US Department of State Daily Briefing #87: Tuesday, 6/2/92

Tutwiler Source: State Department Spokesman Margaret Tutwiler Description: Washington, DC Date: Jun, 2 19926/2/92 Category: Briefings Region: E/C Europe, MidEast/North Africa, Caribbean, South America, Europe, East Asia Country: Yugoslavia (former), Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia-Montenegro, USSR (former), Haiti, Peru, South Korea, North Korea, Cyprus, Lebanon Subject: Regional/Civil Unrest, Military Affairs, Development/Relief Aid, United Nations, Science/Technology, Security Assistance and Sales, NATO, Arms Control, State Department 12:00 P. M. (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)

[Announcement: COCOM Meeting in Paris]

MS. TUTWILER: O.K. I've got two things. I'd like to do first a COCOM statement, and then I'd like to do an update on Yugoslavia and give you some new figures on the frozen assets in the United States that we discovered overnight. COCOM: The United States is pleased that yesterday in Paris the 17 partners of the Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls -- better known as COCOM -- made major progress in transforming COCOM to reflect the new strategic environment. COCOM's high-level meeting in Paris made two key decisions: One: Establishing a COCOM Cooperation Forum on Export Controls that reflects the new East-West relationships; and, secondly, liberalizing significantly telecommunications export controls that will go into effect July 1, 1992. The republics of the former Soviet Union are, as you all know, on a path toward democratic reform and economic integration with the West. In light of this welcome change, Secretary of State Baker recently sent a letter to the Foreign Ministers of our COCOM counterparts, proposing the establishment of an informal COCOM Cooperation Forum on Export Controls. COCOM has now agreed to invite the republics of the former Soviet Union to join this forum. The goals of the new COCOM Forum reflect new strategic relationships, particularly with Russia and the other republics of the former Soviet Union. These goals include: (1) Significantly wider access by those countries to advanced Western goods and technology; (2) Procedures for ensuring against diversion of these sensitive items to military or other unauthorized users; (3) To assist the new states to develop their own systems of export controls; and Finally, further cooperation on matters of common concern on export controls. The COCOM partners also agreed to an immediate improvement in the availability of advanced telecommunications equipment to the republics of the former Soviet Union. As these emerging democracies seek to reform and establish closer ties to the economies of the West, better telephone, fax and other data networks are clearly needed. This very positive COCOM decision will provide rapid and reliable telecommunications between the Newly Independent States and the West -- modern cost-effective domestic telecommunications systems. We expect the Cooperation Forum to hold its first meeting shortly. At that meeting they will discuss future meetings and further define the agenda for the group, and nothing is scheduled at this point. Q Margaret, I wondered why this announcement is being made here. Is it largely American equipment that -- this has been percolating all day. We get calls -- there's going to be a major announcement here. MS. TUTWILER: You were? Q Yes. And there's nothing out of Paris -- MS. TUTWILER: I don't know why. Q -- where the meeting took place. Is the United States the main -- I mean, I'm just trying to figure out what the U.S. -- MS. TUTWILER: I'm not aware of why you would be getting calls. I'm not aware that anyone in Paris can't speak to this. It is something, as you know, the Bush Administration -- whether it is the creation of this new Forum or previously, the President has spoken out about basically making COCOM reflective of today's environment and the changes that have taken place in the East-West relationship. So we, as the United States, have been working very actively within COCOM with our members to ensure that the President's views on this subject are reflected, and indeed we applaud and wanted to make sure that it did come to your attention, the accomplishments at this most recent meeting in Paris. Q Can I ask you about significantly wider access. Does that put them on the same level with non-Communist countries, for instance, or is it some mid-point they're emerging through now? MS. TUTWILER: Well, there still, Barry, will remain controls on some of these countries. It's my understanding those types of controls will continue to cover such things as munitions items, high-speed computers, including supercomputers, stealth materials and multi-axis advanced machine tools. So my characterization -- not being the expert in this -- it's somewhere in the middle. Q Margaret, is the United States -- in light of what -- the sale of rocket engines to India by Russia a month or so ago, isn't the United States concerned that this kind of access is going to give them more opportunity to conduct those types of deals? MS. TUTWILER: I haven't heard concern expressed along those lines. As you know, there still exists in the world, which are the main bodies that deal with proliferation, the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the Australia Group, and the Missile Technology Control Group; and those people will continue doing their work. This is just a recognition on the part of 17 nations who belong to COCOM that these emerging democracies no longer need some of the rules that were needed previously, and so those are being changed. Q Margaret, the Administration has been fighting efforts in COCOM to open up the sale of high-speed telecommunications to the former Soviet Union, including fiber optics. What made the Administration change? MS. TUTWILER: I'm not aware, Stu, of that position, to be honest with you, and I'll be happy to have an expert look at this. It's probably better addressed in another Department on the actual technology of that. My understanding is that this does cover some of that, but I'm not the expert on it. Q Do you know if the level of being allowed now to the former Soviet Union is up to the level that has been allowed to China? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know. I'll be happy to ask someone to ask that question for you. It is my understanding -- I don't know what the current level is for the former Soviet Union. We're now dealing with 12 new countries. I'm just not familiar with it. And concerning -- you used the example of China being able to join this new Forum -- Q I meant in terms of the telecommunications technology that China can get was up until now at a higher level than what could go to any of the republics of the former Soviet Union. MS. TUTWILER: You're probably correct. It's true that you're more of an expert on this subject than I am, and I don't know this as thoroughly as you do. I will be happy to ask our experts to please take a serious look at it for you. Your question on fiber optics was what? Q Well, I'm just curious as to why you decided to allow them -- the former Soviet states to apparently have the kind of fiber optics that six months ago the Administration opposed. MS. TUTWILER: That's basically a question -- an Administration -- "Have you or have you not changed your policy?" And this is something that I'm aware of, and I think you would agree with, that the President has enunciated many, many times on the need to take a serious look at COCOM in light of the current changes that are ongoing in the republics of the former Soviet Union. That I am aware of. Q Do you have any estimate of the bucks this is worth to AT∧T and other such companies? MS. TUTWILER: No, I don't. Q Has this Administration ever changed a policy? (Laughter) MS. TUTWILER: When we do, we tell you. Q Oh! Q Were they involved -- were American companies involved in this decision -- MS. TUTWILER: This policy -- excuse me -- this policy hasn't changed, and I think that you would agree with me, there are obviously within any Administration, including our own, those that have different views sometimes about the fine nuances of the overall policy. But they, to my knowledge, support the President's overall policies, and there are various debates that go on within this Administration interagency as in all others. Q Maybe I'll try to rephrase my question. MS. TUTWILER: What are we -- I'm sorry. The cost? Q Well, it wasn't very good, so let me try all over again. MS. TUTWILER: No. I understand. Q Was this essentially a strategic decision -- MS. TUTWILER: Strategic? Q -- or are we trying to improve the free-market economy of the United States with this decision? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know what adjective you want to attach to it. It is reflective of the President's views that as these new emerging democracies emerge, that the rules that were very reasonable under a different system, you need to take a very serious look at in light of today's changed circumstances. So that's what it is.

[Former Yugoslavia: US Freeze on Assets/Update]

Can I do Yugoslavia? Q Yes. MS. TUTWILER: Yugoslavia: Yesterday we told you that the Treasury Department had an estimate of approximately $200 million in Iraq -- I'm sorry -- Yugoslavian assets in this country. Having worked overnight, they now give us a figure of at least $400 million is what this will be. Treasury auditors are actively working on this. They've told us this morning it could take even up to two weeks to get a final number, but they are very confident -- or their view is that it will definitely be at least $400 million. So I wanted to give you that new figure. Q [Inaudible] where you were yesterday that if the billion and a half, or now I suppose it will be a billion three; if that somehow got to Cyprus or something, it's still reachable? MS. TUTWILER: Wherever. Well, I mean, I'm not aware of anyone, Barry, that is a member of the United Nations that has come out and said, "We're not supporting these." Part of them is a freeze on assets, so whether the money is in -- you used the example of Cyprus, or anywhere else, it's frozen. Q Is this real money or is it assets in other form like property, things like that? MS. TUTWILER: Well, the question I was asked yesterday is there had been a rumor of it -- I believe you had $2 billion, we had $1.5 billion, flow out of this country. Q Yes. I understand that. A different question: The $400 million that's still here, is it $400 million in the form of money -- MS. TUTWILER: I don't have a breakdown from Treasury. Q -- or is it $400 million in the form of other assets, such as property? MS. TUTWILER: I understand. I just don't have that breakdown yet from the Treasury Department. Their auditors are still at it. Can I just do my overall update, or do you want to stay on this? Q No, no. Please. MS. TUTWILER: Last night, Serb forces shelled Sarajevo. Sporadic street fighting continues today. The cease-fire mediated by United Nations officials yesterday held for only two hours. Our reports indicate that the food situation in Sarajevo remains very grave. The situation is particularly difficult because distribution of available food is often uncertain or impossible. As of Friday, May 22, UNHCR suspended all convoys to Bosnia because of Serbian refusal to allow deliveries through Serb-controlled areas. There will be a meeting in Geneva tomorrow to discuss humanitarian relief for Bosnia. Neither UNHCR nor ICRC are able to be active in Bosnia. Our Embassy reports that a convoy of several vehicles organized by a private international relief group reached Sarajevo on May 31 after being detained by Serb forces in a Sarajevo suburb. We understand that smaller, local relief organizations are able to provide small quantities of aid to Bosnia. It is our understanding that how this is working is that individuals -- in my opinion, very brave and courageous individuals -- are getting in their cars and driving to an area outside of Bosnia, loading their cars with food and supplies, and trying to make it back into their city. We understand the United Nations Special Representative, Mr. Thornberry, intends to travel today from Belgrade to Sarajevo to discuss with Bosnian parties the possibility of U.N. control over Sarajevo Airport. Serbian forces continue to control the Sarajevo Airport which remains closed. We understand that sometimes severe fighting continues in many other towns, causing many thousands of additional displaced persons. We are disturbed by reports that Serbian air force planes have renewed bombing attacks against Bosnia. We are also disturbed by reports of Serb massacres of civilians. One respected Belgrade newspaper, Borba, reports that on May 26, a convoy of 200 Bosnian Muslims was fleeing the city of Visegrad near the Bosnian/Serbian eastern border. Serbian volunteers reportedly stopped the convoy, took 17 males out and shot them. While we cannot independently confirm this and similar reports through neutral international observers, we remain very concerned by continued Serb use of terror tactics against innocent civilians. We understand that in northwest Bosnia, one of the most populous areas in Bosnia, Serb forces continue to expel [non-Serbs] in a declared "ethnic purification" campaign. Yesterday, I believe it was you, Barry, who asked me a very legitimate question on what effects did we see of the United Nations sanctions. We're basically in the same position today to tell you that in our opinion it's too early to make a useful judgment. We have reports, though, from our Embassy in Belgrade of increased panic buying, for example, of food and fuel, and these seem to us to be the result of the announcement of these sanctions. We don't know how long, Barry, and we cannot answer for you, that it will take to have these sanctions have an effect. We expect, as I said yesterday, some time. But what I neglected to point out yesterday, I'd like to today, prior to even these sanctions the Serbian economy already suffered from hyper-inflation, severe unemployment and rapidly declining productivity. Sanctions are going to be obviously another constraint on the Serbian Government that they can ill afford at this time. Q Margaret, do you have anything on fresh reports that a relief convoy was attacked by Serbian forces? MS. TUTWILER: Not this morning, and we ask every day. No. But the only thing new that I really had was the example, and we can't confirm them independently of individuals trying to run this -- dangerous seems like almost an understatement -- attempt to get out to load up their own personal cars and bring back supplies -- whether it be food or clothes or medicine -- back into their country. But I hadn't heard about that, but we'll check on it. Q What's the status of the Yugoslav Embassy here in Washington since Ambassador Perkins said last week that the United States doesn't recognize Serbia-Montenegro as the successor state to the old Yugoslavia? And do you have any reports of any diplomats that were accredited to that Embassy asking for asylum or leaving their posts and basically defecting? MS. TUTWILER: Right. One, you know, even if I had reports, we cannot discuss asylum cases. Your first question was, "What is the status of their Embassy here?" I'm unaware of any change in their Embassy here. You're absolutely correct. We do not recognize the -- I think they call themselves now the Federal Republic of Serbia-Montenegro. And your third question was what? Q There were just two. MS. TUTWILER: Two. O.K. Sorry. Q Margaret, a question about the frozen assets. Do you have any information if Yugoslavia is in debt to the United States, and how much money they are indebted to you? MS. TUTWILER: I don't know. Q And the second question is if you are going to take your debt from the frozen assets or not. MS. TUTWILER: That's a question that I'm not sure that we have addressed, and I don't know -- it's a total hypothetical -- if there is a Yugoslav debt in our country. I just don't know. Q Does the U.S. participate in any monitoring operation of the embargo? MS. TUTWILER: In the what? Q Monitoring. MS. TUTWILER: Are we monitoring the embargo -- the participating -- Q Yes. With the implementation of the embargo. MS. TUTWILER: I believe that's handled at the United Nations. Q Does the U.S. help in any way, you know, by -- MS. TUTWILER: I don't know who is currently. I can only -- and I don't know what they've set up in this situation. In the Iraqi situation they set up a special U.N. Committee, and I think it had -- am I right, Richard [Boucher] -- 15 members or nine members. I don't know if they've done that in this case. I'll have to check for you. Q Margaret, some people were hoping for a sort of shock -- political shock value from the sanctions. Would you say that that has failed to materialize? I mean Milosevic doesn't seem to be deterred whatsoever. MS. TUTWILER: I don't have any idea what's going on in his mind or in the leadership in Belgrade with the Serbs -- Serbian leadership. I don't know. But I know that you couldn't help but fail to get the message that the world is outraged by the continuing humanitarian situation that continues in Bosnia. I don't know anyone that is not saying, "Open the airport. Let humanitarian convoys through to this situation where these people are that is desperate." Q Margaret, are we still convinced that Milosevic actually has control over the Serbian militiamen and irregulars who are doing most of the shelling at the moment? MS. TUTWILER: We've never claimed that Milosevic has total control over any of these entities, nor have we said that there aren't others who are guilty of some of the fighting that we have seen. In fact, I think we have identified five or six different identities that we have called on to please stop. But we have said that the Serbian leadership in Belgrade in our view certainly bears basic responsibility, or more share of the responsibility than others. Q What are the five or six entities there, Margaret? MS. TUTWILER: We've said that that was the Serbian leadership in Belgrade, the JNA leadership, the Croatian leadership. There was at one time -- I don't know if they're still active -- a Muslim element in Bosnia that was also taking matters into their own hands. [TO STAFF] And what are the others ones? Have I got them, Richard [Boucher]? MR. BOUCHER: The army. MS. TUTWILER: The JNA. I said the JNA. There are about five or six. And at different times, if you go and look at our record at all the different statements, we have called on, either singled out that group on that particular day or as an entire basket and said, you know, "We call on you to stop this -- all of you for what you are doing -- on a humanitarian basis to this area -- whether it was -- at one time, remember, it was in Croatia -- to stop this." Q But we have not made an appeal to individual militia groups? MS. TUTWILER: I can't speak. I'd have to go back and see if Ambassador Zimmerman met with all the militia groups. I know, if you'll recall, when the Bosnian President was kidnapped several weeks ago, that our Ambassador, I believe at that time, was in touch with all elements who could use any influence whatsoever to get the President of Bosnia released, and I believe that included those types on the ground. Q Margaret, at the NATO meeting that's coming up in a few days, will the United States support the creation of a peacekeeping force -- under a NATO peacekeeping force -- under the auspices of the CSCE? MS. TUTWILER: I believe the Defense Ministers of NATO met either this week or last week, and that they addressed this subject of a NATO role as peacekeeping, but specifically did not address themselves, it's my understanding, to Yugoslavia. I do not know if at the Foreign Ministers level -- I just hadn't seen it -- if it is anticipated that that subject will be raised. I don't know. Q It's supposed to be coming up. There's a question whether it will. MS. TUTWILER: Is it on the agenda? I don't know. Q Well, there's a question whether what the Defense Ministers did was a final action, and apparently it wasn't. We can split this into two parts. I could ask you if the United States supports the idea of a peacekeeping force for use in Europe under CSCE? And the second question would be, does the United States support a peacekeeping force for use in Yugoslavia under CSCE? Could you answer either of those two questions? MS. TUTWILER: The second part of your question, I'm going to refrain from answering because I'm not aware of, one, that it is anything right now but a hypothetical; and that NATO itself has addressed this question and said that what they did last week -- the Defense Ministers -- was just a continuation of a discussion that's been going on, I think for about a year. And, yes, as I recall, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, and our Ambassador to NATO have all been on the record supporting the concept generally of NATO peacekeeping. But I'd refer you back to the record. Q Not specific to Yugoslavia -- the concept, generally? MS. TUTWILER: As I recall, the Secretary of State made an intervention supporting this at the last NATO meeting. Q Margaret, why not for use in Yugoslavia? MS. TUTWILER: That is a decision that would be a NATO decision. Q But why is the U.S. not supporting use of a NATO force under CSCE at this time in Yugoslavia? MS. TUTWILER: That's a total hypothetical for me to deal with at this time. The question is not on the table, Johanna. I would be out here -- Q Why isn't it? You come out everyday and you describe a situation of great desperation in which people are starving, people are being murdered, people are being tortured -- MS. TUTWILER: Pulled from their homes. Q -- and you decry the Serbian leadership. You have this structure in Europe that was supposed to help reduce risks, as I recall, and you're on a different track for a hypothetical future situation. You're talking about NATO troops under CSCE, but you don't want to apply them to this live, desperate situation in Europe. Why? MS. TUTWILER: NATO, as I recall, is a 16-nation organization. The United States is one member of 16 nations. I'm not -- Q I'm just asking about you? MS. TUTWILER: What I'm not going to be able to do, as much as you would like me maybe to do, is to make United States policy on a hypothetical question from this podium. I just won't do it. Q Let me rephrase it. Has there been any consideration in the councils of this government to proposing that NATO, under CSCE, use its troops in this current -- not hypothetical -- situation? MS. TUTWILER: Not that I am aware of, and the most recent official of this Administration who addressed himself to that at NATO, was Secretary of Defense Cheney. He did a press conference at the conclusion of their meeting and was asked this question a number of times. That is the last senior high official, at a Cabinet level that I'm aware of, that has spoken out addressing this. Q Margaret, you said -- I believe I heard you say yesterday that the air Attache is the only military -- MS. TUTWILER: Left in Belgrade. Q Only military advisor left in Belgrade? MS. TUTWILER: Yes. If you recall, we pulled, when Secretary Baker announced this in London, our military Attaches, leaving the air Attache in the event that you could get humanitarian relief flights -- he could be of assistance on a humanitarian level. I said yesterday the Yugoslavs also left a military Attache here, but that neither Attache can do business as usual and have normal military-to-military talks. Q Okay. So his sole purpose there is to arrange humanitarian flights if the airport -- MS. TUTWILER: To assist should such a situation evolve where he could lend assistance. Q And that's his sole purpose? MS. TUTWILER: Under these circumstances, correct. He is not having normal military-to-military talks nor is their Attache, who is here in town, any longer proceeding with business as usual and having military-to-military talks with our government.

[Haiti: Update]

Q Can we move to Haiti? Good. The Government of Antigua has said that it has received a request from the U.S. Government for permission to use U.S. facilities on Antiqua to process Haitian refugees. Do you have anything? MS. TUTWILER: I think that you're aware that we have urged other countries to help address the plight of the Haitian boat people. As I recall from my memory, Venezuela, Suriname, and Honduras have all taken Haitian boat people. Antigua is one of the countries we have approached, but I'm not prepared to go into any specifics of these discussions that we have had with the Government of Antigua. Q Do you want to make Antigua into another Guantanamo? MS. TUTWILER: I really don't have any more detail for you other than to acknowledge that we have talked to Antigua and to others, but I'm not going into all the specifics. Q Can you tell us what the other countries are? MS. TUTWILER: I don't think I have a list. I'll be happy to see if ARA wants to supply one. Q But these other countries have not yet responded -- Antigua? MS. TUTWILER: I haven't been running a trap on this, to be honest with you. I don't know. I'll be happy to ask ARA. I just don't know. But it's not a surprise, since the very beginning, if you recall. In fact, I remember, I think, a number in Venezuela of 177. The record can correct me if I'm wrong. In fact, a number of those, as I recall, wished to return. I just haven't kept up with what countries. Q What is the purpose of withholding the names of countries who we are discussing this with? MS. TUTWILER: There's only one simple purpose. I was informed about 12 minutes before I came to this podium that I might get a question along these lines. I simply do not have at my finger tips a list of which countries they are. And rather than guess, which would be irresponsible, I don't have them. Q So can you supply us with that list? MS. TUTWILER: Bill just asked me that. I said I would -- or John did. Q Setting aside the specific countries, Margaret, could we deal a little bit with the philosophy of it? If Guantanamo is being closed, or phased out, because it had become a magnet for Haitian refugees, wouldn't a similar facility in a country like Antigua or some other unnamed country become a similar magnet for refugees? So what would be the purpose of doing this at this time? MS. TUTWILER: That is asking me to go a little bit beyond -- to where I have been requested not to go. So I can't flesh out for you those types of valid questions at this time with that type of detail. I simply can't do it. Sorry. Q Earlier on in the crisis, a number of other countries were taking some Haitian boat people. MS. TUTWILER: Right. Q In your discussions with Antigua, and perhaps other countries now, are you talking about something like that or are you talking about U.S. processing at these other places? MS. TUTWILER: That kind of falls in the category of more detail than I am in a position to be able to discuss today. Q Do you have numbers? MS. TUTWILER: Numbers? Yes. Latest numbers: Five Haitians were picked up yesterday; 2,634 Haitians have been picked up since the new Executive Order came into effect; 2,626 of these have been returned directly to Haiti -- 679 yesterday. The Haitians who are returned directly are informed of the availability of the in-country refugee processing program on board the cutters and by Embassy officials upon arrival. It's my understanding they are at the docks. Fifty-eight of those returned directly have been to the Consulate for preliminary interviews thus far. Others have expressed interest and are expected to appear at the Consulate over the next few days. The total number picked up since the coup in Haiti is 37,742. Q What's the population of Haiti? How close are we getting to -- MS. TUTWILER: I can't remember. It was several million. Wasn't it two million or four million? George might know. What is it, George? Q Five million, as a guess. MS. TUTWILER: Five million or something? Yes. Several million. Q Is Guantanamo -- MS. TUTWILER: I think it's important also of those -- out of that total figure for you to have this fact also: 10,480 of those Haitians interviewed thus far have been found to have a plausible claim to asylum. Seven thousand three hundred seventy-nine have already been flown to the United States; 170 just yesterday. Q Margaret, one thing that's clear from your numbers on the new policy is that the number of these people going -- who were returned directly -- going to the U.S. Embassy for interviews is extraordinarily low: 58 people out of 2,600 returned. So your new policy, clearly, of processing them in Haiti, nobody is taking advantage of it. What is your explanation for that? And, clearly, it just isn't working. MS. TUTWILER: How can you sit there and make that judgment? Q You've just given us the numbers. MS. TUTWILER: I'm not on the Coast Guard cutter. I'm not at the dock. Q You've given us the numbers -- that you returned 2,600 directly and 58 of 2,600 took your offer and went to the Embassy for processing. MS. TUTWILER: That's a lot. What are we supposed to do? Force them all to go there? Q No. It's just obviously people -- there's something that is inhibiting people from going. MS. TUTWILER: That's your deduction. I can't make that deduction up here. I'm not on the Coast Guard cutters. How do you know that they are choosing to go? I have no reasons to believe that they're not. We have sent additional staff down there to help, should it be needed. We're sending three or four this week. I don't know how you can draw that conclusion, in all due respect, with us sitting up here. I'm not on the boat; I'm not at the dock. And if I go up to you and say, "Hey, Chris, would you like to come with me to the Embassy and you say, no, see you later," what am I supposed to do? Q Margaret, please understand me. MS. TUTWILER: Say you must go? Q I'm not saying that there's anything that the United States Government is doing to prevent people from going -- MS. TUTWILER: Well, you think something is wrong. Q Let me just finish, please. I'm not saying there's anything the United States Government is doing to prevent people who are free to go to the U.S. Embassy whenever they want. I am just saying that the facts remain that a very, very tiny number are doing that, and I wonder why you think that is? A lot of people want to come to the United States, it seems. That's why they keep getting in the boats, but they don't want to go to the U.S. Embassy and process. I wonder why that is? MS. TUTWILER: Probably for the same reasons that -- since the coup, there have been close to 38,000 that have been picked up and only 10,000 -- a little over 10,000 -- have been found to have a plausible claim of asylum. Can you explain that? Q That's still a third, for heaven sake, which is no where -- Q That's an incentive to keep trying. MS. TUTWILER: Come on! What are we supposed to do? Make new immigration rules? Really. Q (Inaudible) Maybe that's the reason. MS. TUTWILER: A copy of the form? Q Maybe on the cutter -- while on the cutter -- MS. TUTWILER: I'll see if the Justice Department can get you a copy. Q On the cutter, taking these poor people back to Haiti, maybe they could help them fill out the form and it would save a little time and people wouldn't have to go to the Embassy. MS. TUTWILER: They don't have to go to the Embassy. I said that we've got people on the Coast Guard cutters who are explaining to them what we have available, what the process is, etc. We have got people, it's my understanding, when the boats dock there at the landing, to say, "If you did not hear about this on the boat" -- it's my understanding -- "let me please inform you. Please, the United States Government wants to know," and this is so far, to date, what the situation is. But I can't explain this number that's of concern to Chris -- 58 -- anymore than I can explain on some days there are 2,000 people who are out in the open seas and on other days there are none or there are 10. Q Well, let me try this: Might it be that once a Haitian peasant has made his way to the seashore, found his way onto a boat, started to the United States and found himself summarily deposited back on the shore of Haiti, that he might be somewhat discouraged by this from going to the American Embassy to go ahead and apply for asylum? MS. TUTWILER: I don't have the facts. But yesterday I was told by our Consular Affairs experts that a number of these people who have been picked up literally did not believe this was the policy and they were out, for lack of a -- these are my words -- testing and seeing that this was really and truly true. So it was nothing more, in some cases, then, they were out there to see if this was, indeed, true. Others had told us they had not heard of the policy. We're trying every way we can, as you know, to let the people there know of the policy change. Q It's been suggested that some of these people might be taking advantage of the food coupons that they are given on disembarkation. MS. TUTWILER: I haven't heard about food coupons. I don't know about that. I recall -- pulling it up out of my memory -- something about -- what was it? The International Red Cross was there and gave each person a small stipend to help them. I haven't heard about food coupons. These are U.S. food coupons? Q I think it is Red Cross. My question was whether anybody was looking at this and wondering whether this was becoming like a magnet or an incentive? MS. TUTWILER: You mean, just go out and come back to get a food coupon? Q Correct. MS. TUTWILER: I haven't heard that. I'll look and see if we have any evidence that. I don't know. Q Margaret, one of the reports I heard suggested there was a problem with the language, as far as the information that was being given to these people. Some of them are illiterate. Much of the information apparently is in French and not in Creole. Could you check and see if the information is being given to them in a language that they understand? MS. TUTWILER: My understanding is that at one time we had 15 teams of INS people, and they did all have Creole speakers with them. My other understanding -- and I'm pulling this out of my memory -- is that, yes, Voice of America was broadcasting in Creole, but I'll check and see if there are other avenues and other ways that we're doing it in their language. My understanding is, we have been all along. Q Margaret, is there any movement whatsoever on attempting to reach some kind of a political settlement with the Haitians? I'm thinking in terms of the implementation of the Washington Agreement to get President Aristide back. Is anything happening at all on that political level, or is that just sitting dormant? MS. TUTWILER: There are a lot of representatives of countries that are actively working on that, but I don't have anything to report. In other words, it's not just sitting in a committee report. There are people who are representatives of various OAS member countries who are actively working on exactly what you're asking, but there is no movement that I have any personal knowledge of or anything that I know I have to announce. Q Do you have an assessment -- current assessment -- of the state of affairs in the Haitian military? MS. TUTWILER: No, I don't. Q No change since last week? MS. TUTWILER: I just don't have an assessment. I'll be happy to ask. Richard (Boucher), I believe, gave the last one to you on Friday. I'm not aware of a change.

[Peru: Announcement of Elections/Status of US Aid]

Q Margaret, could I just ask you, since we haven't asked you in a long time, what's the -- do you have any update on the situation in Peru? MS. TUTWILER: The situation? There hasn't been a lot, other than you know that yesterday President Fujimori announced that they would have elections on October 18. That is something that I believe he had in his speech at the OAS in the Bahamas -- what was that? -- around May 17. Deputy Secretary Eagleburger, at the time, said we were pleased with that speech, but we wanted to see it implemented. On yesterday's announcement, we view this as a positive step. It follows President Fujimori's commitment to the OAS Foreign Ministers' meeting May 17 to hold Constitution Assembly Elections within five months. The next essential step is the development of a fair and open electoral process. The May 17 OAS Foreign Ministers' resolution called for establishment of an electoral process "with all the guarantees of free expression." It is important that all democratic forces, including Peru's political parties, have a chance to participate in the development of a new electoral law, a law governing political parties and other procedures that will govern this election. That's about everything that I have on that. Q Are we pleased enough at this that we've restored any of Peru's aid? MS. TUTWILER: No. Q Margaret, on North Korea -- Q Margaret, may I ask about the START treaty? MS. TUTWILER: I'm sorry, what? Q About the START treaty. MS. TUTWILER: About what? Q START. Q Has the Administration renewed its efforts towards ratifying a treaty on the Hill [inaudible]? MS. TUTWILER: I'm sorry? Q To get the treaty ratified on the Hill? MS. TUTWILER: Has the Administration recommitted itself to get the treaty ratified? Q Renewed -- MS. TUTWILER: Have we set a date for testimonies to begin? Q Yes, something like this. MS. TUTWILER: We have not set a date. Our Assistant Secretary for Congressional Affairs, Janet Mullins, is talking right now and consulting with the Congress on that very thing. Don had a question. Sorry. Q On North Korea: The International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors are now in North Korea looking at their nuclear program. On the other hand, North and South Korea have so far been unable to make much progress toward inspecting in North Korea under the accord which they reached at the end of last year to have bilateral inspections. How important is it to the United States that in addition to these international IAEA inspections that the bilateral inspections go forward, and to what extent will U.S. relations with North Korea depend on that factor? MS. TUTWILER: Those are two very broad questions, and I'm probably not your best candidate to answer either one. As I recall, we have been very supportive of the North/South talks. We're also, as you know, very supportive, as you say, of the IAEA inspectors being there. But what analytical effect it has over future relations of the United States with North Korea, I'd rather refrain from answering that out here and just freelancing with you. I'll see if I can get a more concise, analytical response for you from one of the experts who deals with this. Q On Cyprus: It was reported today that your special coordinator on the Cyprus issue, Ambassador Nelson Ledsky, will be, this coming weekend, in Cyprus, Greece, and Turkey for consultations. Do you have any comment on that? MS. TUTWILER: I'm not sure where Nelson is right now, but I'll be happy to ask EUR and get them to tell you. Q Do you have anything on the status of your contacts with the Lebanese and the Syrian and Israeli Governments to contain the deteriorating situation in south Lebanon? MS. TUTWILER: I don't have anything specific for you other than to say over the weekend we spoke with officials in all three of those capitals about our concern. Q Margaret, just a very brief housekeeping matter. There's a hearty few people -- environmentally-conscious people -- in the State Department, including maybe a couple in the press, who ride their bikes to work on occasion in this building. The parking for bikes situation in the garage downstairs is totally inadequate. I wonder if you could use your slight influence in the building to get a couple of bicycle racks put down there? MS. TUTWILER: I have no influence, but I know who does, and I'll be happy to raise it with that gentleman. (Press Briefing concluded at 12:40 p.m.)