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US DEPARTMENT OF STATE
DAILY PRESS BRIEFING
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 1993

Subject                                     Page

ANNOUNCEMENT
No Daily Press Briefing 11/25 and 11/26 ........1

NORTH KOREA
US Diplomatic Contacts .........................1-2
US Conditions for High-Level Talks .............2
President's Statement re:  Sanctions ...........5-6

FORMER YUGOSLAVIA
Humanitarian Aid/Convoys .......................2-4
Situation Update on Fighting ...................3
EU Report Sent to Secretary ....................4-5
US/Russia to Attend EC Meeting Monday ..........4
Conditions for Lifting Sanctions on Serbia .....5

UKRAINE
US Discussions re:  START I Ratification .......6-8

PANAMA
Reported UN Investigation re:  US Invasion .....8-9

IRAQ
UN Investigation of Possible Use of CW .........9

NIGERIA
US Urges Return to Civilian Rule ...............9

COTE D’IVOIRE
Status of President ............................9-10



                       DEPARTMENT OF STATE
                       DAILY PRESS BRIEFING

                                                  DPC #151

              TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 1993, 1:48 P.M.
              (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)


         MR. McCURRY:  Good afternoon, everybody.  I'll start very 
briefly with a housekeeping item.  We will have a regular daily briefing 
here tomorrow, but nothing on Thursday and nothing on Friday.  So happy 
Thanksgiving all you turkeys.  We'll give you more detail on what our 
briefing schedule -- I think we may be ready for the debut of our new 
Deputy Spokesman the following week when we're off travelling in Europe.  
We'll keep you posted on what our plans are for briefing when the 
Secretary departs on the 29th.

         I don't have anything to add.  I, of course, waited until the 
President concluded his press conference with President Kim.  I have not 
been briefed on the detail of their meeting, so I won't be of much help 
to you on that subject.  Anything else you're interested in, fire away.

         Q    Well, maybe to the extent that you could help on contacts 
with the North Koreans, how did they hear about -- I was going to say 
about the U.S. plan, but I don't think there is a U.S. plan yet.

         Are you communicating with them where the situation now stands?

         MR. McCURRY:  Barry, I'll take that and see if I can find out 
some more about it.  To what extent what there will be contact 
diplomatically with North Korea as part of the thorough and broad 
approach recommended by the President, it's something that I'll find out 
more.  I think it would be wise for me to check in with the Secretary 
who is, of course, at the meetings.

         Q    (Inaudible)  meeting at the U.N.

         MR. McCURRY:  The last mid-level meeting at the U.N., I 
believe, was several weeks ago.  It hasn't been recent.

       Q     Have there been contacts with the North Koreans that would 
lead you to believe that this new approach would bear fruit?

       MR. McCURRY:  There have been contacts with them.  I wouldn't 
suggest that we have any guarantee that the approach is likely to be a 
successful one.  Because as I think the President made clear, the 
success depends on the willingness to move forward on the two things 
that have been our abiding concern and that you've heard us expressly 
repeat very often.

       Q     Specifically, has the U.S. Government now dropped its 
condition that there must be some movement by the North Koreans before 
you will escalate the level of the dialogue with the Koreans?  In other 
words, are you now prepared to talk to them at a higher than technical 
level?

       MR. McCURRY:  Well, we've been prepared to talk to them at a 
third level, depending on progress being made on those other issues for 
some time.  Let me just check and see how any of the dynamics of today's 
conversations affect what the overall strategy is.

       I think, as you know, when we said yesterday, the goals and the 
overall posture as related to a third round of high-level talks, it was 
very much as it's been outlined consistently by the President just now, 
by the Secretary last week.

       What you've been asking about and seeking more understanding are 
the specific tactics we would use in pursuit of those two goals.  Again, 
that's something I'm sure that they addressed substantively at the White 
House just now.  I just don't want to comment on that until we have a 
better idea of how those meetings went.

       Sid.

       Q     Michael, on Bosnia?

       MR. McCURRY:  Yes, sir.

       Q     Do you have anything to say about the blocking of aid 
convoys by the Serbs?

       MR. McCURRY:  A couple of things.  Let me run through what we 
know, first, about what's gone on.  Up until now no convoys from Croatia 
destined for the Muslim areas in Bosnia have been given permission to 
cross the border.  As I think you know, the parties agreed on November 
18 to allow convoy routing.  The Bosnian Croats have indicated that the 
situation might improve on Thursday.

       The Bosnian Serbs stopped three convoys yesterday and four 
earlier today at the Zvornik Bridge on the border on the grounds that 
they lacked a required Customs clearance stamp.  That permits the re-
export of certain food commodities, so on and forth, relating back to 
some regulations that have been in effect since April 1993.

       The UNHCR did today secure the stamp that was required, and we 
are told they will be able to send four convoys tomorrow.

       Again, the parties had agreed as of the 18th to allow the 
movement of convoys.  We're working with the UNHCR -- supporting the 
UNHCR, testing the willingness of the parties to follow through on their 
determination or their expressed willingness to allow the convoys to 
arrive.

       Q     Just a quick follow-up.  Does the Administration stand by 
its threat of six months, seven months ago that if relief convoys are 
not allowed safe passage and strangulation of various towns around 
Bosnia resumes, that it will be met with air strikes?

       MR. McCURRY:  I'm not aware of any change in our policies, as 
it's reflected in the support we have for the U.N. Security Council 
resolutions and for the steps that we've taken in concert with our NATO 
allies.

       Q     What do we think is going on?  Do we think that as some 
wire accounts have suggested, that there are troop movements going on 
which the Serbs don't want the U.N. to be privy to?

       MR. McCURRY:  There are a variety of reports on the ground.  I 
think the best explanation whether or not it can be substantiated, in 
fact, is that local commanders are acting on their own in many cases and 
sometimes seem impervious to any orders from those who are normally 
their superiors.  That seems to be the condition in some parts of 
Central Bosnia.  They are micro conditions all around Bosnia that 
reflect what's happening in some of the individual pockets where there's 
isolated fighting going on and where there has been problems getting 
convoys through.

       I think as many of you know, we've talked before about it.  One 
of the principal problems they're having with convoy routes is what is 
described more as banditry than anything else.  They are just people who 
are clearly trying to hijack some of these convoys or hold them up or 
act in a way that seem to be more criminal than military in its  
orientation.

       Q     So you don't think Belgrade is in any way behind blocking 
these aid convoys?

       MR. McCURRY:  I do not know.  I know that it's a matter that we 
have expressed through our diplomatic channels to Milosevic and that 
they have answered back on occasion.  It's something that we've had in 
our dialogue with the parties.

       Q     And did the Secretary now receive word on the European 
plan?  And who did he discuss it with?

       MR. McCURRY:  He talked with Foreign Minister Willie Claes who is 
the Belgian Foreign Minister.  Belgium is the current EC Presidency.

       They had a conversation last night in which, I think, the Foreign 
Minister said we've reached some decisions, we're going to send you a 
longer report.  The Department did receive that report late last night.  
We are looking at it today, thinking about it, and I think we'll be 
prepared to respond shortly to the Europeans on our assessment of the 
program that they have outlined in that report.

       Q     Will the United States attend this meeting that they've 
called?

       MR. McCURRY:  Yes.  They have called the meeting for Monday in 
Geneva, and they've invited Russia and the United States to send 
observers, and we will send Ambassador Redman to attend.

       Q     Just as a matter of policy, the United States has said that 
this is a European problem, but has been involved.  To what extent does 
the United States give to the Europeans -- the European Union -- the 
opportunity to solve this problem on its own, as it were?

       MR. McCURRY:  To what extent can we give a -- they clearly are 
taking an initiative which we now have under study.  That's the best 
characterization of what's going on.

       Q     How much do we have to say about it if they want to go 
ahead with it, since it's a European problem?

       MR. McCURRY:  I think they have indicated publicly, and I think 
the Foreign Minister indicated yesterday that they sought our outlook on 
their initiative and on the situation there.  We have been very much in 
close contact with them as the crisis in Bosnia has continued.

       Q     As I understand it, this is the first political act under 
the Maastrich Treaty and therefore there is sort of more power there or 
more authority, a European authority there.  I just wonder whether we 
sort of recognized that they have the authority to, again, try to 
attempt to solve the problem with or without our input?

       MR. McCURRY:  I don't want to directly relate those two.  I think 
there is a new concept within the European Union as Maastrich has taken 
effect.  But I don't know that that's changed the cooperation and the 
dialogue that we've had with our European partners on the problem of 
Bosnia.

       Q     Mike, you just said that you are studying the EC report.  
Does it mean that the U.S. Government could reconsider its position of 
gradual lifting of the embargo on Serbia?

       MR. McCURRY:  I think, as the Secretary has said recently, we 
still are very reluctant to see a premature lifting of sanctions.  We 
have said in the past that if a settlement was being implemented, then 
discussion could begin on a suspension or lifting of sanctions.  How 
that subject is addressed within the report of the European Union is 
something that we now have under study.  So I think I would just leave 
it at that.  We'll look and see specifically what type of conditions and 
what type of explanation they provide of how their initiative would 
work.

       Q     Mike, could I ask one more about Korea?  The President this 
morning, or this afternoon, said that no one is eager to see United 
Nations sanctions applied against North Korea.  What is that?

       MR. McCURRY:  Because it's been our feeling for some time that a 
diplomatic approach is the one that offers the best chance of success.

       I think you've heard the Secretary describe the North Korean's 
government as a government that's living in something of a time warp.  I 
think that that means that there's a certain amount of unpredictability 
associated with the regime.  I think that when you're engaged 
diplomatically in dialogue, trying to resolve a problem, we have some 
better degree of certainty than would we under a regime of sanctions 
which are designed to isolate further a state that is at odds with the 
international community.

       Q     Are you saying, then, that you're worried about this 
unpredictable behavior of the North Koreans that they might respond 
violently in case of sanctions being imposed?

       MR. McCURRY:  No, I didn't say that.  The simply fact is, you 
don't know what the response would be.

       Q     Well, you don't know what the response in almost any 
situation would be.

       MR. McCURRY:  You have a better chance through diplomatic 
dialogue of understanding what the disposition of a government would be.  
I think that's the point of favoring a diplomatic pathway as opposed to 
taking action through the United Nations.

       Q     I'm a bit puzzled by the logic of that argument.  Nobody 
would claim that Saddam Husayn was the most predictable or calm person 
when it came to reacting to sanctions.  The same would go for Qadhafi.  
The same could be argued about the Haitian military leaders.

       Does somebody have to be calm and rational in order to have 
sanctions applied against them?

       MR. McCURRY:  The United Nations determines when and how to do 
sanctions.

       Q     Can I ask about some other nukes in the Ukraine, please?

       MR. McCURRY:  Yes.

       Q     Have you given any further thought or study to what the 
Ukrainians have done, and whether the United States has any other reply?  
And just to revisit a question yesterday, whether economic aid could be 
a factor in trying to get the Ukrainians to do otherwise?

       MR. McCURRY:  I did some checking around after the briefing 
yesterday.  I described our diplomatic dialogue, which I told you a 
little about yesterday being at a fairly aggressive and sensitive moment 
with Ukraine.  So I'm not sure that I want to go much beyond where we 
were yesterday.

       I will say that we have obviously known for a great deal of time 
now that the Rada would be a problem, but we do draw some distinctions 
between the Executive Branch and the Legislative Branch in the Ukraine.  
We remain in very close dialogue with the Executive Branch in Ukraine.  
They have repeatedly stated that they intend to live up to their 
commitments under the Lisbon Protocols, including Article V, and that 
they see the application of that protocol to all nuclear weapons on 
their territory.  We take that representation seriously, and we continue 
to pursue  diplomatic discussions with them.  And we will see how we can 
make those commitments good in the very short term.

       Q     But, Mike, when this whole debate began you knew the state 
of play in the Rada and the state of play in the Kiev Administration.  
Didn't you suspect that you would run into this kind of problem?

       MR. McCURRY:  Absolutely.  That's exactly why the Secretary met 
with the Rada leaders when we were in Kiev.

       Q     And what difference does it make, then, what assurances the 
Kiev Administration gives to you?

       MR. McCURRY:  Because they have some semblance of separation of 
powers there with differing responsibilities within the government.

       Q     But isn't it a fairly thin reed to grasp at, to hope that 
the Executive Branch is somehow going to bail you out when the Rada 
doesn't want to do that?  If, as you keep insisting, they have this 
separation of powers there, how is the situation going to be resolved by 
the Executive alone?

       MR. McCURRY:  That requires a detailed understanding of command 
and control and how they separate powers and who has responsibilities 
for what.  That goes beyond my preparation right now.  But we do think 
the best avenue for us is to remain focused on the commitments that have 
been made and remain in close dialogue with those who we think can 
affect the outcome of Ukraine's deliberations on the weapons.

       Q     Well, presumably somewhere in our Embassy there or the 
State Department here has that kind of detailed understanding of their 
command and control structure.  Is it the State Department's belief that 
the Executive Branch of the Government there can force its will on the 
Rada?

       MR. McCURRY:  I think our understanding is that -- I mean, I 
wouldn't describe our analysis that way.  I would say that we continue 
to be in dialogue with those whom you would expect us to be in dialogue 
with through the Executive Branch.  We have on the occasion of our 
recent visit there also attempted to meet and be persuasive with leaders 
of the Legislative Branch.

       I think we are doing a variety of things diplomatically, 
including a variety of diplomatic contacts that have been underway in 
recent days to try to reassert the importance of this and to see if we 
can make some progress.

       Q     This aggressive dialogue which is at a delicate stage, does 
it include anything about Nunn-Lugar funds and American aid and economic 
help and the promises that were made when we were in Kiev?

       MR. McCURRY:  I think it covers a range of matters related to our 
bilateral relations.  But I don't think I can go any beyond that.

       Q     I know you don't like comparisons, but I ask you because 
the President just got through saying that -- refusing to talk about the 
benefits that might accrue but suggesting that North Korea has to live 
up to a Treaty, do you see any similarity, any linking of these two 
issues since they're both threats to treaties and threats to the Non-
Proliferation regime?

       MR. McCURRY:  The starting point for the two discussions are 
vastly different, which I think gives them a different character.  On 
the one hand, you've got the Government of Ukraine that we're dealing 
with based on commitments to adhere to the NPT, to ratify START, and 
that puts you at a much different place in the conversation than with a 
state in which you have limited contact that you believe has an ongoing 
nuclear program.  That kind of makes the situations non-comparable.

       Q     But are they not comparable since both of them are again --

       MR. McCURRY:  They're both proliferation issues.  But again, I 
don't like to -- it's too easy and too prone to trivialization to try to 
compare situations like that.

       Q     No, I mean is he going to hold out the possibility of 
benefits or the lack of benefits, depending upon how North Korea 
conducts itself and possible sanctions down the road?  Why not do this 
to somebody who has sort of thrown the gauntlet in the face of the 
United States?

       MR. McCURRY:  I wouldn't rush to assume that's what we have not 
done in the case of Ukraine.  I mean, I think you're all aware of 
certain things that they desire and certain things that have just not 
proceeded based on our own view of what the situation is there.

       Q     A quick one on Panama.  The OAS Commission on Human Rights 
has apparently agreed to look into allegations by a group of Panamanian 
citizens that the U.S. indiscriminately bombed civilian neighborhoods 
and such during the operation there four years ago.

       Will the U.S. cooperate in such an investigation, and would it 
abide by any conclusions or decisions that Commission might make?

       MR. McCURRY:  That's a great taken question.  I'll find out more 
for you.  I didn't have anything on that.

       Q     Concern was expressed here last week about reports that 
Iraq had used chemical weapons.  (a) Has anything panned out in the 
investigation of that, and (b) update on the situation itself?

       MR. McCURRY:  My understanding is -- I just saw shortly before 
coming out -- that I think the U.N. report that we have been 
anticipating has either just been released or the contents of it is 
becoming known.  So we certainly will be getting the report of the U.N. 
inspection team, studying it very carefully, comparing that to 
obligations Iraq has under appropriate U.N. Security Council 
resolutions.  But the preliminary assessment certainly seems to be, as 
it is in many cases involving Iraq, that the obligations under the U.N. 
Security Council resolutions are not being met.  But again I think we 
have to study the final report in greater detail.

       Q     Mike, I was not here yesterday.  I don't know whether you 
addressed the issue of Nigeria.  Do you have any word of warning against 
the new military leaders?

       MR. McCURRY:  No.  The only thing new, there was a report earlier 
today, I believe, that they had appointed a ruling council that might 
have included Abiola's running mate or something.  That notwithstanding, 
we continue to believe that military intervention in Nigerian politics 
cannot solve the crisis that the military has created.  We are insisting 
upon return to civilian rule, democracy and elections, and the path that 
Nigeria had been embarked upon.  

       As we said last week, we strongly condemn General (inaudible) 
decision to dismantle virtually every democratic institution in Nigeria.

       Q     Mike, do you have any kind of an update on the situation in 
Cote d'Ivoire?  Does the United States believe that President Houphouet-
Boigny is still alive?

       MR. McCURRY:  I don't know the answer to that.

       Q     Can you take the question, please?

       MR. McCURRY:  The best that we know are the reports that he had 
been taken home by stretcher, and I'll see if I can find out anything 
newer than that.

       Q     Can you give us an update on the civil unrest situation 
there?

       MR. McCURRY:  I'll include that in an overall taken question.

       Q     Thank you.

       (The briefing concluded at 2:18 p.m.)

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