medal for the first time to
an American, Ellsworth Culver (1927-2005), the late leader of Mercy
Corps, a U.S.-based aid group, for his efforts to help the communist
state fight hunger and poverty.
2006 Jan 17, North Korean
leader Kim Jong-il appeared to have left China after meeting Chinese
leaders in Beijing to discuss six-party talks aimed at ending
Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program.
2006 Jan 18, North Korean
leader Kim Jong Il said he is committed to a peaceful resolution of
the standoff over his country's nuclear ambitions, as Pyongyang
confirmed that the reclusive Kim had visited China over the past
2006 Jan 18, In China senior
envoys from the United States, North Korea and China held a
"beneficial" meeting on the stalled six-party talks on Pyongyang's
2006 Jan 23, The US Treasury
Department briefed South Korean officials on its investigations into
suspected illegal financial activities by North Korea that
Washington says helped fund Pyongyang's nuclear arms program.
2006 Jan 28, North Korea warned
of nuclear war and vowed to strengthen its deterrent forces as it
demanded that Washington show evidence backing its allegation that
the communist regime is counterfeiting US money.
2006 Jan 31, North Korea
renewed its commitment to stalled nuclear disarmament talks, while
at the same time vowing to strengthen its stockpile of atomic
weapons to counter what it called extreme US hostility.
2006 Feb 2, South Korea's spy
agency said that North Korea was not currently producing counterfeit
currency, apparently contradicting US allegations that have become
the latest obstacle in nuclear disarmament talks with the communist
2006 Feb 3, North and South
Korea agreed to hold military talks on the level of generals for the
first time in nearly two years and the South said they would focus
on preventing naval clashes.
2006 Feb 7, A ship with 2,000
tons of donated rice from India arrived in North Korea. The Indian
government has donated humanitarian aid, including food and
medicine, to North Korea on nine occasions since 1995.
2006 Feb 8, Japan and North
Korea ended five days of high-level talks aimed at establishing
diplomatic relations without any agreements, citing major
differences on the North's abduction of Japanese nationals and its
2006 Feb 9, North Korea has
requested 150,000 tons of fertilizer from South Korea, months after
it demanded that the UN World Food Program halt emergency food
2006 Feb 23, The US State
Department said that North Korea has agreed to hold talks with the
US on its alleged counterfeiting and money laundering activities
that led to US sanctions and a breakdown in six-nation nuclear
2006 Mar 2, North and South
Korea opened high-level military talks for the first time in almost
two years, aiming to reduce tension along the world's most heavily
fortified border and prevent accidental naval skirmishes.
2006 Mar 3, South Korea
rejected North Korea's demand that the countries redraw their
western sea border, ending two days of high-level military talks
2006 Mar 15, South Korea
formally opened new immigration checkpoints for travelers crossing
the heavily fortified border with North Korea, symbolizing Seoul's
hopes for boosting exchanges with its longtime communist foe.
2006 Mar 23, The Australian air
force sank a North Korean cargo ship for target practice. It had
been seized in 2003 after being used to smuggle heroin into
2006 Apr 8, North Korea's top
negotiator to stalled six-way talks on Pyongyang's nuclear arms
program began discussions with other envoys involved in the
negotiations in an effort to put the process back on track.
2006 Apr 23, In North Korea 2
troop trains packed with soldiers collided head-on leaving more than
1,000 dead. A Buddhist humanitarian aid group reported the tragedy
2006 Apr 27, Israel's military
intelligence chief said in a published interview that Iran has
received its first batch of North Korean-made surface-to-surface
missiles that put European countries within firing range.
2006 Apr 29, North Korea
claimed that the US conducted about 160 spy flights against the
communist state this month.
2006 May 11, The UN’s World
Food Program said it has reached agreement with North Korea to
resume food aid to the hunger-stricken country, but the operation
will be smaller than it was before its suspension in December.
2006 May 20, South Korean media
reported that 4 North Koreans had overpowered a security guard and
scaled the wall of a US consulate in China in hopes of gaining
asylum from their impoverished, communist country.
2006 May 22, AP Television News
opened a full-time office in North Korea, becoming the first Western
news organization to provide regular coverage of that nation.
2006 May 24, North Korea
abruptly canceled groundbreaking test runs of trains across its
highly guarded border with South Korea, citing an atmosphere of
2006 Jun 16, Japan's parliament
enacted a bill that would impose sanctions on North Korea if it
fails to cooperate in clearing up details of its past abductions of
2006 Jul 4, The US space
shuttle Discovery took off at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape
Canaveral, Florida, with 7 astronauts. Up to six pieces of debris
that could be foam insulation fell off Discovery's troublesome
external fuel tank minutes after liftoff. News arrived that North
Korea had launched test missiles [see July 5].
(AFP, 7/5/06)(SFC, 7/5/06, p.A3)
2006 Jul 5, North Korea
test-fired a long-range missile that may be capable of reaching
America, but it failed seconds after launch. North Korea also tested
shorter range missiles in an exercise the White House termed "a
provocation" but not an immediate threat. The early morning tests
came as the US celebrated the Fourth of July and just minutes ahead
of the US launch of the space shuttle Discovery.
(AP, 7/4/06)(AP, 7/5/06)(SFC, 7/5/06, p.A1)
2006 Jul 5, Japan, the United
States and Britain readied a UN Security Council resolution
demanding that nations withhold all funds, goods and technology that
could be used for North Korea's missile program.
2006 Jul 6, A defiant North
Korea threatened to test-fire more missiles and warned of even
stronger action if opponents of the tests put pressure on the
2006 Jul 7, North Korea
announced a scientific breakthrough. State-run media boasted
that researchers developed a new cosmetic agent to make skin supple.
2006 Jul 7, The UN General
Assembly unanimously approved a series of reforms that were welcomed
by the US as a long overdue step toward greater efficiency and
accountability. A two-week UN conference reviewing efforts to fight
the illegal weapons trade ended in failure, with nations too divided
on too many contentious issues to agree on the best way to combat a
scourge that fuels conflict worldwide. Japan introduced a draft UN
Security Council resolution to sanction North Korea for
test-launching a series of missiles. The Council unanimously adopted
a compromise resolution on July 15.
(AP, 7/8/06)(AP, 7/7/07)
2006 Jul 11, China's president
issued an unusual public appeal to a visiting North Korean official
to avoid aggravating tensions with its missile test program, as the
US and Japan urged Beijing to press its ally Pyongyang for
2006 Jul 15, The UN Security
Council unanimously passed resolution 1718 condemning North Korea's
multiple missile launches on July 5 and imposed limited sanctions; a
defiant North said it would launch more missiles.
(AP, 7/16/07)(Econ, 2/28/09, p.63)
2006 Jul 16, North Korea
rejected a UN Security Council resolution sanctioning the communist
nation for recent missile tests and warned the measure was a prelude
to a renewed Korean War.
2006 Jul 17, G8 leaders called
on North Korea to stop its missile tests and to abandon its nuclear
2006 Jul 19, South Korea's
president condemned North Korea for potentially sparking an arms
race with its recent missile launches, while the North said it was
ending reunions between relatives separated by the Korean Peninsula
divide. An aid group in North Korea said floods and landslides have
left more than 100 people dead or missing.
2006 Jul 26, A UN report said
the death toll from floods and landslides in North Korea this month
has risen to at least 154 people, with 127 others missing.
2006 Jul 31, In South Korea
Jeong Kyung-hak (48) was arrested on charges of being a spy for
North Korea and having illegally arrived on Jul 27 with forged
Philippines identity documents.
2006 Jul, Interpol, at the
request of the Bush administration, assembled central bankers,
police agencies and banknote industry officials to make the US case
against counterfeiting by North Korea. In 2008 a 10-month
investigation by the McClatchy newspapers found that evidence
supporting charges was uncertain at best.
(SFC, 1/10/08, p.A13)
2006 Aug 7, A pro-North Korean
newspaper in Japan said floods last month in North Korea killed at
least 549 people and left 295 others still missing.
2006 Aug 9, A South Korean
citizens' group said North Korea has requested help from South Korea
to cope with devastating floods.
2006 Aug 16, A South Korean aid
group claimed that massive floods in North Korea last month left
about 54,700 people dead or missing and some 2.5 million homeless.
2006 Aug 22, Thailand police
arrested 175 North Koreans, mostly women and children, who illegally
entered the country and were found hiding in an abandoned home in
2006 Sep 7, Cyprus impounded a
Panama-flagged vessel on arms smuggling suspicion. It carried 18
North Korean mobile radar units and 3 command vehicles due for
delivery to Syria.
(WSJ, 9/8/06, p.A1)(Reuters, 9/11/06)
2006 Sep 19, Australia and
Japan imposed financial sanctions on 11 North Korean companies, a
Swiss company and its president, based on allegations they helped
the communist nation's weapons programs.
2006 Sep, Japan’s government
approved measures to block the transfer of funds to North Korea. The
rules went into effect on Jan 4, 2007.
(Econ, 1/13/07, p.39)
2006 Oct 3, North Korea said it
will conduct a nuclear test in the face of what it claimed was "the
U.S. extreme threat of a nuclear war," ratcheting up tensions amid
international pressure to return to negotiations on its atomic
2006 Oct 6, A unanimous UN
Security Council urged North Korea to abandon all atomic weapons, as
it promised last year, and cancel plans to detonate a device. Japan
hinted the North could face sanctions or possible military action.
2006 Oct 8, North Korea
performed its first-ever nuclear weapons test, setting off an
underground blast in defiance of international warnings and intense
diplomatic activity aimed at heading off such a move. Because of the
time difference, it was Oct. 9 in North Korea.
(AP, 10/9/06)(AP, 10/8/07)
2006 Oct 9, North Korea faced
united global condemnation and calls for harsh sanctions after it
announced it had detonated an atomic weapon in an underground test.
Russia's defense minister said the nuclear test was equivalent to
5,000 tons to 15,000 tons of TNT. The US pushed for sanctions on
North Korea following its nuclear test.
(AP, 10/9/06)(SFC, 10/10/06, p.A1)
2006 Oct 10, The Bush
administration rejected anew direct talks with North Korea in the
wake of the communist country's nuclear test, and suggested it was
possible the test was something less than it appeared.
2006 Oct 10, China, which holds
the key to whether tough UN sanctions will be imposed for North
Korea's nuclear test, warned its ally that the detonation would harm
relations, but called on the UN to use "positive and appropriate
2006 Oct 11, North Korea
threatened more nuclear tests saying additional sanctions imposed on
it would be considered an act of war. Japan imposed a total ban on
North Korean imports and said ships from the impoverished nation
were prohibited from entering Japanese ports as punishment for its
apparent nuclear test.
2006 Oct 12, The United States
introduced a draft resolution in the UN Security Council to punish
North Korea for its nuclear test.
2006 Oct 14, The UN Security
Council gave unanimous approval to sanctions against North Korea for
its purported nuclear test. The US-sponsored resolution demanded
that North Korea eliminate nuclear weapons, but expressly rules out
military action against the country.
2006 Oct 16, Australia said it
will ban North Korean ships from entering its ports, toughening its
response to the North's reported nuclear test.
2006 Oct 17, North Korea said
it considered UN sanctions aimed at punishing the country for its
nuclear test "a declaration of war," as Japan and South Korea
reported the communist nation might be preparing a second explosion.
2006 Oct 19, China stepped up
its diplomatic efforts with North Korea, sending a personal message
and a gift from the Chinese president to the North's leader Kim Jong
Il as Washington appealed for cooperation by Asian powers on U.N.
sanctions for Pyongyang's nuclear test.
2006 Oct 19, A UN report said
The North Korean government rounds up disabled people and sends them
away from the capital Pyongyang to special camps, where they are
sorted by their handicap and subjected to "subhuman conditions."
2006 Oct 20, In North Korea
tens of thousands gathered in Pyongyang to laud the country's first
atomic test. A South Korean news agency reported that North Korean
leader Kim Jong Il said Pyongyang didn't plan to carry out any more
nuclear tests and expressed regret about the country's first-ever
atomic detonation last week [see Oct 24].
(AP, 10/20/06)(AP, 10/21/06)
2006 Oct 21, Foreign Minister
Sergey Lavrov said that Russia was ready to discuss ways to pressure
Iran into accepting a broader international oversight of its nuclear
program, but added that "any measures of influence should encourage
creating conditions for talks." He said Russia will not allow the UN
Security Council to be used to punish Iran over its nuclear program.
Russia indicated it would strictly enforce sanctions on North Korea
as US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met top leaders in Moscow
at the end of a tour to push for full implementation of the UN
penalties in response to Pyongyang’s nuclear test.
(AP, 10/21/06)(AFP, 10/21/06)
2006 Oct 24, Liu Jianchao,
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, said North Korean leader Kim
Jong Il did not apologize for his regime's nuclear test, as some
South Korean media had reported [see Oct 20], but is willing to
return to six-party talks under certain conditions.
2006 Oct 26, South Korea said
it will ban the entry of North Korean officials who fall under a UN
2006 Oct 31, North Korea agreed
to rejoin six-nation nuclear disarmament talks in a surprise
2006 Nov 1, North Korea said it
was returning to nuclear disarmament talks to get access to its
frozen overseas bank accounts, a vital source of hard currency.
2006 Nov 1, The UN Security
Council agreed on a list of banned items that could be used to make
nuclear, chemical and biological weapons or ballistic missiles and
ordered all countries to prevent North Korea from importing or
exporting the items.
2006 Nov 16, Pres. Bush in
Singapore voiced tentative support for a free trade agreement
covering all 21 members of APEC and warned North Korea against
trying to sell nuclear arms
(SFC, 11/17/06, p.A4)(WSJ, 11/17/06, p.A1)
2006 Nov 19, President Bush in
Vietnam sought Chinese President Hu Jintao's help on dual fronts,
aiming to rein in North Korea's nuclear ambitions and encourage the
Chinese people to buy more US goods. Pacific Rim leaders urged North
Korea to take concrete steps to live up to its commitments to stop
developing nuclear weapons.
2006 Nov 19, Iran’s official
Islamic Republic News Agency reported that President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad has demanded more ties with North Korea and urged for
nuclear disarmament in Korean peninsula.
2006 Nov 28, North Korea's
nuclear envoy sat down with top negotiators for the US and China, an
unannounced meeting aimed at reactivating stalled six-nation talks
on persuading North Korea to abandon nuclear weapons.
2006 Nov 29, North Korean
envoys left China after meeting with US negotiators with no
agreement reached on a resumption of 6-nation nuclear talks.
(WSJ, 11/30/06, p.A1)
2006 Nov 29, Commerce Secretary
Carlos Gutierrez said the US is banning exports of luxury items to
North Korea, arguing that the Stalinist state's ruling elite is
"splurging" while its population suffers. According to reports, the
list of items specifically targeting North Korea's bon vivant leader
Kim Jong-Il includes iPods, jet skis and plasma televisions.
2006 Dec 4, Russia's atomic
energy agency declined to comment on Japanese news reports that
North Korea had offered Russia exclusive rights to its natural
uranium deposits in exchange for support at six-way talks on
Pyongyang's nuclear weapons.
2006 Dec 18, North Korea
defiantly declared itself a nuclear power at the start of the first
full international arms talks since its atomic test and threatened
to increase its arsenal if its demands were not met.
2006 Dec 19, US and North
Korean financial experts met over Washington's campaign to isolate
the communist country from the international banking system, the key
stumbling block in negotiations over Pyongyang's nuclear program.
2006 Dec 21, Japan said it saw
no hope of a breakthrough in talks on scrapping North Korea's
nuclear weapons, accusing Pyongyang of using a financial dispute
with the United States to drive a stake into a proposed deal.
2006 Dec 22, In China the first
talks on North Korea's nuclear program since the communist nation
tested an atomic device ended without an agreement on disarmament or
a date for further negotiations.
2006 Dec 23, The North Korean
army's chief of staff vowed to take strong countermeasures against
2007 Jan 3, South Korea’s
official media reported that Paek Nam Sun, North Korea's foreign
minister and the country's top diplomat for nearly 10 years, has
died at the age of 78.
2007 Jan 19, North Korea said
it reached an agreement with the US during talks this week on its
nuclear program, and the top US nuclear envoy expressed optimism
that progress could be made when wider arms negotiations reconvene.
2007 Jan 26, The United States
issued a formal rule banning exports of luxury items to North Korea,
including jet skis, I-pods, jewelry and fancy cars, in an effort to
put pressure on the communist leadership in Pyongyang.
2007 Feb 8, North Korea agreed
in principle to take initial steps toward dismantling its nuclear
programs at the start of international talks seeking the first
concrete progress on disarming Pyongyang.
2007 Feb 9, In China envoys to
international talks on ending North Korea's nuclear weapons program
struggled to find a compromise as differences emerged over a Chinese
proposal on how to begin the disarmament process.
2007 Feb 13, North Korea agreed
to shut down its main nuclear reactor and eventually dismantle its
atomic weapons program in exchange for millions of dollars in aid.
The agreement reached in Beijing said North Korea would close its
nuclear plants within 60 days in return for aid and other
inducements. North Korean state media said the pact required only a
temporary suspension of the country's nuclear facilities.
(AP, 2/13/07)(Econ, 2/17/07, p.28)
2007 Feb 23, North Korea asked
the chief UN atomic inspector to visit four years after expelling
his experts and dropping out of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
2007 Feb 28, A group of 12
North Korean refugees has arrived in the United States to seek
asylum, the largest group from the communist nation to have recently
2007 Mar 1, North Korea's No. 2
leader pledged his country's commitment to giving up its nuclear
program amid intensifying diplomacy aimed at implementing
Pyongyang's pledge to disarm.
2007 Mar 2, South Korea delayed
a full resumption of aid shipments to North Korea until the
communist regime shuts down its main atomic reactor under an
international agreement to take steps toward abandoning its nuclear
weapons program. A South Korean activist said 80 North Korean
refugees are hiding in various Asian countries and preparing to seek
asylum in the United States. North and South Korea agreed to resume
reunions of families that have been separated by their divided
2007 Mar 7, North Korea
reported that it has slaughtered hundreds of cows and pigs after an
outbreak of foot and mouth disease. The report said the sickened
cows had been imported from Tieling, China.
2007 Mar 14, The chief UN
nuclear inspector returned from a one-day trip to Pyongyang saying
that North Korea was "fully committed" to an agreement that requires
it to shutter its main nuclear reactor and let in inspectors as soon
as the U.S. drops financial sanctions.
2007 Mar 14, The US Treasury
Department said it would order US banks to sever ties with Banco
Delta Asia in Macao for allegedly helping North Korea launder money.
This was a move to unfreeze North Korean assets in the Macao bank.
(AP, 3/15/07)(WSJ, 3/15/07, p.A1)
2007 Mar 16, Assistant
Secretary of State Christopher Hill, the top US nuclear envoy, said
a dispute on North Korean funds held in a Macau bank has been
resolved, potentially removing a key stumbling block that has
bedeviled progress on dismantling Pyongyang's nuclear weapons
2007 Mar 17, North Korea warned
it would not shut a nuclear plant until the United States lifted
banking curbs, while Washington's envoy maintained the bank issue
would not kill a budding disarmament deal.
2007 Mar 19, US officials said
that the United States and North Korea have resolved a dispute over
$25 million in frozen North Korean funds, clearing the way for
progress in dismantling the North's nuclear programs.
2007 Mar 19, The Macau Monetary
Authority said it would release 25 million dollars in North Korean
funds frozen at a bank under US financial sanctions.
2007 Mar 22, Talks on halting
North Korea's nuclear program broke down abruptly on with the
country's chief nuclear envoy flying home after a dispute over money
frozen in a Macau bank could not be resolved.
2007 Apr 7, The New York Times
reported in its Sunday edition that the Bush administration in
January allowed Ethiopia to complete a secret arms purchase from
North Korea in an apparent violation of a UN Security Council
sanctions resolution passed months earlier over its nuclear test.
2007 Apr 8, Bill Richardson,
the New Mexico governor who has undertaken diplomatic missions to
countries at odds with the United States, began a rare visit to
isolated North Korea to recover remains of American servicemen
killed in the Korean War.
2007 Apr 10, Officials from
North and South Korea's Red Cross societies resumed talks on
resolving the issue of South Korean prisoners of war and civilian
abductees believed held in the communist country.
2007 Apr 10, The US Treasury
Department said authorities in Macau are ready to release frozen
North Korean funds that have impeded disarmament talks.
2007 Apr 10, Japan's Cabinet
approved a six-month extension on trade sanctions against North
Korea, which were imposed in the wake of the communist state's
nuclear test last year.
2007 Apr 11, North Korea
replaced its prime minister during a session of its rubber-stamp
parliament. US envoys entered South Korea from North Korea in a rare
border crossing after securing the remains of six American soldiers
from the Korean War and pushing for action on the North's nuclear
2007 Apr 14, North Korea missed
a deadline for shutting down its main nuclear reactor, and a key US
negotiator said the country must keep the disarmament program from
2007 Apr 19, North and South
Korea formally opened economic aid talks, after a delay caused by
Pyongyang's insistence that Seoul pledge food assistance to the
impoverished nation despite its failure to live up to a pact on
2007 Apr 20, North Korea
restated its commitment to a landmark nuclear disarmament deal,
saying it would invite UN atomic inspectors and discuss shutting
down its bomb-making atomic reactor as soon as it confirmed the
release of its funds frozen in a banking dispute.
2007 Apr 22, South Korea agreed
to send 400,000 tons of rice to impoverished North Korea despite the
communist government's failure to meet a deadline to shut down its
2007 Apr 26, Myanmar and North
Korea signed an agreement to resume diplomatic ties during a visit
to Myanmar by the North Korean vice foreign minister.
2007 Apr 27, President Bush and
visiting Japanese PM Shinzo Abe threatened stronger punitive actions
against North Korea if it reneged on a promise to padlock its sole
2007 May 2, The South Korean
government announced its first-ever plan to seize assets gained by
alleged Korean collaborators during Japanese colonial rule as part
of efforts to reconcile with its past more than 60 years after the
end of the peninsula's occupation. 2 defectors to South Korea
described how they had been tortured in a North Korean prison camp,
as a South Korean rights group issued a report on abuses of
detainees in the communist state.
2007 May 4, The divided Koreas
agreed to discuss historic trial runs of cross-border railways, as
Washington cautioned Seoul against rushing to embrace Pyongyang
before it takes steps to dismantle its nuclear program.
2007 May 9, Military officials
from North and South Korea reached an agreement clearing the way for
the first railway journeys across their heavily fortified border for
half a century.
2007 May 11, North and South
Korea adopted a military agreement enabling the first train crossing
of their heavily armed border in more than half a century.
2007 May 17, The first trains
since 1953 traversed the Korean DMZ in a peace gesture.
(WSJ, 5/18/07, p.A1)
2007 Jun 2, Four people
believed to have fled North Korea arrived at a port in northern
Japan in a small boat and told police they want to go to South
2007 Jun 14, More than $20
million in disputed North Korean funds was transferred from a
blacklisted Macau bank, signaling a breakthrough in a dispute that
has held up the North's pledge to shut down its nuclear reactor.
2007 Jun 16, North Korea sent a
letter to the UN nuclear watchdog, inviting inspectors to the
country to discuss procedures for shutting down its main nuclear
reactor. Top US nuclear negotiator Christopher Hill said technical
problems in Russia are holding up the transfer of North Korean funds
linked to a nuclear disarmament deal.
2007 Jun 19, A US envoy said
North Korea has finally received millions of dollars at the heart of
a dispute that stalled nuclear disarmament negotiations, and must
quickly shut down its only reactor.
2007 Jun 21, Assistant
Secretary of State Christopher Hill, the chief US nuclear envoy,
made a rare trip to North Korea in a surprise bid to accelerate
international efforts to press the communist government to abandon
its nuclear weapons program.
2007 Jun 26, UN nuclear
monitors arrived in North Korea to discuss the communist nation's
plans to fulfill its long-delayed pledge to shut down its main
2007 Jun 29, A top official
said the UN nuclear watchdog and North Korea have reached an
agreement on how the agency will monitor and verify shutdown of the
country's main nuclear reactor.
2007 Jul 14, UN inspectors
arrived in North Korea to monitor the communist country's
long-anticipated promise to scale back its nuclear weapons program.
North Korea said it had shut down its nuclear reactor at Yongbyon,
hours after a ship cruised into port loaded with oil promised in
return for the country's pledge to disarm.
(SSFC, 7/15/07, p.A4)(AP, 7/14/08)
2007 Jul 15, North Korea
confirmed it has shut its nuclear reactor that provides the
secretive state with material to make weapons-grade plutonium.
2007 Jul 16, Orascom
Construction Industries S.A.E. of Cairo said it is investing $115
million to acquire a 50% stake in a North Korean cement plant.
(WSJ, 1/16/07, p.A6)
2007 Jul 25, A South Korean aid
group said some 430 North Koreans have died of hunger in a northern
region in the past month because of chronic food shortages.
2007 Jul 26, North Korea walked
out of military talks with South Korea, ending 3 days of high-level
negotiations with no agreement amid a lingering dispute over their
shared sea border.
2007 Aug 14, North Korean
officials said that 200 people were dead or missing across the
country due to floods caused by days of heavy rains. On Aug 17 an
international aid group said over 300 were dead or missing from the
floods. The toll was later raised to 600.
(AP, 8/14/07)(AP, 8/17/07)(AP, 8/25/07)
2007 Aug 15, Official media
said severe floods have destroyed more than a tenth of North Korea's
farmland at the height of the growing season.
2007 Sep 1, North Korea and the
US began face-to-face talks in Geneva aimed at reaching an agreement
on how to proceed with Pyongyang's denuclearization pledge.
2007 Sep 2, Following two days
of talks in Geneva, Christopher Hill, the chief US negotiator,
said North Korea had agreed to account for and disable its atomic
programs by the end of the year; the head of the North Korean
delegation said his country's willingness to cooperate was clear,
but he did not cite any dates.
2007 Sep 3, A spokesman for
North Korea's Foreign Ministry said the US has decided to remove
North Korea from a list of terrorism-sponsoring states and lift
sanctions against it.
2007 Sep 4, A senior US
diplomat said North Korea remains on a list of states that sponsor
terrorism, dismissing North Korean claims that Washington decided to
remove the designation.
2007 Sep 5, North Korea said it
had arrested spies working for an unspecified foreign country who
were collecting intelligence on the communist state's military and
2007 Sep 5, Japan and North
Korea held talks for the first time in six months in a bid to ease
tensions amid signs of cautious optimism for progress from the
arch-foes. The meeting in the Mongolian capital of Ulan Bator is
part of a working group set up by six-nation talks designed to stop
North Korea's nuclear weapons programs.
2007 Sep 6, Japan and North
Korea wrapped up a rare meeting without a breakthrough in an
emotional row over kidnappings, but they pledged to keep talking
amid small signs of hope between the arch-rivals.
2007 Sep 11, American, Russian
and Chinese nuclear experts began a rare visit to North Korea to
examine ways of disabling the country's main nuclear facilities so
they can no longer produce bombs.
2007 Sep 21, North Korea and
Syria held high-level talks in Pyongyang, amid suspicions that the
two countries might be cooperating on a nuclear weapons program.
2007 Sep 22, North Korea's No.
2 leader met with a Syrian delegation in Pyongyang, amid suspicions
of a secret nuclear connection between the two countries.
2007 Sep 22, To date 144
countries had ratified the UN Convention Against Torture. Holdouts
included Sudan, North Korea, Myanmar, Zimbabwe and India.
(Econ, 9/22/07, p.72)
2007 Sep 28, The United States
announced it would spend up to $25 million to pay for 50,000 tons of
heavy fuel oil for North Korea as part of an agreement to dismantle
the North’s nuclear program.
2007 Sep 30, Negotiators at
North Korea's disarmament talks tentatively agreed to a draft plan
on disabling the country's nuclear facilities by year's end.
2007 Oct 2, North Korean leader
Kim Jong Il showed scant enthusiasm for the visiting South Korean
president, while orchestrated crowds of thousands cheered the start
of the second summit between the divided Koreas since World War II.
2007 Oct 3, The six nations
involved in disarmament talks said North Korea will provide a
complete list of its nuclear programs and disable its facilities at
its main reactor complex by Dec. 31, actions that will be overseen
by a US-led team.
2007 Oct 4, The leaders of
North and South Korea pledged to seek a peace treaty to replace the
Korean War's 1953 cease-fire and expand projects to reduce tension
across the world's last Cold War frontier.
2007 Oct 9, Japan's Cabinet
approved plans to extend economic sanctions against North Korea,
despite the communist state's agreement to disable its main nuclear
complex by year's end.
2007 Apr 23, David Halberstam
(73), Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and writer, died in a car
crash in San Mateo, Ca. His books included “The Best and the
Brightest" (1972) and “The Powers That Be" (1979). He had just
finished his 21st book “The Coldest Winter," a history of the Korean
War, which was published later this year.
(SFC, 4/24/07, p.A1)(Econ, 5/5/07, p.108)(Econ,
2007 Oct 21, In Syria a
high-level North Korean official held talks with PM Naji Otari on
ways to improve cooperation between the two countries.
2007 Oct 30, The US Navy
boarded a North Korean flagged ship at its invitation with a small
team of medics, security personnel and an interpreter. The 22-person
North Korean crew already had regained control of the ship and
detained all the Somali pirates.
2007 Nov 3, Je Yell Kim, a
Canadian Christian aid worker who provided dental care for North
Koreans in the northeast part of the country, was taken into custody
by authorities on charges of violating national security. Kim was
released in late Jan 2008.
2007 Nov 5, In North Korea a
team of experts led by the US started work to disable 3 nuclear
facilities at Yongbyon.
(Econ, 11/10/07, p.55)
2007 Nov 6, A US diplomat said
the disablement of North Korea's nuclear weapons-making facilities
has started smoothly and the communist nation should be able to
complete the process by the end of the year.
2007 Nov 14, The prime
ministers of North and South Korea met for the first time in 15
years, hoping to extend the detente fostered by the second-ever
summit of their leaders last month with new South Korean investment
in the impoverished North.
2007 Nov 16, North and South
Korea agreed to launch rail service across their heavily armed
border for the first time in more than half a century, a move
symbolizing the growing reconciliation between the two sides.
2007 Nov 26, A South Korean aid
group said North Korea has resumed frequent public executions, among
them a factory chief accused of making international phone calls who
was shot in a stadium before 150,000 spectators.
2007 Nov 27, The defense chiefs
of North and South Korea began a rare meeting to discuss easing
tension across their disputed sea border on a harmonious note,
pledging to end the peninsula's division.
2007 Nov 28, North and South
Korea struggled to resolve differences over creating a joint fishing
zone around their disputed sea border at a second day of rare
defense talks in Pyongyang.
2007 Nov 29, The top defense
officials from North and South Korea agreed on security arrangements
for the first-ever regular train service across their heavily
2007 Dec 1, Pres. Bush sent a
letter, his first, to North Korean leader Kim Jong Il urging him to
fully disclose his nuclear programs by the end of the year.
(SFC, 12/7/07, p.A16)
2007 Dec 11, North and South
Korea began regular freight train service across their heavily armed
border for the first time in more than a half century, in another
symbolic step in their reconciliation.
2007 Dec 13, North Korea
verbally responded through a diplomatic channel to a letter Bush
sent to Kim earlier this month. A senior US official with knowledge
of the contents said it was delivered through a diplomatic channel
in New York and contained what appeared to be a pledge from
Pyongyang to follow through on its denuclearization deal as long as
the United States held to its end of the bargain.
2007 Dec 14, North and South
Korea ended three days of talks without an agreement on creating a
shared fishing zone to defuse tensions along their disputed sea
2007 Dec 31, North Korea failed
to meet a year-end deadline to declare all its nuclear programs
under an aid-for-disarmament deal, prompting disappointed reactions
from South Korea, the United States and Japan.
2008 Jan 6, North Korea stepped
up anti-US propaganda with a six-nation nuclear disarmament process
bogged down and Pyongyang and Washington in dispute over the delay.
2008 Jan 22, North Korea
accused the US of failing to meet its commitments toward the
communist nation, blaming Washington for the slow progress in a
nuclear disarmament deal.
2008 Jan 22, North Korea said
it will close its embassy in Australia because it can no longer
2008 Jan 25, North and South
Korea held working-level military talks, the first dialogue between
the two countries this year, as Seoul's conservative president-elect
prepared to take office with calls for a tougher stance toward
2008 Feb 22, North Korea opened
its main nuclear reactor to foreign media for the first time in a
bid to show that it is complying with a disarmament accord to
disable the facility.
2008 Feb 25, The New York
Philharmonic arrived in a snowy Pyongyang to play the symphony "From
the New World" in an overture to thaw still frozen ties from the
Cold War era between the United States and North Korea.
2008 Feb 26, An audience of
North Korea's communist elite gave America's oldest orchestra a
standing ovation after a rousing set that took in Dvorak, Gershwin
and a Korean folk song. Some Philharmonic members were so overcome
they left the stage in tears.
2008 Mar 5, An aid group said
North Korea executed 15 people trying to flee of helping others
(WSJ, 3/6/08, p.A1)
2008 Mar 8, North Korea’s
official news agency reported that leader Kim Jong Il hopes for
stronger friendship with Syria, amid lingering suspicions of a
secret nuclear connection between the two countries.
2008 Mar 20, Kim Yong-Nam,
North Korea's de facto head of state, arrived in Namibia as part of
his goodwill visit to three African nations, which also includes
Angola and Uganda. Namibia and North Korea hoped to strengthen their
economic ties. Kim Yong-Nam warned against countries plundering
resources from poor African countries.
2008 Mar 24, South Korea's
president asked North Korea to consider sending home prisoners of
war and captured civilians in return for receiving humanitarian aid
2008 Mar 27, North Korea
expelled all 11 South Korean officials from a joint industrial
estate just north of the border in retaliation for Seoul's new
tougher line towards the communist state.
2008 Mar 28, North Korea
test-fired a barrage of short-range missiles in apparent response to
the new South Korean government's tougher stance on Pyongyang.
2008 Apr 27, A North Korean
defector tried to set himself on fire to halt the Olympic torch
relay through Seoul, while thousands of police guarded the flame
from protesters blasting China's treatment of North Korean refugees.
A North Korean soldier defected to South Korea for the first time in
a decade across the heavily fortified border dividing the countries.
(AP, 4/27/08)(AP, 4/28/08)
2008 May 8, North Korea handed
over thousands of pages of nuclear weapons documents to a US
diplomat, that will help verify the North’s plutonium holdings.
(WSJ, 5/9/08, p.A1)
2008 May 9, A South Korean aid
group said North Koreans are dying because of food shortages in
rural areas, and a massive famine is just a matter of time.
2008 May, A South Korean
abductee escaped from North Korea after more than 30 years and was
under Seoul’s protection in China. Yoon Jong-soo, 65, ended up in
the North when his fishing boat and 32 other crew members were
seized off South Korea's east coast in 1975.
2008 Jun 3, The Good Friends, a
Seoul-based humanitarian group, said that a highly contagious
disease has sparked a health alert with an estimated five or six
children dying every day since April 27 in North Korea’s city of
Hoeryong. A doctor said hand-foot-mouth disease could be spreading
from China, where it has killed several dozen children.
2008 Jun 26, North Korea handed
over details of its nuclear programs, paving the way to be removed
from the US terrorism blacklist amid years of efforts to persuade
the North to abandon the atom bomb.
2008 Jun 26, President Bush
said he will lift key trade sanctions against North Korea and remove
it from the US terrorism blacklist, a remarkable turnaround in
policy toward the communist regime he once branded as part of an
"axis of evil."
2008 Jun 27, North Korea
destroyed the most visible symbol of its nuclear weapons program,
blasting apart the cooling tower at its main atomic reactor in a
sign of its commitment to stop making plutonium for atomic bombs.
2008 Jun 30, The UN said
thousands of tons of food from the US has started flowing into North
(SFC, 7/1/08, p.A3)
2008 Jul 4, North Korea said it
will not take further steps to dismantle its nuclear program until
the US and its other negotiating partners award fuel oil and
political benefits promised under an aid-for-disarmament deal.
2008 Jul 10, North Korea
returned to international talks on its nuclear activities after a
nine-month break, in what host China hailed as a potential turning
point in the disarmament process.
2008 Jul 11, A North Korean
soldier fatally shot a South Korean woman tourist (53) at a mountain
resort in the communist North, prompting the South to suspend the
high-profile tour program. Park Wang-ja had strayed a
half-mile into a fenced off military area and was shot twice from
2008 Jul 12, North Korea agreed
to completely disable its main nuclear facilities by the end of
October and to allow thorough site inspections to verify that all
necessary steps had been taken as the latest round of six-nation
disarmament talks concluded in Beijing.
2008 Jul 15, In South Korea Won
Jeong-hwa (34) was arrested and later confessed that she was a spy
trained and commissioned by North Korea's intelligence agency.
2008 Jul 24, In Singapore North
Korea's reclusive communist regime, long seen as a nuclear threat to
the region, signed a nonaggression pact with Southeast Asia, in a
largely symbolic move. The Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC)
with the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) came
into force in 1976, requires signatories to renounce the use or
threat of force and calls for the peaceful settlement of conflicts.
2008 Jul 30, The UN said hunger
in North Korea is at its worst since the 1990s, prompting the
resumption of emergency UN food shipments after a two-year hiatus.
2008 Aug 15, In Beijing 2
positive dope tests by Asian athletes overshadowed Singapore's first
medal in 48 years and a podium for Malaysia with a North Korean
shooter and a Vietnamese gymnast exposed as cheats.
2008 Aug 26, North Korea said
it has suspended work on disabling its nuclear facilities as of
August 14 and is considering restoration of the Yongbyon reactor
that can make material for atomic bombs, accusing the US of
violating a disarmament deal by failing to delist North Korea as a
state sponsor of terrorism.
2008 Aug, North Korean leader
Kim Jong Il reportedly suffered a stroke.
2008 Sep 1, North Korea began
reassembling its Yongbyon reactor that can make material for atomic
bombs in violation of US conditions for improved diplomatic
relations. Japan's Kyodo news agency reported the restart on Sep 3
citing sources in Beijing close to six-party nuclear talks on North
2008 Sep 9, North Korea held a
military parade to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the country’s
founding, but leader Kim Jong Il (66) was missing. Media later
reported that Kim Jong Il had brain surgery after a stroke last
month and could have partial paralysis on one side.
(SFC, 9/10/08, p.A3)(AP, 9/11/08)
2008 Sep 19, North Korea said
it is making "thorough preparations" to restart its nuclear reactor,
accusing the United States of failing to fulfill its obligations
under an international disarmament-for-aid agreement.
2008 Sep 22, North Korea asked
the UN nuclear watchdog (IAEA) to remove seals and surveillance
equipment from the Yongbyon nuclear reactor.
2008 Sep 24, North Korea barred
UN nuclear inspectors from its main nuclear reactor and within a
week plans to reactivate the plant that once provided the plutonium
for its atomic test explosion.
2008 Oct 8, South Korea's top
military officer said North Korea is working to develop a nuclear
warhead for a long-range missile, a day after the communist state
tested its short-range weaponry.
2008 Oct 9, The International
Atomic Energy Agency said North Korea has told it that the
government is placing all its main nuclear complex off-limits to
inspectors and will stop its program of dismantling the site.
2008 Oct 11, The Bush
administration removed North Korea from a terrorism blacklist as
North Korea agreed to all US nuclear inspection demands. The
breakthrough is intended to salvage a faltering disarmament accord
before President Bush leaves office in January.
2008 Oct 12, North Korea said
it will resume dismantling its main nuclear facilities, hours after
the US removed the communist country from a list of states
Washington says sponsor terrorism.
2008 Oct 14, North Korea
resumed steps to disable its nuclear reactor under renewed
monitoring, after a deal with Washington to save the disarmament
process from collapse.
2008 Oct 28, South Korean
officials said a North Korean soldier has defected for the 2nd time
in a decade.
2008 Oct 29, South Korea
reported that Kim Jong Il has suffered a serious setback in his
recovery from a stroke.
(WSJ, 10/30/08, p.A1)
2008 Nov 12, The United States
says it has shipped 50,000 metric tons of heavy fuel oil to North
Korea as part of a nuclear disarmament deal. The fuel is scheduled
to arrive in the North in late November and early December. North
Korea said that it won't allow outside inspectors to take samples
from its main nuclear complex to verify the communist regime's
accounting of past nuclear activities.
2008 Nov 12, North Korea's
powerful military announced it will shut the country's border with
the South on Dec. 1, a marked escalation of threats against Seoul's
new conservative government at a time of heightened tension on the
2008 Nov 20, South Korean
activists sent propaganda leaflets over the border into North Korea,
ignoring their own government's pleas to stop the practice and
threats from the North to sever relations if it continues.
2008 Nov 24, North Korea
detailed plans to radically curtail ties with South Korea,
announcing the end of daily cross-border train service and tours of
a historic city in response to what it called Seoul's
2008 Dec 9, In Beijing
delegates from six nations focused on a Chinese proposal on how to
verify North Korea's claims about its atomic program in talks aimed
at ending the secretive regime's nuclear activities.
2008 Dec 11, Multilateral talks
with North Korea failed to break an impasse on checking Pyongyang’s
nuclear declarations. This led the US to halt fuel oil shipments
until specific steps are taken to verify nuclear activities.
(WSJ, 12/13/08, p.A10)
2008 Dec 13, North Korea warned
that it will slow down work on ending its nuclear drive after
six-party talks collapsed, but South Korea predicted a fresh start
for diplomacy under US president-elect Barack Obama.
2008 Dec 13, Japan, China and
South Korea moved to ward off the effects of the global financial
crunch at a trilateral summit in Japan, while Tokyo and Seoul
criticized North Korea for stalling denuclearization talks.
2008 Dec 14, Orascom Telecom,
an Egyptian company, said it will launch 3G mobile telephone service
in North Korea on Dec 15, after winning the contract to build the
advanced network in a country where private cell phones are banned.
2008 US Attorney Richard
Streeter received a $65 million judgment on behalf of US Navy
crewmen held captive for nearly a year by North Korea in 1968. The
former crewmen have never collected any money.
2009 Jan 14, South Korea's
Chosun Ilbo newspaper said North Korean leader Kim Jong Il has
reportedly ordered a crackdown on street markets in an apparent move
to reassert control over the economy amid an influx of foreign goods
into the isolated country.
2009 Jan 17, A US researcher
who visited the North said North Korea has hardened its stance on
disarmament, saying it has "weaponized" plutonium into warheads, but
hopes for better ties with President-elect Barack Obama.
2009 Jan 21, North Korea and
Iran, two nations with nuclear aspirations the US wants to thwart,
both signaled that they were open to new initiatives from President
Barack Obama that could defuse tensions.
2009 Jan 30, North Korea
announced that it is scrapping agreements with South Korea on easing
military tensions, accusing Seoul of pushing relations to the brink
2009 Feb 17, In Japan US
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton warned North Korea against
following through on a threatened missile launch, saying it would
damage its prospects for improved relations with the United States
and the world. Clinton also signed an agreement with Japan that will
move 8,000 Marines off the southern Japanese island of Okinawa to
the US territory of Guam.
2009 Feb 23, South Korea's
Defense Ministry said North Korea recently deployed a new type of
medium-range ballistic missile capable of reaching northern
Australia and the US territory of Guam.
2009 Feb 24, North Korea said
it is preparing to shoot a satellite into orbit, its clearest
reference yet to an impending launch that neighbors and the US
suspect will be a provocative test of a long-range missile.
2009 Mar 8, Kim Jong Il was
unanimously re-elected to North Korea's rubber-stamp parliament.
Outside observers watched closely for hints leader Kim Jong Il may
be grooming a successor.
(AP, 3/8/09)(AP, 3/9/09)
2009 Mar 9, The US and South
Korea began annual war games prompting North Korea to call its
military into full combat readiness.
(SFC, 3/10/09, p.A2)
2009 Mar 13, Japan said it
could shoot down any threatening object falling toward its
territory, after North Korea said a planned rocket launch would send
it across Japanese territory.
2009 Mar 16, A UN human rights
investigator accused North Korean authorities of committing
widespread torture in prisons that he called "death traps." Life in
the reclusive communist-ruled country is "dire and desperate," said
Vitit Muntarbhorn, adding that people are denied enough food to
2009 Mar 17, North Korea fully
reopened its border to South Koreans commuting to jobs at factories
in a northern economic zone after four days of restrictions. North
Korean soldiers detained two American journalists near the country's
border with China. Laura Ling and Euna Lee, reporters for former
Vice President Al Gore's San Francisco-based online media outlet
Current TV, were taken into custody near the Tumen River in
northeastern North Korea. They had crossed into the country while
reporting about the sex trade. Both journalists were formally
indicted in April. After 140 days in custody, the reporters were
granted a pardon.
(AP, 3/17/09)(AP, 3/19/09)(SFC, 4/24/09,
p.A2)(SFC, 5/18/10, p.A4)(AP, 8/5/09)
2009 Mar 18, The prime
ministers of China and North Korea discussed the nuclear situation
on the Korean peninsula as they met in Beijing amid rising tensions
over Pyongyang's atomic and missile programs.
2009 Mar 20, North Korea closed
its southern border for the third time in recent days, even as it
told Seoul it would restore a military communications hot line
severed last week.
2009 Apr 5, North Korea defied
international warnings and sent a rocket hurtling over the Pacific,
a launch President Barack Obama called an illicit test of the
regime's long-range missile technology that threatened the security
of nations "near and far." North Korea said it successfully sent its
"Kwangmyongsong-2" satellite into orbit as part of its peaceful bid
to develop its space program. South Korea and the US military
disputed North Korea's claim of a successful launch into space,
saying the rocket fell into the ocean in stages.
2009 Apr 9, Kim Jong Il laid to
rest speculation about his health with a triumphant return to
parliament for his appointment to a third term as North Korea's
supreme leader. Legislators unanimously adopted a law "on revising
and supplementing the Socialist Constitution of the DPRK (North
Korea)" but gave no details.
(AP, 4/9/09)(AFP, 4/9/09)
2009 Apr 10, Japan renewed and
strengthened sanctions against North Korea, but disagreed with the
US over how the UN Security Council should censure Pyongyang for its
2009 Apr 13, The UN Security
Council unanimously condemned North Korea's April 5 rocket launch,
demanded an end to missile tests and said it will expand sanctions
against the reclusive communist nation.
2009 Apr 14, North Korea vowed
to restart its nuclear reactor and to boycott international
disarmament talks for good in retaliation for the UN Security
Council's condemnation of its rocket launch.
2009 Apr 16, UN nuclear
inspectors left North Korea after the hardline communist state
ordered them out and announced plans to restart production of
2009 Apr 21, North and South
Korea held their first formal talks for more than a year but
discussions ended without agreement after just 22 minutes.
2009 Apr 25, North Korea said
it has restarted its nuclear facilities to harvest plutonium for
atomic weapons, just hours after the UN imposed new sanctions on the
communist state for its recent rocket launch.
2009 Apr 30, Chinese state
media reported that China has reopened its land border to tourists
traveling to North Korea after a three-year break, with a group of
71 tourists visiting the isolated country earlier this week on a one
day tour of Sinuiju.
2009 May 4, South Korean
snipers hovering in a helicopter chased away pirates pursuing a
North Korean freighter, while a Russian warship freed eight Iranian
citizens held hostage for more than three months.
2009 May 4, South Korean news
reported that North Korea runs a cyber warfare unit that tries to
hack into US and South Korean military networks to gather
confidential information and disrupt service.
2009 May 15, North Korea said
it has scrapped all wage and rent agreements with South Korea at a
joint industrial estate and told some 100 South Korean companies to
leave if they cannot accept it.
2009 May 25, North Korea
claimed it carried out a powerful underground nuclear test, much
larger than one conducted in 2006. Russia's Defense Ministry
confirmed an atomic explosion at 9:54 a.m. (0054 GMT) in
northeastern North Korea, estimating the blast's yield at 10 to 20
kilotons, comparable to the bombs that flattened Hiroshima and
2009 May 26, North Korea
reportedly tested two more short-range missiles, a day after
detonating a nuclear bomb underground, pushing the regime further
into a confrontation with world powers despite the threat of UN
2009 May 27, North Korea
renounced its 1953 truce with the allied forces and threatened to
strike any ships trying to intercept its vessels. Facing
international censure for this week's nuclear test, it threatened to
attack the South after it joined a US-led plan to check vessels
suspected of carrying equipment for weapons of mass destruction.
2009 May 28, South Korean and
US troops raised their alert to the highest level since 2006 after
North Korea renounced its truce with the allied forces and
threatened to strike any ships trying to intercept its vessels.
2009 May 29, North Korea warned
it would act in "self-defense" if provoked by the UN Security
Council, which is considering tough sanctions over the communist
country's nuclear test, and followed the threat with the test launch
of another short-range missile.
2009 Jun 2, Two major South
Korean newspapers said that North Korea's military, party and
government officials were informed that Kim Jong Un (26), the
youngest of three, is in line to take the world's first communist
dynasty into a third generation.
2009 Jun 8, North Korea
convicted Laura Ling and Euna Lee, American journalists for former
Vice President Al Gore's San Francisco-based Current TV media
venture, and sentenced them to 12 years of hard labor for crossing
into its territory, intensifying the reclusive nation's
confrontation with the United States.
2009 Jun 10, Western powers
reached agreement with North Korea's key allies on a UN draft
proposal that would impose tough new sanctions on the communist
nation's weapons exports and financial dealings, and allow
inspections of suspect cargo in ports and on the high seas.
(AP, 6/10/09)(SFC, 6/11/09, p.A3)
2009 Jun 11, North Korea
demanded a 3,000 percent hike in rent from South Korea for the site
of a joint industrial park at the center of a dispute roiling their
relations. It also sought a more than fourfold increase in wages for
North Korean workers employed by South Korean companies at the park.
More than 100 South Korean companies have factories in the park,
employing some 40,000 North Koreans. They are paid about $70 a month
2009 Jun 12, A South Korean
newspaper reported that the youngest son of North Korea's
authoritarian leader has been given the title of "Brilliant
Comrade," a sign the communist regime is preparing to name him as
successor to the ailing Kim Jong Il.
2009 Jun 12, The UN Security
Council agreed to expand an arms embargo against North Korea with
the goal of derailing the isolated nation's nuclear and missile
programs. It passed Resolution 1874 authorizing the search of North
Korean ship suspected of carrying illegal arms.
(AP, 6/13/09)(Econ, 6/27/09, p.50)
2009 Jun 13, North Korea vowed
to step up its atomic bomb-making program and threatened war if its
ships are stopped as part of new UN sanctions aimed at punishing the
nation for its latest nuclear test.
2009 Jun 15, In North Korea
tens of thousands rallied in Pyongyang to condemn the UN rebuke of
the country's latest nuclear test amid concern the communist regime
could conduct another one.
2009 Jun 16, North Korea said
that two female US journalists whom it jailed last week for 12 years
had admitted a politically motivated smear campaign against the
communist state. Ri Hyon Ok (33) was executed in Ryongchon for
distributing the Bible. She was also accused of spying for South
Korea and the US and organizing dissidents according to later
reports by South Korean activists.
(AFP, 6/16/09)(AP, 7/24/09)
2009 Jun 17, China and Russia
expressed serious concern about tension on the Korean peninsula and,
in the face of North Korea's rhetoric, joined international pressure
for it to return to nuclear talks.
2009 Jun 19, South Korea
rejected North Korea's demand for a massive increase in wages and
rent at a joint industrial park struggling to stay afloat, leaving
the fate of more than 100 companies and 40,000 workers there hanging
2009 Jun 24, North Korea
threatened to wipe the United States off the map as Washington and
its allies watched for signs the regime will launch a series of
missiles in the coming days. Meanwhile a US destroyer tailed a North
Korean ship suspected of transporting illicit weapons to Myanmar in
what could be the first test of UN sanctions passed to punish the
nation for an underground nuclear test last month.
2009 Jun 25, Tens of thousands
of North Koreans shouted slogans to denounce international sanctions
at a rally in central Pyongyang, as the communist country vowed to
enlarge its atomic arsenal and warned of a "fire shower of nuclear
retaliation" in the event of a US attack.
2009 Jun 26, Group of Eight
foreign ministers, meeting in Trieste, Italy, criticized Iran's
postelection violence, and urged its ruling clergy to ensure the
outcome of the disputed ballot reflects the will of the Iranian
people. The G8 countries also condemned North Korea's nuclear and
missile tests and called on the country to return to the negotiating
2009 Jun, North Korea shut down
its largest wholesale market because of its apparent concern that
big markets spread capitalist influence. Authorities closed the
Pyongsong market on the outskirts of the capital of Pyongyang and
set up two smaller markets in nearby districts. Pyongsong was the
North's biggest wholesale market with some 30,000-40,000 stalls.
2009 Jul 2, North Korea
test-fired four short-range missiles, further stoking tension in the
region that was already high due to Pyongyang's nuclear test and
threats to boost its nuclear arsenal in response to UN sanctions.
2009 Jul 4, North Korea fired
seven ballistic missiles off its eastern coast, in a violation of UN
resolutions and an apparent message of defiance to the US on its
2009 Jul 4, Attacks began on
more than two dozen Internet sites in the United States and South
Korea and some were disabled by hackers. South Korea's spy agency
later said the attacks were possibly linked to North Korea. Some of
the affected US government Web sites, such as the Treasury
Department, Federal Trade Commission and Secret Service, were still
reporting problems days after it started during the July 4 holiday.
(Reuters, 7/8/09)(AP, 7/8/09)
2009 Jul 9, South Korean Web
sites were attacked again after a wave of Web site outages in the US
and South Korea that several officials suspect North Korea was
2009 Jul 10, South Korea’s spy
agency told lawmakers that a research institute affiliated with the
North's Ministry of People's Armed Forces received an order on June
7 to "destroy the South Korean puppet communications networks in an
instant." The Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported that the North has
between 500-1,000 hacking specialists.
2009 Jul 13, South Korea
reported that North Korean leader Kim Jong Il (67) has
life-threatening pancreatic cancer, days after fresh images of him
looking gaunt spurred speculation that his health was worsening
following a reported stroke last year.
2009 Jul 14, South Korean
police said hackers extracted files from computers they contaminated
with the virus that triggered cyberattacks last week in the United
States and South Korea, a sign that they tried to steal information
from the victims. North Korea has supposedly trained an elite group
of hackers at Mirim College, its military school.
(AP, 7/14/09)(Econ, 7/11/09, p.62)
2009 Jul 16, The UN Security
Council banned travel and froze assets of 10 North Korean
individuals and businesses linked to the country’s nuclear and
ballistic missile programs.
(SFC, 7/17/09, p.A2)
2009 Jul 30, North Korea's
military seized four South Korean fishermen after their boat strayed
into North Korean waters. The fishermen were released on Aug 29.
(AP, 7/31/09)(AP, 8/29/09)
2009 Aug 1, The Sydney Morning
Herald reported that North Korea is helping Myanmar build a secret
nuclear reactor and plutonium extraction plant to build an atomic
bomb within five years, citing the evidence of defectors. "In the
event that the testimony of the defectors is proved, the alleged
secret reactor could be capable of being operational and producing
one bomb a year, every year, after 2014."
2009 Aug 4, In North Korea
former US Pres. Bill Clinton met with North Korean leader Kim Jong
Il on the first day of a surprise visit to Pyongyang, with the
"exhaustive" talks covering a wide range of topics. Clinton was in
communist North Korea on a mission to secure the release of
Americans, who were arrested along the Chinese-North Korean border
in March and sentenced in June to 12 years of hard labor for illegal
entry and engaging in "hostile acts." After 140 days in custody, the
reporters were granted a pardon by North Korea.
(AP, 8/4/09)(AP, 8/5/09)
2009 Aug 6, In South Korea
unionists who occupied a car plant in protest at mass layoffs agreed
to end a 77-day sit-in which halted production and sparked violent
clashes with police.
2009 Aug 13, North Korea freed
Yu Seong-Jin (44), a South Korean worker it had detained since
March, raising hopes of better cross-border relations after 18
months of bitter hostility from the communist state.
2009 Aug 15, South Korea's
president renewed his offer of aid for impoverished North Korea if
it abandons its nuclear weapons and called for talks on the
reduction of conventional weapons along their heavily fortified
2009 Aug 16, North Korean
leader Kim Jong Il held talks with Hyun Jeong-eun, the head of South
Korea's Hyundai Group, in a rare meeting that could warm prospects
for a resumption of stalled cross-border projects.
2009 Aug 17, North Korea said
it would restart tours to a scenic mountain resort and allow
reunions for families separated since the Korean War, a surprise
move that could help ease months of tensions with South Korea over
Pyongyang's missile and nuclear tests.
2009 Aug 26, Russia, worried
about North Korean missile and nuclear tests, said it has deployed
sophisticated air defenses in its Far East region to protect against
any potential test mishap.
2009 Aug 28, The United Arab
Emirates confirmed that it has seized a cargo ship earlier this
month bound for Iran with a cache of banned arms from North Korea.
Diplomats identified the vessel as a Bahamas-flagged cargo vessel,
the ANL Australia, carrying rocket-propelled grenades and other
2009 Sep 6, Six South Koreans
camping and fishing along a river flowing from North Korea were
swept away when it suddenly doubled in height, because a new dam in
the North released a large amount of water without warning. On Oct
14 North Korea offered a rare apology for unleashing the dam water
and promised to alert Seoul to such measures in the future.
(AP, 9/6/09)(AP, 10/14/09)
2009 Sep 24, In Vietnam 9 North
Koreans took refuge in Denmark's embassy in Hanoi seeking political
asylum and passage to Seoul. On Oct 20 they left the mission and
were on their way to South Korea.
(Reuters, 10/20/09)(SFC, 9/25/09, p.A2)
2009 Sep 26, In North Korea 97
older South Koreans reunited with 228 North Korean relatives at the
Diamond Mountain resort. This was the first reunion in nearly two
(SSFC, 9/27/09, p.A4)
2009 Sep 30, In North Korea a
ceremony marked the return of UN Development Program to the country.
UNDP withdrew its operations in March 2007 following allegations
that the agency had left itself open to exploitation by the
communist regime for money laundering and other illicit purposes. A
UN audit cleared UNDP of wrongdoing in June, 2008.
2009 Oct 4, North Korea told
visiting Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao that it was open to bilateral
and multilateral talks on its nuclear programs.
2009 Oct 5, Visiting Chinese
Premier Wen Jiabao met North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il amid efforts
to bring Pyongyang back to nuclear disarmament talks. China pledged
to strengthen bonds with isolated North Korea, calling their
relationship a boon to peace.
(AFP, 10/5/09)(Reuters, 10/5/09)
2009 Oct 5, A South Korean
lawmaker, Kwon Young-se, said North Korea has received the
equivalent of about $2.2 billion under deals aimed at persuading the
isolated nation to dismantle its nuclear facilities, in what his
office said is the first accounting of the cost of the failed
strategy. In addition to the money it was given in the
disarmament-for-aid deals, the North has also received nearly 4
trillion won ($3.4 billion) of food, fertilizer and other
humanitarian aid from the US, South Korea and international
organizations over the past 10 years.
2009 Oct 12, North Korea
test-fired five short-range missiles off its east coast and banned
ships from the area from October 10-20.
2009 Oct 13, Rev. Franklin
Graham, the son of veteran US evangelist Billy Graham, arrived in
North Korea to deliver aid to the impoverished country more than six
months after the isolated regime kicked out all American
humanitarian groups. Franklin Graham served as the head of the Billy
Graham Evangelistic Association and the aid agency Samaritan's
Purse, which have provided more than $10 million in aid to the North
2009 Oct 26, South Korea
offered a small amount of food aid to North Korea, its first direct
assistance to the impoverished neighbor in nearly two years of
2009 Oct 26, Kang Tong Rim (30)
defected into North Korea. The next day a South Korean military
statement said Kang had formerly served in an army division near
where a fence was found cut and he has been on a police wanted list
following his alleged involvement in an assault case in September.
2009 Nov 3, North Korea said it
has reprocessed 8,000 spent nuclear fuel rods and extracted enough
plutonium to bolster its atomic stockpile, raising the stakes in an
apparent effort to push the US into direct negotiations.
2009 Nov 10, A badly damaged
North Korean patrol ship retreated in flames after a skirmish with a
South Korean naval vessel along their disputed western coast. South
Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that a North
Korean patrol boat crossed the disputed western sea border about
11:27 a.m. (0227 GMT), drawing warning shots from a South Korean
navy vessel. The North Korean boat then opened fire and the South's
ship returned fire before the North's vessel sailed back toward its
2009 Nov 13, President Barack
Obama met with Japanese PM Yukio Hatoyama on his first major trip to
Asia. He emphasized cooperation and opened with a warning to North
Korea that there will be tough, unified action by the US and its
Asian partners if the Koreans fail to abandon their nuclear weapons
programs. Obama and Hatoyama agreed to joint efforts to realize a
nuclear weapons-free world.
(AP, 11/13/09)(SFC, 11/13/09, p.A4)
2009 Nov 19, In South Korea
President Barack Obama said a US envoy would visit North Korea early
next month, as he joined South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak in
urging the communist state back to nuclear talks.
2009 Nov 28, South Africa
seized a shipment of spare parts for North Korean tanks destined for
the Republic of Congo. South Africa’s government confirmed the
seizure on Feb 26, 2010.
2009 Nov 30, North Korea began
exchanging old notes following a 100 to 1 revaluation of its
currency. Many shops were reported closed with citizens angry and
panicked. The redenomination of the won led to a collapse of the
currency, a surge in the price of rice and wiped out much traders’
(SFC, 12/2/09, p.A6)(Econ, 2/13/10, p.43)
2009 Dec 4, North Korea made an
unlikely foray into designer denim as the "Noko Jeans" label was
launched in Sweden. The brand is Swedish but the black jeans are
manufactured in North Korea, an experiment its creators described as
a way to open doors to the reclusive communist country. The next day
Stockholm’s PUB department store removed the new line of designer
jeans from its shelves, saying it wants to avoid courting
controversy through ties with the isolated communist nation. Noko
Jeans founders said they will continue to sell the jeans on their
Web site and that retailer Aplace will continue to sell them on
their Web site.
(AP, 12/4/09)(AP, 12/5/09)
2009 Dec 9, Australia’s
government said 5 North Korean artists have been banned from
entering Australia for an exhibition of their work, drawing
accusations of censorship from the arts community. The Department of
Foreign Affairs and Trade said the artists and a translator have
been refused visas because it is contrary to foreign policy
interests and because they are from a studio linked to North Korean
leader Kim Jong-Il.
2009 Dec 10, North Korea agreed
to accept medicine from South Korea to fight an outbreak of swine
flu, in a development that could improve relations between the
nations after a deadly maritime clash.
2009 Dec 12, In Thailand 4
Kazakhs and a Belarusian were detained and their New Zealand
registered aircraft impounded after it landed in the Thai capital
with tons of war weaponry on board that originated in North Korea.
The Ilyushin 76 transport from Kazakhstan was allegedly traveling
from North Korea to Sri Lanka when it asked to land in Bangkok to
refuel. According to a flight plan seen by arms trafficking
researchers, the aircraft was chartered by Hong Kong-based Union Top
Management Ltd. to fly oil industry spare parts from Pyongyang to
Tehran, Iran, with several other stops, including Bangkok, Colombo
in Sri Lanka, Azerbaijan and Ukraine. A New Zealand shell company,
SP Trading Ltd., had leased the airplane.
(AP, 12/12/09)(AP, 12/23/09)(AP, 1/22/10)
2009 Dec 18, South Korea's
military said it was investigating a hacking attack that netted
secret defense plans with the US and may have been carried out by
2009 Dec 18, South Korean
trucks crossed into North Korea delivering enough doses of antiviral
drugs for 500,000 North Koreans. An estimated 50 people in North
Korea have died of swine flu since November. Han Su Chol, a North
Korean health minister, expressed thanks.
(SFC, 12/19/09, p.A4)
2009 Dec 25, Robert Park, a
28-year-old Korean-American, crossed the frozen Tumen River into
North Korea from China on Christmas Day to urge Kim Jong Il to
release political prisoners and shut down the "concentration camps"
where they are held.
2010 Jan 1, North Korea called
for an end of hostile relations with the United States in a New
Year's message and said it was committed to making the Korean
peninsula nuclear-free through negotiations.
2010 Jan 2, Tens of thousands
of North Koreans rallied in the capital to support the communist
government's policies for the new year, including improved relations
with the US and South Korea and a higher standard of living.
2010 Jan 11, North Korea called
for talks on a treaty to formally end the Korean War, saying it
wants better ties with the United States and an end to sanctions
before pushing ahead with nuclear disarmament.
2010 Jan 13, North Korea said
it will begin to allow in more American tourists after years of
heavy restrictions on visits to the isolate country. North Korea's
military warned that it would retaliate against South Korea if Seoul
doesn't stop activists from launching propaganda leaflets across
their divided border.
2010 Jan 15, A UN official said
North Korea is meting out harsher punishment to citizens who try to
flee the country, a sign that overall human rights conditions remain
dire in the communist state.
2010 Jan 19, North and South
Korea discussed development of their joint industrial complex,
despite Pyongyang's recent threats it might break off all dialogue
with its neighbor and could even stage an attack.
2010 Jan 24, North Korea
threatened South Korea with war after Seoul warned it would launch a
pre-emptive strike if the North was preparing a nuclear attack, the
latest salvo in a battle of rhetoric despite signs of improved
cooperation across the militarized frontier.
2010 Jan 25, North Korea
detained an American man for illegally entering the country from
China, the 2nd arrest of a US citizen it has reported in the past
few weeks. On Jan 30, a news report said the American man has sought
asylum and wants to join the North Korean military. On April 7,
2010, state media said Aijalon Mahli Gomes (30) of Boston has been
sentenced to eight years of hard labor and ordered to pay a $700,000
fine for crossing into the communist country illegally.
(AP, 1/28/10)(AP, 1/30/10)
2010 Jan 27, North Korea fired
more than 80 shells into the sea near its disputed maritime border
with South Korea, sparking an artillery exchange which fuelled
tensions on the peninsula.
2010 Jan, A North Korean firing
squad publicly executed a factory worker for sneaking news out of
the reclusive communist country via his illicit mobile phone.
2010 Feb 1, Officials from the
two Koreas met in North Korea to discuss their joint industrial
complex just days after an exchange of gunfire at sea emphasized the
constant security threat on the divided peninsula.
2010 Feb 4, A South Korean news
report said the director of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il's secret
moneymaking "Room 39" bureau has been fired. Analysts said the move
may be a way to get around international sanctions. Room 39 is
described as the lynchpin of the North's so-called "court economy"
centered on the dynastic Kim family. The department is believed to
finance his family and top party officials with business ventures,
some legitimate and some not, that include counterfeiting and
2010 Feb 6, North Korea
released Robert Park (28), who had strode illegally into the country
on Christmas Day, shouting "I brought God's love" and carrying a
2010 Feb 11, South Korea said
the North Korean government has made a rare apology for a policy
blunder and lifted a ban on using foreign currency.
(SFC, 2/12/10, p.A2)
2010 Mar 25, It was reported
that deaths from starvation in North Korea’s South Pyongan province
was in the thousands since January and that the bodies of
malnourished elderly people were being found in the streets of
(SFC, 3/25/10, p.A4)
2010 Mar 26, A South Korean
naval ship sank leaving 46 marines missing near Baengnyeong Island.
An explosion at the rear of the Cheonan shut down its engine, wiped
out power and caused the ship to sink a little over three hours
later. 58 of the crew of 104 were rescued. A North Korean mine was
later suspected as the cause of the explosion. South Korea's defense
minister confirmed on May 10 that traces of an explosive chemical
substance used to make torpedoes were found in the wreckage of the
naval ship. It was later determined that a North Korean submarine
sank the Cheonan. Of the 104 officers and enlisted men onboard the
ship, forty-six were killed. North Korea denied responsibility for
(AP, 3/27/10)(AP, 3/29/10)(AP, 5/10/10)(AP,
2010 Mar 30, Russia's Pres.
Medvedev signed an order formally implementing UN Security
Council-approved sanctions against North Korea. The sanctions were
passed in June by the Security Council, which includes Russia.
2010 Mar, In North Korea Pak
Nam Gi, the ruling Workers' Party finance and planning department
chief who spearheaded the November, 2009, currency reform, was
executed by a firing squad in Pyongyang.
2010 Apr 1, A North Korea a
senior economist said private markets closed temporarily due to a
delay in setting prices after a currency redenomination, but the
economy has stabilized and markets reopened.
2010 Apr 8, North Korea said it
had scrapped a tourism deal with South Korea and would "freeze" some
assets owned by Seoul at a mountain resort in the communist state.
2010 Apr 11, North Korea
informed South Korea that it will begin quitting a joint tourism
project in the communist country this week, in another setback to
relations between the countries.
2010 Apr 19, The Chosun Sinbo,
a pro-North Korean newspaper published in Tokyo, said mobile phone
subscriptions are spreading fast in North Korea and could number
600,000 by the end of this year. In December 2008, North Korea
introduced a 3G mobile phone network in a joint venture with
Cairo-based Orascom Telecom.
2010 Apr 20, In South Korea two
North Korean army majors were arrested on suspicion of plotting to
kill Hwang Jang-yop (87), a high-profile defector. Jang-yop was one
of North Korea's most powerful officials when he fled the
impoverished nation 13 years ago in a defection that reportedly
enraged Kim Jong Il.
2010 Apr 22, A South Korean
news report said the South Korea's military believes a torpedo fired
from a North Korean submarine sank its navy ship last month, based
on intelligence gathered jointly with the United States.
2010 Apr 23, North Korea said
it will confiscate five South Korean-owned properties at a jointly
operated mountain resort in the isolated communist country, a
development likely to worsen already-soured relations.
2010 May 3, North Korean leader
Kim Jong Il arrived on a luxury 17-car train in China, in what would
be his first journey abroad in years as his regime faces a worsening
economy and speculation it may have torpedoed a South Korean
2010 May 6, A Chinese media
report said North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il told President Hu Jintao
during his secretive trip to Beijing that he is ready to return to
stalled nuclear disarmament negotiations.
2010 May 11, Israeli Foreign
Minister Avigdor Lieberman accused nuclear power North Korea of
supplying Syria with weapons of mass destruction.
2010 May 20, A multinational
team blamed North Korea for sinking the South Korean corvette with a
torpedo in March, claiming 46 lives, prompting an angry denial from
Pyongyang and a threat of war if it is punished.
2010 May 24, South Korea's
Pres. Lee Myung-bak cut trade to North Korea vowing the country
would "pay a price" for a torpedo attack that killed 46 sailors, and
promised to haul its impoverished neighbor before the UN Security
Council. Lee Myung-bak said that the country will take Pyongyang to
the UN Security Council, suspend inter-Korean exchanges and ban
North Korean ships from passing through its waters.
2010 May 25, North Korea
declared that it would sever all communication and relations with
Seoul as punishment for blaming it for the sinking of a South Korean
2010 May 27, South Korean
warships fired guns and dropped anti-submarine bombs in a
large-scale military exercise, a week after Seoul accused North
Korea of shooting a torpedo that sank a navy frigate in March. North
Korean declared it would scrap an accord with the South designed to
prevent armed clashes at their maritime border, and warned of
"immediate physical strikes" if any South Korean ships enter its
2010 May 29, The premier of
China, North Korea's main ally, offered condolences to South Korea
for the sinking of a warship blamed on Pyongyang after promising
that Beijing, under pressure to punish the North, would not defend
any country guilty of the attack.
2010 Jun 4, A North Korean
border guard shot and killed three Chinese citizens and wounded a
fourth on the countries' border, apparently on suspicion they were
crossing the border for illegal trade. China son lodged a formal
2010 Jun 4, South Korea handed
over a letter officially referring North Korea to the UN Security
Council over the March 26 sinking of the Cheonan, which left 46
2010 Jun 7, In North Korea the
brother-in-law of Kim Jong Il (68) was promoted to the No. 2 spot in
the secretive nation's leadership, a position that could allow him
to become the next ruler or a kingmaker who will decide which of
Kim's sons succeeds his father. Jang Song Thaek already had immense
power as the head of intelligence and the political overlord of the
prosecutor's office, the police and the courts. Kim Yong-Il, who is
unrelated to the leader, was replaced as premier by Choe Yong-Rim
who headed the Pyongyang branch of the ruling communist party.
2010 Jun 12, North Korea vowed
to launch an all-out attack against South Korean loudspeakers and
other propaganda facilities along their heavily fortified border,
warning it could even turn Seoul into a "sea of flame."
2010 Jun 14, In North Korea the
relatives of former economic official Pak Nam Gi and other officials
were collected and forcibly loaded into a wagon before being sent to
the prison camp. The information was made public on July 6 by
Seoul-based Good Friends on its website.
2010 Jun 15, The White House
said President Barack Obama has extended U.S. economic sanctions on
North Korea for another year, citing the continuing threat posed by
Pyongyang's nuclear program.
2010 Jun 18, North Korea
cancelled a scheduled World Cup press conference, just hours after
being confronted by rumors that four of their players had defected
while in South Africa.
2010 Jun 21, South Korea said
abnormally high radiation levels were detected near the border
between the two Koreas on may 15, days after North Korea claimed to
have mastered a complex technology key to manufacturing a hydrogen
2010 Jun 23, South Korean and
Japanese activists floated hundreds of thousands of leaflets by
balloon toward the border with North Korea to condemn the country's
government amid tensions over the sinking of a South Korean warship.
2010 Jul 10, North Korea
expressed willingness to return to international nuclear disarmament
talks, a sign it is satisfied with the UN Security Council's
decision to avoid directly blaming it for the sinking of a South
2010 Jul 15, North Korea's
military renewed its call for its own investigation into the March
deadly sinking of a South Korean warship as it met with the US-led
UN Command for the first time since the incident raised tensions on
the Korean peninsula.
2010 Jul 20, Seoul's
mass-circulation Dong-a Ilbo newspaper said Kwon Ho Ung, North
Korea's chief delegate from 2004 to 2007 for high-level talks with
the South's then liberal government, has been executed by firing
2010 Jul 21, The United States
announced new sanctions against North Korea, targeted against its
leadership, and warned of serious consequences if it again attacked
2010 Jul 24, North Korea vowed
to respond with "powerful nuclear deterrence" to joint US and South
Korean military exercises poised to begin this weekend, saying the
drills amount to a provocation that would prompt "retaliatory sacred
2010 Jul 25, The US and South
Korea launched a major naval exercise involving a nuclear-powered US
aircraft carrier in the Sea of Japan despite North Korea's threats
of nuclear retaliation.
2010 Jul 30, In Myanmar
official talks between North Korea and Myanmar entered a second day.
The US said it is carefully watching the budding secretive
relationship between the 2 countries for signs of nuclear
2010 Aug 2, North Korea opened
this year's massive dance and gymnastics performance known as the
Arirang Festival, turning to propaganda to unite its people amid new
US sanctions on the isolated country to squeeze its nuclear program.
2010 Aug 2, Robert Einhorn, the
State Department's special adviser for nonproliferation and arms
control, said new US sanctions against North Korea will seek to
strangle the narcotics trafficking, counterfeiting of U.S. dollars
and other "illicit and deceptive" activities that provide the regime
with the hard currency used for its nuclear weapons program.
2010 Aug 8, North Korean
authorities seized a South Korean fishing boat and its 7-man crew.
North Korea freed the crew on Sep 7.
(SFC, 8/9/10, p.A2)(AP, 9/7/10)
2010 Aug 15, South Korea’s
Pres. Lee Myung-bak proposed a 3-step plan to unify the Korean
peninsula and a new tax to help his country absorb the enormous cost
(SFC, 8/16/10, p.A4)
2010 Aug 17, North Korea
rejected a new unification proposal from South Korea, calling it a
"ridiculous" plan aimed at weakening the North in preparation for a
2010 Aug 17, A North Korean
military plane, what appeared to be a MiG-21 fighter jet, crashed in
northeastern in Liaoning province. China’s official Xinhua News
Agency later said it went down because of mechanical failure. The
pilot reportedly died on the spot.
2010 Aug 19, Jonathan Lee of
Ridgeland, Mississippi, returned from an 8-day visit to North Korea
during which he was taken on a tour of the DMZ. He said officials
there welcomed his idea for a "children's peace forest" in the
demilitarized zone dividing North and South Korea, although they
said it would only happen if the countries signed a peace treaty
2010 Aug 19, South Korea said
it has blocked North Korea's new Twitter account from being accessed
in the South, saying the tweets contain "illegal information" under
the country's security laws.
2010 Aug 20, South Korean
authorities arrested Rev. Han Sang-ryol, a religious activist, as he
returned home across the heavily fortified border after an illegal
trip to North Korea. South Korea’s government prohibits its citizens
from joining pro-North Korean organizations or having unauthorized
contact with the communist country. They also ban citizens from
supporting or praising the North.
2010 Aug 21, In China the Yalu
river, which marks the Chinese-North Korean border, breached its
banks on both sides following torrential rains. Four people died and
more than 94,000 were evacuated. In North Korea at least 5,150
people were evacuated as residents clambered on rooftops or took
shelter on hilltops.
(AFP, 8/21/10)(AP, 8/22/10)
2010 Aug 25, Former President
Jimmy Carter arrived in the capital of communist North Korea on a
private, humanitarian mission to win the release of Aijalon Gomes
(31) of Boston, an American sentenced to eight years' hard labor for
2010 Aug 26, North Korea's
reclusive leader Kim Jong Il was in China on his second visit this
year to his country's biggest source of diplomatic and financial
2010 Aug 27, Aijalon Gomes (31)
hugged former US President Jimmy Carter and boarded a plane for
Boston, seven months after his arrest in North Korea. The North's
state news agency said Kim Yong Nam, the number two leader, has told
former Carter that the reclusive state is committed to
denuclearizing the peninsula and resuming six-way talks.
(AP, 8/27/10)(Reuters, 8/27/10)
2010 Aug 28, North Korean
dictator Kim Jong Il apparently headed home after a secretive and
surprise trip that reportedly included a meeting with China's top
leader to appeal for diplomatic and financial support for a
succession plan involving his youngest son.
2010 Aug 30, Chinese state
media said North Korea's leader Kim Jong-il wants an early restart
to stalled nuclear disarmament talks, ending official silence about
Kim's secretive five-day trip ahead of a key congress.
2010 Sep 1, A South Korean news
report and an intelligence official said North Korea has changed the
names of its trading companies and falsified trade documents to
avoid international sanctions and continue exporting weapons.
2010 Sep 2, Typhoon Kompasu
struck South Korea, killing 5 people and toppling trees,
streetlights and scaffolding in what was called the strongest storm
to hit the Seoul area in 15 years. In North Korea the typhoon killed
dozens of people and destroyed roads, railways and thousands of
(AP, 9/2/10)(AP, 9/15/10)
2010 Sep 13, South Korea
announced plans to send 5,000 tons of rice and other aid to
flood-stricken North Korea in a sign of easing tension between the
2010 Sep 16, North Korea said
it proposed a joint probe with the US of the deadly March 26 sinking
of a South Korean warship. An earlier international investigation
2010 Sep 28, North Korea’s Kim
Jong Il made his mysterious youngest son, Kim Jong Un, a four-star
general in a promotion seen as the first step toward his ascent as
the country’s next leader, extending the family dynasty in the
reclusive totalitarian country to a third generation.
(AP, 9/28/10)(Econ, 10/16/10, p.47)
2010 Oct 1, Red Cross officials
from the two Koreas agreed to hold reunions for families separated
by the Korean War amid mixed signals from North Korea on easing
tensions over the sinking of a South Korean warship.
2010 Oct 8, A top North Korean
official confirmed to broadcaster APTN that Kim Jong Il's youngest
son will succeed him as the next leader of the reclusive communist
2010 Oct 10, Kim Jong Un (26),
the youngest son of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il (68), joined his
father at a massive military parade in his most public appearance
since being unveiled as the nation's next leader. South Korean
activists also sent some 20,000 leaflets packed with $1 bills and
CDs carrying anti-Kim Jong Un rap songs floating across the border
in hopes of reaching ordinary North Koreans.
2010 Oct 10, In South Korea
Hwang Jang-yop (87), the key architect of North Korea's isolationist
state policy, was found dead at his Seoul residence. He once
mentored authoritarian leader Kim Jong Il before defecting to South
Korea in 1997.
2010 Oct 11, North Korea’s Kim
Jong Nam, the casino-loving eldest son of Kim Jong Il, said he
opposes a hereditary transfer of power to his youngest half-brother.
Analysts say Kim Jong Nam spends so much time outside his native
land that his opinion carries little weight. He spoke to Japan's TV
Asahi in an interview from Beijing.
2010 Oct 16, North Korea said
it is willing to resume six-nation nuclear disarmament talks but
would not be "hasty" because the US and some other parties were not
ready. North Korean media threatened a "1,000-fold" military buildup
as the US ruled out lifting sanctions to try to coax the North into
resuming talks aimed at its nuclear weapons programs.
(AP, 10/16/10)(AFP, 10/16/10)
2010 Oct 25, South Korea
prepared to send 5,000 tons of rice to flood victims in North Korea
in its first humanitarian rice shipment to its communist neighbor
since a conservative, pro-US government took office in 2008.
2010 Oct 27, South Korea's Red
Cross said North Korea is demanding that South Korea resume
large-scale food aid and joint economic projects in return for
regular reunions of family members separated by the Korean War more
than a half century ago.
2010 Oct 29, North and South
Korea exchanged gunfire across their heavily armed land border,
despite an apparent thaw in tensions on the divided peninsula in the
past few months.
2010 Oct 30, Hundreds of North
and South Korean family members separated for more than half a
century by the Korean War embraced each other in tearful reunions.
2010 Oct, In North Korean Choi
Jin-I in co-operation with Asia Press (Tokyo) began publishing the
Rimjingang magazine. Rimjin-gang aimed to bring objective news to
the people of North Korea. The reporters were trained in undercover
recording techniques in China.
2010 Nov 9, A UN report
suggesting North Korea may have supplied Syria, Iran and Myanmar
with banned nuclear technology headed to the Security Council. The
latest report by the so-called Panel of Experts on Pyongyang's
compliance with UN sanctions was delivered to the Security Council's
North Korea sanctions committee in May, but did not move for nearly
six months due to Chinese objections.
2010 Nov 11, A woman (41) made
her way to South Korea from North Korea becoming the 20,000th
defector to do so. The last 10,000 came over the last 3 years.
(Econ, 11/20/10, p.50)
2010 Nov 15, South Korea's
government the number of North Koreans defecting to South Korea has
surged in recent years because of economic suffering in the North,
with more than 10,000 defections over the past three years.
2010 Nov 19, A UN General
Assembly committee passed resolutions condemning human rights
violations in Iran, North Korea and Myanmar, provoking a furious
reaction from their delegations. The committee passed the resolution
by 80 votes to 44, with 57 abstentions.
2010 Nov 20, American scientist
Siegfried Hecker, a former director of the US Los Alamos Nuclear
Laboratory, said in a report that he was taken during a recent trip
to the North's main Yongbyon atomic complex to a small
industrial-scale uranium enrichment facility. It had 2,000 recently
completed centrifuges. The North told him it was producing
low-enriched uranium meant for a new reactor. North Korea told
Hecker it began construction on the centrifuges in April 2009 and
finished only a few days before the scientist's Nov. 12 visit.
2010 Nov 22, The US and its
allies accused North Korea of being a danger to the region after it
showed off its latest advances in uranium enrichment, but Washington
said it was still open to talks.
2010 Nov 23, North and South
Korea exchanged artillery fire after the North shelled Yeonpyeong
island near their disputed sea border, killing at least 2 South
Korean marines and 2 civilians, setting dozens of buildings ablaze
and sending civilians fleeing for shelter.
(AP, 11/23/10)(AFP, 11/24/10)(Econ, 10/26/13, SR
2010 Nov 28, China called for
emergency talks on resolving a crisis on the Korean peninsula, and
Seoul and Tokyo said they would study the proposal, as the US and
South Korean militaries started a massive drill.
2010 Nov, Jun Young-su, a
Korean-American businessman from Orange County, Ca., was arrested in
North Korea in connection with illegal religious activities.
(SFC, 4/15/11, p.A2)
2010 Dec 3, South Korea
threatened to bomb North Korea if it tries a repeat of last week's
attack, raising its rhetoric after the US warned of an "immediate
threat" from Pyongyang. A sniper shot and killed a policeman manning
a checkpoint in Baghdad. Gunmen with silencers opened fire from a
speeding car on a police colonel and wounded him.
2010 Dec 6, The US, South Korea
and Japan all urged China to help rein in its ally North Korea and
vowed solidarity in defending Seoul from any further attacks from
2010 Dec 7, South Korea's Pres.
Lee Myung-bak promised to transform five islands that lie along the
tense maritime border with North Korea into "military fortresses"
impervious to the kind of deadly attack the rival neighbor launched
2010 Dec 9, Communist allies
North Korea and China proclaimed their unity as the North's leader
Kim Jong-Il held his first meeting with a senior Chinese envoy since
the region's worst crisis in years erupted.
2010 Dec 17, North Korea said
it would strike again at the South if a live-firing drill by Seoul
on a disputed island went ahead, with an even stronger response than
last month's shelling that killed four people. Russia urged South
Korea to halt plans for the artillery drill.
(AP, 12/17/10)(Reuters, 12/17/10)
2010 Dec 19, The UN Security
Council held an emergency meeting on rising tensions on the Korean
2010 Dec 20, North Korea said
it would not react to "reckless" military drills by the South,
despite an earlier threat to retaliate, and CNN reported that
Pyongyang had agreed to the return of nuclear inspectors.
2010 Dec 21, China urged North
Korea to follow through on its offer to allow UN nuclear monitors
into the country as a way to alleviate international tensions during
a standoff with the South.
2010 B.R. Myers authored “The
Cleanest Race: How North Koreans See Themselves And Why It Matters."
(Econ, 2/27/10, p.52)
2010 The Israeli-based Shurat
HaDin law center won $378 million in a US court against North Korea
over the killing of Americans at an Israeli airport in 1972, but it
was unable to collect.
2011 Jan 5, North Korea
proposed "unconditional" talks with Seoul to mend battered
cross-border ties, in its most conciliatory remarks since cranking
up tensions by shelling a South Korean island. South Korea dismissed
the North Korean offer.
(AFP, 1/5/11)(Reuters, 1/5/11)
2011 Jan 8, North Korea
reiterated a proposal for unconditional talks with South Korea to
ease tensions on the divided peninsula.
2011 Jan 10, South Korea
rebuffed a North proposal for talks to ease tensions but extended
its own offer to discuss last year's two military attacks blamed on
Pyongyang and North Korea's nuclear program.
2011 Jan 12, North and South
Korea restored an important cross-border communication channel,
though South Korea still rejected North Korea's calls for talks to
defuse high tensions.
2011 Jan 20, South Korea agreed
to a North Korean offer of high-level military talks, a major
breakthrough in the crisis on the peninsula which improves the
prospect of renewed aid-for-disarmament negotiations.
2011 Jan 23, North Korea's
leader Kim Jong Il held talks with an Orascom Telecom Executive
Naguib Sawiris, an Egyptian telecoms magnate. In 2008 Orascom set up
and began operating an advanced mobile phone network in North Korea.
2011 Jan 26, In South Korea an
art exhibition by North Korean defector Song Byeok opened in Seoul.
One work featured the head of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il,
smiling beneath his trademark sunglasses and wall of black hair,
atop the body of Marilyn Monroe, pushing down her white dress in an
2011 Jan 28, North Korea’s Kim
Jong Nam said his father opposed continuing the family dynasty into
a third generation but named his youngest son as heir to keep the
country stable, according to TV Asahi.
2011 Feb 8, Military officers
from North and South Korea held talks inside the heavily guarded
Demilitarized Zone in the rivals' first official dialogue since the
North's deadly artillery barrage of a South Korean island in
2011 Feb 9, North Korean
military officers stalked out of the first official talks with rival
South Korea in months, dashing hopes for eased tensions after a
deadly artillery attack in November increased fears of war on the
peninsula. The meeting was sunk because the two sides disagreed
about what should be on the agenda of their next talks.
2011 Feb 28, US and South
Korean troops launched major annual land, sea and air exercises,
amid North Korean threats to turn Seoul into a "sea of flames" in
the event of any provocation.
2011 Mar 4, North Korea blocked
the repatriation of 27 citizens whose boat drifted into South Korean
waters, insisting that Seoul also hand over four others who want to
stay in the South. The 31 North Koreans were travelling on a fishing
boat which drifted across the Yellow Sea border in thick fog on
2011 Mar 4, The UN said its
Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and World Organization for
Animal Health (OIE) has sent a team of animal health experts
to North Korea to help manage an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease
that could worsen a food crisis.
2011 Mar 27, The Red Cross said
South Korea has repatriated 27 of 31 North Koreans whose status was
uncertain for more than a month because 4 others on their drifting
fishing boat defected.
2011 Apr 26, Former US
President Jimmy Carter and three other former heads of state
embarked on a three-day mission to North Korea, where they plan to
discuss dangerous food shortages and stalled nuclear disarmament
2011 Apr 27, In North Korea
former US president Jimmy Carter met with Kim Yong-Nam, North
Korea's de facto head of state, during a peace mission to Pyongyang
and said in a blog posting that the North seeks better ties with
Washington. Travelling with Carter on this trip were former Finnish
president Martti Ahtisaari, ex-Norwegian prime minister Gro Harlem
Brundtland and former Irish president Mary Robinson.
2011 Apr 28, In South Korea
former US President Jimmy Carter said that North Korean leader Kim
Jong Il wants direct talks with South Korea's leader, an offer
unlikely to be accepted until Pyongyang takes responsibility for
violence that killed 50 South Koreans last year.
2011 May 13, A report was
submitted to the Security Council by a UN Panel of Experts, a group
that monitors compliance with UN sanctions imposed on Pyongyang
after it conducted two nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009. It said North
Korea and Iran appear to have been regularly exchanging ballistic
missile technology in violation of UN sanctions. The report said the
illicit technology transfers had "trans-shipment through a
neighboring 3rd country," said to be China.
2011 May 17, China downplayed a
UN report saying North Korea remains "actively engaged" in exporting
ballistic missiles, components and technology to numerous customers
in the Middle East, saying it was not an official Security Council
2011 May 19, A South Korean
court boosted the amount the government must pay a group of North
Korean defectors who say a leak of their identities led to
retaliation against their families in the North.
2011 May 21, North Korean
leader Kim Jong Il was said to have visited an industrial city in
northeastern China and appeared headed to Beijing by train on the
second day of a mysterious trip to his country's most important
2011 May 23, North Korean
leader Kim Jong-Il visited a development zone in eastern China, as
he pursued a secretive trip aimed at seeking answers for his
nation's crippled economy.
2011 May 24, North Korea’s
reclusive leader Kim Jong Il reportedly traveled to an eastern
Chinese city to study Beijing's economic reforms, while a US
government team was in North Korea on a rare trip to assess food
2011 May 25, North Korean
leader Kim Jong-Il arrived in Beijing and was seen en route to what
was believed to be a summit with Chinese President Hu Jintao.
2011 May 26, China Central
Television said North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il said he would adhere
to the goal of a nuclear-free Korean peninsula during talks with
Chinese President Hu Jintao.
2011 May 28, North Korea freed
American Eddie Jun, who was held for a half year for reportedly
proselytizing, handing him to a US envoy who said Washington had not
promised to provide aid in exchange for the man's release.
2011 Jun 3, North Korea vowed
to launch "retaliatory military actions" against South Korea, a
threat that came days after Seoul said its military had used photos
of Pyongyang's ruling family for target practice.
2011 Jun 16, North Korea
demanded the immediate return of nine citizens who defected by sea
and warned Seoul ties between the nations could worsen otherwise.
2011 Jul 1, North Korea assumed
the rotating presidency of the 65-nation Conference on Disarmament,
the world's top disarmament body, for four weeks.
2011 Jul 4, North Koreans
gathered at a massive rally in Pyongyang to denounce the
conservative government of South Korean President Lee Myung-bak as a
"group of unparalleled traitors."
2011 Jul 4, The European Union
said it will restart food aid to North Korea after the country's
repressive communist regime agreed to an unprecedented monitoring
system as it suffers through its worst food crisis in years. The WFP
will check delivery at every stage and pay more than 400 visits a
month to distribution sites, hospitals, child-care facilities and
2011 Jul 11, Canada said it
will boycott the UN Conference on Disarmament for the several weeks
that North Korea is chairing it.
2011 Jul 28, In NYC the United
States opened discussions with North Korea, in a move testing
Pyongyang's willingness to negotiate giving up its nuclear arsenal.
2011 Jul 29, Parts of North
Korean land mines washed down a swollen river into South Korea, and
troops searched for other mines that may have been dislodged by
deadly landslides and flooding that has stricken the peninsula. A
2-day downpour left at least 40 people dead.
(AP, 7/29/11)(SFC, 7/29/11, p.A2)
2011 Aug 1, North Korea
launched a massive synchronized dance and gymnastics show meant to
glorify its leaders and unify its people ahead of a crucial
anniversary next year.
2011 Aug 9, South Korean
officials said its ministry which handles relations with North Korea
has been targeted by hackers in the latest of a series of online
attacks on government and corporate websites.
2011 Aug 9, In North Korea
Tropical Storm Muifa caused over 10 deaths and injuries.
(SFC, 8/10/11, p.A2)
2011 Aug 19, Russia and North
Korea both announced that Moscow will provide food assistance,
including some 50,000 tons of wheat, to Pyongyang. North Korea might
face another food crisis this year due to heavy rains.
2011 Aug 20, Reclusive North
Korea's autocratic leader Kim Jong Il crossed into Russia on his
armored train to discuss with President Dmitry Medvedev the possible
renewal of nuclear disarmament talks and the construction of a
pipeline that will stream Russian natural gas to both Koreas.
2011 Aug 22, North Korea vowed
to scrap all South Korean property at a joint mountain resort could
end what was once a rare haven for curious southern tourists within
North Korea. The South immediately expressed regret about the
North's comments on Diamond Mountain and planned to seek
2011 Aug 22, Russian military
officers flew to North Korea for talks about renewing military ties
as North Korean leader Kim Jong Il's armored train rolled through
the resource-rich far east of Russia on his secretive journey to a
summit with President Dmitry Medvedev.
2011 Aug 24, North Korean
leader Kim Jong Il met with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev near
Lake Baikal. A spokesman for Medvedev said North Korea is ready to
impose a moratorium on nuclear missile tests if international talks
on its nuclear program resume.
2011 Aug 25, South Korea
prosecutors said 5 South Koreans, including a former parliamentary
aide, have been indicted for allegedly spying for North Korea.
2011 Aug 26, North Korean
leader Kim Jong Il renewed a push to restart talks on swapping aid
for his country's nuclear disarmament during a stop in northeastern
China on his return journey from Russia.
2011 Sep 13, Nine North Koreans
who spent five days at sea in a small wooden boat were towed to a
Japanese port after they were spotted off the coast of central
2011 Sep 27, It was reported
that 3 activists opposing the North Korean government have been
subjects in assassination attempts over the last 3 weeks by agents
wielding poisoned needles. Two of the attacks took place in China,
near the North Korean border, and the 3rd in Seoul, South Korea.
(SFC, 9/27/11, p.A3)
2011 Oct 20, A United Nations
envoy said North Korea is estimated to hold up to 200,000 people in
political prisons, a sharp increase from a decade ago. South Korea
estimates that North Korea holds 154,000 political prisoners in six
large camps across the country.
2011 Oct 25, In Geneva US and
North Korean officials concluded their two-day talks about
Pyongyang's nuclear program. Top US envoy Stephen Bosworth expressed
confidence about the prospects of restarting long-stalled nuclear
negotiations after two days of "very positive" talks with North
2011 Nov 5, A South Korean
official said 21 North Koreans were found in a boat drifting in
South Korean waters this week, the largest such arrival in nine
2011 Dec 17, North Korean
leader Kim Jong Il (b.1941) died of a heart attack. His third son,
Kim Jong Un, was expected to succeed his father.
(AP, 12/19/11)(Econ, 12/31/11, p.74)
2011 Dec 17, It was reported
that North Korea has agreed to suspend its enriched-uranium nuclear
weapons program, a key United States demand for the resumption of
disarmament talks, as Washington agreed to provide the North with up
to 240,000 tons of food aid.
2012 Jan 18, A book titled "My
Father, Kim Jong Il and Me," by Tokyo-based journalist Yoji Gomi,
went on sale. The author said it is based primarily on email
exchanges he had with Kim Jong Nam over many years.
2012 Jan 28, South Korean
activists floated giant balloons carrying boxes of socks into North
Korea hoping that North Koreans could wear the socks or trade them
for food during the harsh winter.
2012 Feb 2, North Korea's top
ruling body again rebuffed South Korea's call for talks, saying
Seoul's conservative leaders should first "repent of their crimes"
and honor past summit agreements.
2012 Feb 10, Eight South Korean
lawmakers made a high-profile visit to a modern factory park that
sits just across the world's most heavily armed border and
represents the last major cooperative initiative between the two
2012 Feb 14, In South Korea
over one hundred people rallied near the Chinese Embassy to protest
China’s state security police for arresting dozens of North Korean
defectors who face torture, imprisonment and even death if returned
to their homeland.
(SFC, 2/15/12, p.A2)
2012 Feb 23, In China the
United States and North Korea resumed talks delayed by the death of
North Korea's longtime leader Kim Jong Il two months ago, with the
US envoy saying he and his counterpart covered US food aid and other
2012 Feb 27, South Korean
legislator Park Sun-Young (55), who has staged a week-long hunger
strike outside China's embassy, vowed to fast until death unless
Beijing ends its policy of repatriating North Korean refugees.
2012 Feb 29, North Korea's new
leadership said it would suspend nuclear and missile tests and its
uranium enrichment program as part of a deal that includes US food
aid for the impoverished nation.
2012 Mar 4, Thousands of North
Korean troops and citizens rallied to slam the South Korean leader
as Pyongyang again ramped up its hostile rhetoric against Seoul
despite a surprise nuclear deal with the US.
2012 Mar 16, North Korea
announced plans to blast a satellite into space on the back of a
long-range rocket, a provocative move that could jeopardize a
weeks-old agreement with the US exchanging food aid for nuclear
concessions. North Korea also invited the International Atomic
Energy Agency to return, three years after expelling its nuclear
(AP, 3/16/12)(AP, 3/20/12)
2012 Mar 26, In South Korea
leaders or top officials from 53 nations gathered in Seoul for a
summit on nuclear security. President Obama said the United States
would further cut its own nuclear stockpiles, as he warned North
Korea and Iran to back down over their atomic plans.
2012 Mar 27, In South Korea
world leaders including US President Barack Obama called for strong
steps to combat nuclear terrorism, wrapping up a 53-nation summit
overshadowed by North Korea's planned rocket launch.
2012 Apr 13, North Korea’s
satellite launch, hailed as a moment of national pride, ended in
failure when the rocket disintegrated over the Yellow Sea, earning
Pyongyang embarrassment as well as condemnation from a host of
nations that deemed it a covert test of missile technology.
2012 Apr 14, The United States
called off plans to send food aid to North Korea after the
impoverished state's defiant rocket launch, as an aid group feared
more than two million children would go hungry.
2012 Apr 15, North Korea's new
leader, Kim Jong Un, addressed his nation and the world for the
first time, vowing to place top priority on his impoverished
nation's military, which promptly unveiled a new long-range missile.
2012 Apr 16, The UN Security
Council tightened sanctions against North Korea over its failed
rocket launch and warned of new "action" if the isolated state
stages a new nuclear test.
2012 Apr 20, In North Korea
tens of thousands rallied, screaming hatred for South Korean
President Lee Myung-Bak and calling for his death over alleged
insults during the North's anniversary celebrations.
2012 Apr 28, North Korea began
sending electronic GPS jamming signals affecting civilian flights in
South Korea amid simmering cross-border tensions.
2012 Apr, North Korea held an
estimated 150,000 to 200,000 political prisoners in labor camps
along its northern reaches.
(Econ, 4/21/12, p.20)
2012 May 2, The UN Security
Council put three top North Korean state firms on a sanctions black
list over the country's failed rocket launch.
2012 May 8, A North Korean boat
hijacked three boats with 29 Chinese fishermen on board and demanded
1.2 million yuan ($190,000) for their release. The fisherman were
freed May 20 after being held for 13 days.
(AP, 5/17/12)(AFP, 5/21/12)
2012 May 13, North Korea
stopped transmitting signals which jammed the GPS systems of
hundreds of civilian aircraft and ships in South Korea for two
weeks. The signals originated from the North's border city of
Kaesong and began on April 28.
2012 May 21, North Korea’s
official Central News Agency expressed concern about drought in
western areas, which it said had received little rainfall in the
past few weeks. A Seoul-based online newspaper said some residents
even in the southwestern rice belt have starved to death.
2012 May 25, North Korea state
media said the country is suffering a prolonged and widespread
drought, raising fears it will worsen already dire food shortages.
2012 May, A South Korean
government funded human rights group published a 381-page report
containing some 200 face-to-face interviews with defectors who
survived political prison camps in North Korea.
(SFC, 5/10/12, p.A5)
2012 Jun 26, Meteorological
officials in Pyongyang and Seoul said parts of North Korea are
experiencing the most severe drought since record keeping began
nearly 105 years ago. South Korean officials also reported the worst
drought in more than a century in some areas after nearly two months
without significant rainfall.
2012 Jun 28, The North Korean
government launched a new program: “On the Establishing of a New
Economic Management System in Our Own Style." It reportedly allowed
farmers to sell nearly one third of their harvests at market prices.
(SFC, 9/13/12, p.A5)
2012 Jul 5, South Korean
activist No Su-hui (68) was arrested as soon as he set foot on home
soil, resisting police in a stunt of defiance after an unapproved,
3-month stay in the North.
2012 Jul 10, South Korean
police said they were investigating 27 North Korean refugees for
swindling private insurance firms out of hundreds of thousands of
dollars in bogus medical claims. More than 23,500 North Koreans have
settled in the South since the 1950-53 war.
2012 Jul 28, North Korea’s
state media said flooding across the country this month has killed
88 people, left tens of thousands homeless and devastated swathes of
2012 Jul 30, Heavy rain pounded
North Korea for a 2nd day, submerging buildings, cutting off power,
flooding rice paddies and forcing people and their livestock to
reach safety on rooftops.
2012 Aug 4, North Korean state
news said floods which hit parts of North Korea in recent weeks
killed 169 people and left 400 missing, sharply updating earlier
casualty figures. Over 200,000 people reportedly lost their homes.
(AFP, 8/4/12)(Econ, 8/11/12, p.33)
2012 Aug 29, Japan and North
Korea held their first face-to-face talks in four years, in an
attempt to lay the groundwork to overcome decades of mutual
2012 Sep 1, Iran and North
Korea signed a scientific and technological cooperation agreement,
bringing the two nations deeply at odds with the US closer together.
2012 Sep 17, Typhoon Sanba
lashed North and South Korea killing at least 2 people.
(SFC, 9/18/12, p.A2)
2012 Oct 6, A North Korean
soldier killed two of his superiors and defected to South Korea
across the countries' heavily armed border in a rare crossing that
prompted South Korean troops to immediately beef up their border
2012 Oct 7, South Korea
announced that a US accord has been altered to allow the South to
have ballistic missiles with a range of up to 800 km (500 miles) to
better cope with North Korea's nuclear and missile threats.
2012 Oct 22, South Korean
activists floated balloons carrying tens of thousands of
anti-Pyongyang leaflets into North Korea, eluding police who had
disrupted an earlier launch attempt due to threats from North Korea.
2012 Nov, In North Korea
Kenneth Bae, a devout Christian from Washington state, was arrested
in Rason, a special economic zone in North Korea's far northeastern
region bordering China and Russia. On April 27, 2013, North Korea
announced that Bae is being tried in the Supreme Court on charges of
plotting to overthrow the government.
2012 Dec 12, North Korea
launched its Unha rocket, named after the Korean word for "galaxy."
The 3-stage rocket blasted off from the Sohae launch pad in
Tongchang-ri, northwest of Pyongyang, and put a satellite into
2012 Dec 13, South Korean media
reported that Kenneth Bae (44), a US citizen has been held in North
Korea for a month. Security officials there had found a hard disk
found in his possession they they believed contained sensitive
(SFC, 12/14/12, p.A2)
2012 Dec 18, Astronomers
reported that North Korea’s new satellite, launched on Dec 12, is
most likely dead.
(SFC, 12/18/12, p.A2)
2012 Dec 21, North Korea said
that an American citizen, identified as Pae Jun Ho, has been
detained after confessing to unspecified crimes, confirming news
reports about his arrest. State media said Pae arrived in the far
northeastern city of Rajin on Nov. 3 as part of a tour.
2012 Victor Cha authored “The
Impossible State: North Korea, Past and Future."
(Econ, 8/11/12, p.75)
2012 Blaine Harden authored
“Escape from Camp 14." It told the story of Shin Dong-hyuk, who
escaped from a North Korean labor camp in 2005 at age 22.
(Econ, 4/21/12, p.55)
2013 Jan 1, North Korean leader
Kim Jong-un called for an end to confrontation between the two
Koreas, technically still at war in the absence of a peace treaty to
end their 1950-53 conflict, in a surprise New Year speech broadcast
on state media.
2013 Jan 8, Students at North
Korea's premier university showed Google's executive chairman Eric
Schmidt how they look for information online: they Google it. Kim Su
Hyang, a librarian, said students at Kim Il Sung University have had
Internet access since the laboratory opened in April 2010.
2013 Jan 22, The UN Security
Council voted unanimously to adopt Resolution 2087, the third of its
kind since 2006, condemning a North Korean rocket launch as
violating a ban on missile activity.
(AP, 1/23/13)(Econ, 2/2/13, p.34)
2013 Jan 24, North Korea's top
governing body warned that the regime will conduct its third nuclear
test in defiance of UN punishment, and made clear that its
long-range rockets are designed to carry not only satellites but
also warheads aimed at striking the United States.
2013 Jan 25, North Korea
threatened to attack rival South Korea if Seoul joined a new round
of tightened UN sanctions, as Washington unveiled more of its own
economic restrictions following Pyongyang's rocket launch last
2013 Jan 25, Washington and
Beijing agreed that any North Korean nuclear test will lead to North
Korea's further isolation and set back efforts to restart regional
2013 Feb 9, Assailants in
northeastern Nigeria killed 3 North Korean doctors, beheading one of
the physicians in Potiskum. They had lived in the state since 2005
as part of a medical program between Nigeria and the North Korean
2013 Feb 12, North Korea said
it tested a “miniaturized" nuclear device in the remote, snowy
northeast. China summoned the North's ambassador for a
dressing-down. Experts assumed it was nuclear partly from the shape
of its seismic signal.
(AP, 2/12/13)(SFC, 2/12/13, p.A2)
2013 Feb 18, EU finance
ministers, condemning the Feb. 12 nuclear test by North Korea,
imposed more trade and economic sanctions on the Asian nation.
2013 Feb 26, Former NBA star
Dennis Rodman brought his basketball skills and flamboyant style to
the isolated Communist country with possibly the world's drabbest
dress code: North Korea. Rodman was joining three members of the
Harlem Globetrotters basketball team for a Vice Media production to
air on HBO in early April.
2013 Mar 5, The United States
and China reached a deal that "significantly expands" UN sanctions
on North Korea for its third nuclear test, eliciting a renewed
threat by Pyongyang to scrap an armistice that ended the 1950-53
2013 Mar 7, The UN Security
Council voted unanimously for tough new sanctions to punish North
Korea for its latest nuclear test. North Korea’s Army Gen. Kang Pyo
Yong told a crowd of tens of thousands that North Korea is ready to
fire long-range nuclear-armed missiles at Washington.
2013 Mar 9, North Korea
formally rejected a UN Security Council resolution that demands an
end to its nuclear arms program, as China called for calm, saying
sanctions were not the "fundamental" way to resolve tensions on the
2013 Mar 11, North Korea’s main
newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, reported that the 60-year-old armistice
that ended the Korean War was nullified today as Pyongyang had
earlier announced it would.
2013 Mar 15, North Korea blamed
South Korea and the United States for cyber-attacks that temporarily
shut down websites this week at a time of elevated tensions over the
North's nuclear ambitions.
2013 Mar 20, In South Korea a
cyberattack caused computer networks at major banks and top TV
broadcasters to crash simultaneously. North Korea was suspected.
Initial findings said a Chinese Internet address was the source of
(SFC, 3/21/13, p.A4)
2013 Mar 21, The UN’s top human
rights body unanimously approved a formal probe into North Korea for
possible crimes against humanity.
2013 Mar 22, US officials in
Beijing for two days of talks to lobby China on enforcement of new
UN sanctions against North Korea said that they were heartened by
Chinese expressions of resolve. Spurring Beijing to cooperate, the
US officials said, is a concern that North Korean behavior had begun
threatening China's interests in a region vital to its economic and
2013 Mar 27, North Korea cut
its last military hotline with Seoul, a link that has been essential
in operating the last major symbol of inter-Korean cooperation: an
industrial complex in the North that employs hundreds of workers
from the South.
2013 Mar 29, North Korean
leader Kim Jong Un warned that his rocket forces were ready "to
settle accounts with the US," unleashing a new round of bellicose
rhetoric after US nuclear-capable B-2 bombers dropped dummy
munitions in joint military drills with South Korea.
2013 Mar 30, North Korea warned
Seoul that the Korean Peninsula had entered "a state of war" and
threatened to shut down a border factory complex that's the last
major symbol of inter-Korean cooperation.
2013 Apr 1, North Korea's
parliament approved the appointment of Pak Pong Ju as the new
premier. A day earlier the economic technocrat was made a full
member of the Politburo. He was the North's premier in 2003-2007,
and was seen by outside experts as an economic reformer.
(AP, 4/1/13)(SFC, 4/2/13, p.A2)
2013 Apr 1, South Korea said it
will strike back quickly if the North stages any attack.
2013 Apr 2, North Korea said it
will restart its long-shuttered plutonium reactor and increase
production of nuclear weapons material. Outsiders saw this as its
latest attempt to extract US concessions.
2013 Apr 3, North Korea barred
South Korean workers from entering a jointly run factory park just
over the heavily armed border in the North.
2013 Apr 4, North Korea warned
that its military has been cleared to wage an attack on the US using
"smaller, lighter and diversified nuclear" weapons. South Korea's
defense minister said North Korea has moved a missile with
"considerable range" to its east coast, but he added that there are
no signs that the North is preparing for a full-scale conflict.
2013 Apr 5, North Korea warned
it could not guarantee the safety of diplomats after next Wednesday
and asked embassies to consider moving staff out of the country.
2013 Apr 5, South Korean media
reported that North Korea had placed two of its intermediate-range
missiles on mobile launchers and hidden them on the east coast of
the country in a move that could threaten Japan or US Pacific bases.
2013 Apr 5, Russia's foreign
minister said Moscow doesn't understand why North Korea has
suggested that Moscow and other countries close their embassies in
Pyongyang, and he says he's concerned about the high tensions on the
2013 Apr 6, North Korea’s
Kaesong industrial complex, the last vestige of cooperation with the
South, moved closer to paralysis as nearly 100 South Korean workers
went home across a border that Pyongyang has closed in the return
2013 Apr 7, China warned
against "troublemaking" on its doorstep, in an apparent rebuke to
North Korea, and the US said it was postponing a missile test to
help calm high tension on the divided Korean peninsula.
2013 Apr 8, North Korea said it
will suspend operations at a factory complex it has jointly run with
South Korea, pulling out more than 53,000 North Korean workers and
moving closer to severing its last economic link with its rival as
2013 Apr 9, North Korea urged
all foreign companies and tourists in South Korea to evacuate
because it says the rival Koreas are on the eve of a nuclear war.
2013 Apr 10, South Korea's
foreign minister told lawmakers that the prospect of a North Korean
missile test is "considerably high," as Pyongyang calmly prepared to
mark the April 15 birthday of its founder, historically a time when
it seeks to draw the world's attention with dramatic displays of
2013 Apr 11, North Korea
delivered a fresh round of rhetoric with claims it had "powerful
striking means" on standby for a missile launch. G-8 foreign,
meeting London, condemned North Korea's aggressive rhetoric and the
development of its nuclear missile programs, saying that Pyongyang's
recent actions threaten international security.
2013 Apr 13, China and the US
committed to a process aimed at ridding North Korea of its nuclear
2013 Apr 13, The renowned
London School of Economics denounced the BBC for using a
student-organized trip to North Korea as "cover" for a reporting
trip to the secretive communist country.
2013 Apr 15, The Pulitzer Prize
for fiction went to San Francisco writer Adam Johnson for “The
Orphan Master’s Son," a novel set in North Korea. “No North Korean
has read a book, as we think of a book – as a work of art whose job
it is to iluminate the human experience – in three
(SFC, 4/20/13, p.D1)
2013 Apr 16, North Korea issued
new threats against South Korea, vowing "sledge-hammer blows" of
retaliation if South Korea did not apologize for anti-North Korean
protests the previous day when the North was celebrating the birth
of its founding leader.
2013 Apr 18, North Korea
demanded the lifting of UN sanctions and the end of US-South Korea
military drills as conditions for resuming talks meant to defuse
tension on the Korean Peninsula.
2013 Apr 21, A South Korean
news agency reported that North Korea has moved two short-range
missile launchers to its east coast, apparently indicating it is
pushing ahead with preparations for a test launch.
2013 Apr 26, Seoul said that it
has decided to withdraw the roughly 175 South Koreans still at a
jointly run factory complex in North Korea, raising a major question
about the survival of the last symbol of inter-Korean cooperation.
2013 Apr 29, North Korea
approved the withdrawal of most of the remaining South Korean
personnel at a jointly run industrial park in the North, with a
final seven set to stay behind to negotiate unpaid wages for North
2013 Apr, North Korea relaxed
state control of salaries. The change in policy was reportedly
intended to boost production by giving companies latitude to provide
workers with financial incentives.
2013 May 2, North Korea’s media
said Kenneth Bae (44), a Korean American detained for six months in
North Korea, has been sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for
"hostile acts" against the state. In August Bae was reportedly
hospitalized after losing over 50 pounds.
(AP, 5/2/13)(SFC, 8/12/13, p.A2)
2013 May 5, North Koreans
seized a Chinese fishing boat in what the boat owner maintained were
Chinese waters. The gun-toting North Koreans demanded a 600,000 yuan
2013 May 7, The Bank of China
said it has issued a bank account closing notice to North Korea’s
Foreign Trade Bank.
(SFC, 5/8/13, p.A3)
2013 May 9, Nine young
defectors from North Korea, ages 15-23, entered Laos through
China. The alleged orphans were caught by Laotian authorities on May
16 and soon returned to North Korea. On May 31 the UN human rights
chief criticized China and Laos for their actions.
(SFC, 6/1/13, p.A2)
2013 May 21, Chinese boat owner
Yu Xuejun said gunmen wearing North Korean military uniforms
released his fishing boat after holding its crew since May 5,
beating up the captain and stealing the vessel's fuel. He added that
the hijackers did not get the 600,000 yuan ($100,000) ransom they
2013 May 24, North Korean Vice
Marshal Choe Ryong Hae delivered a letter from leader Kim Jong Un to
Chinese President Xi Jinping and told him Pyongyang would take steps
to rejoin stalled six-nation nuclear disarmament talks, in an
apparent victory for Beijing's efforts to coax its unruly ally into
2013 Jun 6, North and South
Korea agreed to hold talks on reopening a jointly run factory
complex and other cross-border issues, after months of deteriorating
relations and a day before a US-China summit in which the North is
expected to be a key topic.
2013 Jun 9, Government
delegates from North and South Korea held preparatory talks at a
"truce village" on their heavily armed border aimed at setting
ground rules for a higher-level discussion on easing animosity and
restoring stalled rapprochement projects.
2013 Jun 11, South Korea said
its first high-level talks in years with North Korea have been
scrapped because of a stalemate over who will lead each delegation.
The last minister-level meeting between the Koreas occurred in 2007.
2013 Jun 16, North Korea's top
governing body proposed high-level nuclear and security talks with
the United States in an appeal sent just days after calling off
talks with rival South Korea.
2013 Jun 27, In China Pres. Xi
Jinping and South Korean Pres. Park Geun-hye called for a swift
resumption of six-nation North Korean nuclear disarmament talks
after a summit that brought together Pyongyang's archrival and its
2013 Jun 27, The Obama
administration said it was sanctioning North Korea's Daedong Credit
Bank for its role in supporting Pyongyang's weapons of mass
2013 Jul 4, North and South
Korea agreed to hold talks aimed at reopening a jointly run factory
park that was a rare source of cash for the North three weeks after
their last attempt at dialogue collapsed in bickering over protocol.
2013 Jul 6, Delegates from
North and South Korea held talks on restarting a stalled joint
factory park that had been a symbol of cooperation between the
bitter rivals, but there was no word on whether any significant
progress had been made as discussions went into the night.
2013 Jul 7, North and South
Korea agreed to take steps to reopen a jointly run industrial park,
including facilities inspections, after the two rivals staged a
marathon meeting lasting more than 16 hours to arrange details.
2013 Jul 10, Talks between the
rival Koreas aimed at restarting a stalled inter-Korean factory park
ended with no breakthrough. Both sides agreed to meet again next
week to discuss restoring what was once a rare symbol of cooperation
between the archrivals.
2013 Jul 11, North Korea
withdrew offers for talks with South Korea on reunions of separated
families and resuming tours to a mountain resort.
2013 Jul 15, Panama's president
said the country has seized a North Korean-flagged freighter
carrying what appeared to be ballistic missiles and other arms that
had set sail from Cuba. North Korea and Cuba said the weapons were
antiquated and were being sent for repair. North Korea called for
the release of the ship and its and 35 crew members.
(AP, 7/16/13)(SFC, 7/18/13, p.A4)(SFC, 7/19/13,
2013 Aug 7, North Korea said it
is lifting a ban on operations at a jointly run factory park
shuttered since Pyongyang pulled out its 53,000 workers in April
amid tensions with South Korea. The rivals agreed to meet next week
for talks meant to restart the complex.
2013 Aug 11, Jeon Wook-Pyo
(68), a South Korean man, escaped North Korea four decades after he
was kidnapped by North Korea while fishing near the disputed Yellow
Sea border. Jeon was among 25 fishermen aboard two boats that were
seized by a North Korean navy ship on December 28, 1972.
2013 Aug 14, North and South
Korea agreed to restart the joint Kaesong industrial park after a
series of talks on the fate of the last symbol of economic
2013 Sep 3, Former NBA star
Dennis Rodman flew to North Korea to hang out with authoritarian
leader Kim Jong Un, have a good time and bridge some cultural gaps —
but not to be a diplomat.
2013 Sep 5, North Korea agreed
to restore a cross-border military hotline with South Korea.
(SFC, 9/6/13, p.A2)
2013 Sep 7, Former US
basketball star Dennis Rodman returned from his second visit to
North Korea this year where he again met the reclusive country's
leader Kim Jong-un. "He is my friend for life. I don't care what you
guys think about him. I don't give a shit about what people around
the world think about him."
2013 Sep 11, North and South
Korea agreed to restart operations at a jointly run factory park
that Pyongyang shut down in April during a torrent of threats, the
latest sign of easing animosity between the rivals.
2013 Sep 16, South Korean
workers crossed into North Korea as the joint Kaesong industrial
zone restarted operations five months after being shuttered by
rising military tensions and threats of war.
2013 Sep 16, South Korea's
military shot and killed a man who undertook a rare attempt to enter
North Korea by floating across a river that runs near the heavily
2013 Sep 17, UN human rights
investigators said inmates in North Korea's prison camps have
suffered starvation, torture and other "unspeakable atrocities", in
their first report on violations in the reclusive state. North Korea
rejected the findings as part of a political plot.
2013 Sep 21, North Korea
ordered the indefinite postponement of a scheduled series of
reunions for families divided since the 1950-53 Korean War, dealing
a setback to months of efforts to improve ties between the Korean
2013 Sep 22, Russia re-opened a
railway link with North Korea, holding out the prospect of increased
trade for the reclusive nation with its biggest neighbors after
years of international sanctions.
2013 Sep 24, China published a
list that included military-like hardware and chemical substances
that would be banned from export to North Korea for fear they could
be used in the construction of nuclear, chemical and biological
(SFC, 9/25/13, p.A2)
2013 Oct 3, The US-Korea
Institute at John Hopkins said North Korea’s main nuclear complex
was discharging hot wastewater in a further sign that the country
has restarted its Soviet-era nuclear reactor.
(SFC, 10/4/13, p.A2)
2013 Oct 10, North Korea’s sate
media confirmed the removal of a hard-line general as its military
(SFC, 10/11/13, p.A2)
2013 Oct 11, A Panamanian
official said two Cuban fighter jets seized from a North Korean ship
in July were in perfect condition to operate and the 15 plane
engines that were found along with them were relatively new and
could be used as replacements.
2013 Oct 13, A number of North
Korean officers and sailors died while a submarine chaser was
performing "combat duties." At least 19 sailors were believed
killed. Photos of stone markers released by state media on Nov 2
showed "Oct. 13" inscribed on them.
(AP, 11/4/13)(Reuters, 11/4/13)
2013 Oct 24, Malaysia’s HELP
University faced public criticism for awarding an honorary doctorate
degree in economics earlier this month to North Korean leader Kim
(SFC, 10/25/13, p.A2)
2013 Oct 25, North Korea
repatriated six South Korean citizens and a corpse at a heavily
defended border crossing.
2013 Oct 26, North Korea
detained Merrill Newman (85), an American retiree and Korean War
veteran, who was on an organized tour. Friends and relatives later
said it was due to a "misunderstanding," but after 3 weeks they had
not heard any reasons for the detention. Former members of a South
Korean guerrilla group later said six decades earlier Newman had
supervised the group during the Korean War, and that they were
perhaps the most hated and feared fighters in the North.
(AFP, 11/21/13)(AP, 12/3/13)
2013 Nov 3, North Korea
publicly executed around 80 people, many for watching smuggled South
Korean TV shows. A South Korean newspaper reported the executions on
2013 Nov 7, North Korea's
security agency said it has arrested a South Korean spy in Pyongyang
who intended to rally anti-government forces, a claim that
intelligence officials in Seoul quickly called ridiculous and
2013 Nov 30, North Korea state
media claimed that US tourist Merrill Newman (85), detained for more
than a month, has apologized for alleged crimes during the Korean
War and for "hostile acts" against the state during a recent trip. A
video of the apology was dated Nov 9.
2013 Nov, North Korea executed
two deputies of Jang Song Thaek, an uncle of leader Kim Jong Un, on
charges of corruption and anti-party activities.
(SFC, 12/4/13, p.A2)
2013 Dec 3, South Korean
lawmakers said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is believed to have
dismissed Jang Song Thaek, a powerful uncle and a man key to his
rise to power, from his posts.
(Reuters, 12/3/13)(SFC, 12/5/13, p.A3)
2013 Dec 7, North Korea freed
Merrill Newman, an 85-year-old US veteran of the Korean War, after a
2013 Dec 8, North Korea’s state
TV showed Jang Song Thaek, the uncle of Kim Jong Un, being stripped
of all his titles at a party meeting led by Kim Jong Un.
2013 Dec 12, In North Korea
Jang Song Thaek (67), the uncle of leader Kim Jong Un, was tried for
treason by a special military tribunal and executed. State media
accused Jang of destroying the economy for his personal benefit and
blamed him for masterminding the 2009 currency revaluation that
sparked rare protests in North Korea.
2013 Dec 19, Former NBA star
Dennis Rodman arrived in North Korea to help train the national team
and renew his friendship with the North's young leader, Kim Jong Un.
2013 Sheila Miyoshi Jager
authored “Brothers at War: The Unending Conflict in Korea."
(Econ, 7/27/13, p.68)
2013 Andrei Lankov authored
“The Real North Korea: Life and Politics in the Failed Stalinist
(Econ, 5/18/13, p.86)
2014 Jan 6, Dennis Rodman and
former NBA players arrived in Pyongyang, North Korea. They planned a
"birthday present" game for leader Kim Jong Un.
2014 Jan 8, Dennis Rodman sang
"Happy Birthday" to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un before leading a
squad of former NBA stars in a friendly game as part of his
"basketball diplomacy" that has been criticized in the US as naive
and laughable. Tourists said Rodman singing "Happy Birthday" to Kim
Jong-Un was akin to Marilyn Monroe performing for JFK.
(AFP, 1/8/14)(AP, 1/9/14)
2014 Jan 9, Dennis Rodman
apologized for comments he made in North Korea about a detained
American missionary, saying he had been drinking and was under
pressure as he organized a game with former NBA players.
2014 Jan 24, North Korea
proposed reunions of families separated since the Korean War six
decades ago, continuing its latest campaign of reconciliation that
included a call for South Korea and the United States to cancel
joint military drills.
2014 Jan 29, US Director of
National Intelligence James Clapper said that North Korea has
expanded the size of its uranium enrichment facility at its
Nyongbyon nuclear complex and restarted a plutonium reactor that was
shut down in 2007.
2014 Jan 30, Panama’s judicial
authorities ordered the release of 32 of 35 crew members of a North
Korean ship detained last July for carrying hidden arms from Cuba.
The Chon Chon Gang was carrying Cuban fighter jects and missiles.
Owners this month agreed to pay a $670,000 fine.
(SFC, 1/31/14, p.A2)
2014 Jan 31, Former basketball
star Dennis Rodman said he was willing to trade places with Kenneth
Bae, an American missionary imprisoned in North Korea, the next time
he visits his friend, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.
2014 Feb 5, North Korea and
South Korea agreed to hold their first reunions in more than three
years of families divided by the Korean War.
(SFC, 2/6/14, p.A2)
2014 Feb 6, North Korea
threatened to cancel reunions of Korean War-divided families because
of upcoming US-South Korean military drills and accused the United
States of raising tensions by flying nuclear-capable B-52 bombers
near the Korean Peninsula.
2014 Feb 12, North Korea and
South Korea held their first high-level talks in Panmunjom, their
first in seven years.
(SSFC, 2/16/14, p.A6)
2014 Feb 13, The US-Korea
Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies
said that North Korea has accelerated excavation at a remote
mountain site used for underground nuclear test explosions. However,
it did not see signs of an imminent test.
2014 Feb 14, North and South
Korea agreed in a rare high-level meeting to stop insulting each
other and to go ahead with planned reunions of Korean War-divided
families next week despite a dispute over upcoming US-South Korean
2014 Feb 14, It was reported
that a UN Commission of Inquiry has found that crimes against
humanity have been committed in North Korea and recommends that its
findings be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
2014 Feb 16, In North Korea
John Short (75), an Australian missionary, was questioned and then
arrested in his Pyongyang hotel, a day after he arrived there. He
has lived in Hong Kong for 50 years and has been arrested previously
in China for evangelizing. Short was deported to Beijing on March 3.
(AP, 2/20/14)(AP, 3/3/14)
2014 Feb 17, A UN panel warned
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that he may be held accountable for
orchestrating widespread crimes against civilians. The UN Human
Rights Council delivered a 400-page report on human rights
violations in North Korea.
(AP, 2/17/14)(Econ, 2/22/14, p.33)
2014 Feb 20, In North Korea
dozens of elderly North and South Koreans separated for six decades
reunited at North Korea’s Diamond Mountain resort, weeping and
embracing in a rush of words and emotion.
2014 Feb 27, In North Korea Kim
Jung Wook, a South Korean Baptist missionary, told reporters he is
sorry for his “anti-state" crimes and appealed to North Korean
authorities to show him mercy by releasing him from their custody.
He was arrested over four months ago for allegedly trying to
establish underground Christian churches.
(AP, 2/27/14)(SFC, 2/28/14, p.A2)
2014 Mar 8, China declared a
"red line" on North Korea, saying that China will not permit chaos
or war on the Korean peninsula, and that peace can only come through
2014 Mar 9, Almost all North
Koreans cast their ballots in a pre-determined election for a
rubber-stamp parliament, an exercise that doubles as a national head
count and may offer clues to power shifts in Pyongyang.
2014 Mar 9, Libya's Defense
Ministry said it has authorized the military to use force to stop a
North Korean-flagged tanker from loading crude oil at a rebel-held
port, bypassing the Tripoli government.
2014 Mar 11, In Libya angry MPs
ousted PM Ali Zeidan after the North Korean-flagged Morning Glory, a
tanker laden with oil from a rebel-held terminal, broke through a
naval blockade and escaped to sea. Zeidan flew to Malta on a Libyan
state plane, but then switched to a private jet after a brief
stopover before departing for Germany. Libyan commander Ibrahim
Jedran, whose militia took over vital oil terminals in the country's
east, said he is seeking help from the United States in a standoff
with the government over the seizure.
(AP, 3/11/14)(AP, 3/12/14)(AFP, 3/12/14)
2014 Mar 25, In the Netherlands
US President Barack Obama, Japanese PM Shinzo Abe and South Korean
President Park Geun-hye met to discuss North Korea's security
2014 Mar 26, North Korea
test-fired two medium-range Rodong ballistic missiles. The Rodong
launch, the first since 2009, violated UN Security Council
resolutions and marked a big escalation from a series of
shorter-range rocket launches the North has staged in recent weeks
to protest ongoing annual military drills by the US and South Korea
that Pyongyang claims are invasion preparation.
2014 Mar 27, South Korea's
military seized a North Korean fishing boat that it said had crossed
a disputed maritime border after ignoring warnings to retreat amid
growing tension between the two sides.
2014 Mar 27, South Korea
formally approved a request from women rights activists, including
one "comfort woman", to meet North Korean counterparts at a
conference on Japan's wartime use of sex slaves.
2014 Mar 30, Japan and North
Korea started high-level government talks for the first time in more
than a year that were expected to focus on abductions of Japanese by
North Korea decades ago.
2014 Mar 31, North and South
Korea exchanged artillery fire in disputed waters in an apparent new
round of saber-rattling by Pyongyang during annual US-South Korean
2014 Apr 4, South Korean
rescuers recovered the bodies of two North Korean sailors, pulled
three survivors and were searching for 11 others missing after their
cargo ship sank off South Korea's coast. The Mongolian-flagged ship
was carrying 16 North Korean crew members when it sent a distress
signal in international waters about 130 km (80 miles) south of the
southern port city of Yeosu.
2014 Apr 9, In North Korea Kim
Jong-Un was "re-elected" as leader. The new parliament also elected
members of the powerful National Defense Commission (NDC),
appointing Kim's close confidante Choi Ryong-Hae as one of three
vice chairmen of the top military decision-making body.
2014 Apr 10, North Korea
detained an American it identified as Matthew Miller (24) for
alleged improper behavior. The man reportedly entered the country
with a tourist visa, but tore it up and shouted that he wanted to
(SFC, 4/26/14, p.A2)(AP, 9/14/14)
2014 Apr 13, The streets of
North Korea's capital filled with runners from all over the world
for the annual Pyongyang marathon, which was open to foreign
amateurs this year for the first time.
2014 Apr 25, President Barack
Obama and South Korean President Park Geun-hye warned Pyongyang that
it could face tougher sanctions if it follows through with threats
to launch a fourth nuclear test.
2014 May 13, In North Korea an
apartment building under construction in Pyongyang collapsed. The
23-story apartment building was presumed to have housed 92 families.
Word of the collapse was reported on May 18 by the North's official
Korean Central News Agency.
2014 May 22, North and South
Korean warships exchanged artillery fire in disputed waters off the
western coast, in the latest sign of rising animosity between the
bitter rivals in recent weeks.
2014 May 26, South Korea and
China agreed recent nuclear activity by North Korea posed a serious
threat to the peace and stability of the region and Pyongyang must
not conduct a nuclear test, after a meeting of their top diplomats
2014 May 29, Japan and North
Korea agreed to a deal in which Japan will relax sanctions in return
for a North Korean investigation of abductions in the 1970s and
(Econ, 6/7/14, p.43)
2014 Jun 6, North Korea said it
has detained an American tourist for committing an unspecified
crime, the third US citizen being held there. Jeffrey Edward Fowle
(56) of Ohio had arrived in North Korea on April 29.
(AP, 6/6/14)(AP, 6/7/14)
2014 Jun 19, Chinese
authorities arrested 11 North Koreans who had fled their country and
will likely deport them back to the North where they could face
2014 Jun 27, A Panamanian judge
acquitted and ordered the immediate release of the last three of 35
North Koreans detained last year for trying to transport undeclared
Cuban weapons through the Panama Canal. The decision was based on
the fact that the incident "was of international character and
outside Panamanian jurisdiction."
2014 Jul 3, Chinese President
Xi Jinping began a two-day visit to Seoul. The leaders of China and
South Korea simultaneously snubbed North Korea, bolstered their
already booming trade relationship and gave the US and Japan a look
at Beijing's growing influence south of the Korean Demilitarized
2014 Jul 3, A China-based tour
operator said North Korea will reopen some of its domestic scheduled
air routes for the first time in years, another sign of moves to
bolster tourism in the isolated country.
2014 Jul 3, Japan eased some
sanctions on North Korea in return for its reopening of a probe into
the fate of Japanese citizens abducted by the reclusive state
decades ago, as a fresh report emerged that some of them were alive.
2014 Jul 8, North Korea’s
6,700-ton freighter "Mu Du Bong," which had come from Cuba, ran
aground on a reef 8 miles (13 km) northeast of Tuxpan in Mexico's
Veracruz state. On April 8, 2015, North Korea accused Mexico of
illegally detaining the ship with some 50 crew.
2014 Aug 11, South Korea said
it would provide $13.3 million in funding for UN humanitarian
projects in North Korea -- its second indirect aid package for the
North in a month.
2014 Aug 15, Japan froze the
assets of Ocean Maritime Management, operator of the North Korean
ship seized for smuggling arms detained near the Panama Canal a year
ago carrying Soviet-era arms.
2014 Sep 1, North Korea gave
foreign media access to detained Americans Kenneth Bae, Jeffrey
Fowle and Mathew Miller). The three called for Washington to send a
high-ranking representative to negotiate for their freedom.
2014 Sep 4, South Korea said it
would create a joint military unit with the US, as a report
suggested the contingent would target North Korea's weapons of mass
destruction if a full-scale conflict broke out.
2014 Sep 5, North Korea said it
will send back a South Korean man who entered the North illegally.
Kim Sang-geun reportedly entered North Korea through a third country
after having unspecified difficulties living in the South.
2014 Sep 12, A boat from the
northern China seaport city of Dalian, with six crew on board, was
seized by North Koreans while fishing in the Yellow Sea between
China and the Korean Peninsula. The North Koreans demanded a fine of
250,000 yuan ($40,700) for releasing the boat and its crew, but on
September 17th the six crew returned to their fishing village with
wounds on their bodies from being beaten.
2014 Sep 14, North Korea's
Supreme Court convicted Matthew Miller of Bakersfield, California,
of entering the country illegally to commit espionage and sentenced
him to six years of hard labor. He reportedly admitted to having the
"wild ambition" of experiencing prison life so that he could
secretly investigate North Korea's human rights situation.
2014 Sep 21, In South Korea a
small group of activists launched tens of thousands of leaflets by
helium balloon, just days after the North sent a letter to the
presidential office demanding such exercises be halted.
2014 Oct 4, North Korea's
presumptive No. 2 and other members of Pyongyang's inner circle met
with South Korean officials in Seoul at the close of the Asian Games
in the rivals' highest level face-to-face talks in five years.
2014 Oct 10, North and South
Korea traded machine-gun and rifle fire after South Korean activists
released anti-Pyongyang propaganda balloons across the border.
2014 Oct 15, The first military
talks between North and South Korea in more than three years ended
with no agreement, with the rivals failing to narrow their
differences on how to ease animosity following two shooting
incidents last week.
2014 Oct 19, North and South
Korean troops exchanged gunfire along their fortified border in the
second such shooting in less than 10 days.
2014 Oct 21, Jeffrey Fowle
(56), arrested in May for leaving a Bible at a sailor's club in the
North Korean city of Chongjin, was freed and flown home on a US
government plane to Dayton, Ohio.
2014 Oct 25, South Korean
activists launched balloons to send leaflets to North Korea with
messages critical of its leader, ignoring threats of military action
from Pyongyang and a plea by Seoul not to jeopardize efforts to
improve ties with the North.
2014 Oct 28, Japanese and North
Korean officials held talks in Pyongyang for the first time in 10
years, meeting to assess progress into North Korea's investigation
into the fates of Japanese citizens who were abducted in the 1970s
2014 Nov 8, North Korea
released Americans Kenneth Bae and Matthew Miller and both were on
their journey back to the United States.
2014 Nov 18, The UN General
Assembly’s human rights committee approved a resolution that urges
the Security Council to refer North Korea’s harsh human rights
situation to the Int’l. Criminal Court.
(SFC, 11/19/14, p.A4)
2014 Dec 7, North Korea
released a report that clearly appreciated a cyber-attack on Sony
Pictures, which is producing an upcoming film that shows a murder
plot against Pyongyang's supreme leader.
2014 Dec 14, In North Korea US
citizen Arturo Pierre Martinez (29) from El Paso, Texas, held a
press conference in Pyongyang to denounce his own country's
political and economic systems. He said he had crossed illegally
into North Korea from China in November.
2014 Dec 17, Sony Pictures
Entertainment pulled its planned release of “The Interview," a
comedy about a fictional assassination plot against North Korean
dictator Kim Jong Un, amid threats by cyberterrorists to bomb any
theater that showed the film.
(SFC, 12/18/14, p.A1)
2014 Dec 19, The US FBI
formally accused North Korea of hacking of Sony Pictures. Sony
Pictures said it is looking for alternatives to release "The
Interview" after it scrapped the Christmas Day theatrical opening of
the screwball comedy at the center of a cyber-attack on the studio
blamed on North Korea.
(AP, 12/19/14)(Reuters, 12/20/14)
2014 Dec 20, North Korea said
US accusations that it was involved in a cyberattack on Sony
Pictures were "groundless slander" and that it was wanted a joint
investigation into the incident with the United States.
2014 Dec 22, North Korea, at
the center of a confrontation with the United States over the
hacking of Sony Pictures, experienced a complete Internet outage for
hours before links were restored on Dec 23.
2014 Dec 25, Entertainment
giant Sony streamed "The Interview," the movie that has outraged
North Korea for lampooning dictator Kim Jong-Un, giving an early
online Christmas present to US viewers. It was being distributed on
Google's YouTube for a $5.99 rental fee.
2014 Dec 27, North Korea's
Internet and 3G mobile networks were paralyzed again this evening.
North Korea called US President Barack Obama a "monkey" and blamed
Washington for Internet outages that it has experienced during a
confrontation with the United States over the hacking of the film
studio Sony Pictures.
2014 Jang Jin-sung, a poet who
fled North Korea in 2004, authored “Dear Leader: Poet, Spy,
Escapee--A Look Inside North Korea."
(Econ, 5/3/14, p.73)
2015 Jan 2, The United States
imposed new sanctions on North Korea in retaliation for a cyber
attack on Hollywood studio Sony Pictures.
2015 Jan 5, South Korean media
reported that a young North Korean soldier crossed the border in
late December and stole money and food at a house before killing
four residents in China's northeastern city of Helong.
2015 Jan 6, South Korea’s
Defense Ministry said North Korean military's "cyber army" has
boosted its numbers to 6,000 troops.
2015 Jan 11, In Myanmar North
Korean Ambassador Kim Sok Chol met with Myint Swe, the chief
minister of the Rangoon division. Myanmar police soon began seizing
pirated copies of the film "The Interview", a comedy about a
fictional plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, with
media saying the move followed pressure from the North Korean
embassy in Yangon.
2015 Jan 31, Canadian Reverend
Hyeon Soo Lim (60) traveled to North Korea as part of a regular
humanitarian mission where he supports a nursing home, a nursery and
an orphanage. He was not heard from since.
2015 Mar 5, Bangladeshi customs
authorities seized nearly 27 kg of gold, worth about $1.67 million,
from North Korean diplomat Son Young Nam after he tried to smuggle
in the bullion using diplomatic immunity.
2015 Mar 9, Bangladesh said it
has ordered North Korean diplomat Son Young Nam to leave the country
after he tried to smuggle in gold bullion using diplomatic immunity.
North Korea apologized to Bangladesh over the incident.
(AFP, 3/9/15)(SFC, 3/10/15, p.A2)
2015 Mar 26, North Korea said
it had arrested two South Koreans based in the Chinese border city
of Dandong, accusing them of spying for South Korea.
2015 Apr 8, North Korea said it
was expelling American aid worker Sandra Suh for engaging in what it
said was a conspiracy against the state. Los Angeles-based Wheat
Mission Ministries says on its website that Sandra Suh began the
group's work in 1989 to aid North Koreans. It was formally
established as a non-profit organization in 2005.
2015 Apr 21, The New York-based
Committee to Protect Journalists issued its annual list of the
world's top 10 most censored countries: Eritrea tope the list
followed by North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, Azerbaijan,
Vietnam, Iran, China, Myanmar and Cuba.
2015 Apr 22, North Korea caught
Joo Won-moon (21), a South Korean student at NYU, crossing its
border from the Chinese side of the Yalu River. He later said that
he had intended to be arrested and hoped to bring about better
relations between North and South Korea.
(Reuters, 5/2/15)(SFC, 5/6/15, p.A2)
2015 Apr 25, In China a
55-year-old man surnamed Zhao, his 26-year-old daughter and another
man aged 67 were killed in Longcheng township along the North Korean
border, not far from where at least 7 villagers were reported killed
last year by border guards who had crossed the Tumen River in search
of money and food.
2015 Apr 30, In North Korea
People’s Armed forces Minister Hyon Yong Chol was killed on about
this date in front of hundreds of spectators at a shooting range at
Pyongyang’s Kang Kon Military Academy. Leader Kim Jong Un reportedly
ordered him killed with an antiaircraft gun for complaining and
talking back to the young ruler.
(http://tinyurl.com/p7c7yyp)(SFC, 5/14/15, p.A3)
2015 May 24, A group of
international women activists crossed the heavily-fortified
Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea in what they
said was a symbolic act for peace.
2015 May, A North Korean
diplomat was arrested in Mozambique on charges related to rhino horn
2015 Jun 4, North Korea accused
the United States of targeting it with anthrax and asked the UN
Security Council to investigate Washington's "biological warfare
schemes. The US Pentagon recently said live anthrax samples, which
can be used as a biological weapon, have been inadvertently sent to
Australia, Canada, Britain, South Korea and laboratories in 19 US
states and Washington, D.C.
2015 Jun 11, In North Korea a
section of the Koryo Hotel, one of the oldest and best known hotels
in Pyongyang, caught fire.
2015 Jun 15, A North Korean
soldier in his late teens defected to South Korea walking across
their shared border.
(SFC, 6/16/15, p.A2)
2015 Jun 16, North Korea said
it has been hit by the worst drought in a century, compounding
chronic food shortages in the country.
2015 Jun 23, North Korea's
highest court sentenced two South Koreans accused of spying to hard
labor for life.
2015 Jul 1, North Korea opened
a new terminal building at Pyongyang's international airport,
underscoring an effort to attract more tourists.
2015 Jul 4, South Korea found a
North Korean ship adrift and sinking with 5 sailors near the island
of Ulleungdo off of South Korea’s northeastern coast. On July 7
South Korea said three of the sailors had defected to South Korea.
(SFC, 7/8/15, p.A2)
2015 Jul 9, South Korean
officials said young North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has executed 70
officials since taking power in late 2011 in a "reign of terror"
that far exceeds the bloodshed of his dictator father's early rule.
2015 Jul 14, South Korea sent
back two North Korean fishermen who were rescued from South Korean
waters but said it would not return three others who requested
2015 Aug 7, North Korea
announced that it will turn back its current standard time by 30
minutes effective August 15. The move will allow it to differentiate
its time zone from that of Japan and South Korea.
2015 Aug 10, South Korea
restarted propaganda broadcasts across the border with rival North
Korea for the first time in 11 years in retaliation for the North
allegedly planting land mines last week that maimed two South Korean
2015 Aug 12, A South Korean
media report said Choe Yong Gon (63), North Korea's vice premier,
was executed by firing squad this year after showing discontent with
the policies of the country's leader Kim Jong Un.
2015 Aug 19, In North Korea the
Slovenian rock band Laibach played to a full house in Pyongyang as
part of the “Liberation Day Tour," coinciding with the Korean
Peninsula’s 70th year anniversary of liberation from Japanese
(SFC, 8/20/15, p.A4)
2015 Aug 20, South Korea fired
tens of artillery rounds toward North Korea after the North launched
shells to protest South Korea's anti-Pyongyang propaganda broadcasts
along the border.
2015 Aug 21, North and South
Korea appeared headed toward another clash, as Seoul refused an
ultimatum that it halt anti-Pyongyang propaganda broadcasts by Aug
22 afternoon or face military action, and North Korea said its
troops were on a war footing.
2015 Aug 22, North Korea and
South Korea held their first high-level talks in nearly a year at a
border village to defuse mounting tensions that have pushed the
rivals to the brink of a possible military confrontation.
2015 Aug 22, In North Korea
some 1,070 houses and 99 public buildings such as schools and
hospitals were destroyed by torrential rains over the last 24 hours.
2015 Aug 23, North and South
Korea resumed top-level talks on avoiding a threatened military
clash, even as Seoul accused Pyongyang of undermining the process
with provocative naval and land deployments.
2015 Aug 24, South Korean
President Park Geun-hye demanded that North Korea apologize over
recent landmine blasts, even as the bitter rivals held marathon
talks to defuse tensions that have brought the peninsula back to the
brink of armed conflict.
2015 Aug 25, North and South
Korea agreed early today to end a military standoff that sparked an
exchange of artillery fire and had ratcheted up tension on one of
the world's most heavily-fortified borders.
2015 Sep 7, North and South
Korea started talks at a border village on resuming the reunions of
families separated by the Korean War.
2015 Sep 7, The head of the UN
atomic energy agency said satellite imagery of North Korea's main
nuclear site indicates that the country is expanding its atomic
2015 Sep 15, North Korea said
its main nuclear complex was operating and it was working to improve
the "quality and quantity" of its weapons which it could use against
the United States at "any time".
2015 Oct 9, Yeonmi Park (22), a
North Korean defector who was trafficked and raped at the age of 13
after fleeing to China, promoted her new book: “In Order To Live: A
North Korean Girl's Journey to Freedom" to the Women in the World
summit in London.
2015 Oct 10, North Korea marked
the 70th anniversary of its ruling Workers' Party with a massive
military parade overseen by leader Kim Jong Un, who said his country
was ready to fight any war waged by the United States.
2015 Oct 20, Korean families,
separated by the Korean War, began to reunite at the Diamond
Mountain resort in North Korea.
(SFC, 10/22/15, p.A4)(SSFC, 10/25/15, p.A8)
2015 Oct 24, Hundreds of S.
Koreans crossed the border to North Korea for the last set of
reunions this year. In the first round of reunions earlier in the
week, about 390 South Koreans traveled to the resort to meet with
180 North Korean relatives.
2015 Nov 13, The US Treasury
Department said it has blacklisted North Korea's ambassador to
Myanmar for alleged involvement in illegal weapons trade.
2015 Nov 26, North and South
Korean officials met for talks at the border truce village of
Panmunjom after the two sides signed an agreement in which Pyongyang
expressed regret over landmine blasts near the border that wounded
two South Korean soldiers.
2015 Dec 10, North Korean
leader Kim Jong Un appeared to claim his country has developed a
hydrogen bomb, a step up from the less powerful atomic bomb, but
outside experts were skeptical.
2015 Dec 10, An Israeli
parliamentary committee said that $400,000 of gold was exported to
North Korea after a 2006 UN ban.
2015 Dec 11, South Africa
expelled a North Korean diplomat. He was arrested in neighboring
Mozambique in May on charges related to rhino horn smuggling.
2015 Dec 12, The first
high-level talks between North and South Korea since an August
agreement to end an armed confrontation across their border ended in
(Reuters, 12/12/15)(SFC, 12/12/15, p.A2)
2015 Dec 16, North Korea's
Supreme Court sentenced Canadian pastor Hyeon Soo Lim to life in
prison with hard labor for what it called crimes against the
2015 Paul Fischer authored “A
Kim Jong-Il Production: The Extraordinary True Story of a Kidnapped
Filmmaker, His Star Actress, and a Young Dictator’s Rise to Power."
(SSFC, 3/8/15, p.N3)
2015 Blaine Harden authored
“The Great Leader and the Fighter Pilot: The True Story of the
Tyrant who Created North Korea and the Young Lieutenant Who Stole
His Way to Freedom." (see South Korea Sep 21, 1953).
(Econ, 5/16/15, p.78)
2016 Jan 2, North Korea
arrested Otto Frederick Warmbier from the University of Virginia as
his tour group was set to return to Beijing. North Korea later said
it had arrested Wambier for engaging in an unspecified "hostile act"
under orders from Washington.
2016 Jan 6, North Korea said it
has tested a miniaturized hydrogen nuclear bomb, prompting
skepticism among experts and officials who doubt Pyongyang has
achieved such a major advance in its strike capability. The
explosion was roughly as big as the atom bomb it detonated in 2013.
(Reuters, 1/6/16)(Econ, 1/9/16, p.8)
2016 Jan 6, China urged North
Korea to honor its commitment to denuclearization and called on
Pyongyang to stop taking any action that could cause a deterioration
of the situation on the Korean peninsula.
2016 Jan 7, South Korea
announced it would resume cross-border propaganda broadcasts that
Pyongyang considers an act of war In response to North Korea's
latest nuclear test.
2016 Jan 8, South Korea resumed
high-decibel propaganda broadcasts into North Korea as the United
States ramped up pressure on China to bring Pyongyang to heel after
its latest nuclear test.
2016 Jan 11, CNN reported that
Kim Dong Chul (60), a naturalized American citizen, said he was
being detained in North Korea for spying and asked the South Korean
or US government to rescue him. Chul was arrested last October.
2016 Jan 27, US Secretary of
State John Kerry and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi agreed on the
need for a significant new UN Security resolution targeting North
Korea after its Jan. 6 nuclear test, though there were few signs of
2016 Feb 2, A Japanese special
police unit that deals with alleged espionage arrested an ethnic
Korean resident on suspicion of fraud. Kyodo News agency soon
reported his name as Pak Chae-Hun.
2016 Feb 4 - 2016 Feb 5,
Unknown hackers breached Bangladesh Bank's systems and tried to
steal nearly $1 billion from its account at the Federal Reserve Bank
of New York. Many of the payments were blocked. But $20 million made
its way to the Shalika Foundation in Sri Lanka before the transfer
was reversed. Another $81 million was routed the Philippines, and
diverted to casinos there, where the trail runs out. North Korea was
later implicated in the cyber theft. In September a court in the
Philippines ordered the central bank to return $15 million.
(Reuters, 3/31/16)(Econ, 3/26/15, p.46)(SFC,
5/31/16, p.D2)(Econ, 10/15/16, p.71)
2016 Feb 7, North Korea
launched a long-range rocket carrying what it called a satellite,
but its neighbors and the United States denounced the launch as a
missile test, conducted in defiance of UN sanctions and just weeks
after a nuclear bomb test.
2016 Feb 10, It was reported
that North Korea has executed its army chief of staff, Ri Yong Gil,
for corruption and factional conspiracy. If true this would be the
latest in a series of executions, purges and disappearances under
its young leader.
2016 Feb 10, South Korea said
that it will shut down a joint industrial park with North Korea in
response to the North's recent rocket launch, accusing the North of
using hard currency from the park to develop its nuclear and missile
2016 Feb 10, Japan announced
that it will impose new sanctions on North Korea to protest a rocket
launch seen as a test of missile technology.
2016 Feb 11, North Korea said
it was kicking out all South Koreans from the jointly run Kaesong
industrial zone, calling the South's move to suspend operations, in
retaliation for Sunday's rocket launch by the North, a "declaration
2016 Feb 18, President Barack
Obama slapped North Korea with more stringent sanctions for defying
the world and pushing forward with its nuclear weapons program,
weeks after it launched a satellite-carrying rocket into space and
conducted its fourth underground nuclear test.
2016 Feb 22, A South Korean
newspaper reported that Chinese banks including a branch of China's
biggest bank Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) have
frozen accounts belonging to North Koreans.
2016 Feb 29, North Korean media
said Otto Warmbier (21), a University of Virginia student detained
since early January, has confessed to "severe crimes" against the
state: "I committed the crime of taking out a political slogan from
the staff-only area of the Yanggakdo International Hotel."
2016 Mar 1, North Korea said it
will boycott the UN Human Rights Council deploring the
"politicization" of the body.
2016 Mar 2, The United Nations
Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution that dramatically
expands existing UN sanctions on North Korea in response to its Jan.
6 nuclear test, a measure largely negotiated by Washington and
2016 Mar 2, South Korea's
opposition members of parliament ended a record-breaking filibuster
to block an "anti-terrorism" bill sponsored by their conservative
rivals. South Korea’s National Assembly passed its first legislation
on human rights in North Korea, in a move that is expected to enrage
its northern rival.
(Reuters, 3/2/16)(AP, 3/2/16)
2016 Mar 3, The United States
blacklisted North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's right-hand man, one of
several officials added to a list of Specially Designated Nationals
by the US Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control.
2016 Mar 4, North Korea’s state
media reported that leader Kim Jong Un has ordered his military to
be ready to launch nuclear strikes at any time.
(SFC, 3/5/16, p.A3)
2016 Mar 4, The European Union
said that it had added 16 people and 12 companies to its sanctions
list following North Korea's latest nuclear test and rocket launch.
2016 Mar 4, The Philippines
seized the Jin Tang, a North Korean freighter that was covered by
harsher United Nations' sanctions against Pyongyang over its nuclear
program. Manila will also deport the vessel's 21 North Korean crew
and will await a UN inspection team from the United Nations. The
ship and crew were reported released on March 25.
(Reuters, 3/5/16)(AP, 3/25/16)
2016 Mar 8, South Korea said it
would impose new sanctions against 40 individuals and 30 entities
because of suspected links to North Korea's weapons program and
would ban vessels that had stopped at North Korean ports in the past
2016 Mar 9, North Korean leader
Kim Jong Un said the country has miniaturized nuclear warheads to
mount on ballistic missiles and ordered improvements in the power
and precision of its arsenal.
2016 Mar 9, The Bangladesh
central bank said it is working to recover some $100 million
allegedly stolen by Chinese hackers from an account at the Federal
Reserve Bank of New York. The money was apparently transferred to
accounts in the Philippines. At least 30 transfer requests were made
Feb. 5 using the Bangladesh Bank's SWIFT code, out of which five
succeeded in effecting transfers. North Korea was later implicated
in the cyber theft. In 2017 a report by Kaspersky Lab, “Lazarus
Under the Hood," said North Korean hackers hit not only Bangladesh
but also targeted dozens of banks worldwide in a susteained attempt
at global digital robbery.
(AP, 3/9/16)(SFC, 5/31/16, p.D2)(SFC, 4/7/17,
2016 Mar 10, North Korea fired
two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea in defiance of UN
Security Council resolutions. The North also announced it had
scrapped all agreements with the South on commercial exchange
projects and would "liquidate" South Korean assets left behind in
2016 Mar 11, North Korea’s
official KCNA news agency reported that leader Kim Jong Un watched a
ballistic missile launch test and ordered the country to improve its
nuclear attack capability by conducting more tests.
2016 Mar 11, South Korea's spy
agency told lawmakers that the number of North Korean cyberattacks
on the South has doubled over the past month.
2016 Mar 11, US officials said
the North Korean regime lost contact with a 70-foot Yono class
"midget" submarine earlier this week.
2016 Mar 12, US and South
Korean troops staged a big amphibious landing exercise, storming
simulated North Korean beach defenses amid heightened tension and
threats by the North to annihilate its enemies.
2016 Mar 14, The United Nations
human rights investigator for North Korea called for leader Kim Jong
Un and senior officials in the country to be prosecuted for
committing crimes against humanity.
2016 Mar 16, North Korea's
highest court sentenced American tourist Otto Warmbier, a University
of Virginia undergraduate, to 15 years in prison with hard labor for
subversion. Warmbier tearfully confessed that he had tried to steal
a propaganda banner.
2016 Mar 16, US President
Barack Obama signed an order implementing UN-backed sanctions on
North Korea after a nuclear test and missile launch this year, as
Pyongyang promised reprisals.
2016 Mar 17, China expressed
its opposition to unilateral sanctions against North Korea saying
they could raise tension, a day after the United States imposed new
curbs on the isolated country in retaliation for its nuclear and
2016 Mar 21, North Korea fired
five short-range projectiles into the sea off its east coast, amid
heightened tension over the isolated country's nuclear and rocket
2016 Mar 22, The UN Security
Council agreed to a Chinese request to remove sanctions on four
ships the United Nations had blacklisted for ties to Pyongyang's
arms trade. The agreement came after China secured assurances the
vessels would not use North Korean crews.
2016 Mar 25, It was reported
that North Koreans are being mobilized en masse to boost production
and demonstrate their loyalty to leader Kim Jong Un in a 70-day
campaign aimed at wiping out "indolence and slackness." To show
their loyalty, workers are putting in extra hours to boost
production in everything from coal mining to fisheries.
2016 Mar 25, In North Korea
American Kim Tong Chol said he had spied for South Korean
intelligence in a plot to bring down the North’s leadership and
asked for forgiveness at a media presentation.
(AP, 3/25/16)(SFC, 3/26/16, p.A2)
2016 Apr 1, It was reported
that North Korea officially announced this week that it is blocking
Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and South Korean websites in a move
underscoring its concern with the spread of online information. Very
few North Koreans have Internet access.
2016 Apr 5, China banned most
imports of North Korean coal and iron ore, the country's main
exports, in a significant increase in pressure on the North under UN
sanctions against its nuclear and missile tests.
2016 Apr 5, Thirteen North
Koreans working at a restaurant in China defected. They traveled to
a Southeast Asian country before being flown to South Korea.
(AP, 4/8/16)(AP, 4/11/16)
2016 Apr 11, South Korea said
two senior North Korean officials, including an army colonel
specializing in espionage against the South, defected to South Korea
2016 Apr 15, A North Korea
missile launch meant to celebrate the birthday of the country’s
founder ended in failure, an embarrassing setback in what was
reportedly the inaugural test of a new, powerful mid-range missile.
2016 Apr 23, North Korea fired
a submarine-launched ballistic missile off its east coast. North
Korea will hold a rare congress of its ruling Workers' Party in
early May for the first time in 36 years where its leader Kim Jong
Un is expected to proclaim the country was a strong military power
and a nuclear state.
2016 Apr 28, Two suspected
powerful intermediate-range North Korean missiles failed to launch,
bringing the total to three apparent failures in recent weeks.
2016 Apr 29, North Korea's
Supreme Court sentenced Kim Dong Chul (62), a Korean American man,
to 10 years hard labor for subversion.
2016 May 6, North Korea’s
leader Kim Jong Un (33) opened the Seventh Workers' Party Congress,
the country’s biggest political gathering in 36 years.
2016 May 6, North Korea
detained BBC journalist Rupert Wingfield-Hayes along with a BBC
producer and cameraman and ordered their expulsion over his
reporting as a large group of foreign reporters cover a rare
congress of the country’s ruling Workers’ Party. On May 9 the three
were on their way to the airport in Pyongyang.
2016 May 8, North Korean leader
Kim Jong Un said his country will not use its nuclear weapons unless
its sovereignty is invaded and announced a five-year economic plan
at a milestone congress of North Korea's ruling party, which entered
its third day.
2016 May 10, Thousands of
ecstatic North Koreans joined a mass rally and parade as leader Kim
Jong Un capped off the consolidation of his power at a ruling party
congress at which he formalized its claim to be a nuclear weapons
2016 May 13, A North Korean
coast guard ship detained a Russian yacht with a crew of five
people. Russia's Foreign Ministry sent a note to Pyongyang demanding
explanation for the cause of the detention. The yacht was released
on May 15.
(Reuters, 5/14/16)(AFP, 5/15/16)
2016 May 14, UN experts said
Congolese army officers and police reported receiving pistols from a
group of 30 North Korean instructors training their presidential
guard and special police forces, which would appear to be a
violation of UN sanctions banning Pyongyang from exporting weapons
or providing military training.
2016 May 24, South Korean
officials said an unspecified number of North Koreans working at a
Pyongyang-run restaurant overseas have escaped their workplace and
will come to South Korea. The announcement came after South Korean
media reported that two or three female employees at a North
Korean-run restaurant in China fled and went to an unidentified
Southeast Asian country earlier this month.
2016 May 27, The EU announced
additional sanctions against North Korea because of the regime’s
continued nuclear and missile testing programs.
(SFC, 5/28/16, p.A2)
2016 May 29, Uganda and South
Korea signed cooperation agreements on the 2nd day of a visit by
South Korean leader Park Geun-hye. The memorandums of understanding
in areas such as health and education were signed at the State House
in Entebbe. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said his country would
halt security and military cooperation with North Korea.
(AP, 5/29/16)(Reuters, 5/29/16)
2016 May 31, North Korea
attempted to fire a missile from its east coast but the launch
appears to have failed.
2016 Jun 7, A senior US State
Department official said North Korea has restarted production of
plutonium fuel, showing that it plans to pursue its nuclear weapons
program in defiance of international sanctions. The assessment came
a day after the UN nuclear watchdog said it had “indications" that
Pyongyang has reactivated a plant to recover plutonium from spent
reactor fuel at Yongbyon, its main nuclear complex.
2016 Jun 22, North Korea took a
significant step in the development of a powerful ballistic missile
intended to reach US bases in the Pacific, launching one of the
weapons about 1,000 km (620 miles) high after five failed attempts
in recent months.
2016 Jun 22, In China a
six-nation security forum opened in Beijing as a multilateral forum
involving high-level policymakers, defense ministry officials,
military officers, and researchers from China, Japan, North and
South Korea, Russia, and the United States.
2016 Jul 1, It was reported
that Namibia has told two North Korean companies that their services
are no longer needed in the southern Africa country while UN
sanctions against Pyongyang remain in place over its nuclear and
2016 Jul 6, The United States
sanctioned North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for the first time,
citing "notorious abuses of human rights".
2016 Jul 9, North Korea fired a
ballistic missile from a submarine but according to South Korea it
appeared to have failed soon after launch.
2016 Jul 11, North Korea said
it has told the United States it will sever the only channel of
communication between them, at the United Nations in New York, after
Washington blacklisted leader Kim Jong Un last week for human rights
2016 Jul 15, North Korea
presented to media a man it alleges is a South Korean spy who tried
to enter the North to kidnap children. Detainee Ko Hyon Chol (53)
said he apologized for a crime he called "unforgivable." He was
arrested May 27 on an island in the Amnok River which runs along the
border between North Korea and China.
2016 Jul 19, North Korea fired
three ballistic missiles into its eastern sea in an apparent protest
of South Korea's decision to allow the deployment of an advanced US
missile defense system in the country.
2016 Jul 22, South Korea's
central bank said North Korea's economy shrank 1.1 percent last
year, in its first contraction in five years.
2016 Jul 27, Ukraine revoked a
Soviet-era deal that allowed visa-free travel for North Koreans.
2016 Jul, In North Korea
executed vice premier for education Kim Yong-Jin (71) by a firing
squad for showing disrespect during a meeting presided over by
leader Kim Jong-Un, after reports that he fell asleep.
2016 Jul, In Spain Alejandro
Cao de Benos opened the Pyongyang Café in Tarragona, a small bar
founded to support Kim Jong-Un's strongman rule.
2016 Aug 3, The United States
and Japan called for the urgent talks after North Korea’s launch of
a ballistic missile that for the first time landed in
2016 Aug 17, South Korea said
Thae Yong Ho, North Korea's deputy ambassador in London, has
defected with his family to South Korea, making him the
highest-ranking Pyongyang diplomat ever to flee the isolated regime
for the democratic South.
2016 Aug 20, North Korean state
media accused diplomat Thae Yong Ho, who defected from Britain to
South Korea, of fleeing to escape punishment for a variety of
crimes, including child rape. KCNA news said “the fugitive was
ordered in June to be summoned for embezzling a lot of state funds,
selling state secrets and committing child rape."
2016 Aug 23, South Korea’s
Yonhap news agency reported that North Korea has laid landmines in
the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between the two Koreas, after the start
of annual US-South Korean military exercises.
2016 Aug 24, South Korea said a
ballistic missile fired from a North Korean submarine flew about 500
km (310 miles), the longest distance achieved by the North for such
a weapon. The missile flew at a high trajectory and has a range of
more than 1,000 km (620 miles) at a normal angle.
(AP, 8/24/16)(Reuters, 8/24/16)
2016 Sep 11, The North Korean
government called American threats of additional sanctions in
response to its nuclear ambitions "laughable" and "meaningless".
2016 Sep 12, China's main
border post with reclusive North Korea was packed with trucks
carrying everything from bricks to exhaust pipes, as it re-opened
for business for the first time since Pyongyang angered the world
with its fifth nuclear test.
2016 Sep, South Korea first
discovered a hacking attack of its military computer network by
North Korea. In 2017 it was revealed that a vast cache of stolen
data included classified wartime contingency plans jointly drawn by
Washington and Seoul.
(SFC, 10/11/17, p.A2)
2016 Oct 1, South Korean
President Park Geun-Hye called on North Koreans to abandon their
country and defect, just a day after a soldier walked across the
heavily fortified border into the South.
2016 Oct 27, Senior officials
from the United States, Japan and South Korea agreed to step up
pressure on North Korea as they stick to their goal of persuading
the communist state to abandon its nuclear weapons.
2016 Oct 29, A senior US
official said China's imports of North Korean coal run counter to
global sanctions, adding that a US missile system deployed in South
Korea should "motivate" Beijing to pressure Pyongyang over its
2016 Nov 15, A key UN committee
approved a resolution condemning North Korea's "systematic,
widespread and gross violations of human rights" and encouraging the
Security Council to refer the country to the International Criminal
2016 Nov 30, The United Nations
Security Council imposed new sanctions on North Korea aimed at
cutting the Asian country's annual export revenue by a quarter in
response to Pyongyang's fifth and largest nuclear test in September.
2016 Dec 2, The United States
blacklisted seven people and 16 North Korean companies for ties to
the North Korean government or its nuclear and weapons programs, the
US Treasury said in a statement.
2016 Dec 8, A senior US
military official said North Korea now has the capability to launch
a nuclear weapon, adding that while the US believes Pyongyang can
mount a warhead on a missile, it's not clear that it can hit a
2016 Dec 19, In South Korea
high-profile North Korean defector Thae Yong Ho told South Korean
lawmakers that he fled because of disillusionment with what he
describes as a "tyrannical reign of terror" by leader Kim Jong Un.
2017 Jan 9, In North Korea
seven miners were initially trapped after the collapse at the Unryul
mine, a leading iron ore producer in the country's southwest. One
miner was rescued 10 days later but six others were found dead.
2017 Jan 26, China released a
new list of items banned for export to North Korea, ranging from
wind tunnels to plutonium, following a new round of United Nations
sanctions and complaints from US President Donald Trump that Beijing
was not doing enough to pressure its communist neighbor.
2017 Feb 3, US President Donald
Trump's defense secretary warned North Korea of an "effective and
overwhelming" response if it chose to use nuclear weapons, as he
reassured South Korea of steadfast US support.
2017 Feb 11, North Korea
launched a missile from an area called Panghyon in its western
region just before 8 a.m. (2300 GMT Saturday). It flew about 500 km
(300 miles). Japan’s PM Shinzo Abe called the launch "absolutely
intolerable" and said North Korea must comply with UN Security
Council resolutions. Pres. Trump speaking alongside Abe said that
the USA is behind Japan, our great ally, 100 percent.
2017 Feb 13, In Malaysia Kim
Jong Nam (46), the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un,
was assassinated at an airport in Kuala Lumpur, telling medical
workers before he died en route to a hospital that he had been
attacked with a chemical spray, later identified as the VX nerve
agent. South Korean media said North Korean female agents
killed him using poisoned needles. Jong-Nam had reportedly travelled
using a fake passport under the name of Kim Chol.
(AP, 2/14/17)(AFP, 2/14/17)(Econ, 3/4/17, p.29)
2017 Feb 15, North Korean
officials spent hours trying to talk Malaysia out of conducting an
autopsy on Kim Jong Un's estranged half-brother, who was murdered at
Kuala Lumpur airport on Feb 13.
2017 Feb 17, North Korea said
it would "categorically reject" the post mortem conducted by
Malaysia on one of its citizens who died in Kuala Lumpur this week,
and demanded that the body of Kim Jong Nam be released immediately.
2017 Feb 17, Indonesia's
national police chief said Siti Aisyah, the Indonesian woman
arrested for suspected involvement in the killing of the North
Korean leader's half-brother in Malaysia, was duped into thinking
she was part of a comedy show prank.
2017 Feb 17, Malaysian police
arrested a North Korean man, identified as Ri Jong Chol (b.1970), in
connection with the murder of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged
half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Malaysia performed
a second autopsy on Nam after the first proved inconclusive and a
diplomatic spat over his body escalated.
(Reuters, 2/18/17)(SFC, 2/18/17, p.A2)
2017 Feb 18, China announced
that it will temporarily stop its imports of coal from North Korea
for the rest of this year (including coal for which customs
applications have been made but not yet processed). China will
suspend all imports of coal from North Korea starting Feb. 19 as
part of its efforts to implement UN sanctions against the country.
(AFP, 2/18/17)(Reuters, 2/19/17)
2017 Feb 19, Malaysian police
said four North Korean suspects in the murder of Kim Jong Nam, the
estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, fled
Malaysia on the day he was attacked at Kuala Lumpur airport and
apparently killed by a fast-acting poison.
2017 Feb 24, Malaysian police
said sometime in the hours after poisoning Kim Jong Nam, the
half-brother of North Korea's leader, one of his two attackers began
to vomit. It was apparently an early indication of the immensely
powerful toxin that was used in the killing: the chemical warfare
2017 Feb 27, South Korean
police said four of the eight North Koreans, identified as suspects
in the Feb 13 assassination of Kim Jong Nam in Malaysia, were agents
from North Korea’s Ministry of State Security.
(SFC, 2/28/17, p.A3)
2017 Mar 3, Malaysian officials
said they have deported Ri Jong Chol, a North Korean man, who was
released from custody after police found insufficient evidence to
charge him in the Feb 13 murder of Kim Jong Nam, the half-brother of
North Korea's leader.
2017 Mar 4, Malaysia expelled
North Korea's ambassador for refusing to apologize for his strong
accusations over Malaysia's handling of the investigation into the
killing of the North Korean leader's half-brother.
2017 Mar 4, The annual report
by a UN panel of experts on North Korea said North Korean weapons
barred by UN sanctions have ended up in the hands of UN peacekeepers
2017 Mar 6, North Korea fired
four banned ballistic missiles that flew about 1,000 km (620 miles)
on average, with three of them landing in waters that Japan claims
as its exclusive economic zone. The EU condemned North Korea for
firing four banned ballistic missiles and said it would consult with
Japan and international partners on how to react.
2017 Mar 6, North Korea said it
has ordered Malaysia's ambassador out of the country in a
tit-for-tat after Malaysia expelled North Korea's envoy over the
death of Kim Jong Nam at Kuala Lumpur's airport.
2017 Mar 7, North Korea closed
its borders to Malaysians who want to leave the country, spurring
Malaysia to issue a retaliatory order and drawing hundreds of
ordinary people into an increasingly bitter diplomatic battle over
the killing of an exiled member of North Korea's ruling family. 11
Malaysian citizens were prevented from flying home.
(AP, 3/7/17)(Econ, 3/11/17, p.40)
2017 Mar 8, China's foreign
minister said that North Korea could suspend its nuclear and missile
activities in exchange for a halt in joint US-South Korea military
drills, in an unusually public proposal that analysts said showed
Beijing's growing alarm over the tensions.
2017 Mar 8, Kim Han Sol (21), a
man claiming to be the son of the slain, estranged half-brother of
North Korea's leader, said he was lying low with his mother and
sister, in a video posted online by a group that said it helped
rescue them following the murder a month ago. His location was not
2017 Mar 9, North Korea
guaranteed the safety of Malaysians banned from leaving the country,
as two Malaysian UN employees left the isolated state in a possible
sign that diplomatic tensions had begun to settle. Nine other
Malaysians were believed to still be stuck there after the two
countries' diplomatic relations broke down over the Feb 13 killing
in Malaysia of the estranged sibling of North Korea's leader.
(Reuters, 3/9/17)(AP, 3/9/17)
2017 Mar 14, Malaysia said that
the body of Kim Jong Nam, the brother of North Korean leader Kim
Jong Un killed last month, has been embalmed and that about 50 North
Koreans whose work permits have expired will be deported.
(SFC, 3/15/17, p.A3)
2017 Mar 17, In South Korea US
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said US policy of strategic
patience with North Korea's nuclear and missile programs has ended,
warning that military action would be "on the table" if Pyongyang
elevated the threat level.
2017 Mar 17, SWIFT, a messaging
network for cross-border payments, suspended services for four
remaining North Korean banks. Earlier this month SWIFT was obliged
to exclude three North Korean banks that were under UN sanctions.
(Econ, 3/25/17, p.63)
2017 Mar 22, North Korea's
latest missile launch ended in failure.
2017 Mar 24, The United States
State Department said it has imposed sanctions on 30 foreign
companies or individuals for transferring sensitive technology to
Iran for its missile program or for violating export controls on
Iran, North Korea and Syria.
2017 Mar 28, Air Koryo, North
Korea's national carrier, connected Pyongyang with the northeastern
Chinese city of Dandong on a twice-weekly inaugural flight.
2017 Mar 30, Malaysia said it
has agreed to release the body of Kim Jong Nam to North Korea in
exchange for the return of nine Malaysians held in the North's
2017 Apr 5, North Korea
conducted another ballistic missile test in defiance of UN
sanctions. The projectile went about 37 miles into the East Sea.
(SFC, 4/5/17, p.A4)
2017 Apr 6, The European Union
expanded sanctions against North Korea over the country's nuclear
tests and launches of ballistic missiles. The new sanctions are
aimed at the country's metalworking, aerospace and arms-related
industries, and services in computing, mining, chemicals and
2017 Apr 7, President Donald
Trump pressed Chinese President Xi Jinping to do more to curb North
Korea's nuclear program and help reduce the gaping US trade deficit
with Beijing in talks as he toned down the strident anti-China
rhetoric of his election campaign.
2017 Apr 10, China and South
Korea agreed to slap tougher sanctions on North Korea if it carries
out nuclear or long-range missile tests, as a US Navy strike group
headed to the region in a show of force.
2017 Apr 14, North Korea staged
a massive rally and military parade to mark the 105th anniversary of
its national founder, Kim Il Sung.
2017 Apr 16, A North Korean
medium-range missile exploded seconds after it was launched and
hours before the arrival of US Vice President Mike Pence in South
2017 Apr 18, Malaysia said 296
North Koreans had surrendered to authorities over the last week, as
it enforces new visa requirements following a dispute over the
murder of the half-brother of North Korea's leader.
2017 Apr 21, In North Korea car
users in Pyongyang scrambled to fill up their tanks as gas stations
began limiting services or even closing amid concerns of a spreading
shortage. Beijing has reportedly been tightening its enforcement of
international sanctions aimed at getting Pyongyang to abandon its
development of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles.
2017 Apr 22, North Korea
detained Tony Kim (aka Kim Sang Dok), a US citizen, bringing to
three the number of Americans now being held there. Kim (58) had
taught accounting at the Pyongyang University of Science and
Technology for about a month. On May 3 the state-run KCNA news
agency said he was arrested for committing "hostile criminal acts
with an aim to subvert the country".
(AP, 4/23/17)(Reuters, 5/3/17)
2017 Apr 23, China's foreign
minister called for the complete denuclearization of the Korean
peninsula amid rising tension over North Korea's missile and nuclear
2017 Apr 26, The Trump
administration told lawmakers it will apply economic and diplomatic
pressure on North Korea to dismantle its nuclear weapons program.
2017 Apr 28, The US urged the
UN Security Council to increase economic pressure on North Korea
over its nuclear weapons program and to lean on China to turn the
screws on its wayward ally.
2017 Apr 29, A North Korean
mid-range ballistic missile apparently failed shortly after launch.
The third test-fire flop just this month was a clear message of
defiance as a U.S. supercarrier conducts drills in nearby waters.
2017 Apr, North Korea's global
coal exports sunk to zero this month, as China choked off imports
from Pyongyang to ramp up pressure on its nuclear-armed neighbor.
2017 Apr, Miniso, a Chinese
home-goods store, opened a store in Pyongyang, North Korea, eight
months after its first South Korean store began operating. Miniso
opened its first in Guangzhou, China, in 2013.
(Econ 6/24/17, p.59)
2017 May 1, President Donald
Trump opened the door to a future meeting with North Korea's Kim
Jong Un, offering unusual praise for the globally ostracized leader
at a time of surging nuclear tensions.
2017 May 4, China said it wants
to be good neighbors with North Korea, after the isolated country's
state news agency published a rare criticism of Chinese state media
commentaries calling for tougher sanctions over the North's nuclear
2017 May 5, North Korea accused
the US Central Intelligence Agency and South Korea's intelligence
service of a plot to attack its "supreme leadership" with a
bio-chemical weapon and said such a "pipe-dream" could never
2017 May 6, North Korea
detained Kim Hak Song, an American citizen employed at the Pyongyang
University of Science and Technology, over unspecified hostile acts
against the country.
2017 May 12, North Korea sent a
rare letter of protest to the US House of Representatives warning
that a new package of tougher sanctions would only spur its
development of nuclear weapons.
2017 May 14, North Korea
launched another ballistic missile that flew for 30 minutes before
dropping into the sea between North Korea's east coast and Japan.
2017 May 16, Cybersecurity
researchers said they have found evidence that could link North
Korea with the WannaCry cyber-attack that has infected more than
300,000 computers worldwide, as global authorities scrambled to
prevent hackers from spreading new versions of the virus.
2017 May 17, North Korea
launched a ferry service to the Russian city of Vladivostok to
develop links and boost economic cooperation.
2017 May 21, North Korea fired
a medium-range missile that flew eastward about 500 km (310 miles)
before landing in the sea.
2017 May 22, North Korea said
it is ready to start mass-producing a new medium-range missile after
a weekend test-launch confirmed its combat readiness.
2017 May 23, South Korea's
military fired warning shots at a suspected drone from North Korea
amid tension over Pyongyang's latest missile test which drew
international condemnation and a warning from China. A day later
South Korea's military said the unidentified object was probably a
balloon carrying Pyongyang's propaganda leaflets.
(AP, 5/23/17)(AP, 5/24/17)
2017 May 26, In Sicily US
President Donald Trump and Japanese PM Shinzo Abe agreed to expand
sanctions against North Korea for its continued development of
nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.
(AP, 5/26/17)(Reuters, 5/26/17)
2017 May 29, North Korea
test-fired a suspected Scud-type short-range missile. It flew about
450 km (280 miles) before landing in Japan's maritime economic zone,
setting off the usual round of condemnation from Washington and the
2017 May, North Korean
architect Choe Song Chon died. His work included the May Day Stadium
in Pyongyang, the biggest in the world.
(Econ 6/10/17, p.41)
2017 Jun 2, Premier Li Keqiang
said China is opposed to Pyongyang's missile launches and will
support any new United Nations sanctions against the country.
2017 Jun 8, North Korea
launched several suspected surface to ship cruise missiles from the
North Korean eastern coastal town of Wonsan. They likely flew about
200 km (125 miles) and landed in waters between the Korean Peninsula
(AP, 6/8/17)(SFC, 6/9/17, p.A3)
2017 Jun 8, The European Union
announced expanded its sanctions against North Korea adding 14 more
people to an asset freeze and travel ban because of the country's
continuing work on nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.
2017 Jun 13, North Korea
released Otto Warmbier (22), a Univ. of Virginia college student who
was serving a 15-year prison term with hard labor for alleged
anti-state acts. North Korea announced Warmbier's arrest in late
January 2016, saying he committed an anti-state crime with "the
tacit connivance of the US government and under its manipulation."
The announcement that came as former NBA player Dennis Rodman was
paying a return visit to Pyongyang. Wambier returned to his home
state of Ohio in a coma suffering a "severe neurological injury,"
and has been in a coma for more than a year.
(AP, 6/13/17)(AP, 6/15/17)
2017 Jun 15, Flamboyant US
basketball star Dennis Rodman handed over a copy of Donald Trump's
"The Art of the Deal" to a North Korean minister, along with a whole
host of other off-the-wall goodies.
2017 Jun 16, North Korea lashed
out at international sanctions over its nuclear and missile
programs, saying they are being used to block everything from frozen
chicken to swimming flippers.
2017 Jun 16, US officials
reportedly seized a diplomatic package from the North Korean
delegation at John F. Kennedy International Airport as the diplomats
were about to fly home. The North Korean delegation was in New York
to attend the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the
Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
2017 Jun 19, In Ohio Otto
Warmbier (22) died in a Cincinnati hospital following his June 13
release by North Korea.
2017 Jun 24, Chinese state
media said China and the United States agreed that efforts to
denuclearize the Korean Peninsula should be "complete, verifiable
and irreversible", reporting the results of high level talks in
Washington this week.
2017 Jun 24, South Korean
President Moon Jae-in invited North Korea to the 2018 Winter Olympic
Games, saying sports could serve as a peace maker.
2017 Jun 28, North Korea said
it has issued a standing order for the execution of former South
Korean President Park Geun-hye and her spy chief for a plot to
assassinate its leader, and it demanded that the South hand the pair
2017 Jun 30, Pres. Donald Trump
met at the White House with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
Trump says that he will start to reduce the US trade deficit by
renegotiating a trade deal with South Korea. Trump called for a
determined response to North Korea after talks with Moon Jae-in
where he stressed the importance of their alliance but took aim at
Seoul over trade and sharing the cost of defense.
(AP, 6/30/17)(Reuters, 7/1/17)
2017 Jul 4, North Korea claimed
it successfully test-launched its first intercontinental ballistic
missile, a potential game-changing development in what may be the
world's most dangerous nuclear standoff. The Hwasong-14 missile
reached an altitude of 1,500 miles and covered about 580 miles.
(AP, 7/4/17)(SFC, 7/5/17, p.A2)(Econ 7/8/17,
2017 Jul 5, US President Donald
Trump denounced China's trade with North Korea and cast doubt on
whether Beijing is working with Washington to counter the North
Korean nuclear threat.
2017 Jul 8, Chinese President
Xi Jinping stressed to US President Donald Trump China's adherence
to resolving the North Korean nuclear issue via talks according to
state news agency Xinhua.
2017 Jul 9, The leaders of
Sweden and Japan demanded that North Korea halts missile tests, and
pledged increased cooperation in the UN as PM Shinzo Abe met with PM
Stefan Lofven in Helsinki.
2017 Jul 12, It was reported
that the Russian city of Vladivostok has embraced cheap North Korean
painters. Human rights groups said most of the laborer’s earnings
are confiscated by the state.
(SFC, 7/12/17, p.A3)
2017 Jul 17, South Korea
proposed military talks with North Korea, the first formal overture
to Pyongyang by the government of President Moon Jae-in, to discuss
ways to avoid hostile acts near the heavily militarized border.
2017 Jul 19, A report by a
Seoul-based non-government group said North Korea carries out public
executions on river banks and at school grounds and marketplaces for
charges such as stealing copper from factory machines, distributing
media from South Korea and prostitution.
2017 Jul 21, Young Pioneer
Tours said the United States will bar Americans from travelling to
North Korea as of July 27, a month after a US tourist, student Otto
Warmbier, died following his imprisonment by Pyongyang. Warmbier
(22) died after being medically evacuated to the United States
suffering from severe brain damage. He had spent 18 months in
captivity in North Korea.
2017 Jul 21, The UN reported
that North Korea is suffering its worst drought in 16 years.
(SFC, 7/22/17, p.A2)
2017 Jul 28, North Korea
launched another intercontinental ballistic missile. The Hwasong-14
missile reached a maximum height of 3,725 km (2,314 miles) and
traveled 998 km (620 miles) before accurately landing in waters off
2017 Jul 28, Japan said it will
freeze the assets of five organizations and nine individuals linked
to North Korea, including two Chinese entities.
2017 Jul 30, The United States
flew two supersonic B-1B bombers over the Korean peninsula in a show
of force after Pyongyang's recent tests of intercontinental
ballistic missiles (ICBM).
2017 Aug 1, It was reported
that the number of North Koreans slipping illegally into Thailand
has surged in recent months. An immigration official said an average
of 20 to 30 North Koreans arrive each week now in northern Thailand
2017 Aug 5, The UN Security
Council unanimously approved the sanctions on North Korea, including
banning coal and other exports worth over $1 billion. The US-drafted
measure, negotiated with China, aimed at increasing economic
pressure on Pyongyang to return to negotiations on its nuclear and
2017 Aug 6, Chinese Foreign
Minister Wang Yi, on the sidelines of the ASEAN meeting in Manila,
urged his North Korean counterpart to abide by UN resolutions and
stop provoking "the international community's goodwill" with missile
launches and nuclear tests.
2017 Aug 9, North Korea said it
was "carefully examining" a plan to strike Guam, which is home to
about 163,000 people and a US military base that includes a
submarine squadron, an airbase and a Coast Guard group.
2017 Aug 8, Pres. Donald Trump
issued his strongest warning yet for North Korea in comments to
reporters in New Jersey, saying that "North Korea best not make any
more threats to the US. They will be met with fire and fury like the
world has never seen".
2017 Aug 9, North Korea freed
Hyeon Soo Lim, a Canadian pastor serving a life sentence there, on
humanitarian grounds, just hours after the United States warned it
would counter any threat from the North with "fire and fury".
2017 Aug 10, North Korea
dismissed warnings by US President Donald Trump that it would face
"fire and fury" if it threatened the United States and outlined
detailed plans on for a missile strike near the US Pacific territory
2017 Aug 10, The European Union
said it has added nine people and four entities to its North Korea
sanctions list, as part of new United Nations measures in the wake
of Pyongyang's latest missile tests.
2017 Aug 10, Kuwait said it
will continue to grant visas to North Korean laborers whose wages
allegedly aid Pyongyang in evading international sanctions.
2017 Aug 14, China's Commerce
Ministry issued a ban effective Aug 15 on several imports from North
Korea, including coal, iron ore, lead concentrates and ore, lead and
seafood, a move that is in line with UN sanctions announced this
2017 Aug 15, North Korean state
media said leader Kim Jong Un has delayed a decision on firing
missiles towards Guam while he waits to see what the United States
does next, as South Korea's president said Seoul would seek to
prevent war by all means. North Korea's military presented Kim Jong
Un with plans to launch missiles into waters near Guam and "wring
the windpipes of the Yankees," even as both Koreas and the United
States signaled their willingness to avert a deepening crisis.
(Reuters, 8/15/17)(AP, 8/15/17)
2017 Aug 17, Chile said it is
rejecting a US request to break off all diplomatic and commercial
ties with North Korea that was made by Vice President Mike Pence
during a visit to the South American nation. Commercial trade
between Chile and North Korea is just $27 million a year, about $25
million of which is Chilean imports.
2017 Aug 21, South Korean and
US forces began computer-simulated military exercises amid tension
over North Korea's weapons programs.
2017 Aug 21, A confidential UN
report, seen by Reuters today, found North Korea evaded UN sanctions
by "deliberately using indirect channels" to export banned
commodities and had generated $270 million since February.
2017 Aug 22, US Treasury
officials said the United States is imposing sanctions on Chinese
and Russian companies and individuals for supporting North Korean
weapons programs, including those dealing in Pyongyang's energy
trade and helping North Korean entities gain access to the US and
international finance system.
2017 Aug 25, The UN nuclear
watchdog (IAEA) said in an annual report that North Korea has
increased its efforts to produce parts for a new nuclear reactor it
is building while continuing to operate the main existing one that
provides fuel for its atom bombs.
2017 Aug 26, North Korea fired
several rockets into the sea in the continuation of its rapid
nuclear and missile expansion, prompting South Korea to press ahead
with military drills involving U.S. troops that have angered
2017 Aug 29, North Korea fired
a ballistic missile designed to carry a nuclear payload that flew
over Japan and splashed into the northern Pacific Ocean. US
President Donald Trump said North Korea had signaled its "contempt
for its neighbors" and that "all options are on the table" in terms
of a US response. The foreign ministers of Russia and the United
Arab Emirates urged North Korea to stop its provocations and obey UN
2017 Aug 30, North Korean state
media said Kim Jong Un has called for more weapons launches
targeting the Pacific Ocean to advance his country's ability to
2017 Aug 30, The United States
called for "concerted action" by the international community to
pressure North Korea into abandoning its banned nuclear and missile
programs by fully enforcing economic sanctions.
2017 Sep 3, North Korea
released photos of leader Kim Jong Un next to what it described as a
H-bomb for an ICBM, then actually detonating a device underground in
its sixth and by far most powerful nuclear test to date. Chinese
seismologists later concluded that North Korea's underground nuclear
test site partially collapsed following the massive bomb blast,
making it unusable. The blast triggered a 6.3-magnitude earthquake
that was felt across the northern border with China.
(AP, 9/3/17)(Econ, 9/9/17, p.36)(AP, 4/25/18)
2017 Sep 5, South Korean
warships conducted live-fire exercises at sea in a second straight
day of military swagger from a nation still rattled by the North's
biggest-ever nuclear test.
2017 Sep 9, North Korea's state
media marked the nation's founding anniversary with calls for a
nuclear arms buildup, in defiance of mounting international
2017 Sep 11, South Korea's
Yonhap news agency reported that Egypt's defense minister, on a
visit to Seoul, announced that his country has cut military ties
with North Korea.
2017 Sep 11, The UN voted on a
new resolution for the toughest sanctions ever on North Korea. UN
experts have reported that North Korea illegally exported
commodities worth at least $270 million to China and other countries
over a six-month period ending in August. The council banned textile
exports and capped imports of crude oil.
(SFC, 9/11/17 p.A2)(AP, 9/12/17)
2017 Sep 12, North Korea
condemned "vicious" new UN sanctions imposed over its sixth and
largest nuclear test, warning it would make the US "suffer the
greatest pain" it has ever experienced.
2017 Sep 14, A North Korean
state agency threatened to use nuclear weapons to "sink" Japan and
reduce the United States to "ashes and darkness" for supporting a UN
Security Council resolution and sanctions over its latest nuclear
2017 Sep 15, North Korea
conducted its longest-ever test flight of a ballistic missile,
sending an intermediate-range weapon 2,300 miles over US ally Japan
into the northern Pacific Ocean in a launch that signals both
defiance to its rivals and a big technological advance.
(AP, 9/15/17)(SFC, 9/16/17 p.A3)
2017 Sep 17, Kuwait said it has
given North Korea's ambassador a month to leave the Gulf state and
will downgrade its diplomatic representation with Pyongyang. A
source said Kuwait will not renew permits given to North Korean
workers to re-enter the country after projects they are currently
working on are completed "within one or two years". Kuwait has also
decided to stop issuing visas to North Koreans and suspend all trade
relations and flight links with Pyongyang.
2017 Sep 21, President Donald
Trump said the United States would be adding more sanctions on North
2017 Sep 22, North Korea said
it might test a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean after President
Donald Trump vowed to destroy the reclusive country, with leader Kim
Jong Un promising to make Trump pay dearly for his threats.
2017 Sep 22, China’s commerce
ministry said it will limit exports of refined petroleum products to
North Korea starting October 1, confirming Beijing's participation
in new UN sanctions intended to rein in its rogue neighbor.
2017 Sep 23, In North Korea
tens of thousands of Pyongyang residents gathered in the capital's
Kim Il-Sung Square to laud leader Kim Jong-Un's denunciation of US
President Donald Trump.
2017 Sep 26, US Pres. Donald
Trump publicly accused Pyongyang of abusing the late 22-year-old
Otto Warmbier, an allegation likely to heighten tensions between the
two nuclear powers. The Trump administration slapped sanctions on
eight North Korean banks and 26 bank workers living abroad.
(AFP, 9/26/17)(SFC, 9/27/17, p.A3)
2017 Sep 30, US Secretary of
State Rex Tillerson disclosed that the United States was directly
communicating with North Korea on its nuclear and missile programs
but that Pyongyang had shown no interest in dialogue.
2017 Oct 1, North Korea opened
a second internet connection with the outside world, this time via
Russia, a move which cyber security experts said could give
Pyongyang greater capability to conduct cyber attacks. Dyn Research,
which monitors international internet traffic flows, said it had
seen Russian telecommunications company TransTeleCom routing North
Korean traffic since about 0908 GMT today.
2017 Oct 1, US President Donald
Trump said that he told Sec. of State Rex Tillerson not to waste his
time trying to negotiate with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
2017 Oct 1, Italian Foreign
Minister Angelino Alfano said North Korea's ambassador to Italy will
be expelled from the country in protest over Pyongyang's recent
nuclear and ballistic missile tests. Italy, however, would not sever
its diplomatic relations with North Korea because he said it was
useful to maintain a channel of communication.
2017 Oct 4, US Senate leaders
said that the US needs to keep products made by North Koreans out of
the United States and get China to refuse to hire North Korean
2017 Oct 7, North Korean leader
Kim Jong-Un promoted his sister to a senior ruling party post, and
praised the country's nuclear weapons program which has sparked
2017 Oct 12, The United Arab
Emirates said it was ending the mission of North Korea's
non-resident ambassador and terminating its own envoy's services in
Pyongyang. The UAE will also stop issuing new visas or company
licenses to North Korean citizens.
2017 Oct 13, On four voyages
between Oct. 13, 2017, and May 7, 2018, the Russian Tantal tanker
gave its destination as the Chinese port of Ningbo when it set sail.
It then met up in international waters with a North Korean vessel to
which it transferred its cargo of fuel.
2017 Oct 15, Russia resumed sea
trips to isolated North Korea after a two-month break. The ferry
line, the only one between the two countries, was opened in May to
carry passengers, predominantly Chinese tourists, and cargoes. It
stopped operating in August because the port in Vladivostok refused
to provide services to the vessel after the company failed to pay
2017 Oct 15, Secretary of State
Rex Tillerson said that President Donald Trump had instructed him to
continue diplomatic efforts to calm rising tensions with North
Korea, saying "those diplomatic efforts will continue until the
first bomb drops."
2017 Oct 16, Russia’s President
Vladimir Putin signed a decree imposing restrictions on North Korea
in order to comply with a UN Security Council resolution introduced
in response to Pyongyang's missile tests in late 2016.
2017 Oct 17, US and Japanese
diplomats agreed to maximize pressure on North Korea to resolve
tensions over its nuclear program.
2017 Oct 20, Uganda said it has
expelled North Korean military experts and representatives of North
Korean companies, including its top arms dealer, as African nations
face growing pressure to comply with UN sanctions over Pyongyang's
nuclear weapons program.
2017 Oct 23, A UN committee
said it has added 32 items that have both civilian and military use
to a list of prohibited goods and technologies banned from sale or
transfer to North Korea.
(SFC, 10/24/17, p.A2)
2017 Oct 30, President Donald
Trump and Japanese PM Shinzo Abe agreed by phone to work together on
steps to counter North Korea's nuclear and missile development,
ahead of the US leader's visit to Asia.
2017 Oct 31, Japanese
broadcaster TV Asahi said a tunnel at North Korea's nuclear test
site collapsed after Pyongyang's sixth atomic test on September 3,
possibly killing more than 200 people.
2017 Nov 7, Sources said
Chinese tour operators based in the border city of Dandong have been
told to halt trips to the North Korean capital Pyongyang, the day
before US President Donald Trump's first official visit to China.
2017 Nov 8, Singapore suspended
trade ties with North Korea in the latest move by a country to
implement UN sanctions to curb Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program.
2017 Nov 11, North Korea lashed
out at Donald Trump's "warmonger's" tour of Asia as the US president
landed in Hanoi on the latest leg of a five-nation regional visit to
drum up support against Pyongyang's nuclear weapons build-up.
2017 Nov 12, US President
Donald Trump said in a tweet that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un
had insulted him by calling him "old" and said he would never call
Kim "short and fat".
2017 Nov 16, The US said Sudan
will cut all military and trade ties with North Korea. The
announcement came after a visit to Khartoum by Deputy Secretary of
State John Sullivan.
2017 Nov 18, A senior Chinese
envoy discussed regional concerns with officials in Pyongyang, as
the US pressed China to help ease the standoff over the North's
2017 Nov 18, In Germany
hundreds of people formed a human chain between the United States
and North Korean embassies in downtown Berlin during a protest of
the rising tensions and harsh words between the two nations.
2017 Nov 20, A high-level
Chinese envoy wrapped up a four-day trip to North Korea after
meeting with top officials and discussing the tense state of affairs
on the Korean Peninsula and other issues.
2017 Nov 20, North Korea’s
foreign minister arrived in Cuba, in search of support amid
unprecedented pressure from the United States and the international
community to cease its nuclear weapons and missile programs.
2017 Nov 20, South Korea's spy
agency told lawmakers that North Korea has punished two of its top
military officers, including one widely seen as its second-most
powerful official, during a highly unusual inspection of the
military's powerful political bureau.
2017 Nov 20, A UN human rights
panel said on North Korean women are deprived of education and job
opportunities and are often subjected to violence at home and sexual
assault in the workplace.
2017 Nov 20, US Pres. Donald
Trump officially designated North Korea as a state sponsor of
(SFC, 11/21/17, p.A4)
2017 Nov 21, China’s
state-owned airline Air China suspended flights between Beijing and
North Korea due to a lack of demand.
2017 Nov 21, The Trump
administration announced new sanctions on North Korea, after
declaring it a state sponsor of terrorism.
2017 Nov 22, North Korea
denounced US President Donald Trump's decision to relist it as a
state sponsor of terrorism, calling it a "serious provocation and
2017 Nov 23, Eight men were
found on Japan's northern coast who said they are from North Korea
and washed ashore after their boat broke down. Investigators
believed the men are not defectors and wished to return home.
2017 Nov 24, China said it is
temporarily closing its main road connection with North Korea.
Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the China-North Korea
Friendship Bridge across the Yalu River at the Chinese city of
Dandong will be closed while North Korea repairs the approach road
on its side.
2017 Nov 28, North Korea
launched its most powerful weapon yet, claiming a new type of
intercontinental ballistic missile, called the Hwasong-15, that some
observers believe could reach Washington and the entire eastern US
(AP, 11/29/17)(SFC, 11/29/17, p.A3)
2017 Nov 29, President Donald
Trump threatened new sanctions on North Korea after its most
powerful missile test yet and urged China's leader "to use all
available levers" to convince its wayward ally to "return to the
path of denuclearization." Trump called on Chinese President Xi
Jinping to exert Beijing's pressure on North Korea.
(AP, 11/29/17)(Reuters, 11/29/17)
2017 Nov 29, Washington urged
tough action at an emergency meeting of the Security Council held
today to respond to North Korea's launch of an intercontinental
ballistic missile (ICBM). US Ambassador Nikki Haley’s call for
nations to "cut off all ties with North Korea" was rejected by
2017 Dec 4, In northern Japan
three bodies of people believed to be North Koreans were recovered,
two days after authorities found a dilapidated empty boat.
2017 Dec 5, A senior UN
official arrived in Pyongyang for a rare, four-day visit at the
invitation of the North Korean government.
2017 Dec 9, Japanese police
arrested three crew of a North Korean boat for stealing a generator
from a hut on an uninhabited island.
2017 Dec 9, Meeting in Oslo,
Norway, representatives of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, the
International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), called on
the US and North Korea to reduce tensions and end the "urgent
threat" posed by weapons of mass destruction.
2017 Dec 10, South Korean media
reported that the government will impose new unilateral sanctions
against nuclear-armed Pyongyang.
2017 Dec 11, China failed to
stop the fourth annual UN Security Council meeting on human rights
abuses in North Korea, saying it was not the right forum to discuss
the issue and warning that it could further escalate tensions in the
2017 Dec 11, South Korea added
20 North Korean groups, several banks and 12 individuals to its
sanctions list in a largely symbolic move that is part of efforts to
cut off funding for the North's weapons programs.
2017 Dec 14, UN
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for urgent efforts to
create conditions for talks on North Korea's growing missile and
2017 Dec 15, Japan froze the
assets of 19 companies to step up pressure on North Korea to return
Japanese citizens that it abducted in the 1970s and 1980s and to
halt its nuclear weapons and missile development.
2017 Dec 16, Australian police
arrested Chan Han Choi (59), accused of working on the black market
to sell missile components and coal on behalf of North Korea. Choi
had been living in Australia for more than 30 years and was of
2017 Dec 19, South Korean
researchers said a series of recent cyber attacks has netted North
Korean hackers millions of dollars in virtual currencies like
bitcoin, with more attacks expected as international sanctions drive
the country to seek new sources of cash. Bitcoin was trading at over
$19,104 per bitcoin at one point today, up from less than $1,000 at
the beginning of 2017. Youbit, a bitcoin exchange, announced it had
suffered another cyber attack that cost it 17 percent of its assets,
forcing the exchange to halt operations and file for bankruptcy.
2017 Dec 19, Pres. Donald
Trump's administration publicly blamed North Korea for a "careless
and reckless" ransomware attack that infected hundreds of thousands
of computers worldwide in May and crippled parts of Britain's
National Health Service. Britain said North Korea's Lazarus hacking
group was behind the 'WannaCry" cyber attack.
(AP, 12/19/17)(Reuters, 12/19/17)
2017 Dec 21, South Korean
soldiers fired 20 warning machine gun rounds, turning back North
Korean soldiers apparently pursuing a comrade who had earlier dashed
across the rivals' shared border. It is the fourth time this year a
North Korean soldier has defected across the world's most heavily
2017 Dec 22, The UN Security
Council approved a US-drafted resolution ramping up sanctions on
North Korea by restricting oil supplies vital for Pyongyang's
missile and nuclear programs.
(AFP, 12/22/17)(AP, 12/23/17)
2017 Dec 22, The US State
Department re-designated China, Eritrea, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea,
Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan as
"countries of particular concern" under the International Religious
Freedom Act for having engaged in or tolerated egregious violations
of religious freedom.
2017 Dec 24, North Korea called
the latest UN sanctions to target the country "an act of war" that
violates its sovereignty, and said it is a "pipe dream" for the
United States to think it will give up its nuclear weapons.
2017 Dec 24, A code for mining
cryptocurrency was created and sent any mined coins to a server at a
North Korean university, the latest sign that North Korea may be
searching for new ways to infuse its economy with cash. The
application uses host computers to mine a cryptocurrency called
Monero. It then sends any coins to Kim Il Sung University in
2017 Dec 26, The US Treasury
Department issued sanctions against two officials it describes as
"key leaders of North Korea's unlawful weapons programs." The
sanctions against Kim Jong Sik and Ri Pyong Chol block them from any
property or interests in property within US jurisdiction, and
prohibit them from transactions with American citizens.
2017 Dec 28, China blocked a US
effort at the United Nations to blacklist six foreign-flagged ships
following reports of illicit sales of oil products to North Korea.
2017 Dec 28, Japanese
authorities indicted the North Korean captain of a boat that drifted
to its coast on charges of stealing a generator, appliances and
other equipment from an uninhabited island. The captain and his nine
crewmembers on a dilapidated boat were rescued near a tiny island
off of Hokkaido, in late November.
2017 Dec 28, South Korea said
it "humbly accepts" there is no evidence North Korea diverted wages
paid to its workers by South Korean firms in a now-closed border
industrial park to bankroll its weapons programs as the previous
2017 Dec 29, South Korea said
that it was holding a Hong Kong-flagged ship and its crew members
for allegedly violating UN sanctions by transferring oil to a North
Korean vessel on October 19.
2017 Dec 30, Two senior Western
European security sources said Russian tankers have supplied fuel to
North Korea on at least three occasions in recent months by
transferring cargoes at sea.
2017 Dec 31, South Korean
authorities said they have seized a Panama-flagged oil tanker
suspected of evading international sanctions by trading with North
Korea. The 5,100-ton KOTI was detained two weeks ago at the South's
port of Pyeongtaek-Dangjin and its crew were being investigated over
the alleged ship-to-ship transfers.
2017 The Cheollima Civil
Defense, also known as Free Joseon, first went public, when it said
it was protecting the family of Kim Jong Un's half-brother Kim Jong
Nam, who was murdered this year in a Malaysian airport. In 2019 the
group was implicated in a raid on North Korea's embassy in Spain.
2017 A UN Security Council
resolution demanded that all countries send home all North Korean
workers by Dec. 22, 2019, to stop them earning foreign currency for
North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
2018 Jan 2, South Korea
proposed high-level talks with Pyongyang on January 9, after the
North's leader Kim Jong-Un called for better relations and said his
country might attend the Winter Olympics in the South.
2018 Jan 3, North Korean leader
Kim Jong Un reopened a key cross-border communication channel with
South Korea for the first time in nearly two years as the rivals
explored the possibility of sitting down and talking after months of
acrimony and fears of war.
2018 Jan 5, North Korea agreed
to hold official talks with the South next week, the first in more
than two years, hours after the United States and South Korea
delayed a military exercise amid a standoff over the North's nuclear
and missile programs.
2018 Jan 5, China tightened
limits on critically important energy supplies to North Korea and
stepped up other trade restrictions under intensified UN nuclear
2018 Jan 8, The rival Koreas
took steps toward reducing their bitter animosity during rare talks,
as North Korea agreed to send a delegation to next month's Winter
Olympics in South Korea, hold talks on lowering tension along their
border and reopen a military hotline.
(AP, 1/9/18)(SFC, 1/9/ 18, p.A4)
2018 Jan 10, US President
Donald Trump told his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in he is
open to talking with North Korea as the two leaders spoke by
2018 Jan 13, The rival Koreas
agreed that their talks next week will address a North Korean art
troupe's visit to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in the South,
rather than the participation of the nation's athletes.
2018 Jan 15, The two Koreas met
for the second time in a week as they try to hammer out details for
the North's participation in next month's Games. The two sides
agreed that North Korea's delegation to the Winter Olympics in South
Korea will include a 140-member art troupe, while discussions
continued over fielding a joint women's hockey team.
2018 Jan 16, The United States
and Canada co-hosted the day-long meeting in Vancouver to discuss
ways to increase pressure on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Twenty
nations agreed to consider tougher sanctions to press North Korea to
give up its nuclear weapons and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson
warned Pyongyang it could trigger a military response if it did not
choose negotiations. China was not invited to the 20-nation conclave
2018 Jan 17, The rival Koreas
agreed to form their first unified Olympic team and have their
athletes parade together for the first time in 11 years during the
opening ceremony of next month's Winter Olympics in South Korea.
2018 Jan 20, The North
Korean-flagged tanker "Rye Song Gang 1" - blacklisted by the UN last
month for carrying banned cargo - was spotted by a Japanese Maritime
Self Defence Force patrol plane with the Dominican-flagged tanker
"Yuk Tung" tied up beside it in the East China Sea.
2018 Jan 20, The International
Olympic Committee North Korea will send 22 athletes to next month's
Winter Games in the South, approving a landmark deal between two
nations still officially at war.
2018 Jan 21, Hyon Song Wol, the
head of a hugely popular North Korean girl band, crossed the heavily
fortified border into South Korea as part of an official delegation,
triggering a media frenzy as she checked potential venues for
performances during next month's Winter Olympics.
2018 Jan 22, The EU imposed
travel bans and asset freezes on North Koreans accused of helping
Pyongyang evade United Nations sanctions linked to the secretive
country's nuclear and ballistic missile tests.
2018 Jan 24, The United States
tightened its economic crackdown on North Korea over its nuclear
arms program, imposing sanctions on nine entities, 16 people and six
ships it accused of helping Pyongyang develop weapons of mass
2018 Jan 25, Female hockey
players from the rival Koreas were paired up with each other to form
their first-ever Olympic squad during next month's Pyeongchang
2018 Jan 26, Three Western
European intelligence sources said North Korea shipped coal to
Russia last year which was then delivered to South Korea and Japan
in a likely violation of UN sanctions. A US security source also
confirmed the coal trade via Russia and said it was continuing.
2018 Jan 29, South Korea's
unification ministry said North Korea has canceled a joint cultural
performance with South Korea scheduled for Feb. 4 blaming South
Korean media for encouraging "insulting" public sentiment regarding
the North. The performance was to be held in the North Korean
territory of Mount Kumgang.
2018 Jan 30, The United Nations
Children's Fund (UNICEF) said an estimated 60,000 children face
potential starvation in North Korea, where international sanctions
are exacerbating the situation by slowing aid deliveries.
2018 Feb 2, President Donald
Trump sought to increase pressure on Pyongyang over its nuclear
program by consulting with allies and highlighting the human rights
abuses suffered by defectors from North Korea.
2018 Feb 2, UN experts said
North Korea is flouting UN sanctions on oil and gas, engaging in
prohibited ballistic missile cooperation with Syria and Myanmar, and
illegally exporting commodities that brought in nearly $200 million
in just nine months last year.
2018 Feb 3, The head of
Germany's domestic intelligence agency said North Korea has used its
embassy in Berlin to acquire equipment apparently intended for its
missile or nuclear programs.
2018 Feb 5, A 23-member advance
team of North Koreans arrived in South Korea to prepare for the
North's participation in the Pyeongchang Olympics.
2018 Feb 5, China released a
further list of goods banned for export to North Korea, saying the
items could be used to build weapons of mass destruction.
2018 Feb 6, A North Korean
ferry arrived in South Korea on Tuesday carrying a 140-strong
orchestra to perform during the Winter Olympics, taking advantage of
a rare sanctions exemption from Seoul 16 years after its previous
visit but greeted by angry protests.
2018 Feb 7, In South Korea a
229-member strong, all-female cheering section arrived from North
Korea for the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.
2018 Feb 8, North Korean leader
Kim Jong Un presided over an extravagant military parade in
Pyongyang's Kim Il Sung Square to mark the 70th anniversary of the
founding of its military.
2018 Feb 8, A spokeswoman for
the Russian Foreign Ministry said North Korean workers can stay in
Russia until Dec. 2019, in line with a United Nations' resolution.
2018 Feb 9, North Korean leader
Kim Jong Un's younger sister took her place among dignitaries from
around the world, including US Vice President Mike Pence, at the
opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in an
unprecedented visit to South Korea.
2018 Feb 10, In South Korea the
sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said a summit between her
brother and South Korean President Moon Jae-in would pave the way
for a fast improvement in ties that would make "yesterday seem like
a long time ago." The Koreans suffered an 8-0 shutout by Switzerland
in Pyeongchang as around 200 of North Korea's famed "army of
beauties" charmed a crowd of 3,600 besotted locals with nostalgic
oldies -- and even broke out a Mexican wave. Lim Hyo-jun won the
men's 1,500-meter final, giving South Korea its first gold medal of
the Pyeongchang Games.
(AP, 2/10/18)(AFP, 2/10/18)
2018 Feb 22, North Korea's 22
athletes wrapped up their competition at the Pyeongchang Winter
Olympics without a finish higher than 13th.
2018 Feb 23, South Korean
lawmakers protested over a visit by top North Korean Gen. Kim Yong
Chol for the Pyeongchang Olympics, labelling him a war criminal over
the 2010 sinking of a warship and calling for his execution.
2018 Feb 23, The Trump
administration imposed sanctions on more than 50 vessels, shipping
companies and trade businesses in its latest bid to pressure North
Korea over its nuclear program. Ivanka Trump told South Korea's
president that she will use her visit to the Winter Olympics to
advocate maximum pressure on North Korea to halt its nuclear
2018 Feb 24, A Japanese
surveillance plane spotted the North Korean-flagged tanker "Chon Ma
San", designated by the United States as a sanction target, with the
Maldivian-flagged tanker "Xin Yuan 18" some 250 km (156 miles) east
of Shanghai in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions.
2018 Feb 25, North Korean envoy
Kim Yong Chol, making a rare visit to South Korea, said that his
country was willing to open talks with the United States.
2018 Feb 28, Maldives denied a
Japanese foreign ministry statement that said a Maldives-flagged
vessel was used to illegally transfer goods from a North
Korean-flagged tanker in defiance of UN Security Council
2018 Feb 28, UN experts said
its investigations into Pyongyang's transfer of prohibited ballistic
missile, conventional arms and dual use goods found more than 40
previously unreported shipments to Syria between 2012 and 2017. It
said an unnamed UN member state also reported evidence of Myanmar's
receipt of a range of conventional weapons from North Korea
including multiple rocket launchers and surface-to-air missiles in
addition to ballistic missile systems.
2018 Feb, Global Fund,
supported in large part by the US, informed North Korea that it is
ending all of its North Korea-related grants, saying it could no
longer accept the North's "unique operating conditions." Global Fund
will be providing buffer stocks of medicines and health products to
help support the treatment of tuberculosis patients through June
next year. Tuberculosis is North Korea's biggest public health
2018 Mar 5, A South Korean
delegation met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, after arriving in
the North on a visit aimed at encouraging North Korea and the US to
2018 Mar 6, South Korea's
presidential office announced that North Korea and South Korea have
agreed to hold a summit next month at a truce village inside the
Demilitarized Zone that divides their countries.
2018 Mar 6, A senior South
Korean official, after returning from the North, said North Korean
leader Kim Jung Un has expressed a willingness to discuss nuclear
disarmament with the US and impose a moratorium on nuclear and
missile tests during such talks.
2018 Mar 7, India said it has
imposed new restrictions on trade with North Korea, in line with UN
Security Council sanctions slapped on the reclusive country for its
nuclear and missile programs.
2018 Mar 8, US President Donald
Trump and third-generation North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un agreed
to meet face-to-face for talks about the North's nuclear program.
2018 Mar 11, Trump
administration officials said there will be no more conditions
imposed on North Korea before a first-ever meeting of the two
nation's leaders beyond the North's promise not to resume nuclear
testing and missile flights or publicly criticize US-South Korean
2018 Mar 12, Japan and South
Korea agreed that maximum pressure must be maintained on North Korea
until it takes concrete action toward addressing concerns about its
nuclear weapon and missile programs.
2018 Mar 16, North Korea's
foreign minister met briefly with Sweden's prime minister during a
surprise trip to Stockholm that has fueled speculation about a
possible meeting in the Scandinavian country between US President
Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
2018 Mar 18, Australia's prime
minister and Southeast Asian leaders meeting in Sydney called on
North Korea to end its nuclear program and urged UN countries to
fully implement sanctions against the country.
2018 Mar 26, A special train
from North Korea to Beijing and unusually heavy security at a
guesthouse where prominent North Koreans have stayed seemed to point
to the possibility that Kim Jong Un was making his first visit to
China as the North's leader.
2018 Mar 27, North Korean
leader Kim Jong Un's secretive talks with Chinese President Xi
Jinping in Beijing was confirmed after his return home.
2018 Mar 30, International
Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach met with Kim Jong Un in
Pyongyang and said the North Korean leader is committed to having
his country participate in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics and the
Beijing Winter Games in 2022.
2018 Mar 30, The UN Security
Council annnounced a new package of sanctions that targeted
smuggling at sea by North Korea. The UN blacklisted 27 ships, 21
shipping companies and one individual accused of helping North Korea
evade previous sanctions. The ships included five based in China, 15
North Korean ships and 12 non-North Korean ships.
(AP, 3/31/18)(SSFC, 4/1/18, p.A4)(Reuters,
2018 Mar 31, Some of South
Korea's biggest pop stars flew to North Korea for rare performances
that highlight the sudden thaw in inter-Korean ties after years of
tensions over the North's nuclear ambitions.
2018 Apr 7, North and South
Korea held talks over establishing a telephone hotline between their
leaders and other communication issues ahead of a rare summit
between the rivals later this month.
2018 Apr 8, China banned
exports to North Korea of electronics and other goods that can be
used in making weapons, tightening UN sanctions imposed over
Pyongyang's nuclear and missile development.
2018 Apr 15, In North Korea the
unfinished 105-story Ryugyong Hotel became the backdrop of a massive
light show in which more than 100,000 LEDs flash images of famous
statues and monuments, bursts of fireworks, party symbols and
political slogans to mark the birthday of the country's "eternal
president," Kim Il Sung.
2018 Apr 17, Government sources
said that CIA Director Mike Pompeo secretly met with North Korean
leader Kim Jong Un over the Easter weekend.
2018 Apr 19, The European Union
imposed travel bans and asset freezes on four people suspected of
"deceptive financial practices" to benefit North Korea's arms
program. The EU did not name the four.
2018 Apr 20, North and South
Korea installed a direct phone line between their leaders as they
prepare for the first summit since 2007.
2018 Apr 20, North Korea's Kim
Jong Un laid out a new strategy at a meeting of his ruling party's
Central Committee that suspends underground nuclear tests and
test-launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles.
2018 Apr 21, North Korea said
it has suspended nuclear and long-range missile tests and plans to
close its nuclear test site.
2018 Apr 22, In North Korea a
bus plunged from a bridge killing 32 Chinese tourists and four North
Koreans late today in North Hwanghae province.
2018 Apr 23, South Korea halted
anti-North Korea propaganda broadcasts across their tense border as
officials from the two Koreas met again to work out details of their
leaders' upcoming talks, expected to focus on the North's nuclear
2018 Apr 25, It was reported
that Chinese seismologists have concluded that North Korea's
underground nuclear test site has partially collapsed following a
massive bomb blast last year, making it unusable. The blast last
September 3 triggered a 6.3-magnitude earthquake that was felt
across the northern border with China. The North claimed it tested a
2018 Apr 27, North Korean
leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in set aside
a year that saw them seemingly on the verge of war, grasped hands
and strode together across the cracked concrete marking the Koreas'
border. Kim became the first North Korean leader to visit South
Korean territory. The leaders pledged in a joint statement to rid
their peninsula of nuclear weapons.
2018 May 1, North and South
Korea dismantled huge loudspeakers used to blare Cold War-style
propaganda across their tense border, as South Korea's president
asked the United Nations to observe the North's planned closing of
its nuclear test site.
2018 May 3, North Korean leader
Kim Jong Un told a visiting Chinese diplomat that he is committed to
2018 May 5, North Korea
readjusted its time zone to match South Korea's and described the
change as an early step toward making the longtime rivals "become
one" following a landmark summit.
2018 May 6, North Korea said
its intention to denuclearize, unveiled at a historic inter-Korean
summit, was not the result of US-led sanctions and pressure, warning
the United States not to mislead public opinion.
2018 May 7, North Korean leader
Kim Jong Un met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in the northern
Chinese port city of in Dalian and pledged his continuing commitment
to denuclearization ahead of his expected summit with US.
2018 May 9, North Korea
released three American detainees and handed them over to US
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, clearing a major obstacle to an
unprecedented summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean
leader Kim Jong Un.
2018 May 10, President Donald
Trump welcomed three Americans who had been held prisoner in North
Korea back home, thanking leader Kim Jong Un for their release and
sounding upbeat about a planned US-North Korea summit.
2018 May 10, The United Nations
human rights investigator on North Korea called on for six South
Korean nationals in custody there to be freed, voicing concern over
conditions of their detention.
2018 May 11, It was reported
that North Korea has informed a United Nations aviation agency that
it will not conduct unannounced missile tests or further
intercontinental ballistic missile launches because its nuclear arms
program is now complete and it no longer needs to do such testing.
2018 May 12, North Korea said
that it will dismantle its nuclear test site on May 23-25, in a
dramatic event that would set up leader Kim Jong Un's summit with
President Donald Trump next month.
2018 May 15, North Korea
abruptly canceled a high-level meeting with South Korea to protest
US-South Korean military exercises that the North has long claimed
are an invasion rehearsal.
2018 May 16, North Korea
threatened to scrap a historic summit next month between its leader,
Kim Jong Un, and US President Donald Trump, saying it has no
interest in a "one-sided" affair meant to pressure the North to
abandon its nuclear weapons.
2018 May 17, North Korea
strongly criticized South Korea over ongoing U.S.-South Korean
military exercises and said it will not return to talks with its
rival until Seoul resolves its grievances.
2018 May 19, North Korea
reiterated its demands for South Korea to send back 12 North Korean
restaurant workers who came to the South in 2016, saying such a move
would demonstrate Seoul's willingness to improve relations.
2018 May 19, Two North Koreans
defected to South Korea early today after they were found in a boat
in the Yellow Sea.
2018 May 22, North Korean media
stepped up their rhetorical attacks on South Korea and joint
military exercises with the United States, warning that a budding
detente could be in danger.
2018 May 24, North Korean
leader Kim Jong Un made good on his promise to demolish his
country's nuclear test site, which was formally closed in a series
of huge explosions as a group of foreign journalists looked on.
2018 May 24, President Donald
Trump cancelled his planned summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong
Un following North Korea's reaction to comments by US Vice President
2018 May 24, A Japanese warship
spotted a North Korean tanker and another ship with a Korean name
apparently transferring fuel on the open seas in violation of UN
2018 May 25, North Korea said
that it's still willing to sit for talks with the United States "at
any time, (in) any format".
2018 May 25, US Defense
Secretary James Mattis said that a recently scrapped summit between
the leaders of the United States and North Korea may still take
place if diplomats can pull it off.
2018 May 26, North Korean
leader Kim Jong Un and South Korea's president, Moon Jae-in, met at
a border truce village. They discussed carrying out the peace
commitments they reached in their first summit, as well as Kim's
potential meeting with Pres. Trump.
2018 May 26, The US White House
said that a team is heading to Singapore this weekend as previously
planned to work on logistics for a summit with North Korea should it
2018 May 30, Syria's President
Bashar Assad said he is interested in visiting North Korea and
meeting leader Kim Jong Un while receiving the credentials for the
North Korean ambassador.
2018 Jun 1, North and South
Korea agreed to hold military and Red Cross talks later this month
on reducing tensions and resuming reunions of families separated by
the 1950-53 Korean War.
2018 Jun 1, President Donald
Trump declared that his on-and-off June 12 summit in Singapore with
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was on again.
2018 Jun 8, Former National
Basketball Association star Dennis Rodman said he will be heading to
Singapore for the planned June 12 summit between US President Donald
Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Rodman's trip to
Singapore, like the last one to North Korea, was sponsored by
potcoin.com, the crypto-currency provider for the legal marijuana
(Reuters, 6/9/18)(Reuters, 6/12/18)
2018 Jun 10, US President
Donald Trump arrived in Singapore for a historic June 12 summit with
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who landed in Singapore earlier
2018 Jun 12, President Donald
Trump and Kim Jong Un, meeting on Sentosa Island in Singapore,
committed to "complete denuclearization" of the Korean Peninsula
during the first meeting in history between a sitting US president
and a North Korean leader. Trump announced a halt to US military
exercises with treaty ally South Korea.
2018 Jun 14, North and South
Korea agreed to fully restore their cross-border communication lines
after holding rare high-level military talks on reducing tensions.
2018 Jun 14, Japanese PM Shinzo
Abe met with families of people abducted by North Korea decades ago
and pledged to deal directly with the North to resolve the issue.
2018 Jun 14, In Russia a North
Korean official handed a written message to Pres. Vladimir Putin
from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. President Vladimir Putin asked
North Korean official Kim Yong Nam at their meeting to pass an
invitation to visit Russia in September to North Korean leader Kim
2018 Jun 14, US Secretary of
State Mike Pompeo said tough sanctions will remain on North Korea
until its complete denuclearization.
2018 Jun 15, A senior South
Korean presidential official said that Washington and Seoul have
begun discussions on temporarily suspending the massive "Ulchi
Freedom Guardian" exercises that usually take place in August and
possibly other joint drills while nuclear diplomacy with North Korea
2018 Jun 19, Chinese President
Xi Jinping told North Korean leader Kim Jong Un he hopes Pyongyang
and Washington can fully implement the outcome of last week's
nuclear summit at which Kim pledged to work toward denuclearization
in exchange for US security guarantees.
2018 Jun 20, In China North
Korea's Leader Kim Jong Un and Chinese President Xi Jinping came to
an understanding on issues discussed at a summit of the two leaders,
including denuclearization of the Korean peninsula as Kim ended a
2-day visit to Beijing.
2018 Jun 20, South Korea urged
North Korea to present a plan with concrete steps toward
denuclearization, raising the pressure on its leader Kim Jong Un as
he met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in a visit designed to
convey the countries' growing closeness.
2018 Jun 22, North and South
Korea agreed to hold temporary reunions of families divided by the
1950-53 Korean War as they boost reconciliation efforts amid a
diplomatic push to resolve the North Korean nuclear crisis.
2018 Jun 22, Russian President
Vladimir Putin and visiting South Korean President Moon Jae-in
agreed to support "efforts to establish complete denuclearization on
the Korean peninsula" following the US-North Korea summit last week.
2018 Jun 22, US President
Donald Trump declared that North Korea still poses an "extraordinary
threat" to the United States. In an executive order, Trump extended
for one year the so-called "national emergency" with respect to the
nuclear-armed nation, re-authorizing economic restrictions against
it. The national emergency has been in place since 2008 and is a
sign of enduring tensions between the two countries.
2018 Jun 23, The US military
moved 100 wooden coffins to the inter-Korean border to prepare for
North Korea's returning of the remains of American soldiers who have
been missing since the 1950-53 Korean War.
2018 Jun 26, North and South
Korea agreed to jointly study ways to improve North Korea's outdated
railways and link them with the South.
2018 Jun, The Global Fund to
Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria officially ended grants to
North Korea that supported the treatment of 120,000 TB patients last
2018 Jul 1, North and South
Korea reopened a maritime communication channel, with vessels from
the two countries making radio contact for the first time in a
2018 Jul 4, The rival Koreas
began two days of friendly basketball games in Pyongyang in their
latest goodwill gesture amid a diplomatic push to resolve the
nuclear standoff with North Korea.
2018 Jul 7, North Korea said
that high-level talks with a US delegation led by Secretary of State
Mike Pompeo were "regrettable" and accused Washington of trying to
unilaterally pressure the country into abandoning its nukes.
2018 Jul 8, US Secretary of
State Mike Pompeo, speaking in Hanoi, appealed for North Korea's
leadership to follow Vietnam's path in overcoming past hostilities
with the United States. Pompeo called on North Korean leader Kim
Jong Un to replicate Vietnam's "miracle" of economic growth by
improving ties with the US.
2018 Jul 10, South Korea
suspended its summertime civil defense drills aimed at preparing
against a North Korean attack to keep alive a positive atmosphere
for nuclear diplomacy with the North.
2018 Jul 19, The latest Global
Slavery Index showed one in 10 people in North Korea live in
slavery, with most forced to work for the state. The index listed
Eritrea, Burundi, the Central African Republic, Afghanistan,
Mauritania, South Sudan, Pakistan, Cambodia and Iran as the worst
offenders after North Korea.
2018 Jul 23, Japan recorded its
highest temperature ever as a deadly heat wave continued to grip a
wide swath of the country and nearby South and North Korea. Over the
last two weeks more than 40 people have died in Japan and about 10
in South Korea.
2018 Jul 24, The North
Korea-focused 38 North website said commercial satellite images from
July 20 to 22 indicate the North began dismantling key facilities at
the Sohae satellite launch site.
2018 Jul 25, American companies
were put on notice by the Trump administration that they could face
steep fines, or even criminal charges, if their business involves
North Korean workers anywhere in their supply chain.
2018 Jul 27, North Korean
soldiers, sailors and civilians gathered at a heroes' cemetery to
commemorate their brothers in arms on the anniversary of the end of
the Korean War. At the same time on the other side of the country,
remains believed to be those of American servicemen killed in the
war were being loaded onto a US aircraft for transportation to the
South, in the first stage of their final journey home.
2018 Jul 27, President Donald
Trump thanked North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for "fulfilling a
promise" to return the remains of US soldiers missing from the
Korean War, as a US military plane made a rare trip into North Korea
to retrieve 55 cases said to contain remains. Close to 7,700 US
soldiers remain unaccounted for from the 1950-53 Korean War, and
about 5,300 of those were lost in North Korea.
2018 Jul 30, A senior US
official said that US spy satellites had detected renewed activity
at the North Korean factory that produced the country's first
intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United
2018 Jul 31, North and South
Korea held military talks to build trust.
2018 Aug 3, The United States
imposed sanctions on Moscow-based Agrosoyuz Commercial Bank, which
it said had facilitated a transaction with Han Jang Su, a person
blacklisted by Washington for involvement with North Korea's nuclear
weapons program. The Treasury also added Ri Jong Won, the
Moscow-based deputy representative of Foreign Trade Bank, North
Korea's primary foreign exchange bank.
2018 Aug 3, UN experts said in
a new report that North Korea has not stopped its nuclear and
missile programs and is violating UN sanctions including by "a
massive increase in illicit ship-to-ship transfers of petroleum
2018 Aug 4, Top Asian diplomats
pressed North Korea to turn a pledge to completely dismantle its
nuclear arsenal into reality amid concerns that it's proceeding with
2018 Aug 10, South Korea said a
total of 35,000 tons of North Korean coal and pig iron worth $5.8
million illegally entered its ports last year, in possible
violations of UN sanctions.
2018 Aug 10, The International
Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said a
heat wave in North Korea has led to rice, maize and other crops
withering in the fields, "with potentially catastrophic effects".
2018 Aug 11, Japan's government
said that it is looking into reports that a Japanese citizen was
detained this month in North Korea. The man (39) was supposed to
return to Japan on August 13 but was reportedly arrested in Nampo
2018 Aug 20, About 200 South
Koreans and their family members crossed the border for three days
of meetings with their North Korean relatives.
2018 Aug 20, The UN nuclear
watchdog said it did not find any indication that North Korea had
stopped its nuclear activities, adding to doubts about the country's
willingness to abandon its arsenal.
2018 Aug 24, More than 300
South Koreans traveled to the North's Diamond Mountain resort for
three days of meetings with their long-lost relatives in a second
round of temporary reunions of family members separated for decades
by the Korean War.
2018 Aug 24, US President
Donald Trump abruptly canceled his top diplomat's planned trip to
North Korea, publicly acknowledging for the first time that his
effort to get Pyongyang to denuclearize had stalled since his summit
with the North's leader.
2018 Aug 26, North Korea's
state-controlled newspaper accused the United States of
"double-dealing" and "hatching a criminal plot" against Pyongyang,
after Washington abruptly canceled a visit by Secretary of State
2018 Aug 26, In Indonesia a
crew comprising South Koreans and North Koreans won the 500-meter
dragon boat final at the Asian Games co-host city of Palembang. This
was the first gold medal by a combined Koreas team at a major
2018 Aug 30, The US State
Department said it had decided to extend by a year its ban on US
citizens' travel to North Korea, citing continued concerns about the
threat of arrest and long-term detention of US nationals there.
2018 Sep 6, A US officials said
the US Justice Department is poised to charge North Korean hackers
over the 2017 global WannaCry ransomware attack and the 2014 cyber
attack on Sony Corp.
2018 Sep 6, Seoul officials
said North Korea's Kim Jong Un has given his first time line for
denuclearization, aiming for the end of US President Donald Trump's
first term, prompting thanks from Trump who said they would "get it
2018 Sep 6, The International
Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said severe
flooding in North Korea has killed at least 76 people with nearly
the same number missing and thousands left homeless by the
2018 Sep 7, North Korea and
South Korea asked the United Nations to circulate the "Panmunjom
Declaration on Peace, Prosperity and Reunification of the Korean
Peninsula" as an official UN document.
2018 Sep 9, North Korea rolled
out some of its latest tanks and marched its best-trained
goose-stepping units in a major military parade to mark its 70th
anniversary. North Korea brought back one of its most iconic art
forms — mass games performed by tens of thousands of people working
in precise unison — to mark its 70th anniversary.
2018 Sep 10, Tens of thousands
of North Korean students rallied in Pyongyang's Kim Il Sung Square
this evening in the final major event of the country's 70th
2018 Sep 13, The United States
imposed sanctions on two North Korean-controlled information
technology companies based in China and Russia. The sanctions are
intended to stop the flow of illicit revenue to North Korea from
overseas IT workers hiding behind front companies and aliases.
2018 Sep 14, North and South
Korea opened their first liaison office near their tense border to
facilitate better communication and exchanges ahead of their
leaders' summit in Pyongyang next week. On June 16, 2020, North
Korea blew up the facility.
(AP, 9/14/18)(Econ., 6/20/20, p.31)
2018 Sep 14, US Secretary of
State Mike Pompeo accused Russia of actively working to undermine
international sanctions on North Korea and said the enforcement of
the steps was essential to convince Pyongyang to give up its nuclear
2018 Sep 17, In North Korea an
international trade fair opened in Pyongyang and included more than
320 companies, with many Chinese entrepreneurs taking part.
2018 Sep 17, US Ambassador to
the United Nations Nikki Haley accused Russia of "cheating" on UN
sanctions on North Korea and said Washington has "evidence of
consistent and wide-ranging Russian violations."
2018 Sep 18, In North Korea
South Korean President Moon Jae-in began his third summit with North
Korean leader Kim Jong Un. A 52-member "special" civilian entourage
accompanied Moon Jae-in to promote civil exchanges and engagement
with younger Koreans.
2018 Sep 19, The leaders of
North and South Korea announced a wide range of agreements which
they said were a major step toward peace on the Korean Peninsula.
North Korea agreed to permanently dismantle a launch pad and an
engine-testing facility at its northwestern rocket-firing center in
the presence of international experts.
2018 Sep 20, South Korean
President Moon Jae-in returned home from a whirlwind three-day
summit with Kim Jong Un. Moon said the North Korean leader wants the
US secretary of state to visit Pyongyang soon for nuclear talks, and
also hopes for a quick follow-up to his June summit with President
2018 Oct 1, North and South
Korea began removing mines and other explosives at two sites inside
their heavily armed border as part of their recent tension-reduction
2018 Oct 1, South Korea's
Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon told parliament the estimates
on the size of North Korea's nuclear arsenal range from 20 bombs to
as many as 60.
2018 Oct 3, US security firm
FireEye raised the alarm over a North Korean group that it says has
stolen hundreds of millions of dollars by infiltrating the computer
systems of banks around the world since 2014 through highly
sophisticated and destructive attacks that have spanned at least 11
2018 Oct 4, A South Korean
government delegation arrived in North Korea for a joint celebration
of the anniversary of a 2007 summit and to possibly hold further
2018 Oct 4, The US Treasury
issued new North Korea-related sanctions that target SIA Falcon
International Group, a Turkish company, and two Turkish individuals
2018 Oct 15, North and South
Korea continued their push for peace with high-level talks that
resulted in a host of agreements, including a plan by the rivals for
a groundbreaking ceremony this year on an ambitious project to
connect their railways and roads.
2018 Oct 16, The rival Koreas
and the US-led United Nations Command met to discuss efforts to
disarm a military zone the rivals control within their shared border
under a peace agreement between the two countries.
2018 Oct 22, South Korean
officials said the two Koreas have completed removing land mines
planted at their shared border village as part of efforts to disarm
the area located inside the world's most heavily fortified border.
2018 Oct 22, A South Korean
lawmaker said North Korea imported at least $640 million worth of
luxury goods from China last year, in defiance of UN sanctions
outlawing such trade over North Korea's nuclear and missile
2018 Oct 26, The North and
South Korean militaries agreed to completely destroy 22 front-line
guard posts by the end of November as they discussed their next
steps in implementing a wide-ranging military agreement signed last
month to reduce tensions.
2018 Nov 2, North Korea warned
it could revive a state policy aimed at strengthening its nuclear
arsenal if the US does not lift economic sanctions against the
2018 Nov 4, Cuban President
Miguel Diaz-Canel arrived in Pyongyang with his wife. North Korean
leader Kim Jong Un and Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel — both
hoping to get out from under US economic sanctions — agreed to
expand and strengthen their strategic relations.
2018 Nov 10, The North and
South Korean militaries completed withdrawing troops and firearms
from 22 front-line guard posts as they continue to implement a
wide-ranging agreement reached in September to reduce tensions
across the world's most fortified border.
2018 Nov 10, North Korean
diplomat Jo Song Gil, disappeared with his wife after leaving the
North Korea's embassy in Italy without notice. On Jan. 3, 2019, it
was reported that he had applied for asylum to an unspecified
Western country and was in a "safe place" with his family under the
protection of the Italian government.
(AP, 1/3/19)(Reuters, 2/20/19)
2018 Nov 11, South Korean
military transport aircraft began a tangerine airlift to North
Korea, the first of a gift of 200 tons of the fruit from the
southern island of Jeju.
2018 Nov 12, US analysts said
they have located more than half of an estimated 20 secret North
Korean missile development sites.
2018 Nov 16, North Korea said
it will deport Bruce Byron Lowrance, an American citizen it detained
for illegal entrance, an apparent concession to the United States
that came even as it announced the test of a newly developed but
unspecified "ultramodern" weapon that will be seen as a pressuring
tactic by Washington.
2018 Nov 16, A senior North
Korean official on a visit to South Korea called for Japan to
apologize for the wartime forced labor of thousands of Koreans.
2018 Nov 20, North Korea blew
up some of its front-line guard posts as part of an agreement to
ease tensions along its heavily fortified border with South Korea.
2018 Nov 24, South Korea said
that the United Nations Security Council granted an exemption to
sanctions that will allow surveys on North Korean railroad sections
the Koreas want to connect with the South.
2018 Nov 25, French Senate
employee Benoit Quennedey, suspected of spying for North Korea, was
detained. Quennedey has traveled to the Koreas in his role as the
head of the French-Korean Friendship Association, and wrote a book
and essays about North Korea.
2018 Nov 26, North Korea's
ceremonial leader Kim Yong Nam arrived in Caracas and was expected
to meet with socialist Venezuelan Pres. Nicolas Maduro the next day.
2018 Nov 26, UNESCO said Korean
wrestling was added to a list of "Intangible Cultural Heritage of
Humanity" on the basis of an application by the two Koreas.
2018 Nov 29, South Korea sent
about 50 tons of insecticide to North Korea to help stop a pine tree
disease from spreading.
2018 Nov 30, A South Korean
train rolled into North Korea for the first time in a decade as the
countries began joint surveys on northern railway sections they hope
someday to connect with the South.
2018 Dec 1, A North Korean
soldier fled across a heavily fortified border to defect to South
2018 Dec 4, Syria's President
Bashar Assad received North Korea's foreign minister Ri Yong Ho, who
said his country and Syria face the same "enemy" and called for
increased cooperation between them. Assad responded by identifying
the United States as a hostile country to Syria and North Korea.
2018 Dec 5, Italy was informed
by North Korea that acting ambassador Jo Song Gil and his wife had
left the North Korean embassy in Rome on Nov. 10 and that their
daughter (17) had been repatriated on Nov. 14.
2018 Dec 12, Dozens of North
and South Korean soldiers crossed over the world's most heavily
armed border as they inspected the sites of their rival's front-line
guard posts to verify they'd been removed.
2018 Dec 16, North Korea
condemned the US administration for stepping up sanctions and
pressure on the nuclear-armed country, warning of a return to
"exchanges of fire" and that disarming Pyongyang could be blocked
2018 Dec 18, North Korea's main
state newspaper warned of the "negative impact" from mobile phones
use around the world, as both legal and illicit communications
devices proliferate in the isolated country.
2018 Dec 20, North Korea said
it will never unilaterally give up its nuclear weapons unless the
United States first removes what Pyongyang called a nuclear threat.
2018 Dec 24, A US federal judge
ordered North Korea to pay $501 million in a wrongful death suit
filed by the parents of Otto Warmbier, an American college student
who died in 2017 shortly after being released from that country.
2018 Dec 26, North and South
Korea broke ground on an ambitious project to modernize North Korean
railways and roads and connect them with the South, but without
progress in nuclear negotiations, regular trains won't be crossing
the border anytime soon.
2018 Dec 28, The South Korean
Unification Ministry said the personal information of 997 North
Koreans who defected to South Korea has been leaked after unknown
hackers got access to a resettlement agency's database.
2018 The North Korean ship
"Wise Honest" was detained in Indonesian waters. It was used to
transport coal and import heavy machinery in violation of sanctions
over its nuclear arms program. Its seizure by the US was announced
on May 9, 2019.
(SFC, 5/15/19, p.A2)
2019 Jan 8, North Korean leader
Kim Jong Un arrived on an unannounced visit to Beijing for his
fourth summit with President Xi Jinping.
2019 Jan 16, South Korean
officials said they have stopped businessmen from bringing North
Korean paintings into the country that a report said were purchased
at an art studio under UN sanctions.
2019 Jan 18, The White House
announced after talks between Trump and Kim that Pres. Donald Trump
would hold a second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in
late February, but would maintain economic sanctions on Pyongyang.
2019 Jan 29, US intelligence
agencies told Congress that North Korea is unlikely to entirely
dismantle its nuclear arsenal.
2019 Feb 5, President Donald
Trump announced during his State of the Union address that he
intends to meet hold his second summit with North Korean leader Kim
Jong Un on Feb. 27-28 in Vietnam.
2019 Feb 22, In Spain a group
of unidentified men entered North Korea's embassy in Madrid, bound
and gagged staff, and drove off four hours later with computers.
Adrian Hong Chang, a Mexican national and US resident, was later
identified as the leader of a gang of 10 people who escaped in broad
daylight after stealing computers and documents from the embassy,
where they shackled and gagged its staff.
(Reuters, 2/27/19)(AP, 3/26/19)
2019 Feb 26, President Donald
Trump arrived at the hotel in Hanoi where he will stay during his
summit with North Korea's Kim Jong Un.
2019 Feb 27, US President
Donald Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong Un, leaders of two nations
with a long history of hostilities, met in Hanoi for their second
2019 Feb 28, Talks between
President Donald Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong Un collapsed in
Hanoi after the two sides failed to bridge a standoff over US
2019 Mar 1, South Korean
President Moon Jae-in said his government plans to discuss with the
United States the possibility of restarting joint inter-Korean
economic projects to induce nuclear disarmament from North Korea,
which insisted it had asked only for partial sanctions relief in
exchange for shutting down its main nuclear complex.
2019 Mar 3, South Korea and the
US said they are eliminating their massive springtime military
drills and replacing them with smaller exercises in what they call
an effort to support diplomacy aimed at resolving the North Korean
nuclear crisis. They agreed to replace the Key Resolve and Foal
Eagle drills with a shorter "Dong Maeng" or "Alliance" exercise
which kicked off this week.
(AP, 3/3/19)(AFP, 3/7/19)
2019 Mar 7, South Korea's
military said it is carefully monitoring North Korean nuclear and
missile facilities after the country's spy agency told lawmakers
that new activity was detected at a research center where the North
is believed to build long-range missiles targeting the US mainland.
2019 Mar 10, Millions of North
Korean voters, including leader Kim Jong Un, went to the polls to
elect a new lineup of roughly 700 members for the next session of
the national legislature, though the vote was more of an endorsement
than a competitive contest.
2019 Mar 22, North Korea
abruptly withdrew its staff from a liaison office with South Korea,
a development that is likely to put a damper on ties between the
countries and further complicate global diplomacy on North Korea's
2019 Mar 22, President Donald
Trump said he is reversing his administration's decision to slap new
sanctions on North Korea, ordering them withdrawn.
2019 Apr 3, A South Korean
coast guard official said the 5,160-ton P-PIONEER has been prevented
from leaving Busan port since October over allegations that it was
used to supply diesel to North Korea through two ship-to-ship
transfers in September 2017 in international waters in the East
2019 Apr 12, North Korean
leader Kim Jong Un said he is open to a third summit with Pres.
Donald Trump, but set the year's end as a deadline for Washington to
offer mutually acceptable terms for an agreement to salvage the
high-stakes nuclear diplomacy.
2019 Apr 17, North Korean
leader Kim Jong Un supervised a new type of "tactical guided
2019 Apr 18, North Korea said
that it had test-fired a new type of "tactical guided weapon," its
first such test in nearly half a year, and demanded that Washington
remove Secretary of State Mike Pompeo from nuclear negotiations.
2019 Apr 24, North Korean
leader Kim Jong Un arrived in the Russian city of Vladivostok or a
summit he is likely to use to seek support from President Vladimir
Putin while Pyongyang's nuclear talks with Washington are in limbo.
2019 Apr 25, Russian President
Vladimir Putin said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un confirmed during
their first summit he is willing to give up his nuclear weapons, but
only if he gets an ironclad guarantee of security beforehand.
2019 May 3, The UN's top food
agencies said about 10 million people in North Korea are facing
"severe food shortages" after the East Asian nation had one of the
worst harvests in a decade.
2019 May 4, US President Donald
Trump says he still believes a nuclear deal with North Korea will
happen, after the country fired several unidentified short-range
projectiles into the sea off its eastern coast.
2019 May 5, North Korean state
media showed leader Kim Jong Un observing live-fire drills of
long-range multiple rocket launchers and what appeared to be a new
short-range ballistic missile, a day after South Korea expressed
concern that the launches were a violation of an inter-Korean
agreement to cease all hostile acts.
2019 May 9, North Korea fired
two suspected short-range missiles toward the sea, its second
weapons launch in five days and a possible warning that nuclear
disarmament talks with Washington could be in danger.
2019 May 9, The US called on
North Korea to "dismantle all political prison camps" and release
all political prisoners, who it said numbered between 80,000 and
2019 May 9, The United States
announced a highly unusual seizure of a huge North Korean cargo ship
involved in banned coal transports.
2019 May 14, North Korea
accused the United States of betraying the spirit of a summit
agreement last June between leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald
Trump, called the US seizure of a North Korean cargo ship involved
in banned coal exports a "robbery," and demanded that the vessel be
2019 May 15, North Korea said
it is suffering its worst drought in nearly four decades amid
reports of severe food shortages.
2019 May 17, North Korea sent a
letter asking United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to
deal with the "illegal" seizure of one of its cargo ships by the
2019 May 17, South Korea
decided to allow its businesspeople to visit their factories at an
industrial park in North Korea that was shut down by Seoul's
previous conservative government in 2016 following a North Korean
2019 May 17, South Korea said
that it would provide $8 million in humanitarian aid to North
Korea's malnourished children and pregnant women.
(SFC, 5/18/19, p.A2)
2019 May 20, South Korea vowed
to move quickly on plans to provide $8 million worth of medical and
nutritional aid for North Korean children through UN agencies while
it also considers sending broader food aid to the country, which
says it is suffering its worst drought in decades.
2019 May 22, North Korea
labeled Joe Biden a "fool of low IQ" and an "imbecile bereft of
elementary quality as a human being" after the US presidential
hopeful called North Korean leader Kim Jong Un a tyrant during a
2019 May 24, North Korea said
that nuclear negotiations with the United States will never resume
unless the Trump administration moves away from what Pyongyang
described as unilateral demands for disarmament.
2019 May 27, North Korea called
US National Security Adviser John Bolton a "war monger" and "human
defect" after he described its recent tests of short-range missiles
as a violation of UN Security Council resolutions.
2019 May 27, President Donald
Trump said he is not "personally" bothered by recent short-range
North Korean missile tests and doesn't believe they violated UN
Security Council resolutions, breaking with Japanese Prime Minister
Shinzo Abe, who is hosting the president on a four-day state visit
full of pageantry and pomp.
2019 May 28, The UN human
rights office reported that North Koreans are forced to pay bribes
to officials to survive in their isolated country where corruption
is "endemic" and repression rife, Pyongyang dismissed the report as
2019 May 31, South Korea said
that it is scrambling to prevent the spread of the highly contagious
African swine fever on its pig industry after North Korea confirmed
an outbreak at a farm near its border with China.
2019 May 31, A South Korean
newspaper reported that North Korea executed a senior envoy involved
in nuclear negotiations with the US as well as four other high-level
officials [see July 16].
2019 Jun 5, It was reported
that North Korea will temporarily suspend the latest edition of its
famous mass games, which involve thousands of performers working in
precise synchronization, after the premiere drew strong criticism
from leader Kim Jong Un.
2019 Jun 5, South Korea said
that North Korea has so far ignored its calls for joint efforts to
stem the spread of highly contagious African swine fever following
an outbreak near North Korea's border with China.
2019 Jun 11, The South
Korea-based human rights group Transitional Justice Working Group
said it has identified hundreds of spots where witnesses claim North
Korea carried out public executions and extrajudicial state killings
as part of an arbitrary and aggressive use of the death penalty that
is meant to intimidate its citizens.
2019 Jun 18, The Japanese coast
guard said than 300 North Korean boats have been forced out of
Japan's exclusive economic zone near Yamatotai since May.
2019 Jun 18, South Korea said
two of four North Korean fishermen, who were rescued June 15 off a
boat drifting in South Korean waters, will remain in the country
after expressing their desire to defect. The two other fishermen
were sent back to North Korea through an inter-Korean village.
2019 Jun 19, South Korea said
it plans to send 50,000 tons of rice to North Korea through the
World Food Program, in its second aid package announced in past
weeks as it seeks to help with North Korean food shortages and
improve bilateral relations.
2019 Jun 20, Chinese President
Xi Jinping began a 2-day visit to North Korea, the first by a
Chinese president in 14 years. Kim Jong Un said that his country is
waiting for a desired response in stalled nuclear talks with the
2019 Jun 21, North Korean state
media said that China's Pres. Xi Jinping and leader Kim Jong Un held
broad discussions over the political situation surrounding the
Korean Peninsula and reached a shared understanding on the issues
they discussed. Xi Jinping left North Korea on his Air China Boeing
2019 Jun 23, The White House
confirmed that President Donald Trump had sent a letter to North
Korean leader Kim Jong Un, days before the US president leaves for a
trip to Japan and South Korea.
2019 Jun 29, US Pres. Donald
Trump arrived in Seoul ahead of a trip to the Demilitarized Zone the
following day and a possible third meeting with the North's Kim Jong
2019 Jun 30, US Pres. Donald
Trump met with North Korea's Kim Jong Un at the Demilitarized Zone
between North and South Korea becoming the first American president
to set foot in North Korea. Trump announced that he and Kim had
agreed to resume stalled talks on denuclearization in the coming
2019 Jul 3, The parents of Otto
Warmbier filed a claim for a seized North Korean cargo ship, seeking
to collect on a multimillion-dollar judgment awarded in the American
college student's death.
2019 Jul 4, Australian student
Alek Sigley (29), released after a week in detention in North Korea,
arrived in Tokyo after telling reporters he was in "very good"
condition, without saying what happened to him.
2019 Jul 6, North Korea said
that Australian student Alek Sigley, who it detained for a week, had
spread anti-Pyongyang propaganda and engaged in spying by providing
photos and other materials to news outlets with critical views
toward the North.
2019 Jul 6, Choe In-guk (73)
arrived in Pyongyang, North Korea's capital, to dedicate the rest of
his life to Korean unification at the guidance of leader Kim Jong
Un. Choe is the son of former South Korean Foreign Minister Choe
Dok-shin, who defected to North Korea with his wife in 1986.
(AP, 7/8/19)(SFC, 7/9/19, p.A4)
2019 Jul 11, It was reported
that North Korea has revised its constitution to make Kim Jong Un
head of state, a promotion that could help normalize the isolated
country’s diplomatic relations with the rest of the world.
2019 Jul 16, South Korean
intelligence said Kim Hyok Chol, a North Korean nuclear negotiator
who was reported to have been executed over the failure of the
February Hanoi summit between Kim Jong-un and US President Donald
Trump, is still alive.
(The Telegraph, 7/16/19)
2019 Jul 17, Two South Korean
and 15 Russian crew members were aboard a Russia-flagged fishing
boat when it was detained by North Korea. North Korea is holding six
other South Koreans it has detained in recent years for alleged
attempts to build underground Christian churches inside the North
and other anti-state charges.
2019 Jul 18, The International
Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said rates
of malnutrition and disease are increasing in North Korea as it
faces a harvest that is half of what was expected.
2019 Jul 25, North Korea fired
two short-range missiles into the sea in its first weapons launches
in more than two months and an apparent effort to pressure
Washington as the two sides struggle to restart nuclear
negotiations. South Korea said the two weapons were a new type of
2019 Jul 26, South Korea's
central bank said North Korea's economy shrank in 2018 for a second
straight year, and by the most in 21 years, as it was battered by
international sanctions aimed at stopping its nuclear program and by
2019 Jul 28, Two South Koreans
and 15 Russians returned to South Korea about 10 days after their
boat drifted into North Korean waters.
2019 Jul 29, South Korea said
it's returning three North Koreans who crossed the Koreas' sea
border aboard a wooden fishing boat over the weekend in line with
2019 Jul 31, South Korea's
military said North Korea conducted its second weapons test in less
than a week, firing two short-range ballistic missiles off its east
coast in a move observers said could be aimed at boosting pressure
on the United States as the rivals struggle to set up fresh nuclear
2019 Jul 31, A North Korean
soldier crossed the demilitarized zone into South Korea late today
and was taken into Seoul’s custody.
(The Telegraph, 8/1/19)
2019 Aug 2, North Korea fired
what appeared to be short-range ballistic missiles twice today into
the sea off its eastern coast in its third round of weapons tests in
just over a week.
2019 Aug 5, Washington revoked
visa-free entry rights to the United States for foreigners who have
visited North Korea in the past eight years, potentially dealing a
new blow to the isolated country's nascent tourist industry.
2019 Aug 6, North Korea held
its fourth weapons test in just under two weeks and accused the
United States of "inciting military tension" by holding joint
exercises with South Korea and said Pyongyang would take measures to
(AP, 8/6/19)(Reuters, 8/6/19)
2019 Aug 7, It was reported
that a confidential UN report reveals that North Korea has been
employing a range of sophisticated cyberattacks in an effort to
bankroll its development of weapons of mass destruction.
(BGR News, 8/7/19)
2019 Aug 10, North Korea
extended a recent streak of weapons displays by firing what appeared
to be two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea.
2019 Aug 10, US President
Donald Trump said that Kim Jong Un told him North Korea was ready to
resume talks on its nuclear and missile program as soon as US-South
Korea military exercises ended.
2019 Aug 12, It was reported
that UN experts are investigating at least 35 instances in 17
countries of North Koreans using cyberattacks to illegally raise
money for weapons of mass destruction programs — and they are
calling for sanctions against ships providing gasoline and diesel to
2019 Aug 16, North Korea
bluntly criticized South Korean President Moon Jae-in for continuing
to hold military exercises with the US and over his rosy comments on
inter-Korean diplomacy, and said Pyongyang has no current plans to
talk with Seoul. Hours later South Korea's military detected two
projectiles North Korea fired into the sea to extend a torrid streak
of weapons display that's apparently aimed at pressuring Washington
and Seoul over their joint drills and slow nuclear negotiations.
2019 Aug 19, The Trump
administration reported the extension of a ban on the use of US
passports for travel to North Korea for another year. The ban was
imposed in September 2017 by then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson
and renewed in 2018.
2019 Aug 23, North Korea's
foreign minister called US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo a
"poisonous plant of American diplomacy" and vowed to "shutter the
absurd dream" that sanctions will force a change in Pyongyang.
2019 Aug 24, North Korea’s Kim
Jong Un guided a test fire of a newly developed super-large multiple
rocket launcher. Two suspected short-range ballistic missiles were
fired off its east coast in the seventh weapons launch in a month, a
day after it vowed to remain America's biggest threat in protest of
US-led sanctions on the country. US Pres. Donald Trump downplayed
the latest launch.
(AP, 8/24/19)(Bloomberg, 8/24/19)
2019 Aug 29, North Korea's
parliament approved changes to the country's constitution to
solidify leader Kim Jong Un’s role as head of state.
2019 Aug 30, The US Treasury
Department said it has imposed sanctions on two people and three
firms and has identified a blocked ship that it says helped North
Korea evade sanctions.
2019 Sep 4, North Korea told
the United Nations to cut the number of international staff it
deploys in the country because the world body's programs have failed
"due to the politicization of UN assistance by hostile forces".
2019 Sep 5, A UN report said
North Korea is pressing ahead with its nuclear weapons program while
2019 Sep 7, Typhoon Lingling
hit South Korea and swept along the country's coast, toppling trees,
grounding planes and causing at least three deaths before moving on
to North Korea. At least 3 people were killed.
2019 Sep 8, North Korea
reported that Typhoon Lingling has left five people dead and three
injured since the storm made landfall in the country a day earlier.
2019 Sep 10, North Korea fired
projectiles into the sea, hours after Pyongyang said it was willing
to hold working-level talks this month with the United States.
(The Telegraph, 9/10/19)
2019 Sep 10, Media watchdog
Committee to Protect Journalists listed Eritrea as the world’s most
censored state. North Korea and Turkmenistan came in 2nd and third.
The report also cited extreme measures in nine other countries
including China and Saudi Arabia.
2019 Sep 13, The US Treasury
announced sanctions on three North Korean hacking groups it said
were involved in the "WannaCry" ransomware attacks and hacking of
international banks and customer accounts. It named the groups as
Lazarus Group, Bluenoroff, and Andariel and said they were
controlled by the RGB, North Korea's primary intelligence bureau,
which is already subject to US and United Nations sanctions.
2019 Sep 17, It was reported
that Russian border guards have detained two North Korean boats in
Russian territorial waters in the Sea of Japan after one of them
attacked a Russian patrol.
2019 Sep 19, The UN said North
Korea's crop production this year is expected to drop to its lowest
level in five years, bringing serious shortages for 40% of the
population, as a dry spell and poor irrigation hit an economy
already reeling from sanctions over its weapons programs.
2019 Sep 27, Russia detained
three North Korean vessels and more than 200 crew in the second such
incident in two weeks as part of a clampdown on poaching by the
secretive nation's fishermen.
2019 Oct 2, North Korea fired
what appeared to be a submarine-launched ballistic missile, just
days before Washington and Pyongyang were set to resume long-stalled
2019 Oct 3, North Korea
confirmed it has carried out its first underwater-launched ballistic
missile test in three years, in an apparent bid to dial up pressure
on the United States ahead of a weekend resumption of their nuclear
2019 Oct 5, North Korean and US
officials gathered for new nuclear talks in Stockholm after months
of deadlock and Pyongyang's defiant test of a sea-launched ballistic
missile this week.
2019 Oct 6, North Korea said
that it won't meet with the United States for more "sickening
negotiations" unless it abandons its "hostile policy" against the
North, as the two countries offered different takes on their weekend
nuclear talks in Sweden.
2019 Oct 10, North Korea
threatened again to resume nuclear and long-range missile tests,
accusing the US of having instigated some members of the UN Security
Council to condemn its recent weapons tests.
2019 Oct 10, A UN photo showed
eight North Korean vessels, several carrying illicit coal shipments,
anchored in Chinese waters off the port of Ningbo-Zhoushan. The
photo was made public on April 17, 2020.
2019 Oct 12, North Korea's
foreign ministry "strongly demanded" that Japan pay compensation for
a fishing boat that sank when it collided with a Japanese patrol
boat earlier this week.
2019 Oct 21, The US won a court
battle to take control of a North Korean cargo ship, a bulk carrier
known as the “Wise Honest," that had been used to sell coal and
import heavy machinery, skirting economic sanctions on the country.
The ship was interdicted by Indonesia in international waters last
2019 Oct 22, An independent UN
investigator on human rights said food insecurity in North Korea "is
at an alarming level," with nearly half the population — 11 million
people — undernourished.
2019 Oct 23, North Korea said
that leader Kim Jong-un has ordered the destruction of all
facilities built by South Korea at the Mount Kumgang (Diamond
Mountain) tourist zone, apparently because of Seoul’s refusal to
break ranks with the United States.
(SFC, 10/24/19, p.A4)
2019 Oct 24, North Korea
accused US officials of maintaining hostility against Pyongyang
despite a "special" relationship between leader Kim Jong Un and
President Donald Trump and urged Washington to act "wisely" through
the end of the year.
2019 Oct 27, North Korea said
it's running out of patience with the United States over what it
described as hostile policies and unilateral disarmament demands,
and warned that a close personal relationship between the leaders
alone wouldn't be enough to prevent nuclear diplomacy from
2019 Oct 29, North Korea
rejected South Korea's request for working-level talks to discuss
the possible demolition of South Korean-made hotels and other
facilities at the North's Diamond Mountain resort that North Korean
leader Kim Jong Un wants removed. North Korea said face-to-face
meetings would be unnecessary and repeated its stance that details
should be worked out through document exchanges.
2019 Oct 31, North Korea fired
two short-range projectiles, as nuclear talks between Pyongyang and
Washington remained at a deadlock.
2019 Nov 1, North Korea
confirmed it conducted its third test-firing of a new "super-large"
multiple rocket launcher that it says expands its ability to destroy
enemy targets in surprise attacks.
2019 Nov 7, South Korea handed
two men, understood to both be in their 20s, to North Korean
officials at the border truce village of Panmunjom. The two men had
admitted that they and another member of the vessel’s crew had
killed a boat captain in late October because he had been abusive.
The men added that they then killed the other 15 crew of the ship
and threw their bodies overboard. The men asked for asylum in South
Korea but, after a three-day investigation, the request was denied.
(The Telegraph, 11/7/19)
2019 Nov 13, North Korea’s
supreme decision-making body lashed out at planned US-South Korean
military drills and warned that the US will face a “bigger threat
and harsh suffering" if it ignores North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s
end-of-year deadline to salvage nuclear talks.
2019 Nov 14, North Korea said
it had turned down a US offer for fresh talks, saying it was not
interested in more talks merely aimed at "appeasing us" ahead of a
year-end deadline Pyongyang has set for Washington to show more
flexibility in the negotiations. North Korea launched a visceral
diatribe against US Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden,
calling the former vice-president a "rabid dog" -- while also
borrowing the terminology of Donald Trump.
(Reuters, 11/14/19)(AFP, 11/14/19)
2019 Nov 14, A key UN committee
approved a resolution condemning North Korea’s widespread human
rights violations which may amount to crimes against humanity — a
decision denounced by the country’s UN mission as “politically
motivated" and based on “fabrications".
2019 Nov 17, North Korea said
nuclear issues will not be discussed when talks with the United
States restart unless the withdrawal of US "hostile policy" was put
on the agenda.
2019 Nov 17, US Defense
Secretary Mark Esper said the United States and South Korea have
indefinitely postponed a joint military exercise in an “act of
goodwill" toward North Korea.
2019 Nov 18, North Korea
responded to a tweet by US President Donald Trump that hinted at
another summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, saying it has
no interest in giving Trump further meetings to brag about unless it
gets something substantial in return.
2019 Nov 21, North Korea
rejected an invitation for leader Kim Jong Un to attend a planned
summit in South Korea next week with Southeast Asian nations, saying
it would be "pointless" due to strained ties with Seoul.
2019 Nov 28, North Korea fired
two "unidentified projectiles" as nuclear talks between Pyongyang
and Washington remained deadlocked.
(The Telegraph, 11/28/19)
2019 Nov 28, Virgil Griffith
(36), was once dubbed an “internet man of mystery," was arrested at
Los Angeles International Airport Thanksgiving Day and arraigned the
following day. He faced 20 years in prison if convicted of flouting
US law to give North Korea advice on evading American sanctions by
(The Daily Beast, 11/29/19)
2019 Dec 6, North Korea's
Rodong Sinmun newspaper reported the recent launch of the "Treatment
Tourism Exchange Corporation", aimed at capitalizing on the "rising
demand for tourism, including medical care, in line with an
2019 Dec 7, North Korea carried
out a "very important" test at tits Sohae satellite launch site, a
rocket testing ground that US officials once said Pyongyang had
promised to close.
2019 Dec 10, The United States
held back a UN Security Council meeting to discuss North Korea’s
human rights abuses, after Pyongyang warned it would be a “serious
(The Independent, 12/11/19)
2019 Dec 11, It was reported
that North Korean state-backed hackers appear to be cooperating with
Eastern European cybercriminals, a finding that suggests digital
gangsters and state-backed spies are finding common ground online.
2019 Dec 12, North Korea said
the United States had nothing to offer it in possible renewed talks
aimed at getting Pyongyang to give up its nuclear and missile
programs after Washington said it was ready to take "concrete steps"
towards securing a deal.
2019 Dec 13, North Korea
conducted another "crucial test" at its Sohae satellite launch site,
as nuclear negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington remain
stalled with a deadline approaching.
2019 Dec 16, China and Russia
proposed easing sanctions against nuclear-armed North Korea, in
response to steps the North takes towards denuclearization. The US
knocked back the call to ease sanctions on North Korea despite
threats of further provocations, as President Donald Trump said he
would “take care of" any threats the regime had in the works.
(AFP, 12/16/19)(Bloomberg, 12/17/19)
2019 Dec 28, Japanese police
found the remains of at least five people in a wooden boat suspected
to be from North Korea on Sado Island in Niigata prefecture. Police
found the heads of two persons, as well as five bodies. The wrecked
boat was found a day earlier.
(The Telegraph, 12/28/19)(AP, 12/29/19)
2019 Dec 28, North Korean
leader Kim Jong Un presided over a plenary meeting of the party's
Central Committee convened in Pyongyang. Kim made a speech on
overall state affairs and the work of the Central Committee.
2019 Dec 30, Microsoft Corp
said it has taken control of web domains which were used by a
hacking group called "Thallium" to steal information. Microsoft said
Thallium is believed to be operating from North Korea.
2020 Jan 1, Kim Jong Un
declared he was no longer bound by his pledge to halt major missile
tests and would soon debut a “new strategic weapon," adding to
President Donald Trump’s foreign policy concerns in a politically
charged election year.
2020 Jan 14, It was reported
that UN sanctions experts are warning people not to attend a
cryptocurrency conference in North Korea in February, flagging it as
a likely sanctions violation, according to a confidential report due
to be submitted to the UN Security Council later this month.
2020 Jan 22, North Korea banned
foreign tourists to guard against the spread of a new virus from
2020 Jan 22, A senior US
official said on China has failed to send home North Korean workers
by a December 22 deadline in violation of a 2017 United Nations
resolution. The United States has estimated Pyongyang was earning
more than $500 million a year from nearly 100,000 workers abroad, of
which some 50,000 were in China and 30,000 in Russia.
2020 Jan 28, North Korea said
it will impose a one-month quarantine on all foreigners arriving
from China in a bid to prevent the spread of a new coronavirus. The
new strain of virus has killed at least 106 people in China and
infected more than 4,500.
2020 Jan 28, A German court
ruled that a hostel situated on the grounds of the North Korean
embassy in Berlin must close as its operation breaches sanctions
aimed at stopping the flow of hard currency to Pyongyang.
2020 Jan 30, North Korea said
it is intensifying efforts to prevent the spread of a new virus from
China into the isolated country by blocking tourists, reducing
flights and mobilizing more screening efforts.
2020 Feb 8, North Korea failed
to stage a parade in central Pyongyang, the 72nd anniversary of the
founding of the country’s armed forces. This appeared to be a sign
of the regime's fear of the coronavirus spreading from China.
2020 Feb 9, A report released
by Recorded Future, a Cambridge, Mass., said North Korea has vastly
expanded its use of the internet in ways that enable its leader, Kim
Jong Un, to evade a “maximum pressure" US sanctions campaign and
turn to new forms of cybercrime to prop up his government.
2020 Feb 10, A confidential
United Nations report disclosed that. North Korea stepped up its
exports of illegal coal shipments in 2019, with most of those
deliveries headed for China.
2020 Feb 21, A Western tour
company said North Korea has called off its Pyongyang Marathon
scheduled for April after imposing a border lockdown and travel
curbs to prevent a coronavirus outbreak.
2020 Feb 27, It was reported
that North Korea has postponed the new school term to prevent the
spread of the new coronavirus.
2020 Mar 2, North Korea
launched two short-range projectiles off its east coast in the
country’s first weapons test in three months.
2020 Mar 2, China’s UN
ambassador said that North Korea is suffering “negatively" from the
coronavirus and called for greater flexibility from the United
States and other countries on lifting sanctions against the country.
2020 Mar 2, The US Department
of Justice announced that two Chinese nationals have been indicted
in the District of Columbia on two counts related to operating a
money laundering business. The two Chinese allegedly laundered
cryptocurrency stolen by North Korean hackers between December 2017
and April 2019, helping to hide the stolen currency from police. The
US sued to gain control of cryptocurrency accounts North Korea
allegedly used to steal more than $250 million from Bitcoin and
Ether exchanges in 2018.
(Reuters, 3/3/20)(Bloomberg, 3/3/20)
2020 Mar 4, North Korea's Kim
Jong Un sent South Korean President Moon Jae-in a letter expressing
condolences over the coronavirus outbreak. This was the North Korean
leader’s first public overture to his counterpart in more than four
2020 Mar 9, North Korea fired
what appeared to be three short-range ballistic missiles off its
eastern coast, raising regional security concerns as world leaders
battle the spread of the coronavirus.
2020 Mar 9, A special North
Korean flight believed to be carrying dozens of diplomats and other
foreigners arrived in Russia's Far East, as the North tightens a
lockdown intended to fend off the coronavirus.
2020 Mar 9, South Korea-based
Daily NK reported that around 200 North Korean soldiers from several
branches of the military have died from symptoms that may have been
caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
(https://tinyurl.com/r85wkr7)(Daily NK, 3/12/20)
2020 Mar 10, UN human rights
chief Michelle Bachelet said that “apparently systematic" human
rights violations in North Korean detention centers, including
sexual violence against women and girls, could amount to crimes
2020 Mar 17, North Korean
leader Kim Jong Un acknowledged that his country lacks modern
medical facilities and called for urgent improvements.
2020 Mar 21, North Korea fired
what appeared to be two short-range ballistic missiles off its east
coast, the latest in a series of such launches by Pyongyang.
2020 Mar 22, North Korea
reported that President Donald Trump has sent a personal letter to
leader Kim Jong Un, seeking to maintain good relations and offering
cooperation in fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
2020 Mar 25, The Financial
Times reported that North Korean officials have sought urgent help
from international contacts to increase coronavirus testing in a
nation that could see its dilapidated health care system be crushed
by an outbreak.
2020 Mar 29, North Korea fired
what appeared to be two short-range ballistic missiles into its
eastern sea, marking the fourth launch of projectiles this month as
the rest of the world grapples with the Covid-19 outbreak.
((Bloomberg, 3/28/20), 3/29/20)
2020 Mar 30, UN members
extended the mandate of the UN panel of experts monitoring sanctions
against North Korea until April 30, 2021, and stressed the
importance of supporting the UN's far-flung peacekeeping operations.
2020 Apr 11, North Korea's
leader Kim Jong Un was last seen in public on April 11, when he
presided over a meeting discussing coronavirus prevention and
electing his sister as an alternate member of the political bureau
of the ruling Workers’ Party. South Korean intelligence combined
with North Korean state media reports later suggest that Kim could
have suffered some sort of medical setback.
(AFP, 4/11/20) (AP, 4/27/20)
2020 Apr 14, North Korea fired
a barrage of missiles from both the ground and fighter jets that
splashed down on the waters off the country's east coast.
(NBC News, 4/14/20)
2020 Apr 15, US government
officials warned about the threat of North Korean hackers, calling
particular attention to banking and other finance.
2020 Apr 17, Radio Free Asia
reported that North Korean authorities told citizens in public
lectures that there were confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the
country as early as the end of March.
2020 Apr 21, Reports surfaced
that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was in fragile condition
following heart surgery.
(SFC, 4/21/20, p.A2)
2020 May 1, Newly released
footage of Kim Jong UN glad-handing at a North Korean fertilizer
production plant north of Pyongyang appeared to put an end to
speculation about his health.
(The Telegraph, 5/2/20)
2020 May 3, North Korean
gunfire hit a Southern guard post, prompting Seoul's soldiers to
return fire a few minutes later and broadcast warnings. On May 26
the United Nations Command (UNC) said the shooting was a violation
of the 1953 armistice agreement. The last time the two sides
exchanged fire on the border was in 2014.
2020 May 6, South Korea’s spy
agency that the coronavirus pandemic has likely taken a heavy toll
on North Korea, forcing leader Kim Jong Un to avoid public
activities and his people into panic buying for daily necessities.
2020 May 27, Britain closed its
embassy in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang and ordered its
staff to leave the country. The surprise closure was linked to
coronavirus-related restrictions in place since earlier this year.
(The Telegraph, 5/27/20)
2020 May 28, The US charged 28
North Korean and 5 Chinese nationals with laundering more than $2.5
billion used to help fund Pyongyang's nuclear weapons and missile
(The Week, 5/29/20)
2020 May 29, A Berlin official
said a hostel on the grounds of the North Korean embassy has been
closed. It was accused of helping finance the East Asian country in
violation of international sanctions.
2020 Jun 4, South Korea said it
planned to push new laws to ban activists from flying anti-Pyongyang
leaflets over the border after North Korea threatened to end an
inter-Korean military agreement reached in 2018 to reduce tensions
if Seoul fails to prevent the protests.
2020 Jun 9, North Korea
announced that it is severing all official communication links with
the South. Analysts said the move was aimed at manufacturing a
crisis on the divided peninsula. Pyongyang has refused to engage
with Seoul for months, with few if any conversations on the lines
aside from test calls.
2020 Jun 10, South Korea’s
government said that it will press charges against two activist
groups that have been floating anti-Pyongyang leaflets and bottles
filled with rice to North Korea.
2020 Jun 11, In South Korea two
North Korean defector-run groups targeted for legal action by South
Korean authorities said they intend to continue sending propaganda
leaflets and humanitarian aid into North Korea, despite criticism
from governments in both countries.
2020 Jun 14, South Korea
convened an emergency security meeting and urged North Korea to
uphold reconciliation agreements, hours after the North threatened
to demolish a liaison office and take military action against its
2020 Jun 16, North Korea blew
up a building where its officials and their South Korean
counterparts had recently worked side by side, after weeks of
threats to end the détente that has existed on the Korean Peninsula
for the past two years. The liaison office was opened in 2018 as the
first channel for full-time, person-to-person contact between the
(NY Times, 6/16/20)
2020 Jun 17, It was reported
that North Korea has a cyber army of about 7,000, trained to find
secrets, disrupt critical infrastructure, and steal money to
2020 Jun 20, State news agency
KCNA said North Korea is gearing up to send propaganda leaflets over
its southern border, denouncing North Korean defectors and South
2020 Jun 22, North Korea said
it has readied thousands of balloons and millions of leaflets in
preparation for "retaliatory punishment" against South Korea.
2020 Jun 22, A South Korean
group launched hundreds of thousands of leaflets by balloon across
the border into North Korea late today, despite repeated warnings
from the North that it will retaliate against such actions. Activist
park Sang-hak said his organization flew huge balloons carrying
500,000 leaflets, 2,000 one-dollar bills and small books into North
(AP, 6/22/20)(SFC, 6/24/20, p.A2)
2020 Jun 24, North Korea said
it will 'postpone' plans for military action against South Korea.
2020 Jul 25, North Korean
leader Kim Jong Un convened an emergency politburo meeting to
implement a "maximum emergency system and issue a top-class alert"
to contain the coronavirus. North Korea blamed the case on a
defector returning from the south.
2020 Jul 25, It was reported
that after a brief lull due to the COVID-19 pandemic, North Korea is
carrying out large-scale smuggling operations off the coast of China
in violation of UN sanctions, importing oil and selling coal and
sand to keep its economy afloat.
(NBC News, 7/25/20)
2020 Jul 28, North Korea
introduced tougher prevention measures against the novel
coronavirus, after it locked down the border town of Kaesong to
tackle what could be its first publicly confirmed case of the
2020 Jul 28, The UN human
rights office reported that scores of North Korean women who had
traveled abroad in a desperate search for work were abused by
security officials and police through beatings, detention in
unsanitary conditions, undernourishment and invasive body searches
after being sent back home. The women spoke to UN human rights
officials after eventually fleeing North Korea following their
2020 Jul 30, The European Union
prolonged sanctions against dozens of North Korean officials and
agencies for a year over Pyongyang’s continued efforts to develop
nuclear missiles and other weapons of mass destruction.
2020 Jul, It was reported that
a dark fleet of nearly 1,000 industrial-sized Chinese fishing boats
were hauling huge numbers of squid from the waters within North
Korea's 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone each year.
(Econ., 10/24/20, p.53)
2020 Aug 3, In North Korea an
apparent gas leak caused a deadly blast. As many as 15 people died
in the explosion and resulting fire at a house in Hyesan, Yanggang
2020 Aug 3, A confidential new
UN report warned that several countries believe North Korea has
likely developed miniaturized nuclear devices to fit into the
warheads of its nuclear devices.
(The Telegraph, 8/3/20)
2020 Aug 6, It was reported
that North Korea is quarantining thousands of people and shipping
food and other aid to a southern city locked down over coronavirus
(The Telegraph, 8/6/20)
2020 Aug 7, In North Korea a
train carrying goods arrived in the "totally blocked" city of
Kaesong, following the discovery there of the country's first
suspected coronavirus case.
(The Telegraph, 8/8/20)
2020 Aug 12, Israel said it
foiled a cyberattack targeting its defense industry by the Lazarus
Group, a shadowy entity that the US has linked to North Korea.
2020 Aug 13, A US-based
think-tank said satellite imagery suggests recent flooding in North
Korea may have damaged pump houses connected to the country's main
2020 Aug 14, North Korea said
it had lifted a three-week lockdown that was imposed on a border
city after a defector believed to be carrying the coronavirus
sneaked back into the country.
2020 Aug 15, It was reported
that nearly 1,500 acres of rice fields in North Korea were flooded
and about 730 singe-story homes and 179 housing blocks destroyed as
of early August. This has prompted leader Kim Jong Un to tap into
his private grain reserves to feed victims.
(Business Insider, 8/15/20)
2020 Aug 19, North Korean
leader Kim Jong-un acknowledged the hardships faced by his
population during the first meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party of
Korea’s central body in eight months.
(The Telegraph, 8/19/20)
2020 Aug 27, North Korean
leader Kim Jong-un visited a rice-growing area devastated by Typhoon
Bavi. The storm slammed into the country’s southwestern province of
Hwanghae, dealing a damaging blow to its corn stalks, rice paddies
and other crops, and raising fears of increased hunger among an
already malnourished population. Kim Jong Un said the country was
"fortunate" and had suffered only limited damage.
(AFP, 8/27/20) (The Telegraph,
2020 Aug 27, The US government
sought to seize 280 cryptocurrency accounts it said were used by
North Korean hackers who stole millions of dollars of cryptocurrency
from two virtual exchanges, and used Chinese traders to launder
2020 Sep 3, It was reported
that Lee Young-guk (57) has published the book “I was Kim Jong-il’s
bodyguard." Here he claims that he began a ten-year stint in the
security team of current leader Kim Jong-un’s late father in 1978,
after which he became a military adviser from 1988 to 1991. Mr. Lee
faced, now in Canada, faced deportation to South Korea.
(The Telegraph, 9/3/20)
2020 Sep 4, A new investigation
into companies trading in the Chinese city of Dandong, on the border
with North Korea, shed a spotlight on Pyongyang’s global money
laundering networks and raised fresh questions about China’s
complicity in bypassing United Nations sanctions against Kim
2020 Sep 5, In North Korea a
state newspaper reported that the ruling party is calling for the
punishment of officials whose failure to follow orders resulted in
"dozens of casualties" during typhoons that lashed the Korean
peninsula this week.
2020 Sep 7, Typhoon Haishen to
a tropical storm late today as it made landfall near the North
Korean coastal city of Hamhung. In South Korea, at least two people
were missing as the storm barreled through South Korea’s southern
and eastern regions.
2020 Sep 9, North Korean state
media said Typhoon Maysak wrecked nearly 60 bridges and destroyed or
inundated more than 2,000 houses when it hit on Sep 3.
2020 Sep 23, South Korea's
Defense Ministry said a South Korean official (47), who disappeared
off a government ship near the disputed sea boundary with North
Korea this week, may be in North Korea.
2020 Sep 24, South Korea’s
Defense Ministry said North Korea shot and burned the body of a
South Korean official who disappeared from a government boat earlier
(NBC News, 9/24/20)
2020 Sep 25, North Korea’s
leader, Kim Jong-un, offered a rare apology for the killing of a
South Korean official by soldiers from the North. The victim was
apparently trying to defect to the North.
(NY Times, 9/25/20)
2020 Sep 30, A North Korean
refugee has recounted how she was repeatedly raped by two South
Korean spies, shedding a fresh spotlight on the widespread abuse of
women during the dangerous process of defecting from the
(The Telegraph, 9/30/20)
2020 Sep, Ryu Hyun Woo, North
Korea's acting ambassador to Kuwait, defected to South Korea, the
latest in a recent string of high-profile escapes from the isolated
country. This was only made public in 2021.
(The Telegraph, 1/25/21)
2020 Oct 7, A South Korean MP
confirmed that North Korea's former acting ambassador to Italy
defected to the South after disappearing from the mission in Rome
two years ago. Senior diplomat Jo Song-gil vanished with his wife in
November 2018 and reportedly sought asylum, while his daughter was
said to have been repatriated to the authoritarian state.
2020 Oct 10, North Korea showed
off a gigantic new intercontinental ballistic missile that analysts
described as the biggest of its kind in the world, as the
nuclear-armed country defied the coronavirus threat with thousands
of maskless troops taking part in a military parade.
2020 Oct 19, Human Rights Watch
said torture, humiliation and coerced confessions are rampant in
North Korea's pretrial detention system which treats people as worth
"less than an animal," in a report on the country's opaque legal
2020 Nov 4, North Korea
introduced smoking bans in some public places to provide citizens
with “hygienic living environments," raising questions about whether
the nation’s chain-smoking supreme leader may kick the habit
(The Telegraph, 11/5/20)
2020 Nov 13, Microsoft said
hacker groups backed by Russia and North Korea have targeted seven
companies in the US, Canada, France, India, and South Korea. It
blocked the "majority" of the attacks, but Microsoft acknowledged
that some were successful.
2020 Nov 19, The United States
slapped sanctions on two companies it accused of being involved in
exporting forced labor from North Korea and warned countries still
using workers from the country to send them home.
2020 Nov 27, Britain's National
Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) said North Korea authorized a
state-sponsored cyber gang to pose as headhunters in an attempt to
steal Britain's Covid-19 vaccine secrets.
(The Telegraph, 11/27/20)
2020 Nov 27, South Korea’s spy
agency told lawmakers that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has
ordered at least two people executed, banned fishing at sea and
locked down the capital, Pyongyang, as part of frantic efforts to
guard against the coronavirus and its economic damage.
2020 Dec 1, The US State
Department accused China of "flagrant violation" of its obligation
to enforce international sanctions on North Korea and said
Washington would offer rewards of up to $5 million for information
about sanctions evasions.
2020 Dec 1, It was reported
that a new official biography of Kim Jong-un published to mark the
75th anniversary of the founding of North Korea’s Workers’ Partyhas
been criticized for major omissions, including that his mother is
(The Telegraph, 12/1/20)
2020 Dec 1, A US analyst
claimed that China has provided North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and
his family with an experimental coronavirus vaccine.
(The Telegraph, 12/1/20)
2020 Dec 2, It was reported
that suspected North Korean hackers have recently tried to break
into at least nine health organizations, including pharmaceutical
giant Johnson & Johnson and vaccine developer Novavax Inc,
revealing a broader effort to target key players in the race to
develop treatments for COVID-19.
2020 Dec 3, The International
Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said its last remaining foreign
staff have left North Korea, the latest in a mass exodus of
foreigners amid strict coronavirus lockdowns.
2020 Dec 8, The Trump
administration escalated steps to rein in North Korea’s efforts to
evade international sanctions with new penalties.
2020 Dec 11, Eight mainly
Western nations accused North Korea of using the pandemic “to crack
down further on the human rights of its own people," pointing to
reports of an uptick in executions related to the coronavirus and
strict controls on movements in and around the capital.
2020 Dec 14, South Korea’s
parliament approved contentious legislation criminalizing the flying
of propaganda leaflets by balloon toward North Korea, despite fierce
criticism that the country is sacrificing freedom of expression to
improve ties with the rival North.
2021 Jan 5, North Korean leader
Kim Jong Un opened the nation's first full ruling party congress in
five years with an admission that his economic plans have failed.
2021 Jan 6, North Korea leader
Kim Jong Un vowed to strengthen the country's military defenses in a
speech at a major ruling party meeting. Kim presented goals for
developing the North’s transport, construction, commerce and other
industries and proposed ways to expand production in agriculture,
light industry and fishing to improve public livelihoods.
2021 Jan 9, The Korean Central
News Agency said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called the US his
biggest enemy and vowed to advance Pyongyang's nuclear arsenal.
2021 Jan 11, North Korean media
reported that leader Kim Jong Un has been given the title of general
secretary of the ruling Workers’ Party formerly held by his late
father and grandfather, in a move apparently aimed at bolstering his
authority amid growing economic challenges.
2021 Jan 14, North Korea late
today displayed new submarine-launched ballistic missiles under
development and other military hardware in a parade that underlined
leader Kim Jong Un’s defiant calls to expand the country's nuclear
2021 Jan 17, North Korea’s
rubber-stamp parliament passed decisions made by a major ruling
party meeting where leader Kim Jong Un vowed to bolster his nuclear
deterrent and established plans to salvage the country's battered
2021 Feb 8, A United Nations
panel reported that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has relied on
government hackers to upgrade his country's nuclear and ballistic
2021 Feb 9, It was reported
that a preliminary UN inquiry into the theft of $281 million worth
of assets from a cryptocurrency exchange last September "strongly
suggests" links to North Korea. Industry analysts pointed to
Seychelles-based KuCoin as the victim of one of the largest reported
digital currency heists.