Chronology of major political events in S. Korea in the last two decades
The following is a chronology of major political events in South Korea from 1993 to 2012.
Feb. 25, 1993: Kim Young-sam, a long-time dissident leader, is sworn in as the 14th president of the country, becoming the first civilian leader after decades of military-backed rule.
March 8, 1993: President Kim Young-sam disbands Hanahoe, an elite military faction led by former presidents Chun Doo-hwan and Roh Tae-woo.
Nov. 24, 1995: President Kim Young-sam launches an investigation into the deadly crackdown on a civilian uprising in the southwestern city of Gwangju in May 1980. The government officially maintains that about 200 people were killed in the crackdown, though some put the estimate higher.
April 17, 1997: The Supreme Court sentences former President Chun Doo-hwan to life imprisonment and former President Roh Tae-woo to 17 years in jail.
April 20, 1997: Hwang Jang-yop, a former aide to North Korean leader Kim Jong-il who is known as the main architect of the North’s “juche” ideology, arrives in Seoul after defecting from the North earlier in the year.
Nov. 21, 1997: South Korea asks for a bailout from the International Monetary Fund during the Asian financial crisis.
Dec. 22, 1997: Former presidents Chun Doo-hwan and Roh Tae-woo are released from prison on a special pardon.
Feb. 25, 1998: Kim Dae-jung, a lifetime democratic fighter and dissident leader, is sworn in as the 15th president of the country.
June 16, 1998: Chung Ju-young, the founder of Hyundai Group, visits North Korea, becoming the first South Korean civilian to be allowed to visit the North through the truce village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone separating the two Koreas.
June 13, 2000: South Korean President Kim Dae-jung and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il hold the first-ever inter-Korean summit in Pyongyang. The two agree to increase economic and social exchanges and hold reunions of family members separated before and during the 1950-53 Korean War.
Jan. 26, 2001: The Supreme Court rules that it was illegal for civic activists to launch campaigns against conservative parties in the 16th general elections.
Feb. 28, 2002: A group of lawmakers announce the names of 700 people they labeled "Japanese collaborators" for allegedly suppressing fellow Koreans during Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule.
June 21, 2002: Prosecutors arrest President Kim Dae-jung's second son, Kim Hong-up, on charges of receiving bribes from several companies.
Nov. 25, 2002: Chung Mong-joon, the presidential candidate of the National Alliance 21 Party, throws support behind his Millennium Democratic Party rival Roh Moo-hyun in a bid to swing voters away from the conservative Grand National Party.
Feb. 14, 2003: President Kim Dae-jung apologizes for allowing Hyundai Merchant Marine Co. to illicitly transfer funds to North Korea prior to the 2000 inter-Korean summit.
Feb. 25, 2003: Roh Moo-hyun, a former human rights lawyer, is sworn in as the 16th president of the country.
April 2, 2003: South Korea's National Assembly approves a motion bill on sending non-combat troops to the U.S.-led war in Iraq.
March 12, 2004: South Korea's two main opposition parties submit a parliamentary motion to impeach President Roh Moo-hyun, citing a breach of election rules. A total of 193 out of 195 lawmakers back the motion.
April 15, 2004: The ruling Uri Party gains a majority vote at the general elections, winning 152 seats in the 299-member National Assembly.
Oct. 21, 2004: The Constitutional Court declares President Roh Moo-hyun’s proposal to move South Korea's administrative capital out of Seoul unconstitutional.
July 25, 2005: Samsung Group apologizes after a wiretapped conversation between a Samsung official and the JoongAng Ilbo president reveals that South Korea’s leading conglomerate sought to make illegal campaign donations during the 1997 presidential race.
Jan. 1, 2007: South Korean diplomat Ban Ki-moon begins term as the eighth U.N. Secretary General, becoming the second Asian to serve the post.
Dec. 19, 2007: CEO-turned-politician Lee Myung-bak is elected president following a landslide victory.
May 2, 2008: Tens of thousands of people hold a candlelight demonstration against the government’s beef import deal with Washington, citing mad cow disease fears.
April 11, 2012: The ruling Saenuri Party wins an outright majority in the general elections, gaining 152 of the total 300 seats against the main opposition Democratic United Party’s 127 seats.
Sept. 19, 2012: Software engineer-turned-professor Ahn Cheol-soo declares his presidential candidacy, putting an end to long-running speculation about his political ambitions and turning the year's presidential race into a three-way competition with Park Geun-hye of the ruling Saenuri Party and Moon Jae-in of the main opposition Democratic United Party.
Nov. 23, 2012: Independent presidential candidate Ahn Cheol-soo declares his withdrawal from the presidential election after failing to merge votes with Moon Jae-in of the main opposition Democratic United Party.
Feb. 25, 2013: Park takes oath of office as the 18th president of South Korea.
Chronology of major events related to N. Korean nuke, missile issue
The following is a list of major events related to North Korean nuclear and missile issues.
Dec. 1952: Pyongyang establishes the Atomic Energy Research Institute and the Academy of Sciences
1969: According to Chinese intelligence reports, Pyongyang begins to develop a nuclear weapons program.
Sept. 1974: North Korea joins the International Atomic Energy Agency and allows it to monitor the country's nuclear program development.
July 20, 1977: North Korea signs a safeguards agreement with the IAEA and the USSR.
Dec. 12, 1985: North Korea accedes to the Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT).
1986: North Korea puts its Yongbyon reactor into operation after seven years of construction.
Dec. 31, 1991: Pyongyang and Seoul sign the Joint Declaration on the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, agreeing they would “not test, manufacture, produce, receive, possess, store, deploy or use nuclear weapons."
March 6, 1992: The United States imposes sanctions on North Korea for missile proliferation activities.
April 1, 1993: The IAEA declares that North Korea is not complying with its safeguards agreement.
June 13, 1994: North Korea announces its withdrawal from the IAEA.
Oct. 21, 1994: The U.S. and North Korea sign the Agreed Framework in Geneva, whereby Pyongyang agrees to replace its nuclear reactors with water reactors provided by the U.S. in return for full normalization of political and economic relations between the two.
April 21-22, 1996: The United States and North Korea hold their first round of bilateral missile talks in Berlin.
Aug. 31, 1998: North Korea launches Taepodong-1, its first long-range rocket with a range of 1,500-2,000 kilometers, part of which flies over Japan and into the Pacific Ocean. .
May 20-24, 1999: A U.S. inspection team visits North Korea’s suspected nuclear site in Kumchang-ri but finds no evidence of nuclear activity or violation of the Agreed Framework.
Jan. 29, 2002: President Bush calls North Korea, along with Iran and Iraq, an “axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world.”
Oct. 16, 2002: The U.S. announces that North Korea has admitted having a uranium enrichment program for the first time.
Dec. 22-24, 2002: North Korea cuts all seals and disrupts IAEA surveillance equipment on its nuclear facilities and materials.
Jan. 10, 2003: North Korea announces its withdrawal from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT).
April 23-25, 2003: The United States, North Korea and China hold trilateral talks in Beijing, during which North Korea admits to possessing nuclear weapons.
Aug. 27-29, 2003: The first round of six-party talks, which involve the United States, China, Russia, Japan and the two Koreas, is held in Beijing.
Feb. 25-28, 2004: A second round of six-party talks takes place in Beijing.
June 23-26, 2004: A third round of six-party talks is held in Beijing. For the first time the United States presents a detailed proposal for resolving the crisis.
Feb. 10, 2005: North Korea’s Foreign Ministry announces that Pyongyang has produced nuclear weapons.
July 26-Aug. 7, 2005: The fourth round of six-party talks begins in Beijing.
Nov. 9-11, 2005: The fifth round of six-party talks begins in Beijing.
July 4-5, 2006: North Korea test fires the long-range Taepodong-2 missile that lands in the East Sea. South Korea and Japan respond by imposing sanctions and halting food aid to the country.
July 15, 2006: The U.N. Security Council passes Resolution 1695 condemning North Korea’s missile launches.
Oct. 9, 2006: North Korea conducts its first underground nuclear test.
Oct. 14, 2006: The U.N. Security Council adopts Resolution 1718, placing additional sanctions on the North's economic and commercial activities.
March 19-22, 2007: The sixth round of the six-party talks begins in Beijing.
April 5, 2009: North Korea launches the three-stage Unha-2 rocket viewed as a ballistic missile. The rocket flew over northeast Japan and fell into the Pacific Ocean.
April 13, 2009: The U.N. Security Council condemns Pyongyang's April rocket launch.
April 14, 2009: North Korea declares its withdrawal from the six-party talks in response to the U.N. Security Council statement.
May 25, 2009: North Korea carries out its second nuclear test.
July 16, 2009: The U.N. Security Council passes Resolution 1874 to condemn the nuclear test and tighten sanctions on North Korea.
Nov. 12, 2010: North Korea unveils its massive uranium enrichment facility at Yongbyon complex to visiting American nuclear scientist Siegfried Hecker.
Feb. 29, 2012: North Korea agrees with the United States to suspend uranium enrichment and allow the monitoring of its nuclear plant in return for food aid from the U.S.
April 13, 2012: North Korea's attempt to launch a satellite using the Unha-3 rocket to mark the birthday of the North’s founder Kim Il-sung fails. The United States cancels its food aid plans for North Korea.
April 16, 2012: The U.N. Security Council condemns North Korea's attempted satellite launch.
Dec. 12, 2012: North Korea draws criticism from the international community by launching the Unha-3 rocket and successfully putting a satellite into orbit, which Seoul and Washington believe is a covert test of banned ballistic missile technology.
Jan. 22, 2013: The U.N. Security Council passes Resolution 2087 in response to North Korea's Dec. 12 satellite launch.
Jan. 24, 2013: Pyongyang announces it will conduct another nuclear test and continue its rocket launches.
Feb. 12, 2013: North Korea carries out a third nuclear test at the Punggye-ri nuclear site.
March 7, 2013: The U.N. Security Council unanimously adopts Resolution 2094 in response to North Korea's third nuclear test, imposing new sanctions on cash transfers and travel for diplomats.
Chronology of major events related to inter-Korean relations
The following is a list of major events related to inter-Korean relations.
Aug. 15, 1945: Korea is liberated from the Japanese colonial rule following Japan's defeat in World War II. U.S. troops occupy the area south of the 38th parallel while Soviet troops occupy the northern area.
Aug. 15, 1948: The Republic of Korea, the official name of South Korea, is proclaimed in the South.
Sept. 9, 1948: The Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the official name of North Korea, is proclaimed in the North.
June 25, 1950: The Korean War breaks out when North Korean troops invade the South.
July 27, 1953: The Armistice Agreement ending the 1950-53 Korean War is signed by the United States, North Korea and China. The agreement draws a border near the 38th parallel and creates the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), which separates the two Koreas, as a buffer zone.
Sept. 1971 to 1972: The two Koreas hold their first dialogue through the Red Cross and issue a joint statement on July 4, 1972 calling for peaceful reunification.
Oct. 9, 1983: Seventeen high-ranking South Korean officials, including two Cabinet members, are killed by a bomb at the Martyr's Mausoleum in Rangoon, Burma. The officials were accompanying then President Chun Doo-hwan, who was unhurt, on a visit to the Southeast Asian country. Burma, now called Myanmar, blamed North Korea for the bombing after capturing several North Korean agents and severed diplomatic ties with Pyongyang.
Sept. 1984: North Korea’s provides relief supplies to South Korea’s flood victims.
Nov. 15, 1984: The first South-North economic talks take place in the border village of Panmunjom.
Jan. 1986: North Korea unilaterally declares suspension of all talks with South Korea, citing South Korea-U.S. joint military drill “Team Spirit” as the reason.
Nov. 29, 1987: North Korean agent Kim Hyun-hee bombs a Korean Air jetliner near Burma, now Myanmar, killing 115 people on board.
July 7, 1988: South Korean President Roh Tae-woo makes a proclamation calling for new efforts to promote inter-Korean relations through enhanced economic trade, family reunification and engagement in international forums.
Sept. 17, 1991: North and South Korea join the United Nations together.
Dec. 31, 1991: The two Koreas sign the South-North Joint Declaration on the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Under the declaration, both countries agree not to “test, manufacture, produce, receive, possess, store, deploy or use nuclear weapons.”
April 5, 1996: North Korea renounces the armistice and sends troops into the DMZ.
Sept. 18, 1996: A North Korean submarine is found stranded at Gangneung, a South Korean port city 240 kilometers east of Seoul.
Feb. 1998: President Kim Dae-jung outlines his so-called “sunshine policy,” which seeks rapprochement with North Korea through provision of generous aid to Pyongyang as parts of efforts to defuse tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
Nov. 18, 1998: Hyundai Group kicks off the Mount Kumgang tour project by sending a luxury cruise from the South Korean port of Donghae to the scenic mountain on North Korea's east coast. Later, the scenic mountain on North Korea’s eastern coast is the site of a South Korean-run resort visited by South Korean tourists via an overland route across the DMZ
June 13-15, 2000: South Korean President Kim Dae-jung and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il hold the first inter-Korean summit in Pyongyang. Following the summit, the two sides sign a Joint declaration of agreements on promoting more economic and cultural exchanges and realizing peaceful unification.
Aug. 15-18, 2000: The two Koreas arrange for the first reunion of family members separated before and during the 1950-53 Korean War.
Feb. 2003: New President Roh Moo-hyun inherits his predecessor Kim Dae Jung’s policy of engagement with the North.
June 30, 2003: The two Koreas begin to construct an inter-Korean industrial complex in the North Korean border city of Kaesong.
Oct. 2-4, 2007: South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il hold the second inter-Korean summit in Pyongyang. The summit concludes with a joint declaration in which the two sides agree to strive for peaceful reunification.
Dec. 19, 2007: Lee Myung-bak is inaugurated as South Korean President. He turns away his predecessors’ policy of engagement and takes a hard-line approach to North Korea.
Jul 11, 2008: A South Korean woman is shot to death by a North Korean soldier while taking a part in a tour to the Mount Kumgang resort on the North’s east coast. South Korea suspends the Kumgang tourism immediately.
Jan. 24, 2010: Pyongyang threatens war with South Korea in response to Seoul’s statement that South Korea would make a preemptive attack at North Korea if it sees a threat of a nuclear strike.
March 26, 2010: The South Korean patrol ship Cheonan is sunk near the maritime border with North Korea, leaving 46 sailors dead.
May 20, 2010: South Korea makes a formal accusation against North Korea for sinking the Cheonan with a torpedo attack but North Korea denies any involvement.
May 24, 2010: Seoul suspends all trade and aid to North Korea in response to Pyongyang’s sinking of the Cheonan. North Korea says it will cut all links to South Korea in retaliation for the sanctions.
Nov. 23, 2010: North Korea fires artillery rounds at South Korea’s western island of Yeonpyeong, which borders North Korea, killing two soldiers and two civilians. South Korea suspends all Red Cross talks with North Korea and places a travel ban on trips to the Kaesong Industrial Complex.
March 4, 2011: South Korea’s major government and business Web sites come under massive cyber attacks, also known as the distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. North Korea is accused of orchestrating the attacks.
Dec. 12, 2012: North Korea successfully launches the Unha-3 long-range rocket. Seoul, Washington and others condemn the launch as a covert test of banned ballistic missile technology.
Feb. 12, 2013: Korea carries out a third nuclear test at the Punggye-ri nuclear site.
March 11, 2013: North Korea declares that the Armistice Agreement is null and that it will no longer respect non-aggression pacts signed with South Korea. South Korea condemns the move, saying that the agreement cannot be terminated unilaterally.
March 27, 2013: North Korea severs the military hotline with the South, which is used to facilitate cross-border movement of personnel and cargo.
April 3, 2013: North Korea bans South Korean workers from entering the industrial park in Kaesong but permits people to leave and cross over the DMZ that separates the two Koreas.
April 9, 2013: All 53,000 North Korean workers fail to show up for work, halting all production at the 123 South Korean factories in the complex.
April 11, 2013: South Korean Unification Minister Ryoo Kihl-jae issues a statement calling for talks with North Korea. President Park Geun-hye also stresses the need for inter-Korean dialogue.
April 14, 2013: North Korea rejects Seoul's call for talks to resolve the standoff over the suspended operations of the Kaesong Industrial Complex.
April 26, 2013: South Korea decides to withdraw all of its workers from the complex after North Korea rejected its offer of talks to resolve the standoff.
May 3, 2013: The last seven South Korean personnel staying behind in Kaesong to settle various financial accounts for local businesses leave the industrial complex and return home, effectively shutting down the Kaesong Industrial Complex that has been in operation for just under 10 years.
Chronology of major events related to S. Korea-U.S. relations
The following is a chronology of major events related to South Korea and U.S. relations.
May 22, 1882: Korea and the United States engage in first official diplomatic interactions, signing the Treaty of Peace, Amity, Commerce and Navigation.
Sept. 7, 1945: The United States establishes a military government occupying the southern half of the Korean Peninsula following the end of Japan’s colonial rule of Korea.
June 25, 1950: The United States and other countries pass a U.N. Security Council resolution authorizing military intervention in the Korean War, which occurs the same day North Korea invades South Korea.
July 27, 1953: Representatives of North Korea, China and the United States sign an armistice agreement to end the Korean War.
Oct. 1, 1953: South Korea and the United States sign a Mutual Defense Treaty, creating the basis of South Korean adherence with U.S. government consultations on North Korean policy.
July 9, 1966: South Korea and the United States sign a Status of Forces Agreement stipulating the treatment of U.S. Forces in South Korea.
Nov. 19, 1993: South Korea and the United States participate in the first summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.
1976-93: South Korea and the United States hold a joint military drill called Team Spirit annually to prepare for possible contingencies on the Korean Peninsula.
Nov. 7, 1978: South Korea and the United States agree to establish a Combined Forces Command.
Sept. 27 1991: U.S. President George W.H. Bush orders the U.S. military to withdraw all tactical nuclear weapons from South Korea.
Oct. 21, 1994: South Korea and the United States cancel Team Spirit exercises to encourage North Korea to dismantle its nuclear program.
May 8, 1995: South Korea and the United States conduct a joint military drill called Reception, Staging, Onward Movement, and Integration of Forces (RSOI), previously known as Team Spirit.
June 13, 2002: A U.S. armored vehicle runs over and kills two Korean girls in a northern suburb of Seoul.
Nov. 27, 2002: U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Thomas Hubbard relays a message of U.S. President George W. Bush to South Korea and its people that offers an apology over the deaths of the two girls.
Aug. 27, 2003: South Korea, the United States, Japan, China, Russia and North Korea hold their first round of six-party talks aimed at denuclearizing the North.
Feb. 24, 2007: South Korea and the United States agree to dissolve the Combined Forces Command and transfer wartime operational control (OPCON) over the military forces to South Korea starting from April 2012. Control of South Korean forces in both peacetime and war was placed in the hands of the U.S.-led U.N. Command shortly after the outbreak of the 1950-1953 Korean War. Seoul regained peacetime OPCON in 1994.
April 2, 2007: South Korea and the United States sign a free trade agreement.
March 2, 2008: South Korea and the United States conduct Key Resolve military drills, previously known as the RSOI.
May 2, 2008: South Koreans hold the first candlelight vigil opposing the resumption of U.S. beef imports over concerns of mad cow disease.
June 27, 2010: South Korea and the United States agree to postpone the scheduled transfer of wartime operational control from the U.S. to the South to December 2015.
March 15, 2012: The South Korea-United States Free Trade Agreement enters into force.
Chronology of major events related to S. Korea-China relations
The following is a chronology of major events related to South Korea and China relations
Oct. 25, 1950: China sends 260,000 troops to help North Korea battle South Korea and its allies during the Korean War.
July 26, 1953: North Korea, China and the United States sign an armistice agreement to end the Korean War.
May 4, 1983: A hijacked Chinese airliner makes an emergency landing in South Korea, prompting officials from both sides to make their first diplomatic contact to negotiate how to handle the six Chinese hijackers.
July 7, 1988: Seoul announces that it will now refer to China by its official name, the People's Republic of China.
Aug. 24, 1992: South Korea severs diplomatic ties with Taiwan and establishes relations with China. China opens its embassy in Seoul two days later.
Sept. 27, 1992: South Korean President Roh Tae-woo meets his Chinese counterpart, Yang Shangkun, to hold the first summit between the two countries.
March 28, 1994: South Korean President Kim Young-sam holds a summit with Chinese President Jiang Zemin in Beijing, concluding a cultural agreement and a double taxation prevention agreement.
Nov. 13, 1995: Chinese President Jiang Zemin begins a five-day state visit to South Korea at the invitation of South Korean President Kim Young-sam.
Nov. 13, 1998: South Korean President Kim Dae-jung and Chinese President Jiang Zemin hold a summit in Beijing. The two countries establish a cooperative partnership to expand their economy-oriented relations to political, cultural, social and military spheres.
June 8, 2000: China places a temporary import ban on South Korean cellular phones and polyethylene, saying South Korea unilaterally hiked the tariff for Chinese garlic in violation of regulations set by the World Trade Organization.
July 31, 2000: South Korea and China sign a trade agreement in Beijing, under which China agrees to lift the import ban on South Korean cellular phones and polyethylene and South Korea to lower tariffs on Chinese-made garlic.
End of 2004: China becomes South Korea’s the biggest trading partner by trade volume.
Jan. 27, 2005: South Korea’s Foreign Ministry calls in China's ambassador to Seoul to protest Beijing's repatriation of a former South Korean soldier to North Korea, who was taken prisoner during the 1950-53 Korean War.
Nov. 15, 2005: South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun holds a summit with Chinese President Hu Jintao in Seoul.
May 27, 2008: South Korean President Lee Myung-bak holds a summit with Chinese President Hu Jintao in Beijing. The two countries agree to elevate their bilateral relations from the existing comprehensive and cooperative partnership to a "strategic and cooperative partnership."
October, 2010: The number of Chinese residents in South Korea tops 600,000.
Dec. 12, 2011: A Chinese fisherman kills a South Korean Coast Guard officer during a raid on a Chinese ship that had been fishing illegally in the Yellow Sea off Incheon, west of Seoul, heightening diplomatic tensions between the two countries.
Chronology of major events related to S. Korea-Japan relations
The following is a chronology of major events related to South Korea and Japan relations.
Feb. 26, 1876: Korea and Japan sign an unequal treaty granting Japanese citizens extraterritorial rights and opening three ports to Japanese trade.
Jan. 17, 1905: Korea and Japan sign the Eulsa Protective Treaty, depriving Korea of diplomatic sovereignty and making it a protectorate of Japan.
Aug. 22, 1910: Japan annexes Korea with the signing of an official treaty.
Aug. 29, 1910: Japan officially declares its colonial rule of Korea.
March 1, 1919: South Korean independence activists stage a nationwide protest against Japanese colonial rule.
Aug. 15, 1945: Japan surrenders to the Allied forces and relinquishes control over Korea.
Sept. 25, 1954: Japan suggests settling the Dokdo issue with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for the first time.
June 22, 1965: South Korea and Japan sign the Treaty on Basic Relations, normalizing diplomatic ties and declaring all treaties signed on or before Aug. 22, 1910 “already null and void.”
Jan. 30, 1974: South Korea and Japan sign an agreement to jointly develop the continental shelf spanning 84,000 square-kilometers southeast of Jeju Island.
Aug. 4, 1993: Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono makes an official statement acknowledging and expressing apology for the coercion of young women into sexual slavery by the Japanese Imperial Army.
Aug. 15, 1995: Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama makes an apology statement for the atrocities committed by the Japanese Imperial Army.
Sept. 25, 1998: Japan unilaterally abolishes the 1965 fishery pact with South Korea to claim its Exclusive Economic Zone.
April 3, 2001: Japan’s Ministry of Education approves a controversial history textbook that downplays the nature of Japanese atrocities during World War II.
Aug. 13, 2001: Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi makes a controversial visit to the Yasukuni Shrine which honors Japan’s war dead including Class A war criminals.
Jan. 1, 2004: South Korea lifts all bans on Japanese cultural imports.
March 16, 2005: Japan’s Shimane Prefecture enacts "Takeshima Day,” promoting Tokyo's territorial claim over South Korea’s easternmost islets Dokdo.
June 1, 2005: South Korean skipper trespasses into Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone.
Aug. 2, 2005: Japan claims Dokdo as its territory for the first time in its defense white paper.
March 1, 2007: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe denies the forced coercion of young women into sexual slavery during World War II.
Aug. 10, 2012: President Lee Myung-bak visits Dokdo, a first for a South Korean president.
Aug. 30, 2012: Japan announces plans to unilaterally take the issue of Dokdo to the ICJ.
Chronology of major events related to S. Korea-Russia relations
The following is a list of major events related to South Korea and Russia relations.
July 7, 1884: Korea and Russia sign their first trade treaty in Seoul, concerning tariff rules, extraterritorial rights and bans on smuggling trade. Korea also grants a most favored nation status to Russia.
Feb. 1885: Korea tries to sign a secret pact with Russia to fend off Japan and China’s increasing presence in the country but fails to do so after Japan and Britain intervene.
Aug. 2,886: Korea makes another botched attempt to contract a secret agreement with Russia to seek protection against
China’s growing interference in Korea’s internal affairs.
June 1950–July 1953: Throughout the Korean War, the Soviet Union provides various aid to the North Korean and Chinese armies to battle South Korea and its allies.
June 23, 1973: South Korean President Park Chung-hee offers to open peaceful relations with the Soviet Union and other communist countries in a special statement.
June 5, 1990: South Korean President Roh Tae-woo and Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev hold the first bilateral summit in San Francisco.
Sept. 30, 1990: South Korea establishes full diplomatic ties with the Soviet Union.
Dec. 13-15, 1990: South Korean President Roh Tae-woo meets Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev in Moscow.
Sept. 16, 1991: South Korea and the Soviet Union sign their first fisheries agreement.
Dec. 27, 1991: Seoul recognizes the independence of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).
Dec. 30, 1991: Seoul recognizes 10 member states under the Commonwealth of Independent States.
Nov. 18-20, 1992: Russian President Boris Yeltsin makes an official visit to South Korea and meets South Korean President Roh Tae-woo.
July 8, 1997: The first South Korea-Russia joint economic commission takes place in Seoul.
July 24, 1997: Seoul and Moscow sign an agreement to set up a special communications link between Russian and South Korean presidents.
Dec. 2000: With Russian assistance, South Korea begins construction of the Naro Space Center in Goheung on South Korea’s south coast.
Feb. 26-28, 2001: Russian President Vladimir Putin visits Seoul for a summit meeting with South Korean President Kim Dae-jung.
Aug. 2002: South Korea and Russia confirm plans to develop the Korea Space Launch Vehicle-1 (KSLV-1) rocket and begin design and construction work, with a launch planned for 2005.
Sept. 21-24, 2004: South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun visits Moscow to meet his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.
Sept. 21, 2004: South Korea and Russia sign a space technology cooperation pact.
Nov. 18-19, 2005: Russian President Vladimir Putin meets South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun at the summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Busan, South Korea.
Sept. 28, 2008: South Korean President Lee Myung-bak visits his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev. The two leaders agree to send Russian natural gas through a pipeline to South Korea via North Korea starting in 2015.
Sept. 9-10, 2010: South Korean President Lee Myung-bak visits his counterpart Dmitry Medvedev in Russia to discuss economic and security issues.
Nov. 9, 2010: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev meets his South Korean counterpart Lee Myung-bak during his visit to Seoul for the summit of the Group of 20 major economies.
Nov. 1-2, 2011: South Korean President Lee Myung-bak makes a two-day visit in Saint Petersburg, Russia, to hold talks with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev. They agree to build a massive gas pipe line linking the two countries via North Korea.
March 26, 2012: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev visits South Korean President Lee Myung-bak in Seoul. The two leaders agree that North Korea should concentrate on improving the basic lives of its people rather than developing a rocket.
Sept. 8, 2012: South Korean President Lee Myung-bak meets his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin during the APEC summit in Vladivostok, Russia.
Jan. 30, 2013 -- South Korea successfully launches its space rocket Naro-1 from the Naro Space Center with Russian assistance and technical supervision.
Chronology of major events related to Japan’s history textbook issues
The following is a chronology of major events related to Japan’s history textbook issues.
April 1949: The Japanese government introduces the first centralized system of authorizing school textbooks.
June 1965: Saburo Ienaga, a prominent Japanese historian, files the first in his series of lawsuits against the Japanese Ministry of Education to fight against the government’s efforts to suppress details of Japan’s wartime atrocities from school history books.
June 1982: Japan’s education ministry sparks a diplomatic row after demanding during a screening process that a school textbook be revised to change the phrase “invaded China” to “advanced to China.” South Korea and China protest the move, saying it downplays the severity of Japan’s wartime atrocities.
Nov. 1982: Following South Korea and China’s backlash, Japan’s Ministry of Education adopts the so-called Neighboring Country Clause, advising all textbook publishers to maintain international harmony in their treatment of modern historical events involving neighboring Asian countries.
July 1986: Japan approves Shinpen Nihonshi (A New History of Japan) written by the right-wing National Congress to Defend Japan despite opposition from Seoul and Beijing. The textbook lists the full Imperial Rescript on Education, which espouses nationalist ideology based on emperor worship.
June 1996: All seven middle school textbooks in Japan start including discussions on the so-called comfort women following Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono’s official apology in 1993 for the sexual coercion they suffered.
April 2001: Japan approves eight controversial textbooks including one by the right-wing Japanese Society of History Textbook Reform, popularly known as Tsukurukai. The textbook argues that Japan’s invasion of Korea was necessary for national security and that some Koreans agreed to Japan’s annexation of Korea.
April 2002: Japan approves six high school textbooks including Saishin Nihonshi, the high school version of Shinpen Nihonshi.
March 2005: Japan’s Education Minister Nariaki Nakayama says Japan should claim South Korea’s easternmost islets of Dokdo in the revised Course of Study. Senior Vice Education Minister Hakubun Shimomura issues a statement saying that it is inappropriate to teach the topic of comfort women in middle and high schools.
April 2005: Japan approves a controversial history textbook by Fusosha Publishing that claims Dokdo as Japanese territory.
Dec. 2006: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe revises the Fundamental Law of Education for the first time since 1947, placing a greater emphasis on instilling a sense of patriotism among students.
July 14, 2008: Japan revises the description of the middle school course of study, clarifying that South Korea and Japan hold differing opinions as to which country claims sovereignty over Dokdo.
March 9, 2009: Japan announces the Course of Study revision for high schools.
Dec. 25, 2009: Japan revises the description of the Course of Study for high schools stressing the importance of teaching Japan’s territorial issues from a nationalist point of view.
March 30, 2010: Japan approves five elementary school textbooks that all claim Dokdo as Japanese territory.
March 30, 2011: Japan approves 17 middle school social studies textbooks, 14 of which explain Dokdo as Japanese territory.
March 27, 2012: Japan approves 39 high school social studies textbooks, 21 of which claim Dokdo as part of Japanese territory. Twelve out of 19 history textbooks include discussions of the comfort women issue.
March 26, 2013: Japan approves 21 high school textbooks that describe Dokdo as Japanese territory.
Chronology of major events related to Japan’s claim to Dokdo
The following is a chronology of major events related to Japan’s claim to South Korea’s easternmost islets of Dokdo.
1877: In an instruction to the Shimane prefectural government, Japan’s Meiji government denies sovereignty over Dokdo, saying the islets “have no relations with the country.”
Jan. 28, 1905: Japan’s Cabinet unilaterally decides to incorporate Dokdo into its territory, naming it Takeshima.
Feb. 22, 1905: Japan’s Shimane Prefecture officially announces its incorporation of Dokdo.
Jan. 18, 1952: South Korean President Rhee Syng-man proclaims a new maritime border in the East Sea that includes Dokdo.
Sept. 3, 1962: Yujiro Iseki, a Japanese foreign ministry official, proposes blowing up Dokdo to settle disputes during South Korea-Japan diplomatic talks.
Feb. 5, 1977: Japanese Prime Minister Fukuda Takeo publicly claims Japan’s ownership of Dokdo.
Feb. 23, 2005: Japan's Shimane Prefecture designates Feb. 22 as Takeshima Day, promoting its claim over the islets.
March 17, 2005: Seoul reformulates its doctrine of relations with Tokyo, arguing that Japan’s claim over Dokdo is an attempt to extend its colonial aggression against South Korea.
April 26, 2005: South Korea passes a special legislation that allows Seoul to exercise enhanced control of the islets.
July 2005: Japan’s Ministry of Defense releases an annual white paper that describes the islets as Japanese territory for the first time.
April 14, 2006: The Japanese government announces a plan to conduct maritime research on waters near Dokdo.
April 18, 2006: South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun labels Japan's planned survey of waters surrounding Dokdo as an “offensive provocation.”
April 22, 2006: Japan agrees to cancel the maritime survey following an agreement with South Korea to resolve territorial disputes over Dokdo.
Aug. 1, 2011: Seoul bans three Japanese lawmakers from entering the country, claiming that their trip is aimed at reasserting Tokyo’s claim over Dokdo.
April 11, 2012: Dozens of Japanese lawmakers, including Japan’s vice foreign minister, attend a mass rally in Tokyo to promote Japan’s territorial claim over the islets.
Aug. 10, 2012: South Korean President Lee Myung-bak makes a landmark visit to Dokdo citing Japan’s unrepentant attitude toward its wartime aggressions. Lee becomes the first South Korean president to visit the islets.
Aug. 17, 2012: Seoul flatly rejects Tokyo’s proposal to take the Dokdo issue to the International Court of Justice, claiming South Korea’s sovereignty over the islets is “indisputable.”
Aug. 22, 2012: During a parliamentary session, Japanese Foreign Affairs Secretary Koichiro Gemba calls President Lee Myung-bak’s trip to Dokdo an “illegal occupation.”
Aug. 24, 2012: Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda tells reporters that Tokyo will address territorial issues with South Korea with "unflagging resolve.”
Sept. 7, 2012: South Korea conducts defense drills in waters near the islets to prepare for possible contingencies with Japan.
April 5, 2013: Tokyo issues an annual foreign policy report that reiterates Japan’s territorial claims to the islets.
Chronology of major accidents related to South Korea since 1940s.
The following is a chronology of major accidents and disasters in South Korea since the 1940s
Aug. 18, 1949: A train derails at Juknyeong Tunnel in the southeastern city of Yeongju, killing 46 people and injuring 101 others.
July 11, 1951: A passenger boat, the Pyeonri-ho No. 5, sinks off the port city of Busan, killing 80 people.
Jan. 9, 1953: A passenger boat, the Changgyeong-ho, sinks off the port city of Busan, killing 362 people.
Jan. 12, 1956: A fire on a passenger boat, the Taesin-ho, in the southeastern city of Sacheon kills 65 people.
Jan. 26, 1960: A fatal stampede at Seoul Station crushes 31 people to death and injures 40 others.
March 2, 1960: A fire at a rubber factory in the port city of Busan kills 62 people and injures 39 others.
Jan. 18, 1963: A passenger boat, the Yeon-ho, sinks off the southeastern coastal city of Mokpo, killing 140 people.
June 25. 1963: A landslide in the southeastern city of Geoje kills nine police officers and 60 civilians.
Jan. 1, 1967: A fire at a traditional market in the southeastern city of Daegu kills 41 people and injures 102 others.
Jan. 31, 1969: A train collision in the central city of Cheonan kills 41 people and injures 102 others.
April 8, 1970: An apartment in Seoul collapses, killing 33 people and injuring 39 others.
Aug. 21, 1970: An express bus veers off an express highway in Geumneung, North Gyeongsang Province, killing 25 people and injuring 22 others.
Oct. 14, 1970: A tourist bus hits a train in the central city of Asan, killing 46 people and injuring 30 others.
Dec. 15, 1970: A ferry, Namyeong-ho, sinks off Geomun Island in the South Sea, killing 310 people. The accident, in which only 12 passengers were rescued, marked the biggest maritime disaster in South Korea’s history.
May 10, 1971: A bus falls into Cheongpyeong Lake in Gapyeong, 60 kilometers east of Seoul, killing 80 people.
Dec. 25, 1971: A fire at Seoul's Daeyeongak Hotel kills 166 people and injures 88 others.
Dec. 2, 1972: A fire at Seoul Citizen’s Center kills 51 people and injures 76 others.
Aug. 18, 1973: A bus veers off Seoul’s Gwangjin Bridge, killing 17 people and injuring 28 others.
Nov. 11, 1977: An explosion at a train station in the southwestern city of Iksan kills 59 people and injures 1,343 others.
July 23, 1978: A bus veers off Hangang Bridge, killing 33 people and injuring 13 others.
May 14, 1981: A train collision in Gyeongsan, southeastern South Korea, kills 56 people and injures 244 others.
Nov. 22, 1981: A bus crashes at Mount Geumjeong in the port city of Busan, leaving 33 people dead and 36 others injured.
Sept. 1, 1983: A Soviet fighter jet shoots down a Korean airliner over Sakhalin Island, killing all 269 people onboard.
Aug. 31, 1984: A massive flood in Seoul’s Han River leaves 189 people dead and 150 others missing.
Jan. 14, 1984: A fire at a hotel in the port city of Busan kills 38 people and injures 68 others.
Jan. 11, 1985: A bus veers off the Yanggang Bridge in the central city of Yeongdong, killing 38 people.
April 1, 1988: A bus plunges off the Cheonho Bridge in Seoul, killing 19 people and injuring 35 others.
Sept. 17, 1989: A bus crash in Wanju, North Jeolla Province, kills 24 people and injures 61 others.
Oct. 27, 1989: An express bus collision at an expressway in the central city of Nonsan kills 16 people.
Sept. 1, 1990: A bus veers off a bridge over a river in Yeoju, Gyeonggi Province, leaving 25 people dead and four others missing.
Nov. 4, 1990: A bus crashes into a lake in Inje, northeast of Seoul, killing 21 people and injuring 21 others.
March 28, 1993: A Busan-bound train from Seoul derails and overturns near Gupo Station, outside the southeastern port city. The accident leaves 78 people dead and 198 others injured.
April 19, 1993: A fire at a mental hospital in the central city of Nonsan kills 34 people.
June 10, 1993: A blast at an artillery range in the northern city of Yeoncheon kills 20 people and injures six others.
July 26, 1993: An Asiana Airlines Boeing 737 flying the Seoul-Mokpo route crashes near Mokpo Airport, killing 66 passengers and injuring 44 others.
Oct. 10, 1993: A 110-ton ferry sinks in waters off of Buan on South Korea's west coast, killing 268 people on board.
Oct. 21, 1994: The Seongsu Grand Bridge spanning the Han River collapses, killing 32 people and injuring 17 others.
Oct. 24, 1994: A fire breaks out on a cruise ship in the central city of Chungju, killing 25 people onboard.
Dec. 7, 1994: A gas explosion in Seoul’s Ahyeondong neighborhood kills 12 people and injures 101 others.
April 28, 1995: A massive gas explosion in the southeastern city of Daegu kills 101 people and injures 202 others.
June 29, 1995: Sampoong Department Store in southern Seoul collapses, killing 502 people and injuring 900 others. The building had undergone illegal remodeling and was not inspected by structural engineers.
June. 30, 1999: A fire breaks out in a three-story dormitory at the Sealand Summer Camp in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province, killing 23 people, including 19 pre-school children.
Oct. 30, 1999: A fire at a pub in Incheon, west of Seoul, kills 52 people and injures 71 others.
July 14, 2000: An eight-vehicle pileup on an expressway in the southeastern city of Gimcheon kills 18 people and injures 100 others.
Feb. 18, 2003: A mentally unstable man sets fire to a subway train of the Daegu Metropolitan Subway in the southeastern city of Daegu, which quickly spreads and kills 192 people, injuring 148 others.
Dec. 7, 2007: South Korea experiences the worst oil spill in its history, when an oil tanker collides with a crane barge in waters off Taean on South Korea's west coast, leaking about 15,000 tons of oil into waters, destroying ecologically valuable wetland areas and thousands of sea farms along the coastline.
Jan. 7, 2008: A fire breaks out at a cold storage warehouse in Icheon, 60 km south of Seoul, killing 40 and injuring nine others.
Feb. 10, 2008: A 70-year-old man sets a fire to Seoul's 600-year-old ancient gate Namdaemun, South Korea’s No.1 national treasure. The fire severely damages the structure, destroying the upper tower completely.
July 2011: A heavy rainfall hits Seoul, leaving 62 people dead and nine others missing.
Sept. 27. 2012: A poisonous gas leak at a chemical compound in the industrial city of Gumi, about 200 kilometers southeast of Seoul, kills five workers and injures four others.
Jan. 28. 2013: Highly poisonous hydrofluoric acid gas leaks at a semiconductor plant run by Samsung Electronics Co., killing one worker and injuring four others.