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                       DEPARTMENT OF STATE
                       DAILY PRESS BRIEFING

                                                      DPC #59

                FRIDAY, APRIL 23, 1993, 1:52 P. M.

         MR. BOUCHER:  Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.  I have one 
statement to start with.  I'll give you the longer version on paper, but 
for your weekend reading the State Department is today releasing 
additional materials concerning U.S. efforts to account for Vietnam-era 
prisoners of war and missing in action.  Today's release consists of 
over 13,000 pages of documents from the files of Mr. Frank Sieverts, who 
served as the Department's Special Assistant for POW and MIA Affairs 
from 1966-78.

          We're now in the process of preparing for public release 
additional documents.  We've declassified over 100,000 pages of POW and 
MIA relevant material.  These actions represent the most extensive 
declassification project ever undertaken by the Department of State.

          As before, we will put boxes of these documents -- a single 
copy -- in the Correspondents' Room for anyone who wants to read them.  
There will be a sign-up sheet next to the documents, that will come down 
at 5:00 p.m. this evening, for anyone who would like their own copy.  
And those who want copies, by signing this sheet you commit yourself to 
carting them away when we give you a set.

          And with that, I'd be glad to take your questions.

          Q    Well, there are reports that there are people at the 
State Department who are unhappy with the U.S. policy in Bosnia; that 
it's not working.  Could you shed any light on that?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Barry, last Saturday a group of 12 Foreign 
Service Officers who work on Balkan issues sent the Secretary a letter 
on U.S. policy towards Bosnia.  The Secretary read the letter 
immediately, and he agreed to meet with the officers as soon as 

          The Secretary met with them on Monday.  They had a very useful 
discussion.  The Secretary appreciated the perspective of these serious 
and concerned officers.  This sort of discussion is a healthy, normal 
part of the policy process. As the Secretary said to the group, this is 
what the Foreign Service is all about.

          This discussion was particularly timely in light of the 
current review of U.S. policy towards Bosnia, and of course the 
President just told you that that review is still underway, and he has 
taken no decision.

          Q    Richard, in the interests of keeping the American people 
informed, the people who will be funding this potential effort and who 
may be having relatives participating in this, could you make that 
document public?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Sid, the letter was a private correspondence 
between members of the Foreign Service and the Secretary of State.  Both 
the authors and the Secretary regard it in that fashion, as an internal 
document.  The authors don't wish the letter to be made public, and 
copies will not be made available.

          Q    The letter is no longer a private document, portions of 
it having appeared in The New York Times today.  Is any effort being 
made to find the leaker of the letter?

          MR. BOUCHER:  There may be cases where leak investigations are 
appropriate when you have, I don't know, intelligence information or 
such things.  But I think the view here is and the view of the Secretary 
is that leak investigations in this kind of case don't get you anything.

          Q    Richard, there was also a communication leak from the 
U.N. Ambassador to the President, and in light of the fact that a 
Cabinet member doesn't seem to be able to communicate with the President 
of the United States without it appearing in The New York Times, are you 
concerned that there are rogue elements in the Administration who seem 
to want to divulge the contents of highly personal and important 
communications of this kind?

          MR. BOUCHER:  I don't know who might have divulged the alleged 
highly personal communication of this kind.  But in any case, I think 
it's important for the ability of Cabinet members to provide their 
private advice to the President, and their candid advice to the 
President, that we not discuss those documents.

          Q    Richard, about the Secretary's meeting with these 12 or 
so dissidents, has he had meetings in his -- what?  Four months now -- 
with other officers on other issues?  I mean, this is being described, 
you know, as an open exchange with people of different views.  There 
must be difference of views on China and the Middle East, etc.  Has he 
done this before?

          MR. BOUCHER:  He's had meetings with others on various policy 
issues.  He's had -- I'm not sure quite the same circumstances, but he's 
talked to a wide variety of people in the building with a wide variety 
of views.  He's had seminars with working level people from throughout 
the Department on Russia.  He meets regularly with a variety of people 
in the building on different subjects.

          He's met previously with people who disagreed with policy and, 
you know, has been open.  And, as I said, in this case he was talking to 
a group of people who wanted to provide their ideas directly to him as 
part of the policy formulation process.  He sees it in that way.  The 
authors, themselves, saw it in that way, and he welcomed their views.

          Obviously, there's as wide a range of views inside this 
building as there is outside this building, and the Secretary found this 
discussion particularly timely, given that he and the President are 
deciding, along with the other senior levels of the Administration, 
where we go from here.

          Q    Did he say to them, "This is a private discussion, and 
I'd just as soon you keep it in the room, and, you know, maybe not 
spread the word."  Was there a feeling that these kinds of discussions 
ought to be private and not made public in newspapers?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Well, as I said, as far as their document and 
their request for a meeting -- and I take that to extend to the meeting 
itself -- that the authors did not intend for this to be a public event, 
or to be discussed or sent around in public, and that's the way it was 

          Q    Richard, you keep discussing this as if this were a 
letter about allowing smoking or not having smoking in the cafeteria.  
This, in fact, was a letter about a fundamental policy of the United 
States, what the President just called the most gripping foreign policy 
issue before the United States today.

          How does the fact that 12 senior career diplomats who have to 
deal with this issue disagree with the policy -- how does that affect 
the ability of this government to carry out policy and to make policy?

          MR. BOUCHER:  First of all, John, I don't think you should 
question, nor do I necessarily question, whether these people can carry 
out policy honestly.  I think all of us in the Foreign Service have the 
obligation -- and, indeed, when I took the exam I was asked 
specifically, "Can you carry out a policy whatever your personal views?"

          I think all of us in the Foreign Service understand that 
obligation.  We contribute to the policy process.  We contribute our 
ideas and our recommendations.  And, indeed, as I said, there's a wide 
range of views in this building.  There always is on any given subject.

          It's the President and the Secretary that have the 
responsibility to decide these issues, and, as I said, this was a 
discussion with people involved in the process -- working level people 
who wanted to present their views on policy directly to the Secretary.  
The Secretary welcomed that.  He read their letter immediately and 
agreed to see them the next working day, and they had a good discussion.

          Q    Have any of these 12 people resigned?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Not that I know of, no.

          Q    Richard, this is a somewhat unusual procedure to write a 
letter to the Secretary, and my understanding is that if a Desk Officer 
writes a memo, it would go to a Deputy Assistant and it might go to an 
Assistant, then it might go to the Counselor or somebody upstairs on the 
7th floor, and eventually it would wind its way through to the 

          They are, in effect, bypassing the usual paper flow of the 
Department by banding together, for one thing, and sending a personal 
appeal to the Secretary.  And now you're saying that this is a healthy 
and normal thing.  Is that a kind of open invitation to everyone at 
deputy desk level throughout the building to send personal letters to 
the Secretary?

          MR. BOUCHER:  To write letters to the Secretary?  I don't 
think to the detriment of their normal work, but I wouldn't say that 
this was done in any case to the detriment of their normal work.  The 
Secretary has talked to you before about his views of the need to 
consider all these options very carefully.  He has made clear that we 
are considering options; that he wants to have options considered that 
were previously found unacceptable.

          The Secretary has been looking at many options.  Some of these 
people have been working on some of the papers for us, but these are 
people who work every day on Balkan policy.  They're people who are 
dealing with one of the most serious issues -- or the most serious 
foreign policy issue that this Administration has to face; indeed, that 
is being faced by the Europeans and others in the international 
community right now.

          It's a very serious issue that requires careful thought.  It 
requires full discussion.  It requires an airing, as the Secretary has 
asked, of many, many options that were previously found unacceptable; 
and, therefore, that's a healthy process.  It's something the Secretary 
sees as important to the formulation of good policy, whatever he and the 
President decide to do.

          Q    But, Richard, this policy is in dispute.  These people 
wrote to him because they obviously felt that the policy was wrong.  It 
was not that they were simply discussing policy options with him.  This 
was, as I understand it, a strongly worded and indeed anguished letter.

          MR. BOUCHER:  John, I don't want to characterize the letter 
which they have understood to be private, and I think it's not for me to 
try to characterize their letter and what they said to the Secretary.

          I think it's clear that the events of the past week or two in 
Bosnia -- the deterioration of the situation, the situation around 
Srebrenica -- have demanded further action, and indeed the 
Administration has taken further action in moving up the passage of the 
sanctions resolution and ensuring -- working in various means to make 
sure that these new tough sanctions are applied tightly, and that they 
have an effect on the situation to the maximum possible extent.

          The Administration has also made clear, the Secretary has made 
clear, that these circumstances require consideration of further courses 
of action, and that's what's going on now.

          Q    The letter purportedly said that diplomacy has failed, in 
not so many words.  Is that the Secretary's view?  Is that the 
Administration's view now?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Again, at this point the Administration is 
considering various policy options on where we go from here. The 
President just answered a number of questions on options. I'm not going 
to go beyond him.

          Q    Richard, I'm just trying to get an idea of what 
proportion the 12 disturbed State Department officials represent.  I 
don't know how many people work on the Balkans.  I know there can be 12 
people working on the press guidance. (Laughter)  Would you say 12 is -- 
I mean, I don't suppose you have numbers in your head -- but would you 
say this represented a majority sentiment of -- or did they represent 
themselves as representing others as well?  Can you give any proportion 
to the dozen -- the "Dirty Dozen," if they are that?

          MR. BOUCHER:  I wouldn't call them that, Barry.

          Q    No.

          MR. BOUCHER:  I can't, really.  If you -- depending on how you 
count it, you could count many, many more people than that that work on 
Bosnian policy, but I don't think it's fair to give a percentage.  These 
are -- many of these people are closely involved with the policy and at 
the working level.  But there are many others that are closely involved 
with the policy at more senior levels as well who discuss and debate and 
exchange views on these ideas all the time.

          Q    Is there any disciplinary action contemplated?

          MR. BOUCHER:  No.          Q    Richard, can I ask you about 
-- if you could clarify this question of unilateral action in Bosnia?  
At the White House briefing this morning, it seemed as though unilateral 
action was on the table.  The President just said he'd rather not, or he 
didn't think it would be necessary, but that left the impression that 
unilateral action by the United States is under consideration.

          MR. BOUCHER:  I think the President said as much as he wanted 
to on that subject.  I can't go any farther.

          Q    Richard, the U.N. commander in Yugoslavia has suggested 
that Srebrenica could serve as an example for other potential safe 
areas.  The Security Council has discussed the idea informally, I 
understand.  I'm just wondering, is there any formal diplomacy underway 
at the U.N. regarding the idea of extending safe areas?  Or is that sort 
of diplomacy awaiting the outcome of this policy review?

          MR. BOUCHER:  You mean, does anybody have another resolution 
on the table that --

          Q    Have they moved beyond the point of just getting feedback 
from each other about what the pros and cons might be?

          MR. BOUCHER:  On that specific point, I'll have to check, Tim.  
I would say, in general, that there's been a lot of diplomacy underway, 
including the decision by the United Nations Security Council to impose 
sanctions on Monday that's aimed at bringing pressure on the Serbs to 
stop the fighting, more generally, and to make every part of Bosnia 

          Q    Can you define what the U.S. position on Srebrenica is in 
terms of a safe area?  What does that mean to the U.S. Government?  Does 
that mean something -- we have 140 Canadians sitting there.  Does that 
mean the U.S. Government is prepared to help them in any way, or are 
they just there and the Serbs can't enter?  What's your definition of 
what Srebrenica is now?

          MR. BOUCHER:  It's the definition from the Security Council 
resolution, John, that Srebrenica is a safe area.  The U.N. is out there 
on the ground making arrangements to make sure it continues to be safe.

          Q    And the U.S. will back that up; right?

          MR. BOUCHER:  We supported the Security Council resolution.

          Q    Do those sanctions go into effect Monday regardless of 
anything else that happens?

          MR. BOUCHER:  The language in this Security Council 
resolution, I think, says that they go into effect unless the Serbs join 
in the peace process and cease their military actions.

          Q    So if Sunday, at midnight, Karadzic stands up and says, 
"Hey, we're ready to meet," the sanctions won't go into effect?

          MR. BOUCHER:  I think the language is even more specific than 

          Q    Is it a case that you need at least a Security Council 
order to stop the process?  Otherwise, it will automatically go?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Again, I don't have the resolution with me.  I 
think it has -- if the Secretary General reports to the Council that, or 
some phrase in there where there could be an action that would -- they 
would report that that had happened, but at this point I would say we 
haven't seen any signs of that occurring.

          Q    Because, Richard, it just moved on the wire shortly 
before this, the Bosnian Serb parliament has, in fact, now voted to 
resume the talks -- the Vance-Owen talks.

          MR. BOUCHER:  I had not seen that.  Again, we'll have to see 
what they do.  We'll have to see whether they enter into negotiations in 
good faith.

          Q    Is the United States in favor of opening the airfield at 
Tuzla?  Is that something which --

          MR. BOUCHER:  John, I think we discussed that a little bit 
yesterday.  I don't have anything new.  That airport, as you know, was 
one that was looked at by the humanitarian assessment team, and that's 
one of the recommendations in their report. It's one of the things being 
looked at.

          Q    But there's no decision yet, in terms of what our 
position is on that?

          MR. BOUCHER:  No.

          Q    I notice when the phrase "ethnic cleansing" is used -- 
the President called it abhorrent today -- he doesn't say "Serbian 
ethnic cleansing."  In fact, I heard a British -- a U.N. officer the 
other day on public radio speaking of -- of seeing, actually seeing 
Muslims force Serbs out of their homes. It's been a long time since we 
had any finger-pointing from the State Department.

          Is ethnic cleansing entirely a Serbian action against Muslims, 
or is there enough inhumanity to spread around in that hapless place?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Barry, I think we've made clear that there are 
enough atrocities on all sides but that the overwhelming burden, the 
overwhelming blame, for these kinds of activities lies in the hands of 
the Serbs.  We have reported, in our series of reports to the United 
Nations, on incidents that we were able to get eyewitness reports or 
documented evidence of -- and you'll see in those reports as well that 
the overwhelming burden of those reports falls on the Serbian side.

          Q    Do you see some difference, then, in a couple of 
responses?  You said, if they return -- if the Serbs return to the table 
and negotiate in good faith --

          Q    Muslims.

          Q    Serbs.

          MR. BOUCHER:  Serbs.

          Q    You're saying it's the Administration's position on 
sanctions, and whatever else they intend to pursue, that they not only 
have to rejoin the Vance-Owen process, but in our estimation they have 
to do that in good faith?  (Inaudible)

          MR. BOUCHER:  Sid, the Administration's position is the one in 
the Security Council resolution that we supported, and I'm sorry I don't 
have the exact language in front of me, but that's the exact language -- 
the only way that sanctions could be prevented.  The Secretary has noted 
a number of times that the Serbian side, he didn't think, had negotiated 
in the past in good faith.  And, of course, if you're going to get a 
settlement, that's necessary.


          Q    On the question of who's to blame, do you see some 
difference between what's going on in central Bosnia between the Muslims 
and the Croats and the ethnic cleansing in Serbia?  I thought the 
President addressed that, but I didn't hear the full -- of what he said.  
Do you see some qualitative difference between those two situations?

          MR. BOUCHER:  The President addressed that and said that the 
fighting between the Croatians and the Muslims in Vietz and that central 
area had subsided quite a bit, and that's the information that we have.

          No, clearly, there's no difference between atrocities on one 
side and atrocities on the other.  We're dealing with a war in which 
there have been all too many horrors committed.

          Q    Richard, there's still something I don't understand very 
well on this new regime of sanctions.  They start on the 26th, on 
Monday.  Now, how long are those new sanctions given before the U.S. 
Government decides to move forward with new pressures, new initiatives 
in Bosnia?  Is there a clock ticking there?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Jacques, we've never set a timetable precisely 
on that.  We think that various forms of pressure are necessary.  We 
have said there are other issues that we would raise.  And, of course, 
the President made clear that he's considering a whole variety of 

          Q    Richard, do you have any idea when this policy review is 
going to be over?  He said soon.

          MR. BOUCHER:  I think he said he expects to decide in a couple 
of days, but I'll leave it to him to explain that.  It's in his hands.

          Q    Do you know what form the results of it are going to be 
unveiled to the waiting world?

          MR. BOUCHER:  I don't, Alan.  That, too, is something I think 
the President addressed.

          Q    Is there any interest on the part of the U.S. in trying 
to pass a resolution in the Security Council that would impose secondary 
sanctions?  In other words, to penalize those who are sanctions-busters, 
as the world imposed on those who busted the sanctions for Iraq?

          Also, in Iraq, there was a fund set up to help those countries 
who suffered financial damage because they helped with the sanctions.  
Is there any intention to set up that kind of fund?

          MR. BOUCHER:  I don't know where this second might stand.  Of 
course, we've been assisting a number of countries in imposing and 
carrying out the sanctions.  I know there has been discussion of a kind 
of hardship that enforcement of sanctions can cause.  We believe, of 
course, that it's absolutely necessary to impose these, that failure to 
do so could lead to even greater losses for countries in the region.  
But at the same time, I don't know exactly where we might stand on ideas 
like that.

          As far as secondary sanctions, again, I don't know of any 
particular movement in the U.N. Security Council towards that.  Indeed, 
we have been cooperating very closely with the states in the area, with 
other governments to ensure when there are sanctions violations reported 
that we've been able to crack down on it; and I'd say, generally, we've 
had very good cooperation from other governments.

          Q    But is it the intention of the U.S. Government to impose 
its own unilateral secondary sanctions, as was the case in Iraq, if 
countries are proven to be sanctions-busters?

          MR. BOUCHER:  John, it's the intention of the U.S. Government 
to work with other governments to make the sanctions stick, and we've 
had quite a bit of success in doing that so far; not enough to stop all 
the leakage.  We think that the new sanctions will toughen that quite a 
bit and make it easier to stop all the leakage, and that these will be 
tough and tight sanctions on Serbia that will go into effect on Monday.


          Q    A quick one.  The President was asked about POW/MIA 
issues.  He said that he wanted to be assured that the Vietnamese were 
cooperating fully and "we're not there yet." Does that mean there are no 
further steps on the roadmap that are being contemplated in the near 
future?  And can the IMF meeting come and go without the United States 
taking any further actions on the roadmap?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Ted, I'll leave that where the President put it.

          Q    One quick one.  Do you have a readout on the meetings 
with the Israelis this morning?  And who met with them?

          MR. BOUCHER:  The peace team people from our side met with the 
representatives of the Israeli delegations this morning, will meet with 
them again this afternoon.  We don't have any firm schedule for meetings 
with the other delegations at this time, but we hope to confer with all 
of the parties before the talks resume on April 27.

          Q    And the peace team is Djerejian, Ross and Indyk.

          MR. BOUCHER:  Djerejian, I think, had personal reasons why he 
couldn't be here today, but it was the others.

          Q    Richard, Yasser Arafat said, in an interview with a Swiss 
newspaper, that the American government made promises to the 
Palestinians.  What kind of promises did the U.S. Government make to the 

          MR. BOUCHER:  We have, as you know, said that we discussed a 
variety of things with the Palestinians and the Israelis during the 
course of this movement to get back to the talks.  You've seen some of 
them already.  You may see other things happen.  But at this point, I 
think that's about as far as we're going to go.

          Q    You wouldn't characterize what we told the Palestinians 
as promises?

          MR. BOUCHER:  I'd characterize the way we've characterized 
them in the past.

          Q    Anything more on North Korea in terms of meetings or 
discussions at the U.N.?

          MR. BOUCHER:  In terms of meetings, it's basically the same 
situation as yesterday.  No decisions have been made. There's nothing 
scheduled.  In terms of the United Nations, there was the statement on 
April 8 expressing the concern of the Council of the situation with 
regards to North Korea's NPT obligations.  There are informal 
discussions underway at the Security Council now in regard to a possible 

          Q    So you're saying there are no meetings now proposed or 

          MR. BOUCHER:  No meeting is scheduled.  In fact, no decisions 
have been made on any meetings.  The same thing I said yesterday.

          Q    And no decisions are made on attending a meeting without 
specifying the date?

          MR. BOUCHER:  No decisions.  Punto.

          Q    Well, Richard, to be fair, Mr. Tarnoff had a meeting with 
the President of South Korea whose spokesman, on the record, said Mr. 
Tarnoff had told the President of South Korea that he would be having a 
meeting with a North Korea official, and you tell us no decisions have 
been made.  Now either there's a problem of translation in Seoul, or Mr. 
Tarnoff is lying or misleading us, or you're misleading us.  Now which 
is it?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Alan, I love the choices that you offer to me.  
(Laughter).  I'm telling you the truth and the facts as they were 
yesterday and as they are again today.

          Q    Thank you.

          (Press briefing concluded 2:17 p.m.) (###) 

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