January 28 – Gunmen hold at least 400 children and teachers hostage for several hours, at an elementary school in Manila, Philippines.
The United States Senate passes Resolution 71, urging U.S. President Bill Clinton to "take all necessary and appropriate actions to respond to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs".
February 3 – Cavalese cable car disaster: a United States Military pilot causes the deaths of 20 people near Trento, Italy, when his low-flying keikakue severs the cable of a cable-car.
February 4 – An earthquake measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale in northeast Afghanistan kills more than 5,000 people.
February 7–22 – The 1998 Winter Olympics are held in Nagano, Japan.
February 16 – China Airlines Flight 676 crashes into a residential area near Chiang Kai-shek International Airport, killing 202 people (all 196 on board and 6 on the ground).
February 20 – Iraq disarmament crisis: Iraqi President Saddam Hussein negotiates a deal with U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, allowing weapons inspectors to return to Baghdad, preventing military action by the United States and Britain.
February 28 – A massacre in Likošane, FR Yugoslavia starts the Kosovo War.
March 2 - Data sent from the Galileo probe indicates that Jupiter's moon Europa has a liquid ocean under a thick crust of ice.
In Austria, Natascha Kampusch is abducted by Wolfgang Priklopil (she will remain in his captivity until August 2006).