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                         DEPARTMENT OF STATE
                         DAILY PRESS BRIEFING

                                                      DPC #81

                   FRIDAY, JUNE 4, 1993, 1:16 P. M.

          MR. SNYDER:  Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.  I 
apologize for the lateness of the hour.  I've got no announcements, and 
I'd be happy to take whatever questions you have.

          Q    Joe, do you have any response yet to the remarks that 
Premier Kuchma said in Ukraine about his vision of what Ukraine should 
do with nuclear weapons?

          MR. SNYDER:  Carol, I don't have a specific reaction.  Prime 
Minister Kuchma's statements, I take it, were made to a closed session 
of the Ukrainian Parliament; and we haven't had any independent 
confirmation of what he said, and I can't comment directly.  I'm not 
sure exactly what it was he said.

          But, as you know, Minister of Defense Morozov, Minister of 
Foreign Affairs Zlenko and President Kravchuk, most recently in 
conversations with Ambassador Talbott, have repeatedly assured us that 
Ukraine does not intend to seek operational control of nuclear weapons 
on its territory.

          The Government of Ukraine has pledged to ratify START and to 
adhere to the Non-Proliferation Treaty as a non-nuclear weapons state.  
We expect that the Ukrainian Parliament will give these treaties full 
and expeditious consideration, following through on the commitments made 
in Lisbon in 1992.

          I should say in this connection, we welcome Foreign Minister 
Zlenko's strong statements before Parliament in which he recommended 
fulfilling Ukraine's commitments to ratify START quickly and adhere to 
the NPT.

          Q    But, I mean, why haven't you been able to confirm what 
his remarks were? Apparently he spoke in that closed session and 
deputies seemed to have no problem repeating his remarks to reporters.  
Don't we still have an Embassy in Kiev?

          MR. SNYDER:  Well, my understanding is that they've had no 
problem in paraphrasing his remarks.  What we haven't seen is exactly 
what he said.  We've seen secondhand accounts of what he said, and 
without knowing exactly what it was -- unlike, I gather, the Foreign 
Minister's remarks, which were made in an open session and which were 

          Q    But isn't it possible for the United States officials to 
talk with Kuchma himself and verify --

          MR. SNYDER:  I suppose it is, and I don't know whether they 
have or not.

          Q    Does it concern you at all that he's being quoted as 
saying this even though he's given you assurances that he supported 
START and NPT and all the rest?

          MR. SNYDER:  We've gotten assurances which certainly sound 
different from what he apparently did say, and those are the ones that 
we are listening to and the ones that we have confidence in.

          Q    But given the political volatility in Ukraine, doesn't 
this raise some concern about where the political trend is going?

          MR. SNYDER:  We've expressed our concerns many times about 
remarks we've heard from one group or another in the Ukrainian 
Parliament and other Ukrainians from this podium at times in the past.  
Of course, we're concerned about remarks which seem to run counter to 
the assurances.  But we have received assurances from the Defense 
Minister and from the Foreign Minister and, of course, from President 
Kravchuk quite recently.

          Q    The U.N. Security Council has apparently voted to 
authorize the safe havens situation over the protests of the Bosnian 
Ambassador.  Do you have any comment, reaction or statement?

          MR. SNYDER:  Well, literally just before I walked in, I saw 
that the resolution had passed.  I haven't seen a text of the final 
resolution.  As we said in our joint statement, we believe the safe 
areas can be a positive step that will save lives in the tormented 
Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and will help meet the humanitarian needs 
of the Bosnian people.

          We are committed to working with the international community 
to end this terrible war and to achieve a lasting and equitable 
settlement.  The current resolution, of course, is only part of the 

          I would point out the governments that agreed to the Joint 
Action Program have warned the Bosnian-Serbs that all options for the 
new and tougher measures remain open if the violence does not stop.

          The U.N. Secretariat will now take the practical steps 
necessary to implement the resolution.

          Q    Joe, does the U.S. Government have any idea of when the 
resolution will be implemented?  I've heard different estimates from 
weeks to months to get people there to do it.  Do we have any idea?

          MR. SNYDER:  I don't have a prediction or an estimate, no.  
The resolution was literally just passed in the last few minutes, and I 
haven't seen the results.  We haven't had a chance to --

          Q    Well, does the U.S. have a --

          MR. SNYDER:  I certainly haven't been briefed on the exact 

          Q    Does the U.S. have a view on how promptly it ought to be 

          MR. SNYDER:  We think it ought to be implemented as promptly 
as possible.

          Q    What steps is the U.S. going to take, now that the 
implementation is up to the Secretary General to offer concrete steps to 
get the implementation promptly?

          MR. SNYDER:  We'll obviously be working very closely with him.  
This is going to be a subject that's clearly going to be on the agenda 
next week in Europe -- the Secretary's meetings with NATO, and so forth.  
But, again, in terms of the details of what we'll be doing, I really 
hesitate to talk about those, not having seen the resolution.

          Q    At least another week, then, if that's what they're going 
to be discussing next week?

          MR. SNYDER:  I really don't know how long it's going to take.

          Q    Would the Secretary be seeking to convince the Europeans 
to send more ground troops to implement this?

          MR. SNYDER:  We certainly will be seeking the rapid 
implementation.  I don't know specifically what recommendations he's 
going to be making.

          Q    Joe, in this context can you give us an update on just 
fighting related to these areas and other places in Bosnia?

          MR. SNYDER:  I've got a little bit on it.  Sarajevo apparently 
remained relatively quiet, with only sporadic small arms fire reported 
in Dobrinja and Stup districts.  Maglaj in north-central Bosnia suffered 
intensive shelling from Bosnian-Serb guns.  Fighting continued around 
Olovo and Gradacac and Lukavac in northeastern Bosnia.  Fighting was 
also reported in the area of Brcko in northeastern Bosnia.  Fighting 
between Bosnian Croat and Bosnian government forces was reported around 
Visoko in central Bosnia.

          We've seen reports that Karadzic has ordered a cease-fire for 
the area around Gorazde and that U.N. officials will be allowed into the 
town.  However, we don't have independent confirmation that either of 
these two situations have occurred.  Actually on the contrary, our 
information is that heavy fighting is continuing around Gorazde and that 
UNPROFOR and other United Nations officials have not been able to get 
into the town.

          Q    Most of those towns you mention are towns that aren't 
covered in the safe areas resolution.  Does the U.S. Government believe 
that more towns should be included in safe areas resolutions?  Is there 
any movement afoot to --

          MR. SNYDER:  I'm not aware of any movement afoot for a new 
resolution, no.

          Q    Is the airport still closed in Sarajevo?

          MR. SNYDER:  The airport -- yes.  The airport has been 
inactive since June 1 because of the security situation, and it remains 

          Q    So the airport in the safe haven of Sarajevo is closed.  
Is the water purification plant and the safe haven of Srebrenica also 

          MR. SNYDER:  I don't have an update on that.

          Q    So we can assume it's the same as it was yesterday?

          MR. SNYDER:  One presumes it is, yes.

          Q    In the safe haven of Gorazde the Serbs have apparently 
"liberated" two villages on the outskirts.  Do you know anything about 

          MR. SNYDER:  I don't know specifically about that. I've seen 
reports of lots of villages being under attack in the Gorazde area.

          Q    Joe, what does the ignoring of UNPROFOR by the Serbs and 
the killing of foreign nationals involved in relief convoys -- what does 
that bode for the implementation of the safe havens?

          MR. SNYDER:  Well, it speaks for the need for stronger action 
by UNPROFOR.  That's exactly what this resolution has done, and the next 
step is to implement the new and stronger resolution.

          Q    Joe, forgive me.  I came in a minute late.  Maybe I 
missed -- maybe you did make a comment of this sort, but in your answer 
to questions about this U.N. Security Council vote on the resolution --

          MR. SNYDER:  Yes.

          Q    -- you read from the Joint Statement issued a couple 
weeks ago.  You talked about this resolution being part of the process 
and so on.  I didn't hear any indication that the U.S. thinks this 
resolution is a firm step that the Serbs ought to pay attention to or 
that it's a warning to anybody or that it will lead to any kind of 
positive conclusion.  It almost didn't sound like the U.S. is really 
particularly strongly endorsing the passage or --

          MR. SNYDER:  We --

          Q    -- feeling encouraged about the passage of it.

          MR. SNYDER:  We strongly supported it.  We believe the 
resolution should be implemented, and we'll be doing our part to 
implement the resolution.  We want to see the Joint Action Program 
carried out.  This resolution does implement a part of the Joint Action 
Program, as the War Crimes Tribunal Resolution last week did.

          We want to see these things moving forward; we want to see the 
fighting stopped; we want to see the conflict contained; and we want to 
keep up the pressure, increase the pressure, to come to an agreement 
that all the parties can live with.

          Q    And whatever happened to the language proposed by the 
non-aligned dealing with the other issue the U.S. strongly supports -- 
namely, the lifting of the arms embargo?

          MR. SNYDER:  Ralph, my understanding was that that language 
was never actively included in a non-aligned draft. The non-aligned did 
work, as I understand, to have some language put into this draft; but 
the lifting of the arms embargo was never an active proposal for this 
particular resolution.

          Q    Did --

          MR. SNYDER:  They are, however, I think as Richard reported 
earlier in the week -- or perhaps last week -- I understand the non-
aligned do have an idea for a resolution on lifting the arms embargo.

          Q    Does the U.S. strongly support that idea, and did the 
U.S. strongly support the non-aligned working to have some language on 
this issue dealt with in the Security Council during the course of the 
past week -- two weeks of discussion?

          MR. SNYDER:  We certainly would like to see the arms embargo 
lifted.  That's clearly one of the best paths we see for moving forward 
in this conflict.

          Q    And will the Secretary be taking that approach next week 
when he talks with the Europeans about Bosnia, that the U.S. would 
certainly like to see the arms embargo lifted?

          MR. SNYDER:  The Secretary will be promoting what we think is 
the best way to deal with the Bosnian conflict.

          Q    Which is the lift-and-strike option still?

          MR. SNYDER:  Which is the Joint Action Program; and in the 
Joint Action Program, as you know, the Point l3 is that other options 
remain possible, if necessary.

          Q    (inaudible) have said today that the Serbs would be wrong 
to assume that they can keep the land that they have gained by force.  
Do you back that statement, sir?

          MR. SNYDER:  Again, to go back to the Joint Action Program, 
one of the points in the Joint Action Program says that land taken by 
force will not be allowed, that will not be allowed to stand.  That is a 
goal.  That is a goal of the settlement which is acceptable to all the 

          Q    Has Secretary General Boutros-Ghali had any -- made any 
informal requests of the U.S. Government to participate on the ground in 
the implementation of the Safe Areas Resolution?

          MR. SNYDER:  That just passed in the last half hour.

          Q    Yes.  I mean --

          MR. SNYDER:  I don't know.

          Q    Well, I mean he's going to make his formal presentation 
about how to best implement it; but, presumably, if he would like U.S. 
participation, he would have been discussing that --

          MR. SNYDER:  We certainly --

          Q    -- already.

          MR. SNYDER :  -- are discussing the whole notion with the 
Secretary; and whether he has specifically come to us with 
recommendations, I just don't know.

          Q    And do you have any comment on Lord Owen's attempts to 
resuscitate the Vance-Owen Plan?  Is the U.S. actively participating in 
those diplomatic efforts?  Is Ambassador Bartholomew involved with their 
efforts in Bosnia right now?

          MR. SNYDER:  Ambassador Bartholomew is in Washington, I 
believe.  The last time I checked he was in Washington.  So he's not 
with Lord Owen and Mr. Stoltenberg, who are in the region right now, I 

          Q    On other U.N.-related action --

          MR. SNYDER:  Yes.

          Q    -- the meeting with the North Koreans ended after several 
hours of talks this morning.  Will there be another session of the U.S. 
and North Korea?

          MR. SNYDER:  Ralph, I don't know.  I didn't expect that that 
was going to be finished this morning, and I must say I didn't look into 
it and nobody called.

          Q    Would you --

          MR. SNYDER:  I'll see if I can get something for you.

          Q    Would you look into that?  The last -- at the end of the 
last session you said that there would be -- you announced there would 
be another session, and it occurred this morning.  I'd be interested to 
know whether the talks will continue; and, if so, for what purpose.

          MR. SNYDER:  I'll see if I can get something for you.


          Q    On Guatemala, Secretary Christopher yesterday told the 
United Nations that -- pardon me, the Organization of American States 
that the U.S. was weighing trade sanctions.  Can you tell us more about 
that?  What's the process, and what the effect might be?

          MR. SNYDER:  Not in any specific detail.  No, I don't have 
anything to add to what the Secretary said.  Right now we are looking at 
the situation on the ground in Guatemala carefully.  The Secretary was 
quite clear that we continue to urge a return to full constitutional 
democracy for the peaceful, legal and constitutional processes.  The 
situation remains confused, and we're continuing to watch it.

          So I really don't have anything on where we might go.

          Q    Has the Secretary been in touch -- again, forgive me if 
you've dealt with this at the beginning --

          MR. SNYDER:  Yes.

          Q    Has the Secretary been in touch at all with either the 
Foreign Minister or other Ukrainian leaders regarding that issue of the 
apparent dispute within the Ukrainian government over how to deal with 
their nuclear weapons?

          MR. SNYDER:  Ralph, I don't know.  I didn't ask him. But, as 
you know, Secretary Aspin is leaving this weekend with Strobe Talbott to 
meet with Ukrainian officials in Kiev, and they certainly will be 
discussing this whole issue.

          Q    Is some concrete agreement expected as a result of this 
meeting this weekend -- an agreement between Ukraine and the United 

          MR. SNYDER:  You may have seen in one of the papers this 
morning there was a discussion of the new defense partnership.  We plan 
to take a number of steps towards creating a defense partnership with 
Ukraine, but because Secretary Aspin and Ambassador Talbott are 
traveling there this weekend I'd like to leave the details of exactly 
what they will be doing and what this partnership might look like to 

          We are doing this, however, as part of our effort to develop a 
partnership with Ukraine on a broad range of economic, political and 
security issues; and we look forward to their fulfilling their Lisbon 
commitments promptly as part of the natural development of this 

          Q    The U.S. Government has previously said that all of the 
assurances it has given Ukraine are about as far as the U.S. can go on 
the question of defense -- mutual defense.  Is the new defense 
partnership going to contain assurances of the U.S. coming to Ukraine's 
defense should it be attacked?

          MR. SNYDER:  Ralph, as I said, I'd like to leave the details 
of what this will involve to Secretary Aspin and Ambassador Talbott.

          Q    At the moment, does U.S. policy remain where it has been 
on that subject or is it under review?

          MR. SNYDER:  It remains where it has been.  Strobe Talbott 
himself has discussed our approach towards Ukraine after his last visit 
there, and that remains our policy.

          Q    The Lebanese Foreign Minister called upon the United 
States to review its airline policy.  Do you have anything on that?

          MR. SNYDER:  No.  I'm afraid I don't.

          Q    Thank you very much.

          (The briefing concluded at l:32 p.m.)

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