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A Post Chronicle on the Koreas

| North-South Relations | The North's Food Crisis | Leaders |
| The South's Economic Turmoil | Nuclear Weapons/Military |

North-South Relations
S. Korea's Kim Defends Détente With North
Thursday, June 24, 1999; Page A1
President Kim Dae Jung defended his policy of engaging North Korea despite a string of confrontations since a June 16 naval skirmish, arguing that in the broad sweep of history engagement with communism has always worked better than confrontation.

North and South Korea Hold Talks in Beijing
Tuesday, June 22, 1999; Page A10
Representatives of famine-stricken North Korea held their first governmental talks with South Korea in more than a year after the two sides resolved a problem over a fertilizer shipment.

Tensions Diminish After Korean Clash
Wednesday, June 16, 1999; Page A24
The high seas shootout between warships from North and South Korea, which resulted in one sunken North Korean ship, appeared to have eased without igniting a larger conflict on this tinderbox peninsula.

Rival Koreas Expand Person to Person Contacts
Wednesday, May 26, 1999; Page A20
Taking advantage of South Korean President Kim Dae Jung's "sunshine policy" of cross-border engagement, Okryukwan, a franchise of a popular Pyongyang restaurant, has become the first North Korean business to open a branch in the South. Diner diplomacy is the latest attempt to draw the reclusive North out of its xenophobic shell.

U.S. Sets Accords With N. Korea
Friday, Sept. 11, 1998
The Clinton administration announced a package of agreements with North Korea aimed at defusing tensions on the Korean Peninsula and restarting stalled diplomatic initiatives.

Kim Pushes Cooperation For N. Korea
Friday, June 12, 1998
As he watched world events unfold during his long years of exile, Kim Dae Jung became convinced that dictatorial governments respond more positively to engagement and inducement than efforts to isolate or bottle them up. Now that he is president of South Korea, he intends to put that belief to the test by reaching out to North Korea.

N. Korea Offers Surprising Dialogue
Monday, February 23, 1998
North Korea made a surprising offer of political dialogue to South Korea, sending letters across the fortified border offering talks between political parties and civic groups in each country.

Koreas' Ills Compete for Attention
Tuesday, January 6, 1998
Remember North Korea? For the past two years, when the world thought about the Korean peninsula it usually thought about the North: starving children, an unpredictable Stalinist regime suspected of making nuclear weapons, a million-man army posing a constant threat along the world's most heavily fortified border. But in recent months, the world's focus has turned almost exclusively to South Korea.

Seoul Hard-Liners Take Dim View of Unification Talk
Tuesday, December 30, 1997
South Korea's stringent national security law and hard-liners within the country's security apparatus make sure that anyone who sympathizes with the hostile North is duly scrutinized. For years, South Korea's obsession with preparedness in the event of an attack from the North has resembled the 1950s hunt in the United States for communist sympathizers, with little regard for civil liberties of those accused.

South Korea's Kim Proposes Direct Talks With North
Saturday, December 20, 1997
President-elect Kim Dae Jung of South Korea has proposed direct talks with North Korea, saying he may even meet with reclusive leader Kim Jong Il. The idea of the North's communist leader meeting with a South Korean president had been almost unthinkable up until Kim's recent victory in the nation's presidential elections.

Four-Way Talks on Korean Peace Open in Geneva
Wednesday, December 10, 1997
The first day of talks aimed at transforming a tense, 44-year armistice on the Korean peninsula into a formal, permanent peace adjourned with little outward sign of progress. "Ongoing" was all North Korea's delegation leader, Kim Gye Gwan, would say to describe the talks – the first substantive negotiations in years.

U.S. Backs Talks on Korean Peace
Tuesday, April 16, 1996
President Clinton and South Korean President Kim Young Sam announced that their two nations have invited North Korea and China to join four-way talks aimed at replacing the armistice in effect since the end of the Korean War in 1953 with a permanent peace settlement.

The North's Food Crisis
Famine, Nuclear Threat Raise Stakes in Debate Over N. Korea
Saturday, March 13, 1999; Page A01
It is the latest keyhole view into North Korea: emaciated, barefoot orphans sucking fishbones in a squalid outdoor market; women picking lice from each other's hair; men wading into a river to fish out the bodies of friends who starved to death or were shot by border guards.

Famine Drives N. Koreans to China
Friday, February 12, 1999
Interviews with more than 20 refugees and private aid officials during a recent four-day trip to China's border with North Korea paint a stark picture of developments inside the isolated country where some reports say that a famine may have killed as many as 2 million people since the mid-1990.

Congressional Aides Report High Hunger Toll in N. Korea
Thursday, August 20, 1998
An estimated 300,000 to 800,000 people are dying in North Korea annually from starvation or hunger-related illnesses, a U.S. bipartisan team of congressional staffers said after a week-long fact-finding trip in the isolated Communist country.

S. Korean Auto Tycoon Drives Cattle to North
Wednesday, June 17, 1998
A wealthy South Korean industrialist drove 500 fattened cattle into famine-stricken North Korea, opening new opportunities for two feuding nations.

North Korea Hinders Tracking of Food Shipments
Monday, April 6, 1998
Aid officials are expressing increasing concern over widening food shortages and hunger in the isolated Stalinist state of North Korea. But despite the reports, the hard-line Communist government has continued to haggle with two of its biggest food donors, the United States and South Korea, over the monitoring of food shipments by international aid workers.

U.N. Appeals for Aid to North Korea
Wednesday, January 7, 1998
Warning that North Korea could run out of food by April, the United Nations World Food Program appealed for $378 million in emergency aid to avert widespread starvation and malnutrition in the isolated communist country.

North Korea Agrees to Admit 10 More Food Relief Monitors
Tuesday, October 21, 1997
North Korea has agreed to admit 10 additional monitors to ensure that food contributions to the stricken Asian country go to children and others in dire need, U.S. officials said. Meanwhile, the State Department announced that seven American officials will go to North Korea on Saturday to assess the nation's food needs.

Beyond a Wall of Secrecy, Devastation
Sunday, October 19, 1997
A visit to the remote and desolate city of Hamhung near North Korea's eastern coast provides a rare glimpse of the country's near-total economic collapse. The crisis is over food — or the lack of it — but the country's problems run much deeper, to the core of a socialist system that simply has ceased to function.

N. Korea's Stalinist Image Mutes Images of Famine
Sunday, August 24, 1997
Video footage of starving children and photographs of the emaciated in North Korea are being printed in newspapers and magazines around the world. While that is having an impact on aid, many nations and people still have trouble writing a check for the Stalinist pariah state.

U.S. Says It Will Double Food Aid to North Korea
Tuesday, July 15, 1997
The Clinton administration announced that it will roughly double a previous U.S. donation of food aid to North Korea's famished populace, by dispatching an estimated 100,000 tons of grain worth $27 million to children and the elderly through the United Nations World Food Program and various independent groups.

Leaders
Seoul Frees Political Prisoner of 41 Years
Friday, February 26, 1999
Looking thin but happy, Woo Yong Gak, 69, the man believed to be the world's longest-serving political prisoner, walked through prison gates into an outside world he has not seen in 41 years.

Honeymoon Turns Sour in S. Korea
Sunday, October 11, 1998
Seven months after his inauguration, South Korean President Kim Dae Jung is coming under harsh attacks over his handling of the nation's ailing economy, his moderate approach to North Korea and his government's aggressive criminal investigations of political enemies.

Kim Dae Jung Takes Helm as S. Korean President
Wednesday, February 25, 1998
Kim Dae Jung, one of the most resolute democracy crusaders of this century, was sworn in as president in a ceremony that completed the first transfer of power from a ruling party to the opposition in modern South Korean history.

North Korea's Kim Is Formally Named to Leadership Post
Thursday, October 9, 1997
De facto leader Kim Jong Il took formal control of North Korea, a long-awaited ascension that could make the world's last Stalinist state less mysterious and more directly engaged with the outside world.

South Korea's Kim Blasts Regimes That 'Lie'
Friday, January 9, 1998
Post reporter Kevin Sullivan interviewed President-elect Kim Dae Jung in Seoul. During the interview, Kim blamed much of Asia's devastating financial crisis on governments that "lie" to their people and "authoritarian" leaders who place economic growth ahead of democratic freedoms.

Kim Governs After Being Jailed by the Dictators He Fought
Friday, December 19, 1997
Kim Dae Jung's supporters call him the Nelson Mandela of Korea and, with the 73-year-old dissident's epochal election as South Korea's next president, the analogy seems more apt than ever.

The South's Economic Turmoil
Big Korean Firms Set for Fight
Wednesday, June 10, 1998
South Korea's powerful industrial conglomerates, which have controlled much of the country's wealth for decades, are headed for a showdown with President Kim Dae Jung, who has targeted their money-losing operations for extinction.

S. Koreans Walk Off Their Jobs
Thursday, May 28, 1998
Defying government threats of arrest, tens of thousands of workers walked off the job in the latest display of nationwide labor unrest that threatens to plunge South Korea into a new financial crisis.

S. Koreans' Job Loyalty Turns to Despair
Saturday, May 16, 1998
South Koreans have watched nervously as street protests by students have turned bloody in Indonesia, which suffered a similar economic implosion. But in South Korea, far more industrialized and democratic, the threat of violent street protests is coming from the nation's militant labor unions.

S. Korea's Workers Pay the Price for Nation's Bailout
Tuesday, May 5, 1998
Five months after South Korea nearly went bankrupt, the country is in the midst of a historic social upheaval. A $58 billion rescue program by the International Monetary Fund has stabilized the country's financial markets, at least for now. But the costs of the bailout – in the form of layoffs, pay cuts and a dramatic drop in the standard of living for millions of South Koreans – are only beginning to be felt.

Business is Anything But Usual in South Korea
Tuesday, February 24, 1998
In a floundering Asia, struggling with its worst economic crisis in years and desperately searching for strong leadership, Korean President Kim Dae Jung has emerged as a surprisingly aggressive force for economic reform.

Banks Warned on Korean Loans
Friday, January 9, 1998
Although the Clinton administration has been quietly urging U.S. banks to extend their loans to South Korea, regulators said that the banks may have to set aside additional funds to reflect the added risk that the loans may not be repaid.

'Odd Couple' Agree on How to Fix the Economy – for Now
Thursday, December 25, 1997
Two men hold keys to the future of the economy of South Korea — one a union boss who once backed a nationwide strike over job protection laws, the other a maverick governor who has espoused the virtues of free markets and foreign investment. Right now, Gov. You Jong Kuen and Park In Sang agree on how to fix the economy, but future hardships could well split that consensus in the months ahead.

World Bank Approves $3 Billion Loan to South Korea
Wednesday, December 24, 1997
The World Bank approved an emergency $3 billion loan to South Korea, which is scrambling to stave off the disastrous prospect of a default on its debts to foreigners. The loan was larger than any the World Bank has previously made.

South Korea Takes Three More Punches
Tuesday, December 23, 1997
South Korea's woes continued as the country's currency tumbled 10.6 percent, domestic interest rates on three-year corporate bonds hit 30.1 percent, and the two major U.S. ratings companies, Moody's Investors Service Inc. and Standard & Poor's Corp., downgraded the credit rating on the country's debt to "junk bond" status.

Seoul Asks U.S. for More Aid
Thursday, December 11, 1997
South Korea has made an urgent appeal for additional financial assistance from the United States and Japan and delivered it with an implicit threat: Let the Korean economy slide into default, and the rest of the world economy will suffer, too.

Nuclear Weapons/Military
North Korea To Allow U.S. Inspections
Wednesday, March 17, 1999; Page A01
North Korea agreed to allow U.S. officials to inspect a suspected underground nuclear weapons facility, defusing a growing dispute that threatened to push the United States into a major confrontation with the hard-line communist state.

N. Korea May Have Launched Satellite
Saturday, September 5, 1998;
The medium-range missile that North Korea test-fired for the first time this week may not have been the only piece of hardware the secretive Communist state sent into the air during the launch. According to U.S. officials and a Russian pronouncement, North Korea also may have sent up its first satellite.

N. Korea Missile Threatens Nuclear Pact
Tuesday, September 1, 1998
A medium-range ballistic missile test-fired by North Korea sailed over Japan, damaging the fragile international nuclear pact with Korea and raising fears of a new round of missile proliferation in Asia.

N. Korea May Be Building Nuclear Site
Tuesday, August 18, 1998
U.S. intelligence analysts believe about 15,000 North Koreans are at work on a vast, secret underground nuclear facility, a development administration officials say may represent a decision by North Korea to abandon a four-year-old agreement to freeze its nuclear weapons program.

N. Korea-U.S. Nuclear Pact Threatened
Monday, July 6, 1998
The 1994 agreement between the United States and North Korea that halted North Korea's nuclear weapons program is under severe strain because the administration has not found the money to carry it out.

N. Korea Admits Selling Missiles
Wednesday, June 17, 1998
North Korea declared that it will continue to develop, test and export ballistic missiles, officially acknowledging for the first time a clandestine weapons trade that analysts say has helped build arsenals in Iran, Iraq and Syria.

North Korea Initiates Huge Energy Project
Wednesday, August 20, 1997
With its people starving and its economy failing, North Korea broke ground on a $5 billion energy project that international officials hope will make the reclusive Stalinist nation more stable. The project is part of an international agreement aimed at stopping the North's suspected nuclear weapons program.

North Korea Signs Nuclear Accord
Saturday, December 16, 1995
North Korea and a U.S.-led consortium signed a $4.5 billion agreement for construction of two light-water nuclear reactors that were promised to North Korea under a 1994 deal for Pyongyang to freeze a nuclear development program that the West feared would produce nuclear weapons. The agreement capped three years of difficult negotiations.

© Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

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