North-South Korean Relations: A Chronology of the "New" Dialogue
CRS Report for Congress
North-South Korean Relations:
A Chronology of Events in 2000 and 2001
Updated January 9, 2002
Mark E. Manyin
Analyst in Asian Affairs
Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division
Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress
North-South Korean Relations:
A Chronology of Events in 2000 and 2001
This report chronicles major developments in the thaw between North and South
Korea that has followed the historic inter-Korean summit meeting in June 2000. In
the months immediately following the summit, the two Koreas developed a new
dialogue, which included several inter-ministerial talks, a meeting of defense ministers,
talks on economic cooperation, and family reunions. The sheer breadth and depth of
the dialogue indicated to many analysts that Seoul and Pyongyang were trying in
earnest to regularize and institutionalize the rapprochement, in contrast to previously
ephemeral thaws in 1972, 1985 and the early 1990s. There have been several
setbacks, however, leading many critics to wonder whether North Korea’s diplomatic
outreach is merely a tactic to obtain economic assistance and reduce the U.S. troop
presence in South Korea. Since February 2001, inter-Korean diplomacy has
effectively been frozen. With South Korean President Kim Dae Jung being openly
labeled a “lame duck,” many have wondered whether his sunshine policy of engaging
North Korea has run out of steam.
Due to the growing length of the chronology, this report will not be updated.
Instead, a new North-South timeline will be started each calendar year, beginning with
events on January 1 of that year.
Background .................................................... 1
The Historic June 2000 Summit.............................1
The Ebb and Flow of the New Inter-Korean Dialogue............1
Civilian Contacts Continue.................................3
Criticism of the Sunshine Policy in South Korea.................3
What are North Korea’s Intentions?..........................4
Chronology .................................................... 5
2000 ..................................................... 5
North-South Korean Relations: A Chronology
of Events in 2000 and 2001
The Historic June 2000 Summit. On June 13, 2000, South Korean
President Kim Dae Jung flew to Pyongyang for a three-day summit with North
Korea’s paramount leader, Kim Jong-il. The meeting was the first-ever between the
leaders of North and South Korea, which have been divided since 1945 and officially1
at war since 1950. The two Kims signed a joint declaration pledging, among other
things, to work towards eventual reunification, open a dialogue between government
officials, engage in economic cooperation, permit family reunions, and hold cultural
and athletic exchanges. Upon his return to Seoul, Kim Dae Jung stated that Kim Jong-
il had verbally agreed that even if North-South tensions continued to be reduced, U.S.
troops should remain in South Korea to help preserve regional and peninsular
stability. “It became clear,” the South Korean president continued, “that we will not
ever go to war again.”2
The Ebb and Flow of the New Inter-Korean Dialogue. Since the North-
South summit, inter-Korean interchanges have alternated between bursts of meetings
and lulls in public activity. In the summer and fall of 2000, North-South interchanges
flowed, as the two Koreas rapidly developed a new dialogue. Four rounds of inter-
ministerial talks were held, the two countries’ defense ministers met for the first time,
talks on economic cooperation commenced, the two sides marched together at the
2000 Sydney Olympics, and emotional reunions were held among hundreds of families
separated by the inter-Korean divide. South Korean President Kim stated his desire
to negotiate a North-South peace agreement, which would officially end the Korean
War, before he leaves office in February 2003. Moreover, numerous South Korean
businesses and citizens forged their own contacts with North Korea, a development
made possible when President Kim – under his so-called “sunshine policy” of trying
to induce more cooperative behavior from North Korea through engaging Pyongyang
– relaxed Seoul’s previous insistence that the government monopolize all contact with3
In October of 2000 North Korea slowed the pace of the dialogue – perhaps to
focus on a flurry of diplomatic activity with the outgoing Clinton Administration –
1 North and South Korea’s formal names are the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
(DPRK) and the Republic of Korea (ROK), respectively.
2 Korea Herald, June 20, 2000.
3 For more on South Korea’s “sunshine policy” toward North Korea, see CRS Report
RL30188, South Korea’s Sunshine Policy, by Rinn-Sup Shinn.
leading to the postponement and delay of scheduled family reunions and several
meetings. Inter-Korean activity again picked up from November 2000 to January
2001 as the talks entered a new phase: ministerial-level talks shifted from meeting
approximately every month to every quarter, with more frequent working-level
meetings expected to provide forward momentum.4 Kim Jong-il’s business-oriented
trip to China, combined with talk of “new thinking” in the state-run North Korean
press, seemed to promise more breakthroughs in 2001.
Such hopes were frustrated in March of 2001, however, as North Korea abruptly
halted virtually all inter-Korean contacts for nearly six months. Pyongyang linked the
move to the Bush Administration’s calls for stricter reciprocity in dealing with
Pyongyang. However, the inter-Korean dialogue had slowed even before the Bush
Administration launched its review of U.S. policy toward North Korea, a process that
was completed in June 2001.5 Economic talks in late 2000 and early 2001 had hit a
snag over North Korea’s demand that the South provide 500,000 kw of electricity
immediately and 2 million kw soon thereafter. Although the two sides military-to-
military talks in February produced an agreement on rules of operation for
construction of a railroad through the DMZ, North Korea declined to sign and ratify
the pact. Furthermore, Kim Jong-il made no move to fulfill his promise of a return
summit visit to Seoul.
The inter-Korean dialogue picked up again in September, following Kim Jong-
il’s trip to Russia and Chinese President Jiang Zemin’s visit to Pyongyang. The
resumption was curtailed, however, by the changed international environment
following the September 11 terrorist attacks against the U.S. There were some signs
that North Korea would use the attacks as an opportunity to improve relations with
the South and the U.S., if only to extricate itself from the U.S. list of terrorist
sponsoring nations. In addition to condemning the attacks, Pyongyang publicly
rejected terrorism and the support of terrorist organizations, signed two anti-terrorism
treaties and announced plans to sign five more.
However, inter-Korean talks broke down completely in November 2001 due to
Pyongyang’s objections to Seoul’s heightened security posture to guard against
terrorism, and the North’s demand that all future talks be held in the DPRK (rather
than alternating between North and South) for security reasons. North Korea’s
chronic fears of an American attack were further heightened in November by the Bush
Administration’s apparent expansion of the definition of terrorism to include the
development of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and by several Administration
officials’ references to the North’s suspected WMD programs. Some have interpreted
the North hard-line stance as a sign that hard-liners in Pyongyang have gained the
4 Aidan Foster-Carter, “Will All Things Go Well? Ups and Downs in the New Inter-Korean
Normality,” Comparative Connections, 1st Quarter 2001, available at
5 The policy review concluded that the U.S. will offer the DPRK a further lifting of U.S.
sanctions, assistance to the North Korean people (presumably food aid), and “other political
steps” if the North agrees to 1) start to take serious, verifiable steps to reduce the conventional
weapons threat to the South, 2) “improved implementation” of the ‘94 Framework, and 3)
verifiable “constraints” on North Korea’s missile exports.
ascendancy.6 Kim Dae Jung and his Cabinet have expressed pessimism about future
talks being held or bearing much fruit.
Coinciding with the slowdown in inter-Korean dialogue since the spring of 2001,
there have been a growing number of naval and border clashes between the two
Koreas and between North Korea and Japan. Some analysts interpret these incidents
as signs that North Korea is attempting to pressure its neighbors to be more
forthcoming in bilateral talks, and warn of additional provocations from the North in
the future. In the meantime, while Pyongyang’s relations with Seoul, Washington,
and Tokyo have worsened over the past year, North Korea has re-normalized
relations with China and Russia and has established relations with a number of
Western European countries, in an apparent attempt to diversify its diplomatic
Civilian Contacts Continue. Despite the freeze in government-to-
government talks, North-South links between groups and individuals have continued
to expand. This is a marked contrast to earlier thaws (in 1972, 1985, and the early
1990s) in which the governments monopolized cross-border activity. Although no
South Korean firms have made no major direct investments in the North since the
June 2000 summit, a number have taken tentative steps toward building an arms-
length presence in the North. Over one hundred fifty Southern firms now
manufacture goods in the North, primarily on a contract basis.7 Samsung has sought
to take advantage of the North’s interest in information technology by opening a
software center in Beijing using North Korean programmers and by applying to open
an operation in Pyongyang. Outside business circles, grassroots inter-Korean civilian
contacts also have continued to grow. Southern civic groups, for instance, donated
approximately 73 billion won (over $56 million at $1= 1,300 won) in the first 11
months of 2001, compared with over 40 billion won (over $30 million) for all of
Criticism of the Sunshine Policy in South Korea. Within South Korea,
criticism of President Kim’s sunshine policy – particularly from the opposition Grand
National Party (GNP) – has mounted over the past year, particularly as North Korea
put a halt to the dialogue. The tension peaked in August and September 2001, when
a controversial visit to Pyongyang by South Korean unification activists led to the
forced resignation of the President Kim’s Unification Minister, the collapse of his
ruling coalition, and his party’s loss of control over the National Assembly. The
GNP’s concerns have been less over the logic of the policy – the party generally has
come to support some form of engagement with North Korea – than over its9
implementation. The GNP leadership has charged President Kim with failing to insist
on reciprocity from Pyongyang in exchange for Seoul’s concessions and with ignoring
6 Aidan Foster-Carter, “Back on Track?” Comparative Connections, 3rd Quarter 2001,
available at [http://www.csis.org/pacfor/ccejournal.html].
7 Aidan Foster-Carter, “States Stalled: Business as Usual?” Comparative Connections, 2nd
Quarter 2001, available at [http://www.csis.org/pacfor/ccejournal.html].
8 Korea Times, December 14, 2001 and Yonhap, December 22, 2001.
9 Lee Hoi-Chang’s speech to the American Enterprise Institute, September 15, 1999.
important issues such as confidence-building measures and the several hundred South
Korean POWs and kidnaping victims said to remain in the North. The GNP also has
criticized Kim for failing to adequately consult with the National Assembly – in which
the GNP is the largest party – and for trying to silence domestic criticism of North
Korea.10 President Kim’s domestic support has been further weakened by the
widespread perception that he is a “lame duck.” By law, South Korean presidents can
serve only one five-year term, and jockeying has already begun for presidential
elections in December 2002.
The slowing of South Korea’s economy in 2001 has added weight to the GNP’s
warnings that the government should avoid providing North Korea with significant
economic assistance. After recording an 8.8% growth rate in 2000, the economy is
expected to have grown by less than 3% in 2001. The slowdown also has accentuated
the serious financial difficulties of the Hyundai conglomerate, particularly its North
Korean business ventures, which have been the economic flagships of Kim Dae Jung’s
sunshine policy. Inter-Korean trade in the first 11 months of 2001 fell 9.3% year on
year to $363 million.
What are North Korea’s Intentions? With the apparent – and perhaps
temporary – collapse of Kim Dae Jung’s sunshine policy, South Korea’s ability to take
the initiative on peninsular matters is limited. Thus, the future course of inter-Korean
relations revolves to an even greater degree around North Korea’s intentions, which
remain opaque. In the aftermath of the June 2000 summit, many wondered whether
Pyongyang’s diplomatic opening was a sign that Kim Jong-il had changed his stripes,
deciding to adopt a more cooperative posture and possibly reform the faltering North
Korean economy. Others warned that the North’s actions were merely tactics to
obtain economic concessions from South Korea and its allies, thereby propping up
North Korea’s economy, rearming its deteriorating conventional military, and
preserving the power of its communist elite. Another possibility is that the North
Korean ruling elite is divided, with some reformers favoring a greater openness, and
other interests – such as the Korean People’s Army – opposing it. In any event, thus
far, North Korea has largely succeeded in steering the North-South dialogue toward
discussions over economic assistance and away from discussions over military
confidence-building measures and internal economic reforms.
10 For instance, Hwang Jang Yop, the highest-ranking North Korean ever to defect to South
Korea, has accused the South Korean government of threatening to evict him from a protected
“safe house” in order to stop him from criticizing North Korea and Kim Dae Jung’s sunshine
policy. See Yonhap, November 23, 2000, and “The Moral Cost of Engagement,” Far Eastern
Economic Review, December 28, 2000.
3/9/00- Kim Dae Jung’s “Berlin Declaration.” In a speech in Berlin, ROK
President Kim signaled Seoul’s interest in extending economic
assistance to North Korea, in exchange for reopening an official
Korean summit in June.
5/29-31/00 -DPRK leader Kim Jong-il makes a secret visit to Beijing, meeting with
top Chinese leaders.
6/13-15/00 - The North-South summit, Pyongyang, between ROK President Kim
Dae Jung (shown at left in photo) and DPRK leader Kim Jong-il. The
two leaders sign a vaguely worded joint declaration, which indicates
their agreement to work toward unification, exchange visits by
members of divided families around August 15, 2000, repatriate
DPRK prisoners in the ROK who have completed their jail terms,
work for “a balanced development” of both countries’ economies,
hold a dialogue between the two governments at an early date, and
increase social and cultural exchanges. The declaration also mentions
that Kim Jong-il accepted Kim Dae Jung’s invitation to visit Seoul “at
an appropriate time.” After returning to South Korea, Kim Dae Jung
states that Kim Jong-il verbally agreed that even if North-South
tensions continued to be reduced, U.S. troops should remain in South
Korea to help preserve regional and peninsular stability. For details,
see CRS Report RL30188, South Korea’s “Sunshine Policy.”
6/19/00- The Clinton Administration eases economic sanctions imposed on
North Korea since its invasion of South Korea in 1950.
ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in Bangkok, the first time the
DPRK had been invited to the ARF. The ministers issue a joint press
release agreeing to: hold ministerial-level talks starting August 29,
hold family reunions, reopen liaison offices in Panmunjon, and begin
discussing the reopening of severed railway links.
8/11/00-Major ROK media publishers meet with Kim Jong-il and the state-run
North Korean press in Pyongyang. The publishers agree on a plan of
mutual coverage, including a pledge to “avoid confrontation . . . and
11 Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
8/15/00-The North-South Liaison office in Panmunjon, in the Demilitarized
Zone (DMZ), reopened. It had been closed by the DPRK in 1996.
8/15/00-200 families reunited. 100 ROK citizens travel to Pyongyang. 100
DPRK citizens travel to Seoul.
8/23/00-Hyundai and the DPRK reach agreement to begin construction of an
industrial park in Kaesong, a DPRK town near the DMZ. Surveying
is to begin in September 2000 and construction is to begin in
8/29-9/1/00 - 2nd Interministerial Meetings, in Pyongyang. The ministers issue a
round of family reunions is to held by year-end; the two Red Crosses
are to begin discussing the exchange of letters among divided families;
discussions will begin in September over holding military-to-military
meetings; and working level meetings will begin on economic
cooperation and on reconnecting the Seoul-Shinuiju railroad. The
next round of ministerial talks is scheduled for Sept. 27-30. The
DPRK asked for 1 million tons of food aid. The end of talks are
delayed a day, reportedly due to DPRK opposition to military
confidence building measures, such as establishing a hotline and
holding regular military-to-military talks. The communique did not
mention a reciprocal visit to Seoul by Kim Jong-il. Prior to the
meetings, there had been speculation that such a trip would take place
in Nov. 2000.
9/12/00- The ROK and DPRK announce that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il will
visit Seoul in the spring of 2001. The announcement is made during
a meeting of key aides to both leaders. The aides sign a joint
communique stating that working level economic talks will open on
September 25, defense ministers will meet, and a joint flood control
survey of the Imjin River will be completed within the year.
9/17/00-ROK President Kim’s party announces its intention to revise ROK’s
National Security Law, which bans praise of and unauthorized
contacts with DPRK.
railroad. The ROK’s main opposition party boycotts the event.
9/19-23/00 - Red Cross negotiators meet and agree to two more family reunions
(Nov. 2-5 and Dec. 5-7, 2000) for 100 people from each side in Seoul
and Pyongyang, and to allow 300 people from each Korea to
exchange letters with separated families, which would be the 1st ever
inter-Korean mail links.
9/25-26/00 - 1st-ever inter-Korean defense ministerial meeting, on Cheju Island
(ROK). In a joint statement, the two ministers agree to ease military
tensions so as to “completely eliminate” the danger of war on the
Korean peninsula. To allow the relinking of inter-Korean railroads
and highways through the DMZ, the defense ministers agree to begin
clearing mines and create an area of joint control in the DMZ.
Another round of ministerial talks is scheduled for Nov. 2000, and a
round of working level talks on the railroad is scheduled for October
2000. The DPRK did not respond to the ROK’s confidence-building
proposals, which included: establishing joint military committees at the
working and upper levels, establishing a military hot line, and agreeing
to observation and advanced notification of troop movements and
exercises. Reportedly, the DPRK defense minister called on the U.S.
to withdraw its troops from South Korea.
9/25-26/00 - 1st working level economic meeting, in Seoul, makes progress on
investment and double taxation agreements. ROK agrees to give
DPRK 500,000 tons of food aid.
9/27-10/1/00-3rd Interministerial talks, on Cheju Island (ROK), end without much
substantive progress. In a joint communique, the two Koreas agree
to set up a joint economic commission and to increased social and
academic exchanges. Reportedly, the DPRK requested a slowdown
in the pace of inter-Korean projects.
10/1/00- ROK President Kim proposes a “2+2" peace initiative, whereby the
ROK and DPRK would sign a peace agreement that would later be
endorsed and guaranteed by U.S. and China.
10/6/00-The U.S. and DPRK sign a statement in which the DPRK declares its
opposition to all forms of terrorism.
travels to Washington, the first visit to the U.S. by a high-level DPRK
official. The two sides sign a joint communique, which states that
“there are a variety of available means, including the four-party talks”
for forging permanent peace arrangements, a move that the ROK
hailed as a sign that North Korea might support President Kim’s 2+2
peace treaty initiative, thereby abandoning its policy of negotiating a
peace treaty only with the U.S.
10/18/00-DPRK postpones scheduled 2nd round working level economic
meetings due to its “internal situation.”
10/31/00-DPRK-Japan normalization talks. DPRK rejects Japan’s proposal to
offer it “economic aid” rather than financial “compensation” for the
11/6/00- In talks with the United Nations Command (UNC) over opening the
DMZ to inter-Korean rail and roads, the DPRK rejects a UNC
proposal to transfer negotiating authority from the UNC to the ROK.
11/8-11/00 -2nd round working level economic meeting, in the DPRK, which had
been scheduled for Oct. 18. Four agreements are signed, extending
protection to foreign investors, ending double taxation, designating
local banks to allow direct financial transactions, and establishing a
bilateral body to settle potential trade disputes. Officials estimate that
the agreements, which need to be ratified at the ministerial level and
then by legislatures, could take 1-3 years before they go into effect.
During the visit, ROK negotiators inspect a DPRK food aid
distribution center, the first time the DPRK opens its distribution
infrastructure to ROK inspection. The DPRK also provides a detailed
accounting of food aid distribution.
11/16/00- The DPRK and the United Nations Command in Korea agree that
ROK can have administrative authority over the southern portions of
the DMZ, where an inter-Korean railroad and highway are to be built.
11/28/00-In a speech in Singapore, ROK President Kim calls for reopening the
Four Party talks among the two Koreas, the United States, and China
as a vehicle to negotiate a peace agreement. The talks, which opened
in 1997, had been stalled since the fall of 1999.
11/28/00-1st working level military talks to discuss administering the
construction of inter-Korean railroad and road through the DMZ.
11/30/00-2nd round of defense minister talks, scheduled for Nov 2000, do not
11/30-12/2/002nd round of family reunions of 100 people from each side. The
reunions, originally scheduled for early November, are a lower keyst
affair than the 1 round in August, in part due to protests in the ROK
against the cost of the 1st reunion. The reunions proceed less
smoothly than the 1st round: the DPRK lashes out at the head of the
ROK Red Cross for his criticism of the reunion process, and the
DPRK detains an ROK reporter who had criticized the DPRK. The
two Red Crosses agree that letters between families will be allowed
at a future date.
12/5/00- 3rd round family reunions, originally scheduled for this date, are
12/11/00- ROK President Kim says he expects to sign a far-reaching pact if
DPRK leader Kim Jong-il visits Seoul in the spring of 2001.
12/12/00- 2nd round working level military talks, in the DMZ, produce a
consensus on general principles for the repair of North-South railroads
and construction of North-South roads in the DMZ. The two sides
begin to draft common regulations for emergencies or accidental
the two sides announce: the establishment of an economic cooperation
panel to meet later in December; a 3rd round of family reunions to be
held in Feb. 2001 and a 5th ministerial level meeting to be held in
March; work would begin on a DPRK proposal to open its East Sea
waters to ROK fishermen. The talks are more contentious than
previous rounds. As a prerequisite for more dialogue, the DPRK
demands that the ROK agree to provide 500,000 kw of electricity.
The ROK refuses, convincing the DPRK to defer the issue to
economic cooperation panel meeting. The DPRK protests an ROK
Defense White Paper identifying DPRK as “the main enemy,” pending
a substantive reduction of the DPRK military threat.
12/21/00- 3rd Round working level military talks, in the DMZ, produces no
significant results. The DPRK did not respond to ROK proposals for
detailed safeguards to prevent accidental clashes between the two
militaries, for a hotline be set up to link the two militaries, and for the
DPRK to prevent its ships from crossing the Northern Limit Line
(NLL), the marine extension of the DMZ that the DPRK has not
accepted. The DPRK again expressed dissatisfaction about being
designated as the ROK’s main enemy in the ROK’s Defense White
12/28/00- Hoped-for military talks don’t materialize after the DPRK fails to
respond to an ROK proposal for more talks.
12/28-31/00- 1st South-North economic cooperation promotion committee
meeting, in Pyongyang. The two sides agree to prepare a joint
inspection of the DPRK’s energy situation in January and to discuss
joint flood control surveys of the Imjin River, which runs through the
DMZ. The talks stalled at one point when the DPRK demanded that
the ROK agree to provide electricity before other issues were
resolved. A second meeting is scheduled for Feb. 6-8, 2001 in Seoul.
1/1/01- In joint New Year’s editorials, three official DPRK newspapers state
that North Korea will place top priority on rebuilding its economy.
1/1/01 - North Korean short-wave radio halts the broadcast of random
numbers, which are believed to be coded instructions to spies in South
1/6/01- Radio Pyongyang, the DPRK’s official station, broadcasts a lecture on
Korean unification that calls for a DPRK-U.S. peace treaty but omits
any mention of a DPRK-ROK treaty.
1/8/01 - The ROK government delivers a draft inter-Korean agreement on a
number of key issues to the DPRK Monday, which includes the
provision of electricity, measures to prevent flooding along the Imjin
River, joint-efforts to construct rail and road links as well as an
industrial complex in Kaesong, the DPRK. An ROK Finance and
Economy Ministry official says the document also sets the timing for
a special team to determine the extent of DPRK’s power shortages
and for a joint team of experts to survey the Imjin River.
1/13/01 - North Korea’s Fisheries Ministry proposes inter-Korean talks on a
1/15/01- Kim Jong-il, accompanied by senior military officials, travels to
China. Economic issues dominate his trip, which includes a visit to
joint venture plants and an economic development zone in Shanghai.
Reportedly, during a meeting with CCP President Jiang, Kim endorsed
China’s economic reforms. Kim had last visited Shanghai in 1983,
when the city was just beginning its economic reforms, and had
criticized the reforms for ideological “revisionism.”
1/17/01 - The ROK’s foreign minister announces that the U.S. and ROK have
reached an agreement allowing the ROK to deploy missiles with a 300
km. (187 mile) range, nearly double the previous 180 km. limit set by
a 1979 bilateral agreement.
1/17/01 - At an ROK National Security Council meeting, President Kim sets
three basic unification and security guidelines: improving
inter-Korean reconciliation and cooperation, particularly on economic
matters; establishing an inter-Korean peace regime; and maintaining
a steadfast security posture.
changes in the North-South relationship because it appears that Kim
Jong-il is ready to implement significant economic reforms
1/21-23/01- Chinese press accounts report that Kim Jong-il visited light industrial
factories in the North Korea city of Shinuiju, near the Chinese border,
and urged workers to abandon “old thinking” in order to adopt
modern technology and increase production.
1/24/01 - In Tokyo, Kofi Annan says he hopes to visit North Korea in the first
half of 2001.
1/25/01- The South Korean government decides to send 100,000 tons of corn
to North Korea through the World Food Program. In 2000, Seoul
sent 600,000 tons of corn to the North.
Reportedly, few specifics are discussed. Bush issues a vague pledge
to coordinate closely with South Korea and to help the two Koreas
1/29/01- Working level meeting on North Korea’s electricity situation (in
Kaesong, North Korea) delayed per Pyongyang’s request.
1/29-31/01 - At the 3rd Round of Red Cross Talks (in Mt. Kumgang, DPRK), the
two sides issue a six-point agreement scheduling a third round family
reunions on February 26, a letter exchange beginning March 15, and
a fourth round of meetings from April 3-5 in a to-be-determined
location. No agreement was reached on the South’s primary goal at
the meeting - establishing a permanent reunion facility. ROK
proposed 2 temporary centers, in Mt. Kumgang and in Panmunjon.
North Korea reportedly insisted on Mt. Kumgang. Additionally,
South Korea proposed periodical or regular letter exchanges and an
increased number of families for such exchanges.
1/30/01 - Hyundai Asan sends half of its $12 million January 2001 payment to
the DPRK, a violation of contract. The company blames snowballing
losses from the Mt. Kumgang venture, estimated to reach 488 billion
won ($391 million).
1/31/01 - At a 4th round of working level military talks (Panmunjon) on
reconnecting the Seoul-Shinuiju railroad in the DMZ, the two sides
near agreement on joint safety regulations aimed to help avert possible
accidental clashes within the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). Landmine
clearance work within the DMZ is likely to begin in March.
Reportedly, the group will stay for about two weeks to inspect the
DPRK’s agricultural and energy industries, in preparation for a
possible technical assistance program in the future.
2/7/01 - In the first high-level meeting between the Bush and Kim
administrations, Secretary of State Colin Powell and ROK Foreign
Minister Lee Joung-binn confer over breakfast in Washington and
issue a joint statement affirming the Bush Administration’s general
support for ROK’s policy of reconciliation and cooperation with the
North. The meeting is notably devoid of much discussion of details,
however, and Powell reportedly makes it clear that there will no
development in relations between Washington and Pyongyang unless
progress is made in discussions over the DPRK’s missile program.
2/7-2/10/01 - Working level meetings on North Korea’s electricity situation
(Pyongyang) produces no results. ROK repeats its proposal that the
two Koreas form a joint survey team, to which North Korea responds
that it would only agree to more limited surveys if the South first
supplies 500,000 kilowatts of electricity as soon as possible. No
follow-up meeting is scheduled, though South Korean officials
propose a meeting in Seoul in early March.
2/8/01 - 5th working level military meeting, at which the North Korea and
ROK militaries reach a 41-point agreement on arrangements to
reconnect the Seoul-Shinuiju railway inside the DMZ. The agreement
stipulates that: the two sides will two checkpoints on either side of the
military demarcation line (MDL); no military facilities will be allowed
in the area; the removal of landmines and explosives in the area will be
discussed a week before the de-mining work starts and the two sides
will jointly take part in it; a hotline between the military authorities
will be set up; to protect the ecosystem within the Demilitarized Zone,
the two sides agreed to construct an eco-bridge. Pyongyang agrees
to send the document to the South on Feb. 12, after it was signed by
its People’s Armed Forces Minister, Kim Il-chol. DPRK delegates
declared there would be no more defense ministers’ meetings between
the two sides unless the ROK defense white paper is revised to
remove the designation of the DPRK as the ROK’s “principal enemy.”
2/11/01 - North Korea notifies ROK that it will delay the conveyance of the
DMZ agreement on railroad construction due to “administrative
problems.” A new delivery date is not mentioned. Pyongyang earlier
had agreed to send the document to the South on Feb. 12, after it was
signed by its People’s Armed Forces Minister, Kim Il-chol.
2/12/01 - Lim Dong-won, ROK director general of the National Intelligence
Service (NIS) and architect of DJ’s sunshine policy, arrives in the U.S.
for a “secret” week-long visit. He meets with Secretary of State Colin
Powell, CIA director George Tenet and National Security Advisor
Condoleezza Rice, FBI Director Louis Freeh, and many private
players on Asian security. Reportedly, Lim tells U.S. officials that
President Kim will seek a vague declaration of peace, rather than a
formal peace treaty, in a future summit with Kim Jong-il. Upon his
return to the ROK, Lim acknowledges to reporters that a conceptual
gap exists between Seoul and Washington over how to deal with
North Korea had demanded this payment as precondition for
considering Hyundai’s request to reschedule payments.
late February 2nd Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation Promotion Committee
meeting is postponed.
2/20/01 - Hyundai Asan chairman Chung Mong-hun goes to DPRK to negotiate
payments for its Mt. Kumgang project with North Korean officials.
The DPRK rejects his proposal to cut the monthly $12 million
payment in half.
2/22/01 - North Korea warns it might scrap a moratorium on long-range missile
tests to protest what it calls a hard-line policy – including possible
revisions of the Agreed Framework – by the Bush administration,
following indications from the Bush Administration that it will review
U.S. policy toward North Korea.
2/22-24/01 - Working level meeting in Pyongyang on joint flood control of Imjin
River makes little progress. Seoul proposes that both sides conduct
field surveys of the area beginning in March and that both sides
exchange weather reports during the summer rainy season beginning
this year. A follow-up meeting is not scheduled.
2/27/01 - Putin - Kim summit in South Korea. The two leaders issue a joint
communique stating that the 1972 Antiballistic Missile Treaty is a
“cornerstone of strategic stability and an important foundation of
international efforts on nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation,”
which many interpret to be a statement of opposition to the U.S.
missile defense program. In the days after the summit, Seoul insists
that it did not intend the communique to represent its position on
missile defense. While in Washington a week later, President Kim
apologizes for the statement, which in retrospect he says should not
have been included.
2/27-3/1/01 - DPRK economic mission arrives in U.S. The mission is composed of
deputy ministers and bureau chiefs of the DPRK’s foreign trade and
finance ministries. In New York City and Washington DC, the
mission visits economic organizations and institutions, computer
companies, and universities. Later report revealed that at a March 2
meeting with the IMF, the officials expressed their desire to join
3/1/2001 - Germany and DPRK establish formal relations. The two sides agreed
to a protocol that permits German diplomats and aid officials freedom
of movement inside North Korea – a first. The protocol also calls for
establishing a dialogue on human rights and arms proliferation issues.
3/2/01 - In a letter to President Bush, House International Relations
Committee Chair Henry Hyde and two other congressmen urge the
Administration to consider renegotiating the1994 Agreed Framework,
specifically by providing the DPRK with conventional power plants
rather than nuclear facilities.
3/6/01 - Secretary of State Colin Powell states that the U.S. plans to pick up
where Clinton left off in missile talks with North Korea.
3/7/01 - The first Bush-Kim summit (in Washington), a meeting both leaders
describe as a “frank and honest” exchange of views. Although
expressing his support for President Kim’s sunshine policy, President
Bush rebuffed Kim’s desire for the U.S. to continue President
Clinton’s policy toward North Korea. Expressing his “skepticism”
about the ability of outsiders to verify agreements with DPRK, Bush
indicated that his Administration was conducting a comprehensive
review of U.S. policy toward North Korea. President Kim reportedly
tries to convince Bush to adopt a broad-based “comprehensive”
reciprocity rather than a tit-for-tat strict reciprocity toward the North.
In a related move, Secretary of State Powell, backing away from his
statements the previous day, denies that a resumption U.S.-DPRK
negotiations is imminent.
3/8/01 - In a speech in Washington the day after his meeting with President
Bush, President Kim modifies his sunshine policy in two ways.
First, backing away from his previously stated goal of pushing for an
inter-Korean peace agreement, Kim says he instead would focus on
reactivating an inter-Korean non-aggression pact signed in 1992.
Second, Kim proposes that U.S. and South Korean adopt a North
Korea policy of “comprehensive reciprocity,” in which Washington
and Seoul would give Pyongyang economic assistance, a promise not
to strike first against the Communist regime, and support the North’s
bids to join global organizations in return for the North simultaneously
promising to observe the 1994 Agreed Framework, scrapping its
missile program, and declaring non-aggression against the South.
This is a departure from Kim’s previous “flexible reciprocity”
approach, in which many benefits to the North were to precede the
3/13/01 - Henry Hyde, chairman of the House International Relations
Committee, argues in a speech that North Korea has violated the 1994
Agreed Framework (AF) because it has not provided proof that it has
discontinued its nuclear program. Hyde also calls on the U.S. to
renegotiate the AF and backs President Bush’s insistence on increased
verification of the DPRK’s nuclear program.
3/13/01 - 5th inter-ministerial talks (in Seoul) are postponed by DPRK hours
before the meeting is to take place. Items on the ROK’s agenda
include briefing the DPRK on the Kim-Bush summit, scheduling Kim
Jong-il’s visit to ROK, and discussing military confidence building
ever private letters to cross the DMZ. The letters are permitted to
include up to three pages and two photos. Cash and gifts are not
permitted. Replies are not yet allowed, and the two countries’ Red
Crosses are due to discuss procedures for replies at their next Red
Cross meeting, scheduled for April 3-5, 2001.
3/21/01 - Chung Ju-yung, founder of Hyundai Group, dies. DPRK leader Kim
Jong- il sends a telegram to the family expressing his “deep
condolences” over Chung’s death. The DPRK also sends a 4-person
delegation to Chung’s funeral.
3/24/01 - The EU announces that Swedish Prime Minister Goeran Persson will
lead a delegation to Seoul and Pyongyang – perhaps as early as May
– for talks with the leaders of the DPRK and the ROK. Swedish
Foreign Minister Anna Lindh states, “It’s becoming clear that the new
U.S. administration wants to take a more hard-line approach toward
North Korea. That means that Europe must step in to help reduce
tension between the two Koreas....”
3/26/01 - Hyundai Asan and DPRK reportedly agree to halve Hyundai’s $12
million monthly payment to DPRK for Mt. Kumgang venture.
Shinuiju railroad because North Korea still has not signed or ratified
the January 2001 agreement on construction procedures in the DMZ.
3/26/01 - President Kim shuffles the ROK foreign policy team. Lim Dong-won
goes from the National Intelligence Service head to Unification
Minister. Former Ambassador to the U.S., Han Seung-soo, becomes
Foreign Minister. The new Defense Minister, Kim Dong-shin, has
conservative ties. The move is widely interpreted as an attempt by
President Kim to shore up his sinking popularity, and to improve
relations with the United States.
3/26/01 - Japan, the United States and South Korea hold talks in Seoul to
coordinate their policy toward Pyongyang. Reportedly, there are few
detailed discussions over DPRK strategies because the U.S. is still
reviewing its policy. The next Trilateral Coordination Group (TCOG)
meeting is scheduled for May. In bilateral talks, ROK pushes the U.S.
to accept the principle of “comprehensive reciprocity” toward DPRK.
3/28/01 - The DPRK rejects an ROK proposal to field an inter-Korean ping
pong team for the 46th World Table Tennis Championships in Osaka,
Japan in late April.
arrives in South Korea to play professional football for Ulsan
Hyundai. Ryang also plays for the DPRK national team.
3/28/01 - General Thomas Schwartz, the commander of the Combined Forces
Command in the ROK, testifies before the Senate’s Armed Services
Committee that the DPRK military is becoming larger, closer and
more lethal day by day.
3/28/01 - With North Korea’s tacit permission, an ROK navy ship travels two
miles into DPRK waters to rescue the crew of a sinking Cambodian
merchant ship. The ROK ship reportedly notified the North, but
received no response.
4/3-4/5 - 4th Round Red Cross are postponed when DPRK doesn’t respond
to a March 22 ROK proposal for the venue to be Seoul.
4/9/01 - North Korean patrol boats briefly enter ROK waters, on the southern
side of the Northern Limit Line that is the de-facto border in the
Yellow Sea. The boats, which ostensibly are guiding North Korean
fishing vessels, retreat after being challenged by ROK naval ships.
The incident is repeated on April 10. Similar incidents occurred on
February 5 and March 3.
4/9/01 - Hyundai announces the temporary halving of its Mt. Kumgang tours
4/11/01- The DPRK denies permission for 63 ROK tourists born in DPRK to
travel to Mt. Kumgang, the first such denial for Hyundai’s Mt.
4/15/01 - The first-ever marathon in Pyongyang is held, with 600 North Korean
and 45 foreign runners. The event is partially funded by foreign
sponsorship and commercial advertising, also firsts.
however, reportedly because DPRK and Russia cannot agree on a
military and economic aid package to DPRK. Reportedly, Russian
President Putin turns down Kim’s request for new Russian tanks,
MIG-29 fighters, and crude oil.
4/18/01 - The ROK Unification Ministry grants a license to Kook Yang
Shipping Co. to run one freighter along the Inchon (ROK) - Nampo
(DPRK) route at least three times a month for six months. Until
now, only one company (Hansung) possessed a license to run the
route on a regular basis, and in November 2000 the DPRK denied
entry of ships from Hansung to its harbor, citing their high costs,
effectively shutting down maritime trade.
4/19/01 - ROK Foreign Minister Han Seung-soo urges the U.S. to resume talks
soon with the DPRK, saying that ROK-DPRK ties were suffering
from the “uncertainties” of the U.S. policy review.
4/24/01 - Hyundai’s Chung Mong-hun visits DPRK to try to resolve Hyundai
Mt. Kumgang financial problems.
4/26/01-The ROK Unification Ministry announces that it will provide 200,000
tons (worth approximately $52 million) in fertilizer to the DPRK. The
first shipment is scheduled for May 2.
4/27/01 -The Russian and DPRK Defense Ministries sign an agreement to
upgrade the DPRK’s weapons supplied during the Soviet era.
4/27/01-ROK Unification Minister Lim Dong-won tells a National Assembly
committee that relinking the Seoul-Shinuiju railroad will be difficult
to achieve in 2001 because the DPRK has halted work on the project.
4/30/01-The U.S. State Department, in its annual “Patterns of Global
Terrorism” report, continued to designate North Korea as a state
sponsor of terrorism.
5/2-4/01 - Kim Jong-il tells a visiting European Union delegation that the DPRK
will maintain a moratorium on the testing of long-range missiles until
2003 and that he will travel to South Korea for a reciprocal visit at an
undetermined future date. Kim does not renounce his right to export
missile technology, however. Later in May, in talks with a U.S.
scholar, DPRK Foreign Minister Paek Nam Sun reportedly says that
Kim Jong-il’s missile moratorium commitment is predicated on signs
from the Bush administration that it was interested in better relations.
5/10/01-Reports emerge that the DPRK has pulled its equipment and men
from the construction site meant to reconnect the Seoul-Shinuiju
railroad. The men and equipment had been deployed in September
5/16/01 -The DPRK’s Korean Central News Agency releases a report on the
Light-Water Reactor Project stating that “The failure by the U.S. to
live up to its obligation” to facilitate construction by 2003 could
“possibly drive us to respond to it with abandoning” the Agreed
5/22/01 -Hyundai Asan President Kim Yoon-kyu visits the DPRK for four days
beginning Tuesday to ask the DPRK to halve the $12 million monthly
fee Hyundai pays Pyongyang for its money-losing Mt. Kumgang
tourism project. Reportedly, little progress is made in talks, though
Kim says the two sides reach an agreement to begin – at an
undetermined date – overland tours to Mt. Kumgang.
5/22-26/01 -An International Atomic Energy Agency inspection meeting in the
DPRK reportedly ends with no results other than the scheduling of
the next meeting in October. The team had sought to reopen
negotiations with Pyongyang over conducting a far-reaching
inspection of the DPRK’s nuclear site at Yongbyon, including an
analysis of spent fuel rods and plutonium waste to determine how
much weapons-grade plutonium may have been extracted before
5/24/01-Stating that inter-Korean talks have “temporarily stalled,” ROK
President Kim Dae-jung publicly asks Kim Jong-il to mark the first
anniversary of the June 2000 ROK-DPRK summit by committing to
a reciprocal visit. The ROK also announces there will not be a joint
North-South celebration of the first anniversary of the June 2000
5/27/01-A DPRK patrol boat crosses the Northern Limit Line (NLL - see
meeting since Bush’s inauguration, the U.S. expresses its intention to
resume talks with the DPRK once the Bush Administration completes
its policy review. The talks will be based on the North’s ability to
verify any agreements reached.
5/29/01-An ROK civilian agricultural mission visits the DPRK for a week to
discuss cooperative agricultural projects.
6/2/01-Three DPRK commercial vessels pass between Cheju Island and
South Korea, well into the ROK’s territorial waters. The ships are
confronted by ROK naval patrols. Ignoring repeated warnings, one
crosses the Northern Limit Line (NLL - see 12/21/00). The other two
ships return to international waters. The ROK navy apparently does
not fire on the vessels, causing a political row in Seoul, particularly
after radio transcripts of the exchange are leaked to the press.
6/5/01 -Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) head
Charles Kartman arrives in Seoul for a 3-day visit.
6/6/01-The Bush Administration announces it has completed its review
of U.S. DPRK policy. The U.S. will offer the DPRK a further lifting
of U.S. sanctions, assistance to the North Korean people (presumably
food aid), and “other political steps” if the North agrees to 1) start to
take serious, verifiable steps to reduce the conventional weapons
threat to the South, 2) “improved implementation” of the ‘94
Framework, and 3) verifiable “constraints” on North Korea’s missile
6/7/01-Following a meeting with ROK Foreign Minister Han Seung-soo, in
Washington, Secretary of State Colin Powell states “We are not
setting any preconditions right now,” in reopening talks with the
Kumgang financial problems, in which Hyundai will pay $22 million
in back payments and the DPRK will open an overland route to the
mountain. The overdue fees are paid on July 2. Future fees will not
be fixed, but will vary according to the number of visitors to the site.
6/13/01-Jack Pritchard, U.S. special envoy for Korean Peace talks, meet with
DPRK U.N. ambassador Li Hyong Chol in New York to make
arrangements for bilateral talks.
6/13/01-A Singapore-bound DPRK cargo vessel, the Nampo 2, crosses the
Northern Limit Line (NLL) into Southern waters in the East Sea
before heading to open seas in response to an ROK navy warning.
6/14/01-A DPRK commercial vessel, the Nampo-ho, carrying bicycles from
Japan to the North crosses the Northern Limit Line, well outside the
ROK’s territorial waters. It is not challenged.
6/14-16/01 -At Mt. Kumgang, several hundred Koreans from Northern and
Southern NGOs hold a semi-official celebration of the first anniversary
of the inter-Korean summit.
6/15/01-A DPRK vessel, Taedonggang, sailing toward the Northern Limit
Line (NLL) in the Sea of Japan heads toward open seas after receiving
a warning from the ROK Navy.
6/16/01-Haegumgang Hotel, a floating lodge built to accommodate tourists at
Mount Kumgang, is shut down by its owner, Hyundai Merchant
6/16/01 -ROK Defense Minister Kim Dong-shin begins a week-long trip in the
U.S., during which he reportedly obtains an agreement on a division
of roles in talks with the DPRK, wherein the U.S. will focus on the
missile issue, the IAEA will handle the nuclear issue, and the ROK
will focus on the conventional weapons issue.
6/18/01-A DPRK Foreign Ministry spokesman states that U.S.-DPRK talks
should begin by discussing U.S. compensation to the DPRK for
economic losses suffered as a result of delays in the building of two
light-water reactors in the DPRK. The U.S. rejects placing this matter
at the top of the agenda.
6/19/01-South Korea calls for a shipping pact with North Korea to establish
rules of engagement and a bilateral consultative body.
6/19/01-The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says that it cannot
verify that the DPRK is not diverting nuclear material for military
purposes because IAEA inspectors have not been given sufficient
6/20/01-Stating that “tourism cannot be differentiated from politics and the
economy,” the state-run Korea National Tourist Organization
(KNTO) agrees to enter into a partnership with Hyundai Asan, in
order to bail out Hyundai’s troubled North Korean tourism project.
KNTO is expected to invest up to 100 billion won ($77 million) for
marketing and transport to North Korea’s scenic Kumgang Mountain
resort. Sources also say that the KNTO will be paying $22 million to
acquire Hyundai Asan-owned hotels and service facilities in the tourist
region, enabling Hyundai Asan to pay the $22 million it owes in tour
fees to North Korea.
6/24/01-ROK naval ships fire warning shots at a North Korean fishing boat
that crossed the Northern Limit Line (NLL) into ROK territorial
waters. The Northern boat retreated.
6/25/01-Anniversary of the start of the Korean War. At a luncheon with
Korean War veterans, ROK President Kim Dae Jung calls for the
signing of North-South peace treaty, to be endorsed by the U.S. and
6/27/01-Samsung says it has requested permission to open an office in
6/29/01-Over DPRK objections, China allows a family of seven North Koreans
holed up in a United Nations refugee office to leave the country,
whereupon they depart for the ROK via Singapore and the
Philippines. The family had sneaked into the Beijing office of the
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and asked for
6/29/01-U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage says that the DPRK
must accept International Atomic Energy Agency nuclear inspections,
and that the ROK should take the lead in negotiating conventional
force reductions. Armitage also indicates that the U.S. is ready to
discuss providing satellite launches with the DPRK in return for the
DPRK giving up the long-range ballistic missile program.
7/3/01 -Citing U.S. intelligence officials, the Washington Times reports that
the DPRK conducted a ground test of a Taepodong-1 missile engine
in the last week of June. Without commenting on the report, U.S.
officials say that flight tests, not ground tests, are prohibited by the
North’s moratorium on missile launches.
7/5-6/01-A Trilateral Coordination Group (TCOG) meeting held on Cheju
7/6/01-A DPRK patrol boat crosses the Northern Limit Line (NLL) in the
Yellow Sea. It retreats after receiving warnings from ROK naval
7/9/01-On a visit to Seoul, the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) first
deputy director, Stanley Fischer, says the IMF is ready to investigate
providing economic aid to North Korea once Seoul and Pyongyang
agree on such a step.
7/11/01-The ROK’s Minister of Commerce, Industry, and Energy says his
ministry is studying ways to send electricity to the DPRK, perhaps in
exchange for coal or minerals.
7/15/01-In New York, U.S. and DPRK working level officials discuss
resuming talks. No results are reported.
7/25/01-In contrast to the previous year, the DPRK Foreign Minister does not
attend the annual ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), reportedly due to
“internal problems.” A lower-level delegate attends instead.
7/26/01-Kim Jong-il begins a 24-day trip to Russia via train. Following
the summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the two countries
issue an eight-point “Moscow Declaration” contending that the
DPRK’s missile program is peaceful, calling for joint efforts to combat
terrorism, and labeling the 1972 Antiballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty a
cornerstone of arms control efforts. The Kremlin also expresses
“understanding” – though not agreement – for the DPRK’s demand
that the United States remove its forces from South Korea. Putin
reportedly urged Kim to visit the ROK. The two sides agree to a plan
to link railroads, under which Russia will provide technical and
financial assistance to modernize the DPRK’s tracks. Also, the two
sides reportedly discuss an arms deal. Throughout the trip, Kim has
virtually no contact with the public or the press.
8/2/01-Hana Program Center, an inter-Korean computer software joint
venture, opens in Dandong, China. Ten South Korean IT engineers
will teach 30 North Korean trainees.
8/13/01-At a press conference in Moscow, U.S. Secretary of State Donald
Rumsfeld says that North Korea possesses enough plutonium to
produce up to five nuclear warheads, and that North Korea is likely
to successfully develop an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
8/15/01-In his Liberation Day speech, Kim Dae Jung says “I hope that
Washington makes its best effort to resume talks with Pyongyang,”
and calls on the North to deal with Washington “more positively.”
8/15/01 -Some members of an 337-member ROK civic delegation to
Pyongyang defy ROK authorities by attending a DPRK Liberation
Day ceremony at a controversial DPRK monument to Kim Il-sung and
the North’s unification policy. The members had promised the ROK
government that they would not visit the monument. Several are
arrested upon their return to the South, and the opposition prepares
a “no confidence” vote in the National Assembly against the Minister
9/2/01-The DPRK’s Committee for Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland
proposes a “fast resumption” of inter-Korean talks. The move comes
on the eve of a parliamentary no-confidence vote against the head
of the ROK Ministry of Unification, Lim Dong-won, the co-
architect of Kim Dae Jung’s “sunshine policy.” On September 3, the
no-confidence motion passes by a vote of 148-119. Kim’s Cabinet
resigns en masse. Kim’s coalition partner, the United Liberal
Democrats, vote for the measure, sundering the coalition and
depriving Kim’s party of its position as ruling party of the
9/3/01-KNTO reportedly refuses to loan Hyundai Asan a further 45 billion
9/3-5/01-Chinese President Jiang Zemin visits the DPRK, symbolically restoring
the DPRK-China relationship that had been strained for nearly a
decade. China promises aid in the form of food, fertilizer, and fuel, as
well as economic support. Reportedly, Jiang encourages Kim Jong-il
to visit Seoul. Kim openly praises China’s economic reforms.
South Korea’s state-run gas corporation, on building a pipeline
through North Korea to carry natural gas from Siberia to the South,
the South Korean government said Monday. Further details of the
study are expected by the end of September, and a route is expected
to be chosen in 2002.
9/11/01-Terrorist attacks against the World Trade Center in New York City
and the Pentagon in Washington, DC, kill over 3,000. President Bush
declares that the U.S. “will make no distinction between the terrorists
who committed these acts and those who harbor them.”
water nuclear reactor site in Shinpo, DPRK.
Koreas agree that a 6 inter-ministerial meeting will be held in
October; a new round of family reunions will be held October 16-18;
the DPRK will begin construction as soon as possible on its portion
of an inter-Korean railroad; a foreign survey team will study flood
control on the Imjin River; and that working level discussions will
begin on building an industrial complex in Kaesong and on an inter-
Korean road along the peninsula’s east coast. The ministers make no
mention of a joint anti-terrorism agreement (as the South had hoped)
following opposition by the North. Reportedly, the ROK turns down
the DPRK’s request for food aid and electricity.
9/18/01-ROK Foreign Minister Han Seung-soo meets with U.S. Secretary of
State Colin Powell in Washington, DC.
9/19-20/01-ROK troops at the DMZ fire warning shots at DPRK soldiers, who
twice reportedly cross the military demarcation line briefly.
9/30/01-South Korea opens the Imjin River Railroad Station, 3.6 miles south
of the inter-Korean border, in a move to prepare for an eventual
reconnection of the inter-Korean Seoul-Shinuiju Railroad line.
Kumgang. No agreements are reached.
10/5/01-At a U.N. General Assembly session, the DPRK expresses regret for
the “tragic” September 11 terrorist attacks and rejects terrorism and
the support of terrorist organizations. The U.S. publishes its annual
terrorism report, in which the Japanese Red Army – members of
which reportedly are sheltered by the DPRK – is removed from the list
of terrorist organizations.
10/11/01-The ROK announces plans to provide 300,000 tons of surplus rice (as
a deferred loan) and 100,000 tons of corn (through the World Food
Program) to the DPRK. The largest ROK opposition party backs the
10/16-18/01 -A 4th round of family reunions is scheduled to take place, but is
postponed when the DPRK unilaterally pulls out on October 12, citing
the ROK’s nation-wide anti-terrorism alert that had mobilized the
South’s military. Also, the DPRK calls on the ROK to continue with
forthcoming bilateral talks, but insists that they be held in the Mt.
Kumgang area due to safety concerns with the South’s military being
on high alert. Seoul rejects the venue site, insisting that the various
talks be held at their originally planned locations in South Korea and
President Bush says, “I’ve got a message to Kim Jong Il: Fulfill your
end of the bargain; you said you would meet – meet.... He won’t
meet with you [the ROK]; he won’t meet with us – which kind of
leads me to believe that perhaps he doesn’t want to meet. So he can
blame it on who he wants, but it’s up to him to make that decision.
Secondly, I think that he needs to earn the trust of the world. I think
he needs to take pressure off of South Korea and off of the DMZ
(Demilitarized Zone)....I know he needs to stop spreading weapons of
mass destruction around the world.”
summit, President Bush says, “I must tell you that I’ve been
disappointed in Kim Jong-il not rising to the occasion, being so
suspicious, so secretive.” After criticizing Bush’s statements, a DPRK
spokesman says that restarting talks can be discussed “when the Bush
Administration at least resumes the position taken at the end of the
10/19/01-Citing the ROK’s military alert, the DPRK on October 18 postpones
scheduled Mt. Kumgang tourism talks, which were to be held at Mt.
Seorak, ROK. The North proposes they be rescheduled for October
10/23-26/01 -Economic talks are scheduled to be held in Pyongyang. Citing the
ROK’s military alert, the DPRK on October 18 postpones the talks
and proposes they be held November 5-6 at Mt. Kumgang.
10/28-31/01 -Scheduled 6th Ministerial talks are postponed until November 9 due
to a DPRK demand that they be held at Mt. Kumgang, not
Reportedly, both sides initially agree on additional family reunions and
inter-Korean talks, but the discussions break down over economic
matters, the location of future meetings, and the North’s anger over
the South’s military alert. ROK Unification Minister Hong Soon-
young says that the two sides differ so widely that it could be a long
time before they resume dialogue.
11/12/01-The DPRK signs two U.N. anti-terror treaties, the 1999 International
Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and the
shin in Hong Kong, U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld says
that the DPRK’s missiles “constitute a very real threat” to the U.S.
retreating after being approached by a ROK interceptor boat.
11/19/01-In a speech at a U.N. biological weapons conference, U.S. Under
Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, John
R. Bolton, says “The United States believes North Korea has a
dedicated, national-level effort to achieve a biological weapons [BW]
capability and that it has developed and produced, and may have
weaponized, BW agents....” In Seoul, Defense Minister Kim Dong-
shin tells the National Assembly that the North has anthrax and
smallpox in its germ warfare arsenal and could easily gear up to
mass-produce the two.
11/23/01-A ROK Unification Ministry official says that Seoul has no immediate
plan to contribute to an expected U.N. appeal for emergency food aid
to the North given the lull in inter-Korean talks.
11/26/01-In answering a questions regarding terrorism, President Bush says
“...if you harbor a terrorist, you’re a terrorist. If you feed a terrorist,
you’re a terrorist. If you develop weapons of mass destruction
[WMD] that you want to terrorize the world, you’ll be held
accountable.” Some interpret the last sentence to mean that the U.S.
has expanded its definition of terrorism. When asked about the
DPRK’s WMD programs, the President says, “we want North Korea
to allow inspectors in....We’ve had that discussion with North Korea.
I made it very clear to North Korea that in order for us to have
relations with them, that we want to know, are they developing
weapons of mass destruction? And they ought to stop proliferating.”
Pyongyang rejects the call for inspections.
11/26/01-Trilateral Coordination Group meeting held in San Francisco. The
three countries release a joint statement urging the DPRK to join the
U.S.-led campaign against terrorism and to address concerns about its
suspected nuclear weapons program.
prompting the first exchange of gunfire at the DMZ since June 1998.
11/28/01-In an interview with Reuters, Kim Dae Jung acknowledges that he
“cannot be fully certain” about whether Kim Jong-il will visit the
12/1-4/01 -Borje Ljunggren, leader of an EU delegation to Pyongyang, says
DPRK officials tell him that Pyongyang is willing join the five
remaining U.N. treaties that it hasn’t signed.12
12/3/01 -The DPRK and KEDO conclude an accord on quality assurance and
warranties for the two light-water reactors (LWRs) being built in the
North by the international consortium. Returning from the DPRK,
KEDO head Charles Kartman says that Pyongyang will not be given
12 The 5 are: the 1997 International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings;
the 1980 Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material; the 1988 Convention for
the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation; the 1988
Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Fixed Platforms Located
on the Continental Shelf; and the 1991 Convention on the Marking of Plastic Explosives for
the Purpose of Detection.
key nuclear components for the LWRs unless the North allows IAEA
inspections and secures power transmission and substation facilities.
“There are no contacts going on with North Korea on resuming our
activity of inspection....”
12/10/01-A meeting between Hyundai Asan and the DPRK’s Asia-Pacific Peace
Committee is scheduled to discuss rejuvenating the Mt. Kumgang tour
projects. The North postpones the meeting.
12/16/01-President Bush announces the U.S. withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic
Missile (ABM) treaty, in order to continue work on a national missile
defense system. The DPRK’s initial response is relatively muted:
“The U.S. announcement of its unilateral withdrawal from the treaty
is arousing great apprehensions from the international community.”
12/17/01-The DPRK says its Red Cross is suspending investigations to locate
ten missing Japanese, whom Tokyo claims were kidnaped by North
Korean agents. The move follows Japanese authorities’ arrest of
leaders of pro-DPRK organizations in Japan on charges of embezzling
money from ethnic Korean credit unions. Japan has made the
kidnaping investigation a requirement for improving relations.
12/17/01-Under KEDO auspices, 20 DPRK officials arrive in the ROK for a
two-week nuclear safety training session. The North had demanded
that the South keep the meeting secret.
12/18-21/01 -North Korean delegates attend an ASEAN Regional Forum working
level meeting in Delhi.
12/19/01-The U.S. announces that it will donate 105,000 metric tons of
soybeans, vegetable oil, wheat, rice and nonfat dry milk to the DPRK,
per the World Food Program’s request.
12/21/01-South Korea’s Unification Minister Hong Soon Young announces that
in early December, Seoul had canceled the South’s military alert that
had been in place since the outset of the war in Afghanistan.
Additionally, U.S. military officials say that 24 F-15 fighters that were
deployed to Korea in October, at the Afghan war’s outset, would
return to their home base in the U.S. Hong also announces that the
ROK will provide 100,000 metric tons of corn to North Korea
through the World Food Program, but will discuss additional food aid
only at inter-Korean talks. The ROK has set aside, but not delivered,
12/22/01-A vessel suspected of being a DPRK ship sinks in China’s exclusive
economic zone after being chased by and exchanging fire with
Japanese coast guard patrol boats.