1912 Apr 15, Kim Il Sung, North
Korea's communist founder and leader (1948-1994), was born.
(AP, 7/8/97)(WSJ, 6/26/97, p.A14)(SSFC, 3/17/02,
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
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.
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.
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. About
1.7 million Americans were involved and there was an estimated 3 mil
casualties including 150,000 (54,246) Americans and over 1 mil
Chinese. In 1990 North Korean officials revealed that Stalin
knew about and encouraged North Korea’s aggression as did Mao
(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)
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 6, A Chinese offensive
was halted at Chongchon River, North Korea.
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
(WSJ, 6/24/96, C1)(AP, 11/26/97)(HN,
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 28, In Korea, 200,000
Communist troops launched attack on UN forces.
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 started on Jun 25, 1950.
2.5 million people were killed. No peace treaty was ever signed.
About 1.7 million Americans were involved and there was an estimated
3 mil casualties including 150,000 (54,246) 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."
(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)
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.
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 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 Ro Kim Suk landed his aircraft at Kimpo airfield outside
1953 Nov 23, North Korea signed
10-year aid pact with Peking.
1953 Dec 26, U.S. was to
withdraw two divisions from 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)
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.
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.
(SFEC, 10/15/00, p.A25)(SFC, 9/18/02,
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)
1984-1998 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)
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 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)
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.
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.
(AP, 10/21/99)(Econ, 7/21/07, p.41)
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.
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 Euna Lee (36) and Laura Ling (32), 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
(AP, 3/27/10)(AP, 3/29/10)(AP, 5/10/10)
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)
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.
2014 Dec 19, 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
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 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)