North Korean Provocative Actions, 1950-2007
North Korean Actions, 1950 - 2007:
Controversy and Issues
Updated April 20, 2007
Knowledge Services Group
North Korean Actions, 1950 - 2007:
Controversy and Issues
This selective list of events provides information on instances of North Korean
provocative actions between June 1950 and 2007. The purpose of this report is to
place current provocations in the context of past actions to better judge their
significance and to determine changes in trends. The term “provocation” is defined
to include armed invasion; border violations; infiltration of armed saboteurs and
spies; hijacking; kidnaping; terrorism (including assassination and bombing);
threats/intimidation against political leaders, media personnel, and institutions;
incitement aimed at the overthrow of the South Korean government; actions
undertaken to impede progress in major negotiations; and tests of ballistic missiles
and nuclear weapons. Information in this report was taken from South Korean and
Western sources, but typically is denied by the North Korean government.
The most intense phase of the provocations was in the latter half of the 1960s,
when North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, or DPRK) staged a
series of limited armed actions against South Korean and U.S. security interests.
Infiltration of armed agents into South Korea was the most frequently mentioned type
of provocation, followed by kidnaping and terrorism (actual and threatened). From
1954 to 1992, North Korea is reported to have infiltrated a total of 3,693 armed
agents into South Korea, with 1967 and 1968 accounting for 20% of the total.
Instances of terrorism were far fewer in number, but they seemed to have had a
continuing negative impact on relations between the two Koreas. Not counting North
Korea’s invasion of South Korea that triggered the Korean War (1950-1953), North
Korea’s major terrorist involvement includes attempted assassinations of President
Park Chung Hee in 1968 and 1974; a 1983 attempt on President Chun Doo Hwan’s
life in a bombing incident in Rangoon, Burma (Myanmar); and a mid-air sabotage
bombing of a South Korean Boeing 707 passenger plane in 1987. Reported
provocations have continued intermittently in recent years, in the form of armed
incursions, kidnapings, and occasional threats to turn the South Korean capital of
Seoul into “a sea of fire” and to silence or tame South Korean critics of North Korea.
Then, in July 2006, North Korea launched seven missiles into the Sea of Japan, and
in October 2006, it tested a nuclear bomb.
For information on current U.S. policy and relations with North Korea, see CRS
Report RL33567, Korea: U.S.-Korean Relations: Issues for Congress, by Larry
Niksch; CRS Report RL33590, North Korea’s Nuclear Weapons Development and
Diplomacy, by Larry Niksch; CRS Report RS21391, North Korea’s Nuclear
Weapons: Latest Developments, by Sharon Squassoni; or CRS Report RL31696,
North Korea: Economic Sanctions, by Dianne Rennack. This report will be updated
as circumstances warrant.
In troduction ......................................................1
Provocative Actions: 1950 - 2007.....................................3
North Korean Actions, 1950-2007:
Controversy and Issues
This selective list of events provides information on reported instances of North
Korean provocations against South Korea, the United States, and Japan between June1
1950 and 2007 and related actions. The term “provocation” is defined to include
armed invasion; border violations; infiltration of armed saboteurs and spies;
hijacking; kidnaping; terrorism (including assassination and bombing);
threat/intimidation against political leaders, media personnel, and institutions;
incitement aimed at the overthrow of the South Korean government; actions
undertaken to impede progress in major negotiations; and tests of ballistic missiles
and nuclear weapons. Reports of North Korean involvement in drug trafficking and
“political and other extrajudicial killing” are outside the purview of this report.2
Information in this report was taken from South Korean and Western sources, but
typically has been denied by the North Korean government.
North Korean provocations remain a congressional concern because of North
Korea’s programs to develop nuclear weapons and missile delivery systems, the
danger of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and the danger that a North
Korean provocation could escalate into hostilities (e.g., if a North Korean fighter
plane collided with a U.S. reconnaissance plane in a manner similar to the 2001
collision off the coast of China of a Chinese fighter plane with a U.S. EP-3
reconnaissance plane). Since President Bush’s inclusion of North Korea (with Iraq
and Iran) as an “axis of evil” in his January 29, 2002 State of the Union address,
1 This report is an expanded, revised, and updated version of a CRS memo on the “History
of North Korean Terrorist Activities,” Mar. 27, 1997, by Rinn-Sup Shinn. For the earlier
version, see Congressional Record, vol. 143, no. 101, July 16, 1997, pp. S7528-S7530. The
provocations listed from 1950 to 2000 in this report were compiled by Rinn-Sup Shinn,
former CRS Analyst in Asian Affairs.
2 For information, see CRS Report RL32167, Drug Trafficking and North Korea: Issues for
U.S. Policy, by Raphael Perl, and CRS Report RL33324, North Korean Counterfeiting of
U.S. Currency, by Raphael Perl and Dick Nanto. The United States Department of State
report, International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, March 2000, VIII 39-41, states
“There have been regular reports from many official and unofficial sources for at least the
last 20 to 30 years that [North Korea] encourages illicit opium cultivation and engages in
trafficking of opiates and other narcotic drugs as a criminal state enterprise. These reports
continued in 1999.” Other documents that may be of interest include 2006 Country Reports
on Human Rights Practices: Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Mar. 6, 2007; “UN
Says N Korea Ships ‘Heavily Involved’ in Drug Trade,” Associated Press, Feb. 23, 2000.
tensions between North Korea and the United States have been rising. This can be
seen in the following list of provocations.
For information on current U.S. policy and relations with North Korea, see CRS
Report RL33567, Korea-U.S. Relations: Issues for Congress, by Larry Niksch; CRS
Report RL33590, North Korea’s Nuclear Weapons Development and Diplomacy, by
Larry Niksch; CRS Report RS21391, North Korea’s Nuclear Weapons: Latest
Developments, by Sharon Squassoni; or CRS Report RL31696, North Korea:
Economic Sanctions, by Dianne Rennack.
The sources used for this list of provocations include South Korean newspapers
(Choson Ilbo, Chungang Ilbo (aka JoongAng Ilbo), Hanguk Ilbo, Hangyore Sinmun,
Korea Herald, Korea Times, Tong-A Ilbo (aka Dong-A Ilbo), and Yonhap News
Service; the North Korean ruling party’s organ (Nodong Sinmun); [North] Korean
Central News Agency (KCNA) wire service reports; and Japanese newspapers (Asahi
Shimbun, Mainichi Shimbun, Sankei Shimbun, and Yomiuri Shimbun) and Kyodo
News Service; U.S. dailies such as the Washington Post, New York Times,
Washington Times, Wall Street Journal, and Los Angeles Times; other sources cited
in the Foreign Broadcast Information Service daily reports; Associated Press, Reuters
wire service reports, and chronologies maintained by Global Insight.
CRS has not attempted to verify independently any of these media reports. This
report will be updated as circumstances warrant.
Provocative Actions: 1950 - 2007
06/1950 — On June 25, North Korean troops launched a full-scale invasion of
South Korea — “an act of aggression” that the United Nations
Temporary Commission on Korea determined was “initiated without
warning and without provocation, in execution of a carefully prepared3
plan.” The Korean War ended in July 1953 with an armistice. Total
U.S. casualties included 33,629 killed in action and 20,617 killed in
non-battle situations for a total of 54,246 deaths, and 103,284
wounded for total U.S. casualties of 157,530. The Republic of Korea
suffered 58,127 combat deaths and 175,743 wounded. Other
countries under the United Nations Command had an estimated 2,800
killed and 10,783 wounded. Neither China nor North Korea has
released numbers for their casualties, but they are estimated at
900,000 for China and 520,000 for North Korea. In addition, the two
Koreas each suffered estimated casualties of one million civilians.4
02/1958 — North Korean agents hijacked a South Korean airliner to Pyongyang
that had been en route from Pusan to Seoul; 1 American pilot, 1
American passenger, 2 West German passengers, and 24 other
passengers were released in early March, but 8 other passengers
remained in the North.
3 The invasion followed North Korea’s proposal on June 19, 1950, that the two Koreas
should “fully implement all measures related to peaceful reunification” of Korea by August
15; and that, to that end, “North Korea was prepared to dispatch a parliamentary delegation
Seoul on June 21, 1950, or to receive a South Korean delegation in Pyongyang” to negotiate
unification procedures. For Independent and Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland
(Documents). [In Korean] Pyongyang: Committee for Peaceful Reunification of the
Fatherland, 1971, p. 22. For a comment that, on June 15, 1950, the North Korean highth
command had actually begun moving troops toward the 38 parallel, see “The Korean War”
by Billy C. Mossman in Encyclopedia of the American Military, vol. II (New York: Charles
Scribner’s Sons, 1994), p. 1027. For a disclosure by a former North Korean ambassador to
the Soviet Union that Kim Il Sung initiated the invasion of the South after consultations with
Stalin, see “Former Official Finally Confesses North’s Ruse Started Korean War,”
Washington Times, July 5, 1990, A9. For a scholarly presentation on Kim Il Sung’s role in
the events leading up to the war, see Sergei N. Goncharov, John W. Lewis, and Xue Litai,
Uncertain Partners: Stalin, Mao, and the Korean War ( Stanford University Press, 1993),
4 A virtually total embargo on U.S. commercial and financial transactions and freezing of
North Korean assets in the United States has been in force since the North Korean invasion
RB-47 reconnaissance plane over the Sea of Japan, about 50 miles
east of the nearest North Korean coast.
01/1968 — A 31-member commando team, disguised as South Korean soldiers
and civilians, infiltrated within striking distance of President Park
Chung Hee’s office/residence complex (The Blue House) before they
were intercepted by South Korean police; 29 commandos were killed
and one committed suicide; one who was captured revealed that their
mission was to kill President Park and other senior government5
officials. Two South Korean policemen and five civilians were
killed by North Korean infiltrators.6
01/1968 — Two days after the commando attempt on President Park, North
Korea attacked and seized the U.S. intelligence ship Pueblo with a
crew of 83 officers and men off Wonsan in international waters
outside the 12-mile limit claimed by North Korea; one American
crewman was killed in the initial attack. The remaining crew were
finally released in December 1968, but not the vessel.
10/1968 — One hundred and thirty sea-borne commandos infiltrated the Ulchin
and Samchok areas on the eastern coast of South Korea; 110 were
killed, 7 were captured, and 13 fled.7
03/1969 — Six North Korean infiltrators killed a South Korean policeman on
guard duty in an eastern coastal area near Chumunjin, Kangwon
5 In a secret meeting with South Korea’s Yi Hu-rak in May 1972, then-head of the Korean
Central Intelligence Agency, then-Premier Kim Il Sung reportedly acknowledged that the
Blue House raid was staged by North Korean “leftwing adventurers,” a raid Kim Il Sung
claimed had nothing to do with “his or Party’s intention” and, in fact, “we did not even
know about it at the time.” See “Top Secret: The Full Text of a Secret Meeting Between
Yi Hu-rak and Kim Il Sung,” Wolgan Choson in Korean [Seoul], January 1991, pp. 352-353.
6 The peak years of infiltration were 1967 and 1968, accounting for 743 armed agents out
of some 3,693 infiltrators between 1954 and 1992. Vantage Point [Seoul], November 1995,
7 North Korea described these armed infiltrators as “South Korean revolutionary armed
guerrillas” engaged in the armed struggle to “drive out the U.S. imperialist aggressors and
to overthrow their lackeys...” KCNA in English, Nov. 8, Dec. 10, and Dec. 28, 1968.
04/1969 — North Korean MiG jet fighters shot down an unarmed U.S. EC-121
reconnaissance plane over the Sea of Japan, about 90 miles off the8
North Korean coast, resulting in the loss of 31 lives.
06/1969 — North Korean agents infiltrated Huksan Island off the west coast; 15
were shot dead.
07/1969 — North Korea unveiled the formal establishment of a United
Revolutionary Party (a.k.a. the Party for Unification and Revolution)
as “an underground revolutionary organization of South Korea.” The
aim of the organization was to overthrow the South Korean
government and replace it with a pro-North Korean “democratic
10/1969 — Four U.S. soldiers were ambushed and killed by North Korean
intruders near the southern boundary of the DMZ.
12/1969 — North Korean agents hijacked a South Korean airliner YS-11 to
Wonsan en route from Kangnung to Seoul with 51 persons aboard; in
February 1970. 39 of the crew and passengers were released. As of
January 2001, the remaining 12 were still detained in North Korea,
along with 454 other South Koreans abducted since 1955, according
to the South Korean government. In March 1999, South Korea’s
National Intelligence Service disclosed the names of 454 South
Koreans being detained in the North; also disclosed was the
identification of 407 South Korean prisoners of war (POWs) in the
North. According to a revised January 2001 estimate by the South
Korean defense ministry, 268 POWs (compared with 351 announced10
in September 2000) were presumed to be still alive in North Korea.
03/1970 — North Korea provided sanctuary to 9 members of a Japanese radical
left-wing “Red Army” group who had hijacked a Japanese airliner to
Pyongyang. (For recent developments, see 10/2000 below.)
8 In response to U.S. appeal for assistance, the Soviet Union dispatched two destroyers for
cooperation with the U.S. in a search for survivors and debris from the downed plane.
9 In July 1985, the United Revolutionary Party was renamed “the [South] Korean National
and Democratic Front,” with a parallel, new emphasis on an intensified campaign against
U.S. military presence in South Korea.
10 Yonhap in English, Mar. 9, 1999. As of September 2000, a total of 16 South Korean
POWs have returned home since 1994, after years of hard labor and re-education in North
Korea. Choson Ilbo (Internet version) in English, Sept. 3, 2000. See also Korea Herald
(Internet version) in English, Sept. 6, 2000; Korea Herald (Internet version) in English, Dec.
9, 2000; Korea Times (internet version) in English, Jan. 28, 2001. According to a revised
estimate by the South Korean defense ministry, 268 POWs were presumed to be still alive
in North Korea. Korea Herald (Internet version) in English, Jan. 29, 2000.
Kyonggido, south of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating the
two Koreas. Five South Korean soldiers were wounded during the
06/1970 — North Korean patrol boats seized a South Korean broadcast vessel
with 20 crew on board off the west coast near the military
01/1971 — A North Korean attempt to hijack a Korean Airline plane F-27 en
route from Seoul to Sokcho on the east coast was foiled.
02/1974 — North Korean patrol vessels sunk two South Korean fishing boats and
detained 30 fishermen.
11/1974 — A first North Korean infiltration tunnel dug across the DMZ was
08/1974 — South Korean President Park Chung Hee’s wife was killed during
another attempt on his life. An agent of a pro-North Korean group in
Japan who entered Seoul disguised as a tourist fired several shots at
Park at a major public function; Park escaped unhurt, but the First
Lady was hit by stray bullets and died several hours later. The agent,
Mun Se-gwang, was tried and convicted, and executed.
09/1975 — Two North Korean infiltrators were intercepted at Kochang, Cholla
Pukdo; one was shot dead. During the encounter, two South Korean
soldiers were killed and two wounded.
06/1976 — Three North Korean infiltrators were shot to death in the eastern
sector south of the DMZ, and the South Korean side suffered the loss
of six soldiers and injuries to six others.
attacked a U.S.-South Korean tree-trimming work team in a neutral
area inside the DMZ at Panmunjom, killing 2 U.S. army officers and
wounding 4 American enlisted men and 5 South Korean soldiers. In
a message to UN Commander General Richard G. Stillwell, North
Korea’s Kim Il Sung described the incident as “regrettable,” without
admitting North Korean responsibility for what the U.S. government
condemned as a “vicious and unprovoked murder” of the officers.
07/1977 — A North Korean attempt to abduct a South Korean couple failed in
02/1978 — South Korean actress Choi Eun-hee and her film-director husband
Shin Sang-ok were kidnaped in Hong Kong and taken to Pyongyang.
(In April 1984, South Korean government officials stated that the
kidnappees were working in North Korea producing propaganda films
that glorified Kim Il Sung and his son, Kim Jong Il). The couple
escaped to South Korea in 1986 while on a filming assignment in
10/1978 — A third North Korean infiltration tunnel dug under the DMZ was
discovered. The tunnel is considered especially significant because
of its location, extending 400 meters south of the DMZ, barely two
kilometers southwest of a forward U.S. army base and four kilometers
from the truce village of Panmunjom. Military experts judge that
30,000 fully armed men accompanied by light artillery could pass
through every hour.11
11/1978 — A team of three North Korean armed agents killed four South Korean
citizens — two in Hongsong County and one in Kongju County,
Chungchong Namdo; and one at Osan, Kyonggido.
06/1979 — A South Korean teacher Ko Sang-moon was abducted by North
Koreans in the Netherlands.
10/1979 — Three North Korean agents were intercepted while trying to infiltrate
the eastern sector of the DMZ; one was killed.
07/1979 — A North Korean attempt to abduct Han Yong-gil, an employee of the
Korea Trade Promotion Agency, failed in France.
03/1980 — Three North Koreans tried to infiltrate the South across the estuary of
Han River; all were killed.
11 Korean Overseas Information Service, Tunnels of War: North Korea Catacombs the DMZ.
Seoul, Korea, November 1978, p. 2.
Cholla Namdo. One South Korean civilian was killed and six others
12/1980 — Three North Korean agents were shot dead off the southern coast of
Kyongsang Namdo. Two South Korean soldiers were killed and two
03/1981 — Of three North Korean infiltrators at Kumhwa, Kangwondo, one was
Chungchong Namdo; 9 agents were shot to death and one was
07/1981 — Three North Korean agents were shot to death in the upper stream of
Imjin River, while trying to cross the river into the South.
05/1982 — Two North Korean infiltrators were spotted on the east coast; one was
shot to death.
08/1982 — Police in Canada uncovered a North Korean plot to assassinate South
Korean President Chun Doo Hwan during a visit to that country.
10/1983 — The explosion of a powerful bomb, several minutes before South
Korean President Chun was to arrive to lay a wreath at the Martyr’s
Mausoleum in Rangoon, Burma (Myanmar), killed 17 senior South
Korean officials and injured 14 who were accompanying President
Chun, then on the first leg of a six-nation Asian tour. Among the
killed were: presidential chief-of-staff and another senior presidential
assistant; deputy prime minister/minister of economic planning; three
cabinet members including foreign minister; 3 deputy ministers; and
the South Korean ambassador to Burma. The explosion also killed
four Burmese nationals and wounded 32 others. President Chun
stated that the killings were “a grave provocation not unlike a
declaration of war,” and warned the North that “should such a
provocation recur, there would be a corresponding retaliation in
kind.”12 North Korean leader Kim Il Sung dismissed Chun’s
12 As cited in Keesing’s Contemporary Archives [London], December 1983, pp. 32566-
32567. Senior Reagan administration officials reportedly stated Oct. 12 that the United
States had urged South Korea to show “restraint” and not to retaliate with force even if the
statement as “a preposterous slander.”13 Two suspects were arrested
and tried in the Rangoon Divisional Court: North Korean army major,
Zin Mo, and captain, Kang Min Chol. Captain Kang Min Chol
confessed to the bombing and gave details of his training in North
Korea and transport to Burma on a North Korean freighter. He also
disclosed that after the arrival of his assassination team in Burma, the
team stayed in the home of a North Korean embassy councillor. On
November 4, Burma broke off diplomatic relations with North
Korea.14 In February 1984, the Burmese Supreme Court sustained the
death penalty handed down by the lower court.
were captured at Tadaepo.
02/1984 — Two Canadians, Charles Yanover and Alexander Gerol, testified in
a Canadian court that North Korean agents hired them in 1981 for
$600,000 to assassinate South Korean President Chun Doo Hwan.
They were convicted and sentenced to prison terms of one-to-two
years. The assassination was to take place during Chun’s visit to the
Philippines in July 1982.
09/1984 — A North Korean agent killed 2 residents of Taegu, South Korea, and
severely wounded another before committing suicide.
10/1985 — A North Korean spy ship was sunk by the South Korean navy off the
coast of Pusan, South Korea.
North was discovered to be behind the bombing.
13 For Pyongyang’s suggestion that the bombing incident was “masterminded” by Chon Doo
Hwan for a “hideous purpose,” see a commentator’s article (“With No Fabrication Can They
Conceal the Truth”) in Nodong Sinmun in Korean, Oct. 18, 1983.
14 North Korean foreign ministry termed the Burmese government action as “an unjustifiable
act of ignoring international law and usage and infringing upon the dignity and authority of
our Republic.” It also proclaimed: “We had already made it clear that we had nothing to do
with the incident. We, by nature, have never resorted to individual terrorism and
assassination and such thing is alien to us.” A foreign ministry statement as carried by
KCNA in English, Nov. 4, 1983. As of January 2001, diplomatic relations remained severed,
despite Pyongyang’s unofficial gestures since 1997 aimed at resuming such relations. The
Myanmar government reportedly is moderating its earlier rigid position that North Korea
should acknowledge its terrorist act in 1983 and make an official apology prior to any
diplomatic resumption. The Nation (internet version) in English [Bangkok], July 7, 2000;
Asahi Shimbun in Japanese (Morning Edition), Aug. 24, 2000; Hanguk Ilbo in Korean, July
09/1986 — A bomb blast at Kimpo International Airport in Seoul killed five and
wounded over 30. The chief of the South Korean National Police
believed that North Korean agents, or individuals under North Korean
direction or influences, planted the bomb.
shik) failed in Hong Kong.
01/1987 — A South Korean fishing boat (#27 Tongjin-ho) was abducted along
with 12 crewmen.15
08/1987 — A South Korean student at MIT, Lee Chae-hwan, was kidnaped in
11/1987 — A bomb planted by two North Korean terrorists on a Korean Airline
Boeing 707, with 20 crew members and 95 passengers aboard,
exploded in midair over the Andaman Sea off the coast of Burma.
The plane was en route from Baghdad to Seoul. Kim Hyon-hui, one
of the terrorists who was arrested in Bahrain and confessed to the
crime, was tried and convicted in a Seoul court. The sabotage
bombing was reportedly a North Korean warning against those
planning to take part in the Seoul Olympics. (In January 1988, Kim,
the self-confessed agent, stated that she had been trained for two
years to pass as Japanese by a Japanese woman of Korean descent, Yi
Un-hye, who Japanese police believe had been kidnaped by North
01/1988 — U.S. Secretary of State determined “that North Korea is a country
which has repeatedly provided support for acts of international
terrorism,” under the authority of the Export Administration Act of
06/1988 — The head of a North Korean trading company revealed after his
defection to the South that North Korean embassies around the world
15 In April 1999, North Korea claimed that these crewmen were “voluntary defectors” to the
16 As a result, exports to North Korea of goods or technology that are determined of being
able to make a significant contribution to its military potential, or enhance its ability to
support acts on international terrorism, require a validated license. Denial of the license, in
effect, would constitute a ban on such exports.
had been ordered to do everything possible to stop other countries
from participating in the Seoul Olympics.
03/1990 — Another North Korean infiltration tunnel dug under the DMZ was
discovered; this was the fourth one uncovered since November 1974.
(The second one was discovered in March 1975.) South Korean
authorities believe that there may be as many as 17 tunnels in all (see
called on South Korean youths, students, and people to “eliminate the
Roh Tae-woo fascist regime and establish a genuine democratic
05/1992 — Three North Koreans, in South Korean uniforms, were shot dead at
Cholwon, Kangwondo, south of the DMZ. Three South Koreans
were wounded in this encounter.
10/1992 — A North Korean 400-member spy ring in South Korea, directed by
North Korean Communist party official Lee Son-sil, was uncovered
by South Korea’s Agency for National Security Planning. It was
revealed that the mission of the spy ring was to establish an
underground command center for subversive operations in the South.
According to the South Korean agency, North Korean agents had
infiltrated through South Korea’s coastlines.
12/1993 — Vice Marshal Choe Kwang, Chief of the General Staff of the North
Korean military (and defense minister, 1995-1997), declared at a
major state function that the military “has the heavy and honorable
task of reunifying the fatherland with guns in the nineties without
03/1994 — For the first time in more than two decades, North Korea issued a
threat of war in an inter-Korean meeting in Panmunjom. In response
to Seoul’s chief delegate mentioning the possibility of UN sanctions
against the North for its refusal to accept full international nuclear
17 [North] Korean Central Broadcasting Network [Pyongyang], Dec. 23, 1993.
inspections, Pyongyang’s chief delegate reportedly replied: “Seoul is
not far away from here. If a war breaks out, Seoul will turn into a sea
sang, from an Ethiopian university in Addis Ababa was foiled.
killing three South Korean fishermen; North Korea released 5 other
fishermen in December 1995.
06/1995 — North Korean soldiers threatened the captain of a South Korean
vessel with harm in a North Korean port unless he hoisted the North
Korean flag while the vessel was there to deliver a South Korean
humanitarian rice shipment to the North.
07/1995 — A team of three North Korean agents and their two Korean-Chinese
collaborators in Jilin19 abducted a South Korean pastor, the Reverend
Ahn Seung-woon, in southern Manchuria. Pyongyang claimed that
Reverend Ahn defected voluntarily. (A North Korean, convicted in
a Chinese court of masterminding the abduction, was deported to
North Korea by China in July 1997 upon serving a two-year prison
08/1995 — North Korea seized a South Korean rice delivery vessel and arrested
its crew in a North Korean port after a South Korean crewman took
photographs from the ship. The ship was released 12 days later.
10/1995 — Two armed North Koreans were intercepted at the Imjin River just
south of the DMZ; one was shot to death and the other escaped.
10/1995 — Two North Korean agents were intercepted at Puyo, about 100 miles
south of Seoul; one was shot to death and the other was taken alive.
The captured agent disclosed that he had infiltrated two months
earlier, with a mission to contact anti-government dissidents,
politicians, and an organization of underground cells.
04/1996 — On three occasions, a combined total of several hundred armed North
Korean troops crossed the military demarcation line into the joint
18 North Korea’s “Sea of Fire” Threat Shakes Seoul, Financial Times [London], Mar. 22,
19 As reported by Sang-ho Yoon, “North Korean Secret Agents in China Operate in the
Guise of Defectors,” Tong-A Ilbo in Korean, Feb. 22, 2000.
security area of the DMZ at Panmunjom and elsewhere in violation
of the Korean armistice agreement, after Pyongyang’s unilateral
announcement that it no longer would abide by the armistice
provisions concerning the integrity of the DMZ.
05/1996 — Seven North Korean soldiers crossed the military demarcation line
facing South Korean defensive positions just south of the DMZ, but
withdrew when South Korean troops fired warning shots.
defended waters off the west coast and withdrew after a four-hour
standoff with South Korean naval vessels. A similar three-hour
incursion by three North Korean craft in the same area occurred in
07/1996 — A North Korean spy was captured in Seoul after posing as a Filipino
professor for 12 years. Chung Su Il (alias: Mohammed Kansu), 62,
told police that “scores, perhaps hundreds” of North Korean spies
were operating in the South.
09/1996 — A disabled North Korean submarine was spotted bobbing off the
shore near the city of Kangnung. Twenty-six North Korean military
personnel landed on the east coast from the submarine that was found
to be on an espionage/reconnaissance mission. According to South
Korea, eleven of the infiltrators were shot to death by North Korean
commandos who were on the submarine; 13 others refused to
surrender and were killed in battle with South Korean troops; one was
captured and one escaped. During the South Korean hunt for the
infiltrators, North Koreans killed 11 South Korean military personnel
and civilians and wounded five others.20
10/1996 — Choi Duk Keun, a South Korean diplomat, was murdered in
Vladivostok, Russia, following a North Korean threat to “retaliate”
for the submarine incident. Circumstantial evidence initially pointed
to North Korean complicity in the murder, and later autopsy results
showed that poison found in Choi’s body was the same type of poison
carried by North Korean infiltrators from the grounded submarine in
02/1997 — In Seoul, Lee Han-yong was shot by two hit men believed to be North
Korean agents. Nephew of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il’s former
wife, Song Hye-rim, Lee had defected to the South in 1982. The
shooting took place three days after Hwang Jang-yop, a high ranking
20 After three weeks of negotiations with U.S. officials, North Korea on December 29
expressed its “deep regret” for the infiltration and vowed it would “make efforts to ensure
that such an incident will not recur.” Facts on File Yearbook 1996, p. 1008.
North Korean party official, walked into the South Korean consulate
in Beijing for defection to the South. After being in a coma, Lee died
10 days later in a Seoul hospital. The shooting was believed to be a
warning to Hwang and other would-be defectors to the South.21
02/1997 — North Korea threatened unspecified “retribution” against the South
Korean newspaper Chung’ang Ilbo for publishing an account of Kim
Il Sung’s death occurring in the course of a heated verbal exchange
between Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il in July 1994 — a story
attributed to Hwang Jang-yop, a North Korean defector via Beijing in
03/1997 — Japan’s daily newspaper Sankei Shimbun, based on an interview with
a former North Korean agent An Myong-chin (who defected to South
Korea in September 1993), reported that in November 1977, Megumi
Yokota, a 13-year-old Japanese school girl was abducted in Niigata
City and taken to North Korea for use as a teaching aide at a North
Korean school for spy training. Japanese authorities disclosed that
An’s description of the girl matched the profile of a girl reported
missing in Niigata, Japan, at that time. Japanese authorities suspect
that North Korea may have kidnaped at least nine other Japanese
nationals since the mid-1970s.22
04/1997 — Five North Korean soldiers opened fire at South Korean positions
after crossing the Military Demarcation Line in the Cholwon sector.
controlled waters in the Yellow Sea, about two miles south of the
Military Demarcation Line, and opened fire at South Korean patrol
boats, the first such attack since October 1995 when a North Korean
shore battery at Ongjin did so against South Korean naval vessels.
21 A member of a North Korean spy ring uncovered by South Korean authorities in Nov.
1997 reportedly confirmed the fact that Lee was assassinated by a three-man North Korean
terrorist ring. Korea Times (Internet version) in English, Nov. 23, 1997.
22 Kyodo in English, Mar. 31, 1998. North Korean maintains, “not only does kidnaping not
exist in our country, but it also has never occurred in our country.... No one in our country
is interested in terrorism such as kidnaping and murder.... Based on our investigation, we
already notified Japan that there were no such people in our country...In other words, the
issue has already been settled.” [North] Korean Central Broadcasting Station in Korean,
Feb. 11, 2000. On Mar. 10, 2000, the North Korea Red Cross Society announced a “restart”
of an investigation into the whereabouts of ‘missing’ Japanese under an accord it had
reached with its Japanese counterpart on Dec. 21, 1999. KCNA in English, Mar. 10, 2000.
Currently, some 25 Japanese civic groups are reported to be actively seeking the
whereabouts of Megumi Yokota and nine other missing nationals. Kyodo in English, Oct.
2000. On Jan. 12, 2001, the Japanese government reportedly stated that the abduction issue
must be resolved as a precondition for normalizing North Korea’s bilateral ties with Japan.
Tokyo Shimbun in Japanese, Jan. 13, 2001.
06/1997 — North Korea’s ruling party organ, Nodong Sinmun, continued to incite
“pro-democratic” South Koreans to “overthrow” South Korea’s Kim
Young Sam government as “an urgent requirement” in a patriotic,
anti-fascist struggle for “independence, democracy, and
to South Korea’s daily newspaper Choson Ilbo for its June 24
editorial urging Kim Jong Il to relinquish power in favor of “a new
reform-oriented [North Korean] group.” Denouncing the editorial as
“the most provocative declaration of war against us,” North Korea
retorted that it had the right to retaliate “until ... the Choson Ilbo
ceases to exist.”
07/1997 — Fourteen North Korean soldiers intruded some 70 meters south of the
military demarcation line — the midpoint of the four-kilometer-wide
DMZ — ignoring South Korean broadcast warnings to withdraw.
The incursion led to a 23-minute exchange of heavy gunfire, the most
serious since the intrusion of September 1996.
11/1997 — North Korea threatened to “demolish” South Korea’s state-run
Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) alleged to be “a mouthpiece of
fascist dictatorship.” It vowed to “kill everyone involved” in the
production of a KBS TV mini-series depicting the life of repression
and corruption in North Korean society “without so much as waking
up a mouse or a bird” unless the KBS dropped the production
including a noted professor emeritus, Ko Yong-pok, at the elite Seoul
National University. Often hailed as “the founder of sociology” in
Korea, Ko repeatedly spied for the North since 1973, while posing as
a “conservative” consultant to the South Korean government on inter-
04/1998 — A South Korean news dispatch quoted a member of the North Korean
delegation to an inter-Korean conference in Beijing as making a
“provocative statement” to the effect that North Korea would rather
have a “liberation war” than capitulating to the South Korean attempt24
to “politicize” the food-and-fertilizer aid issue.
23 KCNA in English, Dec. 16, 1997; Yonhap in English [Seoul], Nov. 17, 1997.
24 Song Dae-su, North Korea: “Liberation War Rather Than Negotiations,” Hanguk Ilbo
[U.S. edition], Apr. 18, 1998.
06/1998 — In a show of defiance against the United States, North Korea declared
its intention to continue to develop, test, and deploy missiles as a
means of countering the alleged U.S. military threat, adding that it
had few options of earning foreign currency other than exporting
missiles as a result of the U.S. policy aimed at “economic isolation”
of the North. It also asserted that the United States should lift its
economic embargo and compensate for losses that could be caused by
termination of missile sales, if it is really concerned over North25
06/1998 — On June 22, a North Korean midget submarine was seized after it was
spotted entangled in South Korean fishing nets off the South Korean
town of Sokcho, south of the DMZ. When brought to shore three
days later, the nine crew aboard were found dead from an apparent
06/1998 — On June 27, breaking a four-day silence on the incident, North Korea
blamed the South for the death of the North Korean crew and
demanded the immediate return of the bodies and the submarine.
South Korean President Kim Dae Jung, stating that the submarine
intrusion violated the armistice agreement as well as the basic inter-
Korean agreement of 1992 for reconciliation, exchange and
cooperation, urged North Korea to “admit responsibility and take26
07/1998 — A body of a North Korean frogman was found on a beach south of the
DMZ, along with paraphernalia suggesting an apparent
08/1998 — U.S. intelligence agencies reportedly “detected a huge secret
underground complex in North Korea that they believe is the
centerpiece of an effort to revive the country’s frozen nuclear
25 KCNA in English, June 16, 1998. Kevin Sullivan, “N. Korea Admits Selling Missiles,”
Washington Post, June 17, 1998, A1, A2. In August 1998, North Koreans told a visiting
delegation of congressional staffers that Pyongyang would stop ballistic missile sales to
countries such as Iran in exchange for U.S. compensation of $500 million annually. See
Staffdel Kirk Final Report to Benjamin A. Gilman (R-NY), Chairman, International
Relations Committee, U.S. House of Representatives: Mission to North Korea and China,
August 11-23, 1998, p.4. On a related matter, the Department of State (Public Notice 2798)
announced sanctions against North Korea, effective Apr. 17, 1998, for engaging in missile
technology proliferation activities pursuant to the Arms Export Control, as amended, and
the Export Administration Act of 1979, as amended (as carried out under Executive Order
12424 of Aug. 19, 1994). Federal Register, vol. 63, no. 85, May 4, 1998, p. 24585. North
Korean exports of missiles to Iran and Syria since the 1980s as well as the recent transfer
of missile technology including major components to Pakistan remain a concern of the U.S.
26 South Korea played down the incident in an apparent effort to sustain President Kim Dae
Jung’s so-called “sunshine policy” toward the North, or a conciliatory policy of engagement.
The Korea Herald [Internet version], July 16, 1998.
weapons program,” a development that could possibly signify
Pyongyang’s decision to abandon a 1994 “agreed framework” on
suspending its suspected nuclear weapons program.27 However,
North Korea maintained that the underground complex in question
was a civilian economic facility under construction as part of an
unspecified economic undertaking. North Korea also claimed that the
United States “should ... compensate for groundlessly humiliating and
slandering us with fabrication and for infringing on our sovereignty
and defaming us.”28 In the days following the disclosure on the
underground complex, Washington and Seoul reportedly concluded
that the underground facilities do not violate the 1994 agreed
framework freezing the North’s suspected nuclear weapons
program.29 (In May 1999, a group of U.S. inspectors visited the
underground site; the suspected site at Kumchang-ri reportedly was
“an extensive, empty tunnel complex”).30
08/1998 — On August 31, North Korea test-fired a new 3-stage Taepodong-1
missile in an arc over Japan, causing angry reactions from Japan and
the United States as a provocation that stoked tensions in Northeast
Asia. Several days later, however, North Korea claimed that it used
a multistage rocket to successfully launch a satellite into orbit for
peaceful exploration of space, not a ballistic missile as alleged by31
U.S. and other sources.
11/1998 — A North Korean high-speed spy boat got away from pursuers in South
Korean waters near the west coast island of Kanghwa, aborting an
27 David E. Sanger, “North Korea Site an A-Bomb Plant, U.S. Agencies Say: Could Break
‘94 Accord,” New York Times, Aug. 17, 1998, A1, A4; “North Korea’s Nuclear Ambitions,”
New York Times, Aug. 19, 1998, A34; “Politics of Blackmail,” Washington Post, Aug. 24,
28 [North] Korean Central Broadcasting Network in Korean, Sept. 19, 1998.
29 “Pyongyang’s Provocation,” Wall Street Journal, Sept. 1, 1998, A18.
30 Yonhap in English, June 5, 1999.
31 North Korea also claimed to have reached “a world-class level in the technological and
engineering field of rocketry and developing artificial satellites” and been “lauded by
mankind as a powerful state of ideas, military, and creation.” [Political Essay]: “Magnificent
Gun Roaring of Building a Powerful State,” [North] Korean Central Broadcasting Network
in Korean, Oct. 6, 1998. The International Civil Aviation Organization condemned North
Korea for its test-launching, without advance notification, over an area affecting the safety
of some 180 daily flights between North America and Asia. Kyodo in English [Internet
Version], Oct. 3, 1998. On Feb. 9, 2000, U.S. CIA official in charge of strategic and nuclear
issues was reported to have told the Senate Governmental Affairs Subcommittee that North
Korea appeared to be “continuing its ballistic missile program and selling technology to
other nations despite a well-publicized testing moratorium” [as agreed in Berlin between the
United States and North Korea in Sept. 1999]. Tom Raum, Associated Press, Feb. 9, 2000;
“N. Korea Continuing Missile Program: CIA Official,”Kyodo in English, Feb. 9, 2000.
apparent operation to infiltrate agents into or ferry agents back from
turn Washington into “a sea of fire and to crush Seoul and Tokyo.”
submersible high-speed boat some 150 kilometers southwest of
Pusan. The body of a North Korean frogman was recovered near the
site. The vessel was first spotted two kilometers off the port city of
03/1999 — Two suspected spy ships of North Korea entered Japanese territorial
waters off Noto Peninsula facing the Sea of Japan (a.k.a. the East
Sea), disguised as Japanese fishing trawlers (without fishing nets but
bristling with an array of antennas)35. They led a small armada of
Japanese coast guard and naval ships and aircraft on a high-speed
chase before fleeing into the North Korean port of Ch’ongjin, known
to be frequented by North Korean spy operations vessels. North
Korea denied its involvement in the reported incident.36
06/1999 — Several North Korean ships provoked a nine-day naval confrontation
off South Korea’s western coast in disputed waters on the Yellow
32 After warning North Korea to cease “provocative actions,” the South Korean Ministry of
Defense disciplined six military officers for failing to capture or sink the boat. North Korea
claimed innocence, saying that the South Korean charge was a premeditated anti-North
Korean slander. This infiltration came on the day President Clinton landed in Seoul for talks
with President Kim Dae Jung; it also coincided with the start of an inter-Korean tourism
cooperation project involving scenic Mt. Kumgang (Diamond) north of the DMZ. Korea
Herald [Internet version] in English, Nov. 23, 1998; Yonhap in English, Nov. 26, 1998; and
KCNA in English Nov. 23, 1998.
33 This belligerent rhetoric was in reaction to a media report on a putative U.S. operational
plan to deal with “any possible North Korean invasion” of South Korea. [North] Korean
Central Broadcasting Network in Korean, Dec. 10, 1998; Richard Halloran, “S. Korea, U.S.
Draft Deadly Response Plan: If North Invades, Destruction is Goal,” Washington Times,
Nov. 19, 1998, A1, A13. In a similar vein, a North Korean vice minister of defense is
quoted as having declared that the Korean People’s Army will “blow up the U.S. territory
as a whole”; a day earlier, North Korea had disclosed that it had its “own operation plan”
to deal with its enemies. KCNA in English, Dec. 2 and 3, 1998.
34 Yomiuri Shimbun in Japanese [Tokyo], December 19, 1998.
35 The area of incursion is off the coastal region where the abduction of Japanese nationals
by North Korean agents was reported to have taken place in the 1970s and 1980s. Asahi
Shimbun in Japanese (Morning Edition), Mar. 25, 1999, p.5.
36 In the course of the chase, for the first time in the postwar era, Japanese naval and air
patrol pursuers fired warning shots at the unidentified ships and dropped four bombs in the
waters nearby. Ibid.; Yomiuri Shimbun in Japanese, Mar. 25 and 26, 1999.
Sea — over the disputed sea border known as the Northern Limit
Line (NLL)37. On June 15, 1999, when the confrontation ended in an
exchange of fire, both sides blamed each other for starting the
firefight. One North Korean torpedo boat caught fire and sank with
its entire crew on board, while five others were heavily damaged.
Two of the more modern South Korean vessels sustained minor
damage. It was the most serious naval clash since the end of the
Korean War — and the second such incident since December 1998
(see above). Since the June encounter, North Korea asserted that
more bloodshed would be “inevitable” unless the South Korean
intrusion into “our territorial waters is checked.” It also called on the
U.S. side to renounce the NLL and to “withdraw all its ships from the
09/1999 — On September 9, 1999, the South Korean National Intelligence
Service announced the arrest of five South Koreans, alleged to be
members of a pro-North group called the “Revolutionary Party for
People and Democracy.” It was reported that the group had been
formed in March 1992 to radicalize South Korean college campuses
for revolutionary and anti-American activities, getting instructions39
from Pyongyang through the “Hotmail” web-based e-mail service
— this despite Pyongyang’s solemn pledge in 1992 to the South not40
to attempt to sabotage or undermine it. On October 7, 1999, South
Korean security authorities identified nearly 20 more members as
alleged members of the “Revolutionary Party for People and
37 The NLL was drawn (“unilaterally,” according to Pyongyang) by the United Nations
Command (UNC) after the Korean War to prevent armed clashes between the two Koreas.
While North Korea never accepted its validity, the NLL as the de facto maritime border was
honored by the North until it decided to force the issue in June 1999. Pyongyang reportedly
violated the NLL 37 times from 1994 to 1997 and 35 times in 1998, more in the seasonal
crab-catching months of May to September. Choson Ilbo in English (Internet version), Sept.
38 “Five-Point Proposal Set Forth by KA Side,” KCNA in English, July 2, 1999. North
Korea claims that the disputed waters belongs to the North under the international maritime
law defining 12 nautical miles as territorial waters. See “Balderdash About ‘Northern Limit
Line,” KCNA in English, July 11, 1999.
39 JoongAng Ibo in English (Internet version), Sept. 9, 1999; Korea Herald (Internet version)
in English, Sept. 10, 1999.
40 Articles 1 through 4 in the historic inter-Korean Agreement on Reconciliation,
Nonaggression, and Exchanges and Cooperation , effective Feb. 19, 1992.
41 Choson Ilbo in English (Internet version), Oct. 7, 1999. An extensive coverage on how
this spy ring operated appeared in Wolgan Choson in Korean, Oct. 1999, pp. 66-89
(available in English translation by the Foreign Broadcast Information Service,
09/1999 — According to South Korea’s National Intelligence Service, South
Korean businessman Chang Se-chol was abducted in Dandong, China42
to North Korea.
Virginia, was reported missing in Yanji, northeastern China, since
January 16, 2000.43 Rev. Kim is said to have told his coworkers on
that day that he would go out for lunch with two North Korean
defectors. Citing the report in Dong-A Ibo, a Seoul daily (February
3, 2000), Seoul’s Yonhap news agency reported that those defectors
were actually North Korean agents disguised as defectors and that ten
people were involved in Rev. Kim’s kidnaping. In October 2000,
South Korea’s National Intelligence Service reportedly confirmed that
Rev. Kim was kidnaped by North Koreans in Yanbian, China, on
February 1, 2000.44 In October 2000, South Korea’s National
Intelligence Service reportedly confirmed that Rev. Kim was
kidnaped by North Koreans in Yanbian, China, on February 1, 2000.45
03/2000 — On March 9, North Korea rejected a U.S. request that it stop
providing shelter to members of the now-defunct Japanese
Communist League-Red Army faction, who had hijacked a Japanese
airliner to Pyongyang in 1970 (see 03/1970 above), and expel or
deport those members still in the North. In a statement carried by the
official KCNA news agency, North Korea claimed, “It is the
sovereign state’s legitimate right recognized by international law to
protect members of the Japanese ‘Red Army’ who sought political46
asylum in the DPRK, and nobody can put his nose into this issue.”
A State Department counter-terrorism expert was reported as saying
42 Korea Times, Oct. 24, 2000, p. 2.
43 Rev. Kim is reported to have been actively involved since 1995 in evangelical work
among North Korean escapees/refugees in Yanji, Jilin Province, China, where he ran a
restaurant. Chinese authorities reportedly are suspicious that Rev. Kim was kidnaped by
North Korean agents but that, according to the South Korean foreign ministry, there was no
official confirmation from the Chinese side. In 1999, Rev. Kim reportedly led a signature
drive to urge the United Nations to recognize North Korean escapees as refugees. Yonhap
in English 0006 GMT Feb. 3 and 0624 GMT Feb. 3, 2000.
44 According to a tape-recorded testimony of a former North Korean agent now in hiding in
Jilin, China, “a substantial number” of North Korean refugees in China are actually North
Korea’s undercover agents disguised as refugees assigned to abduct North Korean
escapees/defectors. As reported by Sang-ho Yoon on “the realities of abduction revealed by
a North Korean agent” in China, Tong-A Ilbo in Korean, Feb. 22, 2000.
45 “2 S. Koreans Abducted to NK,” Korea Times, Oct. 24, 2000, p.2.
46 “Statement of Spokesman for DPRK Society for Human Rights Studies,” KCNA in
English, Mar. 9, 2000; KCNA in Korean, Mar. 13, 2000; “N Korea Vows to Protect Japanese
‘Red Army’ terrorists,” Associated Press, Mar. 8, 2000.
that sheltering hijackers remained a serious offence, even if they had
not carried out acts of violence for years.
03/2000 — On March 23, North Korea unilaterally declared new navigation
“zones and waterways” in the Yellow Sea in disputed waters near the
Northern Limit Line (NLL), which the United States-led United
Nations Command has maintained as a de facto sea border between
the two Koreas since August 30, 1953.47 The declaration covers
waters near five South Korea-held islands, all located west and south
of the NLL but within North Korea’s claimed territorial waters. It
would allow passage by South Korean ships near, to and from, the
islands but only within and through the North Korean-designated
zones and waterways. North Korea threatened military action against
intruders “without warnings.” South Korea responded that
Pyongyang’s violation of the NLL would constitute “a provocation”
and reaffirmed its resolve to “defend” the sea border48
North Korea threatened to “blow up” (p’okp’a) the conservative
mass-circulation daily Choson Ilbo for “slandering our Republic” by
claiming that the Korean War was started by a southward invasion of
North Korea. North Korea argued that the newspaper’s action,
harmful to national unity and reunification, “is not a matter of
freedom of the press but of high treason.”49
chang, as “an anti-reunification element...a traitor, a fool, and an
imbecile.” Lee was accused of defaming the authority of North
Korean leadership when he spoke in the South Korean National
47 The declaration is seen as a follow-up to Pyongyang’s unilateral statement on territorial
waters in the disputed areas made on Sept. 2, 1999. See “Northern Limit Line is Invalid:
Special Communique of KPA General Staff,” KCNA in English, Sept. 2, 1999; Choson Ilbo
(Internet version)in English, Mar. 23, 2000; “DPRK Sea Border Claim Heightens Tension,”
Korea Herald (Internet version) in English, Mar. 27, 2000.
48 The NLL issue seems likely to receive a new attention on June 12-14, 2000, against the
backdrop of North-South Korean summit talks in Pyongyang that also coincides with the
first anniversary of the nine-day North-South Korean naval standoff ending in a firefight
on June 15,1999 (see 06/1999 above).
49 Radio Pyongyang to South Korea in Korean, July 8, 2000 (Full text of this broadcast is
published by Choson Ilbo (Internet version) in Korean, July 9, 2000); KCNA in English,
July 11, 2000. Earlier, on June 27, 2000, North Korea had banned a Choson Ilbo reporter
from entering the North on assignment to cover the inter-Korean Red Cross talks on family
reunion. In early December 2000, a Choson Ilbo photographer was detained in Pyongyang
for three hours while covering an event of inter-Korean family reunions; North Koreans
asked him to apologize for his paper’s allegedly unflattering account of North Korea relating
to the family reunions in Pyongyang and forced him to delete filed photographs in his digital
camera and notebook computer. Korea Herald (Internet version) in English, Dec. 6, 2000;
Choson Ilbo (Internet version) in English, Dec. 4, 2000.
Assembly on July 6, on, among other things, the need for reciprocity
in inter-Korean cooperation.50
10/2000 — On October 6, North Korea and the United States issued a joint
statement agreeing to oppose all forms of terrorism, to exchange
information regarding international terrorism, and to resolve
outstanding issues in this regard between the two sides. The two
sides also underscored their commitment to cooperate in taking
effective measures to fight against terrorism, such measures including
“not providing material support or resources, including safehaven, to
terrorists and terrorist groups, bringing terrorists to justice, and
fighting terrorist acts against the safety of civil aviation and maritime51
navigation.” The U.S. side noted that it will work toward removing
North Korea from a U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism, if North
Korea will meet the requirements of U.S. law.
10/2000 — On October 19, North Korea claimed that any South Korean attempt
to link the North with the 1983 terrorist bombing in Rangoon,
Myanmar, would amount to a provocation against North Korea, “a
criminal attempt to brand the North as a ‘sponsor of terrorism.’”
Stating that it will never tolerate such an “anti-North diatribe,” at a
time when inter-Korean relations are evolving favorably since the
North-South summit in June 2000, North Korea repeated its
“unequivocal” position that it had nothing to do with the bombing
11/2000 — Japanese authorities arrested Kang Song-hui, a former high ranking
official of a pro-North Korean organization of Korean residents in
Japan, initially on insurance fraud charges. Investigation revealed
that Kang, after receiving espionage training in 1979 in the North,
served as a North Korean spy for 20 years collecting information on
50 North Korea also argued that if Lee Hoi-chang came to power, “the South Korean people
will not be able to live in peace...and the improving North-South relations will return to the
time of confrontation.” KCNA in English, July 11, 2000; Korea Herald (Internet version),
July 15, 2000. Radio Pyongyang to South Korea in Korean, July 11, 2000.
51 A specific example of “safehaven” is the U.S. demand that North Korea expel members
of the radical leftist Japanese Red Army who hijacked a Japanese airliner to Pyongyang in
Department of State. Office of the Spokesman. Joint U.S.-DPRK Statement on
International Terrorism, Oct. 6, 2000; KCNA in English, Oct. 7, 2000; Reuters, Oct. 6, Oct.
52 North Korea’s complaint and denial came in the wake of a memorial service held at South
Korea’s National Cemetery on Oct. 9 in remembrance of the 17th anniversary of the North’s
terrorist bombing in Rangoon, Myanmar. KCNA in English, Oct. 19, 2000; Yonhap (Internet
version) in English, Oct. 19, 2000; Choson Ilbo (Internet version) in Korean, Oct. 9, 2000.
South Korea while based in Japan in a bid to build an underground
communist network in South Korea.53
4/9/01 — North Korean patrol boats briefly entered 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 were guiding North
Korean fishing vessels, retreated after being challenged by ROK
naval ships. The incident was repeated on April 10. Similar
incidents occurred on February 5 and March 3.
5/27/01 — A North Korean patrol boat infiltrated into the southern side of the
Northern Limit Line (NLL) northwest of Paekryung Island in the
Yellow Sea and stayed for 47 minutes before returning to the North.
South Korea said that the violation took place in the process of North
Korea cracking down on Chinese fishing boats which were operating
nearby. The incident was the second one in May and the seventh
incident of its kind in 2001.
6/4/01 — The Korea Herald reported that three DPRK cargo vessels crossed
into ROK’s territorial waters Saturday and returned to international
waters Sunday after being challenged by ROK naval vessels.
7/6/01 — A North Korean patrol boat crossed the Northern Limit Line by about
two nautical miles in the Yellow Sea and maneuvered for some 40
minutes before returning to the North’s territorial waters. This was
the 11th intrusion by a North Korean naval vessel in 2001.
9/17/01 — During Japan’s Prime Minister Koizumi’s summit in Pyongyang with
Kim Jong-Il, the North Korea leader admitted that his country had
kidnaped 11 Japanese citizens in the 1970s and 1980s. He said the
actions were “unfortunate,” and he apologized. Four abductees were
still alive, and six were confirmed dead.
11/18/01 — A North Korean patrol boat crossed the Northern Limit Line in the
Yellow Sea 6.5 nautical miles west of Baekryong Island. The vessel
intruded 1.8nm into South Korean waters for 36 minutes in what was
the 12th such incident of the year.
11/27/01 — Soldiers in the North fired three rounds at a South Korean guard post
leading South Korean soldiers to respond with about a dozen shots.
No one was injured.
53 Asahi Shimbun (Internet version) in Japanese, Dec. 26, 2000; The Daily Yomiuri (Internet
version) in English, Dec. 14, 2000; Yomiuri Shimbun in Japanese, Dec. 13, 2000; Choson
Ilbo (Internet version) in English, Dec. 13, 2000.
12/22/01 — Japan’s Coast Guard sank a North Korean “spy ship” after a chase
and exchange of gunfire when it ignored a warning to stay out of
Japan’s 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone. The ship may
have sunk itself to avoid capture.
1/5/02 — A North Korean patrol boat briefly infiltrated South Korean waters
off Yonpyong Island in the Yellow Sea.
3/13/02 — The Guinea-Bissau navy discovered a stash of arms aboard the North
Korean ship the Golden Like, which then managed to escape, a
source close to the navy said Friday. The vessel entered Bissau port
on Wednesday, officially to seek a fishing license, but a routine
search by the navy’s security services uncovered Kalashnikovs, sub-
machine guns and ammunition in various parts of the ship, the source
6/29/02 — A gun battle erupted between South and North Korean naval ships in
the Yellow Sea. North Korean patrol boats allegedly crossed the
Northern Limit Line and opened fire on a South Korean patrol boat.
Four South Koreans and an undetermined number of North Koreans
10/17/02 — The U.S. State Department revealed that during October 4-6 meetings
in Pyongyang between U.S. envoy James Kelley and North Korea, the
North admitted that it was pursuing a nuclear weapons development
program. This was confirmed two days later by a North Korean
delegate to the United Nations, but he said the uranium-enrichment
equipment was not yet in operation.
10/22/02 — Facing pressure to scrap a nuclear weapons program, North Korea
warned the United States that it would take unspecified “tougher
counteraction” if Washington did not accept talks on the issue.
12/11/02 — A North Korean ship en route to Yemen was stopped by allied forces
in the Persian Gulf and was found to be carrying Scud missiles
hidden under bags of cement. The ship was released after Yemen said
the missiles were for its army.
12/26/02 — North Korea moved approximately 1,000 nuclear fuel rods from
storage into the Yongbyon nuclear power plant.
1/10/03 — North Korea announced it will withdraw from the Nuclear
Nonproliferation Treaty immediately because it was “most seriously
threatened” by the United States.54
1/11/03 — North Korean Ambassador to China, Choe Jin Su, said Pyongyang no
longer felt bound by the 1999 missile test moratorium.
1/20/03 — A North Korean diplomat was quoted in a Hong Kong newspaper as
saying that, if the North was attacked by the United States, it would
retaliate against the United States but would not attack South Korea.55
2/5/03 — North Korea announced it had reactivated its 5-megawatt nuclear
reactor at Yongbyon. The reactor could produce enough material for
a nuclear bomb in about a year. North Korea, however, had
apparently not restarted the nuclear fuel reprocessing facility at
Yongbyon which could generate weapons-grade plutonium more
quickly from the 8,000 fuel rods in storage.
2/18/03 — North Korea threatened to abandon the 1953 armistice that ended the
Korean War if the United States imposed trade sanctions against the
North claiming that a blockade against it would violate article 15 of
the armistice. Pyongyang also accused the United States of plotting
2/19/03 — A North Korean fighter jet briefly crossed seven miles into South
Korean airspace over the Yellow Sea prompting the South Korean air
force to send six fighter planes of its own and put ground-to-air
missiles on alert. The two-minute incursion ended without incident
but nonetheless raised tensions at a time when nerves were already on
edge over the North’s nuclear program and its threat to pull out of the
1953 armistice that ended the Korean War. South Korea’s military
said that the flight was the first such incursion since 1983 and that it
would lodge an official protest.
anti-ship missile into the Sea of Japan just a few hours before a
ceremony inaugurating South Korea’s new President, Roh Moo-
Hyun. North Korea had notified Japan of the impending tests.
3/2/03 — Four North Korean fighter jets intercepted a U.S. Air Force
reconnaissance plane in international airspace over the Sea of Japan.
54 Text of North Korea’s Statement on NPT Withdrawal. KCNA (North Korean news
agency), Pyongyang, Jan. 20, 2003.
55 DPRK Consul General: DPRK Will Not Attack ROK in Order to Confront the United
States, Ming Pao, Jan. 20, 2002, p. A18. Translation by OpenSource.gov.
This was the first hostile act by a North Korean aircraft against a U.S.
plane since the 1960s.
3/10/03 — For the second time in two weeks, North Korea fired a Silkworm
ground-to-ship nonballistic missile into the Sea of Japan.
4/10/03 — North Korea’s withdrawal from the Non-Proliferation Treaty
4/18/03 — KCNA’s English edition quotes a North Korean foreign ministry
spokesman as saying that North Korea has learned from the US-led
war on Iraq that it needs “a powerful deterrent” and admits it is
successfully reprocessing more than 8,000 spent fuel rods. However,
analysts note the initial Korean-language version of the article says
that North Korea is only on the verge of reprocessing. The English
version is pulled from the KCNA website.
5/29-31/03 — Visiting North Korea to discuss the nuclear crisis, a delegation
of U.S. lawmakers, led by Representative Curt Weldon meet
with senior North Korean leaders. Weldon reported said that the
North Koreans “admitted to having nuclear capability” as well
as trying to “expand their nuclear production program.”56
7/1/03 — The New York Times reports the CIA has informed U.S. allies in Asia
that U.S. satellites have identified an advanced testing site at
Yongdok where North Korea could be developing the technology to57
fit nuclear warheads onto its missiles.
7/8/03 — During an informal meeting in New York, North Korean Ambassador
to the U.N. Park Gil Yon tells the State Department’s envoy for North
Korean affairs Jack Pritchard that North Korea finished reprocessing
all of the 8,000 spent nuclear fuel rods stored at its Yongbyon
complex on June 30.
7/17/03 — South and North Korean soldiers briefly exchange machine-gun fire
at the DMZ.
8/23/03 — The South Korean navy fires warning shots after a North Korean navy
vessel crossed the northern limit line (NLL).
10/3/03 — KCNA reports that all the country’s nuclear facilities, including the
5-megawatt reactor at Yongbyon, are fully operational, adding that
“all the technological matters have been solved fully in the process of
making a switch-over in the use of plutonium.” The report also says
56 Kenji Hall, “U.S. lawmaker: North Korea says it will build more nukes,” Associated Press
Worldstream, June 2, 2003.
57 David E. Sanger, “C.I.A. Said to Find Nuclear Advances By North Koreans,” New York
Times, July 1, 2007, p. 1.
the reprocessing of the 8,000 irradiated fuel rods was completed in
J une. 58
10/20/03 — A spokesman for the South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff says North
Korea has test-fired a surface-to-ship missile as part of annual
11/24/03 — The South Korean navy fires five warning shots after a North Korean
patrol boat crossed the northern limit line (NLL).
5/23/04 — The New York Times reports that IAEA inspectors have discovered
evidence North Korea sold nearly two tons of uranium hexafluoride,60
a key element necessary to make an atomic bomb, in 2001 to Libya.
8/8/04 — North Korean agents operating along the Chinese border reportedly
kidnapped Ms. Jin Kyung-sook (also spelled out Gyeong-suk), a
former North Korean refugee and current South Korean passport
holder, while retrieving her camcorder along the Tumen River. Ms.
Jin’s husband, Mun Joung-hun, was not captured by the North
Koreans and disputes the allegation that the couple was spying. 61
9/12/04 — Sources in Seoul and Beijing report seeing a huge mushroom cloud
in northern North Korea on September 9, the anniversary of the
founding of the DPRK. President Bush reportedly is briefed that the
cloud may have resulted from a nuclear test. North Korea claims the
cloud resulted from a detonation associated with a hydroelectric dam,
but when it transports foreign ambassadors to the area for a visual
inspection, it brings them to a site 60 miles away from where the
cloud was reported. South Korean authorities later say the episode
may have been an unusual cloud formation.
North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Su Hon says “the ever
intensifying U.S. hostile policy” and the lack of clarity about “the
secret nuclear related experiments in South Korea ... makes us unable
to participate in the talks aimed at discussing the nuclear weapon
program.” Later, at a news conference, Choe says “We have already
58 Text of Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement on nuclear weapons. KCNA, Pyongyang,
Oct. 3, 2003, at [http://www.kcna.co.jp/index-e.htm].
59 Agence France Presse, “North Korea test-fires missile: South Korea,” Oct. 20, 2003.
60 David E. Sanger and William H. Broad, “Evidence is cited linking Koreans to Libya
Uranium,”New York Times, May 23, 2004, p. 1.
61 Translation into English of the Seoul Chungang llbo, “ROK Daily: Husband, Spy Chief
at Odds Over Kidnap,” September 9, 2004, from Open Source at [www.opensource.gov].
made clear that we have already reprocessed 8,000 wasted fuel rods
and transformed them into arms.”62
11/1/04 — South Korean patrol boats fire warning shots to repel three North
Korean patrol boats that reportedly crossed the northern limit line
(NLL) in two separate incidents.
12/6/04 — In an interview with the New York Times, IAEA Director General
Mohamed ElBaradei says that he is “sure” that North Korea has
reprocessed all the 8,000 rods of spent fuel that the IAEA had
watched over until December 2002.63
12/8/04 — Japanese officials announce that the results of DNA tests on a box of
bones and ashes that North Korea had said contained the remains of
Megumi Yokota, a Japanese woman kidnaped by North Korea,
proved that the remains belong to a number of other people. “It
would be difficult under such circumstances to provide further
assistance to North Korea,” says chief cabinet secretary, Hiroyuki
2/2/05 — The New York Times reports that scientific tests have led American
intelligence agencies and government scientists to conclude with near
certainty that North Korea sold uranium hexaflouride, the material
that can be fed into nuclear centrifuges and enriched into bomb fuel,
2/10/05 — A rare statement by the North Korean Foreign Ministry says that it
has “manufactured nuclear weapons for self-defense” and will
“suspend participation in the Six-Party Talks for an indefinite
period.” The statement asserts that the emphasis on ending tyranny in
President Bush’s State of the Union address, combined with naming
North Korea as an “outpost of tyranny” in Condoleezza Rice’s
confirmation testimony, indicates that the Bush Administration has65
intensified its “hostile policy” toward the North.
3/2005 — Sometime in March 2005 (exact date unknown) in Longjing City in
Jilin Province, Kang Gun (male, age 36) was reportedly seized by
62 Yonhap (South Korean Newspaper), “Pyongyang Already ‘Weaponized’ Spent Nuclear
Fuel: N. Korean Envoy,” Sept. 28, 2004.
63 David E. Sanger and William H. Broad, “North Korea Said to Expand Arms Program,”
New York Times, Dec. 6, 2004, p. 6.
64 David E. Sanger and William J. Broad, “Tests said to tie deal on uranium to North Korea,”
New York Times, Feb. 2, 2005, p. 1.
65 Text of Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement on nuclear weapons. KCNA, Pyongyang,
Feb. 10, 2005, at [http://www.kcna.co.jp/index-e.htm].
North Korean agents in China and taken to Pyongyang. Kang was a
defector from North Korea who had become a South Korean citizen.
He was responsible for the footage of the Yoduk political prison
camp that aired on Japanese television. Because of his involvement
in getting information out about North Korea’s political prison
camps, it is not known if he is alive or dead.66
3/31/05 — A spokesman for the DPRK Foreign Ministry releases a statement on
the allegation that the U.S. keeps nuclear arms on the Korean
peninsula. He writes, “Now that the DPRK has become a full-fledged
nuclear weapons state, the Six-Party Talks should be disarmament
talks where the participating countries negotiate the issue on an equal
footing ... if the Six-Party Talks are to creditably fulfill their mission,
it is necessary to convert them into a place where ways are sought to
completely remove the U.S. nuclear threat from the peninsula and its
4/19/05 — In an interview with USA Today, North Korean deputy ambassador
to the United Nations Han Songryol says North Korea has shut down
its nuclear reactor and plans to remove the fuel to make bombs and
“increase our deterrent” against a possible U.S. attack. It is reported
that the CIA has estimated that North Korea possesses from two to
eight nuclear bombs; reprocessing this reactor fuel could give it an
additional six. Anonymous U.S. and South Korean officials
reportedly confirm that the Yongbyon reactor was shut down earlier
4/21/05 — An ethnic Korean from China, Yoo Young-hwa, who is an alleged
North Korean agent, was sentenced by the Republic of Korea (ROK
or South Korea) to 10 years in prison for his role in the abduction of
Kim Dong Shik, a missionary who worked with North Korean69
refugees in China.
4/24/05 — In remarks carried by KCNA marking the 73rd anniversary of North
Korea’s army, Vice Marshal Kim Yong Chun, a member of the North
Korean National Defense Commission, says North Korea “...will
66 Translation from Open Source via the Internet of the Seoul Democracy Network Against
North Korean Gulag reporting, “ROK Civic Group Urges ROTG To protect Defectors’
Human Rights,” September 5, 2005.
67 Text of Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement on nuclear weapons. KCNA, Pyongyang,
Apr. 1, 2005, at [http://www.kcna.co.jp/index-e.htm].
68 Barbara Slavin, “N. Korea arsenal may be growing,” USA Today, Apr. 19, 2005, p. 1A.
69 U.S. Department of State, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Country Reports on
Human Rights Practices 2005, at [http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2005/61612.htm],
accessed April 18, 2007.
steadily bolster its nuclear deterrent for self-defense to cope with the
enemies’ reckless moves for military aggression.”70
5/1/05 — The BBC reports that North Korea has test-fired a short-range missile
into the Sea of Japan. The missile was believed to have traveled
about 100 kilometers, or 60 miles, into the sea between the two71
5/11/05 — “The DPRK has successfully finished the unloading of 8,000 spent
fuel rods from the 5 MW pilot nuclear plant in the shortest period,”
North Korea’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement, according to the
Korean Central News Agency.72
6/5/05 — The San Jose Mercury News reports that Stanford University
Professor John Lewis, returning from his 11th trip to North Korea,
says that senior North Korean officials told him that the United States
is trying to goad them into a nuclear test to sour their ties with China
and South Korea, that they have restarted construction of the
50-megawatt and 200-megawatt reactors that had been suspended
under the 1994 Agreed Framework. The North Koreans also
reportedly told Lewis that North Korea had been on the verge of
agreeing in mid-May to resume the Six-Party Talks until this move
was dashed by comments by senior U.S. officials threatening to take
North Korea to the UN Security Council. The officials also
reportedly reiterated North Korea’s March 31 demand that the talks73
be expanded in scope to take up peninsular disarmament.
6/30/05 — The Japanese newspaper Nihon Keizai Shimbun reports that North
Korea has resumed construction of a 50,000-kilowatt reactor in
Yongbyon and a 200,000-kilowatt one in Thaechon, violating a 1994
agreement with the United States to halt construction on these
facilities. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki Hosoda told a
press conference that he was unsure whether Pyongyang is
considering using the facilities reportedly under construction “for
power generation or production of nuclear weapons.”74
70 Text of a statement by the Vice Marshal of the Korean People’s Army, Kim Yong Chun.
KCNA, “DPRK to Steadily Bolster Its Nuclear Deterrent for Self-Defence,” Pyongyang,
Apr. 24, 2005, at [http://www.kcna.co.jp/index-e.htm].
71 BBC, “North Korea ‘tests new missile,’” May 1, 2005, at [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/
72 Text of Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement on the unloading of spent fuel rods from a
power plant. KCNA, “Spent Fuel Rods Unloaded from Pilot Nuclear Plant,” Pyongyang,
May 12, 2005, at [http://www.kcna.co.jp/index-e.htm].
73 Daniel Sneider, “There’s thread of hope that N. Korea will return to talks,” San Jose
Mercury News, June 6, 2005.
74 Nihon Keizai Shimbun (Japanese newspaper), “‘Sources’ Say North Korea Resumes
8/29/05 — North Korea announces that it will delay the return to the Six-Party
Talks for two weeks. As reasons for the delay, it blamed U.S. joint
military exercises with South Korea and the appointment of Jay
Lefkowitz as a Special Envoy on human rights in North Korea.
Lefkowitz, a former adviser to President Bush, was to shine a human
rights spotlight in international settings on what the administration
has called “the long-suffering North Korean people.”
9/15/05 — The U.S. Treasury Department designated Banco Delta Asia, a
Macau-based bank, as a “primary money laundering concern,”
charging it with being a “willing pawn” of North Korean
counterfeiting and drug trafficking activities.75
9/20/05 — A day after the joint statement from all six nations closing the fourth
round of six-party talks, North Korea demanded that a light water
reactor be fully constructed before it begins dismantling its nuclear
program. Washington reiterated its rejection of the reactor demand
and joined China in urging North Korea to stick to the agreement
announced Monday in which it pledged to abandon all its nuclear
programs in exchange for economic aid and security assurances.
11/23/05 — KEDO announced plans to terminate a moth-balled project to build
a light-water reactor in North Korea. The program had been frozen
since 2002. A day later, Japan demands its money back for the outlay
of cash it spent on the light-water reactor. North Korea responded
through a foreign ministry spokesman by blaming the U.S. for having
overturned a 1994 bilateral agreement that included the project, and
demanding that Washington “compensate [North Korea] for the
political and economic losses it has caused.”76
12/12/05 — Pyongyang tells the KEDO Office in Kumho, North Korea, to
withdraw all its workers at the nuclear power reactor construction site
in the North by early January. After construction work at the site was
suspended, the North had blocked KEDO from removing about 20
million dollars’ worth of cars, trucks, cranes and other construction
equipment, much of it owned by South Korean contractors.77
Nuclear Reactor Construction,” June 30, 2005. (Translation by OpenSource.gov)
75 United States Treasury Department press release, “Treasury Designates Banco Delta Asia
as Primary Money Laundering Concern under USA PATRIOT Act,” Sept. 15, 2005, at
[http://www.ustreas.gov/ press/releases/j s2720.htm] .
76 Text of Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement on halt to light-water reactor construction.
KCN, “DPRK FM Spokesman Demands U.S. Compensate for Political and Economic
Losses,” Pyongyang, Nov. 28, 2005, at [http://www.kcna.co.jp/index-e.htm].
77 Text of report by So’ Myo-cha, originally published in English by South Korean
newspaper Chungang Ilbo website on Dec. 12. BBC Worldwide Monitoring, Dec. 12, 2005.
03/10/06 — North Korea test-fires two short-range missiles from a coastal site on
the Sea of Japan. According to a South Korea government official,
the missiles probably dropped into the sea about 100km away. The78
direction of the launch could not be confirmed.
07/4/06 — Defying broad international pressure, North Korea test-fires six
missiles into the Sea of Japan, including a long-range Taepodong-2
with the theoretical capacity to reach the continental U.S. However,
the Taepodong-2 failed 40 seconds into its flight. In a press briefing
about the launches, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan
stated, “In doing this, the North Koreans have once again isolated
themselves. They have defied their neighbors who urged them not to
have a launch. The South Koreans, the Japanese and the Chinese all
have asked them not to do it. The United States now will work with
the other parties in the six-party talks to figure out the appropriate
way to move forward. But I think it’s fair to say that this is a further
indication of isolation on the part of the North Koreans. And it also79
reminds everybody about the nature of the regime.”
07/5/06 — North Korea launches a seventh missile, despite broad international
condemnation of the earlier launches.
09/25/06 — Selig S. Harrison, a scholar and a longtime Korea specialist based in
Washington, said top North Korean officials whom he met with last
week told him they intended to unload fuel rods at the Yongbyon
reactor by this fall. The fuel rods can be processed to extract
plutonium for nuclear bombs.
10/3/06 — North Korean media carry a DPRK Foreign Ministry statement saying
that the DPRK will take “new measures” to strengthen its
self-defense capabilities, which includes conducting a “nuclear80
10/9/06 — North Korea announces that it has carried out an underground nuclear
test. It calls the test a “historic event” and says that “It will contribute
78 Anna Fifield, “North Koreans test short-range missiles,” Financial Times (London), Mar.
10, 2006, p.3. In a White House press briefing on Mar. 8, 2006, Scott McClellan stated, “We
have consistently pointed out that North Korea’s missile program is a concern that poses a
threat to the region and the larger international community.” Press briefing transcript at
[ ht t p: / / www.whi t e house.gov/ news/ r el eases/ 2006/ 03/ 20060308-5.ht ml ] .
79 Scott McClellan, “Press Briefing on North Korea Missile Launch,” July 4, 2006, at
[ ht t p: / / www.whi t e house.gov/ news/ r el eases/ 2006/ 07/ pr i nt / 20060704-1.ht ml ] .
80 North Korea — OSC Report in Korean, Pyongyang, “FYI: DPRK Media Carry ‘Foreign
Ministry Statement’ Pledging ‘Nuclear Test’,” Oct. 3, 2006. Translated by OpenSource.gov.
to defending the peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in
the area around it.”81
3/23/07 — Negotiations on halting North Korea’s nuclear program during the
latest of the six-party talks broke down abruptly Thursday, with the
country’s chief envoy to the talks, Kim Kye Gwan, flying home after
a dispute over money frozen in a Macau bank could not be resolved.
China issued a statement saying the talks would take a recess but did
not give a restart date. The breakdown raises doubts over meeting a
deadline in the February 13 agreement that calls for UN inspectors to
verify the closure of North Korea’s main nuclear reactor at Yongbyon
by April 14
81 KCNA report, “DPRK Successfully Conducts Underground Nuclear Test,” Pyongyang,
Oct. 9, 2006, at [http://www.kcna.co.jp/index-e.htm].