Events on the Korean Peninsula

Korean Peninsula A to Z

Timeline of recent events on the Korean Peninsula

2017 1st half of 2018 2nd half of 2018 1ST half of 2019 2nd half of 2019 2020
Jan. 1 North Korea announces the results of the fifth plenary session of the seventh Central Committee of the Workers’ Party. At the end of 2019, the key party meeting stressed the need to ensure the nation’s right to live and independence through stronger defense capabilities, while warning of a new strategic weapon. It highlighted successful economic projects involving Samjiyon and Yangdok and vowed to pursue self-reliance in economic buildup. It also said that the course of the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula may change, depending on Washington’s attitude toward Pyongyang.
Leader Kim Jong-un skips his 2020 New Year’s address.
Jan. 7 In his New Year’s speech, South Korean President Moon Jae-in expresses his willingness to continue talks with North Korea and proposes inter-Korean cooperation.
Jan. 10 In an interview with American media, White House National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien says that the U.S. will work to resume dialogue with North Korea.
Jan. 11 North Korea’s Foreign Ministry adviser Kim Kye-gwan says that Pyongyang received a personal letter from U.S. President Donald Trump on the occasion of leader Kim Jong-un’s birthday on Jan. 8. But he also says that a close personal relationship between the two leaders may not lead to the resumption of bilateral dialogue.
Jan. 14 In his New Year’s press conference, South Korean President Moon Jae-in says that inter-Korean relations face a setback amid the deadlock in North Korea-U.S. talks, but the ongoing efforts to enhance cooperation through dialogue will certainly produce positive results.
Feb. 14~16 At the 56th Munich Security Conference, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says that the U.S. has worked with both international sanctions and global sanctions, to prevent North Korea from continuing to develop its nuclear weapons program. (Feb. 15, local time)
Regarding the Munich Security Conference, North Korea argues that it is impossible to resolve inter-Korean affairs as well as the issue of guaranteeing peace on the Korean Peninsula, while depending on outside power. (Radio Pyongyang, Feb. 26)
Feb. 27 The South Korea-U.S. Combined Forces Command decides to postpone the springtime combined command post training. The U.S. Forces Korea and South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff say that the decision has been made to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and prioritize the safety of South Korean and U.S. troops.
Mar. 1 In a speech marking the 101st anniversary of the March 1 Independence Movement, South Korean President Moon Jae-in underlines the need for stronger cooperation, not only with North Korea but also with neighboring countries like China and Japan and nearby Southeast Asian nations, to respond to unconventional security threats. He also says he is looking forward to cooperation with North Korea in healthcare.
Mar. 2 North Korea fires two short-range projectiles from an area near Wonsan in a northeasterly direction into the East Sea.
Mar. 4 North Korean leader Kim Jong-un sends a personal letter to South Korean President Moon Jae-in offering consolation to South Korean people in their fight against COVID-19.
Mar. 5 Moon replies with a letter of gratitude to Kim.
Mar. 9 North Korea launches three unidentified projectiles from the Sondok area in South Hamgyong Province into the East Sea.
Mar. 21 North Korea fires two projectiles towards the East Sea from its western province of North Pyongan.
Mar. 22 U.S. President Donald Trump confirms that he sent a letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. (COVID-19 TF briefing)
Mar. 25 In a press conference (after his teleconference with the G7 countries’ foreign ministers), U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says that the G7 and all nations must remain united in calling on North Korea to return to negotiations and stay committed to applying diplomatic and economic pressure on its illegal nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
Mar. 29 North Korea fires two projectiles from the Wonsan area in a northeasterly direction into the East Sea.
Mar. 30 In a statement released in the name of a new Foreign Ministry director in charge of negotiations with the U.S., North Korea says it gave up on any hopes for dialogue with the U.S. after hearing U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s reckless remarks.
Mar. 31 Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the U.S. hopes to get an opportunity to move forward with negotiations with North Korea, in a telephone briefing with Asian news outlets.
Apr. 14 North Korea fires multiple projectiles presumed to be short-range cruise missiles into the East Sea from areas near Munchon, Gangwon Province.
Apr. 18 In their telephone conversation, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Donald Trump reaffirm a principled agreement to provide North Korea with humanitarian aid related to COVID-19.
Apr. 27 On the occasion of the second anniversary of the Panmunjom Declaration, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport and the Ministry of Unification hold a ceremony to commemorate the Donghae Northern Line reconstruction project (restoration of the South Korean section on the railway between Gangneung and Jejin) at Jejin Station in Goseong County, Gangwon Province.
May 3 Multiple gunshots from North Korea hit a South Korean guard post in the Demilitarized Zone.
June 4 Kim Yo-jong, the North Korean leader’s sister and first vice director of the Central Committee of the ruling Workers’ Party, denounces anti-North Korea leaflets sent by defectors and activists across the border. In a strongly worded statement, she threatens to shut down an inter-Korean liaison office, scrap an inter-Korean military agreement and completely demolish the Gaeseong Industrial Park.
June 9 North Korea says it will cut off all communication lines with South Korea, including the hotline between the South Korean presidential office and its leadership, and vows to turn its work toward the South into “the one against an enemy.”
June 13 In a statement, Kim Yo-jong warns of the demolition of the inter-Korean liaison office.
June 16 The General Staff of the North’s Korean People’s Army says it will redeploy troops to areas demilitarized under an inter-Korean agreement and will send its own propaganda leaflets into the South. At 2:49 p.m., North Korea blows up the inter-Korean joint liaison office in Gaeseong.
June 17 The General Staff of the North’s Korean People’s Army announces its plan to send troops to the Mt. Geumgang tourist area and the Gaeseong Industrial Park, implying that the September 19 inter-Korean military agreement signed in 2018 has, in effect, been scrapped. The South Korean government (the Ministry of Unification, the Ministry of National Defense) expresses strong regret over the North’s announcement.