Timeline of Jenkins saga

The Associated Press

A timeline of events leading up to accused U.S. Army deserter Charles Jenkins’ surrender and court-martial:

* January 1965: U.S. Army Sgt. Charles Robert Jenkins, 24, disappears across the Demilitarized Zone separating North and South Korea while on patrol.

* 1970s: Jenkins’ voice is heard on anti-U.S. propaganda broadcasts blasted from North Korea across the DMZ. He is later identified as an actor in anti-American films produced by the North.

* 1978: Hitomi Soga, a 19-year-old Japanese nurse, is abducted along with her mother by North Korean agents while shopping near their home on Niigata Prefecture’s Sado Island. In North Korea, Jenkins later becomes Soga’s English teacher.

* August 1980: Jenkins and Soga marry. They later have two daughters.

* 1996: The Pentagon confirms that Jenkins and three other suspected deserters are still alive in North Korea, and later tries repeatedly to contact them. The North says they do not wish to talk with U.S. officials.

* September 2002: Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi visits Pyongyang for a summit with Kim Jong Il — the first between the two countries’ leaders. The North admits it kidnapped 13 Japanese nationals in the 1970s and 1980s to teach its agents Japanese language and culture and claims eight have died and denies that Soga’s mom ever entered the country.

* October 2002: North Korea allows Soga and four other surviving Japanese abductees to return to Japan. But the abductees’ North Korean-born offspring and Jenkins were not allowed to accompany them.

* May 2004: Koizumi goes to North Korea for a second summit with Kim in a bid to fetch the remaining family members, and speaks with Jenkins.

* July 9, 2004: Jenkins and the couple’s two daughters fly to Jakarta for a reunion with Soga. Officials later say Jenkins is sick and needs urgent medical treatment in Japan.

* July 18, 2004: Jenkins, Soga and their daughters arrive in Tokyo, where he is immediately hospitalized.

* Aug. 5, 2004: Jenkins meets with a U.S. military attorney to discuss his legal case and options, which include facing a court-martial or seeking a plea bargain.

* Sept. 1, 2004: Jenkins announces in a statement that he will surrender to the U.S. military and face charges “very shortly.”

* Sept. 11, 2004: Jenkins leaves the hospital and surrenders at the U.S. Army Camp Zama. Military officials begin processing Jenkins back into active duty.

* Nov. 3, 2004: Jenkins gets dishonorable discharge and 30-day jail sentence in a court-martial at Camp Zama.