US Department of State Daily Briefing #11: Friday, 1/17/92

Boucher Source: State Department Deputy Spokesman Richard Boucher Description: Washington, DC Date: Jan, 17 19921/17/92 Category: Briefings Region: Eurasia, East Asia, Caribbean Country: USSR (former), Russia, North Korea, Cuba Subject: State Department, Arms Control, Nuclear Nonproliferation, Human Rights, International Law, Trade/Economics 12:23 P. M. (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)

[Announcements: Press Briefing Schedule for Next Week and Press Access to Building]

0 MR. BOUCHER: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. If I can, I've got a few things to start off with. The first is about some housekeeping matters. The second is the update on Under Secretary Bartholomew's visit, and the third is something about a meeting with North Korea. On the first, we're not going to be briefing here next Wednesday and Thursday -- Q How about Monday? MR. BOUCHER: Monday is a federal holiday, so we'll look forward to briefings on Tuesday and Friday next week. On Thursday there will be a press conference associated with the Coordinating Conference, and frankly on Wednesday we've got so many people working on other things that we don't think we can pull it off. So we're going to focus our energies on doing the Coordinating Conference right and not do a briefing here. As for the conference itself, let me remind you we put up -- I think gave you some information yesterday on lobbies, elevators, etc. The C Street entrance is basically closed -- well, is closed. People will have to go to other entrances. By and large we urge the -- well, let me divide it up. Those of you with building passes can use them in the turnstiles at the other entrances. For other press who want to come by and see us or have business with us, we will have more or less a branch press office in the 23rd Street entrance, and we'll try to take care of people there. So we would urge all members of the press corps who are coming to come to the 23rd Street entrance. Questions, I may be able to run through some of the information with you in a little more detail later. But basically the opening remarks at the beginning of the conference will be covered, but it's a crowded room, and we'll use a tight pool for that. I think we've already contacted the people to put together the appropriate pools for that. There will be coverage of the comings and goings, both here and at the lunch at Blair House, and then there will be a press conference at the end with the Secretary and the other people. Ministers and others who are attending the conference will be there to answer your questions. That will be in the early afternoon, Thursday afternoon. We've got a big room. We'll try to accommodate everyone, but, if there are too many people, it will be first come, first served for that. Q But no kickoff briefing or press conference? MR. BOUCHER: No. Not at this point. The opening of the conference itself, we expect there to be coverage.

[Former Soviet Union: Bartholomew Mission Discussions with Russia On Nuclear Arms/Exports/International Agreements]

Bartholomew: Under Secretary Bartholomew met today in Moscow with Russian Foreign Minister Kozyrev and Acting Minister of Atomic Power and Industry Nikipelov. There was a meeting of the full teams from both sides, including senior officials from the Russian Foreign Ministry and General Staff. The working groups on safety, security and dismantling and on nuclear proliferation have also met today. Finally, there was a wrap-up session involving senior officials led by Under Secretary Bartholomew and Russian First Deputy Foreign Minister Shelyov-Kovedayev. Bartholomew, we understand, has explained his meetings in the following terms with some of the press in Moscow: On the basic issue of nuclear command and control, as he said, we've made clear that we want to see a single unified authority for the control of nuclear weapons. At Alma-Ata, the Commonwealth States all agreed on a document which moves in the direction of a single authority, and we were encouraged by that. On how the Moscow talks went, he said that considerable progress was made. Much remains to be done. He will now go on to the three other republics. They'll go to Kiev on Saturday. They plan to hold discussions in Minsk on Monday and Alma-Ata on Tuesday. In each place they will meet with the senior leadership of each of the new states there. That's the way that's going. Q When is he coming back? MR. BOUCHER: I think we said he was due back the 22nd. I haven't reconfirmed that, but approximately the middle of next week. Q Are you able to be specific about how the gathering of the "tacs" [tactical nuclear weapons] in Russia is proceeding? MR. BOUCHER: No. I'm afraid I'm not. We asked the party about that, and they said they had nothing for us on the subject. Q Can you add anything more to your statement that considerable progress was made? Was any sort of regime set up to begin the dismantling; how will the two sides work together? MR. BOUCHER: I can't add more to it at this point, John. As we said, he feels he's made considerable progress, but there is more work to be done. They asked that we hold off on trying to discuss the substance of the talks in detail until they've been able to visit the other republics, finish their work, analyze the results, and return to Washington. He's aware of the request you made for a briefing when he gets back. Q Richard, there were reports that other republics than the four nuclear weapons republics known also have nuclear weapons. Do the talks cover this problem or is it away from that? MR. BOUCHER: Our concerns about nuclear weapons are general. They're nuclear weapons wherever they may be. I'd point out that he's talking to the Russian Foreign Ministry. He's also talking to the general staff -- the military. So he's talking to not just individual republics, but they have some broader role. Q Richard, another part of the world, please.

[North Korea: Under Secretary Kanter to Meet with Party Chairman Kim Young Sun in New York]

MR. BOUCHER: Can I do the North Korea announcement? Q Oh, I'm sorry. I beg your pardon. MR. BOUCHER: The United States Government represented by Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Arnold Kanter will meet with a North Korean delegation headed by Korean Worker's Party Secretary Kim Young Sun in New York on January 22, to discuss issues of concern. Q January? MR. BOUCHER: January 22 in New York. Q Are those exclusively nuclear issues of concern? MR. BOUCHER: The issues that we expect to discuss, I don't have a full agenda for you here. Let me say two things about that. First of all, we will be discussing the nuclear issue as well as other concerns. The context is what we've said previously, that we are prepared to improve our relations with North Korea in the context of their addressing a number of concerns; most immediately the nuclear issue and progress in the North-South talks, which remains the primary means for resolving the problems on the Korean peninsula. Q Do you want to touch on any of those other issues? MR. BOUCHER: I don't want to at this point. We've stated in the past what the various issues and concerns were, and those certainly still apply. Q Does the meeting with North Korea mean that the United States is going to have a closer relation with North Korea from now on? MR. BOUCHER: I wouldn't necessarily put it in that context. At this point, there are no specific follow-up meetings planned. This is a meeting to discuss issues of concern. I gave you the general context, but I wouldn't go farther than that. Q Are these talks substituting for Beijing contact between political counselors or is it going on separately from the Beijing contact? MR. BOUCHER: Since October '88, I think we've had 18 of those meetings at the political counselor level in Beijing. I expect that those meetings would continue. I'm not aware of anything specific scheduled at this point. Q Richard, is this the highest level meeting ever held between North Korea and American officials that you recall? MR. BOUCHER: That I recall? Yes. That other people who have worked on this recall? I think I better double-check that. Q Which Kim? MR. BOUCHER: The spelling I have is Kim, K-I-M; Young, Y-O-U-N-G; and Sun, S-U-N. Q Will this meeting be one time or not? MR. BOUCHER: As I said, at this point, we have no further meetings scheduled or planned. We'll see what happens. Q Did you have a communication about these talks with the South Korean Government? MR. BOUCHER: We've been in very close contact with our South Korean ally on a whole number of issues recently. I'd just leave it at that. Q This meeting, too? MR. BOUCHER: Including this, yes. Q Another subject, Richard. The situation in Cuba with the three American residents who went in there -- the three who were resident in America -- Q Filing break. MR. BOUCHER: Filing break. Q -- who went there. Given the fact that they were able to get into Cuba, given the fact that they took training in the United States, and that a number of groups apparently are running around south Florida training for some unspecified action, does the United States feel that it is adequately enforcing the neutrality laws? MR. BOUCHER: John, that's not really a question that I can answer. As far as how exactly those laws apply and what restrictions there may be on activities within the United States and the enforcement of those laws, I think that's something that the Department of Justice has to answer. Q Thank you. (Press briefing concluded at 12:33 p.m.)