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South Korea (A) 2016 Jan 7,
South Korea announced it would resume cross-border propaganda
broadcasts that Pyongyang considers an act of war In response to
North Korea's latest nuclear test.
2016 Jan 7, Indonesia signed a
$1.3 billion deal with South Korea to jointly develop Seoul's
next-generation fighter jets.
2016 Jan 8, South Korea resumed
high-decibel propaganda broadcasts into North Korea as the United
States ramped up pressure on China to bring Pyongyang to heel after
its latest nuclear test.
2016 Jan 26, A Chinese fishing
boat capsized and killed at least one passenger near a small island
off South Korea's southwest coast. Four other passengers were
believed to be inside the boat, which wasn't approved by South
Korean authorities to fish in the country's waters.
2016 Jan 30, In South Korea the
education ministers of South Korea, Japan and China held the first
three-way meeting among the countries that often spar over how their
wartime past is described in textbooks.
2016 Feb 10, South Korea said
that it will shut down a joint industrial park with North Korea in
response to the North's recent rocket launch, accusing the North of
using hard currency from the park to develop its nuclear and missile
2016 Feb 15, A South Korean
military helicopter crashed in an eastern province, killing three of
the four soldiers on board.
2016 Feb 20, In South Korea
thousands of couples took part in a mass wedding by the Unification
Church, with the widow of church founder Sun Myung Moon presiding
over the event at a giant stadium.
2016 Feb 22, A South Korean
newspaper reported that Chinese banks including a branch of China's
biggest bank Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) have
frozen accounts belonging to North Koreans.
2016 Feb 27, Thousands of South
Koreans marched in the capital to protest what they say are setbacks
in personal freedoms and labor rights under conservative President
Park Geun-hye. Opposition lawmakers continued their nonstop speeches
for a fifth straight day in parliament to block a vote on a
government-backed anti-terrorism bill that they say would threaten
personal freedoms and privacy if passed into law.
2016 Feb 28, South Korean
opposition lawmakers seeking to block a government-backed
"anti-terrorism" bill pushed their record-breaking filibuster into a
sixth straight day of speeches in the parliamentary chamber.
2016 Mar 2, South Korea's
opposition members of parliament ended a record-breaking filibuster
to block an "anti-terrorism" bill sponsored by their conservative
rivals. The opposition Minju party led the eight-day filibuster, the
world’s longest. South Korea’s National Assembly passed its first
legislation on human rights in North Korea, in a move that is
expected to enrage its northern rival.
(Reuters, 3/2/16)(AP, 3/2/16)(Econ, 4/9/16, p.41)
2016 Mar 8, South Korea said it
would impose new sanctions against 40 individuals and 30 entities
because of suspected links to North Korea's weapons program and
would ban vessels that had stopped at North Korean ports in the past
2016 Mar 9, In South Korea a
Google-developed supercomputer stunned South Korean Go grandmaster
Lee Se-Dol by taking the first game of a five-match showdown between
man and machine in Seoul.
2016 Mar 10, In South Korea
human Go champion Lee Sedol said he was left "speechless" after his
second straight loss to Google's Go-playing machine in a
highly-anticipated human versus machine face-off.
2016 Mar 10, North Korea fired
two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea in defiance of UN
Security Council resolutions. The North also announced it had
scrapped all agreements with the South on commercial exchange
projects and would "liquidate" South Korean assets left behind in
2016 Mar 11, South Korea's spy
agency told lawmakers that the number of North Korean cyberattacks
on the South has doubled over the past month.
2016 Mar 12, In South Korea
AlphaGo, a Google-developed computer program, won its best-of-five
match-up with a South Korean Go grandmaster, taking an unassailable
3-0 lead to score a major victory for a new style of "intuitive"
artificial intelligence (AI).
2016 Mar 12, US and South
Korean troops staged a big amphibious landing exercise, storming
simulated North Korean beach defenses amid heightened tension and
threats by the North to annihilate its enemies.
2016 Mar 30, Kuwait inked a
$2.93 billion contract with three South Korean firms for the
construction of the largest Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) import
facility in the oil-rich country.
2016 Mar 31, South Korean
activist prostitutes said they would appeal to the United Nations to
win back their right to work after the Constitutional Court rejected
a petition to overturn a law that punishes sex workers.
2016 Apr 5, Thirteen North
Koreans working at a restaurant in China defected. They traveled to
a Southeast Asian country before being flown to South Korea.
(AP, 4/8/16)(AP, 4/11/16)
2016 Apr 11, South Korea said
two senior North Korean officials, including an army colonel
specializing in espionage against the South, defected to South Korea
2016 Apr 13, South Korea held
parliamentary elections that were expected to hand a decisive win to
President Park Geun-hye's conservative party, and enable her to push
ahead with controversial economic reforms. Exit polls, however,
indicated her party would not regain its majority in the National
2016 May 16, Han Kang’s “The
Vegetarian" won the Man Booker Int’l. Prize (MBIP) for fiction. The
South Korean book was translated by Deborah Smith.
(Econ, 5/21/16, p.77)
2016 May 17, In South Korea a
woman (23) was attacked and stabbed to death by a male stranger
early today in a building's bathroom near Seoul’s Gangnam subway
2016 May 24, South Korean
officials said an unspecified number of North Koreans working at a
Pyongyang-run restaurant overseas have escaped their workplace and
will come to South Korea. The announcement came after South Korean
media reported that two or three female employees at a North
Korean-run restaurant in China fled and went to an unidentified
Southeast Asian country earlier this month.
2016 May 29, Uganda and South
Korea signed cooperation agreements on the 2nd day of a visit by
South Korean leader Park Geun-hye. The memorandums of understanding
in areas such as health and education were signed at the State House
in Entebbe. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said his country would
halt security and military cooperation with North Korea.
(AP, 5/29/16)(Reuters, 5/29/16)
2016 May 31, In Kenya South
Korea's President Park Geun-hye met Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta
on the second day of her three-day visit.
2016 Jun 11, In Hong Kong and
South Korea operators of the ACT college entrance exam canceled the
tests for some 5,500 students at the last moment over what they said
was a verified breach of test materials.
2016 Jun 17, In South Korea a
civilian light plane crashed in Muan, killing all 3 people on board.
2016 Jun 22, In China a
six-nation security forum opened in Beijing as a multilateral forum
involving high-level policymakers, defense ministry officials,
military officers, and researchers from China, Japan, North and
South Korea, Russia, and the United States.
2016 Jul 7, In South Korea Shin
Young-ja, the daughter of the founder of the Lotte Group
conglomerate, was arrested on charges including breach of trust and
2016 Jul 8, South Korea and the
United States said they would deploy an advanced missile defense
system in South Korea to counter a threat from North Korea, drawing
a sharp and swift protest from neighboring China.
2016 Jul 15, South Koreans
protesting against a plan to deploy a US missile defense system in
their district blocked a minibus carrying PM Hwang Kyo-ahn for
several hours. A day earlier the government announced that the
southeastern county of Seongju had been chosen as the site for a
Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) battery aimed at
countering what it sees as the threat from North Korea's missile and
2016 Jul 17, South Korean
authorities arrested senior prosecutor Jin Kyung-joo for allegedly
pocketing millions of dollars following shady stock transaction
deals with a leading online game maker.
2016 Jul 22, South Korea's
central bank said North Korea's economy shrank 1.1 percent last
year, in its first contraction in five years.
2016 Jul 29, South Korean
prosecutors indicted fellow senior prosecutor Jin Kyung-joon for
allegedly pocketing millions of dollars from shady stock transaction
deals with an online game maker.
2016 Aug 2, South Korea fined
Volkswagen 17.8 billion won ($16 million) and suspended sales of 80
VW models, alleging the German carmaker fabricated documents on
emissions or noise level tests.
2016 Aug 13, In South Korea
prosecutors indicted the former chief executive of the South Korean
unit of Swss-based Novartis and five other former and current
managers over allegations they illegally paid doctors 2.6 billion
won ($2.3 million) in return for prescribing the company's drugs.
2016 Aug 16, In South Korea an
accidental explosion at a naval base left 3 soldiers dead and
another injured in the southeastern port town of Jinhae.
2016 Aug 17, South Korea said
Thae Yong Ho, North Korea's deputy ambassador in London, has
defected with his family to South Korea, making him the
highest-ranking Pyongyang diplomat ever to flee the isolated regime
for the democratic South.
2016 Aug 20, North Korean state
media accused diplomat Thae Yong Ho, who defected from Britain to
South Korea, of fleeing to escape punishment for a variety of
crimes, including child rape. KCNA news said “the fugitive was
ordered in June to be summoned for embezzling a lot of state funds,
selling state secrets and committing child rape."
2016 Aug 23, South Korea’s
Yonhap news agency reported that North Korea has laid landmines in
the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between the two Koreas, after the start
of annual US-South Korean military exercises.
2016 Aug 24, South Korea said a
ballistic missile fired from a North Korean submarine flew about 500
km (310 miles), the longest distance achieved by the North for such
a weapon. The missile flew at a high trajectory and has a range of
more than 1,000 km (620 miles) at a normal angle.
(AP, 8/24/16)(Reuters, 8/24/16)
2016 Aug 26, In South Korea
Lotte Group's vice chairman Lee In-won (69) was found dead as
authorities widened a probe into corruption at the country’s
fifth-largest business group.
2016 Aug 31, The South Korean
shipping giant Hanjin filed for bankruptcy protection and stopped
accepting new cargo. With its assets being frozen, ships from China
to Canada found themselves refused permission to offload or take
aboard containers because there were no guarantees that tugboat
pilots or stevedores would be paid. 66 ships were left stranded
carrying goods worth $14.5 billion.
(AP, 9/2/16)(Econ, 9/10/16, p.53)
2016 Sep 2, South Korea-based
Samsung Electronics said it is halting sales of its Galaxy Note 7
following battery explosions.
2016 Sep 10, South Korea-based
Samsung Electronics urged customers to stop using Galaxy Note 7
smartphones immediately and exchange them as soon as possible. The
company said it had confirmed 35 cases of the phone catching fire as
of Sep 1.
(SSFC, 9/11/16, p.A3)
2016 Sep 10, The Hanjin
container ship Greece, that was stranded off the California coast
for more than a week, began unloading after a judge protected the
global shipping giant from having its assets seized in the US as it
struggles to avoid bankruptcy. The ship was one of four vessels that
were blocked from entering or leaving the port after Hanjin filed
for bankruptcy protection on Aug. 31 in South Korea and the US on
2016 Sep 12, US-based
Hewlett-Packard said it is buying Samsung Electronics Co.'s printer
business in a transaction worth $1.05 billion. HP Inc. said that it
is the largest print acquisition in the company's history and will
help it go from traditional copiers to multifunction printers.
2016 Sep 13, The United States
sent two nuclear-capable supersonic bombers streaking over ally
South Korea in a show of force meant to cow North Korea after its
recent nuclear test, and also to settle rattled nerves in the South.
2016 Sep 21, Two US supersonic
bombers flew over South Korea, with one of them landing at an air
base 40 km (25 miles) south of the capital, the second such flight
since North Korea's Sept. 9 nuclear test.
2016 Sep 25, In South Korea
Baek Nam-gi (69), activist and farmer, died following ten months in
a coma. He had been knocked over by a police water cannon during a
demonstration in 2015.
(Econ, 10/1/16, p.39)
2016 Sep, South Korea first
discovered a hacking attack of its military computer network by
North Korea. In 2017 it was revealed that a vast cache of stolen
data included classified wartime contingency plans jointly drawn by
Washington and Seoul.
(SFC, 10/11/17, p.A2)
2016 Oct 1, South Korean
President Park Geun-Hye called on North Koreans to abandon their
country and defect, just a day after a soldier walked across the
heavily fortified border into the South.
2016 Oct 11, Shares in South
Korea-based Samsung Electronics tumbled after the company junked its
Note 7 smartphone. Samsung told customers to stop using their Galaxy
Note 7 devices and called a halt to worldwide sales as US officials
warned the handsets could blow up.
2016 Oct 14, South Korea-based
Samsung Electronics said that discontinuing the Galaxy Note 7
smartphone, which is prone to overheat and catch fire, will cost it
about $3 billion in the current and coming quarters, raising total
costs from the recalls to at least $5.3 billion.
2016 Oct 27, Senior officials
from the United States, Japan and South Korea agreed to step up
pressure on North Korea as they stick to their goal of persuading
the communist state to abandon its nuclear weapons.
2016 Oct 29, In South Korea
thousands of people took to the streets of Seoul calling for
increasingly unpopular Pres. Park Geun-hye to step down over
allegations that she let an old friend, the daughter of a religious
cult leader, interfere in important state affairs.
2016 Oct 31, In South Korea
Choi Soon-sil, the woman at the center of a scandal roiling South
Korea, met prosecutors examining whether she used her close ties to
President Park Geun-hye to pull government strings from the shadows
and amass an illicit fortune. Using a common expression of deep
repentance she said: "I committed a sin that deserves death."
2016 Oct, In the Philippines
Jee Ick-joo, a South Korean businessman, disappeared from his home
in Angeles City. It was later reported that police from a special
anti-drug unit abducted him under the guise of a raid on illegal
drugs and that a policeman then strangled him inside Camp Crame. His
body was burned and flushed down a lavatory. The kidnappers demanded
a ransom from the victim's wife and she initially paid five million
pesos ($100,000), thinking he was still alive. On Jan 24, 2017, the
Philippine government apologized to South Korea and pledged to
ensure that justice is served and not delayed.
(AFP, 1/22/17)(AP, 1/24/17)(Econ, 2/4/17, p.33)
2016 Nov 4, South Korean
President Park Geun-hye took sole blame for a "heartbreaking"
scandal amid rising suspicion that she allowed a mysterious
confidante to manipulate power from the shadows. Park also vowed to
accept a direct investigation into her actions.
2016 Nov 5, In South Korea tens
of thousands protested in central Seoul in one the largest
demonstrations in the country's capital for years, calling on
embattled President Park Geun-hye to resign over a growing
2016 Nov 6, South Korean
prosecutors arrested two former aides of Pres. Park Geun-hye. Ahn
Jongbeom was arrested for pressuring companies into making large
donations to non-profit organizations controlled by Choi Sonsil and
Jung Ho-sung for passing classified documents to Choi Soonsil, whose
relationship with the president has sparked a political scandal.
(SFC, 11/7/16, p.A3)
2016 Nov 8, South Korean
President Park Geun-hye, to defuse a massive scandal, conceded to
lawmakers the power to name her new prime minister, a move that
could seriously hurt, or even destroy, her ability to govern.
2016 Nov 14, South Korea-based
Samsung said it would pay $8 billion for Harman, a firm in Stamford,
Conn., that makes internet connected audio, information and security
systems for cars. The deal was the largest for Samsung to date.
(Econ, 11/19/16, p.57)
2016 Nov 17, South Korea's
parliament passed a law that would allow a special prosecutor to
investigate a corruption scandal threatening the presidency of Park
Geun-hye. The opposition-controlled National Assembly also voted for
a parliamentary investigation into allegations that Park allowed a
secretive confidante to manipulate power from the shadows and amass
an illicit fortune.
2016 Nov 19, In South Korea
hundreds of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Seoul
in the fourth straight weekend of protest against embattled Pres.
2016 Nov 23, In South Korea
state prosecutors combed through the offices of Samsung for a third
raid in as many weeks related to a probe in an influence-peddling
case tied to the administration of Pres. Park Guen-hye.
(Econ, 11/26/16, p.60)
2016 Nov 26, In South Korea for
the fifth straight weekend, masses of protesters occupied major
avenues in downtown Seoul demanding the ouster of President Park
Geun-hye. Organizers estimated the crowd at 1.5 million.
2016 Nov 29, South Korean Pres.
Park Geun-hye said that she'll resign, if parliament arranges the
technical details, in her latest attempt to fend off impeachment
efforts. Opponents immediately called Park's conditional resignation
offer a stalling tactic.
2016 Dec 3, In South Korea
hundreds of thousands rallied in Seoul on Saturday in the sixth
straight weekend of protests demanding the resignation of
scandal-tainted President Park Geun-hye that took them closer than
ever to the presidential Blue House.
2016 Dec 8, South Korea's
parliament introduced Thursday to impeach President Park Geun-hye,
setting the stage for a historic vote to oust the embattled leader
engulfed in an influence-peddling scandal.
2016 Dec 9, South Korean
lawmakers impeached Pres. Park Geun-hye, a stunning and swift fall
for the country's first female leader amid protests that drew
millions into the streets in united fury. This allowed PM Hwang
Kyo-ahn to assume leadership until the Constitutional Court rules on
whether Park must permanently step down.
2016 Dec 17, In South Korea
supporters of impeached President Park Geun-hye clashed with
anti-Park protesters, as large crowds of demonstrators again
gathered in Seoul to demand the scandal-ridden leader's immediate
2016 Dec 19, In South Korea
high-profile North Korean defector Thae Yong Ho told South Korean
lawmakers that he fled because of disillusionment with what he
describes as a "tyrannical reign of terror" by leader Kim Jong Un.
2016 Dec 24, A large crowd of
South Koreans took to the streets of central Seoul for the ninth
weekend in a row to demand the immediate resignation of President
Park Geun-hye, who has been impeached by parliament over a
2016 Dec 27, South Korea said
26 million head of poultry will be culled over the next 24 hours
after the H5N6 strain of avian influenza was found in farms and
(SFC, 12/28/16, p.A2)
2016 Dec 28, South Korea's
antitrust regulator slapped a 1.03 trillion won ($865 million) fine
on Qualcomm Inc. for allegedly violating competition laws.
2016 Dec 31, A South Korean
court issued an arrest warrant for Moon Hyung-pyo, the head of the
national pension fund, the world's third largest, in a corruption
scandal that has led to President Park Geun-hye's impeachment.
2016 Dec 31, In South Korea
large crowds gathered to join another rally demanding the ouster of
impeached President Park Geun-hye, who's determined to restore her
powers through a court trial.
2016 The South Korean film
“Spirits Homecoming" portrayed the story of the “comfort women"
enslaved by the Japanese during WW II.
(Econ, 3/26/16, p.47)
2016 Reporters Without Borders
placed South Korea in the 70th position in its World Press Freedom
(Econ 5/6/17, p.37)
2017 Jan 1, South Korea's
impeached Pres. Park Geun-hye broke a month-long silence over her
alleged role in a corruption scandal, publicly denying charges of
wrongdoing and saying that the accusations against her were
"fabrication and falsehood."
2017 Jan 1, Denmark police
arrested Chung Yoo-ra (20), an equestrian competitor and the
daughter of Choi Soon-sil, a central figure in a South Korean
influence-peddling scandal that led to President Park Geun-hye's
impeachment. She will face extradition proceedings following her
arrest on an Interpol request from Seoul.
2017 Jan 7, In South Korea
hundreds of thousands of protesters returned to the streets of Seoul
demanding impeached Pres. Park Geun-Hye's immediate removal and the
salvaging of the April 16, 2014, sunken Sewol ferry which left more
than 300 dead.
2017 Jan 7, A South Korean
Buddhist monk (64) set himself on fire to protest the country’s
settlement with Japan on compensation for wartime sex slaves. The
monk suffered third-degree burns.
(SFC, 1/9/17, p.A2)
2017 Jan 16, In South Korea
special prosecutors accused Lee Jae-yong, the only son of Samsung’s
chairman Lee Kun-hee, of bribery, embezzlement and perjury. Three
days later a court rejected a request for his arrest.
(Econ, 1/21/17, p.53)
2017 Jan 20, A South Korean
court said that the government had broken the law during the
1960s and 1970s by detaining prostitutes who catered to US soldiers
and by forcing them to undergo treatment for venereal diseases. The
court ordered the government to pay 57 plaintiffs $4,240 each in
compensation for physical and psychological damage.
(SFC, 1/21/17, p.A4)
2017 Jan 21, South Korean
prosecutors arrested President Park Geun-hye's culture minister and
her former top presidential adviser over allegations that they
blacklisted artists critical of the government. Culture Minister Cho
Yoon-sun and ex-presidential chief of staff Kim Ki-choon had
allegedly drawn up a list of some 9,500 artists and cultural figures
to be excluded from government funding programs.
(AP, 1/21/17)(Econ, 1/28/17, p.34)
2017 Jan 26, Philippines
President Rodrigo Duterte apologized to South Korea after policemen
last October killed, one of its citizens, then said he wanted to
hang rogue police and send their heads to Seoul. The police accused
of kidnapping and killing Jee Ick-joo were anti-narcotics officers.
2017 Jan, China expelled 32
South Korean Christian missionaries this month. Some 1000 South
Korean missionaries worked in China.
2017 Feb 3, US President Donald
Trump's defense secretary warned North Korea of an "effective and
overwhelming" response if it chose to use nuclear weapons, as he
reassured South Korea of steadfast US support.
2017 Feb 17, South Korean
authorities arrested Lee Jae-yong (48) a vice-chairman at Samsung
Electronics, for alleged bribes worth $36 million to win government
support for a smooth company leadership transition and a contentious
merger of two Samsung companies.
(SFC, 2/18/17, p.A2)
2017 Feb 27, South Korean
police said four of the eight North Koreans, identified as suspects
in the Feb 13 assassination of Kim Jong Nam in Malaysia, were agents
from North Korea’s Ministry of State Security.
(SFC, 2/28/17, p.A3)
2017 Feb 28, South Korean
special prosecutors indicted Samsung's de facto chief on bribery,
embezzlement and other charges linked to a political scandal that
has toppled President Park Geun-hye. Yonhap news said Samsung would
scrap its Future Strategy Office and devolve power to individual
affiliates as part of broad reforms.
(AP, 2/28/17)(Econ, 3/4/17, p.52)
2017 Feb 28, South Korea’s
Lotte Mart supermarket chain signed a deal allowing America to build
the THAAD anti-missile system on land owned by the company. The
company’s businesses in China were adversely affected with sudden
tax and safety inspections and a scarcity of buyers.
(Econ, 3/18/17, p.41)
2017 Mar 6, South Korea
received the first components of THAAD, an American anti-missile
(Econ, 3/18/17, p.41)
2017 Mar 8, China's foreign
minister said that North Korea could suspend its nuclear and missile
activities in exchange for a halt in joint US-South Korea military
drills, in an unusually public proposal that analysts said showed
Beijing's growing alarm over the tensions.
2017 Mar 10, South Korea's
Constitutional Court removed impeached President Park Geun-hye from
office in a unanimous ruling over a corruption scandal that has
plunged the country into political turmoil and worsened an
already-serious national divide. About 30 protesters and police
officers were injured in the violent clashes near the court.
2017 Mar 10, South Korea-based
LG Electronics launched its new G6 smartphone.
(Econ, 3/18/17, p.19)
2017 Mar 11, In South Korea
opponents of ousted leader Park Geun-hye (35) rallied in Seoul to
demand that she be arrested, a day after she was thrown out of
office over a corruption scandal involving the country's
2017 Mar 15, A federal jury in
Chicago convicted South Korean CEO Heon Seok Lee of defrauding
municipal governments into using federal money on
wastewater-treatment equipment they were falsely told was made in
2017 Mar 16, South Korea-based
Hyundai said it is recalling nearly 978,000 cars in the US because
the front seat belts could detach in a crash and fail to hold
2017 Mar 17, In South Korea US
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said US policy of strategic
patience with North Korea's nuclear and missile programs has ended,
warning that military action would be "on the table" if Pyongyang
elevated the threat level.
2017 Mar 23, A 6,800-ton South
Korean ferry was hoisted to the surface nearly three years after it
capsized and sank in violent seas off the country's southwestern
coast. More than 300 people died when the Sewol sank on April 16,
2017 Mar 29, South Korea-based
Samsung introduced the Galaxy S8, its first major smartphone release
since some of its Note7 smartphones spontaneously caught fire.
(SFC, 3/30/17, p.C3)
2017 Mar 31, South Korea's
embattled former President Park Geun-hye was jailed in a scandal
that has set off a political firestorm and led to the arrests and
indictments of dozens of high-profile figures.
2017 Mar 31, The Stella Daisy
cargo ship being used by a South Korean shipping company went
missing in seas near Uruguay with 16 Filipino and 8 South Korean
crew members. Two Filipino sailors were rescued on April 1.
(AP, 4/1/17)(AFP, 4/2/17)
2017 Apr 10, China and South
Korea agreed to slap tougher sanctions on North Korea if it carries
out nuclear or long-range missile tests, as a US Navy strike group
headed to the region in a show of force.
2017 Apr 16, US Vice President
Mike Pence began a 10-day, four-nation tour of the Asia-Pacific,
arriving in South Korea hours after the North conducted a failed
2017 Apr 17, South Korean
prosecutors charged ousted president Park Geun-hye and Lotte Group
chairman Shin Dong-bin with bribery in the latest twist to a
corruption scandal that rocked the country for months.
2017 Apr 21, The new Samsung
Galaxy S8 phone started shipping for about $750 — $100 more than the
iPhone 7 and last year's Galaxy S7 when it launched. A larger
sibling, the S8 Plus, goes for about $850.
2017 Apr 19, A Danish court
upheld a decision by the public prosecutor in Copenhagen to allow
the extradition of Chung Yoo-ra (20), the daughter of Choi Soon-sil,
the former confidante of South Korea's ousted president, to face
prosecution in her home country.
2017 Apr 21, The Military
Human Rights Center for Korea said South Korea's army is hunting
down and prosecuting gay servicemen after a video of two male
soldiers having sex was posted on the internet earlier this year.
2017 Apr 23, China's foreign
minister called for the complete denuclearization of the Korean
peninsula amid rising tension over North Korea's missile and nuclear
2017 Apr 25, South Korean
presidential frontrunner, Moon Jae-in, outraged persecuted sexual
minority groups by saying during a TV debate that he opposes
(SFC, 4/27/17, p.A2)
2017 Apr, The population of
South Korea was about 50 million.
(Econ, 4/15/17, p.34)
2017 May 1, In South Korea six
people died and more than 20 were injured when a crane collapsed at
a Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard.
2017 May 5, North Korea accused
the US Central Intelligence Agency and South Korea's intelligence
service of a plot to attack its "supreme leadership" with a
bio-chemical weapon and said such a "pipe-dream" could never
2017 May 9, South Koreans
elected left-leaning former human rights lawyer Moon Jae-In in a
presidential election held after a scandal led to the impeachment of
the country's previous leader.
2017 May 10, South Korea's new
liberal President Moon Jae-in was sworn in and vowed to immediately
tackle the difficult tasks of addressing North Korea's advancing
nuclear ambitions and soothing tensions with the United States and
2017 May 23, South Korea's
military fired warning shots at a suspected drone from North Korea
amid tension over Pyongyang's latest missile test which drew
international condemnation and a warning from China. A day later
South Korea's military said the unidentified object was probably a
balloon carrying Pyongyang's propaganda leaflets.
(AP, 5/23/17)(AP, 5/24/17)
2017 May 31, Chung Yoo-ra (20),
extradited from Denmark, returned to South Korea in a hoodie and
handcuffs to face questions about the massive corruption scandal
centered on her mother and the country's ousted president. She was
to be questioned about bribery allegations involving corporate giant
Samsung as well as her studies at a prestigious Korean university.
Chung Yoo-Ra was freed on June 3.
(AP, 5/31/17)(AP, 6/3/17)
2017 Jun 3, South Korea said on
it will raise the bird flu alert level to the second highest after
small flocks of farm birds tested positive for the H5N8 virus, the
first in the country since early April.
2017 Jun 6, South Korea raised
the national bird flu alert to its highest level, as it ordered more
than 180,000 chickens, ducks and other birds be culled. The first
case in this outbreak of the virus was confirmed in the southern
island of Jeju on June 2, and four more cases have been confirmed in
different locations across the country.
2017 Jun 7, South Korea said it
will set up an environmental review before allowing four more
launchers to be added to a contentious US missile defense system
meant to cope with North Korean threats.
2017 Jun 8, South Korea's
former health minister was convicted of pressuring the country's
pension fund to support a controversial Samsung merger, in one of
the first rulings on key players in the corruption scandals that
ensnared the country's ousted president and Samsung's heir.
2017 Jun 8, Marcus Flowers (50)
of Enterprise, Alabama, a contracting representative for the US
Army, pleaded guilty in Los Angeles to a federal bribery charge
involving fraudulent invoices submitted by South Korean contractors.
2017 Jun 10, In Texas South
Korean Yekwon Sunwoo (28) emerged from 30 competitors to claim the
$50,000 award and a gold medal in the 15th Van Cliburn International
Piano Competition, held every four years in Fort Worth.
2017 Jun 13, South Korean
police on Tuesday detained a 25-year-old graduate student for
allegedly placing a concealed explosive device that injured a
professor today at a university office in Seoul.
2017 Jun 23, A South Korean
court sentenced Choi Soon-sil, a longtime friend of ousted Pres.
Park Geun-hye to three years in prison for using her presidential
ties to unlawfully get her daughter into the prestigious Ewha
Woman’s Univ. Choi owned 36 properties with a personal wealth said
to be 23 billion won.
(SFC, 6/24/17, p.A2)(Econ, 3/18/17, p.36)
2017 Jun 24, South Korean
President Moon Jae-in invited North Korea to the 2018 Winter Olympic
Games, saying sports could serve as a peace maker.
2017 Jun 24, In South Korea
thousands of protesters marched near the US embassy in Seoul,
accusing President Donald Trump of "forcing" South Korea to deploy
the controversial THAAD missile defence system opposed by China.
2017 Jun 28, North Korea said
it has issued a standing order for the execution of former South
Korean President Park Geun-hye and her spy chief for a plot to
assassinate its leader, and it demanded that the South hand the pair
2017 Jun 29, In Washington, DC,
South Korea's president held talks with congressional leaders and a
White House dinner with President Donald Trump as he looked to
reassure Washington that he will coordinate closely on dealing with
the threat from North Korea.
2017 Jun 30, Pres. Donald Trump
met at the White House with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
Trump says that he will start to reduce the US trade deficit by
renegotiating a trade deal with South Korea. Trump called for a
determined response to North Korea after talks with Moon Jae-in
where he stressed the importance of their alliance but took aim at
Seoul over trade and sharing the cost of defense.
(AP, 6/30/17)(Reuters, 7/1/17)
2017 Jul 10, After four and a
half years as YouTube's most seen video, "Gangnam Style" slipped
late today to number two, replaced by "See You Again" by Wiz Khalifa
and Charlie Puth. The song was a tribute to Paul Walker, an actor in
"The Fast and Furious" film franchise who died in a car wreck.
2017 Jul 15, In South Korea
thousands of people celebrated gay rights with song, dance and a
march in Seoul, amid rain and boisterous protests by conservative
2017 Jul 17, South Korea
proposed military talks with North Korea, the first formal overture
to Pyongyang by the government of President Moon Jae-in, to discuss
ways to avoid hostile acts near the heavily militarized border.
2017 Jul 19, A report by a
Seoul-based non-government group said North Korea carries out public
executions on river banks and at school grounds and marketplaces for
charges such as stealing copper from factory machines, distributing
media from South Korea and prostitution.
2017 Jul 27, A South Korean
court convicted Kim Ki-choon, a former presidential chief of staff,
and Kim Jong-deok, the former culture minister, for blacklisting
thousands of artists and denying them state support because they
were believed to be unfriendly to ousted Pres. Park Geun-hye.
Jong-deok was sentenced to three years in prison and Jong-deok to
(SFC, 7/28/17, p.A5)
2017 Aug 17, South Korea-based
Hyundai Motor said it plans to launch early next year a
second-generation hydrogen fuel cell vehicle that will travel more
than 580 km (360 miles) between fill-ups under Korean standards.
2017 Aug 17, Thai law
enforcement officials arrested Kim South Korean Hyoung-joon,
suspected of involvement in trafficking of Thai women into South
Korea's sex industry.
2017 Aug 21, South Korean and
US forces began computer-simulated military exercises amid tension
over North Korea's weapons programs.
2017 Aug 25, A South Korean
court sentenced Lee Jae-yong (49), the billionaire chief of Samsung,
to five years in prison for crimes that helped topple the country's
2017 Aug 26, In South Korea
thousands of supporters of ousted President Park Geun-hye marched in
Seoul to protest a court ruling that appeared to support key
corruption charges against her.
2017 Aug 29, Hyundai Motor Co.,
South Korea's largest automaker, said it has halted auto production
at its plants in China as tensions between Seoul and Beijing over a
US anti-missile system hurt its sales and left it unable to pay a
2017 Aug 30, South Korea's
Supreme Court said a former worker in a Samsung LCD factory who was
diagnosed with multiple sclerosis should be recognized as having an
occupationally caused disease, overturning lower court verdicts that
held a lack of evidence against the worker.
2017 Sep 1, US President Donald
Trump agreed with South Korean President Moon Jae-in to revise a
joint treaty capping the development of the South's ballistic
missiles, amid a standoff over North Korea's missile and nuclear
2017 Sep 1, Tuna fishing
countries reached an agreement to gradually rebuild severely
depleted bluefin stocks, while still allowing nations like Japan to
catch and consume the fish following a week-long meeting in South
(SFC, 9/2/17, p.A4)
2017 Sep 5, South Korean
warships conducted live-fire exercises at sea in a second straight
day of military swagger from a nation still rattled by the North's
biggest-ever nuclear test.
2017 Sep 11, South Korea's
Yonhap news agency reported that Egypt's defense minister, on a
visit to Seoul, announced that his country has cut military ties
with North Korea.
2017 Sep 15, This was the
official release date for South Korea-based Samsung’s new
smartphone, the Galaxy Note 8, for $960.
2017 Sep 25, Unilver, an
Anglo-Dutch behemoth, said it will buy Carver Korea, a Korean beauty
firm for 2.27 billion euros.
(Econ, 9/30/17, p.61)
2017 Oct 13, South Korea and
China agreed to extend their currency swap deal, easing concerns the
deal would fall through due to tensions over a US missile defense
system. The two Asian countries renewed the deal worth 64 trillion
won or 360 billion yuan ($57 billion) for another three years.
2017 Nov 3, Ousted South Korean
president Park Geun-Hye's own political party expelled her as it
sought to distance itself from the sprawling corruption scandal that
led to her impeachment.
2017 Nov 5, Thousands of South
Koreans protested against an upcoming visit by Donald Trump and
called for peace as the US President begins an Asian tour dominated
by North Korea's nuclear program.
2017 Nov 7, President Donald
Trump, speaking in South Korea, said tougher gun laws would not have
prevented a mass shooting at a south Texas church, arguing that more
restrictions might have led to more casualties.
2017 Nov 11, The leaders of
China and South Korea agreed on the need to manage the security
situation on the Korean peninsula in a stable way and to resolve
North Korea-related tensions peacefully after the APEC summit
meeting in Vietnam.
2017 Nov 20, South Korea's spy
agency told lawmakers that North Korea has punished two of its top
military officers, including one widely seen as its second-most
powerful official, during a highly unusual inspection of the
military's powerful political bureau.
2017 Dec 3, A South Korean
fishing boat collided with a refueling vessel and capsized, leaving
at least 13 people dead and two missing in waters off the port city
2017 Dec 5, South Korean
prosecutors formally charged former spy chiefs Nam Jae-joon and Lee
Byung-kee, who were arrested last month over suspicions they used
their agency's funds to make illegal payments to former President
2017 Dec 5, The European Union
put 17 non-EU countries on a blacklist of those it deems guilty of
unfairly offering tax avoidance schemes. They Included: American
Samoa, Bahrain, Barbados, Grenada, Guam, South Korea, Macau,
Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Namibia, Palau, Panama, St. Lucia,
Samoa, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia and United Arab Emirates. Over
40 more were put on a "grey list" to be monitored until they are
fully committed to reforms.
2017 Dec 10, South Korean media
reported that the government will impose new unilateral sanctions
against nuclear-armed Pyongyang.
2017 Dec 11, South Korea added
20 North Korean groups, several banks and 12 individuals to its
sanctions list in a largely symbolic move that is part of efforts to
cut off funding for the North's weapons programs.
2017 Dec 18, In South Korea boy
band SHINee singer Kim Jong-hyun, better known by the stage name
Jonghyun, was found unconscious at a residence hotel in Seoul and
was later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. Police called it a
2017 Dec 19, South Korean
researchers said a series of recent cyber attacks has netted North
Korean hackers millions of dollars in virtual currencies like
bitcoin, with more attacks expected as international sanctions drive
the country to seek new sources of cash. Bitcoin was trading at over
$19,104 per bitcoin at one point today, up from less than $1,000 at
the beginning of 2017. Youbit, a bitcoin exchange, announced it had
suffered another cyber attack that cost it 17 percent of its assets,
forcing the exchange to halt operations and file for bankruptcy.
2017 Dec 21, South Korean
soldiers fired 20 warning machine gun rounds, turning back North
Korean soldiers apparently pursuing a comrade who had earlier dashed
across the rivals' shared border. It is the fourth time this year a
North Korean soldier has defected across the world's most heavily
2017 Dec 21, Cho Hyun-ah, the
former Korean Air executive, will avoid jail as South Korea's top
court upheld her suspended prison term for her onboard "nut rage"
tantrum that delayed a flight in 2014.
2017 Dec 21, In central South
Korea a fire broke out at an eight-story building in the city of
Jecheon, killing 29 people and injuring 29 others.
2017 Dec 22, In South Korea
Shin Kyuk-Ho (95), the wheelchair-bound founder of South Korea's
embattled Lotte retail conglomerate, was convicted of embezzlement
and breach of duty and sentenced to four years in prison.
2017 Dec 24, South Korean
police arrested the owner and the manager of a building where 29
people died in a fire last week, accusing the pair of multiple
safety lapses, including blocked exits and malfunctioning sprinkler
2017 Dec 28, South Korea said
it "humbly accepts" there is no evidence North Korea diverted wages
paid to its workers by South Korean firms in a now-closed border
industrial park to bankroll its weapons programs as the previous
2017 Dec 28, Bitcoin fell more
than 11 percent after South Korea said it would ban anonymous
trading of virtual currencies and crack down on money laundering
activities using them.
2017 Dec 29, South Korea said
that it was holding a Hong Kong-flagged ship and its crew members
for allegedly violating UN sanctions by transferring oil to a North
Korean vessel on October 19.
2017 Dec 31, South Korean
authorities said they have seized a Panama-flagged oil tanker
suspected of evading international sanctions by trading with North
Korea. The 5,100-ton KOTI was detained two weeks ago at the South's
port of Pyeongtaek-Dangjin and its crew were being investigated over
the alleged ship-to-ship transfers.
2017 The South Korean
documentary film “Our President" covered the early political career
of former Pres. Rho Moo-hyun (2002-2009), who committed suicide in
(Econ 6/3/17, p.33)
2017 PUBG Corp., a subsidiary
of South Korean video game company Bluehole developed and published
PlayerUnknowns' Battlegrounds (PUBG), an online multi-player video
game. PUBG soon sold publishing rights in China to Tencent. In 2019
the governments of Iraq and Jordan banned the game, but their
decisions proved ineffective.
2017 In South Korea an indoor
farming company rented a tunnel from the government and transformed
it into a "smart farm," where fruits and vegetables grow
hydroponically — with no soil — in vertically stacked layers inside,
illuminated by neon-pink LEDs instead of sunlight. The tunnel, about
190 km (120 miles) south of Seoul, was built in 1970 for one of
South Korea's first major highways. Once a symbol of the country's
industrialization, it closed in 2002.
2017 Some 54,000 American
servicemen and their families were stationed in Japan. Some 28,500
were stationed in South Korea.
(Econ, 4/22/17, SR p.10)
2018 Jan 2, South Korea
proposed high-level talks with Pyongyang on January 9, after the
North's leader Kim Jong-Un called for better relations and said his
country might attend the Winter Olympics in the South.
2018 Jan 3, North Korean leader
Kim Jong Un reopened a key cross-border communication channel with
South Korea for the first time in nearly two years as the rivals
explored the possibility of sitting down and talking after months of
acrimony and fears of war.
2018 Jan 4, South Korea’s
Hyundai Motor Co. said it will begin selling its first self-driving
vehicles by 2021 in partnership with US based self-driving
technology startup Aurora Innovation Inc. Hyundai and Volkswagen
each said they're partnering with Aurora Innovation, a US autonomous
vehicle tech firm led by former executives from Google, Tesla and
2018 Jan 5, North Korea agreed
to hold official talks with the South next week, the first in more
than two years, hours after the United States and South Korea
delayed a military exercise amid a standoff over the North's nuclear
and missile programs.
2018 Jan 8, The rival Koreas
took steps toward reducing their bitter animosity during rare talks,
as North Korea agreed to send a delegation to next month's Winter
Olympics in South Korea, hold talks on lowering tension along their
border and reopen a military hotline.
(AP, 1/9/18)(SFC, 1/9/ 18, p.A4)
2018 Jan 10, US President
Donald Trump told his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in he is
open to talking with North Korea as the two leaders spoke by
2018 Jan 11, South Korea’s
justice minister said that South Korea plans to ban crypto currency
trading, but the presidential office said later that a ban is under
review, though no policy changes have been made. Bitcoin slid 8
percent, to $13,698, according to Coindesk. Etherium, another
popular digital currency, fell 2.1 percent, to $1,222.
2018 Jan 13, The rival Koreas
agreed that their talks next week will address a North Korean art
troupe's visit to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in the South,
rather than the participation of the nation's athletes.
2018 Jan 15, The two Koreas met
for the second time in a week as they try to hammer out details for
the North's participation in next month's Games. The two sides
agreed that North Korea's delegation to the Winter Olympics in South
Korea will include a 140-member art troupe, while discussions
continued over fielding a joint women's hockey team.
2018 Jan 17, The rival Koreas
agreed to form their first unified Olympic team and have their
athletes parade together for the first time in 11 years during the
opening ceremony of next month's Winter Olympics in South Korea.
2018 Jan 20, The International
Olympic Committee North Korea will send 22 athletes to next month's
Winter Games in the South, approving a landmark deal between two
nations still officially at war.
2018 Jan 21, Hyon Song Wol, the
head of a hugely popular North Korean girl band, crossed the heavily
fortified border into South Korea as part of an official delegation,
triggering a media frenzy as she checked potential venues for
performances during next month's Winter Olympics.
2018 Jan 23, European Union
finance ministers agreed to remove eight jurisdictions from the
bloc's blacklist of tax havens, one month after the list was set up.
Barbados, Grenada, South Korea, Macao, Mongolia, Tunisia and the
United Arab Emirates joined Panama as jurisdictions delisted
following commitments made at a high political level to remedy EU
2018 Jan 24, South Korea-based
Hyundai said it is recalling nearly 88,000 cars in the US because an
electrical short in the antilock brake system could cause engine
compartment fires in certain 2006 Sonatas and 2006 through 2011
2018 Jan 25, Female hockey
players from the rival Koreas were paired up with each other to form
their first-ever Olympic squad during next month's Pyeongchang
2018 Jan 26, In South Korean
flames and toxic smoke swept through a hospital in Miryang city,
killing at least 37 people and injuring more than 140. The fire was
most likely caused by an electrical fault in the first-floor
(Reuters, 1/26/18)(AP, 1/27/18)
2018 Jan 29, South Korea's
unification ministry said North Korea has canceled a joint cultural
performance with South Korea scheduled for Feb. 4 blaming South
Korean media for encouraging "insulting" public sentiment regarding
the North. The performance was to be held in the North Korean
territory of Mount Kumgang.
2018 Feb 5, In South Korea
Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong was freed after an appeals court gave him
a 2 ½-year suspended jail sentence for corruption in connection with
a scandal that toppled the country's president.
2018 Feb 5, A 23-member advance
team of North Koreans arrived in South Korea to prepare for the
North's participation in the Pyeongchang Olympics.
2018 Feb 6, South Korean
authorities deployed 900 military personnel at the Pyeongchang
Olympics after the security force was depleted by an outbreak of
2018 Feb 6, A North Korean
ferry arrived in South Korea on Tuesday carrying a 140-strong
orchestra to perform during the Winter Olympics, taking advantage of
a rare sanctions exemption from Seoul 16 years after its previous
visit but greeted by angry protests.
2018 Feb 7, In South Korea a
229-member strong, all-female cheering section arrived from North
Korea for the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.
2018 Feb 9, North Korean leader
Kim Jong Un's younger sister took her place among dignitaries from
around the world, including US Vice President Mike Pence, at the
opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in an
unprecedented visit to South Korea.
2018 Feb 10, In South Korea the
sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said a summit between her
brother and South Korean President Moon Jae-in would pave the way
for a fast improvement in ties that would make "yesterday seem like
a long time ago." The Koreans suffered an 8-0 shutout by Switzerland
in Pyeongchang as around 200 of North Korea's famed "army of
beauties" charmed a crowd of 3,600 besotted locals with nostalgic
oldies -- and even broke out a Mexican wave. Lim Hyo-jun won the
men's 1,500-meter final, giving South Korea its first gold medal of
the Pyeongchang Games.
(AP, 2/10/18)(AFP, 2/10/18)
2018 Feb 13, In South Korea
Choi Soon-sil, a confidante accused of collaborating with former
President Park Geun-hye for personal gain, was sentenced to 20 years
in prison for bribery and other crimes. The Seoul Central District
Court also sentenced Shin Dong-bin, the chairman of the Lotte Group
(South Korea's fifth-largest conglomerate), to 2 ½ years in prison
for bribery in the same case.
2018 Feb 19, In South Korea a
doping case involving a medal-winning Russian curler rocked the
Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. Alexander Krushelnitsky's failed drug
test came to light a week after he won mixed doubles bronze with his
wife, Anastasia Bryzgalova.
2018 Feb 22, North Korea's 22
athletes wrapped up their competition at the Pyeongchang Winter
Olympics without a finish higher than 13th.
2018 Feb 23, South Korean
lawmakers protested over a visit by top North Korean Gen. Kim Yong
Chol for the Pyeongchang Olympics, labelling him a war criminal over
the 2010 sinking of a warship and calling for his execution.
2018 Feb 23, The Trump
administration imposed sanctions on more than 50 vessels, shipping
companies and trade businesses in its latest bid to pressure North
Korea over its nuclear program. Ivanka Trump told South Korea's
president that she will use her visit to the Winter Olympics to
advocate maximum pressure on North Korea to halt its nuclear
2018 Feb 25, In South Korea the
overtly political 2018 Winter Olympics closed very much as they
began, with humanity's finest athletes marching exuberantly across
the world stage.
2018 Feb 25, In South Korea
Russian hockey players won their first hockey gold medal since 1992
with a 4-3 win over Germany.
2018 Feb 25, North Korean envoy
Kim Yong Chol, making a rare visit to South Korea, said that his
country was willing to open talks with the United States.
2018 Mar 5, A South Korean
delegation met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, after arriving in
the North on a visit aimed at encouraging North Korea and the US to
2018 Mar 6, South Korea's
presidential office announced that North Korea and South Korea have
agreed to hold a summit next month at a truce village inside the
Demilitarized Zone that divides their countries.
2018 Mar 6, A senior South
Korean official, after returning from the North, said North Korean
leader Kim Jung Un has expressed a willingness to discuss nuclear
disarmament with the US and impose a moratorium on nuclear and
missile tests during such talks.
2018 Mar 6, In South Korean Ahn
Hee-jung, the governor of South Chungcheong province, resigned after
his secretary publicly accused him of raping her, making him the
highest-profile South Korean man taken down by the #MeToo movement.
He had been seen as a leading presidential contender.
2018 Mar 9, In South Korea
veteran actor Jo Min-ki (53), who was under investigation for
alleged sexual abuse of his students, was found dead in Seoul.
Police were investigating multiple claims that Jo sexually abused
his students when he was a professor at Cheongju University in
central South Korea.
2018 Mar 12, Japan and South
Korea agreed that maximum pressure must be maintained on North Korea
until it takes concrete action toward addressing concerns about its
nuclear weapon and missile programs.
2018 Mar 18, The Pyeongchang
Winter Paralympics closed with a dazzling ceremony featuring light
shows, dancing and music.
2018 Mar 22, A South Korean
court approved an arrest warrant for ex-President Lee Myung-bak over
a range of corruption allegations, making him the latest in a series
of leaders embroiled in scandals and other problems after leaving
2018 Mar 22, US Pres. Donald
Trump authorized initial exemptions for the EU, Australia,
Argentina, Brazil, South Korea, Canada and Mexico from looming steel
and aluminum tariffs.
2018 Mar 23, South Korea
arrested and jailed former Pres. Lee Myung-bak (76) over a range of
(SFC, 3/23/18, p.A3)
2018 Mar 26, South Korea said
it has agreed to further open its auto market to the United States
as the two countries prepare to amend their six-year-old trade
agreement following complaints by President Donald Trump.
2018 Mar 26, The United Arab
Emirates said that one of four nuclear reactors at its debut plant
has been completed as it moves closer to becoming the first Arab
nation to produce atomic power. Visiting South Korean President Moon
Jae-in and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed toured the
$20-billion Barakah plant constructed by a consortium led by the
Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO).
2018 Mar 27, Kidnappers in
waters off Ghana hijacked a fishing boat and steered it toward the
waters of Nigeria before using a speed boat to move three South
Koreans working on the boat elsewhere.
2018 Mar 31, South Korea said
it has deployed a naval vessel from its regional anti-piracy effort
to help in the search after a fishing boat was hijacked by pirates
2018 Mar 31, Some of South
Korea's biggest pop stars flew to North Korea for rare performances
that highlight the sudden thaw in inter-Korean ties after years of
tensions over the North's nuclear ambitions.
2018 Apr 5, A South Korean
pilot was killed when his F-15K fighter jet crashed into a mountain
in the country's rural south. The co-pilot remained missing and was
also presumed dead.
2018 Apr 6, A South Korean
court jailed former President Park Geun-hye for 24 years and fined
her 18 billion won ($16.9 million) after finding her guilty of
charges including bribery, abuse of power and coercion in a scandal
that exposed webs of corruption between political leaders and the
2018 Apr 7, North and South
Korea held talks over establishing a telephone hotline between their
leaders and other communication issues ahead of a rare summit
between the rivals later this month.
2018 Apr 9, South Korean
prosecutors formally charged jailed ex-President Lee Myung-bak with
a range of corruption charges, making him the country's fourth
leader to face a criminal trial in about two decades.
2018 Apr 16, In South Korea
Korean Air Lines said it has suspended Cho Hyun-min, aka Emily Cho,
one of its chairman's daughters from her marketing work after she
threw a tantrum at a business meeting last month, triggering public
outrage and a police investigation. She is the younger sister of
another Korean Air executive whose onboard "nut rage" outburst
delayed a flight in 2014.
2018 Apr 16, Hong Kong
authorities said that a South Korean businessman accused of
murdering his wife and son in a five-star hotel killed himself while
in pre-trial custody. Media identified the man as Kim Min-ho (43),
the chief executive officer of the South Korean franchise of the
Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. Police had arrested Kim in January
for allegedly killing his wife and son at Hong Kong's Ritz-Carlton
2018 Apr 20, North and South
Korea installed a direct phone line between their leaders as they
prepare for the first summit since 2007.
2018 Apr 23, South Korea halted
anti-North Korea propaganda broadcasts across their tense border as
officials from the two Koreas met again to work out details of their
leaders' upcoming talks, expected to focus on the North's nuclear
2018 Apr 23, South Korea-based
Korean Air Lines said that two daughters of its chairman will resign
from their executive positions amid mounting public criticism over
the women's behavior and allegations that the family engaged in
2018 Apr 27, North Korean
leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in set aside
a year that saw them seemingly on the verge of war, grasped hands
and strode together across the cracked concrete marking the Koreas'
border. Kim became the first North Korean leader to visit South
Korean territory. The leaders pledged in a joint statement to rid
their peninsula of nuclear weapons.
2018 May 1, In South Korea
thousands of labor union members rallied in downtown Seoul for a
higher minimum wage and other demands.
2018 May 1, North and South
Korea dismantled huge loudspeakers used to blare Cold War-style
propaganda across their tense border, as South Korea's president
asked the United Nations to observe the North's planned closing of
its nuclear test site.
2018 May 4, Hundreds of Korean
Air Lines Co. pilots, cabin crew and other workers staged a rally in
Seoul saying they can't take any more abuse from the company's
2018 May 5, North Korea
readjusted its time zone to match South Korea's and described the
change as an early step toward making the longtime rivals "become
one" following a landmark summit.
2018 May 9, In Japan leaders
from China, Japan and South Korea held their first three-way summit
in more than two years, demonstrating a spirt of cooperation despite
continuing differences over North Korea and other issues. Japan and
China agreed on to set up a security hotline to defuse any maritime
confrontations between the two Asian powers.
(AP, 5/9/18)(Reuters, 5/9/18)
2018 May 10, The United Nations
human rights investigator on North Korea called on for six South
Korean nationals in custody there to be freed, voicing concern over
conditions of their detention.
2018 May 17, North Korea
strongly criticized South Korea over ongoing U.S.-South Korean
military exercises and said it will not return to talks with its
rival until Seoul resolves its grievances.
2018 May 19, North Korea
reiterated its demands for South Korea to send back 12 North Korean
restaurant workers who came to the South in 2016, saying such a move
would demonstrate Seoul's willingness to improve relations.
2018 May 19, Two North Koreans
defected to South Korea early today after they were found in a boat
in the Yellow Sea.
2018 May 22, North Korean media
stepped up their rhetorical attacks on South Korea and joint
military exercises with the United States, warning that a budding
detente could be in danger.
2018 May 26, North Korean
leader Kim Jong Un and South Korea's president, Moon Jae-in, met at
a border truce village. They discussed carrying out the peace
commitments they reached in their first summit, as well as Kim's
potential meeting with Pres. Trump.
2018 May 26, South Korea held
its first ever drag parade, a small but significant step for rights
activists in a country that remains deeply conservative when it
comes to gender and sexuality.
2018 May 27, South Korean
7-member boyband phenomenon BTS became the first K-Pop group to rise
to the top of the US album charts, a vivid illustration of the
genre's growing global appeal.
2018 Jun 1, North and South
Korea agreed to hold military and Red Cross talks later this month
on reducing tensions and resuming reunions of families separated by
the 1950-53 Korean War.
2018 Jun 13, South Korea held
regional elections. The ruling party of President Moon Jae-in was
expected to win a sweeping victory.
2018 Jun 14, North and South
Korea agreed to fully restore their cross-border communication lines
after holding rare high-level military talks on reducing tensions.
2018 Jun 15, A senior South
Korean presidential official said that Washington and Seoul have
begun discussions on temporarily suspending the massive "Ulchi
Freedom Guardian" exercises that usually take place in August and
possibly other joint drills while nuclear diplomacy with North Korea
2018 Jun 19, US and South
Korean defense officials formally suspended a major joint military
exercise in hopes of advancing nuclear negotiations with North
2018 Jun 20, South Korea urged
North Korea to present a plan with concrete steps toward
denuclearization, raising the pressure on its leader Kim Jong Un as
he met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in a visit designed to
convey the countries' growing closeness.
2018 Jun 22, North and South
Korea agreed to hold temporary reunions of families divided by the
1950-53 Korean War as they boost reconciliation efforts amid a
diplomatic push to resolve the North Korean nuclear crisis.
2018 Jun 22, Russian President
Vladimir Putin and visiting South Korean President Moon Jae-in
agreed to support "efforts to establish complete denuclearization on
the Korean peninsula" following the US-North Korea summit last week.
2018 Jun 23, In South Korea
former prime minister Kim Jong-pil (92), the founder of South
Korea's spy agency, died. His political skills helped him serve
twice as prime minister, first under dictator boss Park Chung-hee
(1971-1975) and under Kim Dae-jung (1998-2000), a man his agency had
kidnapped in 1973.
2018 Jun 26, North and South
Korea agreed to jointly study ways to improve North Korea's outdated
railways and link them with the South.
2018 Jun 26, Estonia signed a
deal to buy South Korean artillery in a 46 million-euro ($54
million) deal. The contract with Seoul-based weapons producer Hanwha
Land Systems is for 12 K9 Thunder howitzers, training, maintenance
and spare parts.
2018 Jun 29, The United States
formally ended seven decades of military presence in South Korea's
capital with a ceremony to mark the opening of a new headquarters
farther from North Korean artillery range.
2018 Jul 1, North and South
Korea reopened a maritime communication channel, with vessels from
the two countries making radio contact for the first time in a
2018 Jul 4, The rival Koreas
began two days of friendly basketball games in Pyongyang in their
latest goodwill gesture amid a diplomatic push to resolve the
nuclear standoff with North Korea.
2018 Jul 7, Thousands of South
Korean women gathered in Seoul to demand stronger government action
to fight the spread of intimate photos and video taken by hidden
2018 Jul 10, South Korea
suspended its summertime civil defense drills aimed at preparing
against a North Korean attack to keep alive a positive atmosphere
for nuclear diplomacy with the North.
2018 Jul 20, A South Korean
court sentenced former President Park Geun-hye to an additional
eight years for abusing state funds and violating election laws. She
was already serving a 24-year prison term over a massive corruption
scandal that led to her removal from office last year.
2018 Jul 23, In South Korea the
body of Roh Hoe-chan (61), a prominent liberal lawmaker of the small
opposition Justice Party, was found dead near a Seoul apartment
building. He had been embroiled in a corruption scandal and left a
suicide note of apology.
2018 Jul 23, Japan recorded its
highest temperature ever as a deadly heat wave continued to grip a
wide swath of the country and nearby South and North Korea. Over the
last two weeks more than 40 people have died in Japan and about 10
in South Korea.
2018 Jul 31, North and South
Korea held military talks to build trust.
2018 Aug 4, In South Korea tens
of thousands of women staged a mass rally in Seoul to protest
against spycam porn, urging tougher punishments for peeping Toms as
anger over the growing scourge boils over.
2018 Aug 8, South Korea-based
Samsung Electronics said it plans to spend a whopping $22 billion
over the next three years on artificial intelligence, auto
components and other future businesses as the company maps out its
strategy under the restored leadership of Vice Chairman Lee
2018 Aug 10, South Korea said a
total of 35,000 tons of North Korean coal and pig iron worth $5.8
million illegally entered its ports last year, in possible
violations of UN sanctions.
2018 Aug 14, People in South
Korea and Taiwan unveiled monuments and staged protests to mark
Japan's wartime use of "comfort women", a euphemism for girls and
women forced to work in Japan's wartime brothels.
2018 Aug 20, About 200 South
Koreans and their family members crossed the border for three days
of meetings with their North Korean relatives.
2018 Aug 24, A South Korean
high court extended the 24-year prison sentence of former President
Park Geun-hye for corruption in office. The Seoul High Court handed
out a 25-year prison sentence after concluding Park took more money
in bribes than initially believed.
2018 Aug 24, More than 300
South Koreans traveled to the North's Diamond Mountain resort for
three days of meetings with their long-lost relatives in a second
round of temporary reunions of family members separated for decades
by the Korean War.
2018 Aug 26, In Indonesia a
crew comprising South Koreans and North Koreans won the 500-meter
dragon boat final at the Asian Games co-host city of Palembang. This
was the first gold medal by a combined Koreas team at a major
2018 Aug 27, In South Korea a
special counsel said Kim Kyoung-soo, a close political ally of Pres.
Moon Jae-in had conspired with a team of online bloggers to
illegally influence public opinion before Moon's election last year.
(SFC, 8/28/18, p.A3)
2018 Sep 6, Seoul officials
said North Korea's Kim Jong Un has given his first time line for
denuclearization, aiming for the end of US President Donald Trump's
first term, prompting thanks from Trump who said they would "get it
2018 Sep 7, North Korea and
South Korea asked the United Nations to circulate the "Panmunjom
Declaration on Peace, Prosperity and Reunification of the Korean
Peninsula" as an official UN document.
2018 Sep 8, South Korea's
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said a South
Korean man (61) has been diagnosed with the potentially deadly
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) after a business trip to
Kuwait. The infectious disease swept South Korea in 2015 leading to
2018 Sep 14, North and South
Korea opened their first liaison office near their tense border to
facilitate better communication and exchanges ahead of their
leaders' summit in Pyongyang next week. On June 16, 2020, North
Korea blew up the facility.
(AP, 9/14/18)(Econ., 6/20/20, p.31)
2018 Sep 18, In North Korea
South Korean President Moon Jae-in began his third summit with North
Korean leader Kim Jong Un. A 52-member "special" civilian entourage
accompanied Moon Jae-in to promote civil exchanges and engagement
with younger Koreans.
2018 Sep 19, The leaders of
North and South Korea announced a wide range of agreements which
they said were a major step toward peace on the Korean Peninsula.
North Korea agreed to permanently dismantle a launch pad and an
engine-testing facility at its northwestern rocket-firing center in
the presence of international experts.
2018 Sep 20, South Korean
President Moon Jae-in returned home from a whirlwind three-day
summit with Kim Jong Un. Moon said the North Korean leader wants the
US secretary of state to visit Pyongyang soon for nuclear talks, and
also hopes for a quick follow-up to his June summit with President
2018 Oct 1, South Korea's
Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon told parliament the estimates
on the size of North Korea's nuclear arsenal range from 20 bombs to
as many as 60.
2018 Oct 1, North and South
Korea began removing mines and other explosives at two sites inside
their heavily armed border as part of their recent tension-reduction
2018 Oct 4, A South Korean
government delegation arrived in North Korea for a joint celebration
of the anniversary of a 2007 summit and to possibly hold further
2018 Oct 4, In South Korea this
year's Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) opened with a movie
portraying the plight of a North Korean defector and the unlikely
family she formed during her harrowing journey.
2018 Oct 5, A South Korea court
jailed former President Lee Myung-bak for 15 years for corruption,
making him the latest in a string of high-profile political and
business leaders ensnared by graft charges.
2018 Oct 13, South Korea's
Busan Film Festival closed after screening 324 films from 79
countries across its varied 10-day program, which included 115 world
premieres, with just over 195,000 people attending.
2018 Oct 15, North and South
Korea continued their push for peace with high-level talks that
resulted in a host of agreements, including a plan by the rivals for
a groundbreaking ceremony this year on an ambitious project to
connect their railways and roads.
2018 Oct 16, The rival Koreas
and the US-led United Nations Command met to discuss efforts to
disarm a military zone the rivals control within their shared border
under a peace agreement between the two countries.
2018 Oct 22, South Korean
officials said the two Koreas have completed removing land mines
planted at their shared border village as part of efforts to disarm
the area located inside the world's most heavily fortified border.
2018 Oct 22, A South Korean
lawmaker said North Korea imported at least $640 million worth of
luxury goods from China last year, in defiance of UN sanctions
outlawing such trade over North Korea's nuclear and missile
2018 Oct 26, The North and
South Korean militaries agreed to completely destroy 22 front-line
guard posts by the end of November as they discussed their next
steps in implementing a wide-ranging military agreement signed last
month to reduce tensions.
2018 Oct 30, South Korea's
Supreme Court ruled that Nippon Steel should compensate four South
Koreans $89,000 for forced labor during Japan's colonial rule of the
Korean Peninsula before the end of World War II. Japanese PM Shinzo
Abe said the ruling violated a 1965 treaty between Seoul and Tokyo
that was accompanied by Japanese payments to restore diplomatic
(AP, 10/30/18)(SFC, 2/14/19, p.A5)
2018 Nov 1, South Korea's top
court ruled that South Korean men can legally reject their mandatory
military service on conscientious or religious grounds without
2018 Nov 5, South Korea soccer
international Lee Chang-min was involved in a car crash that left
one person dead and two injured on Jeju Island.
2018 Nov 9, In South Korea a
fire that likely blocked a crucial exit at a low-cost
dormitory-style housing facility in central Seoul killed at least
seven people and injured 11 others. The residents were mostly manual
laborers who made their living on day-to-day jobs.
2018 Nov 10, The North and
South Korean militaries completed withdrawing troops and firearms
from 22 front-line guard posts as they continue to implement a
wide-ranging agreement reached in September to reduce tensions
across the world's most fortified border.
2018 Nov 11, South Korean
military transport aircraft began a tangerine airlift to North
Korea, the first of a gift of 200 tons of the fruit from the
southern island of Jeju.
2018 Nov 15, South Korea
exploded a front-line guard post, sending plumes of thick, black
smoke into the sky above the border with North Korea, in the most
dramatic scene to date in the rivals' efforts to reduce animosities.
2018 Nov 16, A senior North
Korean official on a visit to South Korea called for Japan to
apologize for the wartime forced labor of thousands of Koreans.
2018 Nov 21, South Korea said
it will dissolve a foundation funded by Japan to compensate South
Korean women who were forced to work in Japan's World War II
military brothels. The widely expected decision, if carried out,
would effectively kill a controversial 2015 agreement to settle a
decades-long impasse over the sexual slavery issue. Japan still
hasn't acknowledged legal responsibility for atrocities during its
colonial occupation of the Korean Peninsula from 1910 to 1945.
2018 Nov 21, Interpol, an
international body that connects police from 194 countries, elected
South Korean Kim Jong Yang as its new president. He defeated Russian
Alexander Prokopchuk in a vote amid US-led warnings that Russia
would try to use the position to hunt down political opponents and
2018 Nov 23, A South Korean
court ruled that the government must pay 80 million won ($70,700) to
three men who were enslaved on salt farms in remote islands off the
country's southwest coast for several years.
2018 Nov 24, South Korea said
that the United Nations Security Council granted an exemption to
sanctions that will allow surveys on North Korean railroad sections
the Koreas want to connect with the South.
2018 Nov 26, UNESCO said Korean
wrestling was added to a list of "Intangible Cultural Heritage of
Humanity" on the basis of an application by the two Koreas.
2018 Nov 27, South Korea's top
public prosecutor apologized over what he described as a botched
investigation into the enslavement and mistreatment of thousands of
people at a vagrants' facility in the 1970s and 1980s. In 1989 Park
In-keun, the owner of the now-closed Brothers Home, was acquitted
from serious charges amid an obvious cover-up orchestrated at the
highest levels of government.
(AP, 11/27/18)(SFC, 4/18/20, p.A2)
2018 Nov 29, South Korea's top
court ordered Japanese company Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to
financially compensate 10 Koreans for forced labor during Tokyo's
1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula, in the second such
ruling in a month that again drew quick, vehement protests from
2018 Nov 29, South Korea sent
about 50 tons of insecticide to North Korea to help stop a pine tree
disease from spreading.
2018 Nov 30, A South Korean
train rolled into North Korea for the first time in a decade as the
countries began joint surveys on northern railway sections they hope
someday to connect with the South.
2018 Dec 1, A North Korean
soldier fled across a heavily fortified border to defect to South
2018 Dec 7, In South Korea a
former military intelligence chief was found dead in a suspected
suicide. Former Defense Security Command head Lee Jae-su was being
investigated by state prosecutors for allegedly ordering the illegal
surveillance of families of people killed in a 2014 ferry sinking.
2018 Dec 7, South Korean
prosecutors charged four people with illegally importing North
Korean coal via Russia in violation of UN sanctions.
2018 Dec 12, Dozens of North
and South Korean soldiers crossed over the world's most heavily
armed border as they inspected the sites of their rival's front-line
guard posts to verify they'd been removed.
2018 Dec 18, South Korean fire
department officials said that three teenage boys were presumed dead
and seven other boys were being treated for injuries after they were
found unconscious at a motel in the seaside town of Gangneung.
2018 Dec 24, South Korea said
it will fine BMW 11.2 billion won ($9.9 million) and file a criminal
complaint against the company with state prosecutors over an
allegedly botched response to dozens of engine fires reported in the
country. BMW has apologized and recalled some 172,000 vehicles of 65
different models in July and October over the fires.
2018 Dec 26, North and South
Korea broke ground on an ambitious project to modernize North Korean
railways and roads and connect them with the South, but without
progress in nuclear negotiations, regular trains won't be crossing
the border anytime soon.
2018 Dec 28, The South Korean
Unification Ministry said the personal information of 997 North
Koreans who defected to South Korea has been leaked after unknown
hackers got access to a resettlement agency's database.
2019 Jan 8, A South Korean
court approved a request by plaintiffs in a wartime forced labor
case to seize part of the local assets of Japan's Nippon Steel &
Sumitomo Metal Corp.
2019 Jan 14, In Michigan
Hyundai of South Korea scored two out of three wins in the North
American Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle of the Year awards, as the
Detroit auto show's press previews officially got underway.
2019 Jan 16, South Korean
officials said they have stopped businessmen from bringing North
Korean paintings into the country that a report said were purchased
at an art studio under UN sanctions.
2019 Jan 21, It was reported
that more South Korean female skaters are accusing their coaches of
sexually abusing them, following claims by two-time Olympic champion
Shim Suk-hee that her former coach had repeatedly raped her.
2019 Jan 23, In South Korea
former senior prosecutor Ahn Tae Geun was sentenced to five years in
prison on charges of banishing a junior prosecutor after she tried
to expose his sexual misconduct.
(SFC, 1/24/19, p.A2)
2019 Jan 30, In South Korea Kim
Kyoung-soo, the governor or South Gyeongsang and a political ally of
President Moon Jae-in, received a two-year prison term for his
involvement in an online opinion rigging scandal.
2019 Jan, In South Korea Kim
Yong-kyun (24) died after being sucked into a coal conveyor belt. He
was working as a contractor at a power plant 110 km (70 miles) south
of Seoul. His death triggered uproar in South Korea where critics
say work safety is compromised for temporary or contract workers.
2019 Feb 1, A South Korean
appeals court sentenced former provincial governor Ahn Hee-jung (54)
to 3½ years in prison on charges of sexually abusing his secretary.
2019 Feb 10, South Korea and
the United States struck a new deal that increases Seoul's
contribution for the cost of the American military presence on its
2019 Feb 20, Samsung unveiled
its new foldable smartphone in San Francisco. The Galaxy Fold will
sell for $1980 when it is released on April 26.
(SFC, 2/21/19, p.D1)
2019 Feb 28, South Korea-based
Hyundai and Kia added more than a half-million vehicles to 3 ½-year
string of US recalls for engine failures and fires.
2019 Mar 1, South Korean
President Moon Jae-in said his government plans to discuss with the
United States the possibility of restarting joint inter-Korean
economic projects to induce nuclear disarmament from North Korea,
which insisted it had asked only for partial sanctions relief in
exchange for shutting down its main nuclear complex.
2019 Mar 3, South Korea and the
US said they are eliminating their massive springtime military
drills and replacing them with smaller exercises in what they call
an effort to support diplomacy aimed at resolving the North Korean
nuclear crisis. They agreed to replace the Key Resolve and Foal
Eagle drills with a shorter "Dong Maeng" or "Alliance" exercise
which kicked off this week.
(AP, 3/3/19)(AFP, 3/7/19)
2019 Mar 6, South Korean
President Moon Jae-in proposed a joint project with China to use
artificial rain to clean the air in his country, where an acute
increase in pollution has caused alarm.
2019 Mar 7, South Korea's
military said it is carefully monitoring North Korean nuclear and
missile facilities after the country's spy agency told lawmakers
that new activity was detected at a research center where the North
is believed to build long-range missiles targeting the US mainland.
2019 Mar 8, South Korea and the
US formally signed a deal on Seoul's increased payment for the US
troop deployment, amid worries about the future of the countries'
decades-long military alliance.
2019 Mar 20, South Korean
police said they have arrested two men for using illegal spy cameras
at motels to film and livestream videos of about 1,600 guests,
raking in about 7 million won ($6,200) over the past three months.
2019 Mar 21, In South Korea
K-pop singer and television celebrity, Jung Joon-young, was arrested
over accusations he shared his secret sex videos.
2019 Mar 22, North Korea
abruptly withdrew its staff from a liaison office with South Korea,
a development that is likely to put a damper on ties between the
countries and further complicate global diplomacy on North Korea's
2019 Apr 3, A South Korean
coast guard official said the 5,160-ton P-PIONEER has been prevented
from leaving Busan port since October over allegations that it was
used to supply diesel to North Korea through two ship-to-ship
transfers in September 2017 in international waters in the East
2019 Apr 5, South Korean
firefighters managed to extinguish most of a massive forest fire
that ripped through the mountainous northern coast, destroying 135
homes and forcing more than 4,000 to flee the region that hosted the
2018 Winter Olympics. Two deaths were reported.
2019 Apr 8, Cho Yang-ho (70),
Korean Air's chairman, died of an illness in Los Angeles. His
leadership included scandals such as his daughter's infamous
incident of "nut rage". He had been indicted on multiple charges,
including embezzlement and tax evasion.
2019 Apr 11, South Korea's
Constitutional Court ordered the easing of the country's decades-old
ban on most abortions, one of the strictest in the developed world.
Abortions have been largely illegal in South Korea since 1953,
though convictions for violating the restrictions are rare.
2019 Apr 11, US Pres. Donald
Trump and visiting South Korean Pres. Moon Jae-in met and agreed on
the importance of nuclear talks with North Korea.
2019 Apr 12, The World Trade
Organization upheld South Korea's import ban on Japanese seafood
from areas affected by the 2011 nuclear disaster in Fukushima.
2019 Apr 15, Saudi Aramco said
it has reached an agreement to acquire a $1.25 billion stake in
South Korean refiner Hyundai Oilbank that would provide Saudi
Arabia's state-run oil company with a dedicated outlet for its crude
to South Korea.
2019 Apr 17, In South Korea a
42-year-old man set his apartment in Jinju on fire and fatally
stabbed five neighbors as they attempted to flee.
2019 Apr 26, In South Korea
K-pop and drama star Park Yu-chun (32) was arrested on charges of
buying and using illegal drugs, the latest in a series of scandals
to hit the South Korean entertainment business.
2019 May 16, The US State
Department cleared $313.9 million in possible sales of air defense
missiles to South Korea, as tensions re-emerged on the Korean
2019 May 17, South Korea
decided to allow its businesspeople to visit their factories at an
industrial park in North Korea that was shut down by Seoul's
previous conservative government in 2016 following a North Korean
2019 May 17, A South Korea
appeals court extended the jail term imposed on cult leader Pastor
Lee Jaerock (75) for raping female followers, sentencing him to 16
years behind bars. He was convicted last year of raping eight women
more than 40 times.
2019 May 17, South Korea said
that it would provide $8 million in humanitarian aid to North
Korea's malnourished children and pregnant women.
(SFC, 5/18/19, p.A2)
2019 May 20, South Korea vowed
to move quickly on plans to provide $8 million worth of medical and
nutritional aid for North Korean children through UN agencies while
it also considers sending broader food aid to the country, which
says it is suffering its worst drought in decades.
2019 May 24, South Korea said
it's discussing security issues regarding its 5G, or fifth
generation, cellphone networks with the United States following a
report the Trump administration is demanding that Seoul join a "war"
2019 May 25, In France South
Korean director Bong Joon-ho's raucous social satire "Parasite,"
about a poor family of hustlers who find jobs with a wealthy family,
won the Cannes Film Festival's top award, the Palme d'Or.
2019 May 29, In Hungary a
sightseeing boat carrying at least 32 South Korean tourists sank in
a matter of seconds on the Danube river after colliding with a
larger cruise ship during an evening downpour. Seven people were
confirmed dead and seven were rescued, all of them South Koreans.
Hungarian police soon detained the captain of the cruise ship.
(AP, 5/30/19)(SFC, 5/30/19, p.A2)(Reuters,
2019 May 31, South Korea said
that it is scrambling to prevent the spread of the highly contagious
African swine fever on its pig industry after North Korea confirmed
an outbreak at a farm near its border with China.
2019 May 31, A South Korean
newspaper reported that North Korea executed a senior envoy involved
in nuclear negotiations with the US as well as four other high-level
officials [see July 16].
2019 Jun 5, South Korea said
that North Korea has so far ignored its calls for joint efforts to
stem the spread of highly contagious African swine fever following
an outbreak near North Korea's border with China.
2019 Jun 10, Lee Hee-ho
(b.1921), a South Korean feminist activist who fought for democracy
against dictatorships alongside her husband and future President Kim
2019 Jun 10, Britain said it
had concluded a trade deal with South Korea to maintain links after
2019 Jun 11, The South
Korea-based human rights group Transitional Justice Working Group
said it has identified hundreds of spots where witnesses claim North
Korea carried out public executions and extrajudicial state killings
as part of an arbitrary and aggressive use of the death penalty that
is meant to intimidate its citizens.
2019 Jun 14, In South Korea
Yang Hyun Suk, the founder of one of the most successful K-Pop music
agencies, stepped down amid accusations that he tried to cover up
alleged drug use by one of the company's artists.
2019 Jun 18, South Korea said
two of four North Korean fishermen, who were rescued June 15 off a
boat drifting in South Korean waters, will remain in the country
after expressing their desire to defect. The two other fishermen
were sent back to North Korea through an inter-Korean village.
2019 Jun 19, South Korea said
it plans to send 50,000 tons of rice to North Korea through the
World Food Program, in its second aid package announced in past
weeks as it seeks to help with North Korean food shortages and
improve bilateral relations.
2019 Jun 26, South Korean
President Moon Jae-in met with visiting Saudi Arabian Crown Prince
Mohammad bin Salman, who promised to help with possible fuel
shortages in case of supply disruptions caused by tensions in the
Middle East. South Korea and Saudi Arabia signed an $8.3 billion
economic co-operation pact during Salman's first visit to Seoul.
(AP, 6/26/19)(AFP, 6/26/19)
2019 Jun 29, US Pres. Donald
Trump arrived in Seoul ahead of a trip to the Demilitarized Zone the
following day and a possible third meeting with the North's Kim Jong
2019 Jun 30, US Pres. Donald
Trump met with North Korea's Kim Jong Un at the Demilitarized Zone
between North and South Korea becoming the first American president
to set foot in North Korea. Trump announced that he and Kim had
agreed to resume stalled talks on denuclearization in the coming
2019 Jul 1, Japan imposed
restrictions on exports used by South Korea's chip and smartphone
companies, ramping up long-simmering tensions between the US allies
over the use of forced labor during World War Two. Seoul quickly hit
back, saying the measures violated international law and threatening
to raise the issue at the World Trade Organization.
2019 Jul 2, In South Korea Park
Yoo-chun, a former member of the boy band JYJ, received a 10-month
suspended sentence for illegal drug use. The Suwon District Court
also ordered the 33-year-old star to undergo probation and
2019 Jul 6, Choe In-guk (73)
arrived in Pyongyang, North Korea's capital, to dedicate the rest of
his life to Korean unification at the guidance of leader Kim Jong
Un. Choe is the son of former South Korean Foreign Minister Choe
Dok-shin, who defected to North Korea with his wife in 1986.
(AP, 7/8/19)(SFC, 7/9/19, p.A4)
2019 Jul 16, South Korean
intelligence said Kim Hyok Chol, a North Korean nuclear negotiator
who was reported to have been executed over the failure of the
February Hanoi summit between Kim Jong-un and US President Donald
Trump, is still alive.
(The Telegraph, 7/16/19)
2019 Jul 17, Two South Korean
and 15 Russian crew members were aboard a Russia-flagged fishing
boat when it was detained by North Korea. North Korea is holding six
other South Koreans it has detained in recent years for alleged
attempts to build underground Christian churches inside the North
and other anti-state charges.
2019 Jul 25, North Korea fired
two short-range missiles into the sea in its first weapons launches
in more than two months and an apparent effort to pressure
Washington as the two sides struggle to restart nuclear
negotiations. South Korea said the two weapons were a new type of
2019 Jul 26, South Korea's
central bank said North Korea's economy shrank in 2018 for a second
straight year, and by the most in 21 years, as it was battered by
international sanctions aimed at stopping its nuclear program and by
2019 Jul 28, Two South Koreans
and 15 Russians returned to South Korea about 10 days after their
boat drifted into North Korean waters.
2019 Jul 29, South Korea said
it's returning three North Koreans who crossed the Koreas' sea
border aboard a wooden fishing boat over the weekend in line with
2019 Jul 31, South Korea's
military said North Korea conducted its second weapons test in less
than a week, firing two short-range ballistic missiles off its east
coast in a move observers said could be aimed at boosting pressure
on the United States as the rivals struggle to set up fresh nuclear
2019 Jul 31, A North Korean
soldier crossed the demilitarized zone into South Korea late today
and was taken into Seoul’s custody.
(The Telegraph, 8/1/19)
2019 Aug 2, The trade row
between Japan and South Korea escalated when Japan removed South
Korea from a favored trading nations list, prompting Seoul to warn
it would not be defeated again by its neighbor, laying bare
decades-old war time animosity.
2019 Aug 5, South Korea and
Washington began annual joint military exercises, defying warnings
from Pyongyang that the war games will jeopardize nuclear
negotiations between the United States and North Korea.
2019 Aug 7, President Donald
Trump said that South Korea has agreed to pay the United States
"substantially more" for protection against North Korea and that
talks have begun to further increase payments.
2019 Aug 12, South Korea said
it plans to drop Japan from its "white list" of countries with
fast-track trade status from September, a tit-for-tat move that
deepens a diplomatic and trade rift between the two countries. Japan
announced earlier this month that it was removing South Korea from
its own "white list" of countries that have enjoyed minimum trade
2019 Aug 14, Thousands of South
Koreans protested outside Japan's embassy in Seoul and city
officials unveiled a new memorial to wartime 'comfort women' at the
center of a row over the two countries' shared history.
2019 Aug 16, North Korea
bluntly criticized South Korean President Moon Jae-in for continuing
to hold military exercises with the US and over his rosy comments on
inter-Korean diplomacy, and said Pyongyang has no current plans to
talk with Seoul. Hours later South Korea's military detected two
projectiles North Korea fired into the sea to extend a torrid streak
of weapons display that's apparently aimed at pressuring Washington
and Seoul over their joint drills and slow nuclear negotiations.
2019 Aug 21, Japan and South
Korea agreed on the need for dialogue to resolve a feud over
compensating Korean wartime workers that has spilled into trade, and
put a deep chill on ties between Washington's two biggest Asian
2019 Aug 22, South Korea said
it will terminate its military intelligence-sharing pact with Japan
amid intensifying trade and diplomatic disputes with Tokyo.
(The Telegraph, 8/22/19)
2019 Aug 22, Britain and South
Korea signed a continuity deal to ensure the two nations continue to
trade on preferential terms after Britain leaves the EU.
2019 Aug 23, South Korea said
it will share military intelligence with Japan through the United
States after terminating a pact that enabled the two key Washington
allies to exchange such information directly.
2019 Aug 29, It was reported
that Japan has approved shipment of hydrogen fluoride used in making
computer chips to South Korea for the first time since imposing
tighter export controls in July.
2019 Sep 6, Dozens of flights
were canceled and parks were closed in South Korea as powerful
Typhoon Lingling gained momentum on its path toward the Korean
2019 Sep 7, Typhoon Lingling
hit South Korea and swept along the country's coast, toppling trees,
grounding planes and causing at least three deaths before moving on
to North Korea. At least 3 people were killed.
2019 Sep 17, South Korea
reported its first cases of African swine fever, becoming the latest
country hit by the disease that has killed pigs from China to North
Korea, pushing up pork prices worldwide.
2019 Sep 23, South Korea's
agriculture ministry said it has confirmed a third case of African
swine fever at a hog farm in a city near Seoul after the country's
first outbreak of the deadly virus last week.
2019 Oct 2, In South Korean Lee
Chun-jae (56) confessed to killing nine women between 1986 and 1991
in what is known as the infamous Hwaseong murders. He also confessed
to five additional murders unconnected to the Hwaseong series
following DNA evidence that linked him to four of the murder cases.
He is currently serving a life sentence for raping and killing his
sister-in-law in 1994.
2019 Oct 9, In South Korea tens
of thousands of protesters staged demonstrations, including in
downtown Seoul, over a growing corruption scandal involving a
newly-appointed justice minister Cho Kuk. Demonstrators saw the
investigation into Cho as politically motivated and called on the
Moon administration to follow through with promised reforms. Cho's
family faced probes into irregular investments and his children's'
favorable treatment in university admission.
2019 Oct 14, It was reported
that South Korea is deploying snipers to the Demilitarized Zone with
orders to shoot any wild boar that are seen in the buffer zone with
North Korea before they can bring more cases of African swine fever
into the South.
(The Telegraph, 10/14/19)
2019 Oct 29, North Korea
rejected South Korea's request for working-level talks to discuss
the possible demolition of South Korean-made hotels and other
facilities at the North's Diamond Mountain resort that North Korean
leader Kim Jong Un wants removed. North Korea said face-to-face
meetings would be unnecessary and repeated its stance that details
should be worked out through document exchanges.
2019 Nov 4, South Korean
President Moon Jae-in and Japanese PM Shinzo Abe had an 11-minute
conversation on the sidelines of an international conference in
Bangkok, the first time they had met in more than a year. They
reaffirmed the principle of resolving pending bilateral issues
(Reuters, 11/6/19)(SFC, 11/15/19, p.A2)
2019 Nov 7, South Korea handed
two men, understood to both be in their 20s, to North Korean
officials at the border truce village of Panmunjom. The two men had
admitted that they and another member of the vessel’s crew had
killed a boat captain in late October because he had been abusive.
The men added that they then killed the other 15 crew of the ship
and threw their bodies overboard. The men asked for asylum in South
Korea but, after a three-day investigation, the request was denied.
(The Telegraph, 11/7/19)
2019 Nov 17, In Thailand Jeong
Kyeong-doo, the South Korean minister of defence, and his Chinese
counterpart, Wei Fenghe, agreed to set up more military hotlines and
to push ahead with a visit by Mr Jeong to China next year to “foster
bilateral exchanges and cooperation in defence".
(The Telegraph, 11/18/19)
2019 Nov 17, US Defense
Secretary Mark Esper said the United States and South Korea have
indefinitely postponed a joint military exercise in an “act of
goodwill" toward North Korea.
2019 Nov 18, South Korean and
US officials resumed talks to narrow a $4 billion gap in how much
they want Seoul to pay for the cost of hosting the American military
amid public protests of "highway robbery" against sharply increased
2019 Nov 21, North Korea
rejected an invitation for leader Kim Jong Un to attend a planned
summit in South Korea next week with Southeast Asian nations, saying
it would be "pointless" due to strained ties with Seoul.
2019 Nov 22, South Korea made a
last-minute decision to stick with its critical intelligence-sharing
deal with Japan, a dramatic reversal after months of frigid
relations complicated by painful, wartime history.
2019 Nov 24, In South Korea Koo
Hara (28), a former member of a top K-pop girl group, was found dead
at her home in southern Seoul.
2019 Dec 5, General Motors Co
and South Korea's LG Chem said they will invest $2.3 billion to set
up an electric vehicle battery cell joint venture plant in Ohio,
creating one of the world's largest battery facilities.
2019 Dec 23, The leaders of
China and South Korea said that they look forward to improved ties
following a protracted disagreement over the deployment of a US
anti-missile system that Beijing considers a threat.
2019 Dec 23, South Korea-based
Hyundai Engineering and Construction (HDEC) said it had suspended
construction of the bridge, which will connect the Chilean island of
Chiloe to the mainland, accusing the government of bad faith for
seeking to increase the scope of the project without additional
2019 Dec 24, The leaders of
Japan and South Korea signaled they wouldn’t let relations spin out
of control even as they made little progress in resolving disputes
that have plunged relations to new depths. The two began their
45-minute meeting on the sidelines of a trilateral summit hosted by
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in Chengdu.
2020 Jan 2, In South Korea the
Mr. Trot reality TV show, an audition show for singers who perform
trot music, began airing. It was the male version of the popular
Miss Trot. By the end of the year Mr. Trot was the highest rated
show in cable television history of South Korea. Trot music emerged
in the early 20th century and blends traditional Korean music with
elements of the Japanese and popular songs of the era. A "Mr. Trot"
film followed later this year.
2020 Jan 14, South Korean
President Moon Jae-in faced a barrage of questions about purges of
prosecutors looking into corruption in his administration, in the
latest sign that the scandals could weigh on upcoming national
2020 Jan 19, In South Korea
Lotte Group founder Shin Kyuk-ho (98) died. He started manufacturing
chewing gum in 1948 in Japan and built the business into South
Korea's No.5 conglomerate with interests ranging from retail to
2020 Jan 21, A South Korean
announced that its anti-piracy unit has temporarily expanded its
mission to the Strait of Hormuz, a vital global oil route at the
center of soaring tensions between Iran and the United States.
2020 Jan 22, South Korea's
first known transgender soldier pleaded to be allowed to continue
serving after the military decided to discharge her for undergoing
gender reassignment surgery. Tank driver Byun Hui-su, held a news
conference at which she asked military leaders to reconsider their
decision and let her serve as a female soldier.
2020 Feb 2, The US military
command in South Korea instituted a 14-day self quarantine for any
troops who recently traveled to China, adding that an outbreak in
that country of a new coronavirus could harm military readiness.
2020 Feb 9, In Hollywood
"Parasite," a suspenseful South Korean film, became the first
non-English movie to win best picture. It also won the Oscar for
best international film, original screenplay and best director.
Joaquin Phoenix and Renee Zellweger picked up the Oscars for best
actor and actress. Brad Pitt and Laura Dern won the supporting actor
and actress categories.
(Good Morning America, 2/10/20)
2020 Feb 10, Japan launched a
second complaint at the World Trade Organization over support South
Korea gives its shipbuilding industry, intensifying a wider dispute
between the two Asian countries.
2020 Feb 17, South Korea's
Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co Ltd said it has resolved a
dispute with the Chilean government over a $740 million suspension
bridge in a deal that had required it to "give up its rights" in
various areas. The company said it has given ground on unspecified
areas to allow the stalled project to get back on track.
2020 Feb 20, South Korea
reported its first death from the new virus while the mayor of a
southeastern city urged its 2.5 million people to stay inside as
infections linked to a church congregation spiked. The Korea Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed 22 additional cases of
the virus, raising the total in South Korea to 104.
2020 Feb 21, South Korea's
government banned major rallies in its capital and declared a health
emergency in its fourth largest city as 100 new virus cases were
reported, bringing the country's total to 204.
2020 Feb 22, South Korea
reported an eight-fold jump in viral infections with 433 cases
mostly linked to a church and a hospital.
2020 Feb 22, A South Korean Air
flight with 188 passengers that landed at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion
airport was taxied away from the allotted terminal while authorities
allowed only 11 Israelis to enter the country. The next day the
plane returned to South Korea with the rest of the passengers.
2020 Feb 23, South Korea raised
its infectious disease alert to its highest level due to the
coronavirus outbreak. South Korea announced 169 more cases of the
new virus, bringing the country’s total more than 760. The country
also reported three more fatalities, raising its death toll to six.
(Reuters, 2/23/20)(AP, 2/23/20)(NY Times,
2020 Feb 23, South Korean
health authorities said that 18 of the 39 South Koreans from the
southeastern region who had made a group pilgrimage to sites in
Israel later tested positive for the virus.
2020 Feb 24, South Korea
reported 833 confirmed cases with 8 dead. Health officials reported
231 new cases of COVID-19. A military spokesperson said there were
13 confirmed COVID-19 cases among the troops.
(NBC News, 2/24/20)
2020 Feb 24, Mongolia's
National Emergency Commission halted all flights from South Korea
and will block entry through its borders until March 2 as it steps
up its efforts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
2020 Feb 26, In South Korea the
coronavirus has infected 1,260 people. 20 South Korean soldiers and
one American have tested positive.
(AP, 2/26/20)(Reuters, 2/26/20)
2020 Feb 27, South Korea
reported 334 additional cases of the new coronavirus.
2020 Feb 28, South Korea
confirmed 256 more cases, bringing total to 2,022, doubling in two
days and raising alarm about the worst outbreak outside of
2020 Feb 29, South Korea
reported its biggest surge in new coronavirus cases with 3,150
infections as 813 more patients were reported. Three women in the
Daegu area died of the illness, taking the national toll to 17.
2020 Mar 1, In South Korea the
number of coronavirus cases is now at 3,736 with 21 deaths tied to
the Shincheonji religious sect. The founder of the sect and 11
others have just been charged with murder.
(The Daily Beast, 3/1/20)(Reuters, 3/1/20)
2020 Mar 2, South Korea
reported 599 new cases of coronavirus, raising its total to 4,355.
The death toll rose to 26. South Korea sought murder charges against
leaders of Shincheonji Church, to which most of South Korea's cases
have been traced.
2020 Mar 3, South Korea’s
health ministry reported 374 more cases of the novel coronavirus,
taking the country’s tally to 5,186.
2020 Mar 4, South Korea
reported 516 new coronavirus cases. It now had had more than 5,600
cases and 32 deaths.
(Business Insider, 3/4/20)
2020 Mar 4, North Korea's Kim
Jong Un sent South Korean President Moon Jae-in a letter expressing
condolences over the coronavirus outbreak. This was the North Korean
leader’s first public overture to his counterpart in more than four
2020 Mar 5, South Korea
reported 760 new coronavirus cases. South Korea confirmed 6,088
coronavirus cases, with a death toll of 37.
2020 Mar 5, It was reported
that six US military individuals in South Korea have tested positive
2020 Mar 6, South Korea
reported 505 additional cases, down from a high of 851 on March 3.
The US military confirmed its seventh case among those stationed
(AP, 3/6/20)(Reuters, 3/6/20)
2020 Mar 7, South Korea's
coronavirus cases jumped above 7,000, up by 448 from the previous
day. The death toll rose by two to 46.
2020 Mar 8, South Korea's
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 272 new
coronavirus cases, for a total of 7,313 in the country. Two further
deaths took the toll to 50.
2020 Mar 9, South Korea
reported 165 new coronavirus cases, bringing the national tally to
7,478, while the death toll rose by one to 51.
2020 Mar 9, South Korea-based
Daily NK reported that around 200 North Korean soldiers from several
branches of the military have died from symptoms that may have been
caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
(https://tinyurl.com/r85wkr7)(Daily NK, 3/12/20)
2020 Mar 11, South Korea
confirmed a total of 114 coronavirus infections, taking the
country's total to 7,869. A new cluster of infections was discovered
in a call center office building in Seoul.
(AP, 3/12/20)(Econ, 3/14/20, p.48)
2020 Mar 12, South Korea
reported fewer than 120 new coronavirus cases, but authorities
warned that a new cluster in Seoul could see the infection spread in
2020 Mar 13, South Korea
recorded 110 new coronavirus cases, compared with 114 a day earlier,
taking the national tally to 7,979, with the death toll rising by
five to 72 as of late today.
2020 Mar 15, South Korea
reported 76 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours, an all-time low since
Feb. 20, when the country saw a surge of over 500 in four days. The
country’s total tally stands at 8,162 with a total of 75 deaths.
2020 Mar 16, South Korea
reported 74 new coronavirus cases bringing its total to 8,236.
2020 Mar 22, South Korea
reported 98 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total to 8,897. The
number of deaths rose by two to 104.
2020 Mar 24, In South Korea
police revealed the identity of a man accused of running a range of
porn channels on a Telegram chat app. Cho Jumin (24) had charged up
to 30,000 subscribers between $200 and $1,200, most of which was
collected in bitcoin, for access to his "nth rooms".
(Econ, 3/28/20, p.34)
2020 Mar 27, South Korea
reported 146 new coronavirus cases. That brought total infections in
South Korea to 9,478, with a death toll of 151, up from 139.
2020 Apr 1, In South Korea US
Gen. Robert B. Abrams announced the furlough of 9,000 South Koreans
who worked for the local American military forces.
(Economist, 4/4/20, p.29)
2020 Apr 4, South Korea
reported 94 more cases of coronavirus in 24 hours, bringing the
total to 10,156.
2020 Apr 6, South Korea
reported fewer than 50 new coronavirus cases for the first time
since its peak in late February.
2020 Apr 10, South Korea
reported 27 new coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours, the fewest
in about seven weeks. Early voting began for all 300 National
Assembly seats. South Korean officials reported 91 patients thought
cleared of the new coronavirus had tested positive again.
(Bloomberg, 4/10/20)(Reuters, 4/10/20)
2020 Apr 13, South Korea
reported that at least 116 people initially cleared of the new
coronavirus had tested positive again. Officials suggested they
would soon look at easing strict recommendations aimed at preventing
new outbreaks. South Korea reported only 25 new cases overall.
2020 Apr 15, South Korea held
national elections. President Moon Jae-in’s ruling coalition scored
the largest parliamentary election victory since the end of
military-backed rule more than three decades ago, signaling to
global leaders that a strong pandemic response can win votes. The
ruling Democratic Party of Korea and its satellite group won 180
places in the 300-seat National Assembly. Defector Thae Yong Ho, a
former senior North Korean diplomat, won a constituency seat in the
(Bloomberg, 4/15/20)(Bloomberg, 4/16/20)(AP,
2020 Apr 19, South Korea’s
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it confirmed eight
new coronavirus cases in a 24-hour period, the lowest since Feb. 20.
This raised the total to 10,661 cases and 234 deaths.
(Bloomberg, 4/19/20)(SFC, 4/20/20, p.A4)
2020 Apr 22, South Korean
health authorities said patients who tested positive for novel
coronavirus after recovering from their first bout of the illness
appeared to be far less infectious the second time round.
2020 Apr 23, In South Korea
Busan Mayor Oh Keo-don (71) resigned after admitting to sexual
misconduct. A female public servant had accused him of sexual
assault in his office.
(SFC, 4/24/20, p.A2)
2020 Apr 26, South Korea's
large churches reopened, requiring worshipers to keep their distance
and wear masks.
2020 Apr 29, In South Korea a
fire at the construction site of a 4-story warehouse in Icheon
killed 38 people.
(SFC, 4/30/20, p.A2)
2020 Apr 30, South Korea
reported that for the first time since the virus’s Feb. 29 peak, it
had no new domestic cases and just four cases among people who came
in from outside the country.
(NY Times, 4/30/20)
2020 May 2, In South Korea a
man (29) visited five nightclubs and bars in Seoul's Itaewon
entertainment neighborhood in a single night before testing positive
for the virus on Mas 6. More than 100 infections soon appeared
linked to the nightspots.
2020 May 3, South Korea
recorded just 13 new coronavirus cases and no deaths.
(The Week, 5/3/20)
2020 May 3, North Korean
gunfire hit a Southern guard post, prompting Seoul's soldiers to
return fire a few minutes later and broadcast warnings. On May 26
the United Nations Command (UNC) said the shooting was a violation
of the 1953 armistice agreement. The last time the two sides
exchanged fire on the border was in 2014.
2020 May 5, South Korea
reported no new locally transmitted infections of the novel
coronavirus and just three imported cases over the past 24 hours.
(ABC News, 5/5/20)
2020 May 6, South Korea
reported no new locally transmitted infections of the novel
coronavirus and just two imported cases over the past 24 hours --
its lowest daily tally in 78 days.
(ABC News, 5/6/20)
2020 May 6, South Korea’s spy
agency that the coronavirus pandemic has likely taken a heavy toll
on North Korea, forcing leader Kim Jong Un to avoid public
activities and his people into panic buying for daily necessities.
2020 May 9, In South Korea the
mayor of Seoul ordered all the capital’s bars and nightclubs shut
down indefinitely after many of the 34 new coronavirus infections
were traced to a single nightlife district. Cases had lingered at
around ten or below for weeks.
(NY Times, 5/10/20)(Business Insider, 5/17/20)
2020 May 10, South Korea
reported 34 new coronavirus cases. Of the new cases, 26 were
domestically transmitted infections and eight were imported cases.
2020 May 17, South Korea
reported five new domestic cases of coronavirus, all linked to a
cluster of cases centered around bars and nightclubs in the capital
which has raised fears in the country of a fresh wave of contagion.
2020 May 18, South Korea
reported 15 new cases of the coronavirus and one more death,
bringing its totals to 11,065 cases and 263 fatalities.
(SFC, 5/19/20, p.A7)
2020 May 26, South Korea
reported 19 new coronavirus cases, mostly from the Seoul area.
(SFC, 5/27/20, p.A4)
2020 May 27, South Korea
reported 40 new coronavirus cases, its biggest daily jump in about
50 days. The country has significantly relaxes its rigid social
distancing rules as a result of waning coronavirus cases. South
Korea now has a total of 11,265 confirmed cases with 269 deaths.
2020 May 28, South Korea
reported its biggest jump in coronavirus cases in more than 50 days.
The Korean Centers for Disease Control reported 79 newly diagnosed
(AP, 5/28/20)(Good Morning America, 5/28/20)
2020 May 30, South Korea
reported 39 new cases of the coronavirus. South Korea has confirmed
11,441 cases and 269 deaths.
(SSFC, 5/31/20, p.A7)
2020 May 31, South Korea
reported 27 new cases of the coronavirus as the government pushed to
allow businesses to access vast amounts of personal information and
to ease restrictions holding back emerging technologies.
(SFC, 6/1/20, p.A5)
2020 Jun 1, South Korea
reporter 24 new coronavirus cases linked to a group of churches near
Seoul. The country has reported 11,503 cases and 271 deaths.
(SFC, 6/2/20, p.A3)
2020 Jun 1, South Korea-based
Celltrion said its experimental antibody COVID-19 treatment
demonstrated an up to 100-fold reduction in viral load of the
disease in animal testing, saying it aims to start human clinical
trials in late July.
2020 Jun 3, South Korea
reported 49 new cases of COVID-19 bringing the national total to
11,590 and 273 deaths.
(SFC, 6/4/20, p.A5)
2020 Jun 4, South Korea said it
planned to push new laws to ban activists from flying anti-Pyongyang
leaflets over the border after North Korea threatened to end an
inter-Korean military agreement reached in 2018 to reduce tensions
if Seoul fails to prevent the protests.
2020 Jun 7, South Korea
reported 57 additional cases of the coronavirus taking the country's
total to 11,776 cases, with 273 deaths.
(SFC, 6/8/20, p.A4)
2020 Jun 9, North Korea
announced that it is severing all official communication links with
the South. Analysts said the move was aimed at manufacturing a
crisis on the divided peninsula. Pyongyang has refused to engage
with Seoul for months, with few if any conversations on the lines
aside from test calls.
2020 Jun 10, South Korea’s
government said that it will press charges against two activist
groups that have been floating anti-Pyongyang leaflets and bottles
filled with rice to North Korea.
2020 Jun 11, In South Korea two
North Korean defector-run groups targeted for legal action by South
Korean authorities said they intend to continue sending propaganda
leaflets and humanitarian aid into North Korea, despite criticism
from governments in both countries.
2020 Jun 11, South Korean
health officials reported 45 new cases of the coronavirus raising
national totals to 11,947 and 276 deaths.
(SFC, 6/12/20, p.A6)
2020 Jun 12, South Korea
reported 56 new cases of the coronavirus bringing the national
totals to 12,003 cases and 277 deaths.
(SFC, 6/13/20, p.A6)
2020 Jun 14, South Korea
convened an emergency security meeting and urged North Korea to
uphold reconciliation agreements, hours after the North threatened
to demolish a liaison office and take military action against its
2020 Jun 14, South Korea
confirmed 34 more coronavirus cases raising the country's total to
12,085 cases and 277 deaths.
(SFC, 6/15/20, p.A5)
2020 Jun 16, North Korea blew
up a building where its officials and their South Korean
counterparts had recently worked side by side, after weeks of
threats to end the détente that has existed on the Korean Peninsula
for the past two years. The liaison office was opened in 2018 as the
first channel for full-time, person-to-person contact between the
(NY Times, 6/16/20)
2020 Jun 20, South Korea
recorded 67 new coronavirus cases, the largest 24-hour increase in
about three weeks. Many cases have been linked to exposure in
2020 Jun 20, State news agency
KCNA said North Korea is gearing up to send propaganda leaflets over
its southern border, denouncing North Korean defectors and South
2020 Jun 22, North Korea said
it has readied thousands of balloons and millions of leaflets in
preparation for "retaliatory punishment" against South Korea.
2020 Jun 22, A South Korean
group launched hundreds of thousands of leaflets by balloon across
the border into North Korea late today, despite repeated warnings
from the North that it will retaliate against such actions. Activist
park Sang-hak said his organization flew huge balloons carrying
500,000 leaflets, 2,000 one-dollar bills and small books into North
(AP, 6/22/20)(SFC, 6/24/20, p.A2)
2020 Jun 24, The remains of 147
South Korean soldiers killed in the Korean War were sent back to
their homeland from Hawaii, where they were previously sent by the
North following their discovery over the past three decades.
2020 Jun 24, North Korea said
it will 'postpone' plans for military action against South Korea.
2020 Jun 25, South Korea
reported 28 new coronavirus cases, mostly associated with nightlife,
churches, a huge e-commerce warehouse and door-to-door sales.
2020 Jun 26, South Korea police
raided the Seoul office of Park Sang-hak, an activist and North
Korean refugee, whose anti-North Korea leafleting campaign has
intensified tensions on the Korean Peninsula. The Seoul Metropolitan
Police Agency said that Park will be summoned soon for an
2020 Jul 6, In South Korea Son
Jong-woo (24), the operator of the largest child pornography web
site ever uncovered, walked free from prison after a court in Seoul
ruled that he could not be extradited to the US to face additional
charges. Son had completed his 18-month term in April but was
immediately detained again after a US federal grand jury indicted
him on nine charges.
(The Telegraph, 7/6/20)
2020 Jul 9, Authorities in
South Korea searched for Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon, who vanished
amid sexual harassment allegations after giving his daughter a
message that she described as sounding like a will. The body of
Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon (64) was soon discovered on a hill in
northern Seoul, several hours after his daughter reported him
(AP, 7/9/20)(NY Times, 7/10/20)
2020 Jul 11, The South Korean
army announced the death of former army Gen. Paik Sun-yup (99). He
was celebrated as a major war hero for leading troops in several
battle victories against North Korean soldiers during the 1950-53
2020 Jul 21, South Korea's SK
Bioscience said it has agreed to manufacture AstraZeneca's
experimental COVID-19 vaccine to help the British company build
global supplies of the vaccine that has shown promise against the
2020 Jul 25, South Korea
reported more than 100 new coronavirus cases for the first time in
four months. The 113 new cases included 36 workers returning from
Iraq and 32 crew members of a Russian freighter.
2020 Jul 29, South Korea's
Green Cross Corp said it has sought regulatory approval for Phase II
trials of an experimental COVID-19 blood plasma treatment drug.
2020 Aug 1, In South Korea
prosecutors arrested Lee Man-hee (89), the leader of the Shincheonji
Church of Jesus, a secretive religious sect linked to more than
5,200 of the country's approximately 14,300 confirmed cases. He has
denied charges of hiding members and underreporting gatherings to
avoid broader quarantines. Mr Lee is also suspected of embezzling
about 5.6 billion won (£3.6 million) in church funds, including
about five billion won that he allegedly used to build a retreat.
2020 Aug 2, South Korea
reported 30 new coronavirus cases, raising its total to 14,366 with
301 deaths, but said only eight were acquired in the country.
2020 Aug 3, Officials issued a
"serious" crisis warning in South Korea after a weekend of heavy
rainfall caused floodwaters to overtake cities across the region. In
Seoul the Han River spilled into the streets. At least 12 people
have been reported killed and another 13 missing due to the heavy
2020 Aug 7, South Korea's
Ministry of Food and Drug Safety said local biotech firm Genexine
Inc has received regulatory approval for a Phase I human clinical
trial of its experimental coronavirus treatment drug.
2020 Aug 11, South Korea's
Daewoong Pharmaceutical Co Ltd said it received Indian regulatory
approval to test its anti-parasitic niclosamide drug to treat
COVID-19 patients in an early-stage human trial.
2020 Aug 13, South Korea
confirmed plans to start building its first aircraft carrier next
year as tensions grow in the Indo-Pacific region between the US and
China and the question of North Korea’s nuclear ambitions remains
(The Telegraph, 8/13/20)
2020 Aug 14, More than a
quarter of South Korea’s medical clinics closed for a one-day strike
in protest at government plans to train new doctors, as the country
reported the highest number of domestic coronavirus cases since the
end of March.
2020 Aug 15, South Korea
reported 166 newly confirmed coronavirus cases, the highest daily
jump in five months.
(SSFC, 8/16/20, p.A11)
2020 Aug 16, South Korea
reported 279 new confirmed infections, the highest 24-hour jump
since early March.
(The Week, 8/16/20)
2020 Aug 21, South Korea
reported 324 new cases of the coronavirus. The recent surge of
infections now appears to be spreading nationwide.
(SFC, 8/22/20, p.A5)
2020 Aug 22, South Korea
announced new measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus as
officials reported 332 newly confirmed cases, marking the ninth
straight day of triple-digit increases.
(SSFC, 8/23/20, p.A10)
2020 Aug 26, In South Korea
doctors in the greater Seoul area joined physicians in other parts
of the country in a 3-day strike against government plans to boost
the number of medical students. Health officials ordered the doctors
of return to work.
(SFC, 8/27/20, p.A6)
2020 Aug 27, South Korea
reported 441 new coronavirus cases, its highest singe-day total in
(SFC, 8/28/20, p.A6)
2020 Aug 30, South Korea
reported its 17th day of triple-digit rises in coronavirus
infections. The national tally rose to 19,699 cases of the new
coronavirus and 323 COVID-19 deaths.
2020 Sep 3, Typhoon Maysak
ripped through South Korea’s southern and eastern coasts with
tree-snapping winds and flooding rains, knocking out power to more
than 270,000 homes and leaving at least one person dead.
2020 Sep 3, It was reported
that Lee Young-guk (57) has published the book “I was Kim Jong-il’s
bodyguard." Here he claims that he began a ten-year stint in the
security team of current leader Kim Jong-un’s late father in 1978,
after which he became a military adviser from 1988 to 1991. Mr. Lee
faced, now in Canada, faced deportation to South Korea.
(The Telegraph, 9/3/20)
2020 Sep 4, South Korea said it
will extend elevated social distancing restrictions for another week
after reporting 198 new coronavirus cases.
(SFC, 9/5/20, p.A5)
2020 Sep 7, South Korea-based
Samsung Electronics said it had won a $6.64 billion order to provide
wireless communication solutions to Verizon in the United States.
2020 Sep 7, Typhoon Haishen to
a tropical storm late today as it made landfall near the North
Korean coastal city of Hamhung. In South Korea, at least two people
were missing as the storm barreled through South Korea’s southern
and eastern regions.
2020 Sep 8, South Korea's
Celltrion Inc said it will begin commercial production of its
experimental treatment for COVID-19 this month, as it pushes ahead
with clinical trials of the antibody drug.
2020 Sep 16, South Korean
shipbuilder Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries Co Ltd said it had
delivered the world's first very large container ship powered by
liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Singapore's Eastern Pacific Shipping
2020 Sep 17, South Korea said
it has approved Celltrion Inc's experimental COVID-19 treatment for
Phase 2/3 clinical trials, as the firm plans to seek a conditional
approval of the antibody drug for an emergency use.
2020 Sep 23, South Korea's
Defense Ministry said a South Korean official (47), who disappeared
off a government ship near the disputed sea boundary with North
Korea this week, may be in North Korea.
2020 Sep 24, South Korea’s
Defense Ministry said North Korea shot and burned the body of a
South Korean official who disappeared from a government boat earlier
(NBC News, 9/24/20)
2020 Sep 25, North Korea’s
leader, Kim Jong-un, offered a rare apology for the killing of a
South Korean official by soldiers from the North. The victim was
apparently trying to defect to the North.
(NY Times, 9/25/20)
2020 Oct 4, Lee Hyo-jae (95),
South Korean champion of women’s rights, died in Changwon.
(NY Times, 11/14/20)
2020 Oct 7, A South Korean MP
confirmed that North Korea's former acting ambassador to Italy
defected to the South after disappearing from the mission in Rome
two years ago. Senior diplomat Jo Song-gil vanished with his wife in
November 2018 and reportedly sought asylum, while his daughter was
said to have been repatriated to the authoritarian state.
2020 Oct 12, South Korean
drugmaker Daewoong Pharmaceutical Co Ltd said that it had received
regulatory approval for Phase 1 clinical trials of its
anti-parasitic niclosamide drug to treat COVID-19 patients.
2020 Oct 12, South Korean
drugmaker Celltrion Inc said it has received regulatory approval for
Phase 3 clinical trials of CT-P59, an experimental COVID-19
treatment. The drug is directed against the surface of the virus and
designed to block it from locking on to human cells.
2020 Oct 13, South Korea
reported 102 new cases of the coronavirus brining its total cases to
24,805 and 434 deaths.
(SFC, 10/14/20, p.A6)
2020 Oct 15, Shares of Big Hit
Entertainment, the company that manages the boy band BTS, began
trading in South Korea. Last year the company reported a profit of
(SFC, 10/15/20, p.C1)
2020 Oct 25, In South Korea Lee
Kun-hee (78), head of Samsung, died. He had turned the maker of
knock-off electronics into a technology powerhouse.
(Econ., 10/31/20, p.57)
2020 Oct 26, South Korea's
Celltrion Inc said it has received emergency use authorisation (EUA)
from the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for its rapid
COVID-19 testing kit Sampinute, which boosted shares of the company
and its affiliates.
2020 Oct 29, South Korea's top
court upheld a 17-year prison sentence for former President Lee
Myung-bak (78) in a final ruling for a range of corruption
crimes before and during his 2008-2013 presidency.
(SFC, 10/30/20, p.A4)
2020 Nov 10, South Korea's
agriculture ministry said t had confirmed the highly pathogenic H5N8
strain of bird flu in samples from wild birds in the central west of
the country and issued its bird flu warning. The virus was
discovered in samples collected from wild birds last week.
2020 Nov 13, South Korea began
fining people who fail to wear masks in public as it reported 191
new coronavirus cases, with daily infections continuing to creep
higher. South Korea reported 205 new coronavirus cases as of
midnight. The total number of infections now stood at 28,338 with
2020 Nov 17, South Korea said
it will impose stricter social distancing rules for the greater
Seoul area a month after easing them. Officials warned of an even
bigger crisis if anti-COVID-19 efforts fail to dampen a spike in new
2020 Nov 18, South Korea
reported 313 new daily COVID-19 cases, the highest number since
August, as cluster infections continued to emerge from offices,
medical facilities and small gatherings, prompting authorities to
tighten social distancing rules.
2020 Nov 23, South Korea
reported another daily rise of more than 200 new coronavirus cases,
a day before tighter social distancing rules to blunt a third wave
of infections take effect.
2020 Nov 24, South Korean boy
band BTS snagged the first ever Grammy nomination for a K-pop band,
taking the worldwide sensation a step closer to winning the music
2020 Nov 26, In South Korea the
Seoul Central District Court found Cho Ju-bin (25) guilty of
violating laws to protect minors from sexual abuse and of making a
profit from producing and selling abusive footage. He had overseen a
group of 38 accomplices who befriended and then blackmailed at least
74 women into sharing explicit videos that were then posted in
pay-per-view internet chat rooms. Cho was sentenced to 40 years in
(The Telegraph, 11/26/20)
2020 Nov 27, South Korea’s spy
agency told lawmakers that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has
ordered at least two people executed, banned fishing at sea and
locked down the capital, Pyongyang, as part of frantic efforts to
guard against the coronavirus and its economic damage.
2020 Dec 1, South Korea’s
parliament passed a new law to allow globally renowned pop stars to
postpone their mandatory military service and avoid disrupting their
careers at the height of their game.
(The Telegraph, 12/1/20)
2020 Dec 3, South Korean
drugmaker Daewoong Pharma said it had sought regulatory approval for
Phase II trials of its anti-parasite niclosamide drug to treat
COVID-19 patients, sending its shares up nearly 6%.
2020 Dec 4, South Korea's
capital, Seoul, announced unprecedented restrictions shuttering most
establishments and shops at 9 p.m. and cutting back public
transportation operations by 30% in the evenings, as daily
coronavirus cases hit a nine-month high.
2020 Dec 5, It was reported
that South Korea-based Kia is recalling nearly 295,000 vehicles in
the US because the engines can stall or catch fire. Engine failure
and fire problems with Hyundais and Kias have plagued the companies
for more than five years.
2020 Dec 7, South Korean
President Moon Jae-in called for expanded coronavirus testing and
more thorough tracing as the country struggles to control its latest
and largest wave of infections.
2020 Dec 9, South Korea
reported 590 deaths related to COVID-19 over the last 24 hours as
well as 20,815 new daily infections.
(SFC, 12/10/20, p.A7)
2020 Dec 11, It was reported
that South Korea-based Hyundai Motor Group and its chairman have
agreed to buy a controlling stake in Boston Dynamics from SoftBank
Group Corp in a deal that values the US-based robot maker at $1.1
billion. The deal would give the company and its chief a combined
80% stake in Boston Dynamics, while Softbank will retain 20%.
2020 Dec 12, In South Korea
protests erupted as sex offender Cho Doo-soon (69) was released from
prison at the end of his sentence for raping and seriously injuring
a young girl in 2008, a crime which caused revulsion across the
(The Telegraph, 12/13/20)
2020 Dec 12, South Korea
reported a record 950 daily coronavirus cases, exceeding the late
February peak of 909, with the president calling the country's third
wave of COVID-19 an "emergency".
2020 Dec 12, South Korea's
agriculture ministry issued a temporary nationwide standstill order
for poultry farms and related transport in a bid to contain a wider
spread of the highly pathogenic H5N8 bird flu.
2020 Dec 13, South Korea set
another record for its daily coronavirus tally with 1,030, as
authorities struggle to suppress the virus's spread.
2020 Dec 14, South Korea’s
parliament approved contentious legislation criminalizing the flying
of propaganda leaflets by balloon toward North Korea, despite fierce
criticism that the country is sacrificing freedom of expression to
improve ties with the rival North.
2020 Dec 15, South Korean
health authorities said doctors can administer pharmaceutical maker
Celltrion Inc's candidate COVID-19 antibody treatment to patients
with life-threatening conditions. The Ministry of Food and Drug
Safety approved CT-P59 under its patient treatment scheme on Dec.
2020 Dec 17, A South Korean man
who spent 20 years behind bars for a murder he didn’t commit cleared
his name in court after one of the country’s most notorious serial
killers confessed to the 1988 rape and murder of a 13-year-old girl.
Yoon Seong-yeo (53) had been sentenced to life in prison and was
released on parole in 2009.
2020 Dec 18, South Korea
reported 1,062 new cases of the coronavirus, its third straight day
over 1,000. The national caseload rose to 47,515 with 645 deaths.
(SFC, 12/17/20, p.A5)
2020 Dec 18, Indonesia and a
unit of South Korean firm LG Group signed a memorandum of
understanding (MOU) on a $9.8 billion electric vehicle (EV) battery
2020 Dec 20, South Korea
reported a record 1,097 new coronavirus cases, including an outbreak
in a Seoul prison that infected 188 as the country's latest wave of
2020 Dec 21, South Korea
reported 24 more virus-related deaths in the country’s highest daily
fatalities since the pandemic began. The government added a total of
926 new cases, taking the country’s total to 50,591 including 698
deaths. Gatherings of more than five people will be banned in the
capital region from Dec. 23 to Jan. 3, as an elevated step to
suppress what authorities call an “explosive" surge in coronavirus
(AP, 12/21/20)(Reuters, 12/21/20)
2020 Dec 27, South Korea said
it will extend social distancing measures introduced to try to curb
the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic for another six days,
to Jan. 3, even as it continues to report near-record numbers of new
cases each day.
2020 Dec 29, South Korean
authorities scrambled to contain a cluster of coronavirus infections
in a Seoul prison as inmates waved signs through barred windows
pleading for help. South Korea recorded 1,050 new cases nationally
as of midnight, bringing the total case tally to 59,773 and death
toll to 879.
2020 Dec 29, American troops
stationed in South Korea received the first doses of coronavirus
vaccine to be administered in the country.
2020 South Korea's population
stood at about 52 million.
(Econ., 7/11/20, p.28)
2021 Jan 2, South Korea said it
will expand a ban on private gatherings larger than four people to
include the whole country, and extend unprecedented social
distancing rules in Seoul and neighboring areas until Jan. 17.
2021 Jan 3, A South Korean
health official said that a third wave of the novel coronavirus is
being contained, as it reported the lowest number of new infections
in nearly four weeks with the help of tougher restrictions during
the New Year holiday season. South Korea expanded a ban on private
gatherings larger than four people to the whole country, and
extended unprecedented social distancing rules in greater Seoul as
the number of daily cases bounced back to more than 1,000 in four
2021 Jan 5, In South Korea the
number of deaths linked to the coronavirus passed 1,000, while an
increasing number of gym owners said they would reopen in protest
against strict social distancing rules.
2021 Jan 5, The Iranian
government accused South Korea of holding more than £5 billion of
its money “hostage" in its banks, a day after its revolutionary
guards stormed and captured a Korean tanker in the Persian Gulf.
(The Telegraph, 1/5/21)
2021 Jan 6, South Korea rolled
out mass testing for 52 prisons in the country after a massive
prison outbreak and decided to extend flight suspensions from
Britain for two weeks as part of efforts to prevent the spread of