Following is a chronology of major events in Japan-North Korea relations since 1965:

* June 1965 — Japan, South Korea sign a basic treaty and normalize diplomatic ties. South Korea abandons its demand for compensation for Japan’s 1910-1945 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula. North Korea announces it maintains the right to demand compensation.

* January 1972 — First suprapartisan delegation from Japan visits North Korea.

* May 1977 — First North Korean mission visits Japan.

* March 1989 — Prime Minister Noboru Takeshita, at the Diet, apologizes for Japan’s colonial rule and calls on North Korea to open talks.

* Sept. 28, 1990 — Liberal Democratic Party and Social Democratic Party of Japan and North Korea’s ruling Workers Party of Korea issue a joint declaration in Pyongyang after North Korea offers to open talks with Japan to normalize diplomatic relations.

* Jan. 30-31, 1991 — First round of negotiations on normalizing bilateral ties is held in Pyongyang.

* Nov. 7, 1992 — The eighth round of normalization talks between Japan and North Korea breaks down over Tokyo’s allegations that a Japanese woman, known as Ri Un Hye in Korean, was kidnapped and forced to teach the Japanese language to terrorists in North Korea.

* March 10, 1995 — Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization established.

* June 30, 1995 — Japan formally agrees with North Korea to deliver 300,000 tons of rice to the Stalinist state to help it cope with a food shortage. (The rice was sent on three occasions through October 1997.)

* Aug. 15, 1995 — Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama issues a statement expressing remorse and an apology for Japan’s colonial rule and atrocities during World War II on the 50th anniversary of the end of the war.

May 1997 — The National Police Agency says 10 people are believed to have been abducted by North Korean agents in seven instances.

* June 1998 — North Korean Red Cross Society issues a report claiming no Japanese suspected of having been abducted by North Korean agents have been found.

* Aug. 31, 1998 — North Korea launches a Taepodong-1 missile, part of which flies over Japan and falls into the Pacific. Japan responds by imposing sanctions.

* Dec. 3, 1999 — The Workers Party of Korea and a delegation of Japanese lawmakers call for an early resumption of talks on establishing diplomatic ties.

* Dec. 14, 1999 — Japan announces it will lift a freeze on food aid to North Korea, removing the last of a series of sanctions imposed after the Taepodong-1 missile firing.

* Dec. 21, 1999 — The Red Cross societies of Japan and North Korea agree in Beijing to conduct a serious investigation into “missing Japanese nationals” — a reference to people Tokyo believes were abducted to North Korea.

* March 7, 2000 — Japan agrees to send 100,000 tons of rice as food aid to North Korea.

* March 13, 2000 — North Korea’s Red Cross Society announces it will start an investigation into the “missing Japanese nationals” and will inform Japan and take adequate steps if any are found through its investigation.

* April 5-7, 2000 — Japan and North Korea hold negotiations in Pyongyang, marking a landmark resumption of talks that collapsed in 1992.

* June 13-15, 2000 — South Korean President Kim Dae Jung meets North Korean leader Kim Jong Il in Pyongyang for the first-ever inter-Korean summit.

* July 26, 2000 — Foreign Minister Yohei Kono and North Korean Foreign Minister Paek Nam Sun hold the first-ever foreign ministerial meeting between the two countries, in Bangkok.

* Aug. 22-24, 2000 — Japan and North Korea hold the 10th round of talks on establishing diplomatic ties, in Tokyo and Chiba Prefecture.

* Oct. 6, 2000 — Japan announces it will send 500,000 tons of rice as food aid to North Korea.

* Oct. 30-31, 2000 — Japan and North Korea hold 11th round of talks in Beijing on establishing ties.

* May 1, 2001 — Japanese immigration temporarily detains a man believed to be the elder son of Kim Jong Il.

* Dec. 17, 2001 — North Korea’s Red Cross Society declares it has suspended efforts to search for “missing Japanese.”

* Dec. 22, 2001 — An unidentified ship, believed to be North Korean, sinks in the East China Sea after a shootout with Japanese patrol boats.

* March 11, 2002 — The Metropolitan Police Department sets up a headquarters to investigate the case of Keiko Arimoto, a Japanese woman who vanished in Europe in 1983, suspecting she was abducted to North Korea.

* March 22, 2002 — North Korean Red Cross Society says it is prepared to resume talks with the Japanese Red Cross Society on the fate of the “missing Japanese.”

* April 29-30, 2002 — Talks between Japanese and North Korean Red Cross delegations on humanitarian issues open in Beijing. The North Korean delegation promises to conduct a “serious investigation” into the missing Japanese.

* July 31, 2002 — Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi and North Korean Foreign Minister Paek meet in Brunei.

* Aug. 18-19, 2002 — The Japanese and North Korean Red Cross societies hold talks in Pyongyang.

* Aug. 25-26, 2002 — Japan and North Korea hold high-level talks in Pyongyang to pave the way for negotiations on establishing diplomatic ties. The two countries jointly announce they will decide in a month whether to resume talks at an early date on normalizing ties and to deal “comprehensively” with various issues, including the need for Japan to resolve differences over the past and for Pyongyang to resolve the case of the missing Japanese.

* Aug. 30, 2002 — Japan announces Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi will visit North Korea on Sept. 17 for talks with Kim Jong Il.

* Sept. 11, 2002 — The Japan Coast Guard raises the suspected North Korean spy ship that sank in December.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.