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                         DEPARTMENT OF STATE
                         DAILY PRESS BRIEFING

                                                      DPC #62

                 THURSDAY, APRIL 29, 1993, 12:53 P.M.

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

          Q  Do you have any comment on the announcement by the Bosnian 
Serbs that they're going to reconsider the U.N. peace plan at a session 
May 5 -- next Wednesday?

          MR. BOUCHER:  You mean, the announcement within the last 
couple of days, saying that they might --

           Q  The announcement this morning.

          MR. BOUCHER:  I haven't seen anything new this morning.  No, I 
don't, really.  It's a question of seeing the fighting stop and seeing 
serious negotiations on the peace process, and that's what we're looking 

          Q  Well, if they actually --

          MR. BOUCHER:  That's what our pressure is designed to induce.

          Q  I mean, if they actually do that, what impact would that 
have on the decision coming out of here?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Well, obviously, the diplomatic state of play 
has to be considered when you're looking at decisions and considering 
options.  But, as well, the most important thing to consider is the 
situation on the ground.  The continuation of fighting and the lack of 
serious efforts to find a peace agreement is what has motivated us to 
continue to find ways to bring pressure on them.

          Q  Do you have any comment on a Russian proposal that 
apparently Mr. Kozyrev made to have a multilateral meeting on Bosnia in 
Geneva in the next week?

          MR. BOUCHER:  There have been a number of different ideas 
about some sort of multilateral meeting, and obviously those have to be 
considered.  But at this point, we think that convening another 
international conference would be premature.

          As you know, we're considering various options.  There are 
similar reviews underway in different capitals.  We want to wait until 
reviews have been completed and until we have a chance to consult with 
our friends and allies before we try to respond further to some of these 

          Q    So we would like to -- the United States would prefer to 
have its own policy options finally decided and out in public before it 
has such a meeting?

          MR. BOUCHER:  We believe that our own review, our own 
decisions should be made, and that others who are undertaking similar 
reviews, we should have a chance to get together and talk to them about 
the further steps before we decide to call another meeting.

          Q    How close are you to making your own decisions?

          MR. BOUCHER:  That one I leave for the White House.  I think 
Dee Dee Myers, this morning, said in the next few days, probably 
decisions.  Not necessarily announcements.  But I'd just go with her on 

          Q    And what impact might that have on the Secretary of 
State's plans over the next few days?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Well, as he told you, there's nothing scheduled 

          Q    Nothing scheduled for what?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Nothing scheduled for travel.

          Q    Oh, travel.  He might travel somewhere? (Laughter)

          MR. BOUCHER:  I assume those were the kinds of plans that you 
might have been asking about.

          Q    Just curious.  So, there's some possibility he might 

          MR. BOUCHER:  I've heard it said, John, that there are 
questions in the air.  But at this point, there's nothing scheduled.

          Q    What's the purpose of the Secretary's meeting with 
Secretary Aspin, on the Hill, at this very hour?

          MR. BOUCHER:  He and Secretary Aspin are meeting with some of 
the Congressional leadership at this very hour to follow up on the 
President's consultations with the Hill the other day to discuss Bosnia.

          Q    Are they informing the Hill of the President's decision 
on Bosnia?

          MR. BOUCHER:  I wouldn't describe it that way.

          Q    How would you describe it?

          MR. BOUCHER:  I wouldn't.  I'd just say they're having a 
discussion on Bosnia to follow up the President's discussions the other 

          Q    Are they seeking advice from the Hill leadership?

          MR. BOUCHER:  They're following up the discussion the 
President had with members of Congress the other day.  I think they're 
principally focused on the issue of how the Congressional process should 
work in relation to any decisions that might be made on options.

          Q    This wouldn't be -- or would it? -- is it possible that 
this meeting is one in which the Executive Branch is informing Congress 
under the War Powers Act of its intent to place U.S. personnel into 
combat positions?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Once again, the White House has made very clear 
that decisions have not been made, so there aren't any decisions to 
inform Congress of at this point.  We've had a continuing series of 
consultations with the Congress.  The President had a big meeting -- 
when was it? -- the day before yesterday.  The Secretary is following up 
on that in meeting the leadership on the Hill.  He's also having a 
couple of Senators and Congressmen over to lunch today to talk about the 
situation in Bosnia further.

          Q    Who's coming over here?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Senator Leahy, Senator McConnell, and 
Congressman Livingston.

          Q    Congressman Livingston, did you say?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Yes.  These are key Appropriations people.

          Q    Did that also have to do with Bosnia, or that has to --

          MR. BOUCHER:  Yes.

          Q    Okay.

          Q    Is it just Bosnia or is it Russia, too?

          MR. BOUCHER:  I don't know, frankly, if they'll get into other 

          Q    What time is the lunch, 1:00?

          MR. BOUCHER:  It's about now, yes.

          Q    Just one more on the Hill consultations.  Is the 
Secretary -- I'm sorry -- it flew right out of my head.  I apologize.  
I'll think of it later.

          MR. BOUCHER:  It'll fly back.


          Q    I'll take you to another area, if I may.  Do you have any 
information about reports that the President of North Korea is ill; that 
there have been unusual troop movements around Pyongyang and that the 
airport has been closed?

          MR. BOUCHER:  No, I don't.

          Q    Could you perhaps take the question and see if you can 
find anything out about it?

          MR. BOUCHER:  I'll see if there's anything I can get you on 

          Q    Thanks.

          Q    Sorry, it just flew back in.  (Laughter)  Very 
embarrassing.  I apologize.

          MR. BOUCHER:  That's okay, it happens to us all.  I'm tempted 
to use that as part of my answer.  (Laughter)

          Q    Has the Secretary had any phone conversations with other 
international leaders, his counterparts, today or yesterday?

          MR. BOUCHER:  He's talked in the last couple of days with a 
number of other Foreign Ministers.  He's talked to Foreign Secretary 
Hurd; he's talked to German Foreign Minister Kinkel; he talked to 
Foreign Minister Kozyrev of Russia; he talked to French Foreign Minister 
Juppe; and he talked to Foreign Minister McDougall of Canada.

          Q    He didn't talk to the Foreign Minister of Spain?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Not that I know of at this point.

          Q    This is in the last several days.  Not today, right?  
Like yesterday and today?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Yesterday and today.  And then he talked to some 
of them -- I think last Friday were the last conversations we talked 
about when he talked to Foreign Secretary Hurd and Minister Juppe on 
Friday about sanctions.

           Q    How are those sanctions working, Richard?

          MR. BOUCHER:  The sanctions, Sid -- it may be too early to 
draw firm conclusions, but we do have indications that things are quiet 
on the border crossing points; and I can give you an overall view of 
sanctions there.

          Sanctions -- the effects are aimed at Serbia and Montenegro.  
We've seen the effects of sanctions over time in the Serbian economy.  
Serbia's economy has been severely weakened by sanctions.  The inflation 
has reached more than 200 percent a month.  Sixty percent of 
manufacturing facilities are idle and infrastructure is deteriorating.  
The banking system, as you know, is in crisis.

          We believe that sanctions are taking a significant toll on the 
Serbian and Montenegrin economy.  The cumulative effect of sanctions are 
bringing home to the Milosevic regime the enormous costs for their 
policies.  Sanctions are increasingly becoming an element in Serbia's 
assessment of its policies and may begin to limit the options available 
to the Serbian government.  There are signs the Bosnian Serbs are 
beginning to receive criticism within Serbia and Montenegro because of 
the effects of the sanctions.

          The new resolution has just come into effect.  Under earlier 
resolutions, there were 15 Serbian/Montenegrin owned or controlled ships 
and at least six sanctions violators belonging to other countries that 
have been detained.  Since the new sanctions went into effect on April 
26th, two barge convoys have been stopped and boarded on the Danube 

          Also since the new resolution went into effect on Monday 
night, there have been implementing regulations issued by Romania and 
Macedonia.  We expect to see regulations issued very soon by Bulgaria 
and Hungary.  Border control aspects of the sanctions are expected to be 
applied in the very near future.

          There are other aspects that may require changes in 
legislation, such as governments giving themselves authority to impound 
conveyances and controls on some kinds of services. That may take a 
short while before they're fully implemented.

          The sanctions assistance monitors report the borders are 
quiet.  Reports from the Macedonian/Serbian border indicate a very low 
level of traffic, mostly fruits and vegetables from Greece being 
transshipped across Serbia to Germany.  Reports from Romania, Hungary 
and Bulgaria indicate very little or no cross border movement.

          Any ship approaching Serbian/Montenegrin territorial waters is 
being stopped, inspected and diverted to Italy for further inspection as 

          In terms of sanctions monitors, we currently have about 70 
sanctions assistance monitors in place from ten countries. The United 
States has increased its contribution from 10 to 27 people, and already 
all of the people the United States has promised are in place.  The EC 
has agreed to increase its contribution to over 100 customs personnel, 
and there are other CSCE states that are also providing personnel.

          Q    Richard, what kind of criticism is being levied at the 
Bosnian Serbs and by whom?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Well, I think you've seen reports in the 
newspapers of people -- I think it's mostly "man on the street" and some 
officials -- saying that the Bosnian Serbs are being unreasonable, 
things like that, just some signs of a certain amount of criticism 
developing out there.

          Q    So do you see a change of heart on the part of the 
government -- the Serbian government -- as a result of that?

          MR. BOUCHER:  I don't think I would overestimate that. As you 
know, we think that they're a very important source of support for the 
Bosnian Serbs.  They have it within their power to influence the Bosnian 
Serbs to make things happen, if they want to.  And the facts on the 
ground indicate that the fighting continues.  The Bosnian Serbs haven't 
stopped their shelling and their attacks and haven't entered sincerely 
into a peace negotiation.

          Q    Do you have any comment on the British offer of 
conditional support for the option of air strikes, as long as the U.S. 
doesn't push arms embargo as an option?

          MR. BOUCHER:  No, I don't, John.  I don't have any comment on 
any specific option at this point.

          Q    Richard, do you have any reaction -- apparently, the 
French are talking about pulling out some of their forces in 
anticipation of U.S. military action or in fear that even talk of U.S. 
military action could impact them.  Do you have any reaction to that?

          MR. BOUCHER:  There was a statement by the French Defense 
Minister yesterday, but I don't think it said what you said it said.  
But, in any case, I think we can all assume that the status of forces on 
the ground would be something that we would consider and discuss with 
our allies.

          Q    Do you anticipate there would be some pull-back before 
any military action?

          MR. BOUCHER:  No, I didn't say that.

          Q    Well, do you?

          MR. BOUCHER:  The question of forces on the ground is 
something that would have to be considered.  But since I'm not getting 
into how things are being considered and discussed at this point, I just 
can't try to lead you to any expectations.

          Q    Do you have a reaction to the report to the Security 
Council last night by their mission to Bosnia and their recommendations, 
which include a series of safe havens to be established?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Yes.  We're reviewing the report of the Security 
Council mission to Bosnia.  Obviously, it deserves serious 
consideration.  Some of these ideas are things that we've already said 
are in play.  It's part of our overall policy review, and we'll 
certainly be discussing the report with our allies.

          Q    Richard, among all the people you've mentioned in the 
course of today about the consultations, none of them include the United 
Nations.  Is the Secretary consulting with Boutros-Ghali or with anyone 

          MR. BOUCHER:  Well, I don't know that he personally has had 
any conversations with Boutros-Ghali, but we've been in very close touch 
with the United Nations all along.  I think yesterday I told you that 
Ambassador Bartholomew is in touch with Cyrus Vance and, through him, 
with Lord Owen -- that clearly our people up in New York keep in touch 
with the United Nations and other countries up at the United Nations.

          I think I described a whole series of different consultations 
that had been going on at different levels yesterday.

          Q    But in terms of the type of consultations that the 
Secretary is having with the Hill today and has had with other 
governments in recent days, presumably discussing the options that you 
won't talk about, is that the subject of U.S. discussions with the U.N. 
or are there other -- what I'm getting at is trying to find out whether 
the U.S. feels the U.N. has any ore to put in on the issue of what 
options the U.S. and its allies may or may not exercise in Bosnia at 
this point?

          MR. BOUCHER:  The conversations I think I'm only able to 
describe in most general terms.

          We continue to discuss with our allies, with the United 
Nations, with other governments in a variety of levels, the situation in 
Yugoslavia and what can be done about it.

          Obviously, the United Nations and their forces and their 
commanders have views that need to be taken into consideration.

          Q    Any discussions with potential arms suppliers? Has the 
U.S. had any discussions with anyone -- with any nation that could be an 
arms supplier to the combatants in the former Yugoslavia?

          MR. BOUCHER:  I think it's pretty early to think about 
speculating about who might be potential arms suppliers.

          Q    Well, the Secretary -- I wouldn't say "speculated," but 
he discussed that issue on the Hill the other day when he talked about 
Iran being a possible source.  Others in the Middle East, I think he 
said, could be.

          MR. BOUCHER:  At this point, Ralph, I've told you the kinds of 
countries and governments we're in touch with.  I don't want to lead you 
further down the road towards any particular option.  And I think it's 
premature for me to try to address the question of arms suppliers when 
we still have an arms embargo.

          Q    Has the U.S. -- let's put it a little differently -- has 
the U.S. consulted with countries like Saudi Arabia about the situation 
in Yugoslavia in recent days -- yesterday or today --

          MR. BOUCHER:  I don't have a full list.  I'll check and see.

          Q    Thank you.

          (Press briefing concluded at l:08 p.m.) 

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