Rinn S. Shinn
Analyst in Asian Affairs
Foreign Affairs and National Defense Division
This report provides a selective chronology of instances of North Korean provocations against South Korea, the United States, and Japan since 1950. It will be updated periodically. For more information on North Korea from the Congressional Research Service, see the Guide to CRS Products under "East Asia."
North Korea: Chronology of Provocation,1950-1998
This selective chronology provides information on instances of North Korean provocations against South Korea, the United States, and Japan between June 1950 and June 1998. The term "provocation" is defined to include: armed invasion, border violations, infiltration of armed saboteurs and spies, hijacking, kidnapping, and terrorism (including assassination, bombing, threat intimidation against media personnel and institutions): and incitement aimed at the overthrow of the South Korean government. Throughout the period of this chronology, North Korea consistently issued denials, blaming South Korea for fabricating the alleged provocations. In meetings with U.S. officials North Koreans have demanded that North Korea be removed from the U.S. list of countries supporting terrorism. In April 1993, Pyongyang condemned all forms of terrorism including "the encouragement and support of terrorism." A similar statement was issued in February 1996 and in August 1998. North Korean provocations remain an issue for congressional concern because of implications not only for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, but also for the U.S. sanctions on North Korea in force since 1950. This was an issue raised by South Korean President Kim Dae Jung during his visit to Washington in June 1998 for a summit meeting with President Clinton. It remains an active issue, given the revelation of a suspected North Korean underground nuclear weapons facility as well as the Taepodong-i missile launch on August 31, 1998.
The sources used for this chronology include: South Korean newspapers (Choson Ilbo, Chung'ang Ilbo, Hanguk llbo, Korea Herald, Korea Times, and Seoul Sinmum) and Yonhap News Service; the North Korean ruling party's organ (Nodong Sinmun)and official [North] Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) wire service reports; Japanese newspapers (Asahi Shimbun, Mainichi Shimbun, and Yomiuri Shimbun) and Kyodo News Service; U.S. dailies such as the Washington Post, New York Times, Washington Times, Wall Street Journal, and Los Angeles Times; Foreign Broadcast Information Service daily reports; and Associcrted Press and Reuters wire service reports.
This report is an expanded, revised, and updated version of a CRS memo on the "History of North Korean Terrorist Activities," March 271 1997. For the earlier version, see Congressional Record, v. 143, No. 101, July 16, 1997, S7528-S7530.
' [North] Korean Central Mews Agency (KCNA) in English. April 17, 1993; KCNA in English, February 23; 1996; KCNA in English, August 13, 1998
Date of Report: October 14, 1998
Number of Pages: 15
Order Number: 98-595
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