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Source: State Department Spokesman Richard Boucher
Description:Washington, DC
Category: Briefings

                          DEPARTMENT OF STATE
                          DAILY PRESS BRIEFING

                                DPC #16

                TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 1993, 12:35 P. M.

         MR. BOUCHER:  Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.  I don't 
have any statements or announcements today, so I'd be glad to take your 

         Q    Do you have any thoughts about the prospects for the peace 
process resuming?

         MR. BOUCHER:  The Secretary, as you know, addressed that 
yesterday.  He said that it's time to look ahead, time to concentrate 
our efforts on invigorating the Arab-Israeli peace negotiation.  The 
Russian and U.S. co-
sponsors will be consulting shortly with the parties about next steps, 
including dates for the ninth round of bilateral talks.

         Q    Richard, the multilaterals are scheduled to take place 
next week. In fact, one round of arms control talks are supposed to 
start here in Washington.

         Is the United States sending out invitations to those talks, 
and is it  the intention of the United States that those talks should 
proceed as scheduled?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Alan, that's something I'll have to get you an 
update on. As you know, the Steering Group that last met after the last 
round scheduled  dates for them.  I think I told you last week that we 
hadn't yet issued the oral invitations.  It is something that we're 
talking to the co-sponsor, the Russians, about -- about getting the 
actual invitations out.  So let me double-check on that and see where we 

         Q    Richard, what's the status of a sanctions resolution at 
the U.N.?  Have the Palestinians yet agreed to -- or the Arab states 
agreed to withdraw it?

         MR. BOUCHER:  At this point, John, I don't think there was 
actually any proposal on the table up in New York.  There had been some 
discussion.  As the Secretary made very clear yesterday, we think that 
the breakthrough that has been  achieved and the important process 
that's been established obviates the need for further action in the 
Security Council.

         We are in touch with Arab and Palestinian officials.  The 
Secretary has sent messages to a number of interested governments, and 
that's the view that we're taking.

     Q    But do you yet have agreement not to go forward with the 

         MR. BOUCHER:  I'm not at this point able to characterize the 
positions of the others that we're getting in touch with.

         Q    Richard, now that the Hamas has rejected it, where do we 
go from here?  Do you consider that a final rejection on their part?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Connie, the point, I think, to make is the point 
that was made by the Secretary yesterday:  that we don't believe that 
there is any further action required or useful in the Security Council 
now; that there is an important process that was set up.  It has a 
number of elements to it.  Israel has allowed to immediately let 100 of 
these deportees return to Israel or the Occupied Territories.

         They agreed to reduce the sentences of the other deportees by 
half, which as a practical matter means that some will return by 
September and all will return by the end of the year.

         They'll maintain an appeals and review process, so that the 
prospect exists for others to be able to return.  They'll allow 
humanitarian assistance that assures the delivery of humanitarian 
assistance by international organizations through Israel to the 

         And we think that this process makes it unnecessary and indeed 
unuseful for any further action by the Security Council at this point.

         Q    So it's business as usual.  Even if none of the Hamas 
people return, the U.S. proceeds and issues invitations for the peace 
talks.  What happens if they remain intransigent?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Well, the peace talks, we've always said, are 
very important.  We think there is an interest on our part and an 
interest on the part of the parties to continue the peace talks, and 
we'll be talking to the co-sponsors very shortly about how to continue.

         Q    But, Richard --

         Q    Richard, has the United States -- I'm sorry --

         Q    Go ahead, Saul.

         Q    Has the United States or its representatives talked to the 
people on the mountaintop to see whether they agree with your assessment 
that it's consistent with the Security Council resolution and that it's 
a breakthrough?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Let me double-check to make sure.  I'm  --

         Q    Has the United States consulted --

         MR. BOUCHER:  -- I'm not aware that we have any contact or that 
we've had anybody in there.  As I said, the Secretary sent messages to a 
number of interested governments.  We're in touch with Arabs and 
Palestinians about this issue, and I think our views have been stated 
very clearly by the Secretary.

         Q    Richard, I just want to find out whether the United States 
did consult about this specific plan or proposal -- before it bought 
onto it, whether the United States consulted with the Palestinians or 
with the people up on the mountain?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I'll check and see if we've had any contact at 
all with the people up on the mountain.  There's none that I'm aware of.  
We've been in touch with other governments and with the Palestinians all 
along to discuss this whole issue.

         Q    But did we discuss with them this Israeli offer or this 
Israeli proposal before we gave it our blessing yesterday?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I don't know, and I'm not sure I'd be in a 
position to go into that level of detail.  But I think we've made very 
clear we think this is a breakthrough, we think this is very important, 
and we think it makes further action in the Council unnecessary.

         Q    Richard, what has the U.S. been hearing from other 
Security Council members?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Again, at this point I think I was asked what the 
reaction was.  I can't characterize the responses at this point.  We 
believe that, with the process in place, there's no need for further 
action in the Security Council.  I said we're in touch with other 
governments.  The Secretary said yesterday he discussed it with the 
Secretary General.  We continue to be in touch with other Security 
Council members up there in New York, and that's where we stand right 

         Q    Well, Richard, the Palestinians, most notably their 
spokeswoman Hanan Ashrawi, have said it's not enough to get them back.  
This morning Ambassador Shoval from Israel  indicated that perhaps the 
peace -- in an oblique way, that perhaps the peace talks could go on 
without the Palestinians.

         Does the Administration hold that -- share that belief?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Sid, we believe that the peace talks are 
important to all the parties who are involved, and we'll be consulting 
with the co-sponsors about how to move forward.

         Q    But could we stage a round without the Palestinians?

         MR. BOUCHER:  At this point that's hypothetical.

         Q    Richard, the Secretary General in his letter to the 
Security Council last week suggested that Israel was in non-compliance 
with 799.  How does the return -- immediate return -- of one-quarter of 
the deportees put Israel in compliance as far as the United States is 

         MR. BOUCHER:  Well, Jim, I think the problem is that the 
importance of this process doesn't just lie in the fact that 100 of the 
deportees will be allowed back in immediately.  As we said, there are a 
number of very important elements here which the Secretary laid out for 
you yesterday, and that will result in the return of all these people.  
Because 100 now, more by September, all of them by the end of the 
calendar, and the prospect of review to speed up the return of others 
and a prospect for the provision of humanitarian assistance -- all these 
elements resolve the problem, and therefore nothing further is required 
in the Security Council.

         Q    In other words, you say that Israel is, with these 
measures, these proposals at least, in compliance?

         MR. BOUCHER:  The Secretary said yesterday that he believes 
that this process is consistent with the terms of the resolution.

         Q    Richard, I have two questions, one which I would ask if 
you can take it -- I asked last week:  What, if anything, is the U.S. 
Government doing to ensure Israel gets a fair shot at some day sitting 
on the Security Council?  And the question I'd like to ask now is how 
does the United States Government view Hamas?  How do we characterize 
it?  Do we consider it a terrorist organization or what?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Well, on the question of Israel and the Security 
Council, I think you're aware of our general thoughts on the Security 
Council.  I don't think we've tried to address the question of Israel at 
this point, so I'm not sure I can get you anything on that.

         On Hamas, we've been obviously aware of their activities.  The 
Department's annual terrorism report,  "Patterns of Global Terrorism," 
comes out at the end of April.  But, when it comes out, we would expect 
that to include a discussion of terrorist acts committed by Hamas.  The 
report covers calendar year 1992.  The group's violent activities 
increased dramatically during 1992; and the group, in our view, used 
increasingly lethal tactics such as roadside explosives and car bombs.  
So the report will discuss their activities.

         Q    Richard, was the decision to place Hamas on the terrorist 
list a part of the deal with Israel?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Of course not, John.  And I have to correct as 
well the sort of miss-impression that many people have.  There's no sort 
of official list of terrorist organizations.  There is a list for export 
control purposes of state sponsors of terrorism, of countries that 
support terrorism.

         The annual report on "Patterns of Global Terrorism" reports on 
activities by various organizations, and in this case we would expect it 
to report on the activities of this organization.

         Q    Well, in any case, it's an organization that -- I mean, 
it's a list that most organizations try to stay off of, whether they're 
a state or an organization.

         MR. BOUCHER:  We would hope so.

         Q    But was discussion of the placing of Hamas on this list a 
part of the discussions that the Secretary had with the Israeli 

         MR. BOUCHER:  No.

         Q    Richard, do you have anything on --

         Q    Follow-up --

         MR. BOUCHER:  Hang on.  Slow down.

         Q    -- the Americans who were -- 
         MR. BOUCHER:  Hang on.

         Q    Do you have anything on the Americans who were arrested in 
Israel who are accused of being associated with Hamas?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Yes.  There are three Americans that were 
arrested last week by Israeli security forces in Jerusalem and in the 
West Bank.  They have all been visited by officials from our Consulate 
in Jerusalem.

         Two of them -- Mohammed Salah and Mohammed Jarad -- are 
appearing today before a military court in Ramallah.  An officer from 
our Consulate in Jerusalem is present at these two hearings.  The 
hearings were still in progress when we last spoke with Jerusalem this 
morning, so I can't tell you anything more about how that's proceeding.

         Q    The third one?

         MR. BOUCHER:  The third one is Mohammed Tawfik Omar.  He was 
arrested January 24 and visited by a Consular Officer on Thursday, 
January 28.

         Q    Richard, the gap between when these people were arrested 
and when they were visited was, I think in two cases, four days and in 
one case five days.  And I understand that a complaint was given to the 
Israelis that there was this delay between request for access and access 
being granted.  Has there been a response to that complaint?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Not that I'm aware of.  There was indeed a delay 
of several days between the time that we requested permission, which was 
immediately, and the time that we were allowed to visit these people.  
We've raised that issue of delayed access with the Israeli authorities.

         Q    Richard, I'd like to return to an earlier question.  How 
is the agreement that we approved yesterday consistent with the Security 
Council resolution?  Is it because the Security Council resolution calls 
for their return but doesn't set a time limit?  Is that the reason?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Saul, it's consistent in that it provides for the 
return of these people.  It provides for a process which has a number of 
elements that provides for these people to be able to return.

         Q    But if it's a return over a year's period, does that -- do 
you think that fulfills the requirement?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Well, as the Secretary said yesterday, we think 
it's consistent with the Security Council resolution.  It's an important 
breakthrough that allows us to resolve this issue and allows these 
people to return.

         Q    Just for my information, there is no immediate -- I mean, 
the Security Council resolution does not call for their immediate return 

         MR. BOUCHER:  I don't remember the exact wording of the 

         Q    Richard, I believe the Security Council resolution calls 
for the immediate return of all the deportees  to the Occupied 
Territories.  What meaning does the United States attach to the words 
"immediate" and "all?"

         MR. BOUCHER:  Mark, I don't have a copy of the resolution with 
me.  I think the Secretary made very clear yesterday that this process, 
with a number of very important elements, was indeed a breakthrough.  It 
provided a means to resolve this issue.  It was consistent with the 
Security Council resolution.  And we felt it was a very important step 
forward, and we wanted to refocus our energies on the peace process.  
And, indeed, that's what we will be doing with the co-sponsor.

         Q    Richard, another subject?

         Q    One more on the Americans arrested in Israel.  Do you have 
any indication that those Americans were engaged in any illegal 
activities while being here in the States?

         MR. BOUCHER:  While being here in the States?  That's a 
question you'd have to check with the FBI and the Justice Department on.

         Q    Richard, one more on that.  Does the Administration have 
an opinion on whether those people were engaged in terrorist -- 
promoting terrorist activities or promoting Hamas or financing Hamas 
while they were in Israel?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Sid, it's not for us to take positions on the 
activities of Americans overseas.  Those are dealt with by local courts, 
by local authorities.  Our job is to make sure that they receive fair 
treatment and due process under the laws of the country which has 
arrested them, to make sure that they're treated decently, to assist 
them in contacting family, and things like that.

         Q    Richard, the issue of whether there is a ring funding 
Hamas in the United States, has that issue been addressed yet?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I've seen allegations like that in the press; but 
I'm afraid, as far as activities that go on inside the United States, 
it's is something you'd have to check with the FBI and Justice.

         Q    Is there any preliminary judgment on whether these three 
Americans are being treated equitably under Israel's laws?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I don't have any judgment one way or the other on 
that, Mark.  I haven't seen any complaint at this point.

         Q    Another subject?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Another subject.  I guess he had the first other 

         Q    The leader of the Bosnian Serbs, Radovan Karadzic, intends 
to come to the Security Council, I believe tomorrow.  Will the United 
States give a visa to this man who it has branded as a person who ought 
to stand trial for war crimes?

         MR. BOUCHER:  We have approved a C-2 visa, which relates to 
U.N. activities, for Radovan Karadzic, so that he can participate in the 
continuing negotiations of the International Conference on the Former 
Yugoslavia, meetings which are going to be held at the United Nations in 
New York.

         He was invited to U.N. Headquarters by the U.N. Mediator, Cyrus 
Vance.  The visas will be limited to a single entry to allow travel to 
the United Nations, and it will restrict him to travel within a 25-mile 
radius of U.N. Headquarters.

         Q    Is there any restriction on his activities?

         MR. BOUCHER:  The visa is issued for the purpose of coming to 
the United Nations meeting.  I don't have all the particulars, but the 
essential limits are the ones I told you about.

         Q    What about if he were to appear at some public forum, 
address a meeting, raise funds, things like that?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I don't know.  That's something I'd have to check 
on, Alan.

         Q    Could you, please?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I will.

         Q    Did he seek and was he given any assurances that he would 
not be arrested for war crimes while he was here?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I'm not sure if he sought or was -- I'm not sure 
if they sought any such assurances.  I mean, the fact that we issue a 
visa is not prejudicial to the right to bring him before an eventual war 
crimes tribunal or some sort of justice in that situation.  But at this 
present time, there is no such tribunal.

         We do agree with what we've said before, of course, that we 
think that he has things to answer for.

         Q    I don't understand.  You're saying that -- you're ruling 
out any possible detainment of this alleged war criminal when he comes 
to the United States?  Is that what you're saying?

         MR. BOUCHER:  That's not in the plan.  He's coming here because 
the U.N. mediators and negotiators felt it was important that he be here 
to participate in U.N. activities.  And, of course, we have an 
obligation under the Headquarters Agreement that we have with the United 
Nations to permit entry of people who are invited to U.N. Headquarters 
for official business.

         Q    Well, remember the issue of Yasser Arafat's visa which 
came up repeatedly in previous years, and the United States didn't have 
any problem in denying it even though he was going to the U.N.  So how 
can you explain this discrepancy?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Not all cases are alike.  There is U.S. law that 
excludes members of the PLO from entry into the U.S. because of their 
affiliation in an organization that engages in terrorism -- has engaged 
in terrorism -- against Americans and others.

         In this situation, we consider that Mr. Vance's invitation 
reflected official United Nations business.  We don't believe that there 
is evidence at this point that Mr. Karadzic's presence would be a threat 
to the security of Americans or people in the United States, and we do 
have the obligation under the Headquarters Agreement to allow people to 
come here for U.N. business.  In this case, the business is to continue 
the negotiations that are aimed at reaching a peaceful settlement.

         Q    Does the new Administration stand by former Secretary 
Eagleburger's characterization of this man?

         MR. BOUCHER:  As I just said, we continue to believe that this 
man has things that he has to answer for.

         Q    Secretary Eagleburger said a little bit more than "he has 
things to answer for."

         MR. BOUCHER:  Well, that's essentially what he said, Alan.  
Yes, we stand by the earlier characterizations and the fact that he 
would have to explain what he did to prevent the war crimes from 

         Q    North Korean Ambassador to the U.N. -- 
         Q    Yugoslavia?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Yugoslavia.

         Q    I wanted to ask you about barge traffic in the Danube?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Barges in the Danube.  Okay, and then we'll go on 
to North Korea.

         Q    I understand there might have been some activity 

         MR. BOUCHER:  Despite the challenges that were mounted by the 
Romanian-Bulgarian Government forces, all five of the tug and barge 
convoys succeeded in transporting their cargoes into Serbian waters.

         Once there, however, the Bihac dropped some cargo.  It dropped 
some cargo, first of all, at the Serbian port of Prahovo on or about 
January 25.  It then left Prahovo and continued upstream, presenting 
itself on January 31 with five barges at the Romanian-controlled lock at 
the Iron Gates.  Apparently the Serbian lock at the Iron Gates is under 
construction and currently inoperable.

         At that point, Romanian authorities denied permission for the 
Bihac and its barges to enter the locks.  The Bihac remained at the Lock 
for 14-18 hours, blocking the river traffic.

         Having been denied permission by the Romanian authorities to 
proceed upstream, the Serb captain headed back downstream toward 
Prahovo.  For reasons unknown, he cut loose five barges of petroleum 
products.  The barges apparently remain tethered in the Danube.  We've 
urged the Romanian Government to detain the barges.

         So they all made it into Serbian waters; but this one barge, 
for a series of reasons, had to at least drop some of its barges, and 
they remain tethered in the Danube.

         Q    And there were no new ones?

         Q    No environmental impact, no discharge of oil, or any of 

         MR. BOUCHER:  Not that I'm aware of.  They are barges full of 
oil that are tethered.

         Q    Do we have a reaction to the fact that they apparently ran 
the blockade and got away with it?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Well, the reaction is the reaction that we've had 
all along, and that's that these sanctions are very important.  We feel 
that the countries next to -- along the Danube -- the riparian states -- 
should, indeed, enforce the sanctions.  You know that we've been working 
with them.  You know that we've been working with people like the 
Ukrainians where it was reported that this oil might have come from, and 
we will continue to look at ways of tightening enforcement and we'll 
continue to assist countries to enforce the sanctions.

         Q    The point is they obviously didn't enforce the sanctions.  
Is there any price to be paid for that?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I think, John, we've described the various 
efforts they've made.  I've described the fact that they denied 
permission for at least some of this to pass through a lock.  We'll 
continue to work in every way we can to see the sanctions enforced.

         Q    Didn't it set a precedent?  Are there any other barges 
that loading up about to make that run?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I know there have been some reports out there.  
There were some reports of barges loading in Ukraine.  That's why I told 
you last week that we had a team out there to try to work with the 
Ukrainians to make sure that their ships were not involved in breaking 
the sanctions.

         Q    What's happened since then?

         MR. BOUCHER:  That's something I'll have to check on.

         Q    Richard, the Bush Administration suggested, I think, last 
fall that Romania be granted Most Favored Nation trading status.  It's 
the only country in Eastern Europe, I believe, that doesn't have it.  
But due to irregularities in the Romanian election at that time, the 
Senate never acted on the proposal. Will the Clinton Administration be 
recommending that Romania get MFI?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I don't know, Alan.

         Q    MFN -- sorry.

         MR. BOUCHER:  I'll have to check and see if there's anything to 
say at this point.

         Q    Could you take the question?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I'll see if there is, at this point.

         Q    Is there anything new on the situation in Kinshasa or in 
Zaire -- the government, or one of the governments, sealing off the 
capital?  What's happening with that?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Our reporting is that as of mid-day on February 
2, which is today, Kinshasa was quiet for the second straight day.  
Order has been restored to most of the city, although there has been 
some sporadic fighting during the night.  A curfew has been imposed in 
some parts of the city, and this seems to have had a calming effect.

         Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Hank  Cohen 
will travel to Brussels on Thursday for consultations with Belgium and 
French officials.

         Q    Richard, back on Bosnia.  Is there any further 
illumination you can shed on the Secretary's discussions yesterday?  The 
Secretary drew a distinction between the Vance-Owen plan and the Vance-
Owen process.  Can you explain in any more precision what he meant by 

         MR. BOUCHER:  He talked about it yesterday at his press 
conference.  He talked about it yesterday as he came out of the 
building, on his way out.  I'm not sure if you have the transcripts of 

         But, basically, he said that we've supported the process; we 
think that the process should continue with the parties meeting in New 
York.  And, indeed, we issued a visa to Mr. Karadzic so he can do that.

         He said the process is desirable, and he said we welcome any 
agreement between the parties.  That's about where we stand on that.  He 
said he had a good meeting, a helpful meeting, to hear directly from 
Vance and Owen --

         Q    At some point, are you --

         MR. BOUCHER:  -- and he will be coming back to Washington to 
discuss what they said.

         Q    At some point, are you going to be able to speak, in any 
concrete terms, about your views of the deficiencies in the current 

         MR. BOUCHER:  As we've made clear, Doyle, we've supported the 
process.  We've talked before about the Secretary's remarks about the 
difficulties of it.  He said that yesterday he had indeed discussed with 
Vance and Owen a number of difficult questions about feasibility, 
practicality, and enforceability of the plan that's been put forward.  
And if we have more to say, we'll say it when we have it to say.

         Q    Does support for the process preclude other action?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I think the Secretary made clear in testimony 
that it didn't.

         Q    Going back to Africa, did you have anything on Angola?  
Apparently there are some moves to rearm the government now?

         MR. BOUCHER:  The situation with regard to Angola I have.  The 
fighting appears to be concentrated around Huambo, a former UNITA 
stronghold.  Cabinda continues to be quiet.

         We are indeed concerned by the reports that both the Government 
and UNITA are acquiring additional munitions from sources outside 
Angola.  We strongly urge Angolan parties and potential suppliers of 
weapons to respect the provisions of the peace accords and to avoid acts 
that would contribute to the cycle of violence which has engulfed the 

         We have strongly supported the progress that was made so far in 
the discussions in Addis Ababa, and I'll probably have a little more for 
you in a statement later on that.

         Q    Is Angola getting any of its arms from South African 
sources -- government or non-governmental?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I'll have to check, Jim, and see if there's 
anything more I can say about potential suppliers.

         Q    And also back on Zaire, I think it was Radio Zaire 
yesterday said that there had been some 1,000 people killed in the 
fighting so far.  Does that correspond to what you have been hearing?

         MR. BOUCHER:  It's very difficult to give you any solid 
estimates or solid figures on the casualties.  At present our best 
estimate is that at least 200 people have lost their lives.

         Q    And there's still no thought of pulling Americans out?

         MR. BOUCHER:  No, we don't intend to evacuate the official 
Americans -- 32 official Americans -- that we have at post.  We have 
advised private Americans of the opportunity to leave on the evacuation 
ferries to Brazzaville if they choose to do so.  Apparently 
approximately 20 American citizens have done so over the past several 

         Q    Have any more of those evacuation ferries been blocked by 
Mobuto's yacht or any other --

         MR. BOUCHER:  I don't really know, Steve.  I haven't seen any 
reporting on it.

         Q    A few more on southern Africa, please.  Is the Foreign 
Minister of Angola still going to meet here?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I'll have to check on that.  I didn't check 

         Q    And also if you can look into this one -- it just kind of 
happened, but there's a lot of street fighting going on in Johannesburg.  
I don't know if you want to comment on that?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I don't know either.

         Q    Could you look into it and let us know?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Yes.  Saul?

         Q    Richard, are the other participants in the Yugoslav talks 
getting visas with the same restrictions?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I'll have to check on that, Saul.

         Q    Could you, please?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I haven't had a chance to check.

         Q    One more on Yugoslavia.  German parliamentarians are 
saying there's a perfectly good airport at Tuzla which is not being used 
but could be used for humanitarian flights.  I don't expect you'd have 
anything on it, but maybe you can respond to why that airport is not 
being used?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I'll have to check and see if we know.  But, 
clearly, although we're heavily involved in the planning of the 
humanitarian relief, it's in the hands of the U.N. High Commissioner for 
Refugees and the International Committee of the Red Cross, so you better 
check with them, too, and see what they have to say.

         Q    Richard, the Secretary also said yesterday that he and 
Boutros Ghali had come to a meeting of the minds on Somalia.  What does 
that mean, and what can we expect to see in regards to the hand-

         MR. BOUCHER:  Well, it means what he said it meant.  He said 
that they had come to a meeting of minds, that they had a very good 
discussion on Somalia.  He said it's time to begin the transition and, 
indeed, we will be working out the transition in more detail with the 
United Nations.

         As he said yesterday, the Secretary General's report will be 
issued soon and then that will be followed up in the near future with a 
resolution that would establish the second -- the UNISOM II.

         So, in terms of what you should expect to see, you should 
expect to see us discussing -- as we indeed are with the United Nations 
-- continuing to discuss the details of this process; and then you 
should expect to see the Secretary General's report; and you should 
expect to see a resolution soon.

         Q    Any idea what "soon" and "near future" mean?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Not exactly, since obviously the Secretary 
General is preparing his report.  You'd have to check and see what it 
means to him.

         Q    Is a text of the resolution being circulated?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I don't know for sure, Sid.  Certainly we've 
talked quite a bit to other governments, to the Secretary General's 
office about the transition process.  We've had planning both in New 
York and in Somalia between U.S. and U.N. officials, and we're talking 
to other governments.

         I don't think there's a draft at this stage because there has 
to be his report first, and then on the basis of that the resolution 
will be drafted.

         Q    Richard, I need clarification on Sarajevo.  What is the 
position of the U.S. Government on the future of Sarajevo?  Does the 
government believe that the city should remain unified, or does the 
government believe that it could be divided?  Is there any position --

         MR. BOUCHER:  I don't believe we've tried to address any 
specific city in that much detail.  We certainly have said that Bosnia-
Hercegovina needs to be unified and remain a country, a sovereign 

         Q    But there was nothing said specifically on the fate of the 
capital of the state?

         MR. BOUCHER:  I don't think we've tried to address any of the 
details in that regard.

         Q    Richard, do you know why the Secretary's is meeting with 
Senator Leahy today?

         MR. BOUCHER:  Not in any detail, no.  He has regular contacts 
and will expect to have regular contacts with members of Congress, and I 
assume it's in that context.

         Q    Richard, did the Secretary get an assurance from Boutros 
Ghali that the post of Under Secretary for Management of the U.N. would 
go to an American and that, therefore, the Norwegian lady, Mrs. Sham 
Poo, would be, so to speak, blown dry?  (Laughter)

         MR. BOUCHER:  Is that a real question or just the opportunity 
for some of your puns?

         Q    No, no, no.  The Washington Post --

         MR. BOUCHER:  I don't have anything new on that issue, I don't 

         Q    -- has reported that the Secretary got an assurance from 
Boutros Ghali that that post would be given to an American when 
Thornburgh retired.

         MR. BOUCHER:  I'll have to check and see if there's anything I 
can say on it.

         Q    Does this mean you're washing your hands of this issue?  

         Q    Could you confirm that the North Korean Ambassador to the 
U.N. is allowed to visit the Washington area to participate in a certain 
political meeting?  Meanwhile, you denied to issue visas to the North 
Korean politician, including Kim Yong Sun --

         MR. BOUCHER:  Pretty much, yes.  The organizers of the National 
Prayer Breakfast extended invitations to various North Koreans to 
participate in the National Prayer Breakfast on February 4.

         The North Korean Permanent Representative to the United Nations 
and his wife will attend, we understand.  We waived the travel 
restrictions on the Ambassador for this event as we've done before for 
North Korean diplomats at the United Nations for other special events.

         But the organizers also invited the Korean Worker's Party 
Secretary, Kim Yong Sun, to lead a delegation here.  Visas were denied 
to them because they did not fall within our guidelines on the issuance 
of visas to applicants from North Korea.

         Our policy is to encourage unofficial, non-governmental visits 
from the DPRK in academics, sports, culture, and other areas.  These 
applicants clearly had official status as Korean Workers Party officers 
and/or they hold offices in the Supreme People's Assembly, North Korea's 
legislative body.  And for that purpose, we didn't think it was 
appropriate to issue them visas.

         Q    So that policy could continue for the new Clinton 
Administration also?

         MR. BOUCHER:  That's the way we treated this case, yes.

         Q    Have you any -- that decision is related in any way -- 
that the North Korean rejection for the IAEA nuclear inspection team to 
the two nuclear waste storage points?

         MR. BOUCHER:  This are decisions that were made for the reasons 
that I explained.  I won't link it to anything broader than that.  We 
certainly are concerned about inspections.  Nuclear inspections 

         Q    The Japanese Foreign Minister said yesterday that he was 
going to ask the Clinton Administration to maintain the MFN trade status 
to China.  How are you going to respond to this?

         MR. BOUCHER:  At this point, I'm not.  I don't have anything 
for you on that.

         Q    Thank you.

         (Press briefing concluded 1:09 p.m.) (###)

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