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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
Taken Questions of December 3, 1993

1.  NORTH KOREA
Q: Can you provide a read-out of the meeting with North Korea in New 
York today?  What response did they give to the U.S. proposal?

A:  WORKING-LEVEL U.S. OFFICIALS MET TODAY WITH  REPRESENTATIVES
FROM NORTH KOREA'S U.N. MISSION IN NEW YORK.  THE MEETING LASTED TWO 
HOURS.  AT THIS MEETING, NORTH KOREA PROVIDED ITS FORMAL RESPONSE TO THE 
U.S. VIEWS ON HOW TO RESOLVE THE NUCLEAR ISSUE PRESENTED AT THE LAST 
SUCH MEETING ON NOVEMBER 24.

--WE ARE STUDYING CAREFULLY NORTH KOREA'S RESPONSE.  WE WILL ALSO BE 
CONSULTING WITH OUR ALLIES BEFORE DECIDING OUR NEXT STEPS.


2.  ABM TREATY
Q.  What's the difference between "theater" and "strategic" defense?  If 
theater defenses are not limited, why do you need a new interpretation 
of the ABM Treaty?

A.  THE ABM TREATY SHARPLY CONSTRAINS DEFENSES AGAINST STRATEGIC 
BALLISTIC MISSILES, BUT DOES NOT IMPOSE THESE CONSTRAINTS ON DEFENSES 
AGAINST THEATER MISSILES.  IT DOES NOT, HOWEVER, MAKE A CLEAR 
DEMARCATION BETWEEN THE TWO.

--WHEN THE ABM TREATY WAS NEGOTIATED IN 1972, THE KINDS OF SOPHISTICATED 
SHORTER RANGE BALLISTIC MISSILES WE WERE CONCERNED ABOUT DID NOT EXIST.  
THEREFORE, WE FEEL ITS DEFINITION OF "STRATEGIC" IS NOW INADEQUATE; IT 
DOES NOT DEFINE "THEATER."

--OUR APPROACH SEEKS TO REMOVE THE CURRENT AMBIGUITIES BETWEEN
WHAT IS "STRATEGIC" AND WHAT IS NOT SO THAT ALL PARTIES TO THE
TREATY CAN AGREE ON WHAT A "THEATER~ DEFENSE IS.

Q.  Have the Russians responded to your approach?

A.  WE HAVE JUST BEGUN OUR DISCUSSIONS IN THE ABM TREATY'S STANDING 
CONSULTATIVE COMMISSION (SCC).  BY AGREEMENT OF ALL PARTIES, THOSE 
DISCUSSIONS ARE CONFIDENTIAL.  WE DO NOT KNOW HOW LONG THEY MAY LAST.

Q.  Did the State Department and ACDA oppose this effort initially?

A.  THERE IS TOTAL AGREEMENT ON THE MERIT OF REMOVING THE CURRENT 
AMBIGUITIES IN THE ABM TREATY.(###)

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