US Department of State Daily Press Briefing #188, Wednesday, 12/18/91

Boucher Source: State Department Deputy Spokesman Richard Boucher Description: 12:41 PM, Washington, DC Date: Dec 18, 199112/18/91 Category: Briefings Region: MidEast/North Africa, Eurasia, East Asia, Southeast Asia, E/C Europe, Caribbean Country: USSR (former), Haiti, Lebanon, Yugoslavia (former), Slovenia, Croatia, South Korea, Vietnam, Libya, China, Bangladesh, Israel Subject: Mideast Peace Process, Terrorism, Democratization, NATO, Development/Relief Aid, Refugees, Immigration, Travel, Nuclear Nonproliferation, Media/Telecommunications, United Nations (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED) MR. BOUCHER: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I have a couple of things -- announcements. The first one's housekeeping, the second one's about assistance to Yugoslavia, and the third one's about some flights going into the Soviet Union with food. The first about housekeeping is the schedule of briefings here. We won't have a briefing here tomorrow, because the Secretary will be having a press conference at NATO at about the same time as we would be on the podium here. As for Friday, I haven't been able to pin down whether he'll be having a press conference or not, but keep in touch with us. We'll see about Friday. Next week, Christmas falls on Wednesday. We'll expect to do briefings here on Monday and Friday, and the week after that, New Year's falls on Wednesday, and we'll expect to have briefings only on Monday and Friday. Of course, the other days, with the exception of the holidays, the Press Office will be open and ready for business and available to take your questions. For Yugoslavia: These are two things which have already been announced, I think, in separate channels, but let me call your attention to, first of all, that the President has authorized the release of $7 million for U.S. emergency refugee and migration assistance from the U.S. Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance Fund for urgent and unforeseen refugee and migration needs of the victims of civil conflict in Yugoslavia. Since the outbreak of hostilities in June 1991, over 500,000 displaced persons in need of assistance have been registered by local Red Cross offices. This money will be used as U.S. contributions to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the International Committee of the Red Cross, other international organizations, governments and governmental organizations, and private voluntary organizations, as required. We've already contributed $1 million to the ICRC for use in Yugoslavia, and previously we made available $1.8 million to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees for assistance to the Yugoslav refugees who are in Hungary. Q What was the amount on that again, please, Richard? MR. BOUCHER: This new amount is $7 million. Q Thank you. MR. BOUCHER: The White House put out the Presidential determination yesterday, I think. And I believe some of you may be aware of it. I'll point out to you, I think the Pentagon's already made available some information on a C-5 aircraft that will arrive in Vienna, Austria, tomorrow with approximately 150,000 pounds of humanitarian relief supplies. This is excess Defense Department supplies -- blankets, cots and parkas. There's also on board some medical supplies donated by the American Red Cross and other American charities. From Vienna, the supplies will be transshipped overland to various regions in Croatia which have suffered from the conflict. The International Committee of the Red Cross is handling the onward movement and distribution of this shipment. Any questions on that, or should I move on to the flights to the Soviet Union? Q Do you have -- are you planning to update your quota on refugees for Yugoslavia, so these people can be able to come to the States, if they can? MR. BOUCHER: I don't know where we stand with that, Jan. I'll have to check on that. Q Because it's, what, normally 20,000 or something people can apply every year for visas. MR. BOUCHER: Twenty thousand is the number for any given country for immigrant visas. Refugee numbers are done separately, and usually there's a process of consultation with the Congress that takes place about this time of year to set the numbers for the next year. Q Could you check and see what the status is on Yugoslavia. MR. BOUCHER: So I'll have to check and see if there are refugee numbers for Yugoslavia. Q On that, when a country splits up into two countries or three countries or more -- in the case of the Soviet Union, we already have three new countries we didn't have last year. Do they each get an extra 20,000? MR. BOUCHER: The answer to that is I'll have to check on that for you. As far as I'm aware, the immigrant visa quota from the Soviet Union hasn't been filled in recent years, so I'm not sure that the 20,000 has ever been much of a limit there. Q Richard, maybe you can give us an idea of how do you conceive the situation, how the Middle East talks are going to be processed -- MR. BOUCHER: Maybe I can give you an idea of two flights going into the Soviet Union first. Q Oh. I'm sorry. MR. BOUCHER: O.K.? Q I have a couple more on Yugoslavia. I mean, if we can finish Yugoslavia now, if nobody -- MR. BOUCHER: Do you want to do that or -- go ahead, Alan. Q Noting your statement of yesterday -- Lord Carrington today, whose efforts the United States supports, said that he saw no problem with Slovenia being recognized as an independent state, because it was in control of its territory, was ethnically homogeneous, had no problem with minorities, and it's at peace. I understand it also has started issuing its own currency. Does the United States distinguish between the case of Slovenia and that of other Yugoslav republics which might be more problematic? MR. BOUCHER: Alan, I hadn't seen these remarks that you're telling me about from Lord Carrington. I understand he's back in Yugoslavia today, and he'll be having a series of separate meetings with the various leaders of the six republics. He's going to be explaining the EC's declaration and seeking backing for a comprehensive cease-fire. Our position on recognition remains unchanged. We're prepared to accept any outcome that's arrived at peacefully, democratically, and through negotiation. That remains our view at this point. O.K. Flights to the Soviet Union. You'll remember that Secretary Baker announced in his speech on December 12 that there would be two U.S. Air Force C-5A military aircraft which would fly to the cities of St. Petersburg and Moscow to deliver excess Defense Department bulk food. The first of these flights is scheduled to arrive in St. Petersburg on Friday, December 20th. The second is scheduled to arrive in Moscow on Saturday,* December 22nd. Both of these flights will carry food from stocks in Pisa, Italy. The flights are part of the international community's effort to provide humanitarian assistance to the former Soviet Union. The Defense Department excess bulk food rations and military B rations on board consist of a variety of staples, such as bread, shortening, sugar, potatoes, rice and tea, as well as entrees such as ham, beef, chicken, fruits and vegetables. The food rations are surplus from Operation Desert Storm. They are intended for delivery to institutions such as schools, hospitals, orphanages, churches and charitable organizations. The approximate value of these two shipments is $400,000. U.S. Embassy and Consulate personnel, together with State and Defense Department personnel already in Moscow and St. Petersburg, will assist in off-loading the cargo. Volunteers from the American community in Moscow and St. Petersburg will monitor distribution. These personnel will be on the vehicles which transport the humanitarian cargo directly to the recipient institutions. U.S. Embassy and Consulate personnel are working with local officials in identifying appropriate recipients who have a demonstrated extensive need. Additional flights are expected, but at this time specific dates and times for those have not been determined. I'd like to point out that the Administration also strongly encourages private U.S. and other international efforts to provide humanitarian relief to the former Soviet Union. In fact, there are a number of U.S. private voluntary organizations already operating in the former Soviet Union in cooperation with local governments. These new Defense Department humanitarian flights will supplement both the private U.S. humanitarian efforts already in place and prior U.S. Government aid under the Presidential Medical Assistance Initiative and the Department of Agriculture's food programs. Q A couple of technicalities on that one? MR. BOUCHER: Yes. Q First of all, you said Friday, December 20th, and Saturday, December 22nd. Is the second date, Sunday the 22nd or Saturday the 21st? MR. BOUCHER: It's Sunday the 22nd. *Second flight to arrive on Sunday. Q O.K. And, second of all, do you have any idea how many -- is it possible to say something like how many meals or how many people this stuff would serve? I realize that some things -- you know, you might -- I mean, can you give us some perspective as to how many people it might aid? MR. BOUCHER: I don't think I can, Ralph. A C-5A carries, what, 150,000 pounds, so together it's about 300,000 pounds of food. It's bulk institutional food in large containers. Some of it, I think, is broken down a little more, but I just don't know how many people you could feed with it. The Defense Department may have a little more information on the cargo. I'm not sure if they can break it down that way, though. Q Richard, is there concern about getting jet fuel for the return of these particular aircraft or the whole airlift project in general? MR. BOUCHER: I'm not aware that's been raised in this connection. Q Richard, is it necessary for Americans to accompany this to the institutions so that it won't fall into the black market or something like that? MR. BOUCHER: We think it's important that the food gets to people who need it and who can use it, and so that's why we will monitor the delivery. The Embassy in Moscow is arranging delivery, identifying the organizations -- and the Consulate in St. Petersburg. Sorry. Q When you say "institutional food," I mean, are we talking sort of great cans of stuff, or are we talking MREs? MR. BOUCHER: It's not MREs. It's big boxes and cans of stuff. Q Can we go to the Middle East? MR. BOUCHER: Something else? Q Could you say whether any proposals have been made by the Administration to the parties now that they apparently are in their last day of negotiations? MR. BOUCHER: I understand the delegations are still in the building and still talking to each other.* We don't at this point have any official notifications from the parties of their intentions to adjourn. Obviously, it's up to them to determine when this round of talks could end. We haven't placed any deadline on it, and our facilities will be available as long as they need them. *The meetings concluded at 12:20 p.m. We continue to urge strongly all parties to resolve the procedural issues. We have not made any proposals ourselves. We're following the proceedings very closely, and we're in close touch with all the parties. Q Richard, on that, the invitation for the meeting to open on December 4 said that Washington would be the venue. As far as the U.S. is concerned, unless -- if there is no mutual agreement between the various parties, does your invitation assume that Washington will continue to be the venue for any future sessions? MR. BOUCHER: Jim, we've said that Washington is a venue that's open and available. As far as I know, there haven't been any decisions one way or the other on venue at this point. Q My question is, does that basic opening invitation still hold valid? Will Washington be the venue as far as the United States is concerned? MR. BOUCHER: Again, Jim, it's really -- it's up to the parties to decide the venue, if they can, and we'll leave it to them to do that. If they don't, we'll see what happens next. Q Isn't this a departure from earlier invitation that the venue will be here in Washington, that you say it's up to the parties? And also -- MR. BOUCHER: I think we always said, I think, when we proposed Washington, Margaret described to you in great detail how we'd given certain lengths of times for the parties to try to determine their own venue. And it was only after we found that was not possible, that we made a proposal ourselves. At this point we had proposed December 4th in Washington, and we've said that we're ready and here as long as they need us. Q There seems to be a problem with the letter of invitation about the two-track diplomacy or two-track approach, and none of the parties was willing to make available a copy of the invitation that was extended to all the parties by the United States and the Soviet Union. Will the State Department put this to rest by -- MR. BOUCHER: You're talking about the invitation to Madrid. Q Yes. The invitation to Washington to carry on after Madrid with the two-track diplomacy or policy -- MR. BOUCHER: The invitation to Madrid -- the one that was gone over carefully by everybody in advance -- I think we made that publicly available about 2 weeks ago now. Maybe a little bit more. Q After Madrid, about this conference here. MR. BOUCHER: That's been available. And Margaret, I think, explained the U.S. proposal for December 4th, and there's no such letter of invitation to give to you. Q Weren't they carrying on with that agreement which was achieved on the last day in Madrid to carry on with the two-track approach, two-track diplomacy? MR. BOUCHER: That letter of invitation, which you can get from the Press Office and which has been available there for many weeks now, describes many of the terms of reference of the conference process. Q So this is open. We can have that. MR. BOUCHER: It's there. Yes. It's been there. Q Richard, an Egyptian newspaper has reported that the United States is running a military training camp in Virginia for several hundred Libyan emigres. Do you have any comment? MR. BOUCHER: I don't know anything about that, Alan, and I'm not sure it's something I could comment on one way or the other. Q These are apparently the same people that the United States picked up and rescued, I think out of Chad, if I'm not mistaken, and they disappeared to some point in Africa, and they were never heard of again. MR. BOUCHER: I remember making an announcement at the time that they came to the United States and were handled, I think, by normal refugee resettlement process. I think we discussed that in quite a bit of detail one day at this briefing. Q So as it pertains to -- MR. BOUCHER: I'll see if there's anything we can say about it. As I said, I'm not sure that stories like that are anything I can comment on. Q Would you take the question as to whether any of those Libyans who came to the United States under normal refugee procedures have any continuing relationship with the United States Government? That's a different question. MR. BOUCHER: It's a different question. It's also a different question that I may not be able to comment on. Q I understand, but would you take a look at that question? MR. BOUCHER: I will see if I can address that one too. Q The correspondent from this newspaper said that he visited the camp, he went in quite openly, and there was no problem, and he spoke to the people. MR. BOUCHER: Well -- Q Somebody's in trouble. MR. BOUCHER: That's interesting. [Laughter] Q [Multiple comments] Q Richard, the multilateral talks. Can you say at this point who is the co-sponsor of the Middle East peace process? MR. BOUCHER: Ralph, everything I have to say on the multilateral talks is to say that I'm not aware of any changes in the arrangements or the proposals, and I think I'll just leave it at that. Q So the Soviet Union is still the co-sponsor? MR. BOUCHER: The Soviet Union is still the co-sponsor, as far as I'm aware. Q And that would raise -- MR. BOUCHER: I'm not aware that Secretary Baker has said anything on this issue during the course of his discussions on his trip. If there's any update since he left, it would have to come from him and not from me. Q So that would raise the hypothetical question at the moment, but a question that will become unhypothetical on January 1 -- MR. BOUCHER: Depending on -- Q -- as to whether the co-sponsor -- whether there is any longer a co-sponsor. Can you tell us whether the United States is negotiating with the republics of the former Soviet Union about what role they might play in co-sponsoring a Middle East peace process? MR. BOUCHER: Ralph, at this point the Secretary has been in the Soviet Union discussing things with many of the leaders there and people in various republics, and any update, I think, just has to come from him. I don't have any new information since he left. Q Richard, you used the phrase, or the name "Soviet Union," but the last time you talked -- about 5 minutes ago -- you used the phrase "the former Soviet Union." That first characterization seems to be more accurate. I think the question is, as far as the United States is concerned, does the Soviet Union or the former Soviet Union continue to be a co-sponsor of this set of talks -- the bilaterals? MR. BOUCHER: Jim, I'm not quite sure that's a question that we can really address. I'm not quite sure why it's pertinent. In any case, my understanding is that the Soviet officials who have been here for these talks are still here. I'll double-check on that. The nomenclature is something that is in the process of transformation as well as all the other changes that are going on out there. So I don't have any new way to describe it today. Q Can you say anything with regard to whether you think the Mideast negotiators should resolve these procedural disputes before they adjourn? Every day, it seems the government has said they should resolve these procedural disputes and move on. But will you go further and say they should resolve them before they adjourn? Can you put it in a different context -- larger context for us? MR. BOUCHER: I'll just put it the way we've consistently put it: that we think they should resolve these procedural disputes as soon as possible and get down to the business of substantive negotiations. Q Richard, could we just ask about the technicality of your use of the word "adjourn?" Was that a carefully chosen word? Did the United States -- MR. BOUCHER: It was carefully read, Ralph. Q It was. Okay. The United States believes that when the parties leave, or whatever the talks will have "adjourned," as distinct from "recessed"? MR. BOUCHER: I'm not sure what word will be used by the parties at the time. Ultimately, it's for them to determine the status of their discussions and what they decide to do next and how they choose to describe what they do next. Q Do you think that you were anticipating this activity on your part or your role in mediating between the parties to move into the next stage by the performance here in this building in 6 grueling days of -- I'll call it "diplomacy" -- here? Do you think that you really did your best shot at here at the State Department to try to bridge the gap between the parties? I'm asking for your assessment of your own performance about this. MR. BOUCHER: I'm sure we did fine. I don't quite know what you're asking. If you're asking, "What is the U.S. role?" The U.S. role has been described many, many times by the Secretary. It's an active one. It's a role of keeping in close touch with the parties. It's one that's brought us through many months of preliminary discussions, often by the Secretary himself. It's brought us to an historic event in Madrid. It's brought us to the start of bilateral talks in Madrid, and it's brought us to getting on 2 weeks now of discussions in Washington directly between the parties. For 43 years, there were no direct talks. We've been a catalyst. We've been an active contact with all of the people involved, and we'll continue to do that. Q In the last news conference -- or one last news conference before the last news conference -- the news conference before the last news conference of Secretary Baker in Madrid, he almost, not issued an ultimatum, he spoke forcefully. He told the parties that you are here so you have to get together. I believe his statements were conducive for them to come and begin the bilateral talks. Does the absence of the Secretary from Washington during this crucial week in the talks have any element which diminished or did not help? What would you describe this? MR. BOUCHER: These talks, as I think Margaret described for you before they started, were not planned to be at the ministerial level, and, indeed, they're not. They're taking place at the expert level. I think I've described to you on a daily basis the meetings and discussions that we've had with the various parties. We've kept in very close contact with the various parties. Similarly, we've kept the Secretary closely informed of what was going on. He remains part of this process. I think essentially the U.S. role in the way the U.S. goes about this has not changed. We've consistently and strongly, in public as well as in private, urged the parties to get together, to talk, and to get down to the substantive business at hand. Q But you don't see it at the present time reaching the point of collapse or failure, or anything? MR. BOUCHER: No. They're still talking. They will determine what they do next. I think every time they leave the building, they tell you what happens next. So you'll get that information from them. But, no, by no means do we regard this as a failure. As I said, for many, many years -- 43 years -- there were no direct talks. As a result of the process that began in Madrid, they've had intensive discussions now for 5-1/2 days on a variety of procedural and substantive issues. Q Richard, you said the Soviet representatives are still there in the building. Do they see eye-to-eye with the United States as to when you both -- Americans and Soviets -- should step in to try to push the talks ahead? MR. BOUCHER: As far as I'm aware, there have been no differences. I think when we've made proposals, they have been made on behalf of both co-sponsors. Q You are in active contact with them? Or they are somehow, because of the developments in the Soviet Union cited, out? MR. BOUCHER: I said I'd double-check. As far as I'm aware, the Soviet representatives are still here, and we still maintain our contact with them. Q The parties up to this point have declined to allow the news media to record their -- the actual fact of any meetings taking place here in Washington. Does the State Department have any photographic evidence of the meetings taking place? I'm not asking that facetiously. What I'm asking is, was there an official photographer or official photograph of some sort taken to illustrate the fact that these events took place? And if so, are those public documents? MR. BOUCHER: I'm not aware of any official photographers having taken any photographs, Ralph. Q Would you take that question and just check? MR. BOUCHER: I will double-check on that. I think we've gone through in great detail for you before the circumstances under which press photographers would be allowed in. Q Do you believe in the historic significance of taking pictures for this event? MR. BOUCHER: It comes as no surprise to you that when the people call me up and tell me that they've met and that they have seen people talking together that I believe them. I have not demanded photographic evidence. Q On another subject. The United States has changed its policy toward travel to Vietnam. Can you bring us up to speed on that? MR. BOUCHER: No. Q Could you look into that? Reuters has a very interesting story that moved about 2 hours ago. MR. BOUCHER: I'd be glad to look at it, Jan. Q Can you do Korea? Q Haiti? MR. BOUCHER: Take your pick. Korea? President Roh's announcement: We welcome President Roh's statement of December 18th calling on North Korea to join the Republic of Korea in taking the steps to eliminate the possibility of nuclear proliferation on the Korean Peninsula. We have supported President Roh's call earlier for a non-nuclear peninsula, and we are prepared to cooperate with his plan for mutual inspections to verify the absence of nuclear weapons and of reprocessing and enrichment facilities. We continue to view North Korea's refusal to sign and implement a safeguards agreement with concern. North Korea has no pretext to continue to do so. President Roh's latest announcement makes North Korea's refusal even more untenable. Once again, we urge North Korea to abandon any plans it has for nuclear reprocessing or enrichment, to foreswear the development of nuclear weapons, and to abide by its international obligations. Q What is it about President Roh's statement that makes North Korea's position even more untenable? Which announcement are you referring to? MR. BOUCHER: He has taken a series of initiatives to provide the means to demonstrate that it was a non-nuclear peninsula. Any protest to the contrary, or expressions of concern that the North might have, seem to have much, much less foundation although I must point out that there was no pretext or justification in the beginning to raise objections such as they've raised because the obligation that they've had is unconditional. Q So you're not referring to the part of his announcement, then, where he announced that South Korea no longer had any nuclear weapons in it? MR. BOUCHER: I'm referring to the whole announcement. Q Do you have any dispute with any portion of his announcement? MR. BOUCHER: No. I'd repeat what I said: that we are fully prepared to cooperate with his plan for mutual inspections; that U.S. policy is consistent with that enunciated by President Roh and with President Bush's nuclear initiative. Q So you would not dispute the portion of his announcement in which he said that there are no nuclear weapons in South Korea? MR. BOUCHER: I've said we welcomed it, and we'll fully cooperate with his intentions and plans. Q Moving right along. MR. BOUCHER: Moving right along. Q How does that square with your "no confirm/no deny" policy, then? MR. BOUCHER: I'm trying to provide you with a reaction to the speech made by President Roh. I said we welcomed it, and I said we'll fully cooperate with his intentions and plans. Q In that peninsula, you mean the NPT policy also remains alive? MR. BOUCHER: As far as I'm aware, we haven't abandoned that policy. But, as I said, you asked me for a reaction to President Roh's speech, and I'm trying to provide one. Q Richard, [inaudible] in Beijing in the last few days -- week? MR. BOUCHER: I don't think we have in the last few days. I think it's probably a question of weeks. Let me see if I have it. I don't have the last date. I think Margaret used it from the podium not too long ago. (TO STAFF) What was it? November 20. Q That's the most recent? MR. BOUCHER: Yeah. There have been 18 meetings, I'm told, since 1989. Q Another subject? Still on -- Q [Inaudible] Asia? MR. BOUCHER: We were going to do Haiti. As far as numbers on Haiti, new information this morning says 156 Haitians were picked up on Monday. The Coast Guard has not yet reported the number of pickups from yesterday. The total number now stands at 7,733. There have been 6,322 Haitians interviewed thus far by the INS. Of these, 1,182 have been found to have a plausible claim to asylum. There were a 104 Haitians who had expressed a desire to return to Haiti who were repatriated yesterday from UNHCR facilities in Honduras. The UNHCR, the Haitian Red Cross, OAS personnel, and U.S. Embassy personnel were at the airport when the group arrived in Haiti. Their return was uneventful. They went through various administrative procedures and then boarded buses to return to their hometowns. Q Have you sorted out the legal situation now? MR. BOUCHER: The legal situation is, as follows: The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals dissolved the preliminary injunction on December 17. Subsequent to that action, the U.S. District Court Judge Atkins issued a new temporary restraining order, based on different grounds, that also bars involuntary returns. This order is effective through Friday, December 20th, when another hearing will take place. The government has appealed this new temporary restraining order. Under the new temporary restraining order, we are prohibited from sending Haitians back to Haiti except for those who vounteer to return. We will continue to contest this temporary restraining order which precludes returns under the Alien Migration Interdiction Operation program. Q One last one. Any reports of new violence? MR. BOUCHER: The answer is no. Q Does the State Department have objections to creation of a new radio service for Asia called "Free Radio for Asia?" Do you have anything on that? Are you aware of that dispute? MR. BOUCHER: I don't have my piece of paper with me, so let me see how much I can remember. There are two commissions who have been looking at this issue. There was one commission that I think released a report on Monday about this. Our witness who appeared before that commission -- before they issued their report -- made clear our view that we felt that VOA should be the one to handle any new resources -- that they could use them effectively and do the job. There was another commission created by the Foreign Aid bill last year which is still working. We're also going to be presenting our views to that commission. Q So just to make sure I understand it, the State Department's position is not in opposition to a radio service for Asia; it's in opposition to the creation of a separate radio service distinct from the ones already provided or which might be provided by VOA? Is that basically it? MR. BOUCHER: That's basically the position that we presented before the coard -- the commission that did the last study. We felt that the most effective use of resources would be by using VOA to expand and upgrade services. Q Is there any connection to be drawn, or any parallel to be drawn between creation of radio services in Asia and the creation of radio services aimed at Cuba, for example? MR. BOUCHER: Not that I'm aware of. I think we look at each circumstance and decide what's most appropriate. Q How does the State Department feel about that commission's recommendation, that Radio and TV Marti be scrapped unless their hours can be made more useful? MR. BOUCHER: I haven't seen any extensive analysis of that report, nor have I read it myself. I think USIA is prepared to provide some reaction. You might check with them. Q Richard, do you have any reaction to Mr. Netanyahu's statement yesterday that Israel believes there are some 1,200 terrorists being protected in Syria and, therefore, Syria should remain on the list of states -- terrorist states? MR. BOUCHER: I didn't see his statement nor did I have any chance to check a number like that. But I think we've said here before that Syria remained on the terrorism list. Q One more on the Middle East. Can you tell us why Ed Djerejian is meeting with the Ambassadors of Bangladesh and the UAE? MR. BOUCHER: No. I'll have to check. I don't know. Q Maybe it's just a coincidence, but both of those countries voted "no" on the vote in the U.N. the other day for the -- MR. BOUCHER: I'll have to check on what these meetings are about. I don't know. Q Can you ask specifically whether it has to do with the demarche because of their vote? MR. BOUCHER: I'll check on that. Q Is there a general answer on the question of what steps the U.S. is taking, if any, to discuss with nations who voted against the resolution -- or against the repeal; to discuss that vote with them? Is the U.S. engaged in a round of diplomacy to deal with that subject with those two countries or anyone else? MR. BOUCHER: That's something I'd have to check on. I hadn't heard of anything. Q One more please. If you maintain the NPT policy in the Korean Peninsula, even after President Roh announced formally that they'll lift anymore, single out nuclear warheads, that might be misinterpreted to depict that you are still keeping a certain amount of nuclear weapons in that peninsula. So how do you interpret that situation? MR. BOUCHER: I'm not about to stand up here and change a policy that we've had world-wide for many, many years, at least, not at this point. The Defense Department can probably discuss that policy more with you. I think Pete Williams has talked about it to some extent after the President's nuclear initiative. At the same time, I think I tried to make very, very clear that we welcome President Roh's latest statement. We're fully prepared to cooperate with his plan for inspections to verify the absence of nuclear weapons and of enrichment and reprocessing facilities, and that U.S. policy is fully consistent with that enunciated by President Roh and with President Bush's nuclear initiative. Q But in a general sense, the Defense Department confirmed that if they remove all -- if they withdraw all their nuclear arsenal from the peninsula, the NPT policy in that peninsula -- in a certain area -- might be removed, in that sense. MR. BOUCHER: I would invite you to check what the Defense Department has said. And if you have any more questions about it, you'll have to ask them. Q How will South and North Korea affect the United States' earlier statement on pressure of North Korea? MR. BOUCHER: I don't have any change in those statements. What I said today, I think, is consistent with what we said before about the North. (Press briefing concluded at 1:16 p.m.)