2013 Korean crisis

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2013 Korean crisis
Part of the division of Korea post-armistice conflicts
Date January 24, 2013 (2013-01-24) – August 14, 2013 (2013-08-14)
(6 months and 2 weeks)
Location Korean Peninsula
Result North Korea and South Korea resume operations at the Kaesong Industrial Complex.
Belligerents
Commanders and leaders

The 2013 Korean crisis, also referred to as the North Korean crisis by media, was an escalation of tensions between North Korea and South Korea, the United States, and Japan that began because of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2087, which condemned North Korea for the launch of Kwangmyŏngsŏng-3 Unit 2. The crisis was marked by extreme escalation of rhetoric by the new North Korean administration under Kim Jong-un and actions suggesting imminent nuclear attacks against South Korea, Japan, and the United States.[1]

Background[edit]

Early background[edit]

In 1957, the United States withdrew from the article 13(d) in the Korean Armistice Agreement, which prohibited the foreign signatories from sending additional equipment to Korea. The US subsequently sent nuclear weapons to Korea in January 1958, such as MGR-1 Honest John. This led North Korea to forward deploy their troops to the border, so if hit with a nuclear weapon, it would also affect their counterparts, South Korea and United States. North Korea also requested help as early as 1963 with developing its own nuclear weapons to counter the perceived threat of nuclear war in Korea.[2]

In 1994, Following North Korea's threat to withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, United States and North Korea entered into an Agreed Framework. In 2003, North Korea chose to withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Since then it has been subject to a series of sanctions by the UN Security Council concerning its nuclear program. These sanctions include: Resolution 1695, Resolution 1718, Resolution 1874, and Resolution 2087.

Satellite launch[edit]

In April 2012, Kim Jong-un formally took over as leader of the North Korean ruling party leadership. On 13 April 2012, North Korea attempted and failed to launch an artificial satellite called Kwangmyŏngsŏng-3, which was planned to mark the centenary of the birth of Kim Il-sung, the founder of the DPRK. The launch was widely seen as a long-range missile test, of the sort that North Korea had agreed to suspend in return for US food aid. North Korea has said it was no longer bound by the agreement, which also banned nuclear tests.[3]

In October 2012, days after South Korea and the US unveiled a new missile deal, North Korea reported it had missiles that were capable of reaching the US mainland.[4] On December 12, 2012, North Korea launched a new artificial satellite called Kwangmyŏngsŏng-3 Unit 2 into space.

Most of the nations of the world condemned the action, including China, which by a military pact is required to defend North Korea in the event of aggression. In addition, historical rivals the United States, Japan and South Korea claimed that it was a military trial for war, with the sole mission of provoking political opponents.[citation needed]However, North Korean government said the launch was solely to put a satellite into orbit, denying that it was a military trial.[citation needed]

On January 22, 2013, United Nations Security Council condemned the satellite launch, regarding this as a violation of a ban on North Korean ballistic missile tests, as the rocket technology is the same.[3] Strengthening the sanctions included in previous Resolutions 1718 (2006) and 1874 (2009).

North Korea denounced sanctions UNSC imposed under UNSC Resolution 2087.[5] on the January 23 the government of North Korea announced the continuation of their tests not only devoted to missiles, but clearly with an effort to facilitate nuclear weapons purposes. Moreover, North Korea directly threatened the U.S., announcing that they could launch long-range missiles against that country.[citation needed]

We do not hide that we will launch a series of satellites and long-range rockets and carry out nuclear tests in the next higher level new phase of the struggle against the United States, the sworn enemy of the Korean people.

The North Korean government accused the United States at the United Nations of leading a "unprecedented movement against North" with new sanctions and impeding Pyongyang's efforts to develop its economy. State television also said that "this has proven once again that the North must defend its sovereignty by itself. It has become clear that there can be no demilitarization of the Korean peninsula before the world has denuclearized".[citation needed]

Timeline of events[edit]

January[edit]

January 22[edit]

  • U.N. Security Council Resolution 2087, condemning the North Korean satellite launch as a violation of a ban on North Korean ballistic missile tests, as the rocket technology is the same, is unanimously adopted. The agreement broadened the sanctions included in previous resolutions.[citation needed]

January 24[edit]

  • North Korea announced its plans to carry out a new nuclear test and more long-range rocket launches, all of which it said are a part of a new phase of confrontation with the United States.[6] The statement called the United States the "sworn enemy of the Korean people".[7]

February[edit]

February 12[edit]

February 15[edit]

  • North Korea informed China that it would conduct one or two further nuclear tests in 2013.[9]

March[edit]

March 7[edit]

In response to two nuclear-capable American B-2 stealth bombers flying over the Korean peninsula on March 28, 2013, North Korea threatened the United States with their readiness to launch a rocket.
  • During Foal Eagle, annual training exercise conducted between South Korea and the United States, North Korea threatened to abandon the Korean Armistice Agreement, arguing the exercises threatened North Korea with nuclear weapons and that the U.S. was unwilling to negotiate a peace treaty to replace the armistice.[10] JoongAng Ilbo reported that American vessels equipped with nuclear weapons were participating in the exercise.[11] The U.S. Department of Defense publicly announced that U.S. Air Force B-52 bombers from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam flown over South Korea were reaffirming the U.S.'s "nuclear umbrella" for South Korea.[12][13]

March 8[edit]

March 13[edit]

  • North Korea confirmed it ended the 1953 Korean Armistice Agreement, declaring that North Korea "is not restrained by the North-South declaration on non-aggression" and warned that the next step was an act of "merciless" military retaliation against its enemies.[17]

March 15[edit]

  • United States Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced that the U.S. will add 14 more Ground-Based Interceptor (GBI) missiles, one of the key components of the Ground-based Midcourse (GMD) ballistic missile defense system, at Fort Greely, Alaska, boosting the total number of GBI missiles from 30 back to the 44 planned by the Bush administration. Currently, 30 GBI missiles are based at two sites in the U.S., four at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, and 26 at Fort Greely in Alaska. The U.S.'s GMD program uses land-based missiles to intercept incoming ballistic missiles in the midcourse phase of their flight, outside the earth atmosphere. GMD is designed to defend against intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). In contrast, the well-known land-based Patriot system with Patriot PAC-3 missiles or the new land-based Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system (as well as the sea-based Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system) is designed to defend against theatre ballistic missiles (TBMs) including short-range (SRBM), medium-range (MRBM), and intermediate-range (IRBM) missiles.[18][19] Admiral James A. Winnefeld, Jr., Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff also expressed his concern over the threat of North Korea's KN-08 ICBMs, telling reporters at the Pentagon on March 15 that this ICBM has emerged as a threat "a little bit faster than we expected." KN-08 missiles were first displayed on 16-wheel carrier trucks during a 2012 military parade, but there are doubts about their authenticity.[20][21][22] In addition, Secretary Hagel said that the U.S. is planning to deploy an additional AN/TPY-2 radar, a part of GMD ballistic missile defense system in Japan. This second radar will provide improved early warning and tracking of any missile launched from North Korea at the U.S. or Japan. A first land-based AN/TPY-2 radar was positioned in northern Japan and has been operational since 2006, a second installation is scheduled to be emplaced in central Japan soon, but it is not likely to be fully functional for several more months to come.[18][23]

March 16[edit]

  • U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced that Fort Greely in Alaska might have to be expanded to protect the United States from potential threats from Iran and North Korea.[24]

March 20[edit]

  • There was a cyber-attack against South Korea which added to tensions. It was later confirmed by the South Korean government that North Korea was behind the attack.[25]

March 26[edit]

  • The U.S. again dispatched B-52 bombers from Guam to overfly South Korean territory as part of the ongoing Foal Eagle exercise. These flights were, according to US Department of Defense sources, routine flights intended to demonstrate America’s capability of maintaining a "continuous bomber presence" in the region.[23]
  • Japan was to deploy three Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) destroyers equipped with Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system (Aegis BMD) according to Japanese media. Citing unnamed government officials, Japanese news reports said 2 of the destroyers would depart from Sasebo Naval Base in Nagasaki Prefecture, and head for the East China Sea. One of these ships from Sasebo was confirmed as the JDS Chokai (DDG-176). A third destroyer would deploy from Maizuru, Kyoto Prefecture, and head for the Sea of Japan. These warships could either be Kongo class or Atago class guided-missiles destroyers or both. All three ships are equipped with the RIM-161 Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) Block IA, a missile co-developed by and purchased from the U.S., according to Lt. Choji Yoshida, spokesman for the JMSDF Sasebo district headquarters. Japan also moved Patriot PAC-3 missile batteries to Okinawa to intercept a North Korean missile should any piece of it approach Japanese territory or waters.[26]

March 27[edit]

  • Confirmation of the severing of the hotline between the North and the South—the last remaining communication link between the two countries at that time—was publicly announced, the same date that the hotline was cut off. According to the Korean Central News Agency, a senior North Korean military official stated: "Under the situation where a war may break out any moment, there is no need to keep up North-South military communications" prior to the cessation of the communication channel.[27][28]

March 28[edit]

  • Two U.S. Air Force B-2A Spirit stealth bombers flew roundtrip from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri to the skies over the Korean Peninsula where they unloaded inert munitions on a South Korean bombing range. Flying nonstop with the assistance of in-flight refuelers, Pentagon officials called this mission a clear demonstration of "the United States’ ability to conduct long range, precision strikes quickly and at will". A flight of seven B-1B Lancer bombers was also deployed to Andersen Air Force Base in Guam.[23]

March 30[edit]

  • North Korea declared a 'state of war' against South Korea. A North Korean statement promised "stern physical actions" against "any provocative act". North Korean leader Kim Jong-un declared that rockets were ready to be fired at American bases in the Pacific. This was in response to two nuclear-capable American B-2 stealth bombers flying over the Korean peninsula on March 28. The day before North Korea's declaration, the United States Department of Defense said, "The United States is fully capable of defending itself and our allies against a North Korean attack. We are firmly committed to the defense of South Korea and Japan."[1][29][30]

March 31[edit]

  • Two U.S. Air Force F-22A Raptor stealth fighters were deployed to Osan Air Base, the main U.S. Air Force base in South Korea, from Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan. The aircraft are on static display at Osan Air Base as part of the Foal Eagle exercise to provide bilateral training for the US and the Republic of Korea military and to provide South Korean senior leaders with an orientation to the aircraft, which are an advanced capability available for the defense of South Korea," Pentagon spokesman George Little said on April 1.[31][32]

April[edit]

Estimated maximum ranges for North Korean missiles (bottom). It is believed that if a BM25 Musudan ballistic missile (top) was placed on North Korea's east coast, closer to the United States. Guam, where the Pentagon placed a THAAD anti-ballistic missile, is within the estimated maximum range of the Musudan missile. However the Musudan had not been tested as of 2013.

April 2[edit]

  • North Korea said it would restart a nuclear reactor capable of producing plutonium at the Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center, which was closed after six-party talks in 2007.[33]
  • The IT webzine BGR carried an article stating that the hacker group Anonymous had started Operation North Korea, calling for ‘controversial leader Kim Jong-un [to] resign’, ‘install free democracy’ ‘abandon its nuclear ambitions’, ‘uncensored Internet access’, etc. The hackers also proclaimed that if the North Korean government does not accede to their demand, they will wage “Cyber War.”[34]

April 3[edit]

  • North Korea closed entry to the Kaesong Industrial Region to South Koreans. The South Koreans already there were allowed to leave (most stayed voluntarily to continue working).[35] The Kaesong Industrial Region remaining open had previously been seen as a sign that the crisis was not as serious as the rhetoric suggested. The New York Times reported following the closure that "The fate of Kaesong is seen as a crucial test of how far North Korea is willing to take its recent threats against the South. Its continued operation was often seen as a sign that Pyongyang’s verbal militancy was not necessarily matched by its actions."[36] Kaesong was briefly closed three times in 2009.[37]
  • The Pentagon ordered a U.S. Army Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) advanced ballistic missile defense battery to be deployed to Guam within the next few weeks. The THAAD missile is designed to intercept the Theatre Ballistic Missile (TBM), and consists of a SRBM, a MRBM, and an IRBM. It intercepts missiles during the descent phase at an altitude higher than the current U.S. Army shorter range Patriot missile, that can intercept a TBM only during the terminal (final) phase of flight.[38][39] U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke class guided-missiles destroyer USS Decatur (DDG-73) equipped with the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system (Aegis BMD) also was sent to the Western Pacific near the Korean Peninsula, to join another destroyer, the USS John S. McCain (DDG-56), to perform a ballistic missile defense mission in response to growing threats. A third warship, the USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62), is also available. These ships are capable of carrying RIM-161 Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) Block IA Anti-Ballistic Missiles (ABMs). The latest generation of Standard missile, the RIM-174 Standard Missile 6 (SM-6) or Standard Extended Range Active Missile (Standard ERAM), with its advanced active radar seeker, can also be deployed on these warships. SM-6 is capable of defending against a TBM in their terminal phase of flight at an altitude up to 33 km (110,000 ft) and is now superseding RIM-156 Standard Missile 2 Extended Range (SM-2ER) Block IV as U.S. Navy terminal phase TBM interceptor. The Navy received the SM-6 into service in February 2013.[40] U.S. Department of Defense spokesman George Little denied reports that a Sea-Based X-band radar (SBX radar), a floating radar used to track an adversary's missiles as part of a Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) ballistic missile defense system, was being deployed to the waters off Japan, saying no decisions had been made about what would be done with the radar once at-sea testing in the region was finished.[41]
  • The North Korean military said it had "ratified" a merciless attack against the United States, potentially involving a "cutting-edge" nuclear strike, and that war could break out "today or tomorrow".[42]
  • The hacker group Anonymous claimed it had stolen 15,000 user passwords from Uriminzokkiri.com website, as part of a cyberwar against the DPRK.[43]

April 4[edit]

  • North Korea moved what is believed to be a BM25 Musudan mobile intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) to its east coast, possibly in preparation for a drill or test-firing. Many nations, specifically Japan, South Korea, and the United States, viewed this move as a continuation of North Korea's attempts to provoke confrontation throughout the beginning of 2013.[44]
A Minuteman III test scheduled for April 9 was delayed due to tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
  • Anonymous claimed to have hacked into the Uriminzokkiri main website, and the Twitter and Flickr pages representing the website.[45]

April 5[edit]

  • Multiple countries, including the United Kingdom, Russia, and Sweden (who provides limited consular services for the United States in North Korea[46]), were warned that they should evacuate their embassies by April 10.[47][48] The UK embassy stated they had no plans to do so.[49]
  • South Korea has dispatched two Sejong the Great class guided-missile destroyers equipped with Aegis combat system to watch both sides of the peninsula for a possible North Korean missile launch Yonhap news agency reported, citing Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy official sources. These ships are outfitted with the powerful AN/SPY-1D radar capable of detecting ballistic missiles and accurately tracking their trajectories as soon as North Korea launches them. However they cannot yet intercept the incoming ballistic missiles using their primary air defense weapon consisting of 80 RIM-66 Standard Missile 2 Medium Range (SM-2MR) Block IIIA and IIIB missiles. There are no confirmed reports that South Korea had bought RIM-156 Standard Missile 2 Extended Range (SM-2ER) Block IV missile, the newer version of Standard missile capable of intercepting ballistic missiles during their terminal phase of flight. SM-2ER Block IV has been deployed on U.S. Navy guided-missiles cruisers and destroyers equipped with Aegis combat system for many years.[50][51] With North Korea prepared for launching missiles and South Korea placing naval destroyers on its coasts, tensions in the Korean peninsula remain at a heightened state.[52] Anticipating the upcoming North Korea's missile test the U.S. set to deploy a RQ-4 Global Hawk Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) surveillance aircraft to Japan to boost surveillance capabilities over North Korea. The Global Hawk will be stationed at Misawa Air Base in northern Japan. The U.S. military informed Japan last month about plans to deploy the plane between June and September but may bring the date forward, it said, following reports about North Korea’s preparations for missile launches.[23]
  • Due to Kim Jong-un's rhetoric, South Korea's stocks dropped by 1.6% according to the KOSPI index.[53]

April 6[edit]

  • The Foreign Ministry of Germany stated that their embassy in Pyongyang will continue working, but it will be evaluated regularly for security and exposure. The United Kingdom reassured that they are staying and Sweden and France have also stated that they have no plans for evacuation. However Russia is considering the evacuation of staff due to the tensions.[54]

April 7[edit]

  • The Pentagon announced that the Minuteman III missile test at Vandenberg Air Force Base, which was planned for April 9, would be postponed. The test was not associated with the North Korea crisis, but the United States decided to hold off "given recent tensions on the Korean Peninsula," said a Department of Defense official.[55]

April 8[edit]

  • North Korea planned to withdraw all of its workers from the Kaesŏng Industrial Region.[56]
  • South Korea suspected that North Korea was preparing for a fourth nuclear test in Punggye-ri.[57]
  • Japan’s Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera has ordered its military to shoot down any North Korean missile headed towards its territory, which will see these destroyers deployed in the Sea of Japan. Suga also told a news conference that Japan would use those anti-ballistic missile systems only to defend Japanese territory. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has proposed that the government change its interpretation of the Constitution so Japan can intercept a missile fired at the U.S., but an advisory panel to Abe is still discussing relevant issues and the government has maintained its current interpretation. Shooting down a missile aimed at the U.S. would fall within the category of collective self-defense as defined by the United Nations Charter. The government interprets the war-renouncing Constitution as prohibiting the exercise of the right of collective defense.[58][59]
  • Using the hacked Uriminzokkiri Twitter account, Anonymous announced that the second round of Operation North Korea will occur soon.[60]

April 9[edit]

  • North Korean workers did not report to work at the Kaesong industrial zone.[61] The North Korean Government removed 50,000 workers from the Kaesong industrial park, which effectively shut down all activities.[62]
  • North Korea warned all foreign companies and tourists in South Korea to evacuate, stating that the two nations were on the verge of nuclear war.[63]
  • Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Japan has deployed Patriot PAC-3 missile units to 3 Japanese Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) installations: the Defense Ministry’s headquarters in Ichigaya in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward, Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force’s Camp Asaka in Tokyo’s Nerima Ward, and Camp Narashino in Funabashi, Chiba Prefecture. They have been deployed apparently to defend the ministry’s headquarters and key JSDF units as well as the heart of the capital, given the limited range of the missile, which is about 30 km. PAC-3 missiles are designed to intercept ballistic missiles that evaded the defense layer established by already deployed Aegis BMD system equipped guided-missiles destroyers. Officials from Seoul revealed that North Korea was likely planning to launch missiles on or after April 10,[64] a date which had already been warned about.[65]

April 10[edit]

  • North Korea fueled their ballistic missiles.[66][67]
  • The Twitter account for Yokohama, Japan accidentally tweeted that North Korea had launched a missile, causing panic in the city.[68][69]
  • North Korea shut down tourism from China; business travel, however, was allowed to continue.[70]
  • The United States Army War College played a war game in which they had to secure the nuclear stockpile of the fallen "North Brownland", a fictional country which acted as an alias for North Korea. In the end, in the game it took a force of 90,000 troops and 56 days to secure North Brownland's nuclear weapons.[71]

April 11[edit]

  • One of the North Korean missiles was put in the upright position, believed to be ready for launch.[72] During the night, North Korean forces moved the missiles several times in an attempt to disguise them. Later, a U.S. official said that the missile has been tucked back to its launcher.[73]
  • A U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency report was also made public which concluded that North Korea had achieved the technical knowledge necessary to create nuclear weapons capable of being delivered by ballistic missiles.[74]

April 12[edit]

April 13[edit]

  • The Philippines offered the United States its military bases, if a war against North Korea were to break out.[79]
  • The United States and China agreed that North Korea must be denuclearized and that peaceful negotiations with Kim Jong-un must be made.[80][81][82]
  • An Osaka official mistakenly e-mailed 87 Japanese airports that a North Korean missile had been launched; the intended message was about a magnitude 6.3 earthquake that hit western Japan.[83]
  • South Korean police stopped North Korean defectors and a Seoul-based civic organization from posting anti-Pyongyang leaflets across the Korean border. North Korea stated that South Korea would face a "catastrophic situation" if this were to occur, since the event was planned to happen on Kim Il-sung's birthday.[84][85]

April 14[edit]

  • Pyongyang rejected an offer to talk with Seoul, stating that it was a "cunning ploy".[86][87][88]
  • Kerry stated that the United States would talk directly to North Korea if they were to end their nuclear weapon program.[89][90]
  • The second round of Anonymous's Operation North Korea started.[91]

April 15[edit]

  • North Korea said that it is willing to develop peaceful relations with the world, on the condition that its status as a nuclear power is not challenged.[92]
  • Former Japanese defense minister Shigeru Ishiba stated that Japan had the right to deliver a preemptive strike against North Korea.[93]
  • North Korea threatened that it would not warn South Korea if it were to attack.[94]
  • It was claimed that the United States had previously been able to recover the front section of the rocket used by North Korea to launch a satellite in December 2012. Experts who analyzed the wreckage are stated to have concluded that the missile's cone was sufficiently large and durable to house a nuclear warhead.[95][96]

April 17[edit]

  • North Korea blocked a delegation of South Korean businessmen from delivering food and supplies to 200 of their staff inside the closed Kaesong joint industrial zone.[97]

April 18[edit]

  • North Korea for the first time in the crisis openly set its stated conditions for the resumption of talks. The United Nations must lift the sanctions against North Korea and that joint US-South Korean military exercises be halted.[98]
  • John Kerry said the US rejected North Korean preconditions for the resumption of talks.[99]

April 20[edit]

  • North Korea accepted China's offer for dialogue.[100]

April 21[edit]

  • North Korea moved two mobile missile launchers for short-range Scud missiles to the coast in South Hamgyeong province.[101]

April 23[edit]

  • North Korea demanded recognition as a nuclear state as prerequisite for dialogue.[102]

April 25[edit]

April 26[edit]

  • South Korea announced that it will withdraw its remaining workers from the Kaesong Industrial Region to protect their safety after the North Korean government rejects talks.[104]

April 29[edit]

April 30[edit]

  • The annual Foal Eagle joint military drills between South Korea and the United States came to a close with both nations continuously monitoring the situation on the Korean peninsula.[107][108]

May[edit]

May 1[edit]

  • North Korea's Supreme Court sentenced Bae to 15 years hard labor for "committing hostile acts".[109] North Korea provided no evidence against Bae[110] but it was reported by multiple news organisations that he had taken pictures of starving North Korean children.[111][112][113]

May 2[edit]

  • The U.S. State Department's deputy acting spokesman, Patrick Ventrell, demanded the immediate release of Kenneth Bae,[114] saying "We urge the DPRK authorities to grant Mr. Bae amnesty."[110]

May 3[edit]

  • The remaining seven South Korean workers at Kaesong Industrial Region leave.[115] The Kaesong Industrial Complex, the last symbol of inter-Korean relations, is technically shut down for the moment amid high tensions in the Korean Peninsula. North Korea states that South Korea is fully culpable for the shutting down of the Kaesong Complex, and claims that any finished products left at the Kaesong Complex will belong to the North. Experts are unclear as to what the future lies ahead of the Kaesong Complex and when it might reopen again. Meanwhile, South Korea delayed the decision about whether to continually give support of electricity to Kaesong or not. Company leaders at Kaesong fear their company's fate and are worrying about the conditions of the machines in the factory.[citation needed]

May 5[edit]

  • The South Korean president, Park Geun Hye, leaves the country to attend the first American summit between herself and U.S. President Barack Obama. Both countries will discuss about the Korean tensions and hope to find good solutions. She is scheduled to meet U.N. Secretary-General, Ban Ki Moon, on her first day of arrival to the United States of America.[citation needed]

May 6[edit]

  • North Korea withdrew two Musudan missiles from its launch site.[116]

May 7[edit]

The days when North Korea could create a crisis and elicit concessions, those days are over.

—Barack Obama, May 7, 2013[117]

  • The Bank of China halted business with a North Korean bank accused by the United States of financing Pyongyang's missile and nuclear programs.[118]
  • Western experts claimed that the North Korean missiles shown at the April 2012 parade were indeed fake, and were probably made out of wood and cheap metal sheeting.[119]
External video
President Obama Holds a Press Conference with President Park of South Korea, YouTube

May 15[edit]

May 18[edit]

  • While the crisis seemed to be winding down, North Korea launched three short-range guided missiles into the Sea of Japan. The first two missiles were shot in the morning, while the third was in the afternoon.[123][124] The missiles were launched from the same location where two missiles had been displayed, fueled, and then removed weeks before.[125]

May 19[edit]

  • North Korea launched a fourth rocket that landed in the Sea of Japan.[126]
  • Jiang Yaxian, Chinese counselor to North Korea, told the state news agency Xinhua that North Korea had seized a Dalian-based private vessel in waters between China and the Korean peninsula on the evening of May 5. The owner of the ship, Yu Xuejun, and Chinese authorities are seeking the boat's release. Chinese state media reported that North Korea is demanding 600,000 yuan (97,600 USD) for the safe return of the ship and its crew of 16.[127]

May 20[edit]

  • For the fifth and sixth times in three days, North Korea launched short-range projectiles that landed in waters off the country's eastern coast.[128]
  • After Chinese protests, North Korea releases 16 fishermen after demanding a ransom.[129]

June[edit]

June 5[edit]

  • North Korea rejects China's request to stop performing nuclear tests.[130]

June 6[edit]

  • On 6 June it was reported by major news outlets that North Korea proposed official talks with South Korea regarding the Kaesong Industrial Region.[131][132][133] The South Korean government immediately accepted the proposal.[134]

June 7[edit]

  • North Korea reopened the Red Cross hotline with South Korea which was severed during the crisis in March.[135][136]
  • Chinese president Xi Jinping and United States president Barack Obama met in California for high level talks, part of which included discussing North Korea.[137][138]
  • A media report revealed that North Korea cancelled talks with South Korea that were scheduled to occur on June 12, 2013 after a disagreement over the delegation list.[139]

June 14[edit]

  • A media report stated that the North Korean government accused the South of deliberately sabotaging the talks with "arrogant obstructions". It was also revealed that first round of talks were cancelled because the North was offended by the South's nomination of a vice-minister as its chief delegate and called off the meeting after Seoul refused to send a cabinet minister.[140]

June 16[edit]

  • North Korea proposed high-level talks with the United States to "ease tensions in the Korean peninsula".[141]

June 19[edit]

June 22[edit]

June 24[edit]

  • Barack Obama decided to continue the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13466 for one more year due to "the existence and risk of proliferation of weapons-usable fissile material on the Korean Peninsula and the actions and policies of the Government of North Korea [that] continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the [United States]".[144]

June 25[edit]

  • Anonymous revealed the details of claimed 13 high-level North Korean cadres to show that they can hack into the country's internet structure.[145]

June 27[edit]

  • The United States sanctioned Daedong Credit Bank due to its role in supporting the North Korean weapons of mass destruction program.[146]

June 28[edit]

  • Japan removes the PATRIOT missiles deployed around the country as the order to shoot down North Korean missiles is lifted.[147]

June 29[edit]

July[edit]

July 2[edit]

  • North Korean foreign minister Pak Ui-chun urged the United States to have direct talks without preconditions.[149]

July 3[edit]

July 4[edit]

  • North Korea agreed to South Korea's offer for working-level talks on reopening the Kaesong industrial complex.[152]

July 6[edit]

  • Following a 15-hour meeting on the North Korean side of Panmunjom, six North and South Korean officials agree on the reopening the Kaesong industrial complex.[153][154]

July 17[edit]

  • Both Koreas blame each other for the closing of Kaesong.[155]

July 18[edit]

  • United States Vice President Joe Biden states that the United States is ready to engage in talks with North Korea, but only if it's prepared for genuine negotiations and commits to giving up its nuclear ambitions.[156]

July 24[edit]

  • The two Koreas are expected to meet for a sixth time to establish safeguards to prevent a recurrence of a work stoppage at Kaesong.[157][158]
  • Li Yuanchao, the Vice President of China, starts his visit in North Korea to assist with repairing the strained ties caused by the crisis and to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Korean War.[159]

July 26[edit]

July 29[edit]

The government will make a final proposal for talks with North Korea to discuss [the Kaesong complex issue].

—Ryoo Kihl-jae, July 28, 2013[161]

  • South Korea proposed its final offer to North Korea about the reopening of Kaesong.[162]

July 31[edit]

  • North Korea is urged by South Korea to respond to its final offer.[163]

August[edit]

August 7[edit]

  • North Korea lifted its ban on the operation of Kaesong.[164]

August 14[edit]

  • Delegates signed a five-point plan in regard to the reopening of the Kaesong Industrial Complex. A date for the recommencement of operations at the complex was not announced.[165]
  • Park Geun-hye called for a potential “new start” of relations between the two Koreas.[166]

September[edit]

September 10[edit]

  • The South Korean Ministry of Unification announced in a press release that Kaesong would reopen on September 16, 2013, for a limited "test run".[167]

Continued tensions[edit]

On October 8, 2013, North Korea prepared its army and warned the United States of a "horrible disaster".[168] A few days later, North Korea refused to sign a non-aggression pact with the United States as it warned of "retaliatory strikes" and "an all-out war of justice". It urged the United States to stop their military drills, which was described as "nuclear blackmail".[169][170] Experts subsequently reported that North Korea poised short-ranges missiles for a test off its east coast.[171] On 21 October, North Korea warned South Korea of "merciless firing" if it continued to develop non-explosive shells that contain anti-Pyongyang leaflets.[172]

On November 12, 2013, senior North Korean official Kim Tae-gil threatened the United States, South Korea and Japan with a "nuclear catastrophe".[173] On November 22, North Korea threatened to turn South Korea's presidential office into a "sea of fire" if they try to provoke the country again.[174] On December 17, North Korea floated hundreds of propaganda leaflets into South Korea that threatened the "annihilation" of the South Korean 6th Marine Brigade on the island of Baengnyeongdo.[175][176] On December 20, 2013, North Korea faxed South Korea a threat that it would strike "without any notice".[177] The next day, South Korea sent their own threatening fax that promised "resolute punishment" for any North Korean provocations.[178] On December 24th, Kim told the North Korean army to prepare for combat, with South Korean President Park Geun-Hye describing the situation as "ominous".[179] On December 28, Kim Jong-un ordered front-line soldiers to become "human bullets" and "bombs" to protect him[180] and more assigned soldiers appeared on the North Korean-Chinese border.[181]

International reaction[edit]

Countries involved in the crisis[edit]

Reactions of countries formerly part of the six-party talks and playing key roles in the crisis:

  •  South Korea: The Ministry of Unification of South Korea released a statement saying, "The declaration of North Korea is not a new threat, but the continuation of its provocative threats."[182] For its part, the Ministry of Defence said that the armed forces of his country "follow closely the movements of North Korean military and punished if provocation."[183]
  •  United States: Caitlin Hayden, spokeswoman for the National Security Council of the United States said, "We take seriously these threats and we are in constant touch with our allies in South Korea." She also said her country would continue "taking additional measures against the threat of North Korea" as further reinforcement of the barrier Pacific missile.[184]
  •  Japan: As the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visited Beijing, North Korea launched a new threat, this time to Japanese cities of Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka. During the visit, Kerry stated that North Korea will not be accepted as a nuclear power.[185] In response to the threats, Japan deployed antimissile batteries in several spots surrounding its capital, Tokyo.[186] Japan's Defence Minister, Itsunori Onodera, ordered the deployment of four Japanese Kongō-class destroyers to the Sea of Japan with orders to shoot down any North Korean missiles headed towards Japanese territory. The destroyers are equipped with the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System, and armed with SM-3 Block IA interceptors which are designed to intercept short to intermediate-range ballistic missiles.[187]
  •  North Korea: On January 1, 2013, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un announced in his New Year's speech an urge for South Korea to put an end to the confrontation between the two.[188] However, after the Security Council sanctions from the UN for the satellite launch Kwangmyongsong-3, North Korea conducted its third nuclear test and declared chancery on February 12 that it is a response to U.S. hostilities against the country,[189] after which the escalating conflict increased until reaching military exercises between the U.S. and South Korea, on which spokesman Supreme Commander EPC reported on March 21 that the exercises Key Resolve and Foal Eagle U.S. South Korea are responsible for carrying the conflict to the peninsula and to be taken as white islands Guam and Okinawa from where U.S. deploys its fleet of B-52 bombers and nuclear submarines.[190] Finally, Pyongyang announced March 29 that relations with southern war entered phase due to the increase of hostilities on the peninsula,[191] and on March 30 the government, political parties and other North Korean entities issued a statement announcing any provocation against North Korea by the U.S. and South Korea will be considered an invasion and will result in a "war without quarter" and would entail the use of nuclear weapons.[192]

Other countries[edit]

  •  Australia: Bob Carr, Foreign Minister, said the UN Security Council had to impose tougher sanctions on North Korea following the regime's threat of a nuclear strike against the US and he said he will make a personal appeal for China to persuade North Korea to ratchet down its behaviour.[193]
  •  China: Hong Lei, spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said it was hoped that "the parties to work together to lobby and get a turnaround in the currently tense situation." China defended the resumption of negotiations on the six-party talks, which include North and South Korea, China, Russia, the United States and Japan. Talks have been stalled since 2008 by North Korean decision.[194]
  •  Colombia: Colombia's Foreign Ministry released a statement condemning the use of force and disrespect of the Armistice of 1953. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also issued a statement, saying, "We are deeply concerned about recent statements and actions of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, threatening stability and peace in the Korean Peninsula."[195]
  •  Cuba: The former Cuban leader, Fidel Castro, urged both parties to show restraint. He called the situation "incredible and absurd" and said that war would not benefit either side. "This is one of the gravest risks of nuclear war since the October Crisis in 1962 involving Cuba, 50 years ago."[196] He added: "If a conflict of that nature should break out there, the government of Barack Obama in his second mandate would be buried in a deluge of images which would present him as the most sinister character in the history of the United States. The duty of avoiding war is also his and that of the people of the United States."[197]
  •  Ecuador: The Ecuadorian Foreign Ministry condemned the deteriorating situation between North Korea and South Korea, demanding that countries that possess nuclear weapons and threaten humanity destroy their weapons of mass extermination, appealing also to the United States, Russia and China not to exacerbate the tension in the region.[citation needed]
  •  France: The French government urged the North Korean government to avoid "any further provocation" and to comply with "their international obligations and quickly resume the path of dialogue."[198]
  •  Germany: The Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said that the North Korean government "should stop playing with fire" and that the German government was working with its partners to ensure that Pyongyang "[ends] their threats and abandon its nuclear program, which is in violation of international law ".[199]
  •  Holy See: On Easter Sunday March 31, Pope Francis in his Urbi et Orbi address called for peace and reconciliation over the escalating Korean crisis.[200]
  •  Iran: Tehran says it wants to export oil to Pyongyang. Agreement is not yet reached.[201]
  •  Italy: Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi strongly condemned saying that the test threatens regional stability and global security, and he also added that Italy with the United Nations will take action against North Korea nuclear plan.
  •  Mexico: On March 30, through a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Mexican government asked for North Korea to resolve their disputes through "the path of dialogue and negotiation" and stated that Mexico "calls on all parties to show restraint and make all efforts that are within its power to prevent an escalation of this situation and to keep searching a final negotiated settlement on the Korean peninsula."[202]
  •  Peru: On March 30, a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the Peruvian government was in favor of dialogue and cooperation between North and South Korea and the resumption of six-party talks on the nuclear issue in that part of Asia.[203]
  •  Philippines: On April 5, Philippine President Benigno Aquino III ordered Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario to the Philippine Embassy in Seoul to oversee the preparations for a possible evacuation of nearly 50,000 Filipinos currently in South Korea. Despite this, Aquino said that there is no reason for the public to be alarmed of the situation.[204] 8 days later, on the 13th, in a meeting with US State Secretary John Kerry, Philippine Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin offered the opening of military bases to US forces in the event of a war with North Korea.[205]
  •  Romania: The Minister of Foreign Affairs recommended Romanians to avoid visits to North Korea.[206] Titus Corlățean conveyed to Kim Jong-un that is needed a relief to the current situation on the Korean Peninsula.[207]
  •  Russia: Russia urged the United States and North Korea to show restraint. Russian foreign ministry official Grigory Logvinov stated, "We hope that all parties will exercise maximum responsibility and restraint and no one will cross the point of no return."[208] A statement from Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated, "Our concern is that, along with a proper reaction Council Security, are being taken around North Korea unilateral actions that are manifested in the increased military activity: where we can get out of hand and fall into a vicious circle." The Russiansalso states that also noted that they "in principle negatively see any measure of parties in one way or another increase tension. course, judge the situation by bellicose statements-which, incidentally, are not only from Pyongyang, but by the specific measures that either party can perform.[209] Following the declaration of a "state of war" the Foreign Ministry issued another statement which said that the attitude of the government towards "any step that one way or another lead to the escalation of tensions on the Korean peninsula is negative." He also said he hoped that "all parties to the conflict to act with maximum restraint and responsibility for the future of the Korean peninsula." He added that is "in touch with members of the sextet's nuclear program of North Korea in order to prevent the situation gets out beyond political boundaries and diplomatic."[210] On April 8, in a joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel during his visit to a trade fair in Germany, President Putin said "I would make no secret about it, we are worried about the escalation on the Korean peninsula, because we are neighbors, And if, God forbid, something happens, Chernobyl which we all know a lot about, may seem like a child's fairy tale. Is there such a threat or not? I think there is... I would urge everyone to calm down... and start to resolve the problems that have piled up for many years there at the negotiating table"[211]
  •  Spain: The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, José Manuel García-Margallo, said that the European Union has urged North Korea to negotiate with all countries in the area to maintain "security and stability" in East Asia. He also said that "there is a huge concern in Spain, in the European Union and around the world race North Korean provocations."[citation needed]
  •  United Kingdom: Foreign Secretary William Hague has condemned North Korea's nuclear test, calling it a "violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions" and advocating a response by the UN Security Council.[212] He has also called on North Korea to "engage in credible and multilateral talk",[213] and dismissed calls for British Embassy staff to leave North Korea.[214]

See also[edit]

Historical background
Military exercises
2013 in North Korea
Other

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