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Important Events from 2009 to Present

Major events in Inter-Korean Relations

Important Events
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
Jan 1, 2009
  • North Korea announces the 2009 New Year's joint editorial.
Jan 2
  • President Lee delivers his New Year's address to the nation.
Jan 13
  • The North Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson announces North Korea's position on the nuclear issue, maintaining that improvement in relations between North Korea and the United States is important prior to denuclearization.
Jan 15-19
  • A fact-finding mission led by Hwang Joon-kook, Director General of the North Korean Nuclear Affairs Bureau, ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, visits North Korea to discuss how to deal with fresh fuel rods stored at the nuclear complex in Yongbyon.
Jan 17
  • The [North] Korean People's Army General Staff spokesperson issues a statement criticizing the ROK President and declaring an all-out confrontational posture.
  • The North Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson holds a press conference with the Korean Central News Agency and maintains that the North cannot give up its nuclear weapons as long as a nuclear threat from the United States exists.
Jan 30
  • The North Korean Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland issues a statement that the North would annul all inter-Korean agreements on political and military confrontation and abandon provisions in the South-North Basic Agreement pertained to the inter-Korean maritime border in the West Sea.
  • The ROK Ministry of Unification spokesperson issues a commentary saying that inter-Korean agreements cannot be unilaterally annulled by one party. Spokesperson calls for dialogue and cooperation between the two Koreas.
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
Feb 2
  • - In a press conference, [North] Korean People's Army General Staff spokesperson expresses the North's position on denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
Feb 9
  • - In a radio address, President Lee Myung-bak re-emphasizes his government's principles in promoting inter-Korean relations.
Feb 13-20
  • - A meeting of the Six-Party Talks working group on security in Northeast Asia is held in Russia.
Feb 15
  • - The ROK Ministry of Unification spokesperson issues a commentary on propaganda leaflets.
Feb 24
  • - The [North] Korean Committee of Space Technology spokesperson issues a statement saying that the North is preparing to launch the satellite Gwangmyungsung-2.
Feb 28
  • - The ROK receives North Korea's notification of the rocket launch signed by the working-level military chief of the joint management area in the West Sea and East Sea district.
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
Mar 1
  • In his March 1 Independence Movement Day speech, President Lee says both Koreas should respect matters agreed between them, and calls for inter-Korean dialogue without any preconditions.
Mar 5
  • The [North] Korean Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland issues a s tatement criticizing the ROK-U.S. joint military exercise Key Resolve.
Mar 9
  • The [North] Korean People's Army General Staff spokesperson announces new restrictions on travel to the Gaeseong Industrial Complex (GIC).
  • The ROK Ministry of Unification spokesperson expresses regrets and demands immediate withdrawal of the North's measures.
Mar 9-20
  • North Korea restricts overland travel to the GIC (March 9, March 13-15, and March 20)
Mar 20
  • The ROK receives North Korea's notification signed by the working-level chief of the joint management area in the West Sea and East Sea district, stating that the North will restore military hotlines on March 21.
Mar 21
  • North Korea announces detention of U.S. journalists for illegal entry into the North.
  • North Korea restores military hotlines and allows cross-border travel.
Mar 29-Apr 1
  • North Korea's national soccer team visits the South for a qualifying match with the ROK national team in the run-up to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Mar 30
  • North Korea detains a South Korean worker in the GIC.
  • The [North] Korean Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland spokesperson issues a statement that the North will take immediate and firm measures if the South participates in the Proliferation Security Initiative.
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
Apr 2
  • The [North] Korean People's Army General Staff releases a statement threatening retaliatory strikes if its satellite launcher is shot down.
April 5
  • North Korea fires a long-range rocket (from a launch pad in Musudan-ri, North Hamgyeong Province).
  • The ROK government issues a statement pointing out that the North's launch of a long-range rocket is in violation of UN Security Council resolution 1718.
Apr 13
  • The UN Security Council adopts a presidential statement condemning the North's launch of a long-range rocket.
Apr 14
  • The North Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson issues a statement criticizing the UNSC presidential statement and announces permanent withdrawal from the Six-Party Talks.
Apr 21
  • Inter-Korean contact regarding the GIC takes place in Gaeseong.
Apr 24
  • The North Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson announces that the North will begin reprocessing spent fuel rods
Apr 29
  • The North Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson issues a statement that North Korea will take further self-defensive measures, including nuclear and ICBM tests, if the UN Security Council does not apologize for its presidential statement against the April 5th attempted satellite launch.
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
May 1
  • The spokesperson for North Korea's General Bureau for Central Guidance to the Development of the Special Zone comments on the investigation of the detained South Korean worker at a press conference
May 15
  • North Korea's General Bureau for Central Guidance to the Development of the Special Zone announces the nullification of existing agreements regarding the GIC.
  • The ROK Ministry of Unification spokesperson releases a commentary that the South cannot accept the North's unilateral action.
May 25
  • North Korea reports that its second nuclear test was successful.
  • The ROK government issues a statement on the North's second nuclear test.
May 26
  • North Korea's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland and the Korean People's Army Panmunjeom Mission issue statements that the North would consider the South's participation in the PSI as a declaration of war.
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
Jun 5
  • North Korea's General Bureau for Central Guidance to the Development of the Special Zone proposes a working-level contact regarding the GIC.
Jun 6
  • In his commemorative speech on the 54th Memorial Day, President Lee Myung-bak reconfirms his position that advancement in inter-Korean relations must be promoted through bilateral dialogue and cooperation.
Jun 11
  • The first round of inter-Korean working-level meeting on the GIC takes place at the Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation Consultation Office in Gaeseong.
Jun 13
  • The UN Security Council adopts resolution 1874 on June 12, New York time.
  • The North Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs issues a statement officially declaring that the North has no intention to abandon nuclear weapons.
  • The ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade issues a commentary on the North Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs' statement
Jun 19
  • The second round of inter-Korean working-level meeting on the GIC takes place at the Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation Consultation Office in Gaeseong.
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
Jul 2
  • The third round of inter-Korean working-level meeting on the GIC takes place at the Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation Consultation Office in Gaeseong.
Jul 10
  • North Korea's General Bureau for Central Guidance to the Development of the Special Zone spokesperson issues a statement claiming that the working-level contact regarding the GIC is on the verge of collapse due to the South's insincere attitude.
Jul 16
  • The UN Security Council completes the list of entities, individuals, and goods subject to sanctions under resolution 1874.
Jul 27
  • The North Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs issues a statement reaffirming that the North has no intention to return to the Six-Party Talks and instead urges bilateral talks with the U.S.
Jul 30
  • A North Korean patrol boat captures the South Korean Vessel Yeonan 800 for crossing the Northern Limit Line (NLL).
Jul 31
  • Notification signed by the North Korea's working-level military chief of the East Sea district is received.
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
Aug 4-5
  • Former U.S. President Bill Clinton visits North Korea and meets with Chairman Kim Jong Il. Clinton departs North Korea with two U.S. journalists who were under detention in the North.
Aug 10-17
  • Hyun Jung-eun, chairwoman of Hyundai Group, visits North Korea and meets with Chairman Kim Jong Il on August 16.
  • Hyundai Group and North Korea's Asia-Pacific Peace Committee issue a joint statement on the reunion of separated families on the occasion of the Chuseok holidays.
Aug 13
  • The GIC worker detained in North Korea is repatriated.
Aug 15
  • In his speech on the 64th Liberation Day, President Lee Myung-bak proposes the 'New Peace Initiative for the Korean Peninsula.'
Aug 19
  • North Korea sends a message of condolence signed by Chairman Kim Jong Il after the death of former President Kim Dae Jung.
  • North Korea's Asia-Pacific Peace Committee notifies the Kim Dae Jung Peace Center of their plan to send a delegation to the late president's funeral.
Aug 20
  • The president of the [South] Korean National Red Cross proposes to hold inter-Korean Red Cross talks at Mt. Geumgang from August 26 to 28.
  • The resumption of Panmunjeom hotlines between the Red Cross societies is agreed.
  • North Korea notifies the South that it will lift the restrictions on transit to the GIC it has placed on December 1, 2008.
Aug 21
  • North Korea sends a message of condolence signed by Chairman Kim Jong Il after the death of former President Kim Dae Jung.
  • North Korea's Asia-Pacific Peace Committee notifies the Kim Dae Jung Peace Center of their plan to send a delegation to the late president's funeral.
Aug 22
  • The ROK Minister of Unification Hyun In-Taek meets with North Korea's Director of the United Front Department Kim Yang Gon.
Aug 23
  • North Korea's delegation pays a courtesy call on President Lee Myung-bak.
Aug 25
  • A cable message signed by the Central Committee of the Red Cross Society of North Korea is received.
Aug 26-28
  • Inter-Korean Red Cross talks take place at Mt. Geumgang.
Aug 29
  • North Korea repatriates the fishing vessel Yeonan 800 and its four crew members.
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
Sep 4
  • North Korea's Permanent Representative to the United Nations is reported to have sent a letter to the president of the UN Security Council.
Sep 6
  • The North discharges water from an Imjin River dam, killing six South Korean campers.
Sep 7
  • The South's Minister of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs sends a message to the North regarding the North's release of flood waters in the Imjin River.
  • The relevant authority in the North sends a message regarding the release of water from a dam in the North.
Sep 16
  • North Korea's General Bureau for Central Guidance to the Development of the Special Zone and the Kaesong Industrial District Management Committee (KIDMAC) agree on a 5% wage increase for North Korean workers.
Sep 16-18
  • Dai Bingguo, State Councilor of China, visits North Korea as Chinese President Hu Jintao's special envoy.
Sep 21
  • President Lee Myung-bak proposes a Grand Bargain to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue.
Sep 23
  • The KIDMAC and North Korea's General Bureau for Central Guidance to the Development of the Special Zone conclude an agreement regarding the construction of a daycare center in the GIC.
Sep 26-Oct 1
  • Reunion of separated families (554 from the South and 334 from the North) takes place on the occasion of the Chuseok holidays.
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
Oct 1
  • Eleven North Koreans defect to the South on a ship via the East Sea.
Oct 4
  • The [North] Korean National Red Cross sends a cable message to the South.
Oct 5
  • China's Premier Wen Jiabao meets with Chairman Kim Jong Il while he is visiting the North October 4-6 to attend a ceremony marking the 60th anniversary of North Korea-China relations.
  • The Red Cross Society of North Korea sends a cable message to the South.
Oct 12
  • The South proposes an inter-Korean working-level meeting regarding prevention of floods in the Imjin River basin on October 14 and a working-level Red Cross contact on October 16.
  • North Korea fires short-range missiles into the East Sea.
Oct 13
  • North Korea agrees on the proposal for an inter-Korean working-level meeting regarding the prevention of floods in the Imjin River and a working-level Red Cross contact.
Oct 14
  • Working-level meeting regarding prevention of floods in the Imjin River basin takes place at the Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation Consultation Office in Gaeseong.
Oct 16
  • Working-level Red Cross contact takes place at the Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation Consultation Office in Gaeseong.
Oct 19
  • The South notifies the North of its intent to supply materials and equipment needed to improve inter-Korean military communication lines.
Oct 20
  • North Korea accepts the supply of materials and equipment for inter-Korean military communication lines.
Oct 26
  • The [South] Korean National Red Cross sends a cable message to the North.
Oct 28
  • The South begins the delivery of materials and equipment needed to improve the inter-Korean military communication lines.
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
Nov 3
  • North Korea declares it has completed the reprocessing of 8,000 spent fuel rods in late August.
Nov 5
  • The U.S.- EU Summit announces a joint statement calling on the North to meet its obligations under the September 19 Joint Statement and commit to irreversible and verifiable denuclearization.
Nov 9
  • U.S. President Barack Obama expresses support for the Grand Bargain proposed by President Lee Myung-bak.
Nov 10
  • A North Korean patrol boat crosses the NLL into the West Sea near Daecheong Island and engages in a battle with ROK Navy vessels.
  • The supreme command of the North Korean military claims the naval clash in the West Sea is an "armed provocation by the South" and urges the South to apologize and take measures to prevent its recurrence.
Nov 12
  • North Korea's Rodong Sinmun and Minju Joson publish commentaries threatening that the South would face "consequences" of the November 10 Battle of Daecheong.
Nov 19
  • The ROK and U.S. president have a joint press conference after a bilateral in Seoul.
Nov 25
  • Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie meets with Chairman Kim Jong Il.
  • North Korea's Asia-Pacific Peace Committee spokesperson asserts that the South is responsible for the suspension of the Mt. Geumgang tourism project.
Nov 27
  • President Lee Myung-bak says he is flexible on the venue for any future inter-Korean summit.
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
Dec 8
  • President Lee Myung-bak orders his cabinet to set up plans to supply medicine to North Korea without any precondition to help fight an outbreak of the H1N1 flu.
  • U.S. Special Representative for North Korean Policy Stephen Bosworth visits North Korea December 8-10.
Dec 9
  • North Korea's Ministry of Public Health announces that there are nine confirmed H1N1 cases in Sinuiju and Pyongyang.
Dec 10
  • The South's liaison officer at Panmunjeom tells the North of its intent to provide H1N1 flu medicine.
  • North Korea notifies the South of its intent to accept the H1N1 flu medicine.
Dec 11
  • Thai authorities at Don Muang airport detain a Georgia-registered cargo aircraft carrying weapons, including anti-aircraft missiles, surface-to-air missile launchers, anti-tank rockets and ammunition produced in North Korea.
Dec 12
  • A North-South joint inspection team tours foreign industrial complexes December 12-22.
Dec18
  • The South delivers H1N1 flu medicine to the North through Gaeseong.
Dec 21
  • North Korean Navy Command spokesperson issues a statement declaring the North has established a peace-time maritime firing range in the Yellow Sea, and warns ships to stay clear of the zone.
Dec 23
  • Seven North Koreans are repatriated.
Dec 29
  • The [North] Korean Central News Agency reports that an American citizen has been detained for having entered the North illegally on December 24.
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
Jan 1, 2010
  • North Korea publishes its New Year's joint editorial.
Jan 4
  • President Lee makes his New Year's address. - The Minister of Unification makes his New Year's address.
Jan 11
  • North Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs proposes talks on a peace treaty to the parties to the Armistice Agreement.
Jan 15
  • North Korea's National Defense Commission spokesperson issues a statement denouncing the South's completion of a contingency plan for emergency situations in the North.
Jan 19-20
  • Representatives from the North and the South meet to assess the joint inspection tours to foreign industrial complexes.
Jan 24
  • The [North] Korean People's Army General Staff spokesperson issues a statement denouncing the ROK Minister of National Defense for announcing a "provocative" military action plan on January 23, and threatens to open counter-attacks if the South does not cease gun and aerial artillery firing exercises.
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
Feb 1
  • The 4th round of working-level meeting on the GIC takes place and the two sides agree to continue consulting on the dormitory and wage issues through separate working-level meetings. Another round of working-level meeting will follow working-level military talks on the "3 C" issues.
Feb 8
  • A working-level meeting on the Mt. Geumgang and Gaeseong tourism projects is held.
Feb 6-9
  • Wang Jiarui, director of the International Liaison Department of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee, visits Pyongyang and meets with Chairman Kim Jong Il on February 8.
Feb 9-13
  • The ROK Ministry of Unification spokesperson issues a commentary on propaganda leaflets.
Feb 23
  • The South delivers 200,000 liters of hand sanitizer to North Korea through Gaeseong. This delivery follows the shipment of 500,000 doses of anti-viral medicine on December 18, 2009 to help fight an outbreak of the H1N1 flu.
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
Mar 1
  • President Lee delivers a speech on March 1 Independence Movement Day.
Mar 2
  • A working-level contact is held at GIC to consult on the "3C" issues.
Mar 4
  • North Korea's Asia-Pacific Peace Committee spokesperson issues a statement threatening to terminate contracts and agreements unless the South agrees to resume the Mt. Geumgang and Gaeseong tourism projects.
Mar 15
  • The ROK Ministry of Unification: emphasizes the need for an investigation into the July 2008 shooting incident at Mt. Geumgang and that three conditions must be met before the tourism projects can resume; urges the North to show a more advanced position in the following talks and expresses its willingness for a meeting; points out that the "special measures" announced by the Peace Committee are in violation of business agreements as well as international norms; and maintains that the North should be fully accountable if it implements the measures announced by the North's Asia-Pacific Peace Committee.
Mar 18
  • North Korea's Asia-Pacific Peace Committee notifies the ROK Ministry of Unification that it would: survey the South's properties in the Mt. Geumgang tour zone starting from March 25; take further measures such as seizing the properties and limiting entry into Mt. Geumgang if the South does not cooperate; and begin new tourism programs for North Koreans and foreigners run by a new operator from April if the South does not resume the project and allow South Korean tourists to visit.
  • The ROK Ministry of Unification: expresses regret over the measures announced by the Peace Committee; points out they are in violation of inter-Korean business and government-level agreements as well as international norms; emphasizes its respect for inter-Korean agreements; and reiterates that tourism projects can resume after resolving personal safety issues through inter-Korean dialogue.
Mar 25-31
  • North Korea surveys South Korean properties in the Mt. Geumgang tour zone.
Mar 26
  • ROK naval vessel the Cheonan is attacked.
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
Apr 8
  • A spokesperson for North Korea's General Guidance Bureau for the Development of Scenic Spots issues a statement declaring a freeze of ROK government's properties in the Mt. Geumgang tour zone and the expulsion of the South's management staff.
  • The ROK Ministry of Unification announces its position on the statement by the North's Guidance Bureau for Comprehensive Development of Scenic Spots.
Apr 22-23
  • Pak Rim Su, director of the National Defense Commission Policy Bureau, and nine other North Korean officials conduct a survey into private properties at Mt. Geumgang.
Apr 27-30
  • North Korea confiscates properties in the Mt. Geumgang tour zone and expels the management staff except for 16 personnel.
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
May 1
  • Pak Chol Su, president of North Korea's Taepung International Investment Group, visits the GIC along with Chinese investors.
May 3-7
  • Chairman Kim Jong Il visits China (Dalian, Tianjin, Beijing and Shenyang).
May 12
  • North Korea claims to have achieved nuclear fusion in an experiment.
May 20
  • The multinational investigation team announces the results of its investigation into the sinking of the Cheonan.
May 24
  • President Lee delivers a special address on the sinking of the Cheonan.
  • The Ministers of Unification, Foreign Affairs and Trade, and National Defense hold a joint press conference to announce measures in response to the Cheonan sinking.
May 25
  • North Korea declares it will take "resolute actions" including cutting inter-Korean relations, renouncing the inter-Korean agreement on non-aggression, and completely abolishing all inter- Korean cooperation projects.
May 27
  • The [North] Korean People's Army General Staff issues a statement on critical measures regarding inter-Korean exchanges and cooperation including the full termination of military assurances and declares it will respond to "anti-republic maneuvers."
May 29-30
  • A joint press release is issued after the ROK-Japan-China summit.
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
Jun 6
  • President Lee delivers an address on Memorial Day.
Jun 11
  • North Korea's National Defense Commission spokesperson threatens merciless retaliation for the ROK submitting the issue of the Cheonan sinking to the UN Security Council. The spokesperson asserts this represents the beginning of "anti-North Korean acts" and urges the South once again to accept its investigation team.
Jun 12
  • The [North] Korean People's Army General Staff argues that the resumption of propaganda broadcasting by the South would be a declaration of war, and declares it will attack the South's loudspeakers with artillery.
Jun 14
  • The ROK Ministry of Unification announces the government's unification policy in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the 2000 inter-Korean summit.
Jun 26
  • North Korea announces that the political bureau of the Korean Workers' Party Central Committee has decided to convene a party conference in September to elect the Party's highest leadership.
Jun 27
  • North Korea rejects a proposal made by the UN Command on June 26 to hold general-level military talks.
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
July 9
  • The second round of inter-Korean working-level meeting on the GIC takes place at the Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation Consultation Office in Gaeseong.
July 18
  • The third round of inter-Korean working-level meeting on the GIC takes place at the Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation Consultation Office in Gaeseong.
July 24
  • A spokesperson for North Korea's National Defense Commission issues a statement threatening to start a retaliatory sacred war based on nuclear deterrent in response to joint US-South Korean military exercises.
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
August 3
  • A commander of the North's West Front-line Army Unit calls the US-ROK joint military exercises an act of aggression and threatens to take military measures against the joint drills conducted near Baekryung Island, Daecheong Island and Yeonpyeong Island.
August 5
  • Gaeseong Industrial District Management Committee and North Korea agree to increase the minimum wage by 5.5%. (57,881 USD → 60,775 USD)
August 8
  • North Korea seizes a South Korean fishing boat, Daeseung.
August 9
  • North Korea fires artillery shells in the Yellow Sea.
August 10
  • The ROK government expresses its regret over the North Korea's military actions in the Yellow Sea and states that the firing of artillery shells violates the ceasefire agreement and the non- aggression pact signed between the South and North.
August 11
  • The ROK government asks North Korea to return all Daeseung Ship's crew members.
August 15
  • In a Presidential address on Liberation Day, President Lee Myung-bak proposes establishing three communities for unification to manage the divided Korean peninsula and to achieve peaceful unification. He also says unification tax needs to be given serious consideration as part of the process of preparing for unification.
Aug 15
  • 27 Former US President Carter visits Pyongyang and brings Mr. Gomes back to the United States.
August 26
  • The ROK government expresses its desire to provide assistance to North Korea based on humanitarianism and brotherly affection to help out North Koreans suffering from severe damage caused by heavy rain.
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
September 7
  • Crew members of the Daeseung Ship returns to South Korea.
September 17
  • North and South Korean Red Cross Society have working-level contacts and agree to meet again on the 24th to set a date for a family reunion.
September 24
  • North and South Korea Red Cross Society make working-level contacts.
September 28
  • The Korean Workers' Party convenes its Third Conference in Pyongyang to unveil a number of leadership changes and to discuss political matters.
September 30
  • South-North working-level military talks take place.
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
October 1
  • At the third South-North Red Cross working-level talks, South and North Korea agree to hold a family reunion at the Mt. Geumgang Reunion Center.
October 2
  • The General Guidance Bureau for the Development of Scenic Spot issues a statement and suggests holding a meeting on the 15th to discuss the asset disposal issues in the Mt. Geumgang district.
October 26-27
  • South-North Red Cross Talks take place.
October 30 to November 5
  • A reunion of separated families takes place.
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
November 23
  • North Korea attacks Yeonpyeong Island and the Republic of Korea asks the North to stop firing in a statement issued by the South Korean leader of the North-South general-level talks.
November 28 to December 1
  • The Republic of Korea and the United States conduct military drills in the Yellow Sea.
November 29
  • President Lee Myung-bak releases a statement to the nation regarding the North Korean attack on Yeonpyeong Island. President Lee highlights that "unity is the best national security measure."
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
December 20
  • The Republic of Korea conducts live-fire artillery exercises in the Yellow Sea.
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
January 1
  • North Korea's New Year's Editorial calls for achieving a breakthrough in light industry and making North Korea into a 'powerful and prosperous' nation.
January 3
  • In his New Year's address, President Lee Myung-bak stresses the importance of national security and peace on the Korean peninsula.
January 10
  • North Korea's Asia-Pacific Peace Committee (APPC) sends a letter to its South Korean counterparts urging to hold working-level talks in Gaeseong on January 27 to set the time and location for an upcoming inter-Korean dialogue.
January 10
  • Chairman of the North Korean Red Cross proposes to hold inter-Korean Red Cross dialogue in Munsan on February 1.
January 12
  • North Korea's General Bureau for Central Guidance to the Development of the Special Zone of the DPRK sends a written notice proposing talks in Gaeseong on February 9.
January 12
  • In a written notice, North Korea's General Bureau for Development of Scenic spots proposes to hold talks in Gaeseong on February 11 to discuss the matters pertaining to resumption of Mt. Geumgang Tourism.
January 12
  • The ROK resumes normal operation of hot lines at Panmunjeom.
January 15
  • The Korean Central News Agency reports that North Korea has decided to adopt a 10-year economic development plan and to establish the State General Bureau for Economic Development.
January 20
  • North Korea's Minister of People's Armed Forces sends a telegram to South Korea, proposing high-level military talks.
January 26
  • In a telegram signed by the South's Minister of National Defense, the ROK government proposes working-level talks in the Peace House at Panmunjeom on February 11.
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
February 8
  • Inter-Korean working-level military talks take place as a preliminary step toward the North-South high-level talks.
February 8
  • North Korea's Red Cross Society sends a telegram the South, asking the South Korean government to immediately return all 31 North Koreans whose fishing boat drifted into South Korean waters in the Yellow Sea and the fishing boat.
February 9
  • Working-level military talks ends without result.
February 27
  • North Korea's head delegate of the North-South high-level military talks warns that it will direct fire at the Imjin Pavilion and other sources of the anti-North Korean psychological warfare, if South Korean activists continue to send propaganda leaflets into the North.
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
March 3
  • In a telegram, South Korea's Red Cross notifies the North that four North Koreans expressed their desire to stay in South Korea and 27 North Koreans expressed their wish to return home.
March 17
  • North Korea's Bureau of Earthquake sends a telegram to the South's meteorological office, proposing to conduct joint research on volcano activity at Mount. Baekdu.
March 27
  • The ROK government returns the fishing boat and 27 North Korean passengers back to North Korea.
March 29
  • A meeting between the North and South Korean seismic experts take place in Munsan.
March 31
  • The ROK government allows NGOs to send humanitarian aid to the North under the condition that they strengthen the distribution monitoring system.
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
April 12
  • At a second round of volcano talks, South and North Korea agree to convene an academic seminar on potential volcano activity at Mount. Baekdu in May.
April 26-28
  • A delegation of Elders, led by Former US President Jimmy Carter, visits North Korea.
April 29
  • North Korea's Supreme People's Assembly rescinds Hyundai's rights at Mt. Geumgang and designates the area a new special zone for international tourism.
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
May 3
  • The ROK's investigation team announces that North Korea was behind the paralysis of the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation's banking system, which happened on April 12.
May 9
  • President Lee Myung-bak says he is willing to invite Kim Jong-il to the Nuclear Security Summit 2012 if Kim fully agrees to denuclearize.
May 20
  • May 26 Kim Jong-il visits China.
May 24
  • Robert King Special Envoy for North Korean Human Rights Issues leads an evaluation team to asses the food situation in North Korea.
May 28
  • Special Envoy Robert King returns to the US with an American citizen, Jeon Yong-su who had been detained in North Korea.
May 30
  • A spokesperson for the North Korean National Defense Commission announces that North Korea will no longer associate itself with the South, arguing that the South has been plotting an anti-Communist movement.
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
June 1
  • A spokesperson of the National Defense Commission releases false information about a secret meeting between North and South Korean officials, which took place in Beijing on May 9.
June 2
  • North Korea announces the adoption of the Special Law on the Geumgang Tourist District.
June 9
  • The Korean Central News Agency threatens to disclose voice recordings of a secret meeting that took place in Beijing on May 9, accusing the South of distorting facts and details of the talks.
June 29
  • North and South Korean officials meet to discuss the issues pertaining to the South Korean assets in the Mount Geumgang Tourist District.
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
July 22
  • North and South Korean officials hold a meeting at the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF).
July 29
  • North Korea’s Guidance Bureau of Special Zone for International Tour of Mt. Geumgang says it will dispose of South Korean companies’ assets if they do not come to negotiate asset disposal matters. North Korea warns that South Korean companies will lose their possessions if they did not come to negotiate their disposal in three weeks’ time.
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
August 3
  • South Korea’s Red Cross announces its willingness to offer basic humanitarian supplies to flood victims.
August 4
  • North Korea’s Red Cross asks the South to deliver food and cement.
August 10
  • South Korea writes a statement to North Korea, informing them of the relief items, delivery time and method. - Hyundai Asan’s President Jang Kyung-jak visits Mt. Geumgang to discuss asset disposal matters and to negotiate South Korean companies’ property rights in the Mt. Geumgang district. - A North Korean representative to inter-Korean military talks says the South’s claim that North Korea opened fire at South Korea is “preposterous.” North Korea says the South mistook construction noise for artillery.
August 15
  • In his presidential address delivered on the 66th Anniversary of Liberation, President Lee Myung-bak says, “it is incumbent for both South and North Korea to build up mutual trust with responsible deeds and a sincere stance.”
August 19
  • Hyundai Asan affiliates visits Mt. Geumgang to negotiate asset disposal matters.
August 22
  • North Korea says all assets owned by South Korean companies in the Mt. Geumgang resort are banned from being taken out and asks the South Korean workers to leave the resort within 72 hours.
August 23
  • 14 South Korean workers leaves the Mt. Geumgang resort.
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
September 3-7
  • A Buddhist delegation of South Korea visits the North to attend services held to commemorate the 1000th anniversary of the creation of a set of wooden scriptures held scared by Buddhist in both Koreas.
September 12-15
  • Chung Myung Hun, Art Director and Principal Conductor of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, visits Pyongyang.
September 19
  • Yu Woo-ik is sworn in as the 36th Minister of Unification.
September 21-24
  • The Korean Conference of Religion for Peace (KCRP) comprised of seven largest religious groups’ leaders and staff members visits Pyongyang and Mt. Baekdu.
September 21
  • South and North Korean officials meet in Beijing for bilateral denuclearization talks. - President Lee delivers keynote speech at the 66th UN General Assembly. President Lee says “South Korea and the International community are willing to help North Korea if it chooses the path toward mutual benefit and common prosperity.”
September 27
  • Kim Jong-il sends his condolences to the bereaved family of Park Yong-gil.
September 30
  • Leader of the Grand National Party, Hong Joon-pyo visits Gaeseong Industrial Complex.
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
October 4
  • Nine North Korean refugees whose boat drifted to Japan arrive in South Korea.
October 4
  • Two North Korean refugees express their desire to defect.
October 5
  • North Korea’s Central Committee of the Red Cross Society demands the return of the two North Korean refugees who expressed their wish to defect.
October 6
  • The ROK government informs North Korea that it will make a decision according to the wishes of the two North Korean refugees.
October 6
  • North Korea’s Central Committee of the Red Cross Society demands the return of the two North Korean refugees and nine other North Koreans who drifted into Japanese water
October 8
  • North Korea’s Representative of the General-level Inter-Korean Military Talks issues a warning against South Korea
October 11
  • The ROK government announces its plan to ease the difficulties that GIC companies face. The ROK government decides to resume constructions that were halted by the May 24 Measures and improve the transportation services for GIC workers.
October 17-20
  • South Korean and American scholars and North Korean government officials attend an academic forum held at University of Georgia in the US
October 18-20
  • North Korea and US hold working-level talks in Bangkok to discuss the recovery mission for the remains of US troops.
October 19
  • Kim Jong-il answers questions posed by Russia’s Itar-Tass News Agency. Kim Jong-il says denuclearization of the Korean peninsula is a dying injunction of Kim Il-sung and that North Korea is committed to denuclearizing the peninsula.
October 20
  • Spokesperson of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland criticizes South Korean President for his state visit to Washington.
October 24-25
  • North Korea and the US meet in Geneva for nuclear talks.
October 28
  • The South-North Historians Associations delegates and Gaeseong Manwoldae Excavation team visit North Korea for working-level talks.
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
November 2-5
  • Representatives of the National Council of Churches in Korea visit Pyongyang to discuss the possibility of holding South-North joint prayer conference.
November 2 -7
  • Unification Minister Yu Woo-ik visits Washington and New York City
November 8
  • The ROK government approves the resumption of the WHO project (6.94 million USD)
November 9-15
  • Employees of Hyundai Asan visits Mt. Geumgang to prevent facility damage that may be caused by the cold weather.
November 21
  • The Third Committee of the UN approves draft resolutions on Human Rights Situations in North Korea
November 21-23
  • Minister Yu visits Beijing
November 24
  • KPA Supreme Command condemns the ROK-US military drills, which were held to commemorate the first anniversary of North Korea’s attack on Yeonpyeong Island.
November 30
  • In a statement issued by the spokesperson of the North’s Foreign Ministry, North Korea argues that all sovereign states have a right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
December 7-11
  • Special Representative for North Korea Policy Glyn Davies and Special Envoy for the Six-Party Talks Clifford Hart visits South Korea.
December 15-16
  • Officials from the US and North Korea meet in Beijing to discuss the possible terms of resuming humanitarian aid to North Korea.
December 19
  • North Korea’s state media, Chosun Central Television, announces the death of Kim Jong-il.
December 20
  • Unification Minister Yu Woo-ik issues a statement on the death of Kim Jong-il.
December 26
  • Lee Hee-ho, the widow of former President Kim Dae-jung and the chairwoman of Hyundai Asan Hyun Jeong-eun visit North Korea and express sympathy over the death of Kim Jong-il.
December 28
  • North Korea holds a state funeral for deceased Kim Jong-il.
December 29
  • North Korea convenes a huge rally to commemorate Kim Jong-il.
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
January 1
  • North Korea releases its annual New Year’s Joint Editorial.
January 2
  • President Lee Myung-bak delivers New Year’s Address on National Policy.
January 2
  • Unification Minister Yu Woo-ik delivers New Year’s message.
January 5
  • Ministry of Unification briefs President Lee Myung-bak on its work plans for 2012.
January 16
  • AP opens an office in Pyongyang.
January 17
  • Korea Forest Service of the ROK sends a notice to North Korea’s Minister of Land Administration, proposing to hold working level talks on pest control at ancient tomb sites in North Korea.
2012
Date Events
February 7
  • The ROK resumes normal operation of hot lines at Panmunjeom.
February 10
  • A delegation of the National Assembly’s Foreign Affairs and Inter-Korean Relations Committee visits the Gaeseong Industrial Complex.
February 14
  • The ROK Red Cross Society proposes working-level inter-Korean talks on holding reunions for separated families.
February 19
  • In a telegram issued by North Korea’s top representative of the Inter-Korean General-level Talks, North Korea warns South Korea over military drills, stating that it will launch strikes in response to South Korea’s live-fire drills.
February 12-March 1
  • Minister of Unification Yu Woo-ik visits Germany and Belgium for high-level talks with German and EU officials.
February 23-24
  • The US and North Korea hold the 3rd round of nuclear talks in Beijing.
February 27-March 9
  • The ROK and the US conduct the joint US-ROK Key Resolve Exercise.
February 29
  • The US and North Korea announce the results of the nuclear talks, dubbed as the Leap Day Deal.
2012
Date Events
March 7-8
  • The US and North Korea hold working-level talks in Beijing to discuss the terms of possible food aid to North Korea.
March 14
  • Chung Myung-whun conducts the joint performance of North Korea’s Unhasu Orchestra and the Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra.
March 16
  • In a statement issued by the spokesperson of the Korea Committee of Space Technology, North Korea announces its plan to launch a “working satellite.”
March 21
  • The US State Department announces its decision to suspend its effort to recover remains of the fallen American soldiers in North Korea.
March 22
  • The US Human Rights Council adopts a resolution condemning human rights violations in North Korea.
March 25
  • North Korea holds a national memorial service to mark the 100th day since Kim Jong-il’s death.
March 26-27
  • The ROK government hosts the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul.
2012
Date Events
April 10
  • The Spokesperson of the Ministry of Unification makes remarks on North Korea’s missile launch plan.
April 11
  • North Korea holds the 4th Party Conference in Pyongyang.
April 13
  • North Korea launches a missile.
April 13
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Kim Sung Hwan issues a statement on North Korea’s missile launch.
April 13
  • North Korean media admits that the long-range missile failed to enter the orbit.
April 13
  • North Korea holds the 5th session of the 12th Supreme People’s Assembly.
April 15
  • North Korea holds events to celebrate Kim Il Sung’s 100th birthday.
April 15
  • The United Nations Security Council issues a presidential statement strongly condemning the 13 April 2012 launch by North Korea.
April 17
  • North Korea’s Foreign Ministry releases a statement dismissing the UN Security Council’s strong condemnation of the North Korea’s missile launch.
April 18
  • North Korea’s military warns the ROK of “special actions that can wipe out everything within minutes.”
April 20
  • President Lee Myung-bak gives a special lecture at the Top Executive Program for Unification Policy.
April 23
  • The spokesperson of the Ministry of Unification urges North Korea to stop throwing verbal attacks and threats.
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
January 1
  • President Lee delivers a New Year Address
January 1
  • Kim Jong Un makes a New Year Address
January 2
  • Minister of Unification delivers a New Year Address
January 7-10
  • Executive Chairman of Google Eric Schmidt and former governor of New Mexico Bill Richardson visit North Korea
January 14
  • North Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs publishes a memorandum
  • argues for ‘the resolution of UN Command’ and ‘a signing of a peace agreement’
January 21
  • North Korean newspaper Joseon Shinbo reports on the final notification being sent regarding nuclear weapons
  • “North Korea delivered a final notice to US President Obama indicating that if the US does not abandon its hostile policy towards North Korea, it is inevitable that North Korea will continue to hold nuclear weapons over the longer term and that discussions regarding nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament can only be suspended.”
January 23
  • UN Security Council adopts a resolution
  • Sanctions against North Korea to be expanded and reinforced following the North’s missile launch on December 12.
January 23
  • Statement issued by North Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • ①Rejection of UN Security Council’s resolution on North Korea ② North Korea will continue to exercise its right to launch a satellite for peaceful purposes ③ Unless worldwide nuclear non-proliferation is achieved, nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament on the Korean Peninsula is impossible ④ North Korea will take physical measures to quantitatively increase and reinforce its military prowess for self-defense, including nuclear deterrents.
January 23
  • China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announces its stance regarding UN Security Council’s resolution
  • “The Security Council’s resolution number 2087 is overall a well thought-out, balanced and appropriate move and will be conducive to maintaining peace on the Korean Peninsula.”
January 24
  • North Korea’s National Defense Committee makes a statement
  • “The various satellites and long-range rockets that North Korea will launch, as well as the advanced nuclear tests that North Korea will carry out, will be aimed at the US.”
January 24
  • Regular briefing by the White House
  • “North Korea’s statement is unnecessarily provocative and additional tests will be a serious violation of UN Security Council’s resolution.”
January 24
  • Regular briefing by China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • “Both sides should not take turns making moves that increase tension”, “Relations should be improved by all parties engaging each other within the framework of the six-party talks.”
January 24
  • Press conference at home and abroad by husband and wife, Kim Gwangho and Kyeonghee Ko who had re-defected to North Korea
January 28
  • US State Department warns that it will take “significant measures if North Korea conducts nuclear tests”
  • “As the UN Security Council’s Resolution number 2087 indicates, we will take significant measures should there be additional provocation.”
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
February 4-6
  • US-Korea joint navy exercise takes place
February 6
  • Spokesperson for North Korea’s National Economic Cooperation Federation holds an interview
  • “If anyone, in any form, touches the industrial zone, we will withdraw all privileges granted to the Gaeseong Industrial Zone.”
February 9
  • North Korea’s Research Center for the Reunification of the Fatherland announces its list of ten of the biggest crimes by South Korea and assesses and criticizes five years of policies towards North Korea conducted by the Lee Myung Bak administration.
February 12
  • North Korea conducts its third nuclear test in the region of Punggyeri, Gilju in Hamgyeongbukdo Province (11:57 AM)
February 12
  • South Korea’s President holds a National Security Council meeting (1:00 PM)
February 12
  • South Korean government issues a statement (2:30 PM)
  • “North Korea will have to bear the responsibility for all the consequences resulting from its provocative acts.”
  • “South Korea will seek all necessary measures in close consultation with the international community for the nuclear disarmament of North Korea.”
February 12
  • North Korea announces that “the third nuclear test has been successful” (2:43 PM)
  • Argues that a “smaller and lighter nuclear bomb was used”, “boasted the high competitiveness in diversified nuclear deterrent capabilities”
February 12
  • Emergency meeting between President Lee Myung Bak and President Elect Park Geun Hye (3:00 PM)
February 12
  • North Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs holds an interview (8:01 PM)
  • “This nuclear test was a first-phase response with the utmost self-restraint. If the US continues to take a hostile stance, second and third-phase responses of higher intensity will be taken.”
February 12
  • UN Security Council etc. issues a statement regarding North Korea’s third nuclear test
  • UN Security Council’s statement to the press (strong denunciation of the act, moves to discuss additional sanctions)
  • The White House issues a statement (“serious act of provocation)
  • China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issues a statement (“we strongly oppose such acts”)
  • Japan’s Prime Minister issues a statement (“it is deeply regretful”)
February 25
  • President Park Geun Hye delivers her inauguration speech
  • “North Korea should lay down its nuclear arms as soon as possible. We hope North Korea joins us in the path to peace and co-prosperity.”
  • “The security situation in which South Korea finds itself at the current moment is indeed serious but we need to look forward. Through the Trust-Building Process on the Korean Peninsula, we seek to lay the foundation for a prosperous post-unification era.
February 27
  • North Korea’s Joseon Shinbo reacts for the first time since President Park’s inauguration address (February 25)
  • “The last five years has taught us that if the nuclear issue is presented as a condition for talks, no progress can be made. The new leader should not follow in the footsteps of her predecessor.”
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
March 1
  • Address by South Korean President to commemorate the anniversary of the March 1 Movement against Japanese colonial rule
  • “When North Korea gives up on its nuclear weapons and stops its provocation, the path to co-development for both Koreas will open. Only then can the Trust-Building Process on the Korean Peninsula be pushed forward in earnest.”
March 8
  • UN Security Council adopts Resolution 2094 on Sanctions against North Korea,
March 8
  • North Korea’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland issues a statement
  • “All agreements on non-aggression between North and South Korea will be totally abandoned”
  • “The joint declaration on nuclear non-proliferation will be completely discarded”
  • “Communications channels at the Panmunjeom will be blocked”
March 8
  • Spokesperson for South Korea’s Ministry of Unification makes a commentary
  • “The announcement by North Korea’s Committee for the Peaceful Unification of the Fatherland on discarding ‘agreements on non-aggression between North and South Korea’ and the ‘joint declaration on nuclear non-proliferation on the Korean Peninsula’ is deeply regretful in that it increases the tension on the Peninsula.”
March 9
  • North Korea’s spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issues a statement
  • Strongly criticizes and rejects UN Security Council’s resolution and argues that “North Korea will permanently maintain its status as a country holding nuclear arms and launching satellites.”
March 21
  • The 22nd session of UN’s Human Rights Committee adopts a resolution on human rights in North Korea
March 22
  • North Korea’s spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs holds a press conference and claims that “North Korea strongly rejects UN Security Council’s resolution on human rights in North Korea” in its entirety
March 22
  • South Korea’s Ministry of Unification approves the Eugene Bell Foundation’s donation of drugs and medicines for tuberculosis (worth 678 million Won) to North Korea
March 27
  • Head of North Korea’s representatives for the Military Committee Meeting between North and South Korea sends a notice to his South Korean counterparts
  • “Communication between the militaries of North and South Korea will be cut off and all activities of North Koreans at the military communication center in the North-South joint management area on the West coast will be suspended.”
March 30
  • Special statement is issued by the North Korean government, political party and organizations
  • “Inter-Korean relations have entered a phase of wartime-like conditions. If there are any military provocations, they will escalate into an all-out nuclear war.”
March 31
  • North Korea’s Central Committee for the Party holds a general meeting
  • Issues regarding directors and the organization are selected to be presented at the 7th meeting (April 1) of the 12th session of the Supreme People’s Assembly. A ‘parallel approach to economic development and nuclear prowess’ is adopted.
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
April 1
  • North Korea holds the 7th session of the 12th Supreme People’s Assembly
April 3
  • North Korea blocks exits from Gaeseong Industrial Complex (only entry is allowed).
April 4
  • Spokesperson to North Korea’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland responds to a journalist with the Central Korean News Agency
  • “If South Korea’s conservative media continues to babble on and blurt out ridiculous comments, we will remove all workers from the Complex.”
April 5
  • North Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs advises members of the diplomatic corps and international organizations stationed in Pyongyang to leave the country by April 10
April 8
  • Secretary to the Workers’ Party Kim Yang Geon issues a statement on “Serious measures taken in regards to the incident at Gaeseong Industrial Complex.”
  • “All employees at the Gaeseong Industrial Complex to be withdrawn”
  • “A possible suspension or shutdown of Gaeseong Industrial Complex to be reviewed”
April 9
  • North Korean spokesperson to Asia Pacific Matters issues a statement
  • “All foreigners in South Korea should prepare measures for evacuation.”
April 11
  • Statement by South Korea’s Minister of Unification
  • “The normalization of Gaeseong Industrial Complex is an issue that should be resolved through dialogue. We invite North Korea to come out to a forum for dialogue.”
April 13
  • Joint Statement issued following a meeting between South Korea’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and US Secretary of State
  • “If North Korea makes the right choice, we are ready to deliver on the promises made under the September 19 Joint Communiqu?.”
April 16
  • Final notice from North Korea’s Supreme Command
  • “If South Korea truthfully wants dialogue and negotiation, it should apologize for its hostile acts against North Korea and act on its willingness to stop all such acts.”
April 25
  • Spokesperson to South Korea’s Ministry of Unification issues a statement
  • “We officially suggest to our North Korean counterpart that working-level meetings be held in order to resolve the issue of workers in Gaeseong Industrial Complex from a humanitarian perspective and normalize activities at the Complex.”
April 26
  • The ROK government issues a statement
  • “The ROK government, in order to protect our citizens, has made the inevitable decision to bring back all remaining personnel.”
  • “Efforts will be made government-wide to ensure a resumption of normal corporate activity for enterprises located in the Complex.”
April 27
  • Response from the spokesperson to North Korea’s Central Bureau for Development of Special Zones
  • “The entire responsibility for having Gaeseong Industrial Complex shut down will be borne by South Korea.”
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
May 3
  • Seven personnel, including the Chairman of the Gaeseong Industrial Complex Management Committee, returns to South Korea after having discussions on issues regarding salaries and taxes
May 8
  • Joint declaration to commemorate the 60th anniversary of alliance between US and South Korea
  • “Continuous efforts will be made through the Trust-Building Process on the Korean Peninsula in order to ensure North Korea lives up to its duties as a member of the international community and to promote peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula.”
May 13-18
  • Glyn Davies, U.S. special representative for North Korea policy, visits South Korea, China and Japan
May 14
  • Spokesperson to South Korea’s Ministry of Unification issues a statement
  • A working-level meeting with the North is suggested to discuss the retrieval of materials and finished products held in Gaeseong Industrial Complex
May 15
  • Spokesperson to North Korea’s Central Bureau for Development of Special Zones holds an interview with Central News Agency
  • “North Korea already offered, at the time when South Korean personnel were repatriated, its willingness to allow entry and exit of South Korean officials and businessmen, as well as retrieval of resources. We even suggested a specific date.”
May 16
  • Spokesperson to South Korea’s Ministry of Unification holds a press briefing
  • “It is true that a North Korean official mentioned the possibility of allowing entry to North Korea to settle accounts or manage facilities and that they are willing to discuss this, but a specific date was not presented.”
May 18-20
  • North Korea launches five short-range rockets in the East Sea
May 19
  • Spokesperson to South Korea’s Ministry of Unification issues a statement
  • “North Korea argues that it has already expressed its willingness to discuss the issue of retrieving materials and finished goods from the Complex, but the sincerity of such comments is highly dubious ion that this was mentioned only after discussions on the issue were practically impossible.”
May 20
  • Spokesperson to North Korea’s Central Bureau for Development of Special Zones holds an interview with the Central News Agency
  • “The more urgent issue that the retrieval of products held up in the Gaeseong Complex is whether the Industrial Complex would continue to be in existence at all. The future of inter-Korean relations lies on this issue.”
May 22-24
  • Head of North Korean Military’s General Politburo, Choi Ryong Hae, visits China
May 22
  • North Korea’s Committee for the Implementation of the June 15 Joint Declaration suggests a joint event on June 15 on either Gaeseong or Mount Kumgang
May 25
  • Spokesperson to North Korea’s National Defense Committee Policy Bureau criticizes the South Korean president mentioning her name for the first time in a statement
May 28
  • Spokesperson to Ministry of Unification issues a statement
  • “North Korea is showing a hypocritical stance; On one hand it is rejecting any dialogue with the South on issues regarding Gaeseong Industrial Complex, while on the other it is suggesting to non-governmental organizations that they hold a joint event on June 15. North Korea should respond positively to our suggestion for inter-Korean dialogues.”
May 28
  • Spokesperson to North Korea’s Committee for the Peaceful Unification of the Fatherland makes a comment
  • Demands that “South Korea should allow NGOs from the South to participate in the June 15 joint event.”
  • Argues that “issues on normalizing Gaeseong Industrial Complex, including the issue of retrieving materials and finished goods were discussed when officials companies stationed in the Complex visited.”
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
June 2
  • The ROK government disapproves the ‘South Korean Committee for the June 15 Event’ of its visit to Gaeseong to discuss the joint event with its North Korean counterparts
June 6
  • Spokesperson to North Korea’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland issues a special statement
  • Suggests an official meeting to discuss Gaeseong and Mount Geumgangissues, as well as the joint events marking the June 15 and July 4 joint statements
June 6
  • Minister of Unification announces the ROK government’s official stance on inter-Korean meetings on the matters
  • “We suggest a ministerial-level meeting on June 12 in Seoul to discuss issues regarding Gaeseong Industrial Complex, tourism in Mount Geumgangand separated families
June 7
  • Spokesperson to North Korea’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland answers questions from the Central News Agency journalist
  • Suggests a working-level talk for the ministerial-level meeting be held on June 9 in Gaeseong
June 7-8
  • Summit talks between the US and China
  • Principles regarding nuclear non-proliferation on the Korean Peninsula are re-confirmed, measures to increase bilateral cooperation are agreed upon
June 9-10
  • Working-level talks between North and South Korea (Freedom House, Panmunjeom)
June 12-13
  • Agreement was made regarding holding inter-Korean talks (in Seoul) but, due to disagreements on the agenda and the level of representatives to be present, North and South Korea issue separate statements on the results of the talk
June 11
  • North Korea notifies that “the dispatch of its representatives will be postponed”, citing issues with the head representative of the South Korean side
June 11
  • South Korean government announces its official stance on the inter-Korean talks
  • “We would like to point out that North Korea’s attitude towards the level of the senior representative does not align with either common sense or international standards. We urge North Korea to join us at the table for inter-Korean talks.”
June 13
  • Spokesperson to North Korea’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland blames South Korea for making the inter-Korean talks fall through and publicizes a distorted version of what happened.
June 16
  • Spokesperson to North Korea’s National Defense Committee issues an ‘important statement’
  • Suggests high-level talks between North Korea and the US and proposes as the agenda the easing of military tensions, transition from an armistice system to a peace system and the issue of building a nuclear-free world
June 17
  • Spokesperson to White House’s NSC announces the US government’s stance in regards to the ‘important statement’ by North Korea
  • “The US wishes to have a reliable negotiation with North Korea. North Korea needs to abide by its duties as a member of the international community including those under the UN resolutions and principle of nuclear non-proliferation. The US will judge North Korea based on its actions, not words.”
June 19
  • Senior representatives of the six-party talks representing the ROK, the US and Japan meet (Washington, D.C.)
June 21
  • Senior representatives of the six-party talks representing the ROK and China meet (Beijing)
June 21
  • North Korean Ambassador to the United Nations holds a press conference and argues that the United Nations Command should be removed and the armistice treaty should be converted into a peace treaty
June 27
  • Spokesperson to North Korea’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland issues an urgent statement
  • In reference to the disclosure of the minute of the inter-Korean summit, argues that “a unilateral disclosure of the minute without gaining approval from the other party is a mockery of our dignity and a provocation.”
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
July 1
  • Ministers of Foreign Affairs representing the ROK, the US and Japan hold a meeting on the occasion of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF, June 30-July 2)
July 3
  • North Korea delivers a message through hotline regarding the Gaeseong Industrial Complex to the management committee and the association of companies housed in the Gaeseong Industrial Complex
  • Informs that officials of the Gaeseong Industrial Complex will be allowed to visit the Complex and that North Korea is willing to discuss necessary matters
July 4
  • The ROK government makes an official proposal to hold a working-level meeting on the Gaeseong Industrial Complex
July 6-7
  • The 1st Working-Level Meeting of the two Koreas on Gaeseong Industrial Complex is held (Tongil Gak, Panumjeom)
July 10-19
  • Businessmen visit Gaeseong Industrial Complex to inspect facilities and proceed with transfer of resources
July 23
  • North Korea informs the UN of the scale of damage caused by floods during Monsoon season and makes an emergency request for support on addressing the damages
July 27
  • The ROK government holds a ceremony to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the end of the Korean War in which many UN troops sacrificed their lives (Korean War Memorial Museum in Seoul)
July 27
  • The US holds a ceremony to commemorate the 60th anniversary of armistice following the Korean War (Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.)
  • President Obama remarks, “The Korean War was not a tie, but a victory for South Korea.”
July 27
  • North Korea holds a ceremony to commemorate the 60th anniversary of “Victory in War”
July 28
  • South Korean Minister of Unification issues a statement regarding Gaeseong Industrial Complex and humanitarian aid to the North
  • Urges North Korea to assure a similar incident would be prevented in order to normalize operations at Gaeseong Industrial Complex, proposes a last series of talks.
  • Expresses South Korea’s willingness to deliver humanitarian aid to the most vulnerable in North Korea, such as children, regardless of political tensions between the two Koreas
July 29
  • Five NGOs are approved of their aid to be delivered to North Korea
  • Items and categories: Drugs and nutritionally enriched meals for children in North Korea
July 29
  • US State Department announces its stance that “there are no plans to dispatch former President Carter to North Korea as a special envoy.”
July 31
  • Rodong Shinmun, a North Korean daily, criticizes the US-South Korea joint military exercises
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
August 3
  • Chairman of Hyundai Group Hyeon Jeong Eun visits North Korea to attend memorial services to mark the 10th anniversary of former Chairman Jeong Mong Heon’s death (at Mount Kumgang)
August 4
  • Spokesperson to South Korea’s Ministry of Unification issues a statement
  • “If North Korea sincerely wishes to ease the suffering of corporations and their employees, and if it sincerely considers Gaeseong Industrial Complex as a touchstone to inter-Korean relations, it should not stay silent but express its willingness to cooperate through words and actions.”
August 5
  • South Korea decides to donate funds to UNICEF’s initiative to “provide humanitarian aid to children in North Korea”
August 7
  • South Korean government decides to pay the economic cooperation insurance to companies housed in Gaeseong Industrial Complex.
August 7
  • The ROK government announces its stance in regards to the special statement issued by the spokesperson to North Korea’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland.
  • “We see this as North Korea taking a proactive approach and agree to holding a working-level meeting on August 14 as suggested by North Korea.”
August 14
  • The 7th Working-Level Meeting between North and South Korea on Gaeseong Industrial Complex is held
  • An agreement is adopted to normalize operations at Gaeseong Industrial Complex, ensure the personal safety of workers, attract foreign corporations, form a joint South-North Committee and proactively make efforts to resume operations
August 15
  • South Korean President delivers address on the occasion of Korean Liberation Day
  • Mentions that South Korea will continue its humanitarian aid to the North regardless of political tensions and proposes a reunion of separated families around Chuseok as well as the establishment of a World Peace Park in the DMZ.
August 16
  • South Korean Red Cross decides to provide aid to North Korea to help with recovery from floods (aid worth US$100,000)
August 16
  • South Korea proposes, through the hotline, a working-level meeting for the Red Cross of two Koreas (on August 23 at the House of Peace) to discuss the reunion of separated families
August 17
  • South Korean Personnel to Inspect Facilities at Gaeseong Industrial Complex visits North Korea and starts repair and maintenance works
August 18
  • Spokesperson to North Korea’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland issues a statement
  • Proposes a change to the working-level meeting (August 23) venue Mount Geumgang
  • Suggests a working-level meeting to discuss the re-opening of tourism in Mount Geumgangbe held on August 22 at Mount Kumgang
August 18
  • The UN Commissioners of the Commission of Inquiry(COI) on Human Rights in North Korea visit South Korea (August 18-27)
August 19
  • South Korea suggests again, through the hotline to the North, that the venue for the Red Cross working-level meeting be the House of Peace at Panmunjeom and informs that the official stance on matters regarding the working-level meeting on tourism in Mount Geumgangwill be reviewed and notified of shortly
August 19
  • North and South Korea start talks through the Panmunjeom communication channel on matters related to “The Agreement on the establishment and operation of a joint North-South committee for Gaeseong Industrial Complex” (August 19-28)
August 20
  • North Korea suggests through the hotline that the issue of reunion of separated families and tourism in Mount Geumgangbe linked together and insists the venue be Mount Kumgang.
August 20
  • Spokesperson to North Korea’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland officially criticizes the 2013 UFG for the first time in a statement
August 20
  • South Korea informs the North through the hotline that
  • The working-level meeting of the Red Cross is a separate matter from tourism in Mount Geumgangand therefore the former should be held at the House of Peace on August 23.
  • The working-level meeting on tourism in Mount Geumgang can be held at Mount Geumgangon September 25
  • The South Korean government is deeply regretful of the North’s criticism on UFG
August 21
  • South Korea’s Minister of Unification holds a press conference and distributes brochures and leaflets describing in detail the “Trust-Building Process on the Korean Peninsula.”
August 22
  • North Korea, in a message sent through the hotline, informs it agrees to holding a working-level meeting of the Red Cross at house of Peace in Panmunjeom on August 23. It suggests the meeting on tourism in Mount Geumgang to be held in late August-early September at Mount Geumgang
August 23
  • Working-level meeting between the Red Crosses of North and South Korea is held (House of Peace, Panmunjeom)
  • - Agreement is made on family reunions over Chuseon (September 25-30), reunions via video-conference (October 22-23), and an additional reunion sometime in November. Working-level meeting of the Red Cross will be held just after the reunion to further discuss matters
August 28-29
  • Inspection and review of facilities in Mount Geumgang in preparation for the reunion of separated families
August 29
  • “Agreement on the establishment and operation of a joint North-South Committee on Gaeseong Industrial Complex” is adopted
August 29
  • ‘Inquiry forms to verify whether relatives are alive’ (for 250 South Koreans and 200 North Koreans) are exchanged ahead of the reunion of separated families
August 30
  • North Korea withdraws its invitation to US Envoy on North Korean human rights Robert King whose visit had been originally scheduled to discuss the release of American citizen Kenneth Bae held by North Korea
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
September 2
  • First meeting of the North-South Joint Committee for Gaeseong Industrial Complex
September 2
  • The ROK government approves the export of drugs and nutritionally enriched meals by 12 South Korean NGOs for the most vulnerable in North Korea. The government also announces its plan to donate 6.3 million dollars to WHO’s initiative to provide aid to children in North Korea
September 4
  • First meetings of ‘the committee on investment protection, management and operation’ and ‘the committee on international competitiveness’ at Gaeseong Industrial Complex are held
September 5
  • First meetings of ‘the Committee on Entry into, Exit from and Sty in and the Committee on Come-and-go, Communications and Customs at Gaeseong Industrial Complex’ are held
September 13
  • Results on ‘Inquiry forms to verify whether relatives are alive’ are exchanged (Panmunjeom)
September 13
  • Second meetings of ‘the Committee on Entry into, Exit from and Stay in GIC’ and ‘the Committee on Come-and-go, Communications and Customs at Gaeseong Industrial Complex’ are held
September 16
  • Gaeseong Industrial Complex resumes its operation after a trial run
September 16
  • Lists of participants of the reunion for separated families (96 South Koreans and 100 North Koreans) are exchanged
September 20
  • Reunion event preparation team from South Korea visits North Korea
September 21
  • Spokesperson to North Korea’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland issues a statement and announces a unilateral decision to postpone the reunion
September 21
  • Spokesperson to South Korea’s Ministry of Unification issues a statement
  • Expresses deep regret that North Korea had made a unilateral call to postpone the reunion only four days before its originally scheduled date and urges the North to promptly return to discussing reunion events
September 22
  • North Korea and Russia holds a ceremony to re-open the Rajin-Hasan railway in Najin Port
September 24
  • Working-level meeting between North and South Korea to discuss the opening of a secretariat for the joint committee at Gaeseong Industrial Complex (Gaeseong)
September 25
  • North Korea’s working-level official on military matters in the West coast area notifies the postponement of the third meeting of the ‘Committee on Come-and-go, Communications and Customs’
September 26
  • Third meeting of the ‘Committee on Come-and-go, Communications and Customs ‘at Gaeseong Industrial Complex is held
  • Agreements are made on issues of personal safety of the workers, investigation procedures in cases of violation of law and range of application for agreements
September 26
  • At a ministerial-level meeting between the US and China, the two countries confirm their alliance on policies towards North Korea, including the maintenance of sanctions against the North in order to resolve issues of nuclear weapons
September 30
  • Opening of the secretariat of the North-South Joint Committee for Gaeseong Industrial Complex
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
October 1
  • In an address to the UN General Assembly, North Korea’s Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Park Gil Yeon criticizes the US policy towards North Korea and argues for a ‘nuclear-free world’ achieved by nuclear disarmament talks
October 1-2
  • Track 2 meeting between the US and North Korea is held (London), North Korea’s Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Lee Yong Ho and former US Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Bosworth attends the meeting to discuss measures to resume six-party talks
October 4
  • Spokesperson to North Korea’s National Defense Committee Policy Bureau issues a statement and criticizes the South Korean President citing incidents such as the President’s remarks on the occasion of Korean National Military Day.
October 4
  • Spokesperson to South Korea’s Ministry of Unification expresses deep regret at North Korea’s criticism and urges the North to show remarks and acts based on dignity and mutual respect
October 7
  • On the occasion of the APEC meeting (in Bali), the heads of state of South Korea and China reconfirm their commitment to the principles of nuclear non-proliferation on the Korean Peninsula and agree to reinforce the alliance on issues concerning North Korea’s nuclear weapons
October 9
  • South Korean President emphasizes that “North Korea should take cues from Myanmar’s policy of reform and openness and take the path to true change and peace.” (at the South Korea-Myanmar Summit on the occasion of the ASEAN+3/EAS meeting)
October 10
  • Mother of Kenneth Bae, who is held by the North Korean government, visits North Korea and meets with her son the Pyeongyang Chinseon Hospital
October 11
  • South Korea requests a postponement of a joint investor relations session for Gaeseong Industrial Complex, originally scheduled for October 31
October 14
  • The Committee on Foreign Affairs and Unification of South Korea’s National Assembly makes an official request to the South Korean government to visit the sites of Gaeseong Industrial Complex
October 14
  • In a keynote address at the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, North Korean ambassador to United Nations Shin Seon Ho requests a guarantee of the safety of the North Korean government through a signing of a peace treaty
October 15
  • North Korea agrees to the postponement of the joint investor relations session for Gaeseong Industrial Complex, noting that “it is not appropriate to hold an IR session at times like this.”
October 17
  • Approval is granted to an NGO for the monitoring of humanitarian aid provided to North Korea
October 18
  • South Korean President delivers a keynote address at the “Eurasia Conference” and suggests a “Eurasia Initiative” to make Eurasia “one continent, a continent that fosters creativity and peace.”
October 23
  • Secretariat of the North-South Joint Committee at Gaeseong Industrial Complex signs an “adjunct agreement on the operation and management of the North-South Joint Committee at Gaeseong Industrial Complex
October 24
  • North Korea notifies through the Secretariat of the North-South Joint Committee at Gaeseong Industrial Complex that it approves the visit of South Korean National Assembly’s Committee on Foreign Affairs and Unification to Gaeseong Industrial Complex
October 24
  • North Korea notifies through the hotline that it will repatriate, out of humanitarianism, six South Koreans who had illegally entered North Korea and had been cracked down upon (message from the head of the North Korean Red Cross in North Korea to his South Korean counterpart)
October 24
  • South Korea expresses regret through the hotline that “North Korea has not responded to any of our requests for identification but we welcome the decision to repatriate them to South Korea” (message from the head of the South Korean Red Cross to his North Korean counterpart)
October 26
  • Six South Koreans as well as the remains of one person who were held in North Korea are repatriated through Panmunjeom
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
November 4
  • South Korean President emphasizes that North Korea’s adoption of nuclear non-proliferation is essential to peace on the Korean Peninsula and beyond and that North Korea cannot hold the status of a nuclear weapons state (joint press statement following the Korea-France summit)
November 6
  • South Korean President urges North Korea to abide by the resolutions of the UN Security Council, respect the September 19 Joint Communiqu?, abandon all nuclear weapons and programs and become a responsible member of the international community (joint statement following the Korea-UK summit)
November 6
  • South Korea proposes through the Secretariat of the North-South Joint Committee for Gaeseong Industrial Complex a meeting of sub committees
November 7
  • North Korea’s State Security Department argues that they “have arrested and interrogating a South Korean spy who entered North Korea illegally through a third country”
November 8
  • Agreement is made on holding meetings of three committees under the North-South Joint Committee for Gaeseong Industrial Complex
November 13
  • South Korean President holds summit talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin
November 18
  • South Korean President emphasizes that, over the course of her term, she will do her best to promote inter-Korean relations based on the Trust-Building Process on the Korean Peninsula and lay the groundwork for a peaceful unification (administrative address to the 2014 National Assembly Budget Committee)
November 19-25
  • U.S. special representative for North Korea policy Glyn Davies visits China, Korea and Japan
November 19
  • UN Human Rights Council unanimously adopts the ‘resolution on human rights in North Korea’
November 22
  • Spokesperson to North Korea’s Southwest Front Headquarters notes in a statement, “One should not forget that if reckless provocation occurs again, the sea of fire on Yeonpyeong Island will lead to a sea of fire at the Blue house and a sea of fire for the grand war for unification.”
November 22
  • Spokesperson to South Korea’s Ministry of Unification announces South Korea’s official stance on recent criticism by the North and the issue of South Koreans held by North Korea
November 25
  • South Korea suggests through the Secretariat of the North-South Joint Committee at Gaeseong Industrial Complex, a meeting of ‘Committee on Come-and-go, Communications and Customs’ to be held November 29. North Korea agrees. (November 26)
November 25-26
  • South Korea attempts to send a message to the North requesting the identification and prompt release of South Koreans held by the North, but North Korea refuses to accept the message
November 26
  • One North Korean sea crew who had been rescued (on November 22) off the coast of Yeonpyeong Island is repatriated to North Korea through Panmunjeom
November 29
  • The third meeting of ‘Committee on Come-and-go, Communications and Customs is held
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
December 6
  • Approval is granted to the three NGOs of Nanum International, Korea Caritas and Seomkim for the export of drugs and ingredients for bread worth 1.17 billion won planned to be distributed to children and patients at daycare centers and kindergartens in North Korea
December 6
  • President of South Korea meets with US Vice President Joseph Biden. The two countries agree to join efforts in bringing about real progress in the nuclear non-proliferation of North Korea
December 7
  • North Korea releases Merrill Newman who had been arrested on charges of ‘anti-government and hostile activities’ and held for 42 days
December 8
  • Through the ‘expanded meeting of the Politburo of the Rodong Party’s Central Committee, North Korea expels Jang Song Thaek from the Party accusing him of being ‘anti-Party and anti-revolution’ (news reported on December 9)
December 12
  • Through a special court martial under the State Security Department, North Korea identifies Jang Song Thaek as guilty on charges of ‘conspiracy against the nation’ and sentences him to death penalty immediately effective under Article 60 of the criminal law. The ruling is reported in North Korean media (December 13)
December 13
  • Spokesperson to South Korea’s Ministry of Unification expresses the South Korea’s stance on the execution of Jang Song Thaek
  • “South Korea is paying keen attention to recent developments in North Korea and is preparing for all possibilities in a calm manner.”
December 16
  • South Korean President emphasizes to increase readiness as the political atmosphere in North Korea including the execution of Jang Song Thaek has been brought to attention (Cabinet meeting on foreign affairs and security, cabinet meeting on senior secretaries)
December 17
  • North Korea holds an event to commemorate the 2nd anniversary of the death of Kim Jong Il (Pyeongyang stadium)
December 17
  • Approval is granted to two NGOs of International Love Foundation and OK Friend for 850 million Won worth of powdered milk, baby food and over-the-counter drugs to be provided as humanitarian aid to North Korean children
December 20
  • Senior Secretary for Foreign Affairs and National Security announces plans to promote the National Security Council and reinforce the function of the National Security Office
December 24
  • Approval is granted to two NGOs of Child Fund and Korea Peace Foundation for 210 million Won worth of ingredients for nutritionally enriched meals to be provided as humanitarian aid to the vulnerable class in North Korea
December 30
  • Approval is granted to two NGOs, Korea Foundation for International Healthcare and Korea Association of People Sharing Love, for 240 million Won worth of ingredients for nutritionally enriched bread, baby food and drugs for tuberculosis to be provided as humanitarian aid to children and tuberculosis patients in North Korea
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
January 1
  • The ROK President gives a New Year message, stating "The ROK Government will strive to maintain an impregnable security posture and prepare specific contingency plans against any possible provocation by the North. Building on this, the Government will redouble its efforts to further promote peace on the Korean Peninsula and lay the groundwork for peaceful unification."
January 1
  • Kim Jong Un delivers a New Year speech, stating "A favorable climate should be established for improved relations between the North and the South...... We will join hands with anyone who opts to give priority to the nation and wishes for its unification, regardless of his or her past, and continue to strive for better inter-Korean relations.”
January 3
  • The Unification Ministry spokesperson announces the government‘s position on the North Korea‘s New Year speech, stating that the North should first show sincerity in building trust towards improving inter-Korean relations.
January 6
  • In her New Year press conference, President Park proposes the establishment of groundwork for an era of a unified Korea as one of the key administrative tasks for this year, and emphasizes resolution of the North Korean nuclear issue, strengthened humanitarian aid, an increase in exchanges in the private sector, and the resumption of reunions for separated families. As regards to the public‘s concerns over the cost of unification, President Park refers to unification as a "bonanza," stressing that unification would lead to great economic growth in the South.
January 6
  • The president of the Korean Red Cross sends a message to the Chairman of the Central Committee of the North Korean Red Cross Society to propose the holding of inter-Korean working-level Red Cross meetings at Tongilgak in the northern part of Panmunjom to discuss reunions for war-separated families on Lunar New Year‘s Day.
January 9
  • Pyongyang sends a message to Seoul through its secretariat of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland refusing to hold working-level Red Cross meetings, citing the South‘s military drills.
January 9
  • The Unification Ministry spokesperson expresses regret over Pyongyang‘s linking the annual military exercises with humanitarian issues and urged Pyongyang to accede to the reunions.
January 15
  • The government approves three NGOs (South-North Sharing, Seomgim, and Love One Korea) to provide North Korean infants, toddlers, and children with items worth 425 million won including bread ingredients, powdered formula, and underwear.
January 15
  • Pyongyang, in a statement issued by the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, demands Seoul stop the joint ROK-US military exercises while arguing that inter-Korean relations were potentially headed towards catastrophe.
January 16
  • North Korea‘s National Defense Commission (NDC) demands three items in their "significant proposals": (i) to take practical measures to create an atmosphere of better inter-Korean relations; (ii) to take practical measures to completely cease all military hostilities against each other; and (iii) to take realistic measures to prevent nuclear disasters.
January 17
  • In response to these “significant proposals,” the Ministry of Unification expresses regrets over the North‘s distortion of facts and emphasized that the issue of war-separated families is a pressing issue of purely humanitarian ends, and should not be associated with political or military circumstances.
January 17
  • The South and North agree on a timeline to hold a Joint Subcommittee for 3Cs (January 24) through consultations of the South-North Joint Committee for the Gaeseong Industrial Complex.
January 20
  • Kenneth Bae, an American missionary detained in North Korea, holds a press conference to appeal to the U.S. government, the press, and his family to strive to secure his freedom.
January 24
  • South and North Korea holds the fourth round of the Joint Subcommittee for 3Cs for the GIC.
January 24
  • The NDC releases an open letter calling for the South to respond to its "significant proposals."
January 24
  • The Ministry of Unification announces in its spokesperson‘s statement the government‘s stance on the North‘s open letter that the North should first prove its sincerity through action because whether or not the North‘s "important proposal" is a camouflaged peace offensive cannot be determined by words.
January 24
  • The chairman of the Central Committee of the North Korean Red Cross Society sends a message to the president of the Korean Red Cross to accept the South‘s proposal concerning the reunions of separated families.
January 24
  • The Ministry of Unification states in its spokesperson‘s message that the ROK government welcomes the North‘s acceptance of the South‘s proposal for the inter-Korean family reunions, although late.
January 27
  • The president of the Korean Red Cross sends a message to the chairman of the Central Committee of the North Korean Red Cross Society proposing the timeline of the reunions of separated families (February 17-22) as well as the holding of inter-Korean Red Cross working-level meetings to prepare for the reunions at Tongilgak in the northern part of Panmunjom on January 29.
January 27
  • The secretariat of the National Defense Commission Policy Department sends a message to the National Security Office under the Blue House demanding that the South halt its navy shooting drills and threatens that the South would pay dearly if it continues the drills.
January 28
  • The ROK Ministry of Defense sends a message to the North through its policy planning officer stressing that routine military drills should not affect the reunions of separated families, warning that Seoul would react sternly to any provocations by Pyongyang.
January 28
  • Test operations starts for the RFID-based electronic entry system for the GIC.
January 31
  • In response to the North‘s delayed replies to the South‘s proposal for working-level Red Cross meetings, the Minister of Unification expressed regret over the North‘s ambiguous attitude and called for Pyongyang to promptly respond to the request for the reunions. (Words of encouragement at a joint memorial service for ancestors)
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
February 3
  • The South and North agreed to convene working-level Red Cross meetings at Tongilgak in the northern part of Panmunjeom on February 5 to discuss the reunions of separated families.
February 5
  • Working-level Red Cross meetings were convened and reached agreement to hold the reunions for separated families on Mt. Geumgang on February 20-25 during the Lunar New Year holiday.
February 6
  • The Ministry of Unification, in its New Year‘s report to the President, presents nine key initiatives based on its three strategic points for 2014: (i) the establishment of sustainable peace on the Korean Peninsula; (ii) the full-fledged operation of the Trust-Building Process on the Korean Peninsula; and (iii) preparations for an era of a unified Korean Peninsula.
February 6
  • The North‘s National Defense Commission Policy Department issues a statement that the North might not fulfill the agreement as long as the South‘s slander continues against the North Korean regime, indicating that it may not carry out the agreed reunions.
February 6
  • In response to the North‘s National Defense Commission Policy Department statement, the Unification Ministry announces the ROK government‘s stance by expressing regret over the North‘s threats and connecting irrelevant events to the reunions, and reaffirmed that the agreement must be observed.
February 7
  • The Joint Subcommittee for 3Cs holds working-level meetings on communications to agree upon the Internet connection methods including Internet network configuration and routes and service offering methods.
February 8
  • North Korea‘s National Defense Commission sends a message to the Blue House proposing the holding of inter-Korean high-level meetings.
February 10
  • The two Koreas agree to convene a high-level inter-Korean meeting at the Peace House in Panmunjom on February 12.
February 12
  • South and North Korea holds a high-level inter-Korean meeting to comprehensively discuss pressing issues such as the reunions of separated families and the cessation of slander and defamation against each other and ended with no specific agreements.
February 14
  • The inter-Korean high-level meeting resumes and North and South announce an agreed joint press release, stating that (i) the reunions of separated families would take place as scheduled; (ii) slander and defamation against each other should be ended to promote mutual understanding and trust; and (iii) the two Koreas should continue to discuss matters of mutual interest, make strenuous efforts to improve inter-Korean ties, and hold high-level meetings at a mutually convenient time.
February 17
  • The Commission Of Inquiry on Human Rights in the Democratic People‘s Republic of Korea (COI) presents its final report on the human rights situation in North Korea.
February 18
  • At a Cabinet meeting, President Park orders the formulation of fundamental measures on the reunions of separated families. She says, "Last year alone, there were 3,800 applicants for the reunion who passed away without meeting their family members. There should be fundamental measures through which separated families can meet each other more often."
February 20-25
  • The reunions of separated families is held at Mt. Geumgang during the Lunar New Year holiday. At the first round (February 20-22), 82 South Koreans meet with 178 North Korean family members. At the second round (February 23-25), 88 North Koreans meet with 357 South Korean family members.
February 21
  • Inter-Korean communication service providers holds meetings to discuss the timeline for construction of the Internet network and other matters related to the 3Cs for the GIC.
February 21
  • The ROK government allows humanitarian supplies to be delivered to the North: 17 tons of powdered milk worth 340 million won provided by the 1090 Peace and Unification Movement Foundation and tuberculosis medications worth 720 million won by the Eugene Bell Foundation.
February 21
  • North Korea fires four short-range missiles.
February 24
  • The commissioner of the Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency of South Korea sends a message to the chairman of the National Veterinary Quarantine Committee of North Korea to offer help to the North in preventing the spread of and fight against foot-and-mouth disease in the North and propose the holding of working-level meetings.
February 24-25
  • A North Korean patrol boat violates the Northern Limit Line (NLL) three times in the coastal waters of Yeonpyeong-do, approximately 24 km west of the island.
February 25
  • President Park announces a three-year plan for economic innovation and an initiative to launch a preparatory committee for unification.
February 27
  • Seoul approves a private organization, Seomgim, to send humanitarian aid in the form of nutritious powder worth 190 million won to North Korean children.
February 27
  • North Korea fires four short-range ballistic missiles.
February 27
  • Kim Jong-wook, a South Korean detained in North Korea, speaks at a news conference.
February 27
  • The Ministry of Unification spokesperson announces the ROK government‘s stance, strongly urging Pyongyang to forthwith repatriate the detained South Korean.
February 28
  • Pyongyang refuses to receive the South‘s message calling for the prompt repatriation of the South Korean detained in Pyongyang.
2013
Date Events
March 1
  • In her Independence Movement Day address, President Park emphasizes the establishment of the foundation for lasting peace and unification on the Korean Peninsula and proposed to make the reunions of separated families regular.
March 5
  • The North‘s National Defense Commission sends a message to the Office of National Security of the South, claiming that the South violated the agreement on the cessation of slander and defamation as a private South Korean organization sent anti-Communist leaflets to the North.
March 5
  • The president of the Korean Red Cross sends a message to the chairman of the Central Committee of the DPRK Red Cross Society proposing to hold working-level inter-Korean Red Cross meetings at the Peach House on March 12 to discuss resolution of the issues surrounding war-separated families, including the regularization of reunions
March 6
  • Regarding the leaflet drop, the Office of National Security sends a message to the National Defense Commission reemphasizing that the government cannot restrict people‘s freedom of expression, assembly and association and calling for Pyongyang to take the responsible stance.
March 7
  • The chairman of the Central Committee of the North Korean Red Cross Society sends a message to the president of the Korean Red Cross stating that it is not time to have working-level meeting to discuss the issue of separated families and that given the current inter-Korean relations, humanitarian issues like the regularization of reunions of separated families are too important to be resolved through inter-Korean Red Cross discussions.
March 7
  • The president of the Korean Red Cross sends a message to the chairman of the Central Committee of the North Korean Red Cross Society reiterating that the issue of separated families should not be affected by political and military circumstances and calling for the North to respond to the South‘s proposal.
March 11
  • A spokesperson for the North Korean delegation of the inter-Korean high-level meetings argues that the implementation of high-level meetings is at a crossroads.
March 13
  • At the first meeting of the South-North Commercial Dispute Arbitration Committee for the GIC, the two Koreas share recognition that the arbitration system is instrumental and agree to exchange opinions on arbitration procedures and continue their discussions.
March 14
  • The North‘s National Defense Commission argues in its statement that the U.S. revoke its hostile policy towards North Korea and threatened to take "further steps" to flex its nuclear muscle.
March 23
  • At the Korea-China summit meeting held during the Nuclear Security Summit, the two countries agree to further communication and cooperation to make practical progress in denuclearization of North Korea.
March 24
  • In her keynote speech at the Nuclear Security Summit, President Park emphasizes that the vision of a world without nuclear weapons should start on the Korean Peninsula through resolution of the North Korean nuclear issue.
March 25
  • South Korea, the US and Japan hold a three-way summit on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit and agreed to convene meetings of chief delegates to discuss the Six-Party Talks.
March 26
  • North Korea launches two mid-range Rodong missiles into the sea off its east coast. (※ The North fired a total of 90 missiles and rockets between February 21 and March 26 )
March 26
  • At the Korea-Germany summit, the two countries agree to effectively share Germany‘s experiences in unification to usher in the era of a unified Korea by establishing a multi-pronged cooperation system in various fields including social and economic integration and international cooperation.
March 26
  • In relation to the anti-Communist leaflets sent to the North, the CPRK secretariat in its media report threatens that the inter-Korean ties would end in catastrophe.
March 27
  • In answer to a question from a reporter of the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the CPRK spokesperson condemns the South by mentioning the name of the President while arguing that President Park‘s statement on the North Korean nuclear weapons at the Nuclear Security Summit was made in violation of the agreement on the cessation of mutual slander and defamation reached at the high-level meetings.
March 27
  • The Unification Ministry spokesperson points out that the North‘s slander against the chief of state of the South is a violation of the inter-Korean agreement, expressed regret, and called for the prevention of recurrence.
March 27
  • The UN Security Council makes oral statements under the name of its president with respect to North Korea‘s launch of Rodong missiles.
March 28
  • The ROK government repatriates a North Korean fishing boat captured after crossing the NLL in the Yellow Sea on March 27.
March 28
  • The spokesperson of the General Staff of the People‘s Army of North Korea argues that the seizure of the North Korean fishing boat was maritime gangster-like behavior.
March 28
  • In her address titled "An Initiative for Peaceful Unification on the Korean Peninsula" in Dresden, Germany, President Park presents three proposals to lay the groundwork for peaceful unification.
March 29
  • Regarding the South‘s scattering of anti-Communist leaflets, the spokesperson for the North‘s delegation to the high-level meetings with the South mentions "ashes" and "a deluge of fire" in its threats.
March 29
  • The crew of the repatriated fishing boat has press interviews.
March 30
  • Regarding the statement made by the spokesperson for the North‘s delegation, the Unification Ministry spokesperson announces the position of the ROK government that the announcement of the North is an outright breach of inter-Korean agreements and sternly warned that such behavior should not recur.
March 30
  • In a press release, the South Korean Ministry of Defense explains that it executed operations according to due process to repatriate the fishing boat and promptly sent it back to the North for humanitarian reasons.
March 30
  • In a statement, the North‘s Foreign Ministry warns that carrying out a new form of nuclear test to further strengthen its nuclear deterrence will not be ruled out.
March 31
  • North Korea carries out shooting drills near the western sea border. As the North fires about 500 shells (about 100 shells landed in the southern part of the NLL), South Korea responds by firing about 300 shells into North Korean waters.
2013
Date Events
April 1
  • In relation to the North‘s condemnation (KCNA on March 31) of President Park‘s speech in Dresden, the Unification Ministry spokesperson urges the North to abstain from senseless behavior such as depraved slander against diplomatic activity of the Chief of State and act with prudence, emphasizing that the North should constructively respond to the Dresden proposals.
April 6
  • The South Korean Coast Guard rescues North Korean crew members from a Mongolian-flagged cargo ship that sank off the coast of South Korea‘s southern city of Yeosu on April 4. Three crew members who had been rescued and two bodies that had been recovered from the waters are handed over to North Korea through Panmunjom.
April 7
  • South Korea, the US and Japan convene a meeting of chief delegates to discuss the Six-Party Talks in Washington.
April 9
  • North Korea holds the first session of the 13th Supreme People‘s Assembly.
April 11
  • Hwang Joon-kook, South Korea’s chief delegate to the Six-Party Talks, visited China on April 11-12.
April 11
  • The Ministry of Defense announces in its interim results of a joint investigation that it has found several pieces of circumstantial evidence that indicate the crashed drones were sent by North Korea.
April 12
  • In his statement, North Korea‘s National Defense Commission spokesperson denounces President Park‘s Dresden Declaration as a theory of unification through absorption and absurd nonsense, declaring that the South had slandered the North by telling such lies as there being "hunger" and "pain" in North Korea.
April 14
  • The CPRK secretariat claims in its open letter that the drone incident is an attempt to fabricate a second Cheonan incident.
April 14
  • Wu Dawei, China‘s chief delegate to the Six-Party Talks, visits the US on April 14-17.
April 14
  • As regards the North‘s open letter, Seoul‘s Defense Ministry spokesperson states in his briefing that it was almost certain to everyone that North Korea is responsible for the drones, calling for the North to stop slandering the South.
April 15
  • An inspection group from North Korea‘s National Defense Commission claims in an open letter that the allegation that drones had been sent by the North is a complete fabrication, calling for a joint investigation into the incident.
April 16
  • The Defense Ministry spokesperson in his briefing dismisses Pyongyang‘s proposal for a joint investigation as lowbrow psychological warfare intended to aggravate social division.
April 17
  • The CPRK secretariat claims in its media report that the National Intelligence Service of South Korea be dissolved and its head be dismissed given the result of investigations into a case of spying by a public servant of the city of Seoul (announced on April 14).
April 17
  • The UN Security Council holds meetings to take countermeasures against the crimes against humanity committed by the North Korean regime.
April 19
  • In his answer to a question asked by a KCNA reporter, North Korea‘s Foreign Ministry spokesperson states, "The US is thoughtlessly making an anti-DPRK fuss with human rights to mobilize its followers."
April 21
  • Regarding President Obama‘s trip to Asia, North Korea‘s Foreign Ministry warns in a statement that North Korea would redouble its efforts to bolster deterrence in the interest of self defense as long as the US is hostile toward North Korea.
April 21
  • In his answer to a question concerning the installation of a United Nations field office on human rights in North Korea, a CPRK spokesperson states that the incident is considered to be a significant provocation that insults and ridicules the North Korean people and system, warning that the South would pay a miserable price since the North considers it a declaration of war.
April 22
  • Seoul, in a message sent by the Secretariat of the South-North Joint Committee for GIC, proposes working-level meetings to discuss come-and-go and communications on April 29.
April 23
  • The chairman of the Central Committee of the North Korean Red Cross Society sends a message to the president of the Korean Red Cross offering condolences for the victims of the Sewol ferry sinking.
April 23
  • The CPRK sends an open letter of questions to President Park asking whether she wants improvement of inter-Korean relations or confrontation, unification or division, and peace or war, shifting the responsibility for strained inter-Korean relations to the South.
April 24
  • In relation to the sinking of the Sewol ferry, the North‘s National Reconciliation Council sends a message to the Korean Council for Reconciliation and Cooperation stating it extends its heartfelt condolences for the grievous accident.
April 24
  • The North Side Committee for Implementing the June 15 Joint Declaration sends a message to the South Side Committee expressing deep sorrow over the sinking of the Sewol Ferry and conveying sincere condolences.
April 25
  • At the Korea-US Summit, the two countries confirm solid cooperation over North Korea and its nuclear issues.
April 27
  • The CPRK, in a statement, slanders President Park in relation to the Korea-US Summit and warns the North would never condone anyone who defies the dignity and systems of the DPRK as well as its policy of simultaneously pursuing economic and nuclear development.
April 28
  • The Ministry of Unification spokesperson states that the CPRK statement represents immoral conduct that the North continues to swear and bombard with unspeakable words in breach of the agreement on the cessation of slander, calling for the North to break away from such senseless acts and opt for the way of national unity and co-prosperity.
April 28
  • North Korea‘s National Defense Commission, in a statement, warns that the North may engage in such actions as testing of boosted fission weapons or new ICBMs.
April 29
  • North Korea conducts live-fire artillery drills near the western sea from 14:00 and fired about 50 shells (No shells landed in South Korean territorial waters).
April 30
  • The North‘s Foreign Ministry says in his statement that the March 30 declaration that a new form of nuclear test is not ruled out has no time limitation.
April 30
  • Regarding the return of cultural properties of the Joseon Dynasty by the US, the CPRK secretariat in its media report condemns the US stating that the US starting an argument by saying that North Korea plundered the cultural properties is a shameless scheme and another vicious provocation.
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
May 3
  • North Korea’s National Committee for Peace of Korea, in a statement, denounces the agreement at the Korean and US summits to reexamine the time to transfer wartime operational control as a crime against the nation.
May 8
  • The Ministry of Defense announces a scientific and technical investigation on the drones, presenting “a smoking gun” as evidence that they had been sent by North Korea. * The analysis on their flight paths confirmed the points of departure and return of all three drones were regions in North Korea.
May 11
  • The inspection group of North Korea‘s National Defense Commission, in a statement, rejects the investigation findings by the South‘s Ministry of Defense, reiterating the need for a joint investigation.
May 12
  • In his briefing, the Defense Ministry spokesperson dismisses the North‘s insistence on joint investigation by saying that it is absolutely preposterous for the North to investigate crimes that the North itself committed. * He strongly pointed this out by mentioning that the North Korean regime should be “gotten rid of."
May 13
  • Regarding the May 12 statement by the Defense Ministry spokesperson, North Korea‘s National Defense Commission claims in an important report that the South openly showed its ambition for unification by absorption and declared all-out confrontation between systems, threatening a retaliatory war.
May 13
  • In a statement, the CPRK threatens that the Blue House would not be safe unless the Defense Ministry spokesperson and manipulators were strongly punished.
May 14
  • The Ministry of Unification expresses regret over Pyongyang‘s provocative threats and propaganda, calling for Pyongyang to reflect on their conduct.
May 19
  • The CPRK secretariat claims in its report that the Sewol ferry incident was not an accident, but an announced murder and intentional slaughter.
May 20-21
  • The Minister of Unification attends the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measure in Asia (CICA) Summit held in Shanghai, delivering a warning regarding the North‘s fourth nuclear test and explaining and calling for support for the Dresden Initiative and the Northeast Asia Peace and Cooperation Initiative.
May 20
  • The president of the Korean Red Cross sends condolences to his North Korean counterpart regarding the collapse of an apartment in Pyeongcheon district in Pyongyang.
May 20
  • A South Korean naval ship fires warning shots at two patrol boats and one government ship from North Korea that crossed over the NLL.
May 21
  • The Southwestern Front Command of the North Korean Army in its open media report threatens Seoul by saying that military vessels of the South would be the direct targets of strikes and warned that Seoul would face military attacks without warning if it offers provocation on the five West Sea islands.
May 21
  • Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung pays a vist to the GIC.
May 22
  • North Korea fires two artillery shells into waters 150m away from a South Korean warship engaged in a routine patrol mission 14 km southwest of Yeonpyeong Island south of the NLL. In response, South Korean naval ships fires five shells near a North Korean warship on patrol north of the NLL.
May 22
  • The chief delegate for inter-Korean general-level military talks sends a message to its Pyongyang counterpart sternly warning about the armed provocation against the South‘s warship and reaffirming Seoul would take strong measures if such provocations continue.
May 23
  • The Southwestern Front Command of the North Korean Army in its report denounces as sheer fabrication Seoul‘s assertion that Pyongyang fired shells at a South Korean warship on patrol.
May 23
  • The President presides over a joint policy briefing by the foreign and security ministries in relation to the North‘s armed provocation in the Yellow Sea boundary.
May 23
  • Pyongyang expresses its intention to participate in the Incheon Asian Games (September 19-October 4).
May 26
  • Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi visits Korea (May 26-27) to meet with President Park and hold meetings with his South Korean counterpart.
May 27
  • The spokesperson of the Southwestern Front Command of the North Korean Army condemns the convening of the emergency security minister meeting held on May 23 as a double-faced deceitful act, mentioning that the Ministry of Defense has failed to identify the launching point.
May 28
  • The ROK government declares its acceptance of the request by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to set up a United Nations field office on human rights in North Korea.
May 29
  • In a statement, the CPRK denounces the statements of the Defense Ministry spokesperson and Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin, warning it would mete out "stern punishment."
May 29
  • North Korea and Japan agree to reinvestigate the abduction of Japanese citizens, and ease sanctions against Pyongyang in return for such cooperation.
May 30
  • North Korea‘s Supreme Court sentences South Korean missionary Kim Jeong-wook, detained in the North, to hard labor for life.
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
June 1
  • Regarding the May 30 sentencing of the South Korean missionary, the Unification Ministry spokesperson in his statement expresses regret and called on Pyongyang to promptly release and repatriate him.
June 3
  • The ROK government repatriated, through Panmunjeom, one of three North Korean fishermen who had been rescued by a South Korean coast guard vessel after their ship ran adrift off the east coast of South Korea.
June 4
  • The Ministry of Unification approves the Gyungnam Unification Agricultural Cooperation to send to the North agricultural aid supplies including strawberry seedlings worth 33 million won.
June 5
  • The Central Committee of the DPRK Red Cross Society makes statements that the defection of two of the rescued fishermen is unjustified detainment, threatening that it would take stern measures unless they are immediately sent back.
June 6
  • President Park in her Memorial Day address urges Pyongyang to stop nuclear development and provocative threats.
June 6
  • Regarding Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin‘s appointment as the national security adviser, the CPRK secretariat in a media report states that inter-Korean relations would be inevitably driven to catastrophe and the risk of war would be created.
June 9
  • A CPRK denounces the installation of a field office in the South on human rights in North Korea as an anti-DPRK snare intended as a prelude to invasion and subversion and warned of a merciless shower of fire.
June 9
  • South Korea‘s chairman of the South-North Joint Committee for GIC sends a message to his North Korean counterpart proposing a fifth meeting of the committee on June 19.
June 10
  • The Ministry of Unification sends a message to the United Front Department of North Korea expressing regret over the detainment and unilateral sentencing of the South Korean missionary Kim Jeong-wook and proposed inter-authority working-level meetings to discuss the issue at Panmunjeom on June 17.
June 12
  • The United Front Department of North Korea sends a message to the Ministry of Unification rejecting the proposal to discuss the South Korean missionary Kim Jeong-wook.
June 12
  • In a press release, the Ministry of Unification expresses regret over Pyongyang‘s rejection of Seoul‘s proposal for working-level meetings despite its unilateral arrest and detainment of a South Korean citizen, urging the North to respond positively to the proposal.
June 16
  • The ROK government repatriates through Panmunjom all five fishermen who had been rescued from the South Korean side of the East Sea after being stranded (June 13) as they intended to return to the North.
June 16
  • A North Korean fisherman is rescued while drifting in South Korean waters on the South Korean side of the East Sea (He expressed his intention to defect).
June 19
  • The CPRK secretariat in its media report criticizes Moon Chang-keuk, a prime minister candidate, insisting on the revocation of his nomination.
June 23
  • North Korea‘s chairman of the South-North Joint Committee for GIC sends a message to his South Korean counterpart proposing a fifth meeting of the committee on June 26.
June 24
  • South Korea‘s chairman of the South-North Joint Committee for GIC sends a message to his North Korean counterpart concurring to the North‘s proposal.
June 24
  • The CPRK in a statement condemns ceremonies marking the 64th anniversary of the Korean War as an event to "justify the South‘s invasion of North Korea and make frantic efforts to wage a nuclear war against the North."
June 25
  • South Korean personnel engages in the Joint Publication of the Big Dictionary of the Korean People’s Language visited the North (Gaeseong) to discuss resumption of the project.
June 26
  • Green One Korea holds a working-level meeting in Gaeseong with the North‘s National Reconciliation Council to discuss cooperation concerning forestation.
June 26
  • The two countries holds the fifth session of the South-North Joint Committee for GIC, confirmed each other‘s positions, and ended with no agreements.
June 26
  • Pyongyang fires three short-range projectiles off its east coast.
June 26
  • Regarding the South‘s military drills near Yeonpyeong Island, the Southwestern Front Command of the North Korean Army in an important report warns that "all we need is the order from the Supreme Command to strike."
June 29
  • North Korea fires two short-range ballistic missiles.
June 30
  • North Korea‘s NDC announces its ‘special proposal‘ to the ROK government, asking the South to cease slander and defamation and hostile military behavior, and to take practical measures for reconciliation and cooperation.
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
July 1
  • The Unification Ministry spokesperson, in a statement, announces the ROK government’s position on “a special proposal (June 30th)” made by North Korea’s National Defense Commission.
  • He urges Pyongyang to show its sincerity in addressing the nuclear issue and engaging in inter-Korean dialogue and cooperation, while pointing out the lack of sincerity in the North’s proposal.
July 1
  • The Association of Inter-Korean Historians consults a visit to the North (Gaeseong) regarding a survey for the joint excavation of the ancient royal palace site of Manwoldae in Gaeseong.
July 2
  • North Korea fires two short-range projectiles into the East Sea.
July 2
  • Gyeonggi Province and the Gyeonggi Cultural Foundation consult a visit to the North (Gaeseong) regarding the project to preserve a village of traditional Korean houses (Hanok) in Gaeseong.
July 3
  • The two heads of state of South Korea and China hold a summit meeting discussing the geopolitical issues on the Korean Peninsula, including the North Korean nuclear issue, and mutual interests in Northeast Asia, adopting a 「Joint Statement」. ※ Main contents of the Joint Statement: △ Firmly oppose nuclear development on the Korean Peninsula △ Build trust between South and North Korea through the Trust-building Process on the Korean Peninsula, thus developing inter-Korean relations and establishing lasting peace, △ Address humanitarian issues, build an infrastructure for improving the livelihood of the people, and make efforts to restore a sense of unity, thus contributing to achieving a peaceful unification, △ China respects the Korean people’s yearning for a peaceful unification on the Korean Peninsula, ultimately supporting the realization of a peaceful unification on the Peninsula.
July 3
  • A North Korean resident crosses over to Baekryeong Island and requests to defect to South Korea.
July 4
  • Medical Aid for Children consults a visit to the North (Gaeseong) regarding medical aid.
July 6
  • North Korea’s working-level military chief of the West Sea district sends a message stating that the North will enforce tougher regulations if South Koreans violate the come-and-go rules regarding the Gaeseong Industrial Complex (GIC).
July 7
  • The DPRK government, in a statement, calls on the South to stop war drills to invade the North and to respect and fulfill the agreements between the South and the North, including the June 15 Joint Declaration and the October 4 Declaration, and announces that it will send a cheering squad to the Incheon Asian Games.
July 7
  • In his briefing, the Unification Ministry spokesperson urges the North to come forward to engage in dialogue with the South as soon as possible, instead of repeating irrational arguments.
  • With regard to the North’s dispatching of a cheering squad, he states a plan to consult with the Organizing Committee and prepare necessary matters in accordance with international practices with the position of supporting the successful hosting of the Asian Games.
July 8
  • South Korea’s working-level military chief of the West Sea district sends a message stating that pending issues regarding the GIC, including the maintenance of order, should be addressed through consultations between the South and the North, not by unilateral measures.
July 9
  • World Vision consults a visit to the North (Gaeseong) regarding a joint farming project.
July 9
  • Pyongyang fires two short-range ballistic missiles into the East Sea.
July 11
  • The South sends a message making a counter offer of holding working-level talks on the South Korean side of Panmunjeom on July 17th.
July 13
  • The North fires two short-range missiles into the East Sea.
July 14
  • The North fires about 100 artillery shells into the East Sea from a location near the Military Demarcation Line (MDL) in Goseong.
July 15
  • The selected members of the Presidential Preparatory Committee for Unification are announced.
July 15
  • The North’s checkpoint in the GIC unilaterally notifies the South’s GIC Management Committee that it will enforce tougher regulations if South Koreans violate the come-and-go rules beginning from July 18th.
July 17
  • South and North Korea hold working-level talks regarding North Korea’s dispatching of athletes and a cheering squad to the Incheon Asian Games (Panmunjeom).
  • The South demands the specific explanations and clarifications regarding the North Korean athletes and the cheering squad participating in the Asian Games. In response, the North unilaterally declares the collapse of the talks and proceeds to walk out of the talks.
July 17
  • The Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) accepts North Korea as an observer.
July 19
  • The head of the North Korean delegation for working-level talks issues a statement shifting the responsibility for the collapse of the talks to the South and threatening to reconsider its participation in the Asian Games.
July 21
  • A spokesperson of the Policy Department of the National Defense Commission issues a statement arguing that firing a missile is a legitimate exercise of sovereignty and that the South should stop ROK-U.S. military exercises.
July 21
  • The Unification Ministry spokesperson, in his briefing, urges the North to come forward with a more sincere attitude should it actually seek to participate in the Incheon Asian Games and improve inter-Korean relations.
July 25
  • The Ministry of Unification approves the Eugene Bell Foundation’s sending of TB treatments and medicine worth 770 million won to the North.
July 26
  • The North fires one short-range missile into the East Sea.
July 28
  • The chairman of the DPRK Red Cross Society sends a message to the president of the Korean Red Cross notifying it that it will hand over a dead body presumed to be a South Korean resident discovered on July 27th to the South via Panmunjeom on July 30th.
July 29
  • The Dhangoon National Peace and Unification Council consults a visit to the North (Gaeseong) regarding the hosting of a joint ceremony to celebrate the National Foundation Day of Korea.
July 29
  • The Joint Board of South and North Korea for the Compilation of Gyeoremal Keunsajeon (Big Dictionary of the Korean People’s Language) holds a meeting in Shenyang, China from July 29th to August 6th.
July 30
  • The South receives a South Korean body (Panmumjeom).
July 30
  • The North fires four short-range projectiles from a location near Mt. Myohyang toward its east coast.
July 30
  • Cheondogyo consults a visit to the North (Gaeseong) regarding the South-North joint event to celebrate the 120th anniversary of the Donghak Peasant Revolution.
July 31
  • North Korea’s Korean Peace Advocacy National Committee spokesperson issues a statement calling upon the South to stop the Ulchi-Freedom Guardian (UFG) military exercises and threatening to attack the Blue House.
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
August 4
  • Chairwoman Hyun Jeong-eun and officials from Hyundai Asan Corp. visit the North (Mt. Geumgang) to participate in the memorial ceremony to mark the 11th anniversary of the death of former Chairman Chung Mong-hun.
August 7
  • The first meeting of the Presidential Preparatory Committee for Unification presided over by President Park is held. The government and civilian vice-chairs make a report, followed by discussions. ※ Roles of the Presidential Preparatory Committee for Unification (the President’s overall remarks): ① Create a blueprint for unification that can touch the people’s hearts, ② Play the role of a smart navigator along the way toward unification, ③ Serve as a furnace of integration where the people’s will for unification melts into one
August 7
  • Peace 3000 consults regarding joint events, including a joint mass between the South and the North (Gaeseong).
August 8
  • The National Olympic Committee for North Korea notifies the secretariat of the Olympic Council of Asia that it will attend the Draw Ceremony of the Incheon Asian Games (August 20-22).
August 11
  • The South’s chief delegate for the high-level talks sends a message to his North Korean counterpart proposing to hold the 2nd high-level talks at Tongilgak on the North Korean side of Panmunjeom on August 19th, and expressing its intention to discuss mutual interests, including the reunion of separated families, on the occasion of Chuseok.
August 11
  • The Ministry of Unification announces that it plans to support the Maternal and Child Health Care Project in North Korea through WFP (7 million dollars) and WHO (6.3 million dollars) from the Inter-Korean Cooperation Fund.
August 12
  • A North Korean fishing boat crosses the Northern Limit Line (NLL) and retreats after the South Korean Navy fires warning shots.
August 13
  • The North’s Southwest Frontline Military Command, in a press release, distorts the facts, arguing that the South fired indiscriminately at a North Korean fishing boat, and threatens retaliation.
August 13
  • The National Council of Churches in Korea holds the August 15 joint prayer service in Pyongyang (August 13-16).
August 14
  • The Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland issues a statement repeating its existing claims, such as stopping the Ulchi-Freedom Guardian (UFG) military exercises and lifting the May 24 Measures, and arguing for addressing fundamental issues first on the occasion of August 15.
August 14
  • Two North Korean citizens defect to the South via Gyodong Island in Incheon.
August 14
  • Pope Francis becomes the first acting Pope to visit South Korea in 25 years and delivers messages of peace for the Korean Peninsula (August 14-18). ※ Key messages: △ South Korea’s pursuit for peace will affect stability across the world, as well as in this region, △ Peace can be achieved through dialogue where people patiently listen to what others say, not by slandering or criticizing each other or by armed protests △ The Korean Peninsula will be gradually united as one and I will pray for it.
August 14
  • The North submits a list of 352 delegates, including 150 athletes in 14 sports, for the Incheon Asian Games via the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA).
August 15
  • In her congratulatory speech on the occasion of the National Liberation Day, President Park proposes to open up channels for the environment, the livelihood of people, and culture, urging the North to give up its nuclear program and respond to the South’s proposal for high-level talks. ※ Key messages: (Environmental cooperation) Connect and restore the severed ecosystem on the Korean Peninsula, jointly manage the forestries and the rivers that run from the North to the South, and encourage the North to participate in the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Pyeongchang in October; (The livelihood of people) Need to increase the reunion of separated families and humanitarian assistance, commence in full swing the cooperation for the building of infrastructure that supports the livelihood of people, share the South’s economic development know-how in the long term, and present a new growth model (utilize the North’s rich resources and workforce); (Culture) Jointly excavate and preserve our invaluable cultural assets and propose a joint cultural project to commemorate next year’s 70th anniversary of national liberation.
August 17
  • A spokesperson for the General Staff Department of the Korean People’s Army, in a statement, calls for stopping the UFG military exercises and threatens to launch a preemptive strike.
August 17
  • The Korean Asia-Pacific Peace Committee delivers a wreath to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the death of former President Kim Dae-jung (August 18th) in Gaeseong via Kim Yang-geon, Director of the United Front Department.
August 18
  • The Unification Ministry spokesperson, in a statement, urges the North to respond to the South’s proposal to hold high-level talks (August 11th).
August 18
  • North Korea’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, in a statement, threatens a “higher level of self-defense response” regarding the UFG.
August 18
  • The ROK government reports the 「2014 Action Plan of the Master Plan for Inter-Korean Relations Development」 to the Unification, Foreign Affairs and Trade Committee of the National Assembly.
  • ※ Main contents: △ Implement measures to build political and military trust, △ Address humanitarian issues substantially, △ Promote social and cultural exchanges to restore a sense of unity between South and North Korea, and △ Open up a standing dialogue channel between South and North Korean authorities.
August 19
  • The delegates of the National Olympic Committee for North Korea visit the South regarding the Draw Ceremony of the Incheon Asian Games (August 19-23). The North proposes to consult practical business affairs through the exchange of documents later while delivering a letter that includes a plan to dispatch a total of 273 delegates, including 150 athletes.
August 19
  • President Park stresses at a Cabinet meeting that we first need to do things that are possible at this point to build trust between South and North Korea, urging the North to respond to the South’s proposal made on August 15th.
August 22
  • The Unification Ministry spokesperson, in his briefing, announces that the ROK government will accept the North’s proposal for consultations through the exchange of documents and continue necessary consultations with the North.
August 25
  • At a press conference, North Korean Deputy UN Representative Ri Dong-il says that the North sent a letter to the UN Security Council that the ROK-U.S. joint military exercises should be brought up as an agenda, raising issue with the UFG military exercises to the international community.
August 26
  • The Organizing Committee of the Incheon Asian Games sends a letter that includes its position on the size of the North Korean delegation and the manner of their travel to North Korea’s National Olympic Committee.
August 28
  • Son Kwang-ho, the vice-chairman of North Korea’s National Olympic Committee, appears on Korean Central Television and expresses the North’s position that a cheering squad will not participate in the Incheon Asian Games.
August 29
  • The Unification Ministry spokesperson, in his briefing, explains that the ROK government will welcome the North’s delegates and cheering squad, offer them convenience in accordance with international practices, and continue cooperation, thus positively contributing to inter-Korean relations.
August 29
  • A spokesperson of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, in a statement, claims that the South should stop the ROK-U.S. joint military exercises if it is really interested in dialogue.
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
September 1
  • North Korea fires one short-range projectile from Chagang Province into the East Sea.
September 2
  • President Park stresses inter-Korean cooperation for unification and urges the North to change its attitude during a dialogue with overseas members of the National Unification Advisory Council.
September 4-5
  • While condemning the speculation of “high-level contacts between South and North Korea,” the North’s By Our Nation Itself presents the preconditions for the talks, such as △ Stopping the Ulchi-Freedom Guardian (UFG) military exercises, △ Implementing the existing joint declarations between Seoul and Pyongyang, and △ Resuming Mt. Geumgang tourism.
September 5
  • The Unification Ministry spokesperson, in his commentary, expresses regret that the North has yet to respond to the South’s proposal for high-level contacts and urges Pyongyang to respond even at this belated time.
September 5
  • The chairman of the DPRK Red Cross Society sends a message to the president of the Korean Red Cross notifying it that the North will hand over a South Korean citizen, who entered the North illegally, via Panmunjeom on September 11th.
September 5
  • The president of the Korean Red Cross sends a message to the chairman of the DPRK Red Cross Society delivering its willingness to claim the South Korean citizen.
September 6
  • North Korea fires three short-range projectiles from Wonsan into the East Sea.
September 7
  • A spokesperson of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, in a statement, calls upon the South to stop the ROK-U.S. joint military exercises and withdraw U.S. troops stationed in South Korea.
September 8
  • The South returns three North Korean residents and a fishing boat rescued near the Dokdo islets on September 7th to the North via Panmunjeom.
September 11
  • The South’s chairman of the 3Cs (Come-and-go, Communications, and Customs) Subcommittee of the South-North Joint Management Committee for the Gaeseong Industrial Complex (GIC) sends a message to his North Korean counterpart proposing to hold the meeting of the 3Cs Subcommittee to consult such issues as implementing free passage and connecting the Internet on September 18th.
September 11
  • The Minister of Environment of South Korea sends a message to the Minister of Land and Environmental Protection of North Korea urging the North to participate in the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity.
September 11
  • The North’s advance team of 94 delegates visits the South to participate in the Incheon Asian Games.
September 11
  • The North returns a South Korean resident, who entered the North illegally, to the South via Panmunjeom.
September 12
  • The president of the Korean Red Cross sends a message to the chairman of the DPRK Red Cross Society urging the North to release and repatriate Kim Jeong-wook, detained in the North while assessing the repatriation of the South Korean (September 11th).
September 13
  • A spokesperson of the North Korean delegation for high-level contacts, in a statement, denounces South Korean civic organizations’ scattering of leaflets as an anti-DPRK, psychological warfare tactic, threatens a retaliatory strike, and argues that it can engage in dialogue only if this issue is addressed.
September 13
  • The Secretariat of the National Defense Commission sends a message to the National Security Office at the Blue House stating similar messages to those in the statement made by the spokesperson of the North Korean delegation for high-level contacts.
September 13
  • The North’s chairman of the 3Cs Subcommittee of the South-North Joint Management Committee for the GIC sends a message to his South Korean counterpart arguing that only after addressing the issue of public order violations at the GIC and stopping the scattering of anti-North Korea leaflets will the 3C’s subcommittee meeting be resumed.
September 13
  • The Unification Ministry spokesperson, in his commentary, expresses regret that the North distorted the facts and threatened retaliation against the South’s civic organizations, even though the ROK government is fulfilling the agreement to halt cross-border slander, and urges the North to come forward to the dialogue table.
September 14
  • The South’s chairman of the 3Cs Subcommittee of the South-North Joint Management Committee for the GIC sends a message to his North Korean counterpart expressing regret that the North presented issues irrelevant to the GIC as preconditions for holding the Subcommittee meeting and urging the North to respond to the South’s proposal for the meeting.
September 14
  • The North sentences detained American tourist Matthew Todd Miller to six years of hard labor.
September 15
  • The Secretariat of the National Defense Commission sends a message to the National Security Office at the Blue House repeating the same arguments as in the message sent on September 13th.
September 15
  • The North’s chairman of the 3Cs Subcommittee of the South-North Joint Management Committee for the GIC sends a message to his South Korean counterpart repeating its arguments that the come-and-go, communications, and customs issues can only be addressed after resolving the leaflet-scattering issue.
September 18
  • The ROK government decides to support the Maternal and Child Health Care Project through WHO and WFP (13.3 million dollars).
September 18
  • North Korea notifies its participation in the CISM World Military Pentathlon Championship in Yeongcheon, North Gyeongsang Province (October 2-11) via the International Military Sports Council.
September 19
  • The ROK government approves the provision of humanitarian assistance to the North by civic organizations, including Seomgim, or “the Devotion,” and the Korea Association of People Sharing Love.
September 19
  • A North Korean patrol boat crosses the Northern Limit Line (NLL) in the West Sea.
September 20
  • In a Q&A session with a reporter from the Korean Central News Agency, a spokesperson of the North Korean delegation for high-level contacts says that the North will “wait and see how the South will deal with the scattering of anti-North Korea leaflets on September 21st.”
September 22
  • A spokesperson of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, in a statement, demands that the leader should be punished regarding the South Korean civic organizations’ spreading of leaflets (September 21st) and hints that dialogue between the authorities of both sides is not possible, criticizing the ROK government.
September 24
  • In her keynote address at the UN General Assembly, President Park △ Presents a vision for a unified Korean Peninsula where the North Korean nuclear and human rights issues are addressed, △ Urges the North to give up its nuclear program and come forward to the path of changes that can improve the lives of people, △ Requests the North and the international community to take the necessary measures to implement the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry and calls for the international community to be interested in the human rights of North Korean refugees.
September 24
  • The Ministry of National Defense announces that a miniature drone collected near Baekryeong Island on September 15th has been identified as the same model as the North Korean drones discovered in Paju from March to April.
September 25
  • In his keynote speech at the 2014 Korea Global Forum, the Unification Minister stresses that the South is willing to bring all the inter-Korean issues to the table and resolve them, urging the North to respond to the South’s proposal for dialogue.
September 25
  • North Korea holds the Supreme People’s Assembly (Kim Jong-un absent).
September 26
  • The Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland issues a statement condemning President Park by name regarding her raising issue with the North Korean nuclear program and human rights during her address at the UN General Assembly.
September 27
  • A spokesperson of the Policy Department of the National Defense Commission, in a statement, criticizes President Park’s address at the U.N.
September 28
  • In his speech at the UN General Assembly, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Su-yong once again emphasizes the North’s existing position to have nuclear capabilities, lashes out at raising issue with the North Korean human rights issue, and argues for unification through the federal system.
September 29
  • The Unification Ministry spokesperson, in his briefing, criticizes the North’s rude criticism regarding President Park’s address at the UN General Assembly, and again, calls upon the North to come forward to the dialogue table if it wants to discuss pending issues.
September 29
  • The ROK government approves the provision of humanitarian assistance (200 million won worth of vegetable garden and greenhouse-related goods and farm materials and machinery, etc.) to the North by Ace Gyeongam, a charity foundation fund.
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
October 2
  • The Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland issues a statement calling for the South to fulfill South-North joint declarations, saying “It is our firm will to achieve independent unification, peace, and prosperity with the North-South joint declarations as a milestone for unification.”
October 3
  • Cheondogyo and the Dhangoon National Peace and Unification Council hold a joint event to mark the National Foundation Day of Korea.
October 3
  • North Korea notifies that high-level officials plan to visit the South via an official who is participating in the Asian Games, to which the South agrees.
October 4
  • North Korea’s senior delegation (Hwang Pyong-so, Director of the General Political Bureau, and Choe Ryong-hae and Kim Yang-gon, secretaries of the Worker’s Party Central Committee) visits the South and agrees to hold the 2nd high-level talks between late October and early November.
October 6
  • At the chief secretaries’ meeting, President Park urges the North to show its will to improve inter-Korean relations while stressing the efforts to make inter-Korean talks regular.
October 7
  • As a North Korean patrol boat crosses the Northern Limit Line (NLL) near Yeonpyeong Island, a skirmish takes place between South and North Korean naval vessels for the first time in five years.
October 7
  • Regarding the skirmish that occurred near the NLL in the West Sea, the North sends a message proposing an emergency contact between North Korean envoy Kim Yong-chol and Kim Kwan-jin, the chief of the National Security Office at Panmunjeon.
October 7
  • The South sends a message expressing its position that the NLL needs to be respected and observed and that the relevant matters can be discussed through high-level contacts or military talks.
October 8
  • The North again sends a message proposing an emergency contact.
  • In response, the South sends a messaging proposing to hold a closed military officials’ meeting on October 15th, to which the North agrees.
October 10
  • North Korea fires shots at the balloons containing anti-North Korea leaflets launched by the South’s civic organizations (the Fighters for Free North Korea and the Campaign for Helping North Korea in Direct Way), and some of the shots fall on the Civilian Control Line of the South, and in response, the ROK army returns fire.
October 10
  • The South sends a message strongly warning the North regarding the firing at leaflet-carrying balloons.
October 11
  • The North Korean delegates participate in the Incheon Asian Para Games (October 11-25).
October 12
  • A spokesperson of the North Korean delegation for high-level talks, in a statement, mentions that, “There is still an opportunity to make choice,” urging the South to change its position.
October 13
  • At the 2nd meeting of the Presidential Preparatory Committee for Unification, President Park emphasizes the importance of inter-Korean dialogue and asks to make good use of high-level talks as a chance to improve inter-Korean relations.
  • - At the same time, the President points out the contradictory aspects of inter-Korean relations, for example, agreeing on the North’s senior delegation’s visit to the South and high-level contacts while trading fire near the NLL and the Military Demarcation Line (DML), and stresses that the ROK government will maintain its consistent policy stance.
October 13
  • The head of the South Korean delegation for high-level contacts sends a message to his North Korean counterpart proposing to hold the 2nd high-level contacts at Tongilgak on the North Korean side of Panmunjeom on October 30th.
October 13
  • A joint Buddhist service is held to mark the restoration of Shingye Temple at Mt. Geumgang.
October 15
  • The military officials from South and North Korea hold talks, but the talks end without any agreements (Panmunjeom).
  • - The North delivers its positions: △ Banning the South’s vessels from entering the West Sea Maritime Military Demarcation Line, △ Halting the scattering of anti-North Korea leaflets at the civilian level, and △ Calling upon the South, including the press, to stop its slander. In response, the South △ Urges the North to follow the NLL, and says that it is △ Impossible to control civic organizations’ activities and the press.
October 16
  • In a public report by the Korean Central News Agency, the North criticizes the South’s attitude during the process of the military talks and threatens to fire shots aimed at civic organizations, arguing that the outlook for high-level talks remains gloomy.
October 16
  • The ROK government △ Expresses regret that the North distorted the contents regarding the military officials’ contacts and threatened shots aimed at civic organizations, and states its positions that △ it seeks to ease tensions and improve inter-Korean relations through dialogue, and expects to hold the 2nd high-level talks.
October 16
  • The Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland holds a joint prayer service for a peaceful reunification of Korea.
October 16
  • The ROK government decides to provide support of 550 million won (the North pays 203 million won) for the cost of the North’s delegates for participating in the Incheon Asian Games through deliberation by the Inter-Korean Exchanges and Cooperation Promotion Council.
October 20
  • The head of the North Korean delegation for general-level military talks sends a message to his South Korean counterpart criticizing that the South announced the warning and fired a shot at ships on patrol near the North’s Military Demarcation Line (MDL) and threatening to take retaliatory measures.
October 20
  • The head of the South Korean delegation for general-level military talks sends a message to his North Korean counterpart stressing that these are legitimate processes against the North’s provocative actions of crossing the MDL (October 18th and 19th) and expressing regret over the North’s shifting the responsibility to the South. The ROK government urges the North to take measures to prevent such incidents from happening again and expresses its firm, stern position against the North’s provocations.
October 22
  • The North Korean delegation for high-level talks issues a statement calling for the South’s change in attitude regarding the scattering of leaflets as a condition for holding high-level contacts and threatening an end to inter-Korean relations.
October 23
  • The Unification Ministry spokesperson urges the North to stop unilateral arguments and respect the agreements made between Seoul and Pyongyang.
October 26
  • The Secretariat of the National Defense Commission sends a message to the National Security Office arguing that the ROK government overlooked the scattering of leaflets conducted during the night by conservative civic organizations even though their leaflet-spreading during the day fell apart on October 25th, and sating that the South should think about if high-level talks can be held.
October 27
  • The National Security Office at the Blue House sends a message to the National Defense Commission clarifying that the ROK government’s position regarding civic organizations’ scattering of leaflets remains unchanged and calling upon the North to express its position on the 2nd high-level talks.
October 28
  • The National Security Office at the Blue House sends a message to the National Defense Commission urging the North to clearly express its position on the South’s proposal to hold the 2nd high-level talks on October 30th by October 29th.
October 29
  • The Secretariat of the National Defense Commission sends a message to the National Security Office at the Blue House claiming that the South neglects the scattering of the leaflets and seeks the collapse of the 2nd high-level talks and demanding that the South make a choice whether to hold the high-level talks or to continue to cling to the scattering of the leaflets.
October 29
  • The Unification Ministry spokesperson, in his commentary, repeats the ROK government’s position on the scattering of the leaflets and expresses regret that the North made this issue a precondition for the high-level talks, making it impossible to hold the 2nd high-level talks on October 30th.
October 30
  • The Inter-Korean Joint Board for the Compilation of Gyeoremal-keunsajeon (Big Dictionary of the Korean People’s Language) visits the North to hold an inter-Korean joint compilation conference in Pyongyang from October 30th to November 18th.
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
November 1
  • The Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland issues a statement stating that it “declares a significant position with a delegated authority” and claiming that ① It is impossible to hold inter-Korean talks and improve inter-Korean relations unless the cross-border scattering of leaflets is terminated, ② It threatens to kill those who spread the leaflets, and ③ It will report the scattering of leaflets to the UN and other international organizations.
November 2
  • The Unification Ministry spokesperson, in a statement, △ Expresses strong regret that the North distorted the facts, arguing that the ROK government supports the spread of the leaflets, and suspended the talks with the South with this as an excuse, and △ Warns that the ROK government will take stern measures against any threats to the safety of the Korean people.
November 2
  • The North’s 32 athletes participate in the U-15 International Youth Football Tournament in Yeongcheon-gun (November 2-11).
November 4
  • The North’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson claims, “It will not allow any talks on nuclear issues, as well as on human rights, with the U.S.”
November 5
  • The ROK government accepts a report that former first lady Lee Hee-ho will make contact with North Korean people.
November 6
  • Four members of the Cheontae Order visit the North (Gaeseong) to consult a joint Buddhist service to pray for unification on the occasion of the 9th anniversary of the restoration of Yeongtong Temple.
November 6
  • The Secretariat of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, in a press release, blasts the Presidential Preparatory Committee for Unification’s plan to enact a unification charter (slated to be promulgated in 2015) as an ambition to achieve unification by absorbing the North.
November 7
  • Four representatives of Won Buddhism visit the North (Gaeseong) to consult a religious service to pray for a peaceful unification on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the establishment of Won Buddhism.
November 8
  • North Korea releases two U.S. citizens detained in North Korea, Kenneth Bae and Matthew Todd Miller.
November 9
  • The Foreign Ministry spokesperson, in his commentary, welcomes the release of the detained American citizens and urges the North to address inter-Korean humanitarian issues, including the release of missionary Kim Jeong-wook and the reunion of separated families.
November 10
  • The two heads of state of South Korea and China hold a summit meeting on the sidelines of APEC, agreeing to consult various creative methods to resume meaningful talks to make substantial progress in denuclearizing North Korea and block the advancement of nuclear capabilities.
November 10
  • A North Korean soldier approaches the MDL near Panmunjeom and retreats after the South Korean military fires warning shots.
November 11
  • The two heads of state of South Korea and the U.S. hold a summit meeting on the sidelines of APEC, agreeing to strengthen necessary efforts to denuclearize the North with the consensus that the united position of related countries is very important to change the North’s actions regarding the North Korean nuclear issue.
November 11
  • The Chosun Sinbo argues that “the chief of the U.S. intelligence agency delivered a handwritten letter from Obama” calling for the release of detained American citizens, and “the North will respond to it if the U.S. wants to start a serious dialogue on this occasion.”
November 11
  • South Korea decides to support (rent) three heat-sensing cameras in response to the request of the North’s checkpoint in the GIC for supporting Ebola-quarantine equipment (October 29th) (the devices are scheduled to be installed on November 20th).
November 12
  • The Secretariat of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, in a press release, denounces the annual military drill called Safeguarding the Nation as “the war drill to invade the North.”
November 15
  • A spokesperson of the Policy Department of the National Defense Commission, in a statement, states that “the fundamental positions with a delegated authority” are as follows: ① It is impossible to improve inter-Korean relations and have dialogue and contacts should the South continue confrontational policies against the North, ② The South should abolish the evil practices that have nullified inter-Korean agreements, and ③ South Korean officials should behave in a manner to improve national reconciliation and unity.
November 15
  • The Frontline Military Command of the North Korean People’s Army, in a press release, maintains that the South Korean military’s warning announcement and warning shots (November 10th) against the North Korean military’s approach to the MDL was a military provocation to a regular patrol activity, threatening a retaliatory strike.
November 15
  • Regarding the press release by the Frontline Military Command of the North Korean People’s Army, the Joint Chiefs of Staff expresses regret that the North criticized the South Korean military’s legitimate response and issued a threat, announcing that the South will respond to the North’s provocative actions near the MDL in accordance with legitimate procedures and strongly punish the provocations.
November 16
  • Representatives from Hyundai Asan Corp. participate in the ceremony to mark the 16th anniversary of Mt. Geumgang tourism (Mt. Geumgang).
November 17
  • Choe Ryong-hae, a top North Korean official, visits Russia (November 17-24).
November 18
  • The Third Committee (which focuses on human rights issues) of the UN General Assembly adopts a North Korean human rights resolution proposed jointly by 62 countries, including the ROK and the EU, with 111 votes in favor, 19 against, and 55 abstentions.
  • Tougher clauses are included: △ Acknowledge that there are reasonable grounds to believe that crimes against humanity have been committed in the DPRK, pursuant to policies established at the highest level of the State (Clause 7), △ Encourage the Security Council to consider ICC referral and targeted sanctions against those who appear to be most responsible for acts that may constitute crimes against humanity (Clause 8).
November 20
  • The North's Foreign Ministry spokesperson, in a statement, threatens that, “The U.S.’s hostile acts against the DPRK will make the North unable to refrain from conducting a nuclear test any longer and the North’s war deterrent power will be strengthened unlimitedly.”
November 20
  • The Foreign Ministry spokesperson, in his commentary, warns that the North will face the international community’s stern response if it takes measures that make the nuclear-related situation worse, calling upon Pyongyang to take measures to improve its human rights situation in accordance with the human rights resolution.
November 20
  • Representatives from the Korean Council for Reconciliation and Cooperation consult a visit to the North (Gaeseong) regarding youth exchanges between South and North Korea on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of national liberation.
November 21
  • The North’s Southwest Frontline Military Command, in a press release, criticizes South Korea’s Safeguarding the Nation and threatens to “bury the South Korean military in a dark blue sea for good” while mentioning the shelling of Yeonpyeong Island.
November 21
  • A spokesperson of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, in a statement, argues that the South Korean conservative groups’ rally on the occasion of the 4th anniversary of the shelling of Yeonpyeong Island insulted the dignity of the Supreme Leader, threatening to mete out merciless punishment.
November 21
  • Representatives of the Kim Dae-jung Peace Center consult former first lady Lee Hee-ho’s visit to the North (Gaeseong).
November 22
  • The Secretariat of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, in a press release, claims that, “The attempt to manipulate a human rights resolution against the DPRK is tantamount to a declaration of war against the North Korean system and people,” threatening that “It will absolutely not tolerate it.”
November 23
  • The National Defense Commission issues a statement stating that the U.S. responded with the adoption of the resolution to the release of a detained American citizen, threatening that the U.S. will be “the first target of retaliation.”
November 23
  • Regarding the statement issued by the National Defense Commission, the South’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, in his commentary, △ Strongly criticizes the North’s provocative words and actions, including a nuclear threat, △ Issues a stern warning that the North will face the international community’s firm response if it takes additional measures that make things worse, △ Calls for the North to take measures to improve the human rights of its people as the UN adopts the North Korean human rights resolution.
November 23
  • The ROK government rescues a North Korean fishing boat drifting near the Dokdo islets and will return it to the North on November 26th.
November 24
  • A spokesperson of North Korea’s Council for Reconciliation and Cooperation, in his commentary, defines the South’s approval of the North Korean human rights resolution as “the denial of our system” and “a declaration of war,” threatening “destructive results.”
November 24
  • A pilot project is carried out to transport coal via the Rajin-Khasan Railway (November 24-28).
November 26
  • A joint Buddhist service is held to mark the 9th anniversary of the restoration of Yeongtong Temple.
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
December 2
  • The Presidential Preparatory Committee for Unification holds its 3rd meeting, △ Announcing the status of government-civilian cooperation since the launch of the Committee, future plans, the Committee’s direction of activities and implementation plan for the next year, and △ Carrying out presentations by each subcommittee and discussions.
December 2
  • The Ministry of National Defense discloses the plan to construct a temporary Christmas tree and hold a lighting ceremony in Aegibong at the request of the Christian Council of Korea.
December 4
  • A spokesperson of the Chosun (North Korea) Christian Religion Union, in a statement, criticizes the plan to erect a temporary Christmas tree and hold a lighting ceremony in Aegibong.
December 6
  • The North’s By Our Nation Itself announces that the North revised provisions of the labor regulations at the Gaeseong Industrial Complex (GIC) on November 20th and eliminated the provision that the minimum wage increase is capped at five percent a year.
December 8
  • The Unification Minister visits the U.S. (December 8-14). The Minister emphasizes the need to increase cooperation between South Korea and the U.S. to induce the North to change its attitude through the Korea Global Forum (KGF) and meetings with U.S. members of Congress and government officials.
December 8
  • Four members of the Cheontae Order visit the North (Gaeseong) to consult a joint Buddhist service to pray for unification on the occasion of the 9th anniversary of the restoration of Yeongtong Temple.
December 9
  • The Association of Inter-Korean Historians consults a joint project to excavate and survey the royal palace site of Manwoldae in Gaeseong and the Complex of the Goguryeo tombs in Pyongyang.
December 10
  • The ROK government expresses its firm position that it will not tolerate the North’s unilateral revision of the labor regulations for the GIC regarding the North’s announcement made on December 6th.
December 10
  • The Inter-Korean Economic and Cultural Cooperation Foundation consults a visit to the North (Gaeseong) regarding a joint project of exhibiting national documentary heritage.
December 11
  • In a Q&A session with reporters, a spokesperson of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland condemns President Park by name regarding her mentioning of the North Korean nuclear and human rights issues.
December 12
  • The Unification Ministry spokesperson, in his press briefing, expresses grave regret over the North’s latest direct criticism of President Park and encourages the North to self-reflect.
December 12
  • The Secretariat of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, in a press release, criticizes the South’s discussions on unification as a “scheme for a system showdown” with the aim of achieving unification by absorbing the North.
December 13
  • The North’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, in a statement, states that the U.S. is a wasteland of human rights, citing △ A report on CIA torture, and △ The Ferguson incident, criticizing that the U.S. seeks to overthrow the North Korean system.
December 15
  • North Korea refuses to receive a message from the South regarding the revision of labor regulations at the GIC (twice on December 15th and 16th).
December 16
  • The Unification Ministry spokesperson, in his commentary, expresses regret over the North’s attitude regarding the refusal to receive the notice and makes it clear that the ROK government will disapprove any institutional change without consultations between the authorities of both sides and take stern measures accordingly.
December 16
  • Lawmaker Park Ji-won, Vice-President of the Kim Dae-jung Peace Center and Cho Gun-shik, CEO of Hyundai Asan Corp., send wreaths to the North to commemorate the 3rd anniversary of the death of Kim Jong-il.
December 18
  • A North Korean human rights resolution is passed at the plenary session of the UN General Assembly with 116 votes in favor, 20 against, and 53 abstentions.
December 18
  • The Christian Council of Korea announces that it will withdraw the plan to construct a temporary light tower in Aegibong.
December 19
  • The Foreign Ministry spokesperson, in his commentary, welcomes the passage of the North Korean human rights resolution and urges the North to take specific and substantial measures to enhance the human rights of the North Korean people.
December 19
  • North Korea sends a message requesting representatives from both the Kim Dae-jung Peace Center and Hyundai Asan Corp. to visit the GIC on December 23rd or 24th to express its gratitude for the wreaths delivered on December 16th.
December 20
  • The North's Foreign Ministry issues a statement rejecting the North Korean human rights resolution passed at the UN General Assembly and arguing for △ Nullifying all agreements, including the September 19 Joint Statement, and △ Strengthening self-defense military power, including nuclear armament.
December 20
  • The Secretariat of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, in a press release, argues that the strained inter-Korean relations are largely due to the South’s policy focused on confrontation, calling for Seoul to change its policy.
December 20
  • The North's Foreign Ministry spokesperson, in a statement, threatens that, “The U.S.’s hostile acts against the DPRK will make the North unable to refrain from conducting a nuclear test any longer and the North’s war deterrent power will be strengthened unlimitedly.”
December 20
  • In a Q&A session with a reporter from the Korean Central News Agency, the North’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson denies the North’s Sony Pictures hacking, proposing a joint inspection to the U.S.
December 21
  • Regarding the press release by the Secretariat of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, the ROK government urges the North to come to the dialogue table instead of repeating its attitude of shifting the responsibility.
December 21
  • The Secretariat of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, in a press release, blasts the dissolution of the Unified Progressive Party (UPP) as a “political act of terrorism.”
December 22
  • The Unification Ministry spokesperson, in his briefing, expresses “grave regret” over the North’s one-sided argument regarding the break-up of the UPP, urging the North to stop “its attitude to take advantage of our internal issue with an ulterior motive.”
December 22
  • The UN Security Council (UNSC) adopts the “North Korean human rights situation” related to the North Korean human rights issue as an official agenda with 11 votes in favor, two against, and two abstentions.
December 23
  • The Foreign Ministry spokesperson, in his commentary, expresses his expectations that the UNSC will have in-depth discussions to improve the human rights record in North Korea regarding the adoption of the North Korean situation as an official agenda.
December 23
  • The ROK government returns a North Korean fishing boat which was found drifting near the Dokdo islets and rescued on December 19th.
December 24
  • North Korea delivers a personally handwritten letter to former first lady Lee Hee-ho and Hyundai Group Chairwoman Hyun Jeong-eun to thank them for the wreaths delivered to commemorate the 3rd anniversary of the death of Kim Jong-il on December 16th (during a conversation with Kim Yang-geon, Director of the United Front Department of the Workers’ Party of Korea).
December 25
  • A spokesperson of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, in a statement, states that the ROK government aggressively intervened in the UN human rights scheme regarding the UNSC’s adoption of the North Korean human rights issue as an agenda, threatening that it will mete out merciless punishment.
December 26
  • North Korea returns a South Korean resident, who entered the North illegally, via Panmunjeom.
December 27
  • A spokesperson of the Policy Department of the National Defense Commission, in a statement, △ Accuses the U.S. of staging an Internet failure in North Korea, △ Argues that it has nothing to do with the Sony Pictures hacking, and △ Hurls racial slurs against U.S. President Obama.
December 29
  • The government vice-chairman of the Presidential Preparatory Committee for Unification sends a message to the Director of the United Front Department of the Workers’ Party of Korea proposing to hold a dialogue on mutual interests, including the separated family issue, in the middle of January, 2015.
December 31
  • In her 2015 New Year’s Speech, President Park says, “On the strength of solid security readiness, the government will work to put an end to the 70-year-long division, which has caused severance and conflicts, and induce North Korea to the path of trust and changes. In the process, the government will lay a substantive, concrete foundation on which to achieve unification.”
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
January 1
  • Kim Jong-un, in his New Year’s Speech, repeats existing positions such as the suspension of the ROK-U.S. joint military exercises while expressing a strong will to hold inter-Korean dialogue in comments such as “a great turn in inter-Korean relations,” “top-level talks,” and “the resumption of stalled high-level contact.”
January 1
  • The Unification Minister positively evaluates the New Year’s Address of the North and reaffirms the need for and the South’s will to have inter-Korean talks, saying that the South wants to “hold inter-Korean talks in the near future informally.”
January 2
  • Regarding the hacking of Sony Pictures, the U.S. issues an executive order for sanctions on North Korea (designating 3 organizations including the General Political Bureau and 10 individuals who should be subject to the sanctions).
January 4
  • The North’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, in a Q&A session with a KCNA reporter, denounces the U.S.’s executive order for sanctions on North Korea.
January 5
  • The Campaign for Helping North Korea in Direct Way, a civic organization in the South, scatters anti-North Korea leaflets.
January 6
  • The ROK President urges the North to come out to the dialogue and cooperation table at a cabinet meeting.
January 6
  • The Unification Ministry spokesperson, in a statement, calls on the North to respond to the South’s proposal for dialogue if it has the will to develop inter-Korean relations while stressing the ROK government’s position of “holding inter-Korean talks informally.”
January 6
  • The Ministry of Justice dismisses the claim for damages for restraining the scattering of anti-North Korea leaflets, saying that “Although this is tantamount to freedom of expression, one of the basic rights of the people, the restraining of the scattering is legitimate in a life-threatening situation due to the North’s threats.”
January 7
  • The Inter-Korean Economic and Cultural Cooperation Foundation consults a visit to the North (Gaeseong) regarding a joint project of exhibiting national documentary heritage.
January 7
  • The ROK government calls on the North “to come out to the dialogue table for the substantial development of inter-Korean relations instead of repeating the arguments that do not help resume inter-Korean dialogue.” (The ROK’s position on the statement by the spokesperson for the National Defense Commission)
January 7
  • A spokesperson for the Policy Department of the National Defense Commission, in a statement, demands that the U.S. withdraw the sanctions on North Korea and stop hostile acts, saying that the U.S.’s allegation that the North hacked Sony Pictures and its issuance of an executive order for sanctions on the North are hostile maneuvers against Pyongyang.
January 8
  • The Foreign Affairs and Unification Committee of the National Assembly adopts a “resolution to urge the implementation of the South-North Korean agreement on an end to mudslinging” which calls on the ROK government to take measures against the civic organizations’ scattering of anti-North Korea leaflets.
January 9
  • North Korea refuses to receive a “resolution calling for the unification preparation based on public consensus and the resumption of inter-Korean talks” from the ROK’s National Assembly citing an “instruction from the superior authority.”
January 10
  • KCNA reports that Pyongyang delivered a message to the U.S. that it would suspend a nuclear test if the U.S. stops the ROK-U.S. joint military exercises this year (January 9).
January 11
  • The ROK government emphasizes that as the North Korean nuclear test was prohibited by the U.N. Security Council, the North is required to comply with this and this is not an issue connected to the ROK-US joint military exercises.
January 12
  • The ROK President, at the New Year’s Press Conference, declares the will to build the foundation for the development of inter-Korean relations and peaceful unification on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of national liberation.
January 15
  • The ROK government, in face-to-face talks with the civic organization involved in scattering the anti-North Korea leaflets, explains its position and asks the organization to make a wise decision.
January 18
  • Washington (former officials and experts) and Pyongyang (Vice Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho, etc.) have contact from January 18 to 19 in Singapore.
January 19
  • The Ministries involved in foreign affairs and security issues present their annual policy report (Topic: Unification Preparation), expressing their plans to △ build the domestic infrastructure for unification, △ develop inter-Korean relations, and △ cooperate with the international community at the same time, thereby substantially preparing for unification and developing inter-Korean relations.
  • They announce 3 Strategies (“Unification Preparation” through △ public participation, △ cooperation with North Korea, and △ collaboration with the international community) and 6 Key Tasks (① expand a consensus on unification, ② foster future leaders in an era of unification, ③ open up channels for the livelihood of the people, the environment, and culture on the occasion of 70thanniversaryofnationalliberation, ④ promote reciprocal economic cooperation between South and North Korea, ⑤ make substantial progress in the North Korean nuclear and human rights issues, and ⑥ expand the international community’s participation in unification preparation.)
January 19
  • The ROK President stresses a substantial dialogue and cooperation for unification preparation in the annual policy report by the Ministries involved in foreign affairs and security issues.
January 19
  • Fighters for Free North Korea, a civic organization in the South, conducts a surprise scattering of leaflets denouncing the North Korean regime.
January 20
  • The North Korean government, political party, and organizations hold a joint conference and adopt an appeal that includes the “possibility of the resumption of high-level contacts and talks for each sector” while arguing for an “end to confrontation between the North and the South.”
  • The North sends a letter of appeal to five organizations such as the Blue House, the Chairman of the National Assembly, the Saenuri Party, the New Politics Alliance for Democracy, and the Korean Red Cross (January 21).
January 20
  • A spokesperson for the DPRK Association for Human Rights Studies, in a statement, claims that “All the human rights resolutions forcibly adopted against North Korea on the basis of false documents are invalid.”
January 21
  • The ROK government says that △ the North’s “letter of appeal” cannot be seen as an official response to the South’s proposal for dialogue and △ urges the North to stop its unilateral and propaganda claims and respond to the South’s proposal for dialogue as soon as possible.
January 21
  • A spokesperson for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, in a Q&A session with a KCNA reporter, threatens that if the ROK government does not control the scattering of anti-North Korea leaflets, the North will reject the South’s offer of dialogue while criticizing the South Korean civic organization for spreading them.
January 22
  • North Korea’s Ambassador to the U.N. sends a letter to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon that the U.N. human rights resolutions against North Korea are invalid.
January 23
  • A spokesperson for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, in a statement, argues for lifting the May 24 Measures for the reunion of separated families.
January 23
  • The ROK government expresses regret that the North connected the separated family issue, a humanitarian issue, to the lifting of the May 24 Measures and again calls on the North to respond to the South’s proposal for dialogue.
January 25
  • A spokesperson for the Policy Department of the National Defense Commission, in a statement, threatens the South with “stern punishment,” saying “Don’t misunderstand, distort, and ridicule the sincerity and the will” of the proposals presented by the North.
January 25
  • The Unification Ministry spokesperson, in a statement, expresses regret that while not responding to the South’s proposal for dialogue, the North distorted and denounced the South’s will to develop inter-Korean relations in a statement by the Policy Department of the National Defense Commission, and the spokesperson urges the North to respond to the South’s proposal for dialogue.
January 28
  • The ROK, the U.S., and Japan hold a meeting of chief delegates for the Six-Party Talks and agree to seek the resumption of the Six-Party Talks while leaving the door to dialogue related to the nuclear issue open.
January 29
  • Former President Lee Myung-bak discloses details related to inter-Korean relations such as closed contacts for a summit meeting during his term in office in his memoirs.
January 29
  • The Secretariat of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland condemns the Minister of Foreign Affairs by name regarding the remarks (North Korea’s nuclear weapons are a cancerous tumor in the relations between the South and the North).
January 29
  • The ROK government holds a meeting with the Inter-Korean Exchanges and Cooperation Promotion Council and decides to support the Inter-Korean Cooperation Fund for UNFPA’s Census project in North Korea (USD 1.3 million) and the project for the compilation of Gyeoremal-keunsajeon (Big Dictionary of the Korean People’s Language) (KRW 3.22 billion).
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
February 1
  • The North’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, in a Q&A session with reporters, blames the U.S.’s assertion that the door to dialogue has been left open for the North, saying that Washington rejected its offer of Sung Kim’s visit to Pyongyang.
February 4
  • The Policy Department of the National Defense Commission, in a statement, strongly criticizes the U.S.’s sanctions against the North and declares that it has no will to have talks with the U.S., saying that “The North does not need to sit face-to-face with the U.S. and has no will to keep company with it.”
February 4
  • The ROK government calls on the North to come out to the dialogue table if it has anything to say while pointing out the injustice of the North demanding preconditions to the dialogue (in a briefing by the Unification Ministry spokesperson).
February 4
  • A spokesperson for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, in a Q&A session with reporters, demands preconditions to the dialogue such as “The South should show its will to improve relations by taking reliable measures.”
February 4
  • Regarding Shin Dong-hyuk’s admission of “false testimony,” North Korea sends a letter that demands the invalidation of the U.N. human rights resolutions against North Korea (from North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Su-yong to the President of the U.N. General Assembly and the U.N. Secretary General).
February 4
  • The North’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, in a Q&A session with reporters, claims that the testimonies of North Korean defectors should be verified, criticizing U.N. Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in North Korea Darusman’s remarks (“It is possible to release political prisoners only if the regime changes in North Korea.” February 2).
February 5
  • A spokesperson for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, in a statement, severely denounces Former President Lee’s memoirs which disclosed behind-the-scenes stories of inter-Korean relations.
February 5
  • Seoul and Beijing hold a meeting of chief delegates for the Six-Party Talks and discuss the North Korean nuclear issue.
February 5
  • The ROK President stresses the importance of maintaining military readiness to curb the North’s provocations at a defense meeting of top military officials.
February 6
  • A spokesperson for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, in a Q&A session with a KCNA reporter, criticizes the ROK President’s remarks at the defense meeting, saying “If President Park has a will to have dialogue, she needs to mind her speech and action.”
February 7
  • North Korea test-fires an anti-ship rocket.
February 8
  • North Korea fires five short-range missiles into the East Sea.
February 11
  • The Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, in a special statement, threatens the South with remarks such as “shameful destruction” and “the target of retaliatory strikes,” saying that “The South Korean authorities are toeing the U.S.’s scheme to crush the North to death and creating a risky political situation.”
February 11
  • North Korea refuses to receive a message from the Korean Red Cross that it would support powdered milk at the humanitarian level.
February 11
  • The ROK government expresses regret over the North’s threatening remarks, declares that it will take a stern response to any provocations, and calls on the North to respond to the South’s proposal for dialogue.
February 12
  • A spokesperson for the DPRK Measure Council for Human Rights in South Korea, in a statement, demands the abolition of the National Security Law, denouncing it as a “notoriously unjust law to annihilate human rights.”
February 16
  • The ROK President emphasizes that South Korea should make steady efforts for unification preparation while urging the North to come out to the path toward reform and dialogue at an intensive discussion by the group of chairpersons for the Presidential Preparatory Committee for Unification.
February 17
  • The ROK government calls on the North to respond to its proposal for dialogue and show a responsible attitude to overcome national division on the occasion of the 23rd anniversary of the Inter-Korean Basic Agreement (February 19) (in a briefing by the Unification Ministry spokesperson).
February 19
  • The Unification Minister stresses the dialogue and practice to resolve the separated families, POWs, and abductees issues in a ceremony in which separated families pay their respects to their ancestors in North Korea.
February 19
  • The North’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, in a statement, threatens the South with a “super-hardline response,” criticizing it for holding the Debate on Human Rights in North Korea in Washington on January 17th.
February 23
  • The ROK government repatriates two North Korean citizens rescued in the East Sea (February 12) via Panmunjeom.
February 23
  • The ROK government selects the “establishment of channels for substantial cooperation between South and North Korea” as one of its 24 key reform tasks in the third year in office.
February 24
  • North Korea unilaterally notifies the South of an increase in the minimum wages for North Korean workers in the Gaeseong Industrial Complex (GIC) (raise by 5.18% from USD 70.35 to USD 74).
February 24
  • The ROK-U.S. Combined Forces Command announces that the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle (KR/FE) exercises will begin on March 2nd and notifies the North.
February 24
  • The ROK and Russia hold a meeting of chief delegates for the Six-Party Talks and discuss the North Korean nuclear issue.
February 26
  • The ROK government expresses its position that it is impossible to accept the North’s demands regarding the Gaeseong Industrial Complex and calls for stopping its unilateral behavior. The South tries to send a message proposing the 6th meeting of the South-North Joint Management Committee for the Gaeseong Industrial Complex (GIC) in the name of the chairman of the committee but the North refuses to receive it (in a briefing by the Unification Ministry spokesperson on February 27).
February 26
  • In the joint declaration adopted at the summit meeting between the leaders of South Korea and the Czech Republic, both leaders “△ express concerns about the North Korean nuclear and ballistic missile program, △ urge the North to return to the Six-Party Talks, △ support the Trust-building Process on the Korean Peninsula, and △ make it clear that they will make efforts to improve the human rights and humanitarian situation in North Korea.”
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
March 1
  • The ROK President, in her address on March First Independence Movement Day, stresses that South Korea needs to seek a turning point for the reconciliation of all Korean people while calling on the North to resume inter-Korean dialogue.
March 2
  • A spokesperson for the General Staff Department of the Korean People’s Army, in a statement, threatens to turn the South into a “sea of fire” while slamming the ROK-US joint military exercises as the “nuclear war drills to invade North Korea.”
March 2
  • Regarding the ROK-U.S. military exercises, the North’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, in a statement, threatens that “The North will respond with a great war of justice for achieving national reunification to even a trivial provocation," saying that "Accidental sparks can fly up.”
March 2
  • North Korea fires two short-range missiles into the East Sea.
March 2
  • The ROK government warns a “stern and firm response to the North’s provocations” (in a briefing by a spokesperson of the Ministry of National Defense).
March 2
  • Regarding the anti-North Korea leaflets, North Korea’s By Our Nation Itself threatens that the North will “fire shots aimed at the balloons” and “respond with cannons and missiles.”
March 2
  • South and North Korea discuss the North Korean human rights issue during the meeting of the U. N. Human Rights Council (March 2 -27).
March 3
  • The Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, in a statement, claims that “The chance for resuming inter-Korean dialogue and improving relations is gone and only the ultimate showdown by force will remain.”
March 3
  • Regarding the statement by the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, the ROK government expresses regret over “the North’s threat of military retaliation” and calls on the North to “stop threatening” (in a briefing by the Unification Ministry spokesperson).
March 3
  • North Korea submits an entry form (108 athletes in 8 different sporting events) to participate in the 2015 Gwangju Summer Universiade (July 3-14) via FISU (International University Sports Federation).
March 5
  • Regarding the attack on U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert, North Korea supports it, saying that “This is deserved punishment for the warmongering United States and reflects the public sentiment criticizing the U.S.” (According to KCNA).
March 6
  • The ROK government strongly denounces the North’s support for the attack on the U.S. Ambassador to South Korea and calls for halting the irrational incitement (in a briefing by the Unification Ministry spokesperson).
March 7
  • The Secretariat of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland distorts and supports the attack on U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert as a “righteous act” and a valid “expression of resistance that reflected public sentiment against the U.S.”
March 7
  • The Choson Sinbo reports that North Korea lifted the quarantine measures to block Ebola.
March 8
  • Regarding the report by the Secretariat of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, the ROK government deplores the North for siding with an act of violence as a “righteous act” and laments that the North fabricated South Korean measures to prevent these acts as a “plot against the DPRK.” It also calls on the North to immediately stop the distortion, fabrication, and incitement and have time for self-restraint while considering what normal behavior would be.
March 9
  • The ROK government says that it would not accept the North’s unilateral measures regarding the Gaeseong Industrial Complex and stresses that system improvement should be addressed through agreements between both authorities (in a statement by the Unification Ministry spokesperson).
March 10
  • Regarding the protest condemning the pro-North Korea forces, the Secretariat of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland criticizes the allegations that the North was involved in the attack on the U.S. Ambassador to South Korea and threatens that “they shall pay with the cost of their blood,” saying that they insulted the highest dignity of the nation and the North Korean flag.”
March 12
  • The ROK President, in her congratulatory speech at the “2015 Joint Commissioning Ceremony of the Military Academies and ROTC Units,” says that South Korea is responsible for passing down an era of unification to the next generation on the Korean Peninsula, stressing that security is a strong foundation for this.
March 12
  • North Korea conducts a drill of firing 7 ground-to-air missiles in the Seondeok area of South Hamgyong Province.
March 12
  • North Korea’s By Our Nation Itself demands the “lifting of regulations on exporting supplies from the South and the May 24 Measures,” arguing that “The Gaeseong Industrial Complex’s labor regulations are not subject to agreements with the South and this is the North’s execution of its right to pass a law.”
March 13
  • The ROK government expresses regret over the North’s ignoring of the agreements between the two Koreas and the scrapping of the meeting of the South-North Joint Management Committee for the Gaeseong Industrial Complex (GIC) on March 13th (in a briefing by the Unification Ministry spokesperson).
March 13
  • A hearing report on Hong Yong-pyo, the candidate for Unification Minister, is adopted. The Park Geun-hye government launches its second Ministry of Unification.
March 14
  • Regarding the remarks by civilian Vice-Chairman Jeong Jong-wook (Team for Unification by Absorbing the North), a spokesperson for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, in a statement, says that the Presidential Preparatory Committee for Unification is an “organization plotting to achieve unification by absorbing the North,” meaning that unification preparation is “preparation for unification by absorbing the North” and calls on the South to make an apology and disband the Presidential Preparatory Committee for Unification.
March 14
  • North Korea holds an enlarged cabinet meeting, evaluates the project of following the instructions of Kim Jong-il over the past three years and discusses plans to execute the tasks of joint slogans.
March 15
  • Regarding the statement by a spokesperson for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, the ROK government expresses regret for the North’s argument and calls on the North to stop disrespectful comments and behavior against the South’s head of the state and to respond to the South’s efforts to create the foundation for peaceful unification (in a commentary by the Unification Ministry spokesperson).
March 16
  • Unification Minister Hong Yong-pyo, in his inaugural speech, presents the policy direction that he would evolve the Trust-building Process on the Korean Peninsula through communication and convergence.
March 16
  • South Korea’s civic organizations, including Fighters for Free North Korea, give notice that they will continue the scattering of anti-North Korea leaflets before and after the 5th anniversary of the sinking of the South Korean naval ship Cheonan.
March 17
  • The ROK President, in a meeting with the representatives of the ruling and opposition parties, urges the North to respond to the South’s proposal for dialogue unconditionally, stressing the position that she would talk with anyone for peace on the Korean Peninsula.
March 17
  • The ROK government’s joint investigation department announces interim results that North Korea committed the hacking of data related to the nuclear power plants of Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Co., Ltd. (HNPC) (based on the use of the North’s unique malicious code and the trace of North Korean IP connection, etc.).
March 17
  • The ROK government criticizes the North for continuing to commit cyber terrorism against South Korea and the international community and calls on the North to immediately stop such practices (in a statement by the Unification Ministry spokesperson).
March 17
  • North Korea’s By Our Nation Itself denies the North’s involvement in the hacking incident, saying that it is not related to the hacking of nuclear power data of HNPC.
March 18
  • A spokesperson for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, in a Q&A session with a KCNA reporter, criticizes that the inaugural speech of the Unification Minister as being “sophistry without sincerity” and a “provocation and a ridicule.”
March 19
  • Fourteen representatives of companies running factories in the Gaeseong Industrial Complex visit the North and have face-to-face talks with North Korean officials including Park Chul-soo, Vice Director of the Guidance Bureau for the Development of the Central Special Economic Zone in Gaeseong.
  • The delegation delivers a recommendation that the revision of labor regulations needs agreement between South and North Korean authorities, but the North refuses to receive it.
March 21
  • The ROK, China, and Japan hold a meeting of Foreign Ministers and discuss the North Korean nuclear issue, etc.
  • The Foreign Ministers of the three Asian countries reaffirm their “firm position against the development of nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula” and express their position that they would continue to exert joint efforts to “resume the Six-Party Talks” (in a joint statement of the meeting of Foreign Ministers between Seoul, Beijing, and Tokyo).
March 22
  • Regarding the South’s civic organizations’ plan to scatter anti-North Korea leaflets, the frontline military units of the Korean People’s Army give notice that they will “enter into the operation of destroying the balloons indiscriminately” and threaten to “punish the organization with consecutive strikes.”
March 22
  • Regarding the North’s denunciation and threat for the scattering of anti-North Korea leaflets, the ROK government sternly warns against it and expresses that it will deal firmly with the North’s provocative acts (the Joint Chiefs of Staff).
March 22
  • North Korea refuses to receive a letter of invitation to the 7th World Water Forum (April 12-17).
March 23
  • Park Sang-hak, a representative of Fighters for Free North Korea, announces that it would completely halt the scattering of anti-North Korea leaflets for the time being.
March 23
  • The Christian Council of Korea announces a joint prayer for Easter with the Chosun (North Korea) Christian Religion Union.
March 24
  • A spokesperson for the Policy Department of the National Defense Commission, in a statement, demands the lifting of the May 24 Measures, repeating its argument that the North is not related to the sinking of the Cheonan.
March 24
  • The ROK government expresses regret for the North’s argument and reasserts that North Korea should take responsible measures to persuade the South Korean people to lift the May 24 Measures (in a briefing by the Unification Ministry spokesperson).
March 25
  • North Korea denies that members of the Presidential Preparatory Committee for Unification visit the North’s facilities when they visit the GIC to inspect the healthcare facilities which are being operated by the South and the North.
March 26
  • The ROK President, in her speech to commemorate the Cheonan victims to mark the 5th anniversary of the sinking of the naval ship, calls on the North to give up provocations and stresses that the sacrifice of the victims should not be in vain.
March 26
  • North Korea claims that two South Korean citizens (Kim Kuk-gi and Choi Chun-gil) are spies and holds a press conference at the People’s Palace of Culture on March 26th.
March 26
  • The Jogye Order has contact with the Korean Buddhists’ Federation in Shenyang, China, and agrees to hold a joint Buddhist service in Mt. Geumgang or Gaeseong around the National Independence Day.
March 27
  • Regarding the 5th anniversary of the sinking of the Cheonan, the Secretariat of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland criticizes the ROK President by name, repeating its existing argument that the sinking of the Cheonan is a plot by Seoul and Washington.
March 27
  • The ROK government expresses regret for the North’s detention of South Korean citizens and its allegation, and urges the North to repatriate them to the South immediately (in a statement by the Unification Ministry spokesperson).
  • The South tries to send a message containing these contents but the North refuses to receive it (March 27).
March 27
  • On the occasion of the first anniversary of the Dresden Declaration (March 28), the ROK government explains the results of this initiative and urges the North to respond to it aggressively (in a commentary by the Unification Ministry spokesperson).
March 27
  • The U.N. Human Rights Council adopts the North Korean Human Rights Resolution that calls on the international community to respond to the North Korean human rights situation, expressing grave concern about it (March 27).
March 27
  • The ROK government welcomes the U. N. Human Rights Council’s adoption of the North Korean Human Rights Resolution (in a commentary by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
March 28
  • The North’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, in a statement, criticizes the U.N. Human Rights Council’s adoption of the North Korean Human Rights Resolution, threatening that it would sternly deal with it.
March 30
  • Regarding the establishment of a U.N. human rights office to monitor North Korean Human Rights in Seoul (scheduled), the Secretariat of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland threatens to “punish the South mercilessly.”
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
April 2
  • The ROK President meets a delegation from the U.S. House of Representatives and stresses the importance of addressing the North Korean nuclear and human rights issues and the need for unification on the Korean Peninsula.
April 2
  • A spokesperson for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, in a statement, repeatedly argues that South Korean citizens are detained on charges of spying, distorting the incident, while threatening “merciless punishment.”
April 2
  • North Korea fires short-range ballistic missiles (one missile on April 2 and four missiles on April 3).
April 2
  • Regarding the labor regulations in the Gaeseong Industrial Complex (GIC), the ROK government sends an official document asking the companies in the GIC to “follow the existing rules until the South and the North reach a separate agreement.”
March 2
  • The ROK government warns a “stern and firm response to the North’s provocations” (in a briefing by a spokesperson of the Ministry of National Defense).
April 3
  • The ROK government expresses strong regret over the North’s criticizing and threatening of the South while falsely claiming that detained South Korean citizens are spies and urges the North to repatriate them as soon as possible (in a commentary by the Unification Ministry spokesperson).
April 9
  • The 13th Supreme People’s Assembly holds its third meeting (Kim Jong-un absent) and makes decisions on the three agenda items of △(Business) addressing the food issue for the people, △(Budget) increasing the budget by 5.5% for 2015, and △(Organization) replacing a member of the National Defense Commission (Park Do-chun → Kim Chun-seop).
April 9
  • The Unification Minister, at the first meeting of the Committee on the Development of Inter-Korean Relations for 2015, stresses that the two Koreas should establish channels of substantial cooperation and the South’s government departments and agencies should communicate with each other to make progress in unification preparation.
April 10
  • The ROK President, at a meeting with U.S. Defense Secretary Carter, emphasizes that the South cannot tolerate the vicious cycle of compromise and compensation for the North’s provocations.
April 10
  • The North Korean delegation visits the South to participate in the meeting of delegates for the Gwangju Summer Universiade (April 10-14).
April 14
  • The ROK President, at the summit meeting between the leaders of South Korea and Hungary, says that “North Korea should follow the example of the Hungarian experience in system change.”
April 15
  • Fighters for Free North Korea, a civic organization in South Korea, scatters anti-North Korea leaflets.
April 16
  • Hyun Yong-chul, Head of the Department of the People’s Armed Forces, expresses the North’s position of maintaining the Byungjin line (developing nuclear weapons and the economy simultaneously) at the International Security Conference in Moscow.
April 17
  • Regarding the “Sung Wan-jong list,” the Secretariat of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland criticizes the ROK government as “the main culprit of corruption.”
April 21
  • The ROK President urges the North to give up its nuclear program at the summit meeting between the leaders of South Korea and Peru.
April 21
  • The Unification Minister reports the 2015 implementation plan of the second Basic Plan for the Development of Inter-Korean Relations at the meeting of the Foreign Affairs and Unification Committee.
April 21
  • The Eugene Bell Foundation visits the North to treat TB patients on April 21 (on a three-week itinerary).
April 22
  • Regarding the wage issue in the GIC, the payment deadline is extended to April 24th.
April 24
  • The Secretariat of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland criticizes the ROK President by name for suppressing the memorial rally to mark the first anniversary of the Sewol ferry disaster and instigates an anti-government campaign.
April 24
  • Kim Yong-nam, Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly, at the Bandung Conference, criticizes that “Washington’s hostile policy toward North Korea is creating a crisis on the Korean Peninsula,” and “South Korea’s anti-unification attitude becomes an obstacle to improving inter-Korean relations and unification.”
April 24
  • Regarding the South’s expectation for the improvement in inter-Korean relations after Foal Eagle, North Korea’s By Our Nation Itself criticizes the ROK government, stating “Don’t even dream about having talks with us.”
April 28
  • Ace Gyeongam, a charity foundation fund, visits the North for the project of creating a greenhouse (April 28 – May 2).
April 30
  • The North’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, in a statement, denounces the revision of the Guidelines for U.S.-Japan Defense Cooperation.
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
May 1
  • The ROK government announces its position regarding the promotion of exchanges in the private sector to restore a sense of unity between South and North Korea on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of national liberation.
May 2
  • North Korea publicly announces that it arrested Joo Won-moon (a South Korean citizen, U.S. permanent resident, and student at New York University, 21) for “illegally entering the North.”
May 4
  • The ROK and the U.S. hold a meeting of chief delegates for the Six-Party Talks and discuss plans to denuclearize North Korea.
May 4
  • The ROK government urges the North to release four South Korean citizens, including Joo Won-moon, detained in the North (in a statement by the Unification Ministry spokesperson).
May 5
  • South and North Korea have contact in advance for the June 15 Joint Event (May 5-7, Shenyang) and hold a meeting for the compilation of Gyeoremal-keunsajeon (Big Dictionary of the Korean People’s Language).
May 5
  • The ROK and China hold a meeting of chief delegates for the Six-Party Talks and discuss plans to denuclearize North Korea.
May 8
  • North Korea's Southwest Frontline Military Command issues a special emergency warning that if a South Korean vessel invades the territorial waters (NLL), it will fire directly aimed shots without prior notice.
May 8
  • The ROK government expresses regret for the North’s threat and announces its position that it would sternly deal with the North’s provocations (Ministry of National Defense).
May 8
  • The South’s preparatory committee for joint national events to mark the 70th anniversary of national liberation holds a press conference and announces that South and North Korea have agreed to hold joint events for the June 15 Joint Declaration and the National Liberation Day and that the June 15 event would be held in Seoul.
May 8
  • A spokesperson for North Korea’s National Aerospace Development Administration (NADA), in a statement, stresses Kim Jong-un’s “will to launch a satellite.”
May 9
  • North Korea sends a message threatening the South in the name of the Southwest Frontline Military Command.
May 9
  • North Korea reports that it successfully fired a ballistic missile from a strategic submarine (According to KCNA).
May 12
  • The ROK President confirms the government’s position at a meeting with top foreign affairs and national security officials that it will △ sternly deal with the North’s provocations and threats (the threat of a directly aimed strike on the Northern Limit Line and the test of a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) and that △ the GIC issues should be addressed through agreements between both authorities.
May 13
  • A spokesperson for the Guidance Bureau for the Development of the Central Special Economic Zone, in a statement, claims that the GIC wage issue is tantamount to infringing upon its sovereignty, threatening to withdraw workers.
May 13
  • North Korea carries out a shooting exercise in Baekryeong and Yeonpyeong Island (May 13 - 15).
May 13
  • The National Intelligence Service makes it public that Hyun Yong-chul, Head of the Department of the People’s Armed Forces, was executed for treason (Intelligence Committee).
May 14
  • The ROK President, at a meeting with the representatives of the five Northern Korean Provinces, says that it is regrettable that the North increases military tension, resists the demand for human rights improvement, and rejects the South’s proposal for dialogue, and she stresses that the government will continue to patiently make efforts to open an era of peaceful unification on the Korean Peninsula.
May 14
  • The ROK government points out the injustice of the North’s attitude regarding the GIC issues and calls on the North to respond to the dialogue between both authorities as soon as possible (the government’s position regarding the statement by the spokesperson for the Guidance Bureau for the Development of the Central Special Economic Zone).
May 14
  • The South’s preparatory committee for joint national events to mark the 15th anniversary of the June 15 Joint Declaration proposes a working-level consultation in Gaeseong from May 19 to May 20 to have further discussions on the June 15 joint event.
May 15
  • A spokesperson for the North Side Committee for Implementing the June 15 Joint Declaration, in a statement, claims that the results of contacts for the June 15 event were distorted.
May 15
  • The ROK government proposes to hold the 6th Joint Management Committee meeting via the Secretariat of the Joint Management Committee of the GIC, but the North refuses to receive the message.
May 18
  • A spokesperson for the North Korean General Federation of Labor Unions, in a statement, makes mudslinging accusations against the ROK President regarding her comments on the North Korean regime.
May 19
  • The ROK President points out the North’s SLBM test and reign of terror at the Asia Leadership Conference and confirms the government’s position that it will sternly deal with the North’s provocations according to consistent principles and continue to exert efforts to help the North move toward the path of normal development through exchanges and cooperation with the South and the international community.
May 20
  • North Korea calls off U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s visit to the GIC scheduled on May 21st.
May 20
  • A spokesperson for the Policy Department of the National Defense Commission, in a statement, criticizes that the U.N. Security Council is an organization that follows the U.S.’s arbitrary decisions while threatening a miniaturized, diversified means of nuclear strikes, more precise long-range missile, and the success of its SLBM test.
May 20
  • Regarding the statement by the spokesperson for the Policy Department of the National Defense Commission, the ROK government calls on the North to immediately stop all threats and provocative acts including the development of ballistic missile technology (in a briefing by a spokesperson for the Ministry of National Defense).
May 20
  • The ROK President expresses regret over the withdrawal of Secretary General Ban’s visit to the North at a meeting with the U.N. Secretary General.
May 20
  • The North’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, in a statement, criticizes U.S. Secretary of State Kerry for making comments on his visit to the South and threatens that if the U.S. increases its pressure on the North, the North has the capability and means to press the U.S. administration.
May 21
  • A spokesperson for the Central Committee of the DPRK Red Cross Society, in a statement, criticizes the ROK President for making comments calling for the resumption of the reunion of separated families.
May 22
  • The ROK government strongly condemns the North’s repeated slandering and mudslinging of the President and calls on the North to immediately stop all such remarks and respond to the South’s proposal for dialogue (in a commentary by the Unification Ministry spokesperson).
May 22
  • Regarding the statement by the spokesperson for the DPRK Red Cross Society, the ROK government expresses regret that the North connects the separated family issue, a humanitarian issue, to political and military issues and calls for an end to such tactics (in a briefing by the Unification Ministry spokesperson).
May 22
  • South and North Korea agree on the “confirmation document” (signed by the Management Committee and representatives of companies operating factories in the GIC and business offices) regarding the GIC wages.
May 22
  • The ROK government has a government-ruling party consultation regarding the current issues related to inter-Korean relations and stresses its position that it will continue the dialogue while pointing out the wrongdoings of the North.
May 24
  • The Policy Department of the National Defense Commission, in a statement, demands the lifting of the May 24 Measures before beginning a joint investigation and the dialogue between the South and the North while denying the North’s involvement in the sinking of the Cheonan.
May 24
  • A spokesperson for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, in a statement, claims that self-defensive nuclear armament is a just means to protect the dignity and sovereignty of the nation while criticizing the South for increasing tensions.
May 24
  • The delegation of Women Cross DMZ enters the South from the North by land using the Gyeongui Line.
May 26
  • The ROK President says at a cabinet meeting that Korea is facing difficulties and challenges at home and abroad such as the North Korean people’s lives falling apart due to the North’s SLBM test and reign of terror.
May 26
  • Regarding holding the June 15 South-North joint event at the private level, the South’s preparatory committee for joint national events to mark the 15th anniversary of the June 15 Joint Declaration and the 70th anniversary of national liberation makes a proposal again to have contact at a time and place that is convenient for the North.
May 27
  • The ROK, the U.S., and Japan hold a meeting of chief delegates for the Six-Party Talks, discuss the North Korean nuclear issue, and stress that they will closely cooperate with each other to respond to the North’s nuclear threats.
May 27
  • North Korea’s National Reunification Institute’s white paper makes personal attacks against the ROK President with low expressions.
May 28
  • The ROK government expresses regret that the North habitually makes slanderous and mudslinging accusations against the South’s head of state and denounces the North.
May 29
  • The Secretariat of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland threatens that it will mercilessly punish the South by considering the establishment of a U.N. human rights office to monitor the North’s human rights situation in Seoul as a “declaration of confrontation.”
May 29
  • Regarding the report on “A Russian Submarine Collides with a North Korean Ship and Patrol Boat,” a spokesperson for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, in a statement, threatens that “There was no collision incident. The South shall not escape retaliation and punishment.”
May 31
  • The North’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, in a statement, argues that the U.S. is the one who ruined Pyongyang-Washington relations and denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula, saying that “The U.S. distorted the facts as if the U.S. wants the dialogue but the North refuses to talk.”
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
June 1
  • The North’s preparatory committee for the joint events to mark the 15th anniversary of the June 15 Joint Declaration and the 70th anniversary of national liberation sends a letter to the Republic of Korea stating that both sides should separately hold the June 15 event in each region.
June 1
  • The Association of Inter-Korean Historians conducts a survey for the joint excavation of an ancient royal palace site, or Manwoldae, in Gaeseong (from June 1 to November 30) ”
June 2
  • North Korea requests that the South support thermal cameras to check whether people who access the Gaeseong Industrial Complex (GIC) are infected with the MERS virus.
June 3
  • The ROK President visits the Defense Systems Test Center of the Agency for Defense Development and emphasizes that we can lead the North to the dialogue table and bring substantive change only when we have the capability to maintain a watertight security posture and substantial deterrence.
June 3
  • A spokesperson for the National Defense Commission of North Korea, in a statement, blames the USFK for bringing an anthrax sample into the South and instigates an anti-U.S. fight.
June 3
  • A spokesperson for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, in a statement, denounces the ROK government’s proposal for dialogue, calling it a “political fraud and a deception of the public” and urges the South to “implement the joint declarations and stop war drills to invade the North” should it want to hold a dialogue.
June 4
  • The ROK government clarifies its position that it respects all agreements between the South and the North and both sides should discuss specific plans to fulfill them through dialogue, while also urging the North to stop its irrational arguments and respond to the South’s proposal for dialogue.
June 4
  • A spokesperson for the Korean People’s Army Strategic Rocket Forces, in a statement, criticizes the ROK President with low expressions regarding the South’s test-fire of ballistic missiles.
June 5
  • A spokesperson for the North Side Committee for Implementing the June 15 Joint Declaration shifts the responsibility for cancelling the June 15 joint event to the South.
June 5
  • The ROK government supports the quarantine equipment (three thermal cameras) requested by the North regarding the GIC
June 6
  • The ROK President stresses in her Memorial Day Speech that achieving peaceful unification on the Korean peninsula is the way to overcome difficult issues, including the North Korean nuclear threat, and urges the North to give up its nuclear program and come out to the dialogue and cooperation table.
June 7
  • A spokesperson for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, in a statement, condemns the contents of the ROK President’s Memorial Day Speech as an expression of the ambition for unification by absorbing the North and a grave provocation.
June 8
  • The Unification Minister states in his congratulatory speech for the seminar hosted by the National Assembly and the Korean Peninsula Forum that the South will carry on the spirit of mutual recognition and achieving peace together that is specified in the July 4 Joint Declaration, the June 15 Joint Declaration, and the October 4 Declaration
June 11
  • A spokesperson for the General Federation of Trade Unions of North Korea issues a statement stating that raising the human rights issue of North Korean workers dispatched abroad is an “unacceptable challenge” and an “unbearable insult,” threatening that the North “will destroy the puppet government’s anti-North Korean scheme to slander the North’s human rights situation.”
June 12
  • North Korea refuses to receive a message from the ROK government which calls for the release and repatriation of detained South Korean citizens.
June 14
  • The ROK government calls on the North to come out to the dialogue table between the authorities of both sides should it have a sincere will to respect and implement the June 15 Joint Declaration (in a briefing by the spokesperson for the Ministry of Unification).
June 14
  • North Korea fires three KN-01 short-range missiles into the East Sea.
June 14
  • The Secretariat of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland condemns the ROK President by name regarding the news report about the possibility of the North’s involvement in “MERS emails that contain a malignant code,” saying that this is a “heinous provocation against the DPRK.”
June 15
  • The ROK government denounces the North for criticizing the ROK government and the President and belittling the efforts to overcome the situation regarding MERS, and calls on it to stop the condemnation and respond to dialogue.
June 15
  • A North Korean soldier crosses over the Military Demarcation Line (the demilitarized zone in Hwacheon) and requests to defect to South Korea.
June 15
  • In a government statement, North Korea argues its position according to the “mandate” that ① Inter-Korean relations and unification issues should be addressed by the Korean nation’s own efforts; ② The South should not seek a unification of systems; ③ The South should halt military exercises to invade the North; ④ The North and the South should stop provocative actions, creating an atmosphere conducive to improving the South-North relationship; and ⑤ Both sides should take practical actions to implement the joint declarations between South and North Korea.
June 15
  • The ROK government urges the North to stop actions escalating military tensions, come out to the dialogue table between the authorities of both sides without preconditions, and respond to exchanges in the private sector (in a statement by the spokesperson for the Ministry of Unification).
June 17
  • North Korea returns two South Korean citizens to the South via Panmunjeom.
June 18
  • The ROK government repatriates one North Korean ship and five crewmen (found drifting and rescued near Ulleungdo Island on June 16).
June 22
  • The 2015 Gwangju Summer Universiade Organizing Committee announces that on June 19, the North notified it that it would not be participating in the Games, citing the establishment of the U.N. Human Rights Office to monitor the North Korean human rights situation in Seoul, and the Committee expresses regret that the North decided not to participate in the Games for political reasons while calling for the North’s participation.
June 23
  • The U.N. Human Rights Office to monitor the North Korean human rights situation opens in Seoul.
June 23
  • North Korea sentences South Korean citizens (Kim Kuk-gi and Choi Chun-gil) detained in the North to “hard labor for life.”
June 23
  • The ROK government expresses strong regret that the North sentenced South Korean citizens (Kim Kuk-gi and Choi Chun-gil) to hard labor for life, and urges the North to release and repatriate the South Korean citizens detained in the North, including Kim Jeong-wook and Joo Won-moon, as soon as possible (in a statement by the spokesperson for the Ministry of Unification).
June 23
  • The North’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, in a statement, claims that the opening of the U.N. Human Rights Office to monitor the North Korean human rights situation in Seoul is a political provocation and a crime, and threatens a stern and ultra-hardline response.
June 24
  • The Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, in a statement, states that “the opening of the U.N. Human Rights Office to monitor the North Korean human rights situation in Seoul will lead to the total collapse of inter-Korean relations,” threatening that “the time for words is over.”
June 24
  • Minister of Unification, at a press conference, expresses his willingness to support the North regarding its drought damage, saying that “the South will not wait for the North to change but make efforts to hold inter-Korean talks with an open mind.”
June 25
  • The North’s National Defense Commission, in a statement, declares that as “the U.S.’s plan for a second war on the Korean Peninsula” has entered the stage of actual warfare, its “anti-U.S. fight enters a new phase,” and demands that “Washington should stop its hostile policy toward North Korea.”
June 25
  • The ROK government, at a meeting of the Inter-Korean Exchanges and Cooperation Promotion Council, deliberates and resolves a plan to support the Inter-Korean Cooperation Fund worth a total of 8.478 billion won, including the project to restore the South Korean section of the Gyeongwon Line (3.306 billion won), a survey for the joint excavation of an ancient royal palace site, or Manwoldae, in Gaeseong (2.172 billion won), and a private organization’s project to improve forests and the environment of North Korea (3 billion won).
June 26
  • The ROK government designates a third-country citizen as the target of financial sanctions regarding the arms trade with North Korea.
June 27
  • Regarding the ROK government’s financial sanctions against the North, the Secretariat of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, in a press release, blasts the South for “trying to intentionally destroy inter-Korean relations” and threatens a “stern punishment.”
June 29
  • The ROK and the U.S., at a meeting of chief delegates for the Six-Party Talks, discuss various issues including the North Korean nuclear issue.
June 30
  • The Kim Dae-jung Peace Center consults former First Lady Lee Hee-ho’s visit to the North (Gaeseong).
June 30
  • Minister of Unification stresses at the “Korea Global Forum 2015” that South and North Korea need to cooperate to respond to natural disasters including drought.
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
July 1
  • The ROK President, at the opening ceremony of the 17th-term National Unification Advisory Council, expresses the position that the South can discuss all pending issues with the North, and urges the North to come out to the dialogue table, while stressing that the North should give up its nuclear program and become a responsible member of the international community.
July 2
  • The ROK President receives the MIKTA Speakers and underlines the international community’s consistent response to address the North Korean nuclear issue.
July 2
  • Regarding the exercising of the right to veto the amendment of the National Assembly Act, the Secretariat of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, in a press release, criticizes the ROK President by name and instigates a judgement on the Park government.
July 2
  • A spokesperson of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, in a statement, condemns the Minister of National Defense’s remarks at a ceremony to mark the 13th anniversary of the Second Battle of Yeonpyeong (“If the North provokes a war again, the South will punish commanding posts of all echelons.”) and threatens to “burn the base of provocation to the ground.”
July 3
  • Regarding the statement made by the spokesperson of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, the ROK government expresses regret that the North made undue intervention in the South Korean government or internal affairs, and calls on the North to stop such action immediately (in a briefing by the Unification Ministry spokesperson).
July 6
  • The Kim Dae-jung Peace Center consults former First Lady Lee Hee-ho’s visit to the North (Gaeseong) and agrees on a visit schedule from August 5 to 8 (4 days and 3 nights).
July 6
  • The South’s preparatory committee for the joint events to mark the 15th anniversary of the June 15 Joint Declaration and the 70th anniversary of national liberation proposes to its North Korean counterpart a working-level meeting in Gaeseong to discuss the August 15 joint event.
July 8
  • The North’s By Our Nation Itself demands the repatriation of all five North Korean people rescued on July 4 in the East Sea (Two of them expressed their will to return to the North, but the remaining three wanted to defect to the South), and threatens that otherwise, the North will make a stern response.
July 8
  • A spokesperson for North Korea’s Asia-Pacific Peace Committee, in a statement, warns that former First Lady Lee Hee-ho’s visit to the North has yet to be decided and it may be cancelled if the South “provokes the North by insulting the highest dignity of the DPRK.”
July 8
  • The ROK government expresses regret over the North’s warning of a possible cancellation of former First Lady Lee Hee-ho’s visit to the North, and reconfirms that it will provide support at the government level if necessary, and regarding the repatriation of North Korean crewmen, it will hand over two North Koreans except for the three who made it clear that they would defect to the South (in a statement by the spokesperson for the Ministry of Unification).
July 9
  • North Korea sends a message proposing to hold the 6th meeting of the South-North Joint Management Committee for the Gaeseong Industrial Complex (GIC) on July 16.
July 9
  • South Korea sends a message agreeing to the North’s proposal for the meeting of the South-North Joint Management Committee.
July 10
  • The ROK President discusses specific and viable plans related to unification preparation, such as health and medical cooperation between the South and the North, including providing vaccines to North Korean people, in the intensive discussion with civilian members of the Presidential Preparatory Committee for Unification.
July 10
  • North Korea criticizes the repatriation of only two of the five rescued crewmen, and requests the South to notify it of the personal information of the three crewmen who wanted to defect to the South and take measures to ensure face-to-face talks between the three and their families.
July 10
  • Regarding the North’s insistence on the repatriation of all five North Koreans, its request for the notification of the personal information of the three crewmen who stated that they wanted to defect to the South, and its demand for a measure to ensure face-to-face talks between the three and their families, the ROK government expresses its position that these requests are not appropriate considering international practices.
July 11
  • The North Korean Measure Council for Human Rights in South Korea, in a white paper, criticizes that South Korea is “the world’s worst wasteland of human rights,” citing △ youth unemployment, △ elderly poverty, △ an anthrax sample being brought to the South by the USFK, and △ the U.N. Human Rights Office to monitor the North Korean human rights situation in Seoul.
July 11
  • The North Korean military (10 soldiers) invades the MDL and the ROK army fires warning shots.
July 13
  • A spokesperson of the Policy Department of the National Defense Commission, in a statement, denounces the U.S. and ROK governments regarding the remarks by a researcher at the Center for Non-proliferation Studies about the “possibility of anthrax production by the Pyongyang Biological Technology Research Institute.”
July 14
  • Minister of Unification reaffirms his position in a discussion hosted by the Seoul Foreign Correspondents Club that the South will continue the inter-Korean exchanges and cooperation necessary to lay the foundation for unification and restore a sense of unity between South and North Korea.
July 14
  • North Korea shows Joo Won-moon detained in the North in a press conference.
July 14
  • The ROK government expresses regret that the North did not respond to the South’s call for the release and repatriation of South Korean citizens and unilaterally showed Joo Won-moon in a press conference, and calls for his immediate repatriation (in a statement by the Unification Ministry spokesperson).
July 14
  • The ROK government returns two North Korean crewmen (rescued in the East Sea on July 4, not including three other rescued men who expressed their willingness to defect to the South) to the North via Panmunjeom.
July 14
  • A spokesperson for the Central Committee of the North Korean Red Cross Society, in a statement, denounces the South for “forcibly detaining” three of the five DPRK crewmen who were adrift.
July 15
  • Regarding her remarks on North Korea’s response to inter-Korean dialogue and the South’s cooperation with the North (at a meeting with the Presidential Preparatory Committee for Unification on July 10), a spokesperson for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, in a statement, argues that the ROK President tries to “avoid responsibility for the collapse of inter-Korean relations” while criticizing the President by name.
July 15
  • A spokesperson of the National Alliance for Labor Groups, in a statement, distorts the ROK President’s remarks at a meeting with the Presidential Preparatory Committee for Unification and criticizes them as her “ulterior motive.”
July 15
  • Regarding the remarks by the U.S. Department of State’s Special Representative for North Korea Policy about the “review of the evidence and information related to sanctions on the persons responsible for human rights abuses in North Korea,” the North’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, in a statement, criticizes that such remarks were made for the purpose of overthrowing the North Korean system.
July 16
  • The South-North Joint Management Committee for the Gaeseong Industrial Complex, at its 6th meeting, explains matters of mutual interest and exchanges opinions. Despite the South’s flexible position on the North’s matters of interest, the North does not respond to such matters as the improvement of the 3C (Come-and-Go, Communications, and Customs) issues. As a result, both sides end the meeting without any specific agreement and the next meeting has yet to be scheduled.
July 17
  • National Assembly Speaker Chung Ui-hwa proposes a meeting with his North Korean counterpart in his congratulatory speech to mark the Constitution Day.
July 17
  • South Korea sends a message (from the ROK Vice-Minister of National Defense to the Head of the Ministry of the People's Armed Forces of North Korea) requesting the North to attend the Seoul Defense Dialogue.
July 17
  • Regarding the three North Korean crewmen’s defection to the South, the DPRK Measure Council for Human Rights in South Korea, in a statement, denounces that it is a provocative act, and demands their immediate repatriation.
July 19
  • Regarding National Assembly Speaker Chung’s proposal for a meeting with his North Korean counterpart and the Ministry of National Defense’s invitation for the North to attend the Seoul Defense Dialogue, the Secretariat of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, in a press release, denounces that “inter-Korean dialogue cannot be used for a political game,” and claims that the South should first make it clear that it will recognize and implement the joint declarations between North and South Korea in order to hold a dialogue.
July 20
  • Regarding the North’s condemnation of the ROK government’s will to hold a dialogue in the press release by the Secretariat of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, the ROK government expresses its regret over such a response and calls on the North to join the path toward responding to the dialogue proposal, developing inter-Korean relations, and achieving unification (in a briefing by the Unification Ministry spokesperson).
July 23
  • The South’s preparatory committee for the joint events to mark the 15th anniversary of the June 15 Joint Declaration and the 70th anniversary of national liberation and its North Korean counterpart consult a visit to the North regarding the August 15 joint event (Gaeseong), but this ends without any separate agreement, and an additional discussion is scheduled to be held on July 31.
July 23
  • The Secretariat of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, in a press release, denounces the ROK President by name regarding the NIS “hacking allegation” and instigates an anti-government fight while arguing for the dissolution of the NIS.
July 23
  • A spokesperson of the DPRK Measure Council for Human Rights in South Korea, in a statement, criticizes that since Prime Minister Hwang Gyo-an took office, “the puppet government’s fascist crackdown has become more obvious.”
July 25
  • A spokesperson of the National Alliance for Labor Groups, in a statement, condemns the ROK President by name and with low expressions regarding her remarks about the North Korean nuclear issue (the biggest obstacle to peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula).
July 25
  • A spokesperson for the Korean People’s Army Representative in Panmunjeom, in a statement, criticizes the ROK military’s gunfire drills in the West Sea and threatens to fire “directly aimed shots.”
July 26
  • Minister of Unification, appearing on the KBS program “Sunday Diagnosis,” calls on the North to respond to the calls for inter-Korean dialogue and explains the government’s position about pending issues, such as the resumption of Mt. Kumgang tourism and the reunion of separated families.
July 27
  • The ROK government strongly blasts the North’s slanderous and mudslinging accusations using low expressions, and urges the North to fulfill its obligations of denuclearization and respond to the South’s proposal for dialogue (in a statement by the spokesperson for the Ministry of Unification).
July 27
  • South Korean Police block the spread of anti-North Korea leaflets by a conservative civic group (30,000 leaflets were supposed to be spread at 13:00 in Imjingak). (The group argues that it moved to Gimpo and spread 10,000 anti-North Korea leaflets.)
July 28
  • Eight people, including forest experts and officials from Hyundai Asan Corp., visit the North to inspect the actual condition of the disease and insect pests of the pines at Mt. Kumgang from July 28 to 31.
July 30
  • An additional working-level contact for the August 15 joint event at the private level to mark the 70th anniversary of national liberation, which was scheduled on July 31, is cancelled due to the North’s refusal (the North proposes a consultation by fax).
July 30
  • North Korea shows Korean-Canadian Rev. Lim Hyeon-soo detained in the North in a press conference at the People's Palace of Culture, and claims that Lim committed hostile acts against the North such as plotting to overthrow the regime and kidnapping North Korean residents.
July 30
  • The North’s By Our Nation Itself criticizes a South Korean conservative civic group for spreading anti-North Korea leaflets (July 27) and threatens a merciless, retaliatory strike.
July 31
  • North Korea notifies the South that it will not participate in the CISM Military World Games 2015 (Mungyeong).
July 31
  • The deputy envoys to the Six-Party Talks from the ROK, the U.S., and Japan hold a meeting and reaffirm that they will pursue dialogue with and put pressure on the North at the same time to deter provocation by the North and achieve denuclearization.
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
August 4
  • A landmine provocation occurs in the DMZ.
August 4
  • Officials from Hyundai Asan Corp. visit the North to participate in the memorial ceremony (Mt. Kumgang for former Chairman Chung Mong-hun.
August 4
  • In a Q&A session with a reporter from the Korean Central News Agency, a spokesperson of the Policy Department of the National Defense Commission criticizes the ROK government’s responses to the press conference about Korean-Canadian Rev. Lim Hyeon-soo (July 30) (forced detainment, forced confessions, etc.) as “sophistry” and “a scheme to instigate an anti-North Korean confrontation.”
August 5
  • The ROK President calls on the North to believe in the sincerity of the South and join the path of reconciliation at the Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Restoration of the Gyeongwon Line.
August 5
  • Former First Lady Lee Hee-ho visits the North from August 5 to 8.
August 5
  • The South tries to send a message proposing high-level contact, but the North refuses to receive it.
August 6
  • North Korea holds a press conference on the occasion of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), passing the buck to the U.S. for aggravating the situation on the Korean Peninsula, mentioning the possibility of conducting an additional nuclear test or firing a long-range missile, and urging Washington to change its policy toward the North.
August 7
  • North Korea announces that according to the Decree for the Supreme People's Assembly Presidium, it will set clocks back 30 minutes beginning August 15.
August 7
  • The ROK government expresses regret that, if the North changes the standard time, it will disrupt the restoration of a sense of unity between South and North Korea (in a briefing by the spokesperson for the Ministry of Unification).
August 10
  • The ROK President expresses regret in a chief secretary meeting that the North is attempting to adopt a different time zone from the South while not responding to the South’s proposal for dialogue and cooperation, and voices concern about a growing sense of difference between South and North Korea.
August 10
  • The Unification Ministry spokesperson, in his commentary, expresses regret over the North’s plan to change the standard time, and accordingly, the growing sense of difference between South and North Korea, and stresses that the North needs to respond to the South’s proposal for dialogue, thus discussing such matters as standards for both Koreas as well as exchanges and cooperation.
August 10
  • The ROK government expresses regret that the North refused to receive a letter (August 5) in the name of the Minister of Unification proposing to hold high-level talks and comprehensively discuss matters of mutual interest, and urges the North to respond to the proposal (in a briefing by the spokesperson for the Ministry of Unification).
August 10
  • The Ministry of National Defense strongly condemns the North’s DMZ landmine provocation and sternly urges the North to make an apology and punish those responsible.
August 10
  • The United Nations Command denounces the North for violating the Armistice Agreement and proposes to hold general-level talks.
August 11
  • A spokesperson for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, in a statement, argues that the ROK President’s expressing regret over the North’s change of the standard time is a political provocation, and criticizes the President by name.
August 12
  • Regarding the statement by a spokesperson for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, the ROK government expresses regret that North Korea threatened and criticized the Chief of State representing the South Korean people, and urges the North to stop such rhetoric (in a briefing by the Unification Ministry spokesperson).
August 12
  • Regarding the Ulchi-Freedom Guardian (UFG), a spokesperson for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, in a statement, threatens a “shower of merciless fire,” saying that “The White House and the Blue House are caught in the panoramic sight of weapons ready to strike.”
August 13
  • The National Assembly unanimously adopts a resolution to condemn the North’s DMZ landmine provocation.
August 13
  • Regarding the UFG, the North’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, in a statement, states that “The UFG military exercise is a grave military provocation and represents a hostile policy against the DPRK,” and threatens that “The DPRK will take every possible measure necessary to deter the U.S.’s nuclear provocation.”
August 14
  • A spokesperson of the Policy Department of the National Defense Commission, in a statement, denies that the North laid landmines in the DMZ, and requires evidence for such an allegation.
August 14
  • North Korea sends a message denying the allegation that the North laid landmines in the DMZ.
August 14
  • South Korea sends a message warning that the North will pay a harsh price for the landmine provocation.
August 14
  • The frontline, combined units of the Korean People's Army (KPA), in a statement, threatens that “There is a limit to our patience” regarding the leaflet-spreading by South Korean civic groups.
August 15
  • The ROK President emphasizes in her congratulatory speech to mark Liberation Day that the South will sternly respond to the North’s provocations while calling on the North to join the path of dialogue and cooperation and seize the chance to improve the livelihoods of its people and develop the economy.
August 15
  • North Korea changes the standard time (applying “Pyongyang Time,” which is 30 minutes behind that of South Korea).
August 15
  • The Frontline Command of the Korean People’s Army threatens in a warning notice that broadcasting for psychological warfare against North Korea is an act of war and the North will carry out indiscriminate strikes on the South unless it ceases such activities.
August 15
  • A spokesperson for the National Defense Commission, in a statement, demands that the South stop UFG military exercises, and threatens that if it does not, the South will face stronger military responses.
August 16
  • Regarding her congratulatory remarks to mark the 70th anniversary of national liberation (purges, residents’ insecurity, the threat of provocation, etc.), a spokesperson for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, in a statement, denounces these as “reckless remarks insulting the dignity and the system” of the DPRK and criticizes the President by name.
August 17
  • Regarding the statement by a spokesperson for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, the ROK government expresses strong regret that the North distorted and criticized the South’s sincere proposal and that the North repeated slanderous and mudslinging accusations against the President, and urges the North to open up the path to peaceful unification together through dialogue and cooperation (in a statement by the spokesperson for the Ministry of Unification).
August 17
  • The South’s GIC Management Committee and the Guidance Bureau for the Development of the Central Special Economic Zone of North Korea enter into the “Agreement on the Minimum Wage and Wage Calculation in the Gaeseong Industrial Complex.”
August 19
  • A spokesperson for the North’s National Alliance for Labor Groups, in a statement, condemns the ROK President’s remarks about North Korea in her congratulatory speech on Liberation Day as a “heinous confrontational act,” while criticizing the President by name.
August 20
  • North Korea requests in a letter that the South stop broadcasting for psychological warfare against the North, and expresses its willingness to make efforts to address the current situation.
August 20
  • North Korea fires a projectile towards loudspeakers in the South.
August 20
  • North Korea sends a message containing an ultimatum that unless the South stops broadcasting for psychological warfare and removes the means of broadcasting within 48 hours, the North will initiate a strong military action that may escalate into a war.
August 20
  • Kim Jong-un calls an emergency expanded meeting of the WPK Central Military Commission and argues that the landmine provocation and the strikes against the loudspeakers were fabricated. He also issues an order that the frontline large combined units of the KPA should enter a quasi-war state to be fully battle ready to launch surprise operations beginning from 17:00 on August 21 and dispatches commanding officers for military operations.
August 21
  • The Supreme Command of the KPA, in a press release, denies the North’s strikes against the loudspeakers in the South, argues that the South’s firing back is a provocation, and threatens to administer deserved punishment, saying that the North will follow the ultimatum.
August 21
  • South Korea sends a message stating that the South will strongly punish the North for its continued provocations and the North will pay a harsh price.
August 21
  • South Korea tries to send a message stating that the South’s broadcasting via loudspeakers is an appropriate response to the North’s provocations and the South will sternly deal with the North’s provocations and threats, while also calling for the North’s sincere attitude to address the situation, but the North refuses to receive it by making an issue of the name signed in the letter.
August 21
  • North Korea sends a message arguing that the North is not related to the two incidents which occurred in the MDL and stating that it will keep an eye on the South until the time limit set in the ultimatum.
August 21
  • North Korea sends a message proposing a meeting between Kim Yang-gon, Secretary of the Worker’s Party Central Committee, and Kim Kwan-jin, Chief of the National Security Office.
August 21
  • South Korea sends a message requesting that instead of Kim Yang-gon, Secretary of the Worker’s Party Central Committee, Hwang Pyong-so, Director of the General Political Bureau, should attend the meeting.
August 22
  • North Korea sends a message stating that Kim Yang-gon, Secretary of the Worker’s Party Central Committee, and Hwang Pyong-so, Director of the General Political Bureau, will both attend the meeting, and requesting that Kim Kwan-jin, Chief of the National Security Office, and Minister of Unification Hong Yong-pyo should participate in the meeting.
August 22
  • South Korea sends a message accepting the North’s request and proposing a meeting at 18:00 in Panmunjeom.
August 22
  • North Korea sends a message accepting the South’s proposal.
August 22
  • South and North Korea hold high-level talks (from August 22 to 24), and with the North’s expression of regret over the DMZ landmine provocation and its pledge to prevent such incidents from occurring again, both sides lay the foundation to cut off the vicious cycle of provocations by addressing the current situation peacefully. - Contents of the Agreement: ① The South and the North hold talks between their authorities; ② The North expresses regret over the landmine explosion; ③ The South halts all loudspeaker propaganda broadcasts; ④ The North lifts the quasi-war state; ⑤ The South and the North arrange reunions of separated families on the occasion of Chuseok and have a Red Cross working-level contact in early September; and ⑥ Both sides promote exchanges in the private sector.
August 25
  • Hwang Pyong-so, Director of the General Political Bureau, appearing on Korean Central Television, reaffirms the will to fulfill the August 25 Agreement between the South and the North, saying that “I think it is fortunate that a new atmosphere conducive to improving inter-Korean relations is created.”
August 27
  • In a Q&A session with a reporter from the Korean Central News Agency, Kim Yang-gon, Secretary of the Worker’s Party Central Committee, argues that both sides “should address distrust and confrontation and enter the path of improving relations” and that they “will go hand in hand toward the path of improving relations and achieving unification” on the occasion of the high-level talks between the South and the North.
August 28
  • Kim Jong-un, in an emergency expanded meeting of the WPK Central Military Commission, assesses the deal agreed to in the high-level talks between the South and the North as “a significant turning point to the path of reconciliation and trust in inter-Korean relations,” saying that both sides should “cherish this and make efforts to bear abundant fruit.”
August 28
  • South Korea sends a message proposing to have a Red Cross working-level contact on September 7.
August 29
  • North Korea sends a message agreeing to the South’s proposal to have a Red Cross working-level contact on September 7.
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
September 1
  • The ROK President, at a Cabinet meeting, emphasizes that if the two Koreas faithfully fulfill the August 25 Agreement, we can cut off the vicious cycle of tensions and move toward the path of cooperation for peace and unification.
September 2
  • A spokesperson of the Policy Department of the National Defense Commission, in a statement, argues that, regarding the North’s expression of “regret” agreed to in the high-level talks, the South is interpreting the meaning of the word “regret” to its own advantage, and the South should refrain from words and deeds hampering the atmosphere of improving inter-Korean relations.
September 2
  • The heads of state of the ROK and China hold a summit meeting and exchange opinions about matters of mutual interest, including the situation on the Korean Peninsula and unification issues. - Both sides △ Express the position that they are opposed to any actions that escalate tensions on the Korean Peninsula; △ Agree to firmly maintain the goal of denuclearization and resume the meaningful Six-Party Talks; and △ the ROK stresses that unification on the Korean Peninsula will contribute to peace and prosperity in the region, while China supports a peaceful unification on the Korean Peninsula by the Korean nation.
September 3
  • In a Q&A session with a reporter from the Korean Central News Agency, a spokesperson for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland argues that, regarding her remarks about “the North’s landmine provocation” at the summit meeting with the leader of China, the ROK President should “be discreet in words and deeds that may undermine the atmosphere of improving relations.”
September 4
  • The ROK government expresses regret that the North condemned the remarks made by the President during her visit to China and threatened the fulfillment of the deal agreed to in the high-level talks, stressing that the North should stop these behaviors and create a turning point in the development of inter-Korean relations by faithfully implementing the Agreement (in a briefing by the spokesperson for the Ministry of Unification).
September 7
  • The North’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, in a statement, states that “The excuse for the U.S. forces to remain stationed in South Korea doesn’t work in the terms of the August 25 Agreement,” calls for the “withdrawal of the USFK,” and argues that “If the U.S. engages in military actions against North Korea, thus leading to incidents resulting from unknown causes and armed clashes accordingly, the North will put the blame on the U.S.”
September 7
  • The North Korean Measure Council for Human Rights in South Korea releases an inquiry report which discloses the “crimes against humanity and human rights” by the USFK over the last 70 years, and calls for the “withdrawal of the USFK and an anti-American and self-reliance fight.”
September 7
  • South and North Korea have a Red Cross working-level contact (from September 7 to 8 in the Peace House in Panmumjeom) and agree to consult on various matters of mutual interest, including the reunion of separated families scheduled from October 20 to 26 and the issues being raised in the process of arranging the reunions of separated families, through a Red Cross meeting as soon as possible.
September 9
  • The ROK President stresses in her keynote speech at the Seoul Defense Dialogue that the North should find a normal solution through dialogue and exchanges while urging the North to break from the simultaneous pursuit of economic growth and nuclear development and move toward the path of substantial development.
September 14
  • In a Q&A session with a reporter from the Korean Central News Agency, the Director of the National Aerospace Development Administration of the DPRK suggests that it will test-fire a long-range missile, saying that “The world will clearly see a series of satellites of Songun Korea soaring into the sky at the times and locations determined by the WPK Central Committee."
September 15
  • South and North Korea exchange written requests for confirmation of the living status of members of separated families.
September 15
  • In a Q&A session with a reporter from the Korean Central News Agency, the Director of the Atomic Energy Institute argues that "If the US and other hostile forces persistently pursue their reckless hostile policy towards the DPRK, we are fully prepared to respond with nuclear weapons at any time," saying that "All the nuclear facilities in Yongbyon were rearranged and they started normal operation."
September 16
  • A spokesperson for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, in a statement, slams the National Assembly’s plan to pass the North Korean Human Rights Act as an “unacceptable provocation that turns inter-Korean relations back to the phase of confrontation and war,” and declares a “firm response.”
September 16
  • South Korea inspects the facilities in Mt. Kumgang for the reunions of separated families (from September 16 to 17).
September 17
  • In a Q&A session with a reporter from the Korean Central News Agency, a spokesperson for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland denounces that the U.S. is hampering the atmosphere of improving inter-Korean relations, and stresses “by our nation itself.”
September 18
  • Five officials from the Korea Football Association, including KFA President Chung Mong-gyu, visit Pyongyang to discuss the unification football match from September 18 to 21.
September 19
  • A spokesperson for the General Federation of Trade Unions of North Korea, in a statement, condemns the ROK National Assembly’s agreement on some of the North Korean Human Rights Act as a “heinous confrontational act” and states that “The South should address its own human rights issues first.”
September 23
  • A spokesperson for the Central Committee of the North Korean Red Cross Society, in a statement, blasts the South’s move to enact the North Korean Human Rights Act as a “gross provocation to turn back the flow of reconciliation and tension-easing to confrontation” and an “all-out challenge to the Korean nation’s pursuit of unification.”
September 23
  • The North’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, in a statement, denounces the U.N. Human Rights Council’s panel discussion on the human rights situation in North Korea (September 21) as a “political scheme to overthrow the North Korean system.”
September 23
  • North Korea refuses the National Assembly’s Foreign Affairs, Trade and Unification Committee’s visit to the Gaeseong Industrial Complex, citing the North Korean Human Rights Act issue.
September 24
  • The Secretariat of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, in a press release, denounces the South Korean Military’s “pushing forward the organization of a special unit for attacking the North’s nuclear facilities” as a “military provocation,” and threatens “merciless punishment.”
September 24
  • A spokesperson for the Central Committee of the Korean Social Democratic Party, in a statement, stresses that the North “will engage in a stronger fight than before,” saying that the ROK National Assembly’s move to enact the North Korean Human Rights Act is an “unacceptable political provocation.”
September 24
  • The ROK President warns in an interview with Bloomberg, “Should the North go ahead with provocative actions that violate the UN Security Council resolutions, there will certainly be a price to be paid.”
September 25
  • North Korea shows a South Korean citizen (Joo Won-moon) detained in the North in a press conference for domestic and foreign journalists in Pyongyang.
September 25
  • The leaders of the U.S. and China reaffirm in their summit meeting that they will not accept the North’s possession of nuclear weapons (Obama’s “not accepting the North’s possession of nuclear weapons” and Xi Jinping’s “opposition to any actions that violate the U.N. Security Council resolutions”).
September 28
  • The ROK President, in her keynote speech at the 70th U.N. General Assembly, presents the vision for a unified Korean Peninsula, stresses the resolution of the North Korean nuclear issue, and urges the North to join the path of reform and opening rather than additional provocations, while calling on the North to create a virtuous cycle of trust and cooperation between the South and the North by fulfilling the August 25 Agreement.
September 29
  • A spokesperson for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, in a statement, denounces the ROK President’s keynote speech at the U.N. General Assembly as a “reckless confrontational racket and a series of curses and silly remarks,” and threatens the halting of family reunions, saying that “The reunion of separated families is precarious, like being put on thin ice.”
September 29
  • The Korea Conference of Religions for Peace (KCRP) consults a plan to hold an inter-Korean meeting of religions for peace in North Korea (Gaeseong, the Chosun Conference of Religions).
September 29
  • Foreign Ministers from the ROK, the U.S., and Japan have a meeting and discuss a plan to respond to North Korea’s provocations and threats.
September 30
  • The ROK government expresses regret that North Korea unilaterally distorted and slammed the President’s speech at the U.N. and threatened the reunion of separated families, and urges the North to faithfully fulfill the August 25 Agreement (in a briefing by the spokesperson for the Ministry of Unification).
September 30
  • The ROK Confederation of Trade Unions and the ROK Federation of Trade Unions consult regarding the football match between workers from the South and the North with the General Federation of Trade Unions of North Korea in Gaeseong.
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
October 1
  • The ROK President urges in her speech on Armed Forces Day that North Korea should stop developing nuclear and long-range ballistic missiles immediately and grasp the hand of cooperation extended by South Korea and the international community.
October 1
  • Minister of Unification stresses cooperation with the international community in achieving peaceful unification in his keynote speech at the Korea Global Forum 2015 held in Europe.
October 1
  • North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Su-yong claims in his address at the 70th Session of the U.N. General Assembly that his country’s space development for peaceful purposes is a legitimate right of a sovereign state defined in international law and its nuclear test is a self-defensive measure to cope with the U.S.’s hostile policy and nuclear threat.
October 2
  • Regarding North Korean Foreign Minister Ri’s remarks, the ROK government calls on the North to comply with U.N. resolutions and make joint efforts for achieving peace not only in Northeast Asia but in the world alongside the international community (in a briefing by the spokesperson for the Ministry of Unification).
October 2
  • The ROK government expresses regret that the North condemned the remarks made by the President during her visit to China and threatened the fulfillment of the deal agreed to in the high-level talks, stressing that the North should stop these behaviors and create a turning point in the development of inter-Korean relations by faithfully implementing the Agreement (in a briefing by the spokesperson for the Ministry of Unification).
October 2
  • The Jogye Order consults with the Korean Buddhists' Federation of North Korea on a South-North joint Buddhist service on the occasion of the 8th anniversary of the restoration of Shingye Temple (Gaeseong).
October 2
  • The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) argues in a commentary that U.K. magazine The Week’s positive article on “the North Korean nuclear issue” is “an objective evaluation on the legitimacy of having nuclear capability,” stressing that “As long as the U.S. does not roll back its hostile policy toward North Korea, North Korea’s war deterrent for self-defense will continue to be strengthened.”
October 3
  • Regarding the ROK President’s keynote speech at the 70th Session of the U.N. General Assembly, North Korea’s KCNA threatens in a commentary that “the reunion of separated families is at stake,” saying that “this is a heinous confrontational act that ruins the atmosphere of improving inter-Korean relations.”
October 5
  • South and North Korea conduct a joint project to prevent disease and insect infestation of the pines at Mt. Kumgang (October 5-7).
October 5
  • North Korea’s Red Cross Society sends a message to the Korean Red Cross notifying it that the North will hand over a South Korean citizen detained in the North (Joo Won-moon) at 5 p.m. today.
October 5
  • The Korean Red Cross sends a message to the DPRK Red Cross Society notifying it that the South welcomes the North’s decision to repatriate Joo Won-moon and it will send an official to Panmunjeom at 5:30 p.m. (Korea Standard Time).
October 5
  • The Korean Red Cross sends a message to the DPRK Red Cross Society notifying it that the South welcomes the North’s decision to repatriate Joo Won-moon and it will send an official to Panmunjeom at 5:30 p.m. (Korea Standard Time).
October 5
  • Joo Won-moon, a South Korean citizen detained in the North, is repatriated via Panmunjeom.
October 7
  • North Korea’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, in a statement, urges the U.S. to respond to “an offer to discard the Armistice Agreement and sign a peace treaty,” saying that the current “Armistice Agreement cannot keep peace on the Korean Peninsula.”
October 8
  • South and North Korea exchange the final list of separated family members for the reunion event.
October 10
  • North Korea holds an event to mark the 70th anniversary of the foundation of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK), which includes a speech by Kim Jong-un, a military parade and a civilian parade.
October 12
  • The Inter-Korean Joint Board for the Compilation of Gyeoremal-keunsajeon (Big Dictionary of the Korean People’s Language) holds a meeting (October 12-19, Mt. Geumgang).
October 14
  • South and North Korea hold a special exhibition of relics excavated from the South-North joint excavation project of Manwoldae in Gaeseong (October 14-November 6, Seoul / October 15-November 15, Gaeseong) and a symposium (October 15, Gaeseong).
October 14
  • North Korea’s Red Cross Society sends a message to the Korean Red Cross notifying it that former Vice Chairman Ri Chung-bok was appointed Chairman of the Central Committee of North Korea’s Red Cross Society.
October 15
  • A spokesperson for the North Korean Education Committee, in a statement, criticizes the ROK government’s “reintroduction of a single state-produced history textbook” as “an unprecedented coup d’état in history,” adding that “the criminals who distort the truth of history will be sternly judged by the Korean people,” and instigates “an anti-government fight.”
October 15
  • Minister of Unification says that “An institutional framework is needed for expanding peace and the August 25 Agreement shows the possibility of peace” (Korea Global Forum).
October 16
  • The ROK and U.S. heads of state adopt the “2015 ROK-U.S. Joint Statement on North Korea” at their summit meeting. * The leaders of the ROK and the U.S. reaffirm their “utmost urgency and determination” regarding the North Korean nuclear problem, warn North Korea over its nuclear and ballistic missile provocations and express their willingness to offer a brighter future to North Korea if the North demonstrates a genuine willingness to completely abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
October 17
  • North Korea resumes condemning the ROK President by name, which had been suspended after the August 25 Agreement (Rodong Sinmun, By Our Nation Itself, etc.).
October 17
  • North Korea’s Foreign Ministry, in a statement, demands that the U.S. “conclude a peace treaty.”
October 17
  • North Korea’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, in a Q&A session with a KCNA reporter, denounces the 2014 International Religious Freedom Report (released by the U.S. Department of State) and a North Korean human rights resolution brought by the U.N.
October 19
  • North Korea’s KCNA and Rodong Sinmun, in their commentaries, criticize the ROK-U.S. summit and the adoption of the 2015 ROK-U.S. Joint Statement on North Korea at the meeting.
October 19
  • North Korea’s By Our Nation Itself blasts the 2015 ROK-U.S. Joint Statement on North Korea as being “tantamount to a pro-American sycophantic and anti-national act” and “an act of begging for a confrontation between fellow countrymen.”
October 20
  • The 20th Reunion of Separated Families is held (October 20-26, Mt. Geumgang).
  • First Round (October 20-22): North Korean families (96, accompanied by 45) meet their relatives in the South (389)
  • Second Round (October 24-26): South Korean families (90, accompanied by 164) meet their relatives in the North (188)
October 22
  • The ROK government calls on North Korea to return to the Six-Party Talks at the 10th conference of the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP).
October 22
  • North Korea’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, in a Q&A session with a KCNA reporter, reacts against a U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier’s visit to the port city of Busan and calls for the conclusion of a peace treaty between North Korea and the United States.
October 22
  • North Korea’s By Our Nation Itself denies hacking the computers of some South Korean lawmakers and their aides.
October 23
  • Priests of the Catholic Priests' Association for Justice (CPAJ) visit the North for a joint Mass in the Jangchung Catholic Church (October 23-27, Pyongyang and Mt. Myohyang).
October 23
  • Priests of the Catholic Priests' Association for Justice (CPAJ) visit the North for a joint Mass in the Jangchung Catholic Church (October 23-27, Pyongyang and Mt. Myohyang).
October 24
  • The ROK Navy fires warning shots at a North Korean patrol boat that crossed the Northern Limit Line (NLL) near Yeonpyeong Island.
October 25
  • A spokesperson for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, in a Q&A session with a KCNA reporter, slams the South’s warning shots at the North Korean patrol boat in the Yellow Sea.
October 27
  • Minister of Unification emphasizes “a continued effort to develop inter-Korean relations” in a face-to-face meeting with the German representative of the Korean-German Parliamentarians' Friendship Association.
October 27
  • The ROK President stresses in her administrative policy speech on the 2016 budget bill that inter-Korean exchanges and cooperation should be expanded and the separated family issue should be addressed. * △“The government will proactively seek exchanges and cooperation to restore a sense of unity between South and North Korea,” and △“The government will make every effort to ensure the confirmation of the living status of members of separated families and hold the reunion of separated families on a regular basis.”
October 27
  • Ace Gyeongam, a charity foundation fund, and the Green Asia Organization (GAO) donate agricultural materials and fertilizers to North Korea.
October 28
  • A friendly football match is held between workers from the South and the North (October 28-31, Pyongyang) * The 162-member delegation representing the ROK Confederation of Trade Unions and the ROK Federation of Trade Unions visits the North.
October 29
  • The 2015 Korea Forum for Global Peace is held (co-hosted by the Ministry of Unification, the Presidential Preparatory Committee for Unification and the Committee to Commemorate the 70th Anniversary of National Liberation).
October 29
  • The ROK government expresses strong regret over the North’s denunciation of “the reintroduction of a single state-produced history textbook” and calls on the North to faithfully fulfill the August 25 Agreement and strive to improve inter-Korean relations. * North Korea’s major media outlets, including Rodong Sinmun and By Our Nation Itself, have blasted “the reintroduction of a single state-produced history textbook” right after the ROK government announced its plan to improve the publishing system of history textbooks (October12).
October 30
  • The Political Bureau of the WPK Central Committee announces a written decision (“On convening the 7th Congress of the WPK”).
October 30
  • The ROK government sends a message proposing a preliminary contact, but the North refuses to receive it.
October 31
  • A spokesperson for the North’s Overseas Construction Guidance Bureau, in a statement, condemns a press conference by the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in North Korea regarding the forced labor of North Korean workers dispatched overseas (October 28, local time).
October 31
  • The heads of state of the ROK and China discuss a plan to strengthen bilateral communication on the unification issue of the Korean Peninsula at their summit meeting.
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
November 1
  • The heads of state of the ROK, Japan and China adopt the Joint Declaration for Peace and Cooperation in Northeast Asia at their 6th trilateral summit. * △ Reaffirm the position on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, △ Faithfully implement international obligations and commitments under all relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions and the September 19 Joint Statement, △ Oppose any action that may cause tension on the Korean Peninsula or violate relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions and △ Continue joint efforts to resume meaningful Six-Party Talks at an early date.
November 2
  • The heads of state of the ROK and Japan reaffirm the importance of Seoul-Tokyo and Seoul-Washington-Tokyo cooperation concerning the North Korean nuclear issue and other North Korea issues at their summit meeting.
November 2
  • The Joint Communique of the 47th Republic of Korea-U.S. Security Consultative Meeting is announced. * △ Reaffirm that “any North Korean aggression or military provocation is not to be tolerated,” △ Approve the implementation guidance on the "Concepts of ROK-U.S. Alliance Comprehensive Counter-missile Operations (4D Operational Concept)," △ Endorse the "Conditions-based Operational Control (OPCON) Transition Plan" (COT-P), △ Strengthen cooperation through joint training and exercises regarding the space and cyberspace domains and △ Affirm that the ROK is continuing to develop ROK counterfire forces capable of executing missions during the early phases of war by around the year 2020.
November 2
  • Forty-nine members of the Foreign Affairs and Unification Committee of the National Assembly visit an ancient royal palace site, Manwoldae, in Gaeseong.
November 3
  • The South’s Cheontae Order and the North’s Korean Buddhists' Federation hold a joint Buddhist service to pray for unification on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the restoration of Yeongtong Temple (Gaeseong).
November 4
  • The North’s Central Special Zone Development Guidance General Bureau sends a message to the South's GIC Management Committee notifying it that the North will restrict the access of two South Koreans, including the vice chairman of the Committee, to the Gaeseong Industrial Complex (GIC).
November 4
  • The ROK government tries to send a letter in the name of the joint chairman of the GIC Management Committee expressing the position that the South will not accept the North’s measure to restrict South Koreans’ access to the GIC, but the North refuses to receive it.
November 5
  • The Presidential Preparatory Committee for Unification holds its 6th meeting. * The ROK President stresses △ the restoration of a sense of unity between South and North Korea (addressing the separated family issue as soon as possible and expanding inter-Korean exchanges in the private sector), △ the establishment of the foundation for peace on the Korean Peninsula (calling for the resolution of the North Korean nuclear issue and inter-Korean dialogue) and △ the expansion of the horizon of peaceful unification (gaining the support of the international community and building a network of overseas Koreans).
November 5
  • North Korea’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, in a Q&A session with a KCNA reporter, argues that, regarding the consultation on the early settlement of the comfort women issues at the ROK-Japan summit (November 2), “the comfort women victims in the North should be included in the settlement.”
November 5
  • North Korea withdraws the measure to restrict two South Koreans, including the vice chairman of the GIC Management Committee, from accessing the GIC.
November 5
  • North Korea withdraws the measure to restrict two South Koreans, including the vice chairman of the GIC Management Committee, from accessing the GIC.
November 5
  • Representatives of the Guus Hiddink Foundation visit the North to consult on building Dream Field (a futsal field for the visually impaired) (November 5-7, Pyongyang).
November 6
  • A spokesperson for the Committee on Measures for Compensation to Former Korean Comfort Women for the Japanese Army and the Victims of Forcible Drafting, in a statement, argues that the comfort women issue is an international issue, not something that Japan can simply bypass evasively with the South Korea authority.
November 9
  • Representatives of the Korea Conference of Religions for Peace (KCRP) visit the North on the occasion of the Inter-Korean Religious Meeting (November 9-10, Mt. Kumgang
November 11
  • The ROK President stresses the efforts to improve human rights and quality of life in the North at the Seoul Dialogue for Human Rights. * “The North Korean human rights issue is not only an issue of the universal dignity of humankind, but also an essential task to restore a sense of unity between South and North Koreans in the process of achieving peaceful unification.”
November 12
  • North Korea and Russia sign the Agreement on the Prevention of Dangerous Military Activities to prevent accidental confrontations between the militaries of both countries.
November 12
  • North Korea’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, in a Q&A session with a KCNA reporter, emphasizes that, regarding “the redesignation of North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism” argued by Ted Poe, Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Terrorism, the North’s “anti-terrorism position has not changed” and the North will “strengthen and develop its nuclear deterrent” against the U.S.’s anti-North Korean policy.
November 13
  • The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the U.S. Department of the Treasury adds four North Koreans, including the North Korean Ambassador to Burma, to the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) List regarding illicit activities that violate the U.S.’s executive orders.
November 13
  • North Korea’s Foreign Minister makes an official visit to the Republic of Angola (November 13-16).
November 13
  • The ROK President stresses that the North’s change of attitude is crucial in improving inter-Korean relations during a joint interview with representatives from eight members of the Organization of Asia-Pacific News Agencies (OANA). * △“There is no reason not to hold an inter-Korean summit if a breakthrough comes in resolving the North Korean nuclear issue and some progress is made in improving inter-Korean relations.” △“But it will be possible only when the North comes forward to a proactive and sincere dialogue, and what counts most is North Korea's sincerity and determination to act on its words."
November 13
  • The Presidential Preparatory Committee for Unification and the Ministry of Unification cohost an international conference entitled “Preparing for a Peaceful Unification of Korea.”
November 13
  • North Korea’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, in a Q&A session with a KCNA reporter, denounces that the remarks made by Sung Kim, Special Representative for North Korea Policy of the U.S. Department of State, (“Progress in denuclearization should be made before signing a peace treaty.”), means that “the U.S. will not give up its hostile policy toward North Korea.”
November 15
  • The ROK President says at the G20 Summit that “If North Korea gives up its ambitions for nuclear weapons and chooses a path toward openness and cooperation, we will work together with the international community to support infrastructure investment across Northeast Asia, an amount expected to be worth about 63 billion dollars annually.”
November 15
  • North Korea’s KCNA and Rodong Sinmun urge the South Korean authorities to make a bold decision to make a fundamental switch in their anti-North Korea confrontation policy, stating that if they “persistently keep on the road of confrontation with their compatriots in the North while seeking cooperation with outside forces in the anti-North Korea campaign, they may scupper the hard-won atmosphere of improving inter-Korean relations into a catastrophe in a moment.”
November 15
  • North Korea’s KCNA and Rodong Sinmun condemn Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se’s remarks (“Even at this moment, North Korea is advancing its nuclear and missile capabilities.”) as “a rash act of creating an obstacle to inter-Korean dialogue.”
November 16
  • A spokesperson for the Committee on Measures for Compensation to Former Korean Comfort Women for the Japanese Army and the Victims of Forcible Drafting, in a statement, stresses that “it is the legal and state responsibility to atone for past crimes rightly,” criticizing Japan’s oppression of the General Association of (pro-Pyongyang) Korean Residents in Japan, or Chongryon (Jochongnyeon), and its adoption of the security law 110 years after the Japanese imperialists fabricated the Japan–Korea Treaty of 1905.
November 16
  • U.S. President Obama announces “FACT SHEET: Advancing the Rebalance to Asia and the Pacific.” * △ North Korea’s continued development of its nuclear and missile programs and proliferation activities pose a direct and serious threat to U.S. national security and that of our allies. △ The U.S.’s priorities are to work with regional partners to achieve the verifiable denuclearization of North Korea, to discourage, detect, and interdict North Korean proliferation activities and to ensure all countries enforce U.N. Security Council resolutions related to North Korea.
November 17
  • North Korea’s Red Cross Society sends a message to the Korean Red Cross notifying it that the North will hand over a South Korean citizen detained in the North (Mr. Lee) at 4 p.m.
November 17
  • The Korean Red Cross sends a message to North Korea’s Red Cross Society notifying it that the South will send an official in charge of the delivery of Mr. Lee to Panmunjeom at 4:30 p.m. (Korea Standard Time).
November 17
  • Mr. Lee, a South Korean citizen detained in the North, is repatriated to the South via Panmunjeom.
November 17
  • The Rajin-Khasan project carries out its third trial operation (November 17-30). * The three South Korean firms of POSCO, Korea Railroad Corp. and Hyundai Merchant Marine participate in the operation, carrying 120,000 tons of bituminous coal and 10 containers filled with Chinese bottled mineral water.
November 17
  • Minister of Unification stresses at the 2015 National Rally for Peaceful Unification that the government will make its utmost efforts to address the separated family issues, saying that some separated families visited their hometowns on the occasion of a joint exhibition of relics found at Manwoldae.
November 17
  • North Korea's ambassador-at-large, in a press conference in New York, denounces the resolution submitted to the Third Committee of the General Assembly on October 30 as “malicious slander” and calls for the authors, the European Union and Japan, to abandon the motion.
November 17
  • North Korea’s KCNA and Rodong Sinmun criticize the ROK President’s remarks on the need for reintroducing a single state-produced history textbook (“Perspectives on history are very important as we prepare to embrace unification soon.”) at the meeting of the Presidential Preparatory Committee for Unification (November 5) as a “confrontational act.”
November 17
  • North Korea’s KCNA and Minju Joson condemn the remarks made by Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se at the meeting with his Iranian counterpart (“I hope that the North will learn a lesson from Iran’s nuclear deal and Iran can have a positive effect on the North Korean nuclear issue.”) as “begging for nuclear cooperation.”
November 18
  • The ROK President emphasizes at the summit meeting with her Canadian counterpart that “We need to exert efforts to make progress in the denuclearization of North Korea with utmost urgency and work to strengthen the cooperation of the international community.”
November 18
  • The ROK President asks her Philippine counterpart for the country’s cooperation as a key ally in Southeast Asia and a supporter for South Korea’s North Korea policy at their summit meeting.
November 18
  • A spokesperson for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, in a Q&A session with a KCNA reporter, criticizes that the ROK government’s calling for the North to respond to the talks between both authorities is shifting the responsibility to North Korea, demanding the South to “create an atmosphere of dialogue.”
November 18
  • North Korea’s “Naenara” (“my country” in Korean), the propaganda website of North Korea, discloses the Comprehensive Development Plan of the Rason (Rajin-Sonbong) Free Economic Trade Zone. * The Plan includes △ Laws on investment in the Rason Free Economic Trade Zone, △ Development of tourist sites, △ Development of industrial zones, △ Investment in domestic companies, △ Investment items, △ Taxation policy, △ Investment policy and △ Procedures of establishing a company.
November 18
  • The History Society of North Korea issues a memorandum to mark 110 years since the Japanese imperialists fabricated the Korea-Japan (Ulsa) Treaty (November 17, 1905), denouncing that "the Ulsa Five-point Treaty was an illegal document without legal force and Japan can never shirk responsibility for its illegal colonial rule over Korea” (November 18, KCNA).
November 19
  • The Third Committee of the General Assembly passes a North Korean human rights resolution.
November 20
  • The Secretariat of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland sends a message to the Ministry of Unification proposing to hold a working-level contact for the talks between both authorities on November 26 at Tongilgak on the North Korean side of Panmunjeom.
November 20
  • Minister of Unification Hong Yong-pyo sends a message to Kim Yang-gon, Secretary of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea, accepting the North’s proposal.
November 20
  • A spokesperson for the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) urges the Chinese and Vietnamese authorities to publicly clarify the fate of the nine North Korean nationals and to refrain from forcibly returning them to North Korea, saying that “there are fears that they may be – or may already have been – repatriated to North Korea.”
November 20
  • The ROK government welcomes the Third Committee of the General Assembly’s adoption of the North Korean human rights resolution, urging the North to improve its human rights situation (in a commentary by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
November 21
  • The ROK President stresses at the 18th ASEAN+3 Summit that we need to lead the North to change by delivering the international community’s united message while continuing the dialogue and cooperation to address the North Korean nuclear issue.
November 21
  • North Korea’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, in a statement, rejects the North Korean human rights resolution passed at the Third Committee of the 70th U.N. General Assembly, stating that it is “a politically provocative document against the DPRK,” and declares “a stern response.”
November 21
  • North Korea, in a KCNA commentary, urges the U.S. to “boldly roll back its outdated hostile policy toward North Korea and respond to Pyongyang's proposal for concluding a peace treaty at an early date,” saying that the Obama administration’s policy of “strategic patience” toward North Korea is “a completely failed policy that is accelerating the decline of the U.S.”
November 22
  • The ROK President stresses at the 10th East Asia Summit that since regional peace and stability cannot be guaranteed without resolving the North Korean nuclear issue at a time when North Korea continues advancing its nuclear capabilities, EAS member countries need to send a clear message with one voice to North Korea to address this issue.
November 22
  • The ROK President expresses support for "a society free from weapons of mass destruction, free from nuclear weapons and free from war” advocated by ASEAN at the ROK-ASEAN Summit, stressing that this goal should be achieved on the Korean Peninsula. The President says that the North Korean nuclear issue is the most important issue in the political and security cooperation with ASEAN, calling on ASEAN to maintain a clear and consistent voice on the issue.
November 22
  • A spokesperson for North Korea's Southwest Frontline Military Command, in a statement, threatens that, regarding the South’s plan for maritime firing exercises in the northwest islands (November 23) on the occasion of the 5th anniversary of “the shelling of Yeonpyeong Island,” “if the firing is aimed at the North Korean waters, the South will invite merciless punishment on the waters of the five islands.”
November 23
  • The U.N. Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in North Korea visits South Korea (November 23-27). * Marzuki Darusman, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in North Korea, emphasizes at a press conference that it is necessary to continue pursuing accountability for anti-humanitarian crimes in North Korea (November 26).
November 23
  • Prime Minister expresses the government’s will to establish peace and prepare for unification on the Korean Peninsula in his memorial speech on the occasion of the 5th anniversary of “the shelling of Yeonpyeong Island.”
November 23
  • North Korea’s By Our Nation Itself strongly reacts against the report by the National Intelligence Service at the general meeting of the Intelligence Committee of the National Assembly (November 18, “It is believed that there is a possibility of connection between North Korea and IS, though hard evidence has yet to be found.”), saying that this is “a scheme and fabrication against the same people.”
November 24
  • A spokesperson for the Policy Department of the National Defense Commission, in a statement, threatens the South Korean military’s maritime firing exercise in the northwest islands.
November 24
  • North Korea notifies the South of its delegation list for a working-level contact. * △ List of three representatives (Hwang Cheol, the head of the delegation, Kim Myeong-cheol and Kim Cheol-young) and △ Other matters (request for a waiting room and a situation room, guarantee of convenience in going through customs for the belongings and the provision of 8 direct lines)
November 24
  • Hwang Joon-kook, South Korea's Chief Delegate to the Six-Party Talks, and his Chinese counterpart Wu Dawei exchange opinions on the plan to make progress on the North Korean nuclear issue, including preventing provocations and resuming talks on denuclearization.
November 24
  • China welcomes the working-level contact for talks between authorities from South and North Korea, stating “We hope that the inter-Korean talks will be resumed as soon as possible” (in a regular briefing by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
November 24
  • The Secretariat of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, in a press release, claims that “the North has the legitimacy of having nuclear capabilities” and “it will strengthen its nuclear deterrent,” stating that the ROK President’s remarks at the G20 Summit (international cooperation on the North Korean nuclear issue, etc.) are “a shame and disgrace to the Korean nation."
November 24
  • North Korea’s KCNA and Minju Joson blast the remarks of the ROK President and authorities that “the North should respond to inter-Korean dialogue including the talks between authorities of both sides,” stating that “these are insulting the North’s sincere efforts to improve inter-Korean relations and a grave, political provocation,” arguing for “doing away with the inveterate bad habit of escalating confrontation and stopping the act of pursuing system confrontation.”
November 24
  • North Korea, in a KCNA commentary, condemns that the U.S.’s raising of the North Korean human rights issue (Special Envoy for North Korean Human Rights Issues Robert King’s remarks at the Seoul Dialogue for Human Rights) is “an absurd attempt to overthrow the system in North Korea stressing that Pyongyang will “sternly respond to Washington’s scheme to overthrow North Korea and hold fast to the socialist system in North Korea.”
November 24
  • North Korea’s Rodong Sinmun calls for the conclusion of a peace treaty between North Korea and the U.S. by quoting overseas institutions.
November 25
  • North Korea’s KCNA, in a bill of indictment (November 25), expresses concern that “the largest refugee crisis in history is sweeping the world,” citing the refugee situation in Syria and Iraq, and urges that “the key to addressing the refugee issue is to punish the U.S., the main culprit of human rights crimes, with an iron hammer.”
November 26
  • A working-level contact for the talks between authorities of South and North Korea is held (Tongilgak on the North Korean side of Panmunjeom). * Agreement on the first talks between authorities of South and North Korea (vice-ministerial level) at the Gaeseong Industrial Complex on December 11 and announcement of a joint press release (November 27)
November 26
  • North Korea, in a KCNA commentary, denounces the ROK President’s remarks on “the North Korean nuclear issue” on her overseas trips (“We need to encourage the North to make the strategic decision of giving up its nuclear program and come forward to the path of change.”) as “creating an obstacle to improving inter-Korean relations” and “an act of betrayal to spoil the mood of dialogue in advance.”
November 26
  • The South's GIC Management Committee and the North’s Central Special Zone Development Guidance General Bureau agree on the rental fee of land for the Gaeseong Industrial Complex.
November 27
  • North Korea’s By Our Nation Itself slams the South Korean military’s live-fire drills in the Yellow Sea regarding the shelling of Yeonpyeong Island. * North Korea calls for “stopping an act of aggravating confrontation between the same people through the reckless act of playing with fire” saying that “this inveterate bad habit can be effective only when the situation on the Korean Peninsula gets worse.”
November 27
  • A spokesperson for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, in a statement, denounces that Yonhap News’s November 26 report on the Institute for National Security Strategy’s materials for an international academic conference (Kim Jong-un’s reign of terror, etc.) as “a political provocation” and “damage to the highest dignity.”
November 27
  • North Korea’s KCNA and Rodong Simnum △ Criticize the ROK President’s remarks on “international cooperation on the North Korean nuclear issue” at the G20 and APEC Summit, and △ Call on the South to create a peaceful environment, including by “stopping cooperation with the U.S. and joint military drills.”
November 27
  • China welcomes the agreement to hold the vice-ministerial level talks between South and North Korea (in a regular briefing by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
November 28
  • North Korea’s submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) test fails. * South Korean and U.S. intelligence agencies detect signs of the North conducting an underwater ejection test of a submarine-launched missile in waters near Sinpo, South Hamgyong Province.
November 28
  • North Korea’s KCNA and Rodong Simnum denounce the event related to the 5th anniversary of the shelling of Yeonpyeong Island as “a provocation that undermines the atmosphere of improving relations between South and North Korea.”
November 30
  • The ROK government defines the North’s development and test of a SLBM as an act tantamount to the violation of the U.N. Security Council’s resolution (in a regular briefing by a spokesperson for the Ministry of National Defense).
November 30
  • North Korea’s By Our Nation Itself condemns the South Korean military for opening a field maintenance center in the western area and conducting a field tactical training exercise.
November 30
  • Regarding North Korea’s denunciation of the opening of a field maintenance center in the western area and conducting a field tactical training exercise, the ROK government calls on the North to refrain from creating unnecessary tension (in a regular briefing by the Unification Ministry spokesperson).
November 30
  • North Korea’s Rodong Sinmun, in a commentary, blasts the meeting of the South Korean, U.S. and Japanese heads of the delegation to the Six-Party Talks as “an anti-DPRK nuclear ruckus by the South Korean authority and foreign powers.”
November 30
  • The Association of Inter-Korean Historians gives a briefing on the achievements of the 2015 Survey for the Joint Excavation of Manwoldae in Gaeseong. * △ Excavated 19 building sites and 3,500 relics and △ Unearthed a piece of Goryeo-era metal type (presumed to have been created before 1361) at a site 255m west of the Sinbongmun gate site in the southern part of Manwoldae's western sites.
November 30
  • The heads of state of the ROK and Russia reaffirm the principle of “no-tolerance of a nuclear North Korea” and agree to expand the trilateral cooperation project between South and North Korea and Russia, including Rajin-Khasan logistics cooperation, at their summit meeting.
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
December 1
  • The ROK President says in her special speech at UNESCO that the North Korean nuclear and human rights issues are a threat to stability and peace in the region, stressing that “A reunified Korean Peninsula will become a symbol of peace and offer a fresh engine of growth for the world, serving to promote global peace and progress.”
December 1
  • The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea (CBCK) discusses a range of issues such as exchanges between Catholics of both Koreas for peace and reconciliation on the Korean Peninsula, the repair of the Jangchung Catholic Church in Pyongyang, and exchanges and cooperation plans with North Korea (December 1-4, Pyongyang).
December 1
  • Regarding North Korea’s failure in its latest submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) test (November 28), the United States urges the North to stop violating the U.N. Security Council resolutions and escalating tension (in a regular briefing by the deputy spokesperson for the Department of State).
December 2
  • A spokesperson for the Central Committee of the General Federation of Trade Unions of Korea (GFTUK), in a statement, denounces the police’s raid on the Gyeonggi Provincial Branch of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) and the Saenuri Party’s moves to enact a law that prohibits protestors from wearing masks as “an unpardonable fascist action against democracy and human rights.”
December 2
  • North Korea’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, in a statement, argues that the United States should respond, as soon as possible, to the North’s proposal to “sign a peace treaty.”
December 2
  • The Unification Minister holds a policy briefing session for foreign ambassadors to the Republic of Korea (December 2 and 4).
December 2
  • The ROK President and her Czech counterpart, at their summit meeting, agree that both countries will cooperate to lead North Korea to give up its nuclear program and become a responsible member of the international community under the firm and consistent principle of no-tolerance for a nuclear North Korea.
December 3
  • A spokesperson for the DPRK Measure Council for Human Rights in South Korea, in a statement, defines the ROK government’s reintroduction of a single state-produced history textbook and its National Security Law as “fascist actions” and instigates a fight against the South Korean government, saying that “It is natural that people fight against the conservative ruling forces” by criticizing South Korea as “the worst wasteland of human rights in the world.”
December 3
  • The heads of state of the ROK and the Visegrad Group urge North Korea to respond to the Six-Party Talks while blasting the North’s nuclear development program by adopting a joint statement at their summit meeting.
December 3
  • The ROK, the United States, and Japan hold a meeting of chief delegates for the Six-Party Talks.
December 4
  • The ROK receives a South Korean body via Panmunjeom.
December 4
  • Regarding the North’s claim that it excavated a new nuclear test tunnel in the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site in Gilju-gun, North Hamgyong Province, a spokesperson for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs of the U.S. Department of State calls on North Korea to demonstrate its commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
December 4
  • The Presidential Preparatory Committee for Unification and the National Research Council for Economics, Humanities and Social Sciences host a seminar entitled “Change in the North Korean Economy and Strategy to Promote Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation.”
December 5
  • North Korea’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, in a Q&A session with a KCNA reporter, denounces that “It is none other than the United State that created IS and that turned the Middle East into an evil cycle of terrorism and retaliation,” adding that “All the blame for the worsening situation in the region that surrounds Syria is on the United States.”
December 5
  • With regard to renewing the ROK-U.S. Atomic Energy Agreement, North Korea’s KCNA, in its commentary, criticizes that “It is a serious and criminal nexus escalating tension on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia,” adding that “The U.S. is the chief culprit of nuclear proliferation as it has further increased the danger of a nuclear arms race and a nuclear war on the Korean Peninsula.”
December 7
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the U.N. Office for Disarmament Affairs cohost the 14th Republic of Korea-United Nations Joint Conference on Disarmament and Non-proliferation Issues (December 7-8).
December 7
  • The 25th meeting for the compilation of Gyeoremal-keunsajeon (Big Dictionary of the Korean People’s Language) is held (December 7-13, Dalian, China).
December 8
  • The U.S. Department of State and the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the U.S. Department of the Treasury add six North Korean citizens and four organizations, including the KPA’s Strategic Rocket Force, to the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) List regarding illicit activities that violate the U.S.’s executive orders.
December 9
  • Ahn Dong-chun, the head of the delegation of the Supreme People's Assembly of North Korea, in his speech at the plenary session of the 8th Asian Parliamentary Assembly (APA), stresses “the replacement of the Armistice Agreement with a peace treaty and reunification by federal formula.”
December 10
  • North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, on a tour inspecting the newly-upgraded Phyongchon Revolutionary Site, states that North Korea has developed a hydrogen bomb and is prepared to use it along with nuclear warheads to defend its sovereignty.
December 10
  • Regarding North Korea’s claim of possessing a hydrogen bomb, the United States and China express concern and criticize the North’s actions and policies for causing instability in the region.
December 10
  • The U.N. Security Council votes for calling a meeting on North Korean human rights issues.
December 11
  • The first talks between authorities of South and North Korea are held (December 11-12, Gaeseong Industrial Complex). * South Korean Delegation: Vice Unification Minister Hwang Bu-gi, Director General Kim Ui-do of the Ministry of Unification, and Director General Son Jae-rak of the Prime Minister’s Office North Korean Delegation: Jon Jong-su, a chief delegate and vice director of the secretariat of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland (CPRF); Hwang Chol, a department director of the secretariat of the CPRF; Hwang Chung-sung, a senior official at the National Economic Cooperation Federation.
December 12
  • The heads of state of Japan and India announce a joint statement expressing concern about the North Korean nuclear issue and urging the North to take denuclearization actions.
December 12
  • North Korea’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, in a statement, insists that the U.S.-led special meeting on “the North Korean human rights situation” at the U.N. Security Council is “outside of the U.N. Security Council’s authority,” warning of a stern response to “the hostile forces’ anti-DPRK human rights scheme.”
December 15
  • The United States confirms its intention to resume the Six-Party Talks and mentions the North’s responsibility for resuming the Six-Party Talks (in a regular briefing by a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State).
December 15
  • A spokesperson for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, in a statement, claims that the collapse of the first talks between authorities of South and North Korea was “the inevitable consequence caused by confrontational policies” such as the South’s avoiding discussions to resume Mt. Geumgang tourism, thus shifting the responsibility to the South.
December 16
  • Regarding the statement by the spokesperson for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland (December 15), the ROK government refutes that “The North’s allegation that ‘Mt. Geumgang tourism is a matter that the South should gain approval from the United States’ is not true at all” (in a regular briefing by the Unification Ministry spokesperson).
December 16
  • North Korea’s Supreme Court sentences Canadian pastor Lim Hyeon-soo to life in prison with hard labor for plotting to overthrow the North Korean state.
December 16
  • Regarding the U.S.’s addition of North Korean diplomats and the North’s organizations involving military force, munitions, and trade to the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) List, North Korea’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, in a statement, threatens that “If it continues to pursue its hostile policy, the U.S. will only see an unimaginable situation, the opposite of what it wants.”
December 16
  • Hanmi Pharmaceutical Co. delivers one billion won of medicine to the Mangyongdae Children's Hospital in Pyongyang.
December 16
  • A senior Asian affairs director at the White House National Security Council, during an interview with Yonhap News Agency, states that “North Korea needs to demonstrate that it is fully committed to denuclearization, which is what it is obligated to do under the 2005 Joint Statement and a whole series of U.N. Security Council resolutions, and if North Korea were to demonstrate a sincere commitment to denuclearization, then everything is possible.”
December 17
  • The U.N. General Assembly adopts a resolution encouraging the U.N. Security Council to refer North Korea to the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.
December 17
  • While pointing out encouraging developments in inter-Korean relations such as the agreement on the reunion of separated families, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon stresses that both Koreas shouldn’t be disappointed for failing to find a breakthrough at the talks between authorities of South and North Korea this month, adding that he expects that continued dialogue will lead to reconciliation.
December 19
  • Regarding contents from former U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry’s interview (planning an air strike against the Yongbyon nuclear facility), North Korea’s KCNA, in a commentary, denounces that “Washington has spurred its preparations for a nuclear war against the DPRK, watching for a chance for invasion” by citing a variety of ROK-U.S. joint war drills such as “Operation Plan 5030,” thus claiming its legitimacy to strengthen its “nuclear deterrent.”
December 20
  • Regarding the ROK government’s position that “personal security measures for tourists” should come first before resuming Mt. Geumgang tourism, North Korea’s Uriminzokkiri maintains that the North has “guaranteed the highest level of security for tourists to Mt. Geumgang since the visit of Hyundai Group Chairwoman Hyun Jeong-eun in 2009.”
December 21
  • Regarding the claim from North Korean propaganda media that the North has “already been guaranteeing the highest level of security since six years ago” (December 20), the ROK government refutes that “Personal security measures for tourists to Mt. Geumgang should be discussed between authorities of South and North Korea” (in a regular briefing by the Unification Ministry deputy spokesperson).
December 22
  • North Korea’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, in a Q&A session with a KCNA reporter, slams the Canadian Prime Minister for saying that he is "very concerned" about North Korea's sentencing of Canadian pastor Lim Hyeon-soo to life in prison (December 16).
December 23
  • Women’s organizations, including Korean Women's Association United (KWAU), hold a joint cultural event (“Inter-Korean Women’s Meeting for Reconciliation, Unity, Peace and Unification of the Nation”) in Gaeseong.
December 24
  • The South's GIC Management Committee and the North’s Central Special Zone Development Guidance General Bureau sign “the Agreement on the Standardized Rental Fee of Land for the Gaeseong Industrial Complex.”
December 24
  • A spokesperson for the North Side Headquarters of the Nationwide Special Committee for Probing the Truth behind GIs' Crimes releases a statement criticizing the USFK’s anthrax germ introduction and experiments in South Korea as “an American version of Unit 731” and arguing for judgement against the South Korean government which has protected such illegal actions.
December 26
  • The DPRK Measure Council for Human Rights in South Korea announces the “2015 Inquiry Report on Human Rights Violations in South Korea.”
December 28
  • The ROK government repatriates three North Korean citizens via Panmunjeom.
December 29
  • The death of Kim Yang-gon, Secretary of the Workers' Party Central Committee and Director of the United Front Department, is announced.
December 29
  • Regarding the death of Kim Yang-gon, the ROK government sends a message of condolence in the name of the Unification Minister to the United Front Department.
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
January 1
  • Kim Jong-un, in his New Year’s Speech, repeats existing positions that “We will make strenuous efforts to develop inter-Korean talks and improve bilateral relations, and we will also have an open-minded discussion on the reunification issue with anyone who is truly desirous of national reunification,” while urging the South to “desist from any act that will mar the atmosphere of dialogue.”
January 1
  • The North’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, in a Q&A session with a KCNA reporter, condemns the South Korea-Japan agreement on comfort women as a product of political bargaining and calls for a thorough apology and compensation for all the victims.
January 4
  • Regarding Kim Jong-un’s New Year’s Speech, a spokesperson for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, in a commentary, stresses that the U.S. will judge North Korea by action, not by rhetoric (“We will make strenuous efforts to develop inter-Korean talks and improve bilateral relations”).
January 5
  • The ROK President emphasizes her will to normalize inter-Korean relations at the cabinet meeting * “As Pyongyang expresses its will to fulfill the August 25 Agreement, I ask for related officials to make efforts to normalize inter-Korean relations such as expanding private channels to restore a sense of unity between South and North Korea and addressing the separated family issue.”
January 5
  • North Korea, in a KCNA commentary, insists on the legitimacy of possessing nuclear weapons, citing the U.S.’s plan to drop an atomic bomb on North Korea in the 1950s.
January 6
  • KCNA publishes an article entitled “Appeal to Usher in a New Era of Independent Reunification.”
January 6
  • North Korea conducts its 4th nuclear test some 49 kilometers north of Kilju County, North Hamgyong Province.
January 6
  • January 6. The ROK government issues a statement regarding the North’s 4th nuclear test.* △“Denounce the North’s 4th nuclear test,”△“Demand the complete, verifiable, and irreversible dismantlement of the North’s nuclear weapons,” and △“Take all possible actions including upholding the U.N. Security Council’s additional sanctions”
January 6
  • The U.S. criticizes that “North Korea’s H-bomb test is a flagrant violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions (in a commentary by the spokesperson for the White House National Security Council).
January 6
  • Japan stresses that “North Korea’s nuclear test is a significant threat to the security of Japan and cannot be tolerated,” highlighting “the coordinated response of South Korea, the U.S., China, and Russia including the U.N. Security Council’s response” (in a statement by Prime Minister Abe).
January 6
  • China, in its official statement regarding the North’s 4th nuclear test, expresses “determined opposition” to Pyongyang’s H-bomb test, stressing that “Beijing strongly urges North Korea to fulfill its promise of denuclearization and stop any act that will worsen the situation” (in a regular briefing by the spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
January 6
  • Russia expresses grave concern about the news that North Korea carried out the H-bomb test (in a statement by the Russian presidential press secretary).
January 6
  • The Defense Ministers of the ROK and the U.S. define “the North’s nuclear test as a significant provocation” and discuss a plan to strengthen coordination between the two countries.
January 6
  • U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon strongly criticizes the North’s H-bomb test and issues a statement calling on Pyongyang to stop its provocative acts.
January 7
  • The Foreign Ministers of the ROK and the U.S. define “the North’s nuclear test as a challenge to the international community that cannot be tolerated” and discuss a plan to strengthen coordination to pass a U.N. Security Council resolution.
January 7
  • The U.S. Secretary of State issues a statement condemning North Korea’s H-bomb test as “a very provocative act that poses a significant threat to international peace and security.”
January 7
  • The U.N. Security Council holds an emergency session and issues a press statement. * Statement by Uruguay's UN Ambassador, current president of the Security Council, △“North Korea’s nuclear test is a clear violation of Security Council resolutions” and △“A clear threat to international peace and security.”
January 7
  • The ROK government resumes its loudspeaker propaganda broadcasts.
January 7
  • A spokesperson for the Committee on Measures for Compensation to Former Korean Comfort Women for the Japanese Army and the Victims of Forcible Drafting denounces the “South Korea-Japan agreement on comfort women.”
January 7
  • The heads of state of the ROK and Japan discuss response measures to the North Korean nuclear issue in a telephone conversation.
January 7
  • The Defense Ministers of the ROK and the U.S. issue a joint statement with the position that “North Korea’s nuclear test is a clear violation of international laws, both sides reaffirm the U.S.’s extended deterrence commitment to South Korea, and the North should pay a price for the provocation.”
January 7
  • The heads of state of the ROK and the U.S. agree to closely cooperate to speedily adopt a Security Council resolution imposing tough sanctions on North Korea.
January 8
  • South Korea fully resumes its loudspeaker propaganda broadcasts.
January 8
  • A resolution to criticize the North’s nuclear test passes the plenary session of the National Assembly.
January 8
  • North Korea begins the loudspeaker propaganda broadcasts.
January 8
  • Japan’s Defense Minister “sternly denounces the North’s nuclear test,” saying that it is “a violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions.”
January 8
  • The Foreign Ministers of the ROK and China have a telephone conversation.
January 8
  • Seoul, Washington, and Tokyo hold a video conference at the deputy minister level to share information about North Korea.
January 8
  • The Defense Ministers of the ROK and Japan have a telephone conversation to discuss “response measures to the North’s nuclear test.”
January 8
  • The Democratic Women's Union of Korea (DWUK) condemns the South Korean government’s “agreement on comfort women” with Japan as “a pro-Japanese act of treachery covering up Japan's hideous sexual slavery.”
January 9
  • North Korea, in a KCNA commentary, claims the legitimacy of its H-bomb test, saying that “The U.S. seeks to start a nuclear war by continuously carrying out nuclear war drills, and so North Korea conducted its first H-bomb test, a higher stage of the development of nuclear force, as a self-defense measure against the ever-growing nuclear threat and blackmail by the U.S.-led hostile forces.”
January 10
  • The U.S. flies a B-52 long-range bomber over South Korea.
January 12
  • The U.S. House of Representatives passes a bill of sanctions on North Korea (H.R.757) (local time).
January 12
  • North Korea, in a KCNA commentary, argues that the DPRK has proudly joined the advanced ranks of nuclear weapons states with its possession of an H-bomb, posing the threat of a possible attack on U.S. soil.
January 12
  • Regarding the international community's sanctions in the wake of the North's 4th nuclear test, Kim Jong-un calls for more efforts to “increase the quality and quantity of the country's nuclear force so as to be capable of making nuclear strikes on the U.S.” (at the awarding ceremony for nuclear scientists involved in the recent successful H-bomb test).
January 13
  • President Park’s Statement to the Nation and Press Conference * (Major Contents) △Face an emergency situation in which both security and the economy are in crisis at the same time, △ Expect China to play a more active role (in imposing sanctions on North Korea), △ Include new measures such as finance and trade in a U.N. Security Council resolution, and △ Review the THAAD deployment in line with South Korea’s security and national interests and bring about a nuclear-free world starting with the Korean Peninsula
January 13
  • The ROK, the U.S., and Japan hold a meeting of chief delegates for the Six-Party Talks (Seoul).
January 13
  • The White House Press Office issues a statement indicating that the heads of state of the U.S. and Russia had a telephone conversation and agreed on the need for the international community’s strong and united response against North Korea’s 4th nuclear test.
January 13
  • The Foreign Ministers of the ROK and Russia discuss North Korea’s 4th nuclear test in a telephone conversation.
January 13
  • The deputy national security adviser for strategic communication for U.S. President Barack Obama, in a press conference, confirms that regarding President Obama’s lack of mention of the North Korean issues in his State of the Union Address, the intention was to snub the North Korean leader and that President Obama gives the North Korean nuclear issue a huge priority.
January 13
  • A North Korean drone flies close to the Dorasan Observatory, located on the south side of the Military Demarcation Line (MDL).
January 14
  • ROK and Chinese chief delegates for the Six-Party Talks hold a meeting (Beijing).
January 14
  • The Korean Jurists Committee of North Korea releases a white paper, arguing that “The U.S. and North Korea should nullify the armistice agreement and sign a peace treaty as soon as possible” while condemning the U.S.’s side-stepping of the conclusion of a peace treaty with the DPRK as an “international illegal act.”
January 14
  • North Korea sends a letter of protest regarding the cancellation of the invitation of Foreign Minister Ri Su-yong to the World Economic Forum (from North Korea’s permanent representative to the U.N. office to the Managing Director of the WEF Managing Board).
January 14
  • The ROK government announces the temporary suspension of its financial support for the Rajin-Hasan logistics project in the wake of the North’s 4th nuclear test.
January 15
  • The North’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, in a commentary, justifies the H-bomb test and reacts against such moves as introducing the means for a strategic nuclear strike into the South and adopting a U.N. resolution imposing sanctions on North Korea.
January 16
  • The Republic of Korea, the United States, and Japan agree that substantial sanctions should be imposed on North Korea urgently through a “thorough and comprehensive response” and jointly call on China to join the sanctions on Pyongyang at the second vice foreign ministerial meeting (Tokyo).
January 19
  • South Korean and Russian chief delegates for the Six-Party Talks hold a meeting (Moscow).
January 19
  • Regarding its 4th nuclear test, North Korea, in a Rodong Sinmum commentary, maintains that “North Korea’s position has changed at a stroke,” saying that “A country which is not big and has suffered the harshest ordeal has the strongest power of all mankind.”
January 20
  • Although the situation on the Korean Peninsula is grave in the wake of the North’s 4th nuclear test, the ROK government makes it clear that it will continue to make efforts to resolve the separated family issue (in a regular briefing by the Unification Ministry spokesperson).
January 20
  • North Korea, in an interview with a reporter from Pyongyang Broadcasting Station, justifies its hydrogen bomb test and urges the U.S. to stop its hostile policy against the North.
January 21
  • The ROK President stresses “carrying out all effective means for sanctions on North Korea” at the 49th Central Integrated Defense Meeting.
January 21
  • ROK and Chinese chief delegates for the Six-Party Talks discuss response measures to the North’s nuclear test (Beijing).
January 22
  • The Ministries of Unification, Foreign Affairs, and National Defense jointly present their policy report on security and unification preparation to President Park.
  • (Theme) Thorough preparation for unification based on strong foreign and security policy
  • (Major Strategies) △ Launch an all-out response to the threat of provocation by North Korea, △ Take a holistic approach to the North Korean nuclear and other North Korea issues, △ Make good use of changes in the foreign and security environment proactively and strategically, and △ Continue proper preparation for unification along with the Korean people and the international community.
January 22
  • The heads of state of Japan and Russia have a telephone conversation and agree to band together at the U.N. Security Council regarding North Korea’s 4th nuclear test.
January 23
  • A spokesperson for the U.S. embassy in Seoul expresses support for President Park’s proposal to hold five-party talks. * △ The U.S. supports President Park’s call for five-party talks. △ Washington considers that cooperating with other parties would be a useful step in its ongoing efforts to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula through credible and authentic negotiations.
January 25
  • The Foreign Ministers of the ROK and Ukraine have a telephone conversation. * △ South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se calls on Ukraine, as a Security Council member, to play an active role in adopting a resolution imposing “strong and effective” sanctions on North Korea. △ Ukraine’s Foreign Minister responds that the country will closely cooperate in the process of adopting a U.N. Security Council resolution, saying that “Ukraine fully supports the ROK’s position.”
January 25
  • The National Human Rights Commission of the Republic of Korea votes for extending the working period of the Special Committee on North Korean Human Rights by another year.
January 25
  • U.S. Pacific commander Adm. Harry B. Harris, Jr. stresses in an interview with Yonhap News Agency that “Whether to deploy a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) unit in the South is an alliance decision that should be made jointly by the two allies, instead of a unilateral decision.”
January 26
  • Regarding the North’s nuclear test, the Unification Minister emphasizes in a meeting with the director of the U.S. Brookings Institution that the ROK and the international community should closely cooperate, and through sanctions, clearly let North Korea know that it was wrong and it should not repeat such misbehavior.
January 26
  • Regarding President Park’s remarks on five-party talks, Russia’s Foreign Minister stresses that the only way to address the North Korean nuclear issue lies in the Six-Party Talks.
January 27
  • During his visit to China, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry holds a meeting with his Chinese counterpart regarding North Korea’s 4th nuclear test.
January 27
  • The U.S. expresses support for President Park’s remarks on five-party talks (in a regular briefing by the deputy spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State).
January 27
  • The Mid-Level Political Meeting of the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) is held and a consensus is formed on the need for a response to the North Korean nuclear issue at the level of PSI.
January 27
  • U.S. Defense Department Spokesperson Urban, in a Yonhap News commentary, urges North Korea to “refrain from actions and rhetoric that threaten regional peace and security and focus instead on taking concrete steps toward fulfilling its international commitments and obligations” regarding the North’s recent long-range missile launches.
January 27
  • On the occasion of the reopening ceremony of the Incheon Unification Hall, the Vice Minister of Unification criticizes North Korea’s Byungjin Line of simultaneously developing the economy and nuclear weapons and calls on the North to make the right choice.
January 28
  • The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously passes a strong sanctions bill on North Korea, demonstrating bipartisan support for a tough response to the North’s nuclear test. * △ Impose penalties against those engaging in or facilitating North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and human rights violations, △ Sanction those engaging in activities that undermine cyber security, △ Include a secondary boycott clause approving sanctions on third parties that trade with North Korea, and △ Ban imports of North Korean minerals as a means to block funds
January 28
  • The U.S. and Chinese chief delegates for the Six-Party Talks hold a closed meeting to discuss sanctions on North Korea (January 28-29, Beijing).
January 28
  • The Japanese government issues an “order of destructive measures” to the Self-Defense Forces if a North Korean missile enters the air space of Japan.
January 29
  • The ROK government hopes for the early passage of a North Korean human rights act (in a regular briefing by the Unification Ministry spokesperson).
January 29
  • The Foreign Ministers of the ROK and the U.S. discuss future countermeasures regarding the North Korean nuclear issue and the possibility of North Korea’s additional provocations in a telephone conversation.
January 29
  • The Foreign Ministers of the U.S. and Japan discuss North Korea’s moves to prepare for a ballistic missile launch in a telephone conversation.
January 29
  • A Singapore court fines Chinpo Shipping Company for illegally transferring financial assets or resources to North Korea.
January 29
  • Regarding the ROK-U.S. THAAD deployment issue, China says that “We hope that the relevant country (South Korea) will carefully handle related issues” (in a regular briefing by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
January 29
  • Japan deploys ground-to-air Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) launchers in Ichigaya, Tokyo, near the Defense Ministry’s headquarters in preparation for North Korea’s long-range ballistic missile launch.
January 30
  • The Global Times, China’s state-owned newspaper, heavily criticizes North Korea’s nuclear and missile development.
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
February 2
  • North Korea and the United States make contact through Track-II channels (February 2-3, Berlin).
February 2
  • Pyongyang urges Washington to change “its hostile policy toward the North” while shifting the responsibility for a nuclear North Korea to the U.S. (in a KCNA commentary).
February 2
  • North Korea holds an enlarged joint meeting of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) and the Korean People’s Army (KPA) Committee of the WPK (February 2-3).
February 2
  • Beijing sends its position of opposing North Korea’s moves regarding a long-range missile launch to Pyongyang (Chinese chief delegate to the Six-Party Talks Wu Dawei’s visit to Pyongyang).
February 2
  • North Korea notifies the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) of its plan to launch a satellite. * The North’s notification states that it will launch “Kwangmyongsong at around 07:00-12:00 local time between February 8 and February 25.
February 2
  • Regarding the North’s notification of a long-range missile launch plan, the U.S. condemns that “North Korea’s ‘satellite’ launch plan is just another irresponsible provocation and a clear violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions” (in a regular briefing by a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State).
February 2
  • North Korea and Russia sign the Agreement on the Transfer and Acceptance of Persons Who Enter or Stay Illegally in Russia and North Korea and Related Protocols of the Agreement (Moscow).
February 3
  • The ROK announces a government statement on the North’s long-range missile launch plan (by Cho Tae-yong, First Deputy Director of National Security at Cheongwadae).
  • - ① North Korea has made notification of its long-range missile launch plan on February 2. ② Since this is a challenge against the international community, the North Should withdraw its plan immediately. ③ Should Pyongyang push ahead with a long-range missile launch, it will pay a harsh price. ④ The ROK government will maintain firm preparedness against any provocations from North Korea.
February 3
  • Regarding the North’s notification of a long-range missile launch plan, China expresses “grave concern” and warns that Pyongyang “should act with prudence” (in a regular briefing by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
February 3
  • While considering North Korea’s planned satellite launch as a long-range ballistic missile launch, the Japanese Minister of Defense states that Japan is tightening its security by putting its military on alert such as through issuing an order to shoot down a North Korean missile if it enters Japanese airspace (in a Q&A session with reporters at the Diet).
February 3
  • Russia expresses strong concern about the North’s planned ballistic missile launch (in a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
February 3
  • U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urges North Korea to withdraw its “satellite launch” plan (in a Q&A session with reporters by a spokesperson for the U.N. Secretary General).
February 4
  • The ROK President calls for the United Nations to adopt tough sanctions on North Korea regarding the North’s moves to launch a missile (in a briefing by the Senior Secretary for Public Relations at Cheongwadae).
February 4
  • The ROK military carries out large-scale firing drills both along the East Sea and the West Sea.
February 4
  • The EU urges North Korea to return to the Six-Party Talks and engage in a reliable and significant dialogue with the international community, adding that any type of launch using ballistic missile technology would be a clear violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions (in a statement by the EEAS).
February 4
  • The ROK, the U.S., and Japan confirm their position on cooperation in urging North Korea to withdraw its missile launch plan (in a series of telephone conversations between the chief delegates for the Six-Party Talks of Seoul and Tokyo, and then of Washington and Tokyo).
February 5
  • South Korea and China exchange opinions on countermeasures against North Korea’s 4th nuclear test and planned long-range missile launch, the geopolitical situation on the Korean Peninsula, and plans to develop Sino-South Korea relations (in a telephone call between the heads of state of South Korea and China).
  • The ROK President △ Stresses that the international community’s stern messages such as the U.N. Security Council’s adoption of strong and effective resolutions that can change North Korea should be put into action swiftly since the North’s provocations threaten peace not only on the Korean Peninsula but also in Northeast Asia and the world, and △ Requests cooperation from China, which is a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council and has considerable leverage on the North
February 5
  • The ROK, the U.S., and Japan share information about the North’s long-range missile launch and discuss joint response measures (in a video conference between defense authorities).
February 6
  • North Korea notifies international organizations including the IMO that it has changed the planned missile launch window to February 7-14.
February 6
  • The U.S. urges North Korea to restrain itself from firing a long-range missile and confirms that if the North pushes ahead with the missile launch, Washington is ready to protect its ally South Korea (in a statement by the U.S. Pacific Command).
February 7
  • North Korea fires a long-range missile from the Tongchang-ri launch site at 09:30. * North Korea announces in its special report that “The ‘Kwangmyongsong-4’ satellite successfully lifted off and later entered the target orbit.”
February 7
  • The ROK and the U.S. discuss cooperation plans on the North’s nuclear test and missile launch issues (in an emergency telephone call between the chief delegates for the Six-Party Talks).
February 7
  • The U.S. announces a statement condemning the North’s missile launch.
February 7
  • The ROK releases a government statement on North Korea’s long-range missile launch.
  • The government statement strongly criticizes North Korea’s long-range missile launch and stresses that South Korea will not only exert every effort to ensure that strong sanctions against the North will be adopted at the U.N. Security Council but also continue to pressure the North so that it cannot but change.
February 7
  • The ROK Minister of National Defense holds an emergency meeting with the commander of the ROK-U.S. Combined Forces Command and the U.S. ambassador to South Korea.
February 7
  • The ROK and the U.S. announce a joint statement on the deployment of THAAD to the U.S. Forces Korea.
  • Seoul and Washington decide to officially begin talks on the feasibility of the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system to the U.S. Forces Korea at the level of the ROK-U.S. alliance.
February 7
  • The ROK and the U.S. discuss cooperation plans on responding to the North’s missile launch (in a video conference between the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the commander of the ROK-U.S. Combined Forces Command).
February 7
  • U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urges North Korea to stop its provocative acts and fulfill its obligations as a member of the international community (in a statement by a spokesperson for the U.N. Secretary General).
February 7
  • Beijing expresses regret over Pyongyang’s missile launch (in a Q&A session with reporters by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
February 7
  • The ROK military holds an emergency meeting of operational commanders of the whole army to respond to the North’s long-range missile launch.
February 7
  • China summons South and North Korean ambassadors and sends its position on △ The ROK-U.S.’s official discussion on THAAD and △ North Korea’s long-range missile launch, respectively.
February 8
  • The U.N. Security Council adopts a statement strongly condemning North Korea’s rocket launch.
February 8
  • A North Korean patrol boat crosses the Northern Limit Line (NLL) in the West Sea and retreats after the South Korean Navy fires warning shots.
February 8
  • North Korea holds a joint army-civilian meeting in Pyongyang to celebrate the successful missile launch.
February 9
  • The ROK, the U.S., and Japan confirm their position that they will enact strong sanctions and take measures to pressure the North at the bilateral and multilateral levels in addition to the U.N. Security Council’s sanctions on North Korea regarding the North’s 4th nuclear test and long-range missile launch (in series of bilateral phone calls between the heads of state of South Korea and the U.S., and then of South Korea and Japan).
February 10
  • The National Assembly adopts a resolution condemning North Korea’s long-range missile launch.
February 10
  • The ROK announces a government statement on the complete shutdown of the Gaeseong Industrial Complex (GIC) (by the Unification Minister).
  • △ It is impossible to set back North Korea’s nuclear and missile development plan with existing methods. △ The government’s efforts to maintain the GIC have been abused to advance the North’s nuclear and missile technology. △ The government has decided on the complete shutdown of the GIC in order to block the money that flows into the GIC from going to the North’s nuclear and missile development and prevent South Korean companies from being sacrificed.
February 10
  • North Korea’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland issues a statement.
  • △ Close the GIC and declare the industrial park a military-controlled area, △ Deport all South Koreans staying at the GIC, △ Freeze all assets of South Korean companies and related agencies, △ Cut off military communication lines between the two Koreas and close off communication channels at the truce village of Panmunjeom, and △ Withdraw all of the North Korean workers from the GIC.
February 11
  • All of the 280 South Koreans who were staying at the GIC return to the South safe and sound.
February 11
  • The ROK, the U.S., and Japan hold a meeting of the chairs of the Joint Chiefs of Staff regarding the North’s missile launch and agree to strengthen the sharing of information about the North’s nuclear and missile threats.
February 12
  • The ROK announces the government’s position on the shutdown of the GIC and measures to support South Korean companies operating in the GIC (GIC companies).
  • (The Government’s Position) △ Consider the personal safety of South Korean citizens as the top priority, △ Express strong regret over the North’s misbehavior and stress that North Korea is to blame for all the consequences, △ Issue a stern warning that the North should not damage the property of South Koreans, and △ Do its best to provide swift support to the GIC companies at the government level.
  • (Support Measures) △ Delay principal and interest payments for businesses that took out loans, △ Begin the process of paying insurance benefits from the Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation Fund, △ Swiftly support emergency management stabilization funds and request commercial banks to cooperate in lowering interest rates and extending debt maturity, △ Offer a grace period for taxes and utility bills, and △ Provide the GIC companies with the funds to retain their workforce.
February 12
  • The U.S. House of Representatives passes the North Korea Sanctions Act (at a plenary session).
February 12
  • Regarding the Japanese government’s decision on sanctions on North Korea (February 10) in response to “the North’s long-range missile” launch, North Korea’s Special Investigation Committee, in a statement, threatens that “It will suspend its investigation activities on the North’s abduction of Japanese citizens and take strong follow-up measures such as dissolving the Special Investigation Committee.”
February 13
  • The U.S. Forces Korea deploys more Patriot missiles in South Korea in preparation for the North’s missile threat.
February 13
  • The ROK and the U.S. conduct a joint defense drill against ballistic missiles in preparation for the North’s threat.
February 13
  • North Korea, in a KCNA commentary, argues that sanctions against North Korea are not effective, urging the U.S. to withdraw “its hostile policy toward the DPRK.”
February 14
  • The ROK military raises “INFOCON,” an alert against the North’s cyber terrorism, to Level 3.
February 15
  • Won Yoo-chul, the floor leader of the ruling Saenuri Party, in his speech as the leader of a negotiation group, calls for a nuclear-armed South Korea at the plenary session of the National Assembly. * “South Korea should consider its own survival strategy including responding with ‘peaceful nuclear weapons’ and missiles for self-defense.”
February 15
  • Regarding the complete shutdown of the Gaeseong Industrial Complex, China says, “We hope that related countries will take measures to ease tensions (created by the North’s nuclear test and satellite launch)” (in a regular briefing by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
February 15
  • The ROK government questions the North’s U.N. membership at a U.N. public meeting. * △ South Korea’s U.N. Ambassador Oh Joon argues that “When it joined the U.N., North Korea pledged to comply with the obligations of the U.N. Charter as a new member. However, the DPRK has breached these obligations, leading South Korea to call into question the North’s qualification as a member of the United Nations” (in a U.N. open discussion on the U.N. Charter’s principles and goals on February 15). △ South Korea’s Deputy U.N. Ambassador Hahn Choong-hee maintains that “The DPRK has disregarded the authority of the U.N. and persistently violated all Security Council resolutions on the DPRK. This is an insult to the U.N. Charter. South Korea cannot but question the North’s qualification as a member of the U.N. (in a meeting of the Special Committee on the Charter of the U.N. on February 16).
February 16
  • President Park Geun-hye addresses the National Assembly on state affairs.
  • The President stresses that the government will employ tougher and more effective measures to create an environment in which the North clearly realizes that nuclear development does not offer a path to survival but will merely hasten the regime’s collapse, and therefore has no choice but to change of its own volition.
February 16
  • Regarding President Park’s speech to the National Assembly, the U.S. expresses its support for the ROK President’s principle-based and strong approach toward North Korea (in a commentary by a spokesperson for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs).
February 16
  • The Commerce Minister of the Chinese Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade expresses opposition to the THAAD issue (in the 7th Strategic Dialogue between vice foreign ministers of South Korea and China).
February 17
  • Four U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor stealth fighters land in South Korea (at Osan Air Base).
February 17
  • Kim Jong-un awards party and state commendations to and takes a commemorative photo with those who contributed to the launch of Kwangmyongsong-4. * Kim Jong-un “points out that North Korea should focus on launching more working satellites of Juche Korea faster and more splendidly in order to open the path toward conquering the universe.”
February 17
  • North Korea’s Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) and the WPK Central Military Commission announce common slogans such as "Let the whole nation join efforts to frustrate the reckless anti-DPRK nuclear war moves by the warmongers of the U.S. imperialists and the South Korean puppets.”
February 17
  • China calls on South Korea to withdraw its plan to deploy THAAD (in a regular briefing by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
February 18
  • The ROK and the U.S. officially begin discussions on the deployment of THAAD to the Korean Peninsula.
February 18
  • U.S. President Obama signs the North Korea Sanctions Act and the Act goes into effect.
February 19
  • Japan enacts its own sanctions on North Korea in the wake of the North’s nuclear test and long-range missile launch (in an extraordinary cabinet meeting presided over by the Prime Minister). * △ Ban the entry of all North Korean citizens and North Korean-registered ships into Japan △ Ban remittances to North Korea in principle, △ Ban the re-entry of foreign engineers who are involved in nuclear and missile development into Japan after visiting North Korea, △ Ban the entry of all North Korean-registered ships including those for humanitarian purposes and of third-country ships into Japan after visiting ports in North Korea, △ Ban the entry of the crew of the relevant ships into Japan, and △ Expand a freeze on Pyongyang’s assets (one group and 10 individuals).
February 19
  • The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommends member countries to pay special attention to trade and business relations with North Korea including North Korean companies and financial institutions (in a statement by the FATF).
February 19
  • North Korea criticizes the ROK President by name regarding the ROK-U.S. moves to deploy THAAD to the USFK (in a KCNA commentary).
February 20
  • North Korea fires a number of artillery shells from Jangsan Cape north of Baekryeong Island.
February 20
  • Regarding the North Korea Sanctions Act going into effect, North Korea denounces the Act as “ridiculous,” arguing that “The North will hold up the Byungjin line even higher and continue to move forward with it” (in a statement by a spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
February 22
  • North Korea joins the agreement on the rescue and return of astronauts and the return of objects launched into outer space as well as the convention on international liability for damage caused by space objects.
February 23
  • The Chinese ambassador to South Korea, in a meeting with an interim leader of the opposition Minjoo Party of Korea, warns that “One issue (THAAD deployment) can destroy Sino-South Korea relations in an instant.”
February 23
  • Citing the moves to bring down the social system in the DPRK through the “beheading operation,” North Korea states, “The North will carry out preemptive operation to beat back the enemy forces to the last man if there is even the slightest sign of their special operation forces and equipment,” threatening that the North’s primary target is Cheongwadae and reactionary ruling machines (in a statement by the KPA Supreme Command).
February 23
  • North Korea argues that “The U.S. and other Western countries interfere in the social and political issues of sovereign countries under the excuse of the protection of human rights. The U.S. and other Western countries, which are the worst wastelands and the greatest violators of human rights in the world, should focus on minding their own business” (in a bill of indictment by the Association for Human Rights Studies).
February 23
  • The U.S. and China achieve “significant progress” regarding the U.N. Security Council resolutions on sanctions against North Korea (in a meeting between Foreign Ministers).
February 24
  • Regarding the North’s threat to strike Cheongwadae, the Blue House considers it “an unacceptable provocation,” warning that “The North is to blame for all the consequences caused by this” (in a briefing by a spokesperson for Cheongwadae).
February 24
  • The ROK military announces its position on the KPA Supreme Command’s statement.
  • Regarding the North’s threat that it can launch a preemptive strike at Cheongwadae in response to the ROK-U.S. joint military exercises, the ROK military issues a stern warning that “North Korea should immediately stop the provocative acts which drive itself toward destruction. If it carries out a provocation, South Korea will mete out stern punishment.”
February 24
  • The ROK and the U.S. conduct their fifth Tabletop Exercise (TTX) (February 24-26, Vandenberg Air Force Base in California).
February 25
  • Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi stresses that in order to achieve the denuclearization of North Korea, related countries should not give up pushing ahead with denuclearization negotiations and the peace agreement simultaneously (in a CSIS seminar).
February 26
  • Seoul and Washington reaffirm their position that “The denuclearization of North Korea is the foremost issue, and both countries will concentrate on imposing sanctions against the North” (Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel’s visit to Seoul).
February 28
  • South Korea and China agree that they have to make the North recognize that there is no exit for nuclear development through the full implementation of U.N. Security Council resolutions, thereby changing the North’s thoughts and actions while sharing the view that this is a significant turning point in addressing the North Korean issues (in a meeting of the chief delegates for the Six-Party Talks, Seoul).
February 29
  • North Korea denounces that it is a double standard to restrict the North’s right to launch a satellite, criticizing the moves to adopt a U.N. Security Council resolution on sanctions against the North (in a KCNA commentary).
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
March 1
  • While stressing that a peaceful unification is a historic task that must be achieved, the ROK President emphasizes a determined will to respond to North Korean provocations, calling for the denuclearization of North Korea (in her speech to mark the March 1 Independence Movement).
March 1
  • Pyongyang urges Washington to change “its hostile policy toward the North” while shifting the responsibility for a nuclear North Korea to the U.S. (in a KCNA commentary).
March 2
  • The North Korean Human Rights Act is passed at the plenary session of the National Assembly.
March 2
  • The U.N. Security Council unanimously adopts Resolution 2270 on North Korea
March 2
  • The U.S. announces that it will implement its own sanctions on North Korea (U.S. Department of the Treasury and Department of State).
March 3
  • The ROK President stresses that Seoul will make efforts in cooperation with the international community to make Pyongyang give up its reckless nuclear development and put an end to the tyranny that oppresses freedom and human rights in the North (at the 48th National Prayer Breakfast).
March 3
  • North Korea fires six short-range missiles from Wonsan into the East Sea.
March 4
  • The ROK President emphasizes that South Korea has to make North Korea realize that “Unless it abandons its nuclear program, the North Korean regime cannot survive” (at a joint commissioning ceremony for graduating military cadets for 2016).
March 4
  • Regarding the U.N. sanctions on North Korea, the North threatens that “North Korea’s all-out counteraction will include various means and methods such as a physical response” (in a statement by a spokesperson for the North Korean government).
March 4
  • Regarding the U.N. sanctions resolution on North Korea, Pyongyang stresses its will to push ahead with the Byungjin Line, making it clear that it will continue to take related measures and actions (in a statement by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
March 4
  • North Korea condemns the passage of the North Korean Human Rights Act and the Anti-terrorism Act at the National Assembly as a significant provocation and an anti-national crime, threatening stern and drastic retaliation (in a statement by a spokesperson for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland).
March 4
  • Regarding the statement by a spokesperson for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland (March 4), the South Korean government calls on the North to actively improve the human rights conditions and stop the slanderous accusations and threats against the head of state (in a commentary by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Unification).
March 4
  • North Korea denounces the ROK President’s speech to mark the March 1 Independence Movement (in a KCNA commentary).
March 4
  • The European Union expands sanctions on North Korea in response to the North’s 4th nuclear test and long-range missile launch (in a statement by the Council of the European Union).
March 5
  • North Korea condemns the ROK President’s 3 years in office as a breakdown of inter-Korean relations (in a KCNA commentary).
March 6
  • North Korea argues that the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle (KR/FE) exercises are “an act of war in which the aggressive nature of the joint military exercises is apparent” and that in the case of the outbreak of war, the U.S. is to blame, shifting the responsibility to Washington (in a statement by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
March 6
  • North Korea criticizes the ROK President by name, citing cases of violations of women’s rights in South Korea (in an investigation report by the DPRK Measure Council for Human Rights in South Korea).
March 7
  • South Korea and the U.S. conduct the KR/FE exercises (March 7- April 30).
March 7
  • Regarding “Key Resolve and Foal Eagle 16,” North Korea threatens that it will “launch an all-out offensive in response to the joint military exercises and realize the greatest desire of the Korean nation through a sacred war of justice for reunification…by taking military counteraction for a preemptive strike” (in a statement by the National Defense Commission).
March 7
  • Regarding the statement by the National Defense Commission (March 7), the South Korean government calls on the North to immediately stop acting rashly which will lead to self-destruction, warning that if Pyongyang provokes South Korea, Seoul will respond with stern and merciless actions (the ROK Ministry of National Defense’s position on the statement by the DPRK National Defense Commission).
March 7
  • Regarding the U.N. Security Council sanctions resolution on North Korea, the ROK President stresses cooperation with related member countries to ensure the implementation of the resolution and the bilateral and multilateral efforts to expand sanctions on the North, arguing that there is a need to clearly show that in the event of any North Korean provocation, the North will pay the price (in a chief secretary meeting at Cheongwadae).
March 7
  • Regarding the KR/FE exercises, North Korea threatens to launch an all-out response and a nuclear strike (in a statement by a spokesperson for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland).
March 7
  • Regarding the U.N. sanctions resolution on North Korea, North Korea maintains that it is a nuclear state and the sanctions cannot break the North’s will to develop nuclear weapons (in a KCNA commentary).
March 7
  • Russia emphasizes that North Korea’s statement that it will take “a pre-emptive nuclear strike” in response to the ROK-U.S. joint military drill cannot be tolerated (in a commentary in the name of the Press Office of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
March 8
  • The South Korean government announces its own sanctions on North Korea (strengthening financial sanctions, shipping controls, and import and export controls).
  • South Korea's sanctions on the North are as follows: 1) Blacklist 40 individuals and 30 organizations that are involved in the North's nuke and missile programs, 2) Prohibit vessels that have traveled to North Korea in the past 180 days from entering South Korean waters, and 3) Include Kim Yong-chol, the party secretary in charge of South Korean affairs and former secretary Pak To-chun on the list of financial sanctions targets.
March 8
  • China states that it is open to holding three-party, four-party or even five-party contacts, urging each country to exercise restraint as regards the escalating tension (at a press conference by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi).
March 9
  • Kim Jong-un meets scientists and technicians in the field of nuclear weapons research and provides field guidance on the work to increase the nuclear arsenal (in a KCNA report).
March 9
  • Washington and Beijing discuss international and regional issues such as the Sino-U.S. relations and the current political situation on the Korean Peninsula (in a telephone call between the Foreign Ministers of the U.S. and China).
March 9
  • Regarding the KR/FE exercises, North Korea threatens that it may use the means of attack such as nuclear weapons deployed for defense (in a KCNA commentary).
March 9
  • Regarding the North’s claims that it has miniaturized nuclear warheads, the South Korean government assesses that Pyongyang has yet to possess a miniaturized nuclear warhead, calling for the denuclearization of North Korea (the Ministry of National Defense’s position on the North’s miniaturized nuclear warhead threat).
March 9
  • Regarding the North’s hacking into the smartphones of South Korean government officials, the ROK government defines the incident as a serious provocation directly associated with the security of the nation and people, stressing that the South needs to make thorough preparations for the North’s cyber provocations and proactively deal with this issue (in a briefing, “Message to the public regarding cyber security,” by a spokesperson for Cheongwadae).
March 10
  • North Korea fires two short-range ballistic missiles from Sakkakmol, South Hwanghae Province into the East Sea.
March 10
  • In response to the South Korean government’s announcement that it will slap its own sanctions on the North, North Korea declares that it will “nullify the agreements on all economic cooperation and exchange projects between the South and the North and liquidate all the assets of South Korean companies and agencies in the North” (in a statement by a spokesperson for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland).
March 10
  • Regarding the statement by a spokesperson for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland (March 10), the South Korean government defines the liquidation of the South Korean assets in the North as a provocative act that cannot be tolerated, issuing a stern warning against the North (in a statement by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Unification).
March 10
  • Seoul and Washington reaffirm their position that the denuclearization of North Korea is a top priority of both countries’ policy toward the North and agree to strengthen pressure on Pyongyang by mobilizing bilateral and multilateral means (in a meeting between chief delegates to the Six-Party Talks from South Korea and the U.S., Washington).
March 11
  • The U.S. makes it clear that the denuclearization of North Korea is a top priority and stresses that countries have to focus on faithfully implementing sanctions on the North, thus leading Pyongyang to the negotiating table (the U.S. Ambassador to South Korea, in a meeting with reporters accredited to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
March 11
  • Beijing and Moscow stand firmly against the deployment of the THAAD missile defense system to South Korea, stress the full implementation of the U.N. sanctions on North Korea and the North’s return to the dialogue table (the Foreign Ministers of China and Russia, in a joint press conference).
March 11
  • Kim Jong-un gives field guidance on the ballistic missile launch drill of the Korean People's Army (KPA) Strategic Rocket Forces and attends the KPA Tank Crews’ Competition-2016 (in a KCNA report).
March 12
  • North Korea formally declares its military countermeasures, stating that “The KPA will sternly counter the operation to advance into Pyongyang conducted in the ROK-U.S. joint drill with a preemptive operation to liberate Seoul” (in a statement by the General Staff Department of the Korean People’s Army).
March 14
  • The ROK President says that the U.N. sanctions on North Korea is laying the foundation for an environment in which the North has no choice but to change, stressing that what’s important is to ensure the full implementation of these measures (at a dinner for the heads of South Korea’s overseas diplomatic missions).
March 14
  • Seoul and Beijing discuss how to cooperate to faithfully implement the U.N. resolutions and exchange their assessment of the political situation on the Korean Peninsula such as the escalating North Korean nuclear threat (in a telephone call between the Foreign Ministers of South Korea and China).
March 14
  • Beijing and Tokyo agree to strive to ensure that the U.N. sanctions on North Korea are fully implemented (in a telephone call between the Foreign Ministers of China and Japan).
March 15
  • The ROK President says that if the North does not come forward to a path of change, it will walk down a path of self-destruction, emphasizing that the North Korean human rights issue cannot be neglected (at a cabinet meeting).
March 15
  • The ROK Prime Minister stresses that South Korea has to deter North Korean provocations through a strong ROK-U.S. alliance (at a visit to the Korea-U.S. Combined Forces Command).
March 16
  • North Korea sentences the detained American student Otto Warmbier, aged 21, to 15 years of hard labor.
March 16
  • Regarding Kim Jong-un’s order to conduct more nuclear tests and long-range missile launches, the South Korean government, once again, calls on the North to abandon its nuclear program and come forward to a path of change (in a regular briefing by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Unification).
March 16
  • Regarding “the operation to advance into the northern inland area” carried out in the ROK-U.S. joint military drill, North Korea threatens that “Once there is a slight sign of the start of their special operation, the KPA will promptly launch the battle for preemptive attack” (in a special statement by the DPRK government, political parties and organizations).
March 16
  • The U.S. issues Executive Order 13722 (“EO 13722”) imposing additional sanctions on North Korea.
March 16
  • Germany condemns the human rights situation in North Korea and calls for international intervention to punish the leadership of the North and improve the human rights conditions (in a joint statement by the standing committee on human rights and humanitarian aid of German Bundestag).
March 18
  • North Korea fires two medium-range ballistic missiles from Sukchun, South Pyongan Province into the East Sea.
March 18
  • Regarding the North’s ballistic missile launch (March 18), the ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs warns that North Korea will walk down a path of self-destruction if it insists on the path of confrontation with the international community (in his closing speech at the meeting of the heads of South Korea's overseas diplomatic missions).
March 18
  • Seoul and Beijing share their respective assessment of the provocations and threats from the North and discuss the overall countermeasures that can lead North Korea to change through the faithful implementation of the U.N. Security Council resolutions (in a meeting between chief delegates to the Six-Party Talks from South Korea and China, Beijing).
March 18
  • The South Korean government chooses 6 universities to lead unification education.
March 18
  • Kim Jong-un declares the construction of Ryomyong Street and presents the task of building a strong nation (in a KCNA report).
March 19
  • Kim Jong-un provides field guidance on the landing and anti-landing exercises carried out by the Korean People’s Army (in a KCNA report).
March 21
  • North Korea fires five short-range projectiles from an area south of Hamhung, South Hamgyong Province into the East Sea.
March 21
  • Seoul and Washington share and discuss their respective sanctions on North Korea and related strategies, reaffirming their strong will to implement sanctions on the North (in a ROK-U.S. high-level meeting on sanctions on North Korea, Seoul).
March 22
  • Kim Jong-un gives field guidance on the test-firing of a new-type large-caliber multiple launch rocket system and the October 3 Factory under KPA Navy Unit 597 which was changed into a ship repair facility (in a KCNA report).
March 22
  • North Korea threatens a possible all-out war on the Korean Peninsula, calling on the South to change its policy toward the North (in a KCNA commentary).
March 23
  • Regarding the South Korean Air Force’s exercises of striking key North Korean military facilities, North Korea threatens to initiate military actions to kill the ROK President (in an important report released by the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland).
March 23
  • Regarding the important report by the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland (March 23), the South Korean government issues a strong warning on the North’s condemnation and threat against the head of state (in a commentary by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Unification).
March 23
  • The U.N. Human Rights Council adopts a North Korean human rights resolution.
  • Agrees to create an expert group that will be tasked with exploring legal pathways to hold North Korea's leadership accountable for crimes against humanity in the country
March 23
  • The U.S. issues a warning against financial transactions with North Korea (the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Center).
March 24
  • Kim Jong-un provides field guidance on the February 11 Factory at the Ryongsong Machine Complex and the ground test of a high-power solid-fuel rocket engine and its cascade separation (in a KCNA report).
March 24
  • Regarding the important statement released by the Supreme Command of the KPA (March 23), the ROK President orders the government to strengthen the level of vigilance across the country (Cheongwadae’s position on the repeated threats from North Korea).
March 24
  • The South Korean government welcomes that a North Korean human rights resolution was adopted by consensus at the 31st U.N. Human Rights Council, urging the North to immediately take measures to improve the human rights conditions of the North Korean people (in a commentary by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
March 24
  • The ROK military decides to resolutely punish the North in the case of provocation (in an emergency meeting of commanders).
March 24
  • North Korea denounces and rejects all sanctions resolutions against the DPRK including the U.N. Security Council Resolution 2270 (in a statement by a spokesperson for the Korean Jurists Committee).
March 25
  • Kim Jong-un gives field guidance on the large-scale intensive strike drill of long-range artillery pieces of the KPA frontline large combined units to destroy Cheongwadae and ruling machines in Seoul (in a KCNA report).
March 25
  • The ROK President stresses that South Korea will not be shaken by any threat from Pyongyang, warning the North that its reckless provocations will lead the regime to a path of self-destruction (in her speech to mark the first “West Sea Defense Day”).
March 26
  • North Korea releases an “Appeal to South Koreans” and slogans as regards the 20th general elections in the South (the Information Bureau of the Central Committee of the Anti-Imperialist National Democratic Front).
March 26
  • TNorth Korea slams the South Korean government for marking the 6th anniversary of the sinking of the South Korean naval ship Cheonan and delivering remarks at a memorial ceremony (in a statement by a spokesperson for the inspection group of the National Defense Commission).
March 26
  • North Korea denounces the ROK President by quoting a derogatory name used to criticize the President on the Internet (in a bill of indictment by the Korean Council for Reconciliation and Cooperation).
March 26
  • North Korea demands the South Korean government to make an official apology, threatening that if the South does not respond to the request, the long-range artillery forces will take merciless military actions (in an ultimatum released by the long-range artillery forces of the frontline large combined units of the Korean People’s Army).
March 28
  • Kim Jong-un provides field guidance at the newly built Mirae Shop and Health Complex with his wife Ri Sol-ju (in a KCNA report).
March 29
  • Pyongyang launches a short-range projectile from its coastal city of Wonsan toward the Northeastern Yanggang Province.
March 29
  • North Korea declares that the DPRK has placed its army into the state of its readiness to deliver a pre-emptive nuclear strike in response to the U.S. hostile activities, saying that “The current situation of the Korean Peninsula faces the dilemma: a thermonuclear war or peace” (North Korea’s Foreign Minister, in an interview with TASS News Agency of Russia).
March 30
  • The ROK President says that the South will continue to pressure North Korea to end its nuclear program, warns that the North would "self-destruct" if it continues to test nuclear weapons, and stresses that Seoul will make efforts to achieve a peaceful unification on the Korean Peninsula and build up internal capability to achieve national unification (in an interview with Bloomberg).
March 30
  • North Korea holds the 9th plenary meeting of the 13th Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly (SPA).
  • Adopts a decree of the Presidium of the SPA “On the Juche 105 (2016) state budget of the DPRK” at the meeting
March 30
  • North Korea argues that it will “hold up the Byungjin line even higher and continue to whet the nuclear treasured sword for self-defense” under the leadership of Kim Jong-un on the occasion of marking the 3rd anniversary of the Byungjin line proposal (in a bulletin by the DPRK Institute for Research into National Reunification).
March 30
  • North Korea criticizes the remarks made by the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff at a congressional hearing on March 17 (in a KCNA commentary).
March 31
  • he ROK President stresses that the denuclearization of the North is a crucial task not only for the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia but also for promoting global nuclear security, calling on the international community to fully implement the U.N. Security Council sanctions resolution and deliver a resolute, unified message (at a working dinner during the 4th Nuclear Security Summit).
March 31
  • Seoul and Washington reaffirm the faithful implementation of sanctions on North Korea to lead the North to come forward to a path of change (in a summit meeting between the heads of state of South Korea and the U.S.).
March 31
  • Seoul, Washington, and Tokyo reaffirm their cooperation to implement sanctions on Pyongyang (in a joint press statement after the summit meeting between the heads of state of South Korea, the U.S., and Japan).
March 31
  • Seoul and Tokyo share their respective perception of the security situation on the Korean Peninsula caused by the North’s nuclear test and discuss cooperation plans to pressure North Korea following the adoption of the most effective and powerful U.N. Security Council sanctions resolution (in a summit meeting between the heads of state of South Korea and Japan).
March 31
  • Seoul and Beijing have in-depth discussions on how to develop Sino-South Korean relations as well as cooperation plans to address North Korea and North Korean nuclear issues (in a summit meeting between the heads of state of South Korea and China).
March 31
  • Washington and Beijing exchange opinions on the North Korean nuclear issue and reaffirm their political will to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula (in a summit meeting between the heads of state of the U.S. and China).
March 31
  • North Korea discharges a large amount of radio waves in the northern part of the Military Demarcation Line to jam GPS signals in the South.
March 31
  • The South Korean government issues a warning on GPS signal disruptions in Seoul, Incheon, Gyeonggi and Gangwon provinces (the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning).
March 31
  • North Korea shifts the responsibility for the current political situation to the U.S., threatening to mete out merciless punishment by mobilizing all possible means including nuclear weapons if the U.S. tries to violate the sovereignty of North Korea (in a statement by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
April 1
  • The ROK government defines the North’s GPS signal disruptions as a blatant provocation and issues a stern warning that North Korea should stop its provocative acts immediately (in a warning statement against North Korea by the Ministry of National Defense).
April 1
  • North Korea fires three short-range land-to-air missiles from Seondeok, South Hamgyong Province, into the East Sea.
April 1
  • North Korea criticizes the South Korean government’s mention of the separated family issue as “justifying its anti-DPRK confrontation policy,” declaring that there will be no humanitarian exchanges such as the reunion of separated families during the presidency of Park Geun-hye (in a statement by a spokesperson for the Central Committee of the DPRK Red Cross Society).
April 1
  • The ROK government strongly condemns the North’s unilateral declaration of the “suspension of humanitarian exchanges” (April 1) (in a statement by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Unification).
  • South Korea stresses that the separated family issue is the most urgent and pressing humanitarian issue and an issue of compassion, expressing great regret that the North uses the issue as an excuse for political confrontation, distorts and disparages the ROK government’s efforts, and slanders the ROK President.
April 1
  • The United States assesses North Korea as the most immediate set of concerns for the international community (in a press conference by President Obama at the closing ceremony of the Nuclear Security Summit 2016).
April 1
  • North Korea denounces the ROK-U.S. joint military exercises, arguing that the North has to enhance its deterrence in the form of nuclear deterrence. Asked about prospects for resuming the stalled Six-Party Talks, the North replies that the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is no longer on the table (in an interview with Reuters by So Se-pyong, North Korea's Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva).
April 2
  • The U.S. Special Envoy for North Korean Human Rights Issues visits South Korea and discusses how to coordinate the efforts of Seoul and Washington to improve the North Korean human rights situation with South Korean government officials (April 2-6).
April 2
  • North Korean leader Kim Jong-un provides field guidance on the test-firing of a new-type of anti-air guided rocket and visits the Tonghungsan Machine Plant under the Ryongsong Machine Complex.
April 2
  • North Korea criticizes the U.N. Security Council (UNSC) for disregarding its request to hold an emergency meeting on the ROK-U.S. joint military drill, arguing that it will continue to exercise its legitimate right to self defense (in a Q&A session with KCNA reporters by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
April 4
  • North Korea maintains that tough sanctions on Pyongyang by the U.S. and the U.N. have only made the North a greater, stronger country, threatening to mete out stern punishment if the U.S. infringes upon the North’s sovereignty (in a statement by a spokesperson for the National Defense Commission).
April 4
  • Regarding the 4th Nuclear Security Summit, North Korea condemns the U.S. for creating an environment to put pressure on the North by inviting South Korea and Japan, arguing for an ultra-hardline response by strengthening its nuclear deterrence (in a Q&A session with KCNA reporters by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
April 4
  • In response to the National Defense Commission’s argument (“The fundamental solution is to begin negotiations”), the U.S. stresses that Washington is open to dialogue but the responsibility for taking meaningful action toward denuclearization falls on North Korea (in a commentary by a spokesperson for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs).
April 4
  • The U.S. states that the Six-Party Talks can be resumed if North Korea freezes all of its nuclear activity, declares its past nuclear activities, and allows inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) (in a debate organized by the Institute for Corean-American Studies (ICAS) by Daniel Russell, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs).
April 5
  • The Chinese Commerce Department announces a list of restrictions on mineral trade with North Korea.
April 5
  • North Korea releases a video threatening artillery strikes against key South Korean government facilities including Cheongwadae (DPRK Today).
April 5
  • Regarding the video released by North Korea on April 5, South Korea issues a stern warning and urges the North to use restraint (the Ministry of National Defense’s Position on the North’s Terror Threat against Cheongwadae and South Korean government offices).
April 6
  • North Korea insists that “The DPRK will further develop its nuclear deterrence in both quantity and quality in response to the grave situation” (in a statement by a spokesperson for the Disarmament and Peace Institute of North Korea's Foreign Ministry).
April 7
  • A group of 13 overseas North Korean restaurant workers escapes from their workplace and arrives in South Korea (in a briefing by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Unification on April 8).
April 7
  • Regarding the ROK President’s participation in the Nuclear Security Summit, North Korea criticizes her remarks on the North Korean nuclear issue, threatening to carry out provocations against the South (in a statement by a spokesperson for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland (CPRF)).
April 8
  • Regarding the statement by a spokesperson for the CPRF (April 7), the ROK government issues a strong warning against the North’s declaration of continued development of its nuclear and missile program and its military threats, urging North Korea to move in the right direction for change (in a commentary by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Unification).
April 8
  • North Korea denounces the ROK President’s diplomacy on the North Korean nuclear issue at the Nuclear Security Summit by name while issuing a threat (in a statement by a spokesperson for the Korean Council for Reconciliation and Cooperation).
April 8
  • Regarding the April 13 general elections, North Korea condemns the ROK President and the ruling Saenuri Party for berating the opposition parties as pro-North Korean forces and focusing on an anti-DPRK confrontation plan, citing North Korean threats of provocation (in information bulletin No. 1103 by the Secretariat of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland).
April 8
  • North Korean leader Kim Jong-un provides field guidance on the ground test of a new engine for an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
April 12
  • Regarding the U.S.’s remarks on the Six-Party Talks, North Korea states that it does not oppose the dialogue itself but completely rejects an unequal dialogue, arguing that dialogue and sanctions cannot co-exist (in a Q&A session with KCNA reporters by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
April 12
  • North Korea blasts the group defection of overseas North Korean restaurant workers as a “group abduction” by the South Korean government, threatening that “If the South does not repatriate the defectors immediately, it will pay a high price for the consequences” (in a statement by a spokesperson for the Central Committee of the DPRK Red Cross Society).
April 12
  • The ROK government issues a strong warning against the North’s farfetched claim (regarding the group defection of overseas North Korean restaurant workers) and its provocation threat, calling on the North to give up its nuclear and missile program and improve the livelihood of its people (in a commentary by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Unification).
April 12
  • The ROK government, in a letter to the UNSC, criticizes North Korea, pointing out that the GPS jamming by North Korea is an act of provocation (from the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations in New York to the President of the U.N. Security Council).
April 13
  • The ROK Prime Minister emphasizes that the security crisis caused by a series of North Korean provocations will serve as a turning point to make the Republic of Korea a stronger country and usher in a new era of peaceful unification (in his commemorative speech to mark the 97th anniversary of the establishment of the Provisional Government of the ROK).
April 13
  • Regarding the North Korean human rights situation, the U.S. asserts that “The dictatorship continues political oppression and bans or restricts political opposition” (in the 2015 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices released by the U.S. Department of State).
April 14
  • Regarding the potential for additional sanctions against the North’s nuclear and missile threats hinted at by the U.S. Secretary of State, North Korea criticizes the U.S. and threatens to advance its nuclear capability (in a Q&A session with KCNA reporters by a spokesperson for the Disarmament and Peace Institute of North Korea's Foreign Ministry).
April 14
  • The U.N. Security Council reveals a list of items to be banned from entry into North Korea, which was additionally designated in line with UNSC Resolution 2270 in early April (the DPRK Sanctions Committee under the U.N. Security Council).
  • The UNSC officially announces a list of new items (12 nuclear- and missile-usable items and 14 chemicals) that can be used in Pyongyang's programs to develop nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and that will be banned from entering the North.
April 14
  • Russia urges North Korea to restrain from irresponsible provocative acts such as nuclear and missile tests (in a lecture by the Russian Foreign Minister at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia).
April 14
  • The Sri Lankan government confiscates about USD 168,000 from two North Koreans who tried to route the money through Sri Lanka.
April 15
  • North Korea fires one missile into the East Sea, presumed to have been a failed missile launch.
April 15
  • The UNSC announces that North Korea’s ballistic missile launch is tantamount to a violation of UNSC resolutions and warns that if the North carries out additional provocations, the UNSC will take significant measures (in a press release by the UNSC).
April 15
  • Regarding the North’s test launch of Musudan, an intermediate-range ballistic missile, the U.S. issues a strong condemnation, stating that the test launch violates UNSC resolutions on North Korea (in a regular briefing by a spokesperson for the White House and a commentary by a spokesperson for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs).
April 15
  • Regarding the North’s missile launch, China expresses its hope for all countries to strictly observe UNSC resolutions (in a regular briefing by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
April 15
  • The U.N. expresses concerns over North Korea’s missile launch, calling on the North to use restraint again (in a commentary by a spokesperson for the U.N.).
April 15
  • The Mexican Public Prosecutors’ Office orders the forfeiture of the blacklisted North Korean vessel Mu Du Bong (published in an official gazette).
April 15
  • North Korea denounces the South Korean Ministry of Education’s decision to discharge officials at the Korean Teachers and Education Workers’ Union (KTU) as “political retaliation and anti-democracy oppression,” criticizing the ROK President by name in reference to the April 13 general elections (in a statement by a spokesperson for the Korean Educational and Cultural Workers’ Union).
April 16
  • The DPRK Institute for Research into National Reunification releases a white paper accusing the ROK government of failed economic policies, unemployment, and a series of incidents over the past three years.
April 16
  • North Korea argues that the Saenuri Party’s defeat in the general elections is the result of stern judgement by the South Korean people and all that remains to be seen is its final destruction (in information bulletin No. 1104 by the Secretariat of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland).
April 17
  • North Korea declares its position on the group defection of overseas North Korean restaurant workers, threatening the ROK President by name and stating that the South will pay for a high price if it refuses to repatriate them (in a statement by a spokesperson for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland).
  • 1) Apologize for the abduction of North Korean workers and send them back to the North immediately, 2) Punish those involved in the kidnapping and those behind the scenes strongly or hand them over to the North’s law enforcement agencies, and issue a promise both to North Korea and the international community stating that it will not abduct North Koreans again, and 3) Observe the wishes of 10 million outraged North Koreans and refrain from rash actions in the future.
April 18
  • In response to signs that North Korea is preparing for its 5th nuclear test, the U.S. calls on the North to stop acts that destabilize the situation and show its intent to return to the Six-Party Talks (in a regular briefing by a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State).
April 19
  • Seoul, Washington, and Tokyo issue a strong warning message against the North’s additional provocations, reaffirming three-party coordination (in the 3rd consultative meeting between the Foreign Vice-Ministers of the ROK, the U.S. and Japan).
April 20
  • Seoul and Washington cooperate on maintaining and strengthening sanctions and placing additional pressures on Pyongyang, completely different from previous measures, in order to change the North’s strategic decision on the nuclear issue (the 2nd high-level strategic meeting between South Korea and the U.S.).
April 20
  • Seoul, Washington, and Tokyo discuss how to respond to the North Korean nuclear issue and the potential for additional provocations from the North (in a breakfast meeting between chief delegates to the Six-Party Talks from South Korea, the U.S., and Japan in Seoul).
April 21
  • Washington and Beijing are united in their strong opposition to the North’s 5th nuclear test and discuss cooperation plans to deter North Korean provocations (in a meeting between chief delegates to the Six-Party Talks from the U.S. and China in Beijing).
April 21
  • North Korea strongly protests against U.N. sanctions on the North and justifies its nuclear test, arguing that it has no choice but to develop nuclear weapons in a situation where the U.S. and South Korea conduct nuclear war drills on the Korean Peninsula (in a keynote speech by the North Korean Foreign Minister at a high-level meeting of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals at U.N. headquarters).
April 21
  • Regarding the group defection of overseas North Korean restaurant workers, North Korea requests a face-to-face meeting with their family members, threatening that “Unless the South repatriates them, the North will launch a strong retaliatory action against the group of traitors including those in Cheongwadae” (in a statement by a spokesperson for the Central Committee of the DPRK Red Cross Society).
April 21
  • Regarding the statement by a spokesperson for the DPRK Red Cross Society (April 21), the ROK government states that it cannot accept the North’s demands after consideration of the defectors’ hopes and free will as well as international practices on humanitarian issues (in a statement by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Unification).
April 21
  • North Korea blasts the ROK President’s remarks following the 20th general elections, arguing that “The group of traitors who defy public sentiment should be buried” (in a statement by a spokesperson for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland).
April 21
  • North Korea maintains that South Korea sent balloons to cause fires, adding that the balloons found in the forests of North Korea were fitted with flammable materials and explosive devices while threatening a stern response (in a statement by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Land and Environmental Protection).
April 21
  • Seven waitresses, colleagues of the North Korean workers who defected to South Korea, claim that their manager and a South Korean businessman coordinated the group defection under the direction of government authorities in Seoul (in an interview with CNN).
April 21
  • Regarding the potential for resuming dialogue with North Korea, the U.S. emphasizes that it is open to a meaningful negotiation on the nuclear issue and reiterates that the September 19 Joint Statement in 2005 should be the basis for bilateral dialogue (in a presentation by Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russell at the Shorenstein Forum for Asia-Pacific Studies, Stanford University).
April 22
  • Seoul and Beijing confirm that they are strongly opposed to the North’s provocative acts that violate UNSC resolutions including additional nuclear tests, and agree that if the North carries out another provocation including a 5th nuclear test, it will be necessary to take additional significant measures (in a meeting between chief delegates to the Six-Party Talks from South Korea and China in Beijing).
April 22
  • North Korea sends a message to the president of the Korean Red Cross requesting that the families of the defected North Korean restaurant workers be sent to Seoul (in a report by KCNA).
April 22
  • North Korea demands the immediate repatriation of the North Korean defectors, threatening that if the South continues to detain them, it will destroy Cheongwadae (in a statement by a spokesperson for the General Federation of Trade Unions of Korea).
April 23
  • North Korea fires a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) in the East Sea and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un provides field guidance on the SLBM test launch.
April 23
  • North Korea announces that it is ready to stop its nuclear testing program if South Korea and the U.S. discontinue their joint military exercises (in an interview with AP by North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Su-yong).
April 23
  • Regarding the North’s SLBM launch, the U.S. urges North Korea to refrain from rash actions that destabilize the situation and calls on the North to focus on faithfully fulfilling its international duties and promises (in a commentary by a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State).
April 23
  • France points out that the North’s SLBM launch violates UNSC resolutions, calling on the international community to respond firmly in order to stop the North Korean provocations (in a statement by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
April 24
  • Cheongwadae discusses how to respond to the North’s SLBM launch (in a meeting presided over by the chief of the National Security Office).
April 24
  • The ROK government strongly condemns the North’s SLBM test launch and declares that it will take necessary measures at the UNSC through close cooperation with other major countries (in a commentary by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
April 24
  • The ROK Unification Minister states that now is not the time to talk about inter-Korean dialogue and exit plans but the time to impose sanctions and put pressure on the North (in a press conference).
April 24
  • The UNSC harshly criticizes the North’s SLBM launch and stresses that North Korea violated UNSC resolutions, calling on the North to refrain from additional provocations and follow existing resolutions (in a press statement by the UNSC).
April 24
  • The U.S. issues a repeated warning against North Korea, stating that there will be no compromise on the nuclear issue (in a joint press conference for the U.S.-German summit meeting by President Obama).
April 26
  • The ROK President forecasts that the North’s 5th nuclear test is imminent; stressing that North Korea’s miscalculation will bring about its own destruction (in a meeting with Managing Editors and Directors of Newsroom Department from the press and media outlets).
April 26
  • The Ministry of Unification appoints 800 Unification Education Members for the 20th term of the Unification Education Committee.
April 26
  • The U.S. emphasizes that the U.S. Armed Forces can defeat North Korea with its military but the U.S. must consider its allies adjacent to the North including South Korea (in an interview with CBS by U.S. President Obama).
April 26
  • The U.S. expresses its position that it will consider “other options” if North Korea continues its nuclear and missile provocations” (in a regular briefing by a deputy spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State).
April 26
  • North Korea decides to hold the 7th Congress of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) on May 6, 2016, in Pyongyang (in a written decision by the Political Bureau of the WPK Central Committee, “On Convening the 7th Congress of the WPK”).
April 26
  • Regarding the UNSC’s adoption of a “press statement” on the North’s SLBM launch, North Korea warns that it will confront nuclear aggression with nuclear deterrence (in a Q&A session with KCNA reporters by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
April 27
  • Seoul and Beijing agree that the potential for additional nuclear and missile tests by North Korea is the most pressing and significant diplomatic issue (in a meeting between the Foreign Ministers of South Korea and China in Beijing).
April 27
  • Seoul and Berlin confirm the will of both countries to put pressure on the North in response to its nuclear and missile provocations and to cooperate on issues relating to unification on the Korean Peninsula (in a high-level policy council between South Korea and Germany in Berlin).
April 27
  • U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon points out the need to attempt to engage in dialogue with North Korea amid escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula due to the North’s development of nuclear weapons (in a debate on the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty).
April 28
  • North Korea fires a missile from Wonsan in the morning and again in the afternoon, respectively, which are both presumed to have failed.
April 28
  • The ROK President emphasizes that North Korea will have no future if the Kim Jong-un regime conducts an additional nuclear test in defiance of a warning from the international community (in a NSC meeting presided over by the President).
April 28
  • The ROK government and the ruling party discuss how to respond to a series of North Korean provocations (in an emergency security meeting).
April 28
  • The Foreign Ministers of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), in its fifth meeting, adopt a declaration denouncing North Korea’s nuclear test and long-range missile launch and call on the North to give up its nuclear program (Declaration of the Foreign Ministers’ Meeting of CICA).
  • Chinese President Xi Jinping stresses that China, as a neighboring country, will not tolerate war or confusion on the Korean Peninsula (in his congratulatory speech at the 5th Meeting of Foreign Ministers of CICA).
April 28
  • Seoul and Moscow discuss how to respond to the North Korean nuclear and provocation issues and how to develop bilateral relations (in a meeting between the Foreign Ministers of South Korea and Russia).
April 28
  • North Korea threatens that if the South ignores the North’s demand for the immediate repatriation of the North Korean restaurant workers who defected, the North will initiate a merciless, thousand-fold response against Cheongwadae (in a statement by a spokesperson for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland).
April 28
  • North Korea sends a message from the chairman of the DPRK Red Cross Society to the president of the Korean Red Cross, demanding the repatriation of the North Korean restaurant workers who defected.
April 29
  • The ROK government issues a prior announcement of legislation for the Bill on the Enforcement Ordinance of the North Korean Human Rights Act, which focuses on the establishment of a Center for Investigation & Documentation on Human Rights in North Korea under the Ministry of Justice in order to document and manage cases of human rights violations in North Korea (the Ministry of Unification).
April 29
  • Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida states that Japan will not tolerate North Korea’s successive missile launches (Kyodo News)
April 29
  • Beijing and Moscow warn that North Korea should refrain from irresponsible, additional provocations (in a meeting between the Foreign Ministers of China and Russia in Beijing).
April 29
  • North Korea calls on the U.S. Armed Forces to stop provocative acts at the truce village of Panmunjeom, adding that provocations have increased recently (in a statement by a spokesman for the Panmunjeom mission of the Korean People's Army (KPA)).
April 30
  • Beijing and Tokyo express grave concern over North Korean provocations and agree to cooperate closely with each other in taking measures to deter the North’s nuclear ambitions (in a meeting between the Foreign Ministers of China and Japan in Beijing).
April 30
  • Regarding the end of the ROK-U.S. joint military drill, North Korea argues that 1) No one should assume an ulterior motive related to the nuclear weapons of the DPRK, 2) The U.S. and the puppet group should not dream of the so-called effect of sanctions and a blockade against the DPRK, and 3) The U.S. and its followers should clearly understand that the longer they pursue confrontation with the DPRK, the bitterer the disgrace and shame they will suffer as the loser (in a joint statement by the DPRK government, political parties, and organizations).
April 30
  • Regarding the ROK-U.S. joint military exercises, North Korea maintains that it is the legitimate right of a sovereign state to react to the enemy's declaration of war and threats with its own steps for self-defense, arguing that “The September 19 Joint Statement is finally scrapped” (in a statement by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
April 30
  • Regarding the remarks made at the South’s National Security Council (North Korea’s 5th nuclear test is imminent. The North will have no future if it conducts an additional nuclear test.), North Korea warns that this rhetoric is tantamount to “dishonoring the dignity, system, and people of the DPRK, and a political provocation” (in a special warning by the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland (CPRF)).
April 30
  • Regarding the special warning by the CPRF (April 30), the ROK government expresses strong regret over the denunciation of and threat to the head of state, warning that the North should stop these behaviors immediately (the ROK Government’s Position Concerning the Special Warning by the CPRF).
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
May 2
  • Seoul and Teheran share an understanding that nuclear development will never strengthen security, and Iran expresses support for the Korean people’s yearning for peaceful unification of the Korean Peninsula (in a joint statement at the summit talks between South Korea and Iran).
May 2
  • The ROK Minister of Unification emphasizes that South Korea should first lead North Korea to move toward denuclearization through strong security measures and tough sanctions and then engage in principle-based dialogue and exchanges if the North makes changes (in a keynote speech at the College Students’ Debate on Security hosted by Army Headquarters).
May 2
  • North Korea accuses the Park Geun-hye group of turning the whole of South Korea into a world of darkness, criticizing the ROK President by name (in a white paper by the Secretariat of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland (CPRF)).
May 3
  • The United States stresses that it will never accept a nuclear North Korea, urging the North to walk down the path of denuclearization (in a keynote speech by Daniel Russel, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, at the JoongAng Ilbo-CSIS Forum 2016 entitled “Exploring a New Paradigm on the Korean Peninsula).
May 3
  • The colleagues and families of the North Korean restaurant workers who defected to the South in April condemn the group defection at a press conference (Pyongyang).
May 5
  • North Korea warns that the U.S.’s continued hostile policy toward the North and nuclear threat, and the ROK government’s consistent efforts to make the North give up its nuclear program will only accelerate North Korea’s nuclear deterrence (in a statement by a spokesperson for the CPRF).
May 5
  • Regarding the ROK President’s remarks (“laying the foundation for unification” made on March 30 and April 29), North Korea considers them a form of “system unification” and issues a warning (in information bulletin No. 1105 by the Secretariat of the CPRF).
May 6
  • North Korea holds the 7th Congress of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) (May 6-9).
  • At the Party Congress, North Korea elects Kim Jong-un as the chairman of the WPK; maintains the Byungjin line of developing nuclear weapons and the economy simultaneously, defining North Korea as a nuclear state by default; calls for the reestablishment of relationships with neighboring countries as a nuclear state; and carries out a peace offensive by the United Front Department while continuing its threat of provocations against the South.
May 6
  • Regarding the North’s claim on its successful nuclear and missile tests at the seventh Party Congress, the U.S. urges North Korea to come out of the wilderness, calling on the North to refrain from provocative acts (in a regular briefing by White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest).
May 7
  • Seoul and Washington exchange opinions on the trends evident from the seventh Party Congress of North Korea and agree to closely cooperate in responding to the North (in a telephone call between the Foreign Ministers of South Korea and the U.S.).
May 8
  • The ROK government assesses the North’s mention of dialogue and negotiation as part of a peace offensive without sincerity, stressing that North Korea should stop threatening the South and go down the path toward denuclearization (in a commentary by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Unification in response to a report on the work and activities of the WPK Central Committee at the seventh Party Congress).
May 9
  • Regarding the North’s claim that it has nuclear weapons, the ROK government responds by stating that the claim is a challenge that poses a threat to world peace and stability, stressing that the international community should create an international environment that forces North Korea to give up its nuclear program and asking Kuwait to take an interest in this effort (at a meeting with Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, the Prime Minister of Kuwait).
May 9
  • Regarding the North’s declaration that it has nuclear weapons, the ROK government makes it clear that South Korea does not acknowledge the DPRK as a nuclear state and dismisses the North’s proposal for inter-Korean military talks to ease tensions, saying that the proposal lacks sincerity, while stating that it will consistently exert efforts to make the North give up its nuclear program through sanctions and pressure (in a regular briefing by a spokesperson for the Ministry of National Defense).
May 9
  • Regarding North Korea’s seventh Party Congress (expressing its willingness to engage in nuclear nonproliferation), the U.S. emphasizes that once the North fulfills its international obligations, the U.S. and the international community will engage in negotiations with North Korea and prepare to allow the North to rejoin the international community (in a regular briefing by White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest).
May 9
  • Regarding the North’s claim that it has nuclear weapons, China stresses the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, calling on the North to abide by the UNSC resolutions related to the North Korean nuclear issue (in a regular briefing by Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang).
May 10
  • The ROK President criticizes North Korea for declaring that it has nuclear weapons instead of pushing for sincere change at the seventh Party Congress, stressing that the South should pull together its national capabilities and that people should remain united (at a Cabinet meeting).
May 10
  • In response to the North’s proposal for a peace treaty, the U.S. states that the onus is on North Korea to take meaningful action to verifiable denuclearization and refrain from any rhetoric or provocative activity, making it clear that denuclearization should come before a peace treaty (in a regular briefing by State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau).
May 12
  • Seoul and Washington share an understanding that North Korea’s repeated provocations pose a serious threat to regional and world peace and stability as well as the ROK-U.S. alliance, urging the North to abandon its nuclear program in a complete, verifiable, and irreversible manner (a joint statement by the 9th Korea-U.S. Integrated Defense Dialogue).
May 13
  • Kim Jong-un tours a machine and equipment exhibition and poses for a commemorative photo with participants from the seventh Party Congress (in a report by the North Korean media).
May 15
  • Kim Jong-un provides field guidance on Tree Nursery No. 122 of the Korean People’s Army (KPA) (in a report by the North Korean media).
May 15
  • Regarding the group defection of overseas North Korean restaurant workers, North Korea raises an issue with the United Nations and international human rights organizations, arguing for the need to take measures to repatriate them to the North (in a Q&A session with KCNA reporters by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
May 16
  • Seoul and Jakarta agree to continuously make efforts for the denuclearization of North Korea while maintaining close communication with each other at various meetings including meetings related to ASEAN (at a summit meeting between the heads of state of South Korea and Indonesia).
May 16
  • Incheon City and the Ministry of Unification sign an agreement to strengthen settlement support for North Korean refugees.
May 16
  • North Korea releases water from the Hwanggang Dam on the Imjin River twice (on May 16 and 17). *The Military confirms the release on May 18.
May 16
  • North Korea appeals for support for the reunification line and policy presented by Kim Jong-un at the seventh Party Congress, saying that it is a “reunification outline for the nation” while arguing that if South Korean authorities propose a policy for the great solidarity of the nation, the North would be willing to implement the policy in conjunction with the South” (in a joint statement by the North Korean government, political parties, and organizations).
May 16
  • In response to the North’s joint statement released on May 16, the ROK government calls on North Korea to halt its scheme to instigate conflicts in South Korean society and substantially improve inter-Korean relations by giving up its nuclear program and making changes (the Unification Ministry’s Position on the North’s Joint Statement).
May 17
  • The ROK President states that South Korea will open up a new era of peaceful and successful unification by creating an environment on the Korean Peninsula that forces North Korea to give up its nuclear program, urging the North to move toward a path of change and reform by following in the footsteps of Iran (in “Unification Dialogue” with members of the National Unification Advisory Council in America).
May 17
  • Indian Foreign Secretary Dr. S. Jaishankar expresses grave concerns about North Korea’s nuclear and missile development, making it clear that it will actively participate in the international community’s efforts to pressure the North such as implementing UNSC resolutions (at a meeting with the ROK Foreign Minister).
May 17
  • The U.S. states that it will cooperate with the international community to isolate North Korea until the North fulfills the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and stops its provocative acts, emphasizing that the possibility for change in U.S. policy toward North Korea is dependent on North Korea (in a regular briefing by White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest).
May 17
  • North Korea adopts the “Act on Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Financing of Terrorism” (in a report by KCNA).
May 18
  • The ROK government expresses strong regret over the North’s unilateral water release from the Hwanggang Dam on the Imjin River by ignoring an agreement with the South, calling on the North to prevent any recurrence (in a regular briefing by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Unification).
May 18
  • Switzerland fully implements comprehensive sanctions on North Korea.
May 19
  • South Korea and Mongolia agree that both countries should closely cooperate on North Korean nuclear and North Korea issues (at a summit meeting between the heads of state of South Korea and Mongolia).
May 19
  • Kim Jong-un provides field guidance on a machine plant managed by Ho Chol-yong (in a report by the North Korean media).
May 20
  • North Korea urges the South to respond to practical measures to ease military tensions and address the risk of conflict on the Korean Peninsula (in an open letter by the National Defense Commission).
May 20
  • Regarding the open letter by the National Defense Commission, the ROK government stresses that North Korea should first exhibit substantial changes in a move toward denuclearization before proposing inter-Korean military talks (the ROK Ministry of National Defense’s Position on the Open Letter by the DPRK National Defense Commission).
May 20
  • The death of Kang Sok-ju, Secretary of the WPK and Director of International Affairs, is announced.
May 21
  • Kim Jong-un provides field guidance on the Natural Museum and Central Zoo, which are nearing completion.
May 21
  • North Korea maintains that the South Korean government must faithfully respond to dialogue and negotiations to improve inter-Korean relations (in a statement by Kim Ki-nam, Vice Chairman of the WPK).
May 21
  • North Korea expresses support for Kim Jong-un’s national reunification line, policy and plan, arguing that it will be fully committed to nationwide struggle for self-reliant reunification (in a statement by the Central Committee of the Anti-Imperialist National Democratic Front (AINDF).
May 21
  • North Korea sends a message (from the Ministry of People's Armed Forces to the ROK Ministry of National Defense), proposing a working-level contact for inter-Korean talks between military authorities in late May or early June.
May 22
  • U.S. President Obama emphasizes the need to thoroughly monitor North Korea and implement sanctions on North Korea (in an interview with NHK).
May 22
  • North Korea stresses that inter-Korean relations should be improved through dialogue and negotiation, calling on the South to hold inter-Korean military talks as soon as possible (in a statement by Won Dong-yeon, Director at the Secretariat of the CPRF).
May 22
  • North Korea continues to insist that the group defection of overseas North Korean restaurant workers is an act of kidnapping by South Korean authorities, warning that if the South refuses to repatriate them immediately, “an official at the highest level must take responsibility” (in a written protest to the ROK President by the DPRK Emergency Measure Committee for Rescuing Abductees).
May 23
  • South Korea sends a message (from the ROK Ministry of National Defense to the Ministry of People's Armed Forces), reaffirming its existing position that North Korea’s denuclearization is a top priority for inter-Korean dialogue and asking for the North’s position on denuclearization.
May 23
  • China states that issues should be resolved through dialogue and negotiation to protect peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, stressing that Beijing remains steadfast to the goal of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula (in a keynote speech by Liu Qibao, Head of the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee at the 8th Korea-China Media High-level Dialogue).
May 23
  • North Korea sends a letter to the U.N., requesting the opinion of the U.N. Secretary General and arguing that there is a serious legal contradiction in the U.N. Security Council’s sanctions resolutions (from the Permanent Representative of the DPRK at the U.N. to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon).
May 24
  • Kim Jong-un provides field guidance on the Kwisong Saltern and highlights the production of salt by underground ultra-saline water resources run by the KPA (in a report by the North Korean media).
May 24
  • North Korea sends a message (from the Ministry of People's Armed Forces to the ROK Ministry of National Defense), repeating a proposal for a working-level contact for inter-Korean talks between military authorities in late May or early June.
May 24
  • North Korea stresses the great solidary of the nation for reunification, arguing for the need to create an environment for reconciliation and solidarity through contact and exchanges between South and North Korean political parties and organizations (in a statement by the Chairman of the Central Committee of the Democratic Front of the Reunification of the Fatherland).
May 25
  • The Unification Minister emphasizes that peace on the Korean Peninsula can be guaranteed only when North Korea gives up its nuclear program (in a welcoming speech at the Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity).
May 25
  • Washington and Tokyo agree to strengthen nuclear deterrence and defense capacity against the threat posed by the North (at a summit meeting between the heads of state of the U.S. and Japan).
May 26
  • The Prime Minister of Ethiopia mentions that the country will continue to support the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and is concerned about North Korea causing instability on the Korean Peninsula, stressing that the UNSC resolutions should be faithfully implemented in line with their purpose (at a summit meeting between the heads of state of South Korea and Ethiopia).
May 26
  • U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon mentions issues related to dialogue with North Korea and humanitarian aid to the North, urging the North to halt provocations and comply with international obligations (in a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity).
May 26
  • North Korea holds a meeting between the WPK, the government, and economic and military officials to undertake the tasks announced at the seventh Party Congress (May 26-28 in Pyongyang).
  • Discuss measures and action plans to carry out the five-year economic program and launch the 200-day campaign of loyalty
May 27
  • The ROK President calls for African support regarding the North Korean nuclear issue (in a special speech at the African Union).
May 27
  • The Ministry of Unification, the Presidential Committee for Unification Preparation, and the National Unification Advisory Council cohost Unification Expo 2016 (May 27-29 in Gwanghwamun Square and Sejongro Park).
May 27
  • The ROK government devises a plan to provide support and compensation for companies that operated within the Gaeseong Industrial Complex (GIC) for damages affecting investment assets, current assets and resident employees residing within the GIC (at the 6th meeting of the Government Joint Task Force to Support GIC Companies presided over by the Minister of the Office for Government Policy Coordination).
  • The government plans to 1) (for investment assets) pay KRW 386.5 billion including the economic cooperation insurance payouts already paid and those yet to be paid, 2) (for current assets) provide support up to a limit of KRW 2.2 billion per company by making use of the trade insurance system, and 3) (support resident employees within the GIC) pay KRW 11 billion in consideration of material and psychological damage suffered and livelihood-related hardship.
May 27
  • The G7 denounces North Korea for conducting its fourth nuclear test and missile launch in the strongest terms and for violating UNSC resolutions, calling on the North to stop further provocations (in a G7 statement).
May 27
  • U.S. President Obama states that North Korea’s nuclear and missile program poses a threat to the U.S. and the world as well as the Asia-Pacific region, stressing that Washington will never accept a nuclear North Korea and will continue to pursue the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula (in a written interview with Asahi Shimbun).
May 27
  • A North Korean patrol boat and ship cross the Northern Limit Line (NLL) in the West Sea but retreat after the South Korean navy fires warning shots.
May 27
  • The EU announces additional sanctions on North Korea (in a statement by the Council of the EU).
  • Increasing the list of items to be banned from entry into North Korea including luxuries and strengthening regulations on money transfers and financial services
May 27
  • Kim Jong-un provides field guidance on the construction of the Ryugyong General Ophthalmic Hospital (in a report by the North Korean media).
May 27
  • North Korea condemns the ROK military’s warning shots fired at the North Korean patrol boat and ship crossing the NLL as a premeditated military provocation, warning that KPA units on the southwestern front are waiting for an order to launch an annihilating attack and ready to undertake retaliatory strikes (in an important report by the Supreme Command of the KPA).
May 27
  • North Korea argues that businesspeople from North and South Korea should go beyond the difference in ideologies and ideas and move toward the path of reunification and patriotism under the banner of national self-reliance while stressing the solidarity of the nation (in a statement by the Chairman of the National Economic Cooperation Committee).
May 28
  • Regarding the important report by the Supreme Command of the KPA (May 27), the ROK military points out that the North’s claim about the South Korean navy’s warning shots fired at the North Korean patrol boat and ship crossing the NLL in the West Sea being a provocation is irrational (the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s Position).
May 28
  • North Korea argues that the ROK military’s warning shots (May 27) are part of a premeditated scheme by Cheongwadae, warning that "From this time on, there will be unannounced targeted strikes against puppet navy vessels that violate even 0.001 mm of our military’s maritime border along the west coast's hotspot waters” (in a notice by the General Staff Department of the KPA).
May 28
  • North Korea criticizes U.S. President Obama’s comment at the G7 summit on the North Korean nuclear issue and denuclearization, expressing its will to “strengthen its nuclear weapons capabilities” (in a Q&A session with KCNA reporters by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
May 29
  • Uganda declares the suspension of security and military cooperation with North Korea (at a summit meeting between the heads of state of South Korea and Uganda).
May 30
  • Kim Jong-un provides field guidance on the construction of a medical oxygen factory and watches a friendly basketball game between the DPRK and China (in a report by the North Korean media).
May 30
  • North Korea holds the 61st Expanded Plenary Meeting of the Central Committee of the Kim Il Sung Socialist Youth League.
  • Conduct discussions to carry out the tasks presented by Kim Jong-un at the seventh Party Congress
May 30
  • North Korea condemns the EU’s adoption of additional sanctions on the North as “blatantly jumping on the bandwagon of the U.S.’s hostile policy toward North Korea,” arguing that “Sanctions will only strengthen our will for self-development” (in a Q&A session with KCNA reporters by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
May 31
  • North Korea fires a single missile from Wonsan, presumed to have been a failed missile launch.
May 31
  • The U.S. denounces North Korea’s missile launch, calling on the North to halt provocative acts immediately (in a regular briefing by White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest).
May 31
  • Ri Su-yong, Vice Chairman of the WPK, visits China (May 31-June 2).
May 31
  • The Kenyan President expresses deep concern about North Korea’s fourth nuclear test and long-range missile launch and criticizes provocative acts by the North that escalate tensions in the region, urging Pyongyang to halt such behavior (at a summit meeting between the heads of state of South Korea and Kenya).
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
June 1
  • Seoul, Washington, and Tokyo examine the situation on the Korean Peninsula, discuss ways to impose tougher sanctions on North Korea, and agree to induce the North to move toward denuclearization through pressure (in a meeting between chief delegates to the Six-Party Talks from the ROK, the U.S., and Japan in Tokyo).
June 1
  • North Korea releases a documentary about the launch of a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) (Korean Central Television).
June 2
  • North Korea threatens to take merciless military actions in response to the South’s refusal of the North’s proposal for inter-Korean military talks (in a statement by the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea (CPRF).
June 3
  • The ROK government expresses strong regret over the North’s threat against the South regarding the CPRF’s statement (June 2) (in a regular briefing by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Unification).
June 3
  • Seoul and Washington agree to continue bilateral cooperation in identifying the means and ways in which North Korea abuses the international financial system (in a meeting between the ROK Finance Minister and the U.S. Treasury Secretary in Seoul).
June 3
  • Seoul and Paris agree to faithfully implement the UNSC Resolutions on North Korea to address the North Korean nuclear issue and take additional actions if necessary (in the joint declaration marking the 130th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the ROK and France adopted at a summit meeting between the heads of state of both countries).
June 6
  • The ROK President emphasizes that the government will maintain tough sanctions and pressure against North Korea in close cooperation with the international community until the North chooses the path toward denuclearization and comes forward for dialogue while asserting the importance of the unity of the people (in her speech on the 61st Memorial Day).
June 7
  • The ROK and the EU discuss ways to cooperate on sanctions against the North and the overall North Korean issues including the nuclear issue (in a meeting between the ROK Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs and the Secretary General of the European External Action Service (EEAS) at the EU headquarters in Brussels).
June 8
  • A North Korean ship crosses the Northern Limit Line (NLL) in the East Sea and retreats after being challenged by ROK naval vessels.
June 9
  • North Korea holds a joint conference by the DPRK government, political parties, and organizations, and adopts an “Appeal to the Entire Korean People.”
June 10
  • The ROK government dismisses North Korea’s proposal for a great national conference for reunification (June 9) as just part of the North’s deceptive tactics and urges the North to express its position on denuclearization and to put it into practice (in a regular briefing by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Unification).
June 13
  • The ROK President dismisses the North’s proposal for dialogue without denuclearization as a deception meant to turn the situation around and emphasizes that the government will employ its diplomatic capability to ensure that the international community joins together to sternly respond to the North Korean nuclear issue (in her speech at the opening session of the 20th National Assembly).
June 13
  • The ROK government states that North Korea’s nuclear development violates the fundamental spirit of the agreements signed between South and North Korea, and urges the North to improve inter-Korean relations and to take the path toward peaceful unification on the Korean Peninsula by desisting from further provocations and threats and giving up its nuclear program (in the government position statement regarding the June 15 Joint Declaration released by the Ministry of Unification).
June 13
  • Seoul and Moscow confirm that neither country can recognize North Korea as a nuclear state, and agree to continue bilateral cooperation on denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula (in a meeting between the Foreign Ministers of the ROK and Russia in Moscow).
June 13
  • The Central Committee of the Korean Social Democratic Party holds a plenary session.
  • Discuss measures to implement reunification policies presented at the 7th Party Congress; and decide to send the South’s political parties a letter calling for both Koreas to walk down the path toward independent reunification through national unity and solidarity
June 13
  • North Korea delivers the UN the letter adopted at the joint conference by the DPRK government, political parties, and organizations (June 9) (from the DPRK Foreign Ministry to the UN Secretariat).
  • Urge key personnel at the UN to help address unification issues on the Korean Peninsula
June 15
  • The ROK President emphasizes that Seoul and Washington should more closely coordinate policy under the principle that “North Korea’s denuclearization should come first” (in a meeting with USFK Commander Brooks).
June 20
  • The ROK government initiates the procedures to render support for those companies in the Gaeseong Industrial Complex that have suffered asset losses and had not taken out economic cooperation insurance policies. (in a regular briefing by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Unification).
June 21
  • The ROK government announces a watch-list of items concerning North Korea as part of its sanctions against the North (in a regular briefing by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
  • A total of 130 items (including 89 nuclear- and 41 missile-related items)
June 22
  • North Korea fires two ballistic missiles from Wonsan.
June 22
  • The ROK President emphasizes that the North Korean regime should realize that reckless provocations will eventually lead the North into complete isolation and self-destruction (in unification dialogue with overseas members of the National Unification Advisory Council).
June 22
  • The Blue House (Cheongwadae) holds a standing committee session of the National Security Council regarding North Korea’s ballistic missile launch (June 22).
June 22
  • The ROK government strongly condemns North Korea’s Musudan missile launch (June 22) and sternly warns that the North will face even tougher sanctions and pressure from South Korea and the international community (in a statement by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
June 23
  • The Ministry of Unification and the Korean Red Cross hold an event for separated families (117 people from North Chungcheong Province).
June 23
  • The UN Security Council adopts a press statement condemning North Korea’s ballistic missile launch (June 22).
June 23
  • North Korea claims that its ballistic missile launch (June 22) represents “securing the means to deliver nuclear warheads” and that the Six-Party talks on the premise of denuclearization of the North are meaningless (in a press conference by Deputy Director General of Foreign Ministry’s North American Bureau Choi Sun Hee). * North East Asia Cooperation Dialogue (June 21-23 in Beijing)
June 24
  • North Korea designates July 3 as the Day of Strategic Force (by a decree of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly).
June 24
  • North Korea denounces the ROK government’s position on the June 15 Joint Declaration (June 13) as a mockery of the fundamental spirit of inter-Korean agreements, declaring that it is an attempt to shift the responsibility for the collapse in inter-Korean relations to the North and to justify the South’s anti-North Korea policy (in a Q&A session with KCNA reporters by a spokesperson for the CPRF).
June 25
  • Regarding the defected North Korean restaurant workers’ refusal to appear in court, North Korea calls for the “disclosure of their personal information, a face-to-face meeting with family members, and their repatriation,” and threatens that it will “make the South pay the price for that by whatever means” (in a statement by a spokesperson for the Central Committee of the DPRK Red Cross Society).
June 27
  • The ROK President emphasizes that we should show North Korea, through tough sanctions and pressure, that South Korea’s and the international community’s determination to stop the North’s nuclear ambitions is much stronger than the North’s determination to develop nuclear weapons and missiles (in a chief secretary meeting at the Blue House).
June 27
  • North Korea proposes a “joint conference” in Pyongyang or Gaeseong on or around August 15 (in an open letter by the North Side Preparatory Committee for the Joint Conference of Political Parties, Organizations, and Individual Personages of the North and the South and Abroad for Peace and Independent Reunification of the Korean Peninsula).
June 28
  • The ROK President asks the Sages Group on North Korean Human Rights to play a role in improving human rights in North Korea (in a meeting with the Sages Group on North Korean Human Rights).
June 28
  • The ROK government denounces the open letter proposing a joint conference (June 27) as an “insincere aggressive posture” and confirms that North Korea’s denuclearization should come first (in a commentary by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Unification).
June 29
  • China expresses that it is definitely against a nuclear North Korea (in a meeting between ROK Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn and Chinese President Xi Jin-ping).
June 29
  • North Korea holds the fourth session of the 13th Supreme People’s Assembly in Pyongyang.
  • Discuss six agenda such as establishing the State Affairs Commission and electing Kim Jong Un as Chairman of the State Affairs Commission; amending and supplementing the Socialist Constitution of the DPRK; thoroughly carrying out the five-year strategy for national economic development; setting up the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country of the DPRK (CPRC) while disbanding the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea (known as the CPRF); and organizational matters
June 30
  • The UN holds a debate to monitor the implementation of UNSC Resolution 2270 that imposes sanctions on North Korea.
June 30
  • North Korea insists that “securing its pre-emptive nuclear strike capability (having nuclear weapons, launching a Musudan missile, etc.)” is not subject to negotiations and emphasizes that the ROK and the U.S. should “change their policy toward North Korea” (in a statement by a spokesperson for the CPRC).
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
July 1
  • Regarding the briefing and debate forum cohosted by the ROK, the U.S., and Japanese missions to the UN, North Korea denounces the UNSC sanctions resolutions on the North as unfair, illegitimate, and immoral (in a Q&A session with KCNA reporters by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
July 4
  • The ROK President emphasizes that North Korea should realize that seeking regime stability through nuclear weapons and missiles will rather bring about tougher sanctions, thus leading to regime instability (in a Cabinet meeting).
July 6
  • North Korea unilaterally releases water from the Hwanggang Dam.
July 6
  • The ROK government emphatically states that if the North is to improve inter-Korean relations, it should be willing to cooperate on small issues including a water release from the Hwanggang Dam (in a regular briefing by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Unification).
July 6
  • North Korea states that it will “never accept” the argument from the ROK and the U.S. that the North should “give up its nuclear program,” and presents the conditions for “denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula” (in a statement by a spokesperson for the DPRK government).
July 7
  • The ROK government welcomes the imposition of human rights sanctions by the U.S. on North Korea (July 6) (in a commentary by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in response to the announced U.S. sanctions on North Korean leaders for human rights violations).
July 7
  • UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon calls on North Korea to desist from further provocations and emphasizes that involved countries, including the ROK, the U.S., and China, should encourage the resumption of dialogue (in a press conference with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi).
July 7
  • Regarding the U.S.’s announcement that Kim Jong Un is one of those subject to sanctions for human rights abuses (July 6), North Korea demands an unconditional retraction, and if the U.S. refuses, the North will block off all diplomatic channels between Pyongyang and Washington and respond in ultra-hardline ways (in a statement by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
July 8
  • Regarding the statement by a spokesperson for the North Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs (July 7), the ROK government emphasizes that even if the North reacts, the South cannot stop trying to prevent the North Korean authorities’ human rights violations and to improve the human rights situation in the North (in a regular briefing by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Unification).
July 9
  • North Korea fires a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) from waters off the coastal port city of Sinpo, South Hamgyong Province.
July 9
  • Regarding North Korea’s SLBM test launch, the ROK government strongly condemns the North and emphasizes that it will impose tougher sanctions and continue to apply pressure on the North (in a commentary by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
July 9
  • The ROK military declares the North’s SLBM launch to be a provocative act and a violation of UNSC resolutions and strongly denounces the North (in a press release by the Joint Chiefs of Staff).
July 9
  • North Korea organizes the North Side Preparatory Committee for the Joint Conference for holding a great national conference and carries out the project (in a press release by the North Side Preparatory Committee for the Joint Conference of Political Parties, Organizations, and Individual Personages of the North and the South and Abroad for Peace and Independent Reunification of the Korean Peninsula).
July 10
  • North Korea denounces the remarks on the North by the ROK President and the Prime Minister (July 4) as “political provocations” and instigates an anti-government campaign (in a Q&A session with KCNA reporters by a spokesperson for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country of the DPRK (CPRC, formerly known as CPRF)).
July 11
  • The ROK President explains that the deployment of THAAD is an inevitable decision to protect the rights to live in response to the evolving nuclear and missile threats posed by the North and emphasizes that THAAD will not infringe upon the security interests of neighboring countries (in a chief secretary meeting).
July 11
  • North Korea threatens the ROK and the U.S. regarding the deployment of THAAD (in a warning by the Artillery Division of the General Staff Department of the KPA).
July 13
  • The ROK President asks Switzerland to continue to cooperate with the international community’s efforts to break the North’s determination to perpetrate provocations and develop nuclear weapons (in a summit meeting between the heads of state of the ROK and Switzerland).
July 13
  • The ROK and the U.S. announce the region where THAAD will be deployed.
July 14
  • The ROK President checks follow-up measures after making a decision on the deployment of THAAD (in a National Security Council meeting).
July 14
  • Seoul, Washington, and Tokyo agree to further strengthen their coordination regarding the North Korean nuclear issue and sanctions on the North, and strive to implement UNSC Resolution 2270 continuously and faithfully (in a vice foreign ministerial meeting among the ROK, the U.S., and Japan).
July 14
  • North Korea criticizes the ROK President by name regarding the deployment of THAAD on the Korean Peninsula (in a statement by a spokesperson for the CPRC).
July 14
  • Regarding the United Nations Command’s decision to allow and deploy heavy weapons in the DMZ, a spokesman for the Panmunjom Mission of the KPA calls for the “withdrawal of heavy weapons from the DMZ and the immediate cessation of all military provocations” (in a Q&A session with reporters from the army newspaper KPA).
July 15
  • Regarding the statement by a spokesperson for the CPRC (July 14), the ROK government strongly condemns the North’s slandering of the ROK President, which was intended to create social conflict (in the ROK government position on the statement by a spokesperson for the CPRC released by the Ministry of Unification).
July 15
  • Seoul and Washington share the assessment of the situation on the Korean Peninsula and discuss diplomacy regarding the North Korean nuclear issue for the second half of the year (in a meeting between chief delegates to the Six-Party Talks from the ROK and the U.S.).
July 16
  • The ROK President emphasizes that the fundamental solution to the North Korean human rights and nuclear issues lies in unification of the Korean Peninsula, asking for the support and cooperation of heads of state from countries around the world (during a free debate session at the ASEM summit).
July 16
  • The ASEM summit adopts its chair’s statement condemning North Korea’s nuclear and missile development.
July 17
  • The ROK and Mongolia agree to make efforts together for regional stability on the Korean Peninsula based on a definite stance on denuclearization of North Korea (in a summit meeting between heads of state of the ROK and Mongolia).
July 19
  • North Korea fires three short-range ballistic missiles from Hwangju, North Hwanghae Province, into the East Sea.
July 19
  • The ROK military denounces the North’s ballistic missile launch (July 19) as a provocation that poses a serious threat to the security of South Korea and its people, and strongly condemns the North’s rash, repeated, and reckless provocations (in a regular briefing by the Ministry of National Defense).
July 19
  • North Korea calls on the South to “join the efforts to hold a great national conference for reunification” (in a press release by the North Side Preparatory Committee for the Joint Conference of Political Parties, Organizations, and Individual Personages of the North and the South and Abroad for Peace and Independent Reunification of the Korean Peninsula).
July 21
  • The ROK President examines the security situation regarding the North’s ballistic missile launch (in a National Security Council meeting).
July 21
  • North Korea harshly criticizes the ROK President’s official visit to Mongolia and instigates a “campaign against the visit” (in a statement by a spokesperson for the CPRC).
July 22
  • Regarding the statement by a spokesperson for the CPRC (July 21), the ROK government strongly condemns the North’s criticism toward the ROK President (the government position on the statement by a spokesperson for the CPRC released in a regular briefing by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Unification).
July 22
  • The ROK military collects dozens of plastic bags containing propaganda leaflets targeting the South (in Han River near Gimpo).
July 23
  • The Unification Minister emphasizes that ensuring that North Korean defectors settle in Korean society and make a fair living is preparation work for unification (in a talk session with young North Korean defectors during his visit to Jang Dae-hyun School in Busan)
July 25
  • Seoul and Washington discuss cooperation to put pressure on North Korea and discourage the North from perpetrating further provocations (in a meeting between the ROK Foreign Minister and the U.S. Secretary of State).
July 25
  • The North argues that the South’s build-up of naval forces to crack down on illegal fishing by Chinese ships in the West Sea is intended to “cause military conflicts and adhere to the illegal Northern Limit Line (NLL)” and threatens that it “will fight against any military actions” (in a press release by the West Sea Fleet of the Navy of the KPA).
July 26
  • The Unification Minister emphasizes that the ROK government will maintain its current North Korean policy of leading the North to denuclearization through sanctions and pressure (in a press conference).
July 27
  • The ASEAN Regional Forum announces its chairman’s statement expressing concerns about the recent developments on the Korean Peninsula including North Korea’s violation of UNSC resolutions.
July 27
  • Seoul and Washington agree on the need to take effective measures to cut off cash flows into North Korea (in the third meeting of the ROK-U.S. high-level strategic consultation on July 26-29).
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
August 2
  • The ROK President expresses her willingness to have a meeting with regional representatives to address the THAAD deployment issue, citing a conflict over the issue amid North Korea’s increasing nuclear capability (at a Cabinet meeting).
August 2
  • North Korea argues that it will be difficult to hold a joint conference for reunification because the South Korean authorities are interrupting the preparatory project and the South Side Preparatory Committee has yet to be established (at a meeting of the North Side Preparatory Committee for the Joint Conference of Political Parties, Organizations and Individual Personages of the North and the South and Abroad for Peace and Independent Reunification of the Korean Peninsula).
August 2
  • North Korea harshly criticizes the ROK President for poorly administering state affairs (in the White Paper of the DPRK Institute for Research into National Reunification).
August 2
  • The ROK government strongly condemns the North’s slander of the ROK President in the White Paper of the DPRK Institute for Research into National Reunification (August 2) and calls on the North to come forward and take the path of denuclearization and change (in a regular briefing by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Unification).
August 3
  • North Korea fires a ballistic missile from Unryul-gun, South Hwanghae Province into the East Sea.
August 3
  • The ROK government strongly denounces North Korea’s ballistic missile launch (August 3) as a clear violation of UNSC resolutions and a provocation against the ROK, its neighboring countries, and the international community (in a statement by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
August 3
  • In response to the ROK President’s remarks on the North at a Cabinet meeting (August 2), North Korea criticizes the President by name and instigates an anti-government and anti-THAAD campaign (in a statement by a spokesperson for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country of the DPRK (CPRC, formerly known as CPRF (the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland)).
August 4
  • In response to the CPRC’s statement (August 3), the ROK government strongly blasts North Korea for distorting the facts, plotting to divide public opinion, and slandering the President while urging the North to come forward and take the path of denuclearization and change (in the government’s position on the statement by a spokesperson for the CPRC released by the Ministry of Unification).
August 4
  • Seoul discusses ways to respond to North Korea’s ballistic missile launch (August 3) with Washington and Tokyo (in a series of telephone calls between chief delegates to the Six-Party Talks from the ROK, the U.S., and Japan).
August 5
  • Seoul, Washington, and Tokyo discuss ways to share information and coordinate policy regarding Pyongyang’s ballistic missile launch (in a video conference between the defense authorities of the ROK, the U.S., and Japan).
August 10
  • The Unification Minister visits companies operating in the Gaeseong Industrial Complex, lends words of encouragement to employees, and hears their difficulties.
August 11
  • North Korea condemns the South’s THAAD deployment decision and emphasizes that the North Korean nuclear program is non-negotiable (in a Q&A session with KCNA reporters by a spokesperson for the CPRC).
August 12
  • The Unification Minister asserts that unification on the Korean Peninsula will offer a great opportunity for Korea to take a leap forward (in his congratulatory speech at the academic conference of leading universities in unification education).
August 14
  • The Unification Minister emphasizes that the Korean people’s unity and strong determination are essential for the denuclearization of North Korea (in his congratulatory speech at the opening ceremony for the “2016 Wind of World Peace” organized by the Committee for Reconciliation of the Korean people of the Catholic Church Archdiocese of Seoul).
August 15
  • The ROK President calls on the North Korean authorities to change their attitude in the right direction while presenting a vision for a unified Korea and to join the efforts to achieve unification while delivering a message of hope to the North Koreans (in her congratulatory speech on the 71st anniversary of National Liberation Day).
August 16
  • North Korea harshly criticizes the ROK President’s congratulatory speech on the 71st anniversary of National Liberation Day and threatens the South (in a statement by a spokesperson for the CPRC).
August 17
  • The ROK government condemns North Korea’s nuclear threat and slander of the President in the statement by a spokesperson for the CPRC (August 16) and urges the North to immediately desist from such behaviors (in the government’s position on the statement by a spokesperson for the CPRC released by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Unification).
August 17
  • The ROK government confirms that North Korea’s deputy ambassador to the U.K. has arrived in South Korea (in a press conference by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Unification).
August 17
  • North Korea asserts that it has produced plutonium at the nuclear facilities in Yongbyon and implies that it should conduct a fifth nuclear test (in the DPRK Atomic Energy Institute’s written interview with Kyoto News Agency).
August 18
  • North Korea denounces the ROK President’s congratulatory speech on the 71st anniversary of National Liberation Day, arguing that the South is interrupting the preparatory project to hold a joint conference for reunification (in a statement by the North Side Preparatory Committee for the Joint Conference of Political Parties, Organizations and Individual Personages of the North and the South and Abroad for Peace and Independent Reunification of the Korean Peninsula).
August 21
  • The ROK government states that North Korea is highly likely to perpetrate provocations including terrorism due to the defection of North Korea’s deputy ambassador to the U.K. and the ROK-U.S. Ulchi-Freedom Guardian (UFG) military exercises, calling on the Korean people to be careful (in a press briefing by the Ministry of Unification).
August 21
  • Regarding the UFG military exercises, North Korea declares “Revolutionary Armed Forces’ Principle Position According to the Mandate”: the North will always maintain combat readiness and launch a preemptive nuclear strike if any sign of aggression is detected (in a statement by a spokesperson for the General Staff Department of the Korean People’s Army (KPA)).
August 21
  • North Korea threatens the South regarding the UFG military exercises (in a statement by a spokesperson for the CPRC).
August 22
  • The ROK President instructs officials to maintain a full readiness posture against North Korea’s provocations (Ulchi National Security Council meeting) and emphasizes that the Korean people’s united determination is urgently needed to overcome the security and economic challenges, including the North Korean nuclear issue, terror threats, and restructuring (Ulchi Cabinet meeting).
August 22
  • The ROK and the U.S. conduct the UFG military exercises (August 22-September 2).
August 22
  • The ROK government takes note that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has recently pointed out some indications of operation of the reprocessing facilities in North Korea, expressing grave concern thereon (in a commentary by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
August 22
  • North Korea sends a letter calling for the “repatriation of the defected North Korean restaurant workers” (from the Central Committee of the DPRK Red Cross Society to the Korean Red Cross).
August 23
  • On the occasion of the first anniversary of the August 25 Agreement, North Korea shifts the responsibility for the current inter-Korean relations and political situation on the Korean Peninsula to the South and denounces the South (in a statement by a spokesperson for the CPRC).
August 24
  • North Korea test fires a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) from waters near Sinpo city, South Hamgyong Province into the East Sea.
August 24
  • The Blue House (Cheongwadae) discusses countermeasures against the North’s SLBM launch (at a meeting of the Standing Committee of the National Security Council chaired by the chief of the National Security Office).
August 24
  • The ROK President examines the military readiness posture and expresses her willingness to sternly respond to North Korea’s provocations (during her visit to frontline corps on the central front).
August 24
  • The ROK government strongly condemns North Korea’s test-firing of an SLBM (in a statement by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
August 24
  • The ROK government urges North Korea to relive the significance of the August 25 Agreement, to stop its nuclear development and provocations against the South, and to show good faith (in the government’s position on the statement by a spokesperson for the CPRC released by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Unification).
August 26
  • The UN Security Council adopts a press statement condemning North Korea’s four ballistic missile launches including an SLBM (July-August).
August 27
  • North Korea criticizes the South’s aiming lights at North Korean guard posts at Panmunjom as “deliberate acts of provocation” and threatens to fire “aimed shots” (in a warning by the KPA’s chief security officers at Panmunjom).
August 28
  • North Korea blasts the UNSC’s press statement (August 26) as a “violent infringement upon the sovereignty of the DPRK” and threatens that it “will take all multi-phased eventful measures” (in a statement by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
August 29
  • The ROK President instructs the government and the military to devise countermeasures and maintain a firm defense posture to punish North Korea regarding the North’s nuclear and missile capabilities (in a chief secretary meeting).
August 29
  • The Unification Minister emphasizes that the international community should be united to pressure North Korea into giving up its nuclear ambitions, stating that if the North abandons its nuclear weapons, it will be given a new opportunity to develop itself and that the ROK will support the North’s efforts toward peace and prosperity (in his keynote speech at the international conference “Building a Nuclear Weapon-Free World”).
August 29
  • The ROK government strongly demands that North Korea immediately stop its agencies and organizations from slandering the ROK President (in the government’s position on North Korea’s excessive criticism of the South released by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Unification).
August 29
  • The Unification Minister emphasizes that North Korea should follow in Kazakhstan’s footsteps and move toward denuclearization (in his interview with Yonhap News Agency in Almaty).
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
September 3
  • Seoul and Moscow confirm “zero tolerance for North Korea’s nuclear weapons program” and agree to strengthen strategic communication to address the North Korean nuclear and missile threats (in a joint press conference after a summit meeting between the heads of state of the ROK and Russia).
September 5
  • Seoul and Beijing share concern over the North Korean nuclear issue and reconfirm zero tolerance for North Korea’s nuclear weapons program (in a summit meeting between the heads of state of the ROK and China).
September 5
  • North Korea fires three ballistic missiles from North Hwanghae Province into the East Sea.
September 5
  • The ROK government strongly condemns the North’s ballistic missile launch (September 5) as a grave provocation showing that the North’s nuclear and missile development poses a threat to the Korean Peninsula, its neighboring countries, and the international community (in a statement by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
September 6
  • Seoul and Washington agree to maintain their strong deterrence against North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missiles and to continue communication with Beijing to address the North Korean nuclear issue (in a statement at the joint press conference after a summit meeting between the heads of state of the ROK and the U.S.).
September 6
  • The UN Security Council denounces North Korea’s ballistic missile launch (September 5) and calls on the North to fulfil its obligations under UNSC resolutions (in a press statement).
September 7
  • Seoul and Tokyo agree to take strong actions through trilateral coordination between the ROK, the U.S., and Japan, as well as close bilateral cooperation regarding North Korea’s nuclear and missile provocations (in a summit meeting between the heads of state of the ROK and Japan).
September 7
  • North Korea claims that the USFK should withdraw from the South (in an “Appeal to the Entire Korean People” by the Central Committee of the Democratic Front for the Reunification of the Fatherland).
September 7
  • Regarding the North’s insistence on the withdrawal of the USFK (September 7), the ROK government points out that North Korea should consider what is the root cause of tensions on the Korean Peninsula, calling on the North to come forward and take the path of denuclearization and go in the right direction of improving the livelihoods of people first (in a regular briefing by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Unification).
September 7
  • The Unification Minister emphasizes that if North Korea gives up its nuclear weapons, it will be given an opportunity to develop itself, and an era of common prosperity for the Korean Peninsula, Northeast Asia, and Eurasia will begin earlier (in his keynote speech at the 2016 Eurasia City Forum).
September 7
  • North Korea proposes a “Korean youth’s meeting for reunification” with young Koreans from South and North Korea and abroad (in an “Appeal to the Entire Korean Youth in North and South Korea and Abroad” by the Central Committee of the Kimilsungist-Kimjongilist Youth League).
September 8
  • The ROK President highlights that the government will induce North Korea to give up its nuclear program in close cooperation with the international community based on a solid security posture (in a video message at the opening ceremony for the fifth Seoul Defense Dialogue).
September 8
  • The ROK government dismisses North Korea’s proposal for a “Korean youth’s meeting for reunification” (September 7) as part of the North’s deceptive tactics and urges the North to show good faith - i.e. showing willingness toward denuclearization through its actions and becoming a responsible member of the international community (in a press briefing by the Ministry of Unification).
September 8
  • The East Asia Summit adopts a “Statement on Non-Proliferation” calling on North Korea to give up its nuclear program (at the 11th East Asia Summit).
September 9
  • North Korea conducts its fifth nuclear test at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site in Gilju-gun, North Hamgyong Province.
September 9
  • The ROK President strongly denounces North Korea’s fifth nuclear test and emphasizes that the South will step up its pressure on the North by whatever means to force the North to abandon its nuclear program (in an emergency meeting regarding North Korea’s fifth nuclear test).
September 9
  • The ROK government holds a National Security Council meeting chaired by the Prime Minister and announces a government statement.
  • Strongly condemns North Korea’s fifth nuclear test as a grave provocation that cannot be overlooked; and sternly urges the North to immediately dismantle its nuclear and missile programs in a complete, verifiable, and irreversible manner.
September 9
  • The ROK President calls a meeting to check security situations and discuss countermeasures against North Korea’s nuclear test.
September 9
  • The UN Security Council denounces North Korea’s fifth nuclear test (September 9) and emphasizes that it will immediately begin preparations to take further significant measures (in a press statement).
September 10
  • North Korea decides to change the objective of the 200-day battle to flood recovery in North Hamgyong Province (in an “Appeal to All the Party Members, Service Personnel of the Korean People’s Army (KPA) and Other People by the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK)).
September 10
  • North Korea harshly criticizes the ROK President’s remarks on the North (in a letter of warning by the Korean Council for Reconciliation and Cooperation (KCRC)).
September 11
  • In response to the KCRC’s criticism of the ROK President (September 10), the ROK government strongly condemns North Korea’s slandering of the head of state and its threatening of the South and the international community and points out that the North revealed its false perception by justifying its reckless provocations including its fifth nuclear test (in the government’s position on the letter of warning by the KCRC released by the Ministry of Unification).
September 12
  • The ROK President emphasizes that North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missiles pose a real threat to the South (in a meeting with the representatives of three ruling and opposition parties).
September 12
  • North Korea blasts the ROK President’s remarks on the North and argues that the North is “protected by its unity and robust self-defensive nuclear deterrence” (in a Q&A session with KCNA reporters by a spokesperson for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country of the DPRK (CPRC)).
September 13
  • In the face of the extreme nuclear threat posed by North Korea, the ROK President emphasizes that the South should respond to the North’s nuclear threat more effectively than before (in a Cabinet meeting).
September 13
  • Seoul and Washington agree to use every possible means to pressure Pyongyang in response to North Korea’s fifth nuclear test (in a joint press conference after a meeting between chief delegates to the Six-Party Talks from the ROK and the U.S.).
September 13
  • Seoul discusses countermeasures against North Korea’s nuclear test with Beijing and Moscow (in a series of telephone calls between the foreign ministers of the ROK, China, and Russia).
September 13
  • North Korea severely criticizes the ROK President and threatens to “turn Seoul into a sea of fire,” citing the President’s remarks on the North’s fifth nuclear test and the ROK government’s response plan (in a statement by a spokesperson for the Korean Asia-Pacific Peace Committee).
September 15
  • North Korea insists that it is ready to initiate attacks in response to the U.S.’s strategic bomber flight over the Korean Peninsula (September 13) (in a speech by Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho at a ministerial meeting of the 17th Non-Aligned Movement Summit).
September 17
  • North Korea emphasizes the legitimacy of its possessing nuclear weapons (in a speech by Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly Kim Yong Nam at the 17th Non-Aligned Movement Summit).
September 18
  • Foreign Ministers from the ROK, the U.S., and Japan announce a joint statement and discuss countermeasures against North Korea’s fifth nuclear test.
September 20
  • North Korea claims the successful ground test of a new satellite rocket engine (in a KCNA report).
September 20
  • UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urges North Korean leaders to fulfill their obligations to the North Korean people and the international community (in his speech at the opening ceremony of the 71st session of the General Assembly).
September 20
  • North Korea denounces the joint statement by the ROK-U.S.-Japanese foreign ministers and threatens that it “will take multiple, continual strong countermeasures” (in a Q&A session with KCNA reporters by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
September 21
  • The ROK National Assembly adopts a statement condemning North Korea’s fifth nuclear test and calling for the abandonment of its nuclear program.
September 21
  • The “Friends of the CTBT” Foreign Ministers’ meeting adopts a joint statement urging North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons and nuclear program.
September 22
  • The ROK President declares the current security situation to be the most grave ever and emphasizes that North Korea’s nuclear test was not due to the South and the international community refusing to engage in dialogue (in a chief secretary meeting).
September 22
  • The Unification Minister asserts that if we are to induce North Korea to give up its nuclear program, we must make North Korea realize that its determined development of nuclear weapons is reckless and wrong (in his congratulatory speech at the symposium of the Korea Institute for National Unification).
September 22
  • Seoul and Beijing share the need for swift and strong responses to North Korea’s nuclear test (in a meeting between chief delegates to the Six-Party Talk from the ROK and China).
September 22
  • Regarding the flight of U.S. long-range strategic bombers (September 21), North Korea threatens that “North Korea’ nuclear warheads will turn Seoul, where the Blue House (Cheongwadae) and reactionary ruling machines are based, into a heap of ashes” (in a statement by a spokesperson for the General Staff Department of the KPA)
September 22
  • North Korea condemns the ROK for using the North’s disaster as a cunning ploy to escalate confrontations (in a statement by a spokesperson for the Central Committee of the DPRK Red Cross Society).
September 23
  • Seoul and Beijing agree to adopt a strong UNSC resolution (in a meeting between chief delegates to the Six-Party Talks from the ROK and China).
September 23
  • As North Korea, which threatens peace on the Korean Peninsula and around the world, has made mention of turning Seoul into a heap of ashes, the ROK government points out the “sheer audacity of the thief,” warning North Korea to immediately desist from such talk and behavior (in a press release by the Ministry of National Defense).
September 23
  • In response to the statement by a spokesperson for the Central Committee of the DPRK Red Cross Society (September 22), the ROK government criticizes that North Korea is trying to gain assistance from the outside world through propaganda while not making efforts at all, arguing that such ambivalent attitude deserves criticism (in a regular briefing by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Unification).
September 23
  • North Korea advocates its nuclear armament and denounces the U.S. (in a keynote speech by Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho at the 71st session of the UN General Assembly).
September 28
  • The Center for North Korean Human Rights Documentation and Research under the Ministry of Unification opens.
September 29
  • One North Korean soldier defects to the South.
September 30
  • The ROK President emphasizes that the North Korean nuclear threat is like a dagger beneath one’s chin and that if it is not addressed immediately, it will someday do much damage to the people of the ROK and the U.S. (in a luncheon with USFK officials at the Blue House).
September 30
  • The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) unanimously adopts a resolution condemning North Korea’ nuclear test (at the 60th session of the IAEA General Conference).
September 30
  • The ROK government announces the final site for the deployment of THAAD (in a press release by the Ministry of National Defense).
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
October 1
  • The ROK President delivers a message to North Korea that if it does not give up the Byungjin Line (developing nuclear weapons and the economy simultaneously), the North will face international isolation and a deepening economic crisis (in her speech on the 68th anniversary of Armed Forces Day).
October 3
  • The ROK Prime Minister emphasizes that we need to open an era of genuine peace by addressing the North Korean nuclear issue (in his congratulatory speech on National Foundation Day).
October 3
  • North Korea harshly criticizes the ROK President’s speech on Armed Forces Day (in a Rodong Sinmun editorial).
October 4
  • The ROK government expresses strong regret over Rodong Sinmun’s criticism of the ROK President’s speech (October3) and calls on North Korea to improve the livelihoods of people in distress (in a press briefing by the Ministry of Unification).
October 6
  • MIKTA (Mexico, Indonesia, Republic of Korea, Turkey, and Australia) speakers adopt a joint statement condemning North Korea’s nuclear test (at the second MIKTA Speakers’ Consultation).
October 9
  • The U.S. confirms that it duly recognizes the North Korean threat and it is determined to stand with the ROK in addressing this threat, emphasizing that it is willing to use all possible means to pressure North Korea (in a statement released by U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power at the press conference at the U.S. Embassy in Korea).
October 10
  • The North Korean Human Rights Archives under the Ministry of Justice opens.
October 10
  • The ROK and the U.S. conduct the joint naval drill “Invincible Spirit 2016” (October 10-15).
October 11
  • The ROK President mentions that North Korean defectors’ successful settlement in South Korea can bring hope to the North Korean people and orders the reorganization of the support system to help North Korean defectors settle in South Korean society (at a Cabinet meeting).
October 13
  • The ROK President condemns the North Korean regime and sends a message to the North Korean people (in unification dialogue with overseas members of the National Unification Advisory Council).
October 15
  • North Korea fires a missile near an airbase in the northwestern city of Kusong, North Pyongan Province. * It is believed to be a Musudan missile, and the launch is presumed to have failed (by Joint Chiefs of Staff on October 16).
October 16
  • The ROK government strongly denounces North Korea’s mid-range ballistic missile launch (October 15) as a clear violation of UNSC resolutions, regardless of whether it was successful or not, and a grave threat to the peace and security of the Korean Peninsula and the international community (in a commentary by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
October 17
  • The UN Security Council adopts a press statement condemning North Korea’s missile launch (October 15).
October 19
  • Seoul and Washington reconfirm the U.S.’s commitment to provide extended deterrence for the ROK in response to the North Korean nuclear and missile threats (in a joint statement after a 2+2 meeting between ROK-U.S. defense and foreign affairs leaders).
October 20
  • Seoul and Washington agree to examine rotational deployment of U.S. strategic weapons on the Korean Peninsula and reconfirm the U.S.’s commitment to extended deterrence (in a joint statement at the 48th ROK-U.S. Security Consultative Meeting).
October 20
  • North Korea fires a missile near an airbase in the northwestern city of Kusong, North Pyongan Province. * It is believed to be a Musudan missile, and the launch is presumed to have failed (by Joint Chiefs of Staff on October 20).
October 20
  • The ROK government strongly denounces North Korea’s mid-range ballistic missile launch (October 20) as a clear violation of UNSC resolutions, regardless of whether it was successful or not, and a grave threat to the peace and security of the Korean Peninsula and the international community (in a commentary by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
October 20
  • North Korea argues that it “will launch more Juche satellites pursuant to the five-year plan for national aerospace development” (in a statement by a spokesperson for the National Aerospace Development Administration (NADA)).
October 20
  • Regarding the statement by a spokesperson for the NADA (October 20), the ROK government points out that North Korea’s satellite launch would constitute a clear violation of UNSC resolutions that prohibit any launch using ballistic missile technology, urging the North Korean authorities to comply with the resolutions reflecting the consensus of the international community (in a regular briefing by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
October 21
  • The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) calls on member countries to impose tougher financial sanctions on North Korea (in an official statement regarding North Korea at the plenary meeting in Paris on October 15-21).
October 23
  • North Korea maintains that the South did neither consult with Pyongyang nor informed the North of its stand to abstain from the UN vote on the North’s human rights regarding the allegations that Moon Jae-in, former head of the Minjoo Party of Korea, was involved in the process (in a Q&A session with KCNA reporters by a spokesperson for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country of the DPRK (CPRC)).
October 24
  • The ROK President reconfirms the South’s policy stance - sanctions and pressure on North Korea (in her speech at the National Assembly on the Government Proposal for FY 2017 Budget Plan and Fiscal Operations).
October 24
  • The ROK government dismisses the Q&A session with KCNA reporters by a spokesperson for the CPRC (October 23) as a one-sided argument meant to cause conflict in South Korean society, calling on the North to immediately desist from such behavior (in a regular briefing by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Unification).
October 24
  • The Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) announces a resolution that the inflow of missile technology and components into North Korea should be closely monitored (at the 30th plenary meeting of the MTCR).
October 27
  • Seoul, Washington, and Tokyo confirm that they will strengthen trilateral cooperation in imposition of sanctions on North Korea including unilateral sanctions (in a vice foreign ministerial meeting among the ROK, the U.S., and Japan).
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
November 1
  • Seoul and Washington hold a discussion on the overall North Korean issues including the North Korean nuclear issue (in a meeting between the chief delegates to the Six-Party Talks from the ROK and the U.S., in Seoul).
November 10
  • The ROK President assesses the ROK-U.S. alliance and asks for close bilateral cooperation in order to restrain and sternly respond to the North’s attempted provocations while pointing out that the North Korean nuclear issue is the greatest threat to both countries (in a telephone call with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump).
November 11
  • The number of North Korean defectors in the ROK exceeds 30,000 (30,005).
November 14
  • The Unification Minister emphasizes that Seoul and Washington should make peaceful unification on the Korean Peninsula based on a strong ROK-U.S. alliance their common goal in policy on North Korea, and will continue to work together to achieve sustainable peace on the Korean Peninsula, as well as the denuclearization and change of the North (in his keynote speech at Korea Global Forum 2016).
November 17
  • North Korea condemns the South’s signing of a preliminary version of the ROK-Japan General Security of Military Information Agreement as “an anti-national act” (in a statement by a spokesperson for the Korean Asia-Pacific Peace Committee).
November 17
  • North Korea rejects the UN human rights resolution against North Korea adopted on November 15 by the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly (in a press release by North Korea’s Permanent Representative to the U.N.).
November 21
  • North Korea declares that it has decided to pursue nuclear armament for self-defense in response to the U.S.’s hostile policy toward Pyongyang and nuclear threat, calling for the withdrawal of such policies toward the DPRK (in a memorandum by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
November 25
  • MIKTA (Mexico, Indonesia, Republic of Korea, Turkey, and Australia) denounces North Korea’s nuclear test and ballistic missile launch as violations of international obligations and as acts that undermine the international order based on the UN Charter (in a joint statement at the 8th meeting of MIKTA Foreign Ministers).
November 25
  • North Korea condemns the signing of the General Security of Military Information Agreement between South Korea and Japan as “an unacceptable hostile act” and threatens that it will bolster its defensive military posture based on nuclear strike capability (in a statement by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
November 27
  • The ROK government announces its new “social inclusion” policy for North Korean defectors to help them firmly settle in the South (in a press release by the Ministry of Unification). 1) Facilitating settlement (running a course for life and career planning, increasing funding for settlement and housing support, etc.) 2) Increasing employment (increasing the employment of North Korean defectors in the public sector, improving skills training, reforming the asset-building system, and considering workplaces in housing support) 3) Strengthening education support (offering dedicated coordinators and mentors, running leadership training programs and preliminary college courses, and rendering support for children born in a third country) 4) Strengthening cooperation system (reorganizing the Consultative Council to Deal with Dislocated North Koreans, making the Hana Center a center for North Korean defectors, and setting up an online portal for North Korean defectors) 5) Raising awareness and strengthening communication (building the Unification Cultural Center and the Unification Food Culture Town, implementing one-to-one sponsorships, etc.)
November 29
  • The Center for North Korean Human Rights Records conducts a pilot survey of North Korean defectors on the human rights situation in North Korea.
November 30
  • The UN Security Council adopts Resolution 2321 condemning North Korea’s 5th nuclear test (September 9). 1) Imposing new sanctions and strengthening current sanctions (making them compulsory and deleting exceptions) 2) Warning North Korea that it may lose its UN membership for the first time 3) Directing attention to the overseas North Korean workers issue, etc.
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
December 1
  • Seoul and Washington assess their response to the threat posed by North Korean submarines and discuss ways to improve ROK-U.S. combat capability (in a meeting of the ROK-U.S. ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare) Working Group, on December 1-2).
December 1
  • Kim Jong Un provides field guidance for the artillery drill of the KPA targeting Baengnyeong Island, Yeonpyeong Island, and Seoul (in the coastal area in Wonsan, Kangwon Province).
December 1
  • North Korea condemns the UNSC’s adoption of Resolution 2321 (November 30) (in a statement by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
December 2
  • The ROK government announces unilateral sanctions on North Korea. 1) Expanding the number of entities and individuals subject to sanctions (35 entities and 36 individuals) 2) Toughening maritime sanctions (prohibiting any ships that have traveled to the North within the past one year, an extension from the previous 180 days, from entering South Korean ports) 3) Increasing surveillance on importation of North Korean products (blocking textiles manufactured in the North and compiling a submarine watch-list to counter the North's SLBM capabilities, etc.) 4) Prohibiting blacklisted individuals from entering the South (prohibiting the entry of foreigners subject to the ROK government’s unilateral sanctions and prohibiting the re-entry of foreign missile and nuclear experts staying in the South if their visits to North Korea were deemed to threaten South Korean national interests) * December 2. The U.S. imposes unilateral sanctions on 7 individuals and 16 entities that are involved with the North’s nuclear and missile development (the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Department of the Treasury). Japan prepares a proposal to strengthen its own sanctions against North Korea at the cabinet meeting on the abduction of Japanese citizens by North Korea (in a regular briefing by Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga).
December 2
  • North Korea denounces the UNSC’s adoption of Resolution 2321 (November 30) (in a statement by the Korean Asia-Pacific Peace Committee).
December 5
  • The ROK Minister of Foreign Affairs repeatedly emphasizes the seriousness of the North Korean nuclear issue to the international community (in his opening speech at the IAEA International Conference on Nuclear Security).
December 7
  • The Unification Minister emphasizes that the government has continued and will continue the Trust-Building Process on the Korean Peninsula (in a special lecture at the joint meeting of the Steering and Standing Committees of the National Unification Advisory Council).
December 7
  • The UN Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner (OHCHR) calls for the resolution of the separated family issue on the Korean Peninsula (in a report published).
December 8
  • The ROK government compiles a watch-list of 60 submarine component materials to prevent North Korea from developing submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) (in a press release by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
December 9
  • The Unification Minister emphasizes that the efforts to achieve peace and unification should continue (in a policy briefing session for foreign ambassadors to the Republic of Korea).
December 9
  • Seoul and Beijing agree to faithfully fulfill the UNSC’s new resolution on North Korea regarding the North Korean nuclear issue (in a meeting between the chief delegates to the Six-Party Talks from the ROK and China, in Beijing).
December 9
  • The UN Security Council discusses the North Korean human rights situation as an official agenda.
December 9
  • North Korea rejects the OHCHR’s report calling for the speedy resolution of the separated family issue (December 7) and shifts the responsibility for the suspension in family reunions to the South, arguing that the South kidnapped North Korean restaurant workers in China (in a Q&A session with KCNA reporters by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
December 10
  • The ROK government declares that the meeting of the UN Security Council (December 9) laid the foundation for regular discussions on the North Korean human rights issue at the UNSC and welcomes the results (in a commentary by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
December 11
  • Kim Jong Un provides field guidance for the combat drill of the special operation battalion of KPA Unit 525 (in a report by the KCNA).
December 11
  • The ROK Navy and Coast Guard rescue North Korean ships in Korea’s exclusive economic zone (December 11-12).
December 12
  • The ROK government strongly denounces the North’s combat drill targeting Cheongwadae (in a regular briefing by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Unification).
December 13
  • The ROK government conducts simulation training across agencies in response to the North’s GPS jamming. *Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning; Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport; Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, etc.
December 13
  • Seoul, Washington, and Tokyo agree to further strengthen cooperation to faithfully fulfill UNSC Resolution 2321 and to toughen their unilateral sanctions on North Korea (in a joint press conference on the occasion of a meeting between the chief delegates to the Six-Party Talks from the ROK, the U.S., and Japan).
December 13
  • North Korea asserts that the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula is a product of the U.S.’s hostile policy toward the North (in an urgent press conference by North Korea’s Permanent Representative to the U.N.).
December 15
  • The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) strongly condemns North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs and provocative acts (in a statement adopted at a special meeting on the North Korean nuclear issue held by the North Atlantic Council).
December 18
  • The Unification Minister emphasizes that the government will strive to denuclearize the North while maintaining its policy toward North Korea (in a press conference with correspondents accredited to the Ministry).
December 19
  • The ROK government repatriates eight North Korean fishermen and sends two ships back to the North in open waters on the Northern Limit Line in the East Sea.
December 19
  • The UN General Assembly adopts a resolution recommending that the North Korean human rights situation be referred to the International Criminal Court and that those who are responsible for human rights abuses be punished.
December 20
  • Seoul and Washington discuss ways to bolster their military deterrence against and diplomatic pressure and sanctions on North Korea (at the first meeting of the Korea-U.S. Extended Deterrence Strategy and Consultation Group, Washington D.C.).
December 23
  • Kim Jong Un explains the international political situation, including the situation in Northeast Asia and in South Korea, and emphasizes the justification for the Byungjin line (in his speech at the opening ceremony of the First Conference of Chairpersons of the Primary Committees of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK))
December 26
  • The ROK military installs 20 new stationary loudspeakers along the inter-Korean border.
December 27
  • North Korea denounces the first meeting of the Korea-U.S. Extended Deterrence Strategy and Consultation Group (December 20) as a provocative move and emphasizes that it will “hold up the Byungjin line and strengthen its nuclear strike force in quality and in quantity” (in a Q&A session with KCNA reporters by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
January 1
  • North Korea claims that its preparations for the test-firing of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) have reached the final stage and criticizes ROK President Park by name (in Kim Jong Un’s New Year’s Speech).
January 1
  • Regarding the North’s claim that its preparations for the test-firing of an ICBM have reached the final stage (January 1), the ROK government strongly condemns and urges North Korea to move toward denuclearization in good faith (in a commentary on Kim Jong Un’s New Year’s Speech by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Unification).
January 4
  • The ministries involved in foreign affairs and security present the annual policy reports for 2017 at a joint reporting session.
  • The Ministry of Unification’s reporting addresses how to achieve “the denuclearization of North Korea and the establishment of a foundation for peaceful unification by inducing the North to change in the right direction.”
January 8
  • North Korea threatens that the ICBM will be launched anytime and anywhere determined by the supreme headquarters of the DPRK (in a Q&A session with KCNA reporters by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
January 11
  • The Center for North Korean Human Rights Records holds the first advisory meeting after an appointment ceremony for the Advisory Group.
  • The Advisory Group consists of academics, legal professionals, human rights activists for North Korea, research designers, and psychotherapists.
January 11
  • North Korea reaffirms its position that the ICBM will be launched anytime and anywhere determined by the supreme headquarters of the DPRK (in an interview with Ria Novosti by North Korean Ambassador to Russia Kim Hyung Jun).
January 12
  • North Korea shifts the responsibility for the strain in inter-Korean relations to the ROK government (in a statement by a spokesperson for the Korean Council for Reconciliation and Cooperation).
January 13
  • The ROK government expresses regret over the statement by a spokesperson for the Korean Council for Reconciliation and Cooperation (January 12) (in a regular briefing by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Unification).
January 17
  • cting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn asks the diplomats to work with the international community to force North Korea to change its calculus through pressure and sanctions on the North (at a luncheon meeting with the representatives of the diplomatic corps in South Korea, in Seoul).
January 20
  • The ROK, the US, and Japan carry out anti-missile drills to build up capabilities to detect and track North Korea’s ballistic missiles on January 20-22.
January 22
  • The ROK and the US conduct a first run of the high-level channel between the Blue House and the White House and confirm that both sides share the perception that addressing the North Korean nuclear issue is an urgent task (in a telephone call between National Security Office chief Kim Kwan-jin and National Security Advisor Michael Flynn).
January 23
  • The Unification Minister emphasizes that the denuclearization of North Korea should be addressed from the perspective of peaceful unification (in a contribution to Seoul Shinmun).
January 25
  • North Korea claims that it can launch an ICBM anytime and anywhere and reaffirms the North Korean authorities’ determination to pursue its nuclear and missile program and to test-fire missiles (in an interview with NBC News by Choe Kang Il, the deputy director general for North American affairs at North Korea's Foreign Ministry).
January 30
  • Seoul and Washington discuss ways to strengthen the ROK-US alliance and resolve the North Korean nuclear issue (in a telephone call between acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn and US President Donald Trump).
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
February 1
  • North Korea threatens South Korea regarding the ROK-US joint military exercises and asks the South to consider its proposal to improve inter-Korean relations (in a statement by a spokesperson for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country of the DPRK (CPRC).
February 2
  • The ROK government strongly condemns the North’s threat against the South (February 1) for distorting the truth of the annual ROK-US joint military drills and mentioning nuclear strike capability and preemptive attacks (in a regular briefing by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Unification).
February 7
  • Seoul and Washington define the North Korean nuclear issue as an “imminent threat” and agree to take common approaches (in a telephone call between the Foreign Minister of the ROK and the US Secretary of State).
February 12
  • North Korea fires a ballistic missile from Panghyon, North Pyongan Province.
February 12
  • The Blue House discusses ways to strongly respond to the North’s provocations in cooperation with the international community regarding North Korea’s ballistic missile launch (February 12) (at a meeting of the Standing Committee of the National Security Council).
February 12
  • The ROK government declares North Korea’s ballistic missile launch to be a violation of the UN Security Council resolutions and a threat to the peace and security of the Korean Peninsula and the international community (in a statement on North Korea’s ballistic missile launch by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
February 13
  • The ROK Coast Guard finds a drifting North Korean ship and rescues five crewmen (in a regular briefing by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Unification on February 15).
February 13
  • Kim Jong Nam is killed in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
February 15
  • The ROK government checks the developments in North Korea and any provocative moves regarding the death of Kim Jong Nam and discusses the background for his death (at a meeting of the Standing Committee of the National Security Council).
February 16
  • Seoul and Washington exchange opinions on mutual concerns including the ROK-US alliance, the North Korea and North Korean nuclear issues, and regional circumstances, and discuss specific ways to improve policy coordination between the ROK and the US (at a meeting between the Foreign Minister of the ROK and the US Secretary of State in Bonn, Germany).
February 16
  • Seoul, Washington, and Tokyo share the perception that the North Korean nuclear threat is urgent and serious, discuss how to apply full pressure and sanctions on North Korea to change the North’s calculus, and adopt a joint statement on the nuclear situation in North Korea (at a meeting between the foreign ministers of the ROK and Japan and the Secretary of State of the US in Bonn, Germany).
February 17
  • North Korea expresses its dissatisfaction with the autopsy of Kim Jong Nam’s body and demands the immediate handover of the body (in a press conference by the North Korean Ambassador to Malaysia).
February 18
  • The ROK Foreign Minister calls on the international community to be united and to take special measures in order to address the North Korean nuclear issue (in a keynote speech at the special session on the Korean Peninsula of the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany).
February 18
  • The ROK government repatriates five crewmen rescued on the East Sea on February 13 (via Panmunjeom).
February 19
  • The ROK government announces its position on the murder of Kim Jong Nam that many circumstances indicate that the man killed is definitely Kim and that North Korea was behind the incident (in a commentary on Malaysia’s announcement of criminal investigation into the murder of Kim Jong Nam by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Unification).
February 20
  • The ROK government discusses measures regarding the murder of Kim Jong Nam (at a meeting of the Standing Committee of the National Security Council).
February 20
  • North Korea refutes the allegation that it was behind the death of Kim Jong Nam, asserting that it cannot believe the investigation findings by the Malaysian police (in a press conference by the North Korean Ambassador to Malaysia).
February 23
  • North Korea states that the North Korean resident (Kim Jong Nam) “died of a heart attack” and denies that North Korea masterminded the death (in a statement by a spokesperson for the Korean Jurists Committee).
February 23
  • The ROK government refutes the North’s claim that the death of Kim Jong Nam was a political scheme by South Korea (February 23) as farfetched sophistry (in a regular briefing by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Unification).
February 25
  • The Unification Minister delivers a message that North Korea can survive only if it changes while emphasizing that the ROK, China, and Japan can continue to coexist only if they cooperate with each other (in a congratulatory speech at a symposium of the Korean Political Science Association).
February 27
  • In response to the Malaysian government’s announcement that the VX nerve agent was used in the murder of Kim Jong Nam, the ROK government strongly condemns the use of such a chemical weapon against a civilian and emphasizes that it will take a coordinated response with the international community (in a regular briefing by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Unification).
February 27
  • The Unification Minister underscores that we have to make North Korea realize that it cannot survive by a reign of terror (in a congratulatory speech at the Biblical Unification Forum for National Unity).
February 27
  • The Foreign Minister emphasizes that the international community should focus on holding the human rights violators in North Korea responsible (in a keynote speech in a high-level segment of the 34th session of the UN Human Rights Council).
February 28
  • The Foreign Minister urges the international community to take stern response to address the North Korean weapons of mass destruction issue (in a keynote speech at a high-level session of the Geneva Disarmament Conference in Geneva, Switzerland).
February 28
  • Seoul, Washington, and Tokyo discuss various matters including the murder of Kim Jong Nam, North Korea’s further provocations, and pressure and sanctions on North Korea (in a meeting between the chief delegates to the Six-Party Talks from the ROK, the US, and Japan, in Washington D.C.).
February 28
  • North Korea asserts that it has neither used nor possessed chemical weapons and criticizes the ROK government for denouncing the North’s chemical weapons threat and for suggesting that Pyongyang could lose its UN seat because of the use of chemical weapons, saying that “it is a nasty and ridiculous argument” (at the UN Disarmament Conference in Geneva, Switzerland).
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
March 1
  • Acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn reaffirms the government’s keynote policy of applying full pressure and sanctions on North Korea (in a speech marking the March 1st Independence Movement).
March 1
  • The ROK and the US carry out joint military exercises (March 1-April 30).
March 1
  • North Korea criticizes the ROK-US joint military drills and threatens to take an ultra-hardline countermeasure (in a statement by a spokesperson for the General Staff Department of the Korean People’s Army (KPA)
March 2
  • Regarding the statement by a spokesperson for the General Staff Department of the KPA (March 1), the ROK military emphasizes that if North Korea carries out any provocation, the South will not hesitate to mete out stern punishment (in a regular briefing by the Chief of Public Affairs of the Joint Chiefs of Staff).
March 3
  • Seoul and Beijing discuss the situation on the Korean Peninsula and the North Korea and North Korean nuclear issues (in a telephone call between the chief delegates to the Six-Party Talks from the ROK and China).
March 3
  • North Korea strongly criticizes the ROK President and instigates an anti-government campaign (in a statement by a spokesperson for the Policy Department of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country of the DPRK (CPRC)
March 5
  • Regarding the statement by a spokesperson for the Policy Department of the CPRC (March 3), the ROK government condemns the North’s political intervention (the Unification Ministry’s position).
March 6
  • North Korea fires four ballistic missiles (confirmed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in a regular briefing by the Ministry of National Defense).
March 6
  • The ROK government declares North Korea’s ballistic missile launch (March 6) to be a violation of the UN Security Council resolutions and a threat to the peace and security of the Korean Peninsula and the international community and strongly condemns the North (in a statement on North Korea’s ballistic missile launch by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
March 19
  • North Korea makes public its ground test of a new high-power rocket engine (in a KCNA report).
March 26
  • North Korea denounces the US Special Forces’ engagement in the ROK-US joint military exercises (in a warming by a spokesperson for the General Staff Department of the KPA).
March 26
  • Regarding the warning by a spokesperson for the General Staff Department of the KPA, the ROK military warns that it will sternly punish the North for any provocation and lead the North Korean regime to self-destruction (the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s position).
March 27
  • North Korea distorts and criticizes the ROK government’s policy including the Unification Minister’s remarks on North Korea (in a statement by a spokesperson for the Policy Department of the CPRC).
March 27
  • Regarding the statement by a spokesperson for the Policy Department of the CPRC (March 27), the ROK government urges the North to refrain from making distorted claims and criticism and to strive to resolve the problems (in a regular briefing by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Unification).
March 28
  • The ROK government approves the report on the North Korean national ice hockey team’s visit to South Korea to participate in the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey Women's World Championship (Ministry of Unification).
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
April 1
  • North Korea condemns South Korea regarding the college admission of the North Korean restaurant workers who defected to the South and calls on the South to return the workers to the North (in a statement by a spokesperson for the Central Committee of the Red Cross Society).
April 1
  • Regarding the North’s claim that the North Korean workers were “kidnapped” by the South (April 1), the ROK government confirms that they defected to South Korea by their own free will and urges the North to stop falsely claiming that the group defection was a forced kidnapping (in a regular briefing by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Unification).
April 5
  • The ROK government discusses countermeasures against the North’s ballistic missile launch (April 5) (at a meeting of the Standing Committee of the National Security Council).
April 5
  • The ROK government condemns in the strongest terms the North’s missile launch (April 5) and points out that North Korea must face up to the reality that its reckless provocations will eventually lead to its self-destruction (in a commentary on North Korea’s ballistic missile launch by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
April 5
  • Regarding the North’s missile launch (April 5), the ROK military emphasizes that it will continue to strengthen its nuclear and missile deterrence capability against North Korea, warning that North Korea’s provocations will bring upon itself its downfall (the ROK military’s position on North Korea’s ballistic missile launch by the Joint Chiefs of Staff).
April 6
  • A match between South and North Korea is held for the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey Women's World Championship (Gangneung).
April 7
  • South and North Korea hold a qualifying match for the 2018 AFC Women's Asian Cup (Pyongyang).
April 14
  • North Korea threatens that it would burn the USFK bases and the Blue House to the ground (in a statement by a spokesperson for the General Staff Department of the KPA).
April 14
  • Regarding the statement by a spokesperson for the General Staff Department of the KPA (April 14), the ROK military warns that if the North continues to carry out provocations, the ROK and the US will sternly punish North Korea based on the strong alliance, leading the North Korean regime to collapse (the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s position).
April 15
  • North Korea holds a military parade to mark the 105th birthday of founding father Kim Il Sung.
April 16
  • The ROK government analyzes the situation regarding the North’s missile launch (April 16) and discusses countermeasures (at a meeting of the Standing Committee of the National Security Council).
April 16
  • The ROK government condemns North Korea for launching a ballistic missile after showing many different kinds of attack missiles at a military parade, adding that it was to threaten the entire world, and repeats its warning that if the North perpetrates a serious provocation, a punitive measure that the North Korean regime finds difficult to endure will follow (in a commentary by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
April 25
  • North Korea conducts a live-fire drill to mark the 85th anniversary of the founding of the Korean People’s Army (KPA).
April 26
  • The ROK military carries out the 2017 Integrated Live Fire Exercise.
April 29
  • The ROK government strongly condemns North Korea’s ballistic missile launch (April 29) and warns that if it continues to refuse to denuclearize itself, the North will face a stern punitive measure (in a commentary by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
April 29
  • Regarding the North’s ballistic missile launch (April 29), the ROK military repeats its warning against the North’s continued provocations and emphasizes that if it continues to carry out provocations, the North will pay a corresponding price (the ROK military’s position on North Korea’s ballistic missile launch by the Joint Chiefs of Staff).
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
May 11
  • The North Korean media covers the election of Moon Jae-in as the 19th President of the Republic of Korea.
May 14
  • The ROK government holds a meeting of the Standing Committee of the National Security Council regarding the North’s ballistic missile launch (May 14).
May 14
  • The ROK government strongly condemns North Korea’s ballistic missile launch and repeatedly calls on the North to desist from further provocations and to come out to the forum for dialogue on denuclearization (in a statement on North Korea’s ballistic missile launch).
May 14
  • The Joint Chiefs of Staff of South Korea issues a strong warning on the North’s reckless provocations regarding the ballistic missile launch and urges North Korea to immediately stop its nuclear and missile development program (the ROK military’s position on North Korea’s ballistic missile launch).
May 15
  • North Korea emphasizes that the new ROK administration should respect and fully implement the agreements between the two Koreas, and argues that its ballistic missile launch is part of the process of carrying out the Byungjin line - developing nuclear weapons and the economy simultaneously (in a press conference with foreign journalists by the North Korean embassy in Beijing).
May 15
  • The ROK government states that the new administration will carry on the previous administrations’ initiatives in inter-Korean relations and emphasizes that both South and North Korea should respect and implement them (in a regular briefing by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Unification).
May 18
  • North Korea denounces the ROK government’s response to its ballistic missile launch (in a statement by a spokesperson for the Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee).
May 19
  • The ROK government emphasizes that North Korea should respond to the efforts of South Korea and the international community to achieve peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and to improve inter-Korean relations (in a regular briefing by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Unification).
May 21
  • The ROK government holds a meeting of the Standing Committee of the National Security Council regarding the North’s ballistic missile launch (May 21).
May 21
  • The ROK government strongly condemns North Korea’s provocations and calls on the North to desist from all provocative acts, which violate the UN Security Council resolutions, and to take the path of denuclearization (in a statement on North Korea’s ballistic missile launch by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
May 22
  • The ROK government states that it will strongly respond to the North’s provocations and emphasizes that, since it is not desirable to sever inter-Korean relations, it will flexibly review major issues in inter-Korean relations within the scope that does not undermine the sanctions framework of the international community (in a regular briefing by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Unification).
May 26
  • The ROK government accepts the report on contact with North Korean residents from the Korean Sharing Movement, a civic organization (the Ministry of Unification).
May 27
  • The ROK Coast Guard finds two North Korean boats adrift and rescues six fishermen.
May 29
  • The ROK government holds a meeting of the Standing Committee of the National Security Council regarding the North’s ballistic missile launch (May 29).
May 29
  • The ROK government harshly denounces North Korea’s ballistic missile launch and calls on the North to desist from further provocations and to immediately take the path of denuclearization (in statement on North Korea’s ballistic missile launch by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
May 29
  • The Joint Chiefs of Staff of South Korea issues a strong warning on the North’s continued provocations and once again urges the North to immediately desist from all acts that create tensions and undermine security on the Korean Peninsula (the ROK military’s position on North Korea’s ballistic missile launch).
May 31
  • The ROK government accepts the report on contact with North Korean residents from the South Korean Committee for Implementation of the June 15 Joint Declaration (the Ministry of Unification).
May 31
  • The ROK government repatriates the six North Korean fishermen rescued on May 27.
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
June 1
  • The ROK President states that a peaceful Korean Peninsula is no longer a dream and emphasizes that he will pioneer a major breakthrough for peace on the Korean Peninsula (in a congratulatory video message for the 12th Jeju Forum).
June 7
  • The ROK government reaffirms that its policies to improve inter-Korean relations including those for promoting exchange between civic organizations from South and North Korea and rendering humanitarian support to the North haven’t changed, and calls on the North to respond to the efforts of South Korean civic organizations to visit the North (in a regular briefing by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Unification).
June 8
  • The ROK government discusses countermeasures against the North’s provocations including the test-firing of missiles (at a plenary meeting of the National Security Council presided over by the President).
June 9
  • The ROK government repatriates the North Korean fishermen rescued on June 2-3.
June 14
  • North Korea demands that the ROK government take measures to ease military tensions as soon as possible on the occasion of the 17th anniversary of the June 15 Joint Declaration (in a statement by a spokesperson for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country of the DPRK).
June 15
  • The ROK President makes it clear that the agreements between South and North Korea are extremely important and must be respected by the new administration, emphasizes that if the North makes the decision to give up its nuclear program, the South will actively help the North, and urges it to embrace this suggestion (in a congratulatory speech to mark the 17th anniversary of the June 15 Joint Declaration at the Kim Dae Jung Peace Center).
June 16
  • The ROK government emphasizes that both South and North Korea should respect and implement the June 15 Joint Declaration so as to uphold the spirit of reconciliation, cooperation, and peace on the Korean Peninsula (in a commentary by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Unification).
June 21
  • North Korea condemns South Korea regarding the ROK President’s congratulatory message to mark the 17th anniversary of the June 15 Joint Declaration (June 15) (in a Q&A session with KCNA reporters by a spokesperson for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country of the DPRK).
June 22
  • Regarding the Q&A session with KCNA reporters by a spokesperson for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country of the DPRK (June 21), the ROK government calls on the North to recognize the international consensus that the North should desist from further nuclear and missile provocations and to respond to the efforts of South Korea and the international community to achieve peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and develop inter-Korean relations (the Ministry of Unification).
June 23
  • The North Korea-led International Taekwondo Federation’s demonstration team visits South Korea (June 23 - July 1, the World Taekwondo Federation World Taekwondo Championships in Muju).
June 24
  • The ROK President invites North Korea to take part in the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics, and proposes forming a joint team between the two Koreas and organizing a joint entrance at the opening ceremony of the Games (in a congratulatory message at the 2017 WTF World Taekwondo Championships in Muju).
June 28
  • North Korea claims that the previous ROK administration plotted to kill the supreme leadership of North Korea, declares that it would subject those responsible for the terrorist attempt to capital punishment, and demands that the ROK government hand over those involved in the terrorist attempt (in a joint statement by the Ministry of State Security, the Ministry of People’s Security, and the Central Public Prosecutors Office).
June 29
  • Regarding the joint statement by the Ministry of State Security, the Ministry of People’s Security, and the Central Public Prosecutors Office (June 28), the ROK government dismisses the claim as far-fetched and expresses regret over the North’s threatening words against South Korean people (the Ministry of Unification).
June 29
  • The ROK government repatriates the North Korean boat and fishermen rescued on June 23.
June 30
  • South Korea and the US reaffirm that resolution of the nuclear issue is a top priority for both countries and agree that the door to dialogue with the DPRK remains open under the right circumstances while exerting maximum pressure on North Korea to return to credible negotiations on denuclearization (in a joint statement between the Republic of Korea and the US).
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
July 4
  • The ROK government holds a meeting of the Standing Committee of the National Security Council regarding the North’s ballistic missile launch (July 4)
July 4
  • The ROK government strongly condemns North Korea’s ballistic missile launch (July 4) and calls on the North to immediately desist from further provocations and to come out to the forum for dialogue on denuclearization (in a statement on North Korea’s ballistic missile launch by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
July 4
  • The Joint Chiefs of Staff of South Korea announces that it is rigorously analyzing North Korea’s argument for the “successful ICBM launch,” strongly denounces the North’s ballistic missile launch, and sternly urges the North to immediately desist from those acts that create tension and anxiety on the Korean Peninsula and in the international community (the ROK military’s position on North Korea’s ballistic missile launch).
July 5
  • The ROK and US military stage a joint ballistic missile exercise in response to the latest missile launch by North Korea.
July 6
  • South Korean President Moon Jae-in announces the Berlin Initiative.
    • (Five policy directions) △ Seek to establish lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula, rather than achieving unification in the immediate future; △ Pursue the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a way that guarantees the security of the North Korean regime; △ Establish a permanent peace structure on the Korean Peninsula; △ Work towards drawing a new economic map on the Korean Peninsula; and △ Consistently pursue nonpolitical exchange and cooperation in separation from the political and military situation
    • (Proposals to North Korea) △ Resume the family reunions between the separated families and relatives on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the October 4 Declaration; △ Make the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics an “Olympics of Peace” with the participation of the North; △ Stop all acts of hostility that escalate military tensions on the Military Demarcation Line on the occasion of the 64th anniversary of the Armistice Agreement on July 27; and △ Resume inter-Korean dialogue and contact to establish peace on the Korean Peninsula and South-North cooperation
July 17
  • In follow-up to the Berlin Initiative, the Korean Red Cross offers to hold Red Cross talks on August 1 at the Peace House on the South’s side of Panmunjeom (in a proposal by the acting president of the Korean Red Cross to hold inter-Korean Red Cross talks on the reunions of separated families).
July 17
  • In follow-up to the Berlin Initiative, the ROK government proposes military talks with North Korea on July 21 at Tongilgak on the North’s side of Panmunjeom (in a proposal by the Vice Minister of National Defense to hold inter-Korean military talks to stop all acts of hostility).
July 17
  • The ROK government explains its policy stance on North Korea and urges the North to respond to the South’s proposals regarding the Berlin Initiative (in an announcement by the Minister of Unification concerning follow-up measures to the Berlin Initiative).
July 21
  • The ROK government repeatedly calls on the North to come to the dialogue table regarding the proposal for inter-Korean military talks (Ministry of National Defense’s position regarding the proposal for the inter-Korean military authority talks).
July 29
  • The ROK government holds a meeting of the Standing Committee of the National Security Council regarding the North’s ballistic missile launch (July 28).
July 29
  • The ROK government strongly condemns North Korea’s launch of ICBM-level missiles (July 28) and calls on the North to accede to the South’s proposals for establishing peace and achieving denuclearization as follow-up measures to the Berlin Initiative (in a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on North Korea’s launch of ICBM-level missiles).
July 29
  • The ROK and US military carry out a combined ballistic missile drill in response to North Korea’s launch of ICBM-level missiles.
July 29
  • The ROK government strongly denounces North Korea’s launch of ICBM-level missiles (July 28) and warns that South Korea and the US will take strong action against the North’s missile provocations, including deployment of more strategic assets (the ROK military’s position stated by the Minister of National Defense on North Korea’s launch of ICBM-level missiles).
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
August 5
  • The South and North Korean Foreign Ministers have a meeting in Manila for the 24th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF).
August 5
  • The UN Security Council adopts Resolution 2371 in response to North Korea’s ballistic missile provocations (perpetrated on July 4 and July 28).
August 7
  • North Korea denounces UNSC Resolution 2371 as “a product of the US heinous moves to stifle the DPRK,” “a flagrant infringement upon its sovereignty,” and “an open challenge to it,” and “completely rejects the resolution and threatens to retaliate against it one thousand times” (in a statement by the DPRK government).
August 8
  • North Korea condemns the US’s rhetoric about “military options” and the US’s plan to deploy strategic assets on the Korean Peninsula, and threatens a military response (in a statement by a spokesperson for the General Staff Department of the Korean People’s Army (KPA)).
August 10
  • The Joint Chiefs of Staff announces a statement condemning North Korea’s threat to turn South Korea and the US into “a sea of fire.
August 11
  • The ROK government repatriates the North Korean resident rescued in the West Sea (via Panmunjeom).
August 15
  • The ROK President urges North Korea to stop provocations immediately and come forward for dialogue, and proposes to the North again that both Koreas start with easy tasks first including reunions of separated families and making the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games a good opportunity for inter-Korean dialogue (in his congratulatory speech for the 72nd anniversary of national liberation).
August 17
  • The ROK President says that North Korea is getting closer to the threshold of the red line and that conditions for dialogue can be created when North Korea desists from further provocations at the very least (in a press conference marking his first 100 days in office).
August 21-31
  • The ROK and the US conduct Ulchi-Freedom Guardian (UFG) military exercises from August 21 to 31.
August 22
  • North Korea blasts the UFG as “a war rehearsal for invading North Korea” (in a statement by a spokesperson for the Panmunjom mission of the KPA).
August 26
  • North Korea fires three short-range ballistic missiles (SRBM) into the East Sea.
August 29
  • North Korea fires an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM).
August 29
  • The ROK government condemns North Korea’s ballistic missile launch (in a statement on North Korea’s ballistic missile launch by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
August 29
  • The Joint Chiefs of Staff announces a statement concerning North Korea’s missile launch.
August 30
  • The UN Security Council unanimously adopts a statement condemning North Korea’s missile launch.
August 31
  • North Korea denounces South Korean reporters and newspapers for committing a hideous crime of seriously insulting the dignity of the DPRK and threatens that those who insulted the dignity of the DPRK for anti-state purposes shall be “punished any moment and at any place without going through any additional procedures” (in a statement by a spokesperson for the DPRK Central Court).
August 31
  • Regarding the statement by a spokesperson for the DPRK Central Court (August 31), the ROK government strongly condemns North Korea’s threats to reporting activities of South Korean journalists (in a statement by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Unification).
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
September 3
  • North Korea conducts its sixth nuclear test in the Punggye-ri area in Kilju County, North Hamgyong Province (A 5.7 magnitude artificial earthquake was detected).
September 3
  • The ROK government “will not tolerate North Korea advancing its nuclear and missile programs” (in a briefing by the chief of the National Security Office regarding the results of a National Security Council meeting)./li>
September 4
  • Seoul and Washington agree to maximize pressure on North Korea by all possible means and to lift the limits on South Korea’s missile payloads under the ROK-US missile guidelines (in a telephone call between the presidents of the ROK and the US).
September 7
  • ROK President Moon Jae-in says that “If it sees Northeast Asian countries succeed in economic cooperation, North Korea will realize that its participation is in its best interests” (in his keynote speech at the third Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok).
September 11
  • North Korea condemns the UN Security Council’s moves to adopt additional sanctions on the North and issues threats (in a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
  • - “The next actions we will take will make the US face unprecedented suffering.”
September 11
  • The UN Security Council unanimously adopts Resolution 2375 imposing new sanctions on North Korea.
September 13
  • North Korea expresses its tough stance on UNSC Resolution 2375 (in a press release by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
  • - “The adoption of another illegal and evil ‘resolution on sanctions’ served as an occasion for the DPRK to verify that the road it chose to go down was absolutely right and to strengthen its resolve to follow this road at a faster pace without the slightest diversion until this fight to the finish is over.”
September 14
  • The ROK President says that “I do not agree that South Korea needs to develop its own nuclear weapons or relocate tactical nuclear weapons in the face of North Korea’s nuclear threat” (in an interview with CNN).
September 15
  • North Korea fires one Hwasong-12 ballistic missile from Sunan Airport in Pyongyang into the East Sea.
September 16
  • North Korea reports that Kim Jong Un ordered and oversaw the Hwasong-12 missile launch (in a KCNA report).
  • - Kim Jong Un emphasized “the need to put an end to them with all-state efforts as it has nearly reached the terminal.”
September 17
  • Seoul and Washington agree to cooperate more closely and to work with the international community to seek stronger and more practical measures against Pyongyang (in a telephone call between the presidents of the ROK and the US).
September 18
  • The ROK President says that “The government will seek stern punishment through international cooperation, giving North Korea no other choice but to give up its nuclear weapons and missiles” (in a video message for the opening of the Pacific Armies Chiefs Conference in Seoul).
September 18
  • North Korea warns that “Pursuit by the US and its allies of more sanctions will only increase our pace towards the ultimate completion of the ‘state nuclear force’” (in a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
September 18
  • The US flies two B-1Bs and four F-35Bs over the Korean Peninsula and conducts a bombing exercise in response to North Korea’s launch of the Hwasong-12.
September 19
  • US President Trump delivers a keynote speech to the UN General Assembly.
  • - “If it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea ... The United States is ready, willing, and able, but hopefully this will not be necessary ... It is time for North Korea to realize that the denuclearization is its only acceptable future.”
September 20
  • In response to Trump’s address to the UN General Assembly, North Korea says that “There is a saying that marching goes on even when dogs bark ... If they are trying to shock us with the sound of a dog’s bark, they are clearly having a dog dream” (in an interview by Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho).
September 21
  • The ROK government decides to render some funds of the Inter-Korean Cooperation Fund to programs such as those for North Korean mothers and children’s health and nutrition by way of UNICEF and the World Food Program (at the 286th Inter-Korean Exchange and Cooperation Promotion Council).
September 21
  • Kim Jong Un, chairman of the State Affairs Commission, releases a statement.
  • - “Now that Trump has denied the existence of and insulted me and my country in front of the eyes of the world and made the most ferocious declaration of war in history that he would destroy the D.P.R.K. [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea], we will consider with seriousness exercising a corresponding, highest level, hard-line countermeasure in history.”
September 21
  • Seoul, Washington, and Tokyo agree on the need to apply sanctions on North Korea in a robust manner (at a luncheon meeting between the leaders of the ROK, the US, and Japan in New York).
September 21
  • ROK President Moon Jae-in delivers a keynote speech to the UN General Assembly.
  • - “I hope North Korea will be able to choose on its own a path leading to peace ... The situation surrounding the North Korean nuclear issue needs to be managed stably so that tensions will not become overly intensified or accidental military clashes will not destroy peace ... We need the United Nations to play a more active role on the Korean Peninsula ... I will make wholehearted endeavors until the end in cooperation with the IOC in order to welcome the North Koreans to the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.”
September 21
  • US President Trump signs an executive order that expands US sanctions on any financial institutions that do business with North Korea.
September 22
  • Regarding the statement by Kim Jong Un, North Korea says that “The DPRK government would consider a hydrogen bomb test of an unprecedented scale in the Pacific Ocean” (in an interview by Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho).
September 23
  • North Korea says that “We will take preventive measures by merciless preemptive action in case the US and its vassal forces show any sign of conducting a kind of ‘decapitating’ operation on our headquarters or military attack against our country” (in a speech to the UN General Assembly by Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho).
September 23
  • The US flies two B-1Bs and six F-15C fighter jets through international airspace over waters east of North Korea.
September 25
  • North Korea maintains that “Trump claimed that our leadership wouldn’t be around much longer and declared war on our country” and that “Since the United States declared war on our country, we have every right to take all defensive counter measures, including shooting down the United States strategic bombers at any time even when they are not yet inside the airspace of our country” (in a statement by Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho).
September 26
  • ROK President Moon Jae-in says that “Many elements of the October 4 Declaration can still be implemented ... I hope that the two Koreas will be able to announce that the October 4 Declaration is still valid” (in his speech on the 10th anniversary of the October 4 Declaration of the 2007 Inter-Korean Summit).
September 26
  • The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control designates eight North Korean banks and 26 individuals linked to North Korean financial networks as sanctions targets.
September 26
  • Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, in a statement, says that “We are targeting North Korean banks and financial facilitators acting as representatives for North Korean banks across the globe ... This further advances our strategy to fully isolate North Korea in order to achieve our broader objectives of a peaceful and denuclearized Korean peninsula.”
September 27
  • ROK President Moon Jae-in says that “Now is not the time to send a special envoy to North Korea” (in a meeting of the leaders of four major political parties).
September 28
  • ROK President Moon Jae-in says that “my Administration is now making all-out efforts to manage the current situation in a stable manner while further enhancing our military readiness posture to make sure that an escalation of tensions does not lead to a military clash” (in his address on the 69th Armed Forces Day).
September 30
  • US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says that “We have a couple, three, channels open to Pyongyang, and we can talk to them,” and that we have “our own channels” when asked whether China is acting as a mediator between Washington and Pyongyang.
September 30
  • A spokesperson for the US Department of State, in a statement, says that “Despite assurances that the United States is not interested in promoting the collapse of the current regime, pursuing regime change, accelerating reunification of the peninsula or mobilizing forces north of the DMZ, North Korean officials have shown no indication that they are interested in or are ready for talks regarding denuclearization.”
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
October 4
  • The ROK government “again urges North Korea to resolve the separated family issues first” (in words of encouragement by the Minister of Unification at the 48th joint ancestral ritual performed by the separated families).
October 6
  • Regarding Radio Free Asia’s report on October 3 that North Korea is secretly running clothing factories at the Gaeseong Industrial Complex (GIC), North Korea says that “It is nobody’s business what we do in an industrial complex where our nation’s sovereignty is exercised, and the factories at the GIC will be more vigorously operated” (on North Korea’s propaganda site Uriminzokkiri).
October 6
  • The ROK government expresses its position that “North Korea should refrain from infringing on property rights of South Korean companies at the GIC” (in a briefing by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Unification).
October 6
  • North Korea calls on the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to visit South and North Korea to resolve the issue of the defected North Korean restaurant workers and take measures for reuniting them with their families (at a meeting of the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly).
October 7
  • North Korea threatens to take “ultra-hardline measures” in response to the expansion of rotational deployment of US strategic assets (in a statement by a spokesperson for the Nationwide Emergency Measure Committee against DPRK-targeted Nuclear War Exercises).
October 11
  • North Korea expresses its position that “We will never agree to any talks in which our nuclear weapons are the subject of negotiations; we have nearly reached the last point on the journey toward our final goal - to achieve a real balance of power with the United States; and we will not accept a roadmap initiated by Russia” (in an interview with Russia’s state-run TASS news agency by North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho).
October 12
  • Officials of the GIC tenant companies request permission to visit North Korea.
October 15
  • North Korea claims that “We have no choice but to develop our nuclear programs” (at an assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in St. Petersburg, Russia by Ahn Dong Chun, the deputy chairman of the North Korean parliament).
October 16
  • North Korea warns that “The situation on the Korean peninsula has reached the touch-and-go point and a nuclear war may break out at any moment. ... Unless the hostile policy and the nuclear threat of the US is thoroughly eradicated, we will never put our nuclear weapons and ballistic rockets on the negotiation table under any circumstances” (by North Korea’s deputy UN ambassador).
October 19
  • The DPRK “will launch more satellites into space in line with its five-year space development program” (at a meeting of the Fourth Committee of the UN General Assembly).
  • * The US states that “All launches using ballistic missile technology are in violation of UN Security Council resolutions” (by a spokesperson for the US State Department’s East Asian and Pacific Affairs Bureau).
October 20
  • North Korea condemns the attempt by officials of the GIC companies to visit North Korea as “shameless sophistry” (on North Korea’s propaganda site Uriminzokkiri).
October 20-21
  • Choe Son Hui, director-general of the North American department of North Korea’s Foreign Ministry, says that “Unless the US is prepared to co-exist with the nuclear DPRK, the DPRK’s nuclear weapons are non-negotiable. ... Pyongyang will not be returning to the Six-Party Talks until issues with the US have been resolved” (at an international forum on nonproliferation in Moscow).
October 21
  • North Korean UN ambassador Ja Song Nam sends a letter calling on the UN Security Council to immediately discuss the recent ROK-US joint naval exercise (October 16-20) (in a KCNA report).
October 22
  • The ROK President says that “South Korea’s democracy is one hundred or one thousand times more powerful than North Korea’s missiles. ... The government will resolve the separated family issues, including confirmation of whether their relatives are alive, exchange of letters, family reunions, and visits to hometowns, apart from the political and military situation” (in his congratulatory speech for the 35th Sports Day Event of the Displaced Families from Five North Korean Provinces).
October 24
  • North Korea denounces the attempt by officials of the GIC companies to visit the North, declaring that “The South Korean government would be better to render support for damage to the companies. ... Mentioning their visit to North Korea doesn’t make any sense and is just a deceptive tactic” (on North Korea’s propaganda site Uriminzokkiri).
October 24
  • North Korea claims that “The DPRK is becoming accustomed to the economic situation created by the sanctions and new sanctions will have no effect on the North” (in an interview with foreign news media including Germany’s Focus Online by three North Korean economic officials).
October 24
  • The US House of Representatives passes the Otto Warmbier North Korea Nuclear Sanctions Act (H.R.3898) at the plenary session.
  • - 1) Oppose international financial assistance for a foreign government that does not implement the UN Security Council sanctions against North Korea and 2) block foreign financial institutions and foreign companies that engage in transactions with North Korea from accessing the international financial system.
October 25
  • North Korea says that “The US should take Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho’s statement (North Korea could test a powerful hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean) literally. ... The US is talking about a military option and pressuring the DPRK on all fronts with sanctions. If you think this will lead to diplomacy, you’re deeply mistaken” (in an interview with CNN by Ri Yong Pil, deputy head of the Institute for American Studies of the Foreign Ministry).
October 26
  • The US Department of the Treasury releases a list of sanctions targets in conjunction with the State Department’s “Report on Serious Human Rights Abuses and Censorship in North Korea.
  • - Add seven individuals and three entities to a list of sanctions targets.
October 26
  • The UN special rapporteur on human rights in North Korea makes a report on the human rights situation in the DPRK at a meeting of the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly.
  • - The special rapporteur voices concerns about the poor conditions and cruel treatment including violence at administrative detention centers near the border areas between North Korea and China, and about the increasing incidence of bribery as a sign of faultiness of the system.
  • - The special rapporteur recommends North Korea to resume reunions of separated families and to discuss the abductees issue in inter-Korean dialogue; South Korea to continue to make efforts to engage North Korea, to make human rights an issue in inter-Korean dialogue, and to resume reunions of separated families.
October 27
  • North Korea announces a plan to repatriate the 391 Hungjin, the South Korean fishing vessel captured on October 21, and the 10 crewmen (in a KCNA report).
  • - Repatriate the fishing boat and its crew members at the maritime border in the East Sea at 18:30.
October 27
  • The First Committee of the UN General Assembly (Disarmament and International Security) adopts three resolutions that denounce North Korea’s nuclear test: resolution L35 (United action with renewed determination toward the total elimination of nuclear weapons); resolution L19 (Nuclear-weapon-free world); and resolution L42 (Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty).
  • * South Korea abstains from the voting of the L35 and L19 resolutions, but endorses the L42 resolution.
October 28
  • The International Olympic Committee (IOC) expresses its willingness to cover all costs for North Korean athletes if they participate in the upcoming PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea (in a Radio Free Asia report).
October 31
  • The ROK President says that “The one step North Korea takes toward PyeongChang will mark great progress toward peace that cannot be obtained even with hundreds of missiles” (in his opening speech to the general assembly of the National Unification Advisory Council).
October 31
  • The ROK government says that “Seoul and Washington are aiming for the complete denuclearization of the North, but are willing to negotiate with Pyongyang in advance, as long as the allies can affirm the regime’s will to denuclearize” (during a parliamentary inspection of the Ministry of Unification by the Minister of Unification).
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
November 1
  • The ROK President states the five principles in dealing with issues involving the Korean Peninsula during his address to the National Assembly.
  • - Establishing peace on the Korean Peninsula; denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula; asserting Korea’s primary role in resolving the inter-Korean issue; resolving the North Korean nuclear issue peacefully; and sternly responding to any North Korean provocation.
November 3
  • ROK President Moon says that “At the moment, we can’t talk about the suspension of ROK-US joint military exercises. The discussion could only come after North Korea stops its provocations” (in an exclusive interview with Singapore’s Channel NewsAsia. It is aired on November 12-13).
November 3
  • The Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee of the DPRK turns down Hyundai Asan Corp.’s request to hold a ceremony marking the 19th anniversary of the opening of a now-suspended Mt. Geumgang tour program, saying that “It is still difficult to hold such ceremony.”
November 6
  • The ROK government puts 18 North Korean individuals on its blacklist as part of its unilateral sanctions (The people on the new list include heads and high-ranking officials of five North Korean banks stationed in other countries who have been blacklisted by the UN Security Council).
November 7
  • US President Trump and ROK President Moon hold a summit meeting and a joint press conference.
  • - Resolving the North Korean nuclear issue in a peaceful manner; ROK-US alliance’s stern response to any additional North Korean provocations; and willing to offer North Korea a bright future should it choose to make the right choice.
November 8
  • US President Trump calls on the international community to join the efforts to put pressure on North Korea and presents preconditions for dialogue with the North including an end to the aggression of the regime, a stop to its development of ballistic missiles, and complete, verifiable, and total denuclearization (in his address to the ROK National Assembly).
November 8
  • The North Korean ambassador to the UN in Geneva argues that the sanctions imposed by major powers are taking a toll on vulnerable people in the North and that they are unfair at a general meeting of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.
November 10
  • The ROK Ministry of Unification announces support measures for the Gaeseong Industrial Complex (GIC) tenant companies and companies involved in inter-Korean economic cooperation projects.
November 10
  • Regarding the request from officials of the GIC tenant companies for permission to visit North Korea, North Korea’s state-run website Uriminzokkiri condemns the ROK government’s request for the guarantee of their personal security and safe passage (October 24) as a “scheme to mislead public opinion and shameless sophistry.”
November 11
  • ROK President Moon Jae-in and China’s Xi Jinping meet on the sidelines during an APEC summit in Vietnam.
  • - The leaders agree on peaceful resolution of the North Korean nuclear issue through dialogue and on bilateral communication and cooperation to address the issue.
November 11
  • In response to US President Trump’s address to the National Assembly, a spokesperson for the North Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in a statement, argues that he “demonized our country, which pushes us to speed up the efforts to accomplish the great cause of completing the state nuclear force.”
November 11
  • The ROK Foreign Minister, in an interview with Bloomberg, emphasizes that “North Korea in the first instance needs to stop its provocations, period” and calls on the North to “send a sign of change” (It is aired on November 13).
November 13
  • A North Korean soldier who suffered critical gunshot wounds at the Joint Security Area during a defection dash over the border to South Korea is taken to a hospital.
November 13
  • The North Korean ambassador to the UN delivers UN Secretary-General António Guterres a letter condemning the ROK-US joint navy drills (November 11-14).
November 14
  • The UN General Assembly adopts a resolution calling on all nations to halt all disputes and hostilities during the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
November 14
  • - Urging member states to observe the Olympic Truce individually and collectively within the framework of the Charter of the United Nations throughout the PyeongChang Olympic period, from February 2, 2018, seven days before the opening ceremony, until March 25, 2018, a week after the end of the Paralympic Games.
November 14
  • Regarding the adoption of the Olympic Truce, the ROK Ministry of Unification says that “We hope that the North will decide on its participation as soon as possible and the two Koreas could frankly discuss a range of issues to make the games a Peace Olympics.”
November 14
  • The ROK government calls on North Korea to take measures to improve human rights conditions regarding the UN Commission on Human Rights’ adoption of a North Korean human rights resolution (in a commentary by a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
November 14
  • The ROK President says that “It will likely be North Korea first freezing its nuclear program and then moving onto complete dismantlement, and if that happens, I believe we and the international community may discuss what we can do in return” (at a press conference for South Korean journalists during his tour to Southeast Asia).
November 17
  • At a meeting in Jeju, the chief delegates to the Six-Party Talks of the ROK and the US defer the assessment of a lull in provocations while focusing on pressure to induce North Korea to come to the dialogue table.
November 17
  • The North Korean ambassador to the UN in Geneva says in an interview with Reuters that “As long as there is continuous hostile policy against my country by the US and as long as there are continued war-games at our doorstep, then there will not be negotiations.”
November 20
  • The North Korean ambassador to Thailand says in an interview with The Nation that “Negotiations could only take place when Washington agrees to drop its plan of aggression against North Korea.”
November 20
  • US President Trump redesignates North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism.
November 21
  • The ROK government reports “Moon Jae-in’s Korean Peninsula Policy.”
November 22
  • Choi In-guk, the second son of Ryu Mi Yong, a deceased chairwoman of the Central Committee of the Chondoist Chongu Party, visits the North to attend his mother’s memorial ceremony marking the first anniversary of her death and to visit her grave.
November 21
  • The US Treasury Department unveils a statement on additional unilateral sanctions against North Korea.
  • - Imposing sanctions on 20 shipping vessels, 13 entities, and one individual.
November 22
  • The UN Command releases the findings of its investigation into a North Korean soldier’s defection to South Korea (November 13) through the Joint Security Area of the demilitarized zone.
  • - Announcing that North Korea violated the Armistice Agreement twice (North Korean troops fired on the defector south of the DMZ and North Korean soldiers crossed the military demarcation line), informing the North Korean military of the violations, and calling for a meeting to establish countermeasures.
November 25
  • The ROK government says that “As a member of the IOC, North Korea is responsible for making a contribution to the Olympics, the festival of peace, separately from the political situation” (by Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha during her visit to Pyeongchang with a group of ambassadors to South Korea).
November 29
  • The North Korean government announces that it launched an intercontinental ballistic missile from Pyongsong, South Pyongan Province around 3:18 a.m. and that the missile reached a peak altitude of 4,475 kilometers and flew 950 kilometers.
November 29
  • The ROK government issues a statement in response to North Korea’s intercontinental ballistic missile launch.
  • - Strongly condemning North Korea’s provocations; calling on the North to give up its nuclear and missile development program and to desist from further acts that increase tensions; and declaring a stern response based on ROK-US combined defense readiness.
November 29
  • In their telephone call, the leaders of the ROK and the US discuss ways to cooperate with each other in response to North Korea’s missile launch.
November 29
  • In their telephone call, the leaders of the ROK and Japan emphasize the role of China in implementing sanctions against North Korea.
November 29
  • The North Korean government releases a statement at 12:30 p.m. that the country has successfully launched the Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile and completed the state nuclear force.
November 29
  • The UN Security Council holds an emergency meeting in response to North Korea’s latest missile launch.
November 29
  • The National Memorial Hall for Korean War Abductees opens to the general public in Paju, Gyeonggi Province.
November 30
  • In their telephone call, the leaders of the ROK and the US discuss response measures including maximum pressure on North Korea.
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
December. 2
  • North Korea condemns the ROK-US joint aerial drill (December 4-8) as an “attempt to find an excuse to launch a preemptive nuclear strike” or a “prelude to nuclear war” (in a statement by a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
December. 4-8
  • The ROK and the US carry out the Vigilant ACE joint aerial exercise.
December. 5
  • The ROK government emphasizes that the North’s declaration of its completion of nuclear armament is separate from its actual completion of the technological development for nuclear bombs, saying that it has not yet reached the final stage (in an interview with CNN by Minister of Foreign Affairs Kang Kyung-wha).
December. 6
  • ROK President Moon Jae-in says that inter-Korean talks to address the North Korean nuclear issue and to improve inter-Korean relations will soon begin (at a luncheon meeting with religious leaders).
December. 6
  • The North says that although it does not want a war, it would never avoid it (in a Q&A session with reporters by a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
December. 7
  • South Korea’s Presidential Committee on Northern Economic Cooperation is launched.
December. 5-8
  • UN Under-Secretary General for Political Affairs Jeffrey D. Feltman visits the North and meets with North Korea’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Ri Yong Ho.
  • - The UN official later said that during his visit to Pyongyang, he proposed the resumption of the dialogue between the two Koreas and the North’s participation in the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics (at a press interview on December 14).
December. 8
  • ROK President Moon emphasizes the need for attaining overwhelming military superiority over the North to maintain security and peace (at a luncheon with military commanders at Cheongwadae, the Blue House).
December. 11
  • The ROK government announces additional sanctions against North Korea in response to the North’s test-firing of the Hwasong-15 ICBM (November 29).
  • - The South puts 20 organizations, including financial institutions and shipping companies, and 12 individuals from the North on the sanctions list.
December. 11
  • The ROK President says that bilateral cooperation between the ROK and China is important towards inducing North Korea’s denuclearization (in an interview with CCTV of China).
December. 11-12
  • The ROK, the US, and Japan conduct a joint missile tracking exercise to detect and track North Korean missiles.
December. 11-14
  • Mr. Tomás Ojea Quintana, the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in North Korea, visits the ROK.
  • - He expresses intent to meet a group of North Korean women who defected to the South while working at a North Korean restaurant in China, and mentions that UN sanctions against the North might have a negative impact on ordinary people in the North (at a press conference on December 13).
  • North Korea’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ja Song Nam says that the North can engage the United States in dialogue if certain conditions are met (reported by NHK of Japan).
December. 12
  • US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says that he is willing to meet with the North with no preconditions (in his keynote speech at a discussion meeting co-sponsored by the Atlantic Council and the Korea Foundation).
December. 12
  • A White House spokesperson says that President Donald Trump’s view of the North has not changed regardless of Secretary Tillerson’s remarks made on the same day.
December. 14
  • The ROK-China summit meeting (in Beijing)
  • - The two leaders agree on the following four principles to maintain peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula: 1) war on the Korean Peninsula is unacceptable, 2) sticking to a firm commitment to denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula, 3) peaceful resolution of the North Korean issues including denuclearization through dialogue and negotiations, and 4) resolution of the Korean Peninsula issues through improvement in inter-Korean relations.
December. 15
  • North Korea blasts the missile tracking exercises between the ROK, the US, and Japan (December 11-12), calling them a grave provocation that aggravates the situation on the Korean Peninsula (in a statement by the Director of the Disarmament and Peace Institute of the DPRK Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
December. 19-22
  • The International Under-15 Football Tournament is held in Kunming, China under the sponsorship of the Inter-Korean Sports Exchange Association.
  • - Six teams from South Korea, North Korea, Uzbekistan, and China participate.
December. 20
  • ROK President Moon says that the ROK-US joint military exercise may be postponed if the North stops provocations until after the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics, and that he proposed postponement to the US (in an interview with NBC).
December. 20
  • The ROK-US Combined Forces Command announces that it would follow the decision made by the two allies on the postponement of the joint military drill.
December. 22
  • The UN Security Council adopts Resolution 2397 regarding sanctions against North Korea.
December. 26
  • The US Department of Treasury announces that two high-ranking officials of the North (Kim Jong Sik, the deputy director of the Workers’ Party of Korea Munitions Industry Department, and Ri Pyong Chol, first vice department director of the Workers’ Party of Korea Central Committee) are added to the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (the SDN List).
December. 27
  • The UK and Switzerland include 16 individuals and the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces of North Korea on the SDN List.
December. 28
  • The Policy Innovation Committee of the ROK’s Ministry of Unification publishes an Opinion on Policy Innovation.
  • - It includes the outcome of the review of key issues raised in the process of pushing ahead with policy on North Korea and unification.
    * The committee launched on September 20, 2017 consists of nine experts from academia and non-governmental organizations.
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
Jan. 1
  • Kim Jong-un’s 2018 New Year’s address
    - △ Dispatched delegates for the PyeongChang Olympics and showed readiness for talks △ Emphasized the significance of the completion of nuclear development and asserted, “The nuclear button is always on my desk”; △ Emphasized mass production of nuclear missile and combat arrangements; △ Stated, “We are a nuclear power with the responsibility to love peace”, and referenced the non-use and non-threat of a preemptive nuclear attack
Jan. 1
  • Cheong Wa Dae, the Blue House: North Korea Chairman Kim Jong-un brought up the necessity of improving inter-Korea relations at his New Year’s address, revealing a readiness to dispatch delegates to the PyeongChang Olympics and expressing welcome for a meeting between North and South authorities for this occasion (comment by spokesperson)
Jan. 2
  • Minister of Unification: Proposed to the North to hold a meeting of high-level inter-Korea talks at the 1.9 Panmunjom “truce village” for talks concerning the matter of North participation in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics and other related matters
Jan. 3
  • Chairperson of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland (CPRK) of the North: Opened the communication channel in Panmunjom for inter-Korea talks on the 3rd of January at 15:00 “according to the delegation of Chairman Kim Jong-un”, and presented willingness for discussion of PyeongChang Olympic practical matters (Korean Central TV)
    -Made public that Kim Jong-un ordered for urgent establishment of practical measures of the United Front Work Department and other related agencies
Jan. 3
  • 15:30: Reoperation of communication channel in Panmunjom through the inter-Korea Liaison Office* Restoration after one year and eleven months since discontinuance on February 12, 2016
Jan. 4
  • o ROK-US: Agreement to suspend joint military drills during Olympics (phone call between summits)
    - (ROK President): “Close discussion with the US during process of inter-Korea talks. Confident that it helped create an atmosphere for US-DPRK talks for a solution to the North Korean nuclear problem”
    - (US President Trump): “You can say that there will be no military drills during the Olympics. I will evaluate the accomplishment of the inter-Korea talks and hope for a good outcome. There will be a dispatch of high-level delegates including family members during the Olympics”
Jan. 5
  • ROK President: Commented that he will not simply seek a weak conversation as in the past, but will promote talks based on strong national defense and will seek peace as well (at invitation luncheon of the Korean Senior Citizens Association)
Jan. 5
  • North Korea: Report of acceptance of South Korea’s proposal for talks (Jan. 2)
Jan. 6
  • ROK Government: Report of Minister of Unification Cho Myung-gyun and four others as representatives of talks
Jan. 7
  • North Korea. Report of Chairman Ri Son-gwon of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland (CPRF) and four others as representatives of talks
Jan. 9
  • Inter-Korea high-level talks and acceptance of joint press release (South side of Panmunjom truce village)
    -Representatives: (South) Minister of Unification (chief representative) Cho Myung-gyun, Vice Minister of Unification Chun Hae-sung, Second Vice Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Roh Tae-kang, Deputy Director-General of Prime Minister’s Office Ahn Moon-hyun, and Deputy General Secretary for Planning on the PyeongChang Winter Olympics/Paralympics Organizing Committee Kim Ki-hong
    (North) Chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland (delegation leader) Ri Son-kwon, chief delegate of CPRF Jon Jong-su, Vice Sports Minister Won Gil-woo, Director of CPRF Hwang Chung-song, and National Olympic Committee of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea member Ri Kyong-sik
    -Joint Press Release:
    ① Active cooperation for the PyeongChang Winter Olympics and Paralympics (dispatch of high-level delegates, National Olympic Committee delegates, athletes, cheering team, performing team, observers, Taekwondo demonstrators, reporters)
    ② Ease military tensions, create peaceful environment, and make cooperative efforts to promote national reconciliation and unity (hold inter-Korea military talks, activate contact/visits, exchange, and cooperation)
    ③ Respect inter-Korea announcements, resolve inter-Korea issues through dialogue and negotiation as concerned parties (hold talks concerning each area with inter-Korea high-level talks)
Jan. 9
  • North Korea: Release facts to public regarding restoration of military communication line of the Yellow Sea at inter-Korea high-level talks
    - South Korea confirms connection of communication by wire at 14:00
Jan. 10
  • North Korea: Progression of inter-Korea high-level talks and official report of “joint press release” (Korean Central TV, Korean Central News Agency)
Jan. 10
  • ROK President: Expressed position of major pending problems such as inter-Korea relations through the New Year’s address (New Year’s press conference)
    - △ Goal to resolve North nuclear problem during term in office and attain stability of peace; △ Basic stance that he cannot yield denuclearization of the Korean peninsula; △ PyeongChang Olympics and Paralympics must be turning point for peace in the Korean peninsula and improvement of inter-Korea relations; △ Will do his best to make this year the new first year of peace for the Korean peninsula
    - △ (Upon receiving question of condition of summit meeting): Will agree to summit meeting if circumstances allow, and if there are prospects; △ (Upon receiving question of possibility of lifting sanctions): Will work with international society and aid. Has no intention to lift sanctions on his own.
Jan. 11
  • North Korea: Demands discontinuance of all ROK-US joint military drills (Rodong Sinmun)
Jan. 12
  • ROK Government: Proposal for working-level talks concerning North’s participation in the PyeongChang Olympics (Jan. 15 truce village)
Jan. 13
  • North Korea: Regarding South’s proposal for talks (Jan. 12), the North makes proposal for priority discussion of issue concerning performance arts team (Jan. 15 Tongilgak)
Jan. 13
  • ROK Government. Received North’s modified proposal for priority discussion of issue concerning performance arts team
Jan. 15
  • Meeting of “inter-Korea working-level contact for dispatch of North Korean performance arts team” and acceptance of joint press release (North side of Panmunjom truce village) -Representatives: (South) Deputy Minister for Culture and Art Policy (chief representative) Lee Woo-sung, Ministry of Unification 3rd Inter-Korea Dialogue Division Director Han Jong-wook, Korean Symphony Orchestra CEO Lee Won-choul, and Korean Symphony Orchestra Artistic Director Chong Chi-yong
    (North) Culture Ministry Arts and Performance Bureau (delegation leader) Director Kwon Hyok-bong, North Korea orchestra leader Hyon Song-wol, official in charge of administrative tasks with orchestra Kim Sun-ho, performing arts group stage manager An Jong-ho, and head of Ministry of Culture Kim Jong-su -Joint Press Release:
    ① Dispatch of 140 member performance team Samjiyon Orchestra
    ② Performances to be held in Gangneung and Seoul
    ③ Practical issues to be resolved through mutual talks; North dispatch of preliminary inspection team
    ④ Guarantee of safety and accommodation of North performance team
    ⑤ Agreement to address other practical issues in the form of document exchange through Panmunjom
Jan. 15
  • North Korea: Proposal for modification of inter-Korea high-level talks and working-level talks (Jan. 17 truce village)
Jan. 15
  • ROK Government: Agrees to North’s amended proposal for inter-Korea high-level talks and working-level talks
Jan. 16
  • ROK Government: Inauguration of government joint support team concerning North Korea participation at PyeongChang Olympics
Jan. 16
  • North Korea: Report of outcome of working-level contact for dispatch of performance team (Korean Central News Agency)
Jan. 17
  • o Meeting of “inter-Korea high-level talks and working-level talks” (North and South sides of Panmunjom truce village)
    -Representatives: (South) Vice Minister of Unification Chun Hae-sung, Prime Minister’s Office Deputy Director-General Ahn Moon-hyun, and PyeongChang Winter Olympics/Paralympics Organizing Committee Deputy General Secretary of Planning Kim Ki-hong
    (North) Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland chief delegate Jon Jong-su, Vice Sports Minister Won Gil-woo, Korean Central News Agency reporter Kim Kang-guk
    -Joint Press Release:
    ① North and South to march together at opening ceremony (under Korean unification flag)
    ② Joint women’s ice hockey team
    ③ Dispatch of 230 members of cheering team
    ④ 30 Taekwondo demonstrators, exhibition performances at PyeongChang and Seoul
    ⑤ Jan. 25-27 dispatch of preliminary team by the North
    ⑥ Joint culture event at Geumgangsan Mountain and joint training at Masingnyeong Ski Resort; Jan. 23-25 dispatch of South Korean preliminary team
Jan. 19
  • North Korea: Notifies South of preliminary inspection team visit for dispatch of performance team (Jan. 20 - 21)
Jan. 19
  • ROK Government: Agrees to preliminary inspection team visit for dispatch of North performance team (Jan. 20-21)
Jan. 19
  • ROK Government: Notifies North regarding Geumgangsan Mountain culture event and dispatch of preliminary team visit concerning joint training at Masingnyeong Ski Resort (Jan. 23-25)
Jan. 19
  • Around 22:00, North Korea: Notifies South of suspension of preliminary inspection team visit for dispatch of performance team
Jan. 20
  • ROK Government: Shows expression of regret for suspension of visit and makes request to North for reason of suspension of dispatch of preliminary inspection team for performance arts team
Jan. 20
  • North Korea: Notifies South of preliminary inspection team visit for dispatch of performance team (Jan. 21-22)
Jan. 20
  • o IOC Chairman Bach supervises North-South NOC and holds four-person meeting of the PyeongChang Organizing Committee, giving final approval of North Korean participation in the PyeongChang Olympics
    - △ Five categories, 22 athletes, 24 staff members and coaches, 21 news team members; △ Organization of joint women’s ice hockey team (authority to choose participating players and starting players given to South Korean coach; each game to include minimum of 3 North Korean players) △ North-South joint entrance at opening ceremony and use of Korean unification flag
Jan. 21
  • North Korea: Agrees to South Korea’s culture event at Geumgangsan Mountain and dispatch of preliminary team concerning joint training at Masingnyeong Ski Resort (Jan. 23-25)
Jan. 21
  • o North Korea: Notifies South of dispatch of preliminary team concerning participation in PyeongChang Olympics (Jan. 25-27)
Jan. 21
  • ROK Government: Agrees to dispatch of North preliminary team concerning participation in PyeongChang Olympics (Jan. 25-27)
Jan. 21
  • o North Korea: Dispatch of preliminary inspection team for performance arts team (~22)
    -Hyon Song-wol, head of the Samjiyon Orchestra, and 7 others make visit by land via Gyeongui Railroad
    -Pre-inspection of Gangneung Art Center and Haeoreum Grand Theater in Seoul National Theater of Korea performance facilities
Jan. 22
  • o ROK President: “In a situation where one cannot be sure of how long this atmosphere between South-North talks will last, wisdom and efforts are necessary to maintain the mood even after the PyeongChang Olympics (at meeting with top secretaries at Cheong Wa Dae, the Blue House)
Jan. 23
  • o ROK Government: Dispatch of preliminary team to the North side of Geumgangsan Mountain for culture event and joint training at Masingnyeong Ski Resort (~25)
    -Director General Lee Joo-tae of the Ministry of Unification and 12 others visit North Korea by land via Donghae Railroad
    -Inspection of Geumgangsan Mountain culture event, Masingnyeong Ski Resort, Wonsan Kalma Airport
Jan. 23
  • North Korea: Criticizes South conservative group’s burning of Kim Jong-un’s photo, North Korean flag, and other performances (statement made by spokesperson of Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland)
    -Stated that serious consideration of the behaviors following the Winter Olympics could not be avoided, calling for an apology, punishment of person(s) in charge, and deliberation of measures for prevention of recurrence
Jan. 24
  • North Korea: Demands discontinuance of ROK-US joint military drills and development of strategic platform (joint talks of government, political parties, and organizations)
Jan. 25
  • o North Korea: Dispatch of PyeongChang Olympics pre-inspection team (~27) and women’s ice hockey team by land via Gyeongui Railroad
    - (Preliminary inspection team): Deputy Director Yun Yong-bok of the Ministry of Physical Culture and Sports and 8 others / Confirmation of stadium for opening and closing ceremonies, stadiums, lodging, media center
    -(Ice hockey team): 12 players, 1 coach, 2 supporting staff / Entrance to Jincheon National Training Center
Jan. 26
  • ROK-US: Discussion regarding “diplomatic solution to North Korea nuclear problem” (Conference of Ministry of National Defense, Hawaii)
Jan. 29
  • Ministry of National Defense Minister: Commented that North Korea will be wiped off the map upon its use of nuclear weapons on ROK-US (Singapore Fullerton Forum)
Jan. 29
  • o North Korea: Gives notice of cancellation of North-South joint culture performance at Geumgangsan Mountain (scheduled for Feb. 4)
    -Commented that South Korean media insulted North Korea’s “sincere actions” and “even found dispute with internal festivities” of North Korea, to the point that they “have no choice but to cancel”
Jan. 30
  • ROK President: Commented that he failed to consider the athletes’ points of view regarding the women’s joint ice hockey (at the secretary and deputy secretary workshop)
Jan. 30
  • ROK Government: Notifies the North with regretful stance regarding the North’s notice of cancellation of Geumgangsan Mountain culture event (Jan. 29)
    -Commented that an agreement must surely be made on the grounds of mutual respect and a spirit of understanding
Jan. 31
  • North-South: Joint training at Masingnyeong Ski Resort (~Feb. 1)
    -South Korea Ministry of Unification Director General Lee Joo-tae (head) and 45 delegates (skiers, support staff, joint coverage team) - transportation by chartered plane Yangyang ↔Wonsan
Jan. 31
  • North Korea: Claims that the cause of Geumgangsan Mountain joint culture event cancellation was due to “rash behavior against the same peoples” by “the conservatives of the South” (The Choson Sinbo)
Jan. 31
  • North Korea: Criticizes the second meeting of ROK-US high-level Extended Deterrence Strategy and Consultation Group talks (Jan. 17), threatening to extinguish the flame of improving inter-Korea relations (Korean Central News Agency)
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
Feb. 1
  • The 32 North Korean athletes led by North Korean Vice Sports Minister Won Gil Woo visit South Korea
    - They arrive in the South on a chartered plane. South Korean skiers who visited the North’s Masikryong Ski Resort for joint ski training board the plane at Kalma Airport in North Korea’s eastern city of Wonsan, and the plane arrives at Yangyang Airport on the South’s east coast.
Feb. 2
  • The ROK President says “I hope that the momentum of improvement in inter-Korean relations created through the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games will continue, thereby establishing lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula, and that US Vice President Pence’s visit to South Korea will serve as a turning point for this” (in a phone call with US President Donald Trump).
Feb. 4
  • North Korea notifies South Korea that the four-member high-level delegation led by Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly, and 18 support staff members will visit the South from February 9 to 11.
Feb. 4
  • North Korea’s IOC member Jang Woong visits the South to participate in the annual IOC meeting and the PyeongChang Olympic Games.
Feb. 4
  • The unified Korean women’s ice hockey team loses 3-1 to Sweden in a warm-up match (Seonhak Ice Rink in Incheon).
Feb. 5
  • The ROK President states that the PyeongChang Olympics will show people around the world that sports can transcend the barrier of politics and ideology (Congratulatory speech at the opening ceremony for the IOC meeting).
Feb. 5
  • A 23-member advance team of North Korea’s performance group arrives in the South (overland along the Gyeongui line).
Feb. 6
  • 114 members of the Samjiyon Orchestra led by Hyon Song Wol visit the South (via the Mangyongbong-92 ferry).
Feb. 7
  • 280 North Korean people including a cheerleading squad, taekwondo performers, journalists, and National Olympics Committee members including Sports Minister Kim Il Guk come to the South (overland along the Gyeongui line).
Feb. 7
  • North Korea notifies the South of the names of 23 persons for the high-level delegation scheduled to visit the South from February 9 to 11.
    - △Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly (chief delegate), △ Kim Yo Jong, first vice director of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea; Choe Hwi, chairman of the National Sports Guidance Committee; Ri Son Kwon, chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country (delegates), and △ 16 support staff members and 3 journalists
Feb. 7
  • South Korea’s National Assembly adopts a resolution committing it to the successful hosting of the PyeongChang Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games and to the realization of the Olympic spirit.
    - △ Restrain itself from becoming embroiled in political confrontation and conflicts, △ Support the government’s efforts to ensure that the PyeongChang Olympics lead to lasting peace in the region, and △ Call on the North to cooperate to bring peace to the Korean Peninsula and ease tensions in Northeast Asia
Feb. 7
  • The ROK government asks the UN Security Council Sanctions Committee on North Korea for an exemption to allow a sanctioned North Korean official to join the North Korean high-level delegation’s visit to South Korea.
Feb. 8
  • North Korean athletes enter the athletes’ village of the PyeongChang Olympic Games.
Feb. 8
  • A cheerleading squad of 170 people from the pro-Pyongyang General Association of Korean Residents in Japan, known as Chongryon, starts entering the country (three groups will visit South Korea one by one, and each group will stay for 5 days and 4 nights).
Feb. 8
  • North Korea holds a military parade marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Korean People’s Army in Pyongyang, and the parade is recorded and broadcast.
Feb. 8
  • North Korea’s Samjiyon Orchestra performs in Gangneung at 20:00 at the Gangneung Arts Center.
Feb. 8
  • The UN Security Council Sanctions Committee on North Korea approves the exemption regarding the North Korean high-level delegation’s visit to South Korea.
Feb. 9
  • A special exhibition on Manwoldae Palace in Gaeseong opens (from February 9 to March 18 at Korea Sangjidaekwallyeong High School in Pyeongchang).
Feb. 9
  • The 22-member North Korean high-level delegation to the PyeongChang Olympic Games visits the South (arrives at Incheon Airport via a private jet).
Feb. 9
  • Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly, participates in a reception hosted by South Korean President Moon Jae-in before the opening ceremony of the Games.
Feb. 9
  • The taekwondo demonstration teams from South and North Korea hold a joint performance during the pre-shows of the opening ceremony for the PyeongChang Winter Olympics at the PyeongChang Olympic Stadium.
Feb. 9
  • South and North Korean athletes enter the stadium together at the opening ceremony of the PyeongChang Olympic Games.
    - △(flag) The flag of a unified Korean Peninsula, △(flag bearers) South Korean bobsledder Won Yun-jong and North Korean hockey player Hwang Chung Gum, △(song) Arirang
Feb. 10
  • The ROK President meets with the North Korean high-level delegation and hosts a luncheon (Cheongwadae).
    - Kim Yo Jong, first vice director of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, delivers Kim Jong Un’s letter to South Korean President Moon and invites him to Pyongyang.
    - In response to the North’s invitation, President Moon says “Let’s put it through by creating favorable conditions.”
Feb. 10
  • The taekwondo demonstration teams from South and North Korea hold a joint performance at the Gangwon Career Education Institute in Sokcho.
Feb. 10
  • ROK Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon holds a banquet with the North Korean high-level delegation at Skybay Gyeongpo Hotel in Gangneung.
Feb. 10
  • The unified Korean women’s ice hockey team loses 8-0 to Switzerland in a preliminary-round match at the Kwandong Hockey Centre in Gangneung.
    - The ROK President and the First Lady watch the match with the North Korean high-level delegation.
Feb. 11
  • The ROK Prime Minister has a luncheon with the North Korean high-level delegation at the Grand Walkerhill Seoul.
Feb. 11
  • The presidential chief of staff has a farewell dinner with the North Korean high-level delegation at the Banyan Tree Club & Spa Seoul.
Feb. 11
  • North Korea’s Samjiyon Orchestra performs in Seoul at 19:00 at the National Theater of Korea.
    - The ROK President and the First Lady watch the performance with the North Korean high-level delegation.
Feb. 11
  • The North’s high-level delegation returns to Pyongyang via a private jet (depart from Incheon International Airport).
Feb. 12
  • North Korea’s Samjiyon Orchestra returns to Pyongyang (overland along the Gyeongui line).
Feb. 12
  • The taekwondo demonstration teams from South and North Korea hold a joint performance at Seoul City Hall.
Feb. 12
  • The unified Korean women’s ice hockey team loses 8-1 to Sweden in a preliminary-round match at the Kwandong Hockey Centre in Gangneung.
Feb. 13
  • Kim Jong Un is briefed on the results of the high-level delegation’s visit to the South (KCNA, February 12).
    - “Kim Jong Un expressed satisfaction over it and expressed thanks to Seoul, saying that it was very impressive for the South to do its best to provide convenience for the North Korean delegation.”
    - Kim Jong Un emphasized that “it is important to continue making good results by further livening up the warm climate of reconciliation and dialogue, and he set forth the orientation of the improvement of inter-Korean relations and gave important instructions to the relevant field to take practical measures for it.”
Feb. 14
  • The ROK government decides to support the Inter-Korean Cooperation Fund regarding North Korea’s participation in the PyeongChang Olympic Games.
    - The South and North Exchange and Cooperation Promotion Council voted for KRW 2.86 billion in support at its 291st meeting to go towards ex-post settlement of expenses.
Feb. 14
  • The taekwondo demonstration teams from South and North Korea hold a joint performance at MBC Sangam Hall.
Feb. 14
  • The unified Korean women’s ice hockey team loses 4-1 to Japan in a preliminary-round match at the Kwandong Hockey Centre in Gangneung.
Feb. 15
  • The North’s taekwondo demonstration team returns to Pyongyang (overland along the Gyeongui line).
Feb. 18
  • The unified Korean women’s ice hockey team loses 2-0 to Switzerland in the classification matches for determining places 5 to 8 at the Kwandong Hockey Centre in Gangneung.
Feb. 18
  • North Korea’s IOC member Jang Woong leaves the country.
Feb. 20
  • The unified Korean women’s ice hockey team loses 6-1 to Sweden in the classification match for determining places 7 to 8 at the Kwandong Hockey Centre in Gangneung.
Feb. 20
  • The ROK President states, at a summit meeting with his counterpart in Slovenia, that both North Korea and the US seem to feel the need for dialogue.
Feb. 20
  • In an appearance before the National Assembly National Defense Committee, the ROK Minister of National Defense says that he will announce when the ROK-US joint exercise will be resumed after the PyeongChang Paralympic Games end on March 18.
Feb. 22
  • North Korea notifies the South of its plan to send the 8-member high-level delegation to participate in the closing ceremony of the PyeongChang Olympic Games from February 25 to 27.
    - △ Kim Yong Chol, vice chairman of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea (chief delegate), △ Ri Son Kwon, chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country (delegate), △ an entourage of six people
Feb. 25
  • The North’s 8-member high-level delegation led by Kim Yong Chol, vice chairman of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, comes to the South to participate in the closing ceremony of the PyeongChang Olympic Games (overland along the Gyeongui line).
Feb. 25
  • The ROK President meets with the North Korean high-level delegation in Pyeongchang, attended by the national security chief and the chief of the National Intelligence Service. - The North’s high-level delegation expresses willingness to engage in dialogue with the US.
Feb. 25
  • The ROK Unification Minister has a dinner with the North Korean high-level delegation in Pyeongchang, attended by the Vice Unification Minister and senior officials.
Feb. 25
  • The ROK President participates in the closing ceremony of the PyeongChang Olympic Games.
    - President Moon watches the ceremony together with White House advisor Ivanka Trump and Kim Yong Chol, vice chairman of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea.
Feb. 26
  • 299 North Korean people including National Olympic Committee members, athletes, cheerleaders, and journalists return to Pyongyang (overland along the Gyeongui line).
Feb. 26
  • South Korea’s national security chief has a luncheon with the North’s high-level delegation at the Grand Walkerhill Seoul.
Feb. 26
  • In a meeting with China’s vice premier Liu Yandong, the ROK President emphasizes that it is important for both the US and North Korea to sit down with each other face to face as soon as possible, saying that the United States needs to lower the threshold for dialogue and North Korea should express a willingness to denuclearize.
Feb. 26
  • The Emergency Measure Committee of the Gaeseong Industrial Complex Tenant Companies submits an application to visit the North on behalf of 200 people who want to visit the North on March 12.
Feb. 26
  • At a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council, the South Korean Foreign Minister states that North Korea should give up its nuclear and missile programs and should go down a different path with regard to military security and human rights issues.
Feb. 27
  • The ROK Unification Minister has a breakfast with the North’s high-level delegation at the Grand Walkerhill Seoul.
Feb. 27
  • The North Korean high-level delegation returns to Pyongyang (overland along the Gyeongui line).
Feb. 27
  • Working-level talks for the PyeongChang Paralympic Games are held on the North’s side of the border village of Panmunjeom.
    - South Korean delegates: Lee Joo-tae, director general for inter-Korean exchange and cooperation at the Unification Ministry (chief delegate); Lim Chan-kyu, director of the PyeongChang Paralympic Winter Games committee; and Song Hye-jin, a director-level official from the Unification Ministry
    - North Korean delegates: Hwang Chung Song, director of the Committee for Peaceful Reunification of the Country (chief delegate); Jong Hyon, vice-chairperson of the Central Committee of the Korean Federation for the Protection of the Disabled; and Yun Chol, vice-secretary general of the (North) Korean Sports Association for the Disabled
    - Joint press release: North Korea will send the Paralympic delegates and athletes to the South on March 7 (overland along the Gyeongui line) and they will return to Pyongyang at a time that is convenient for both sides.
Major events in Inter-Korean Relations
Date Events
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