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US DEPARTMENT OF STATE
DAILY PRESS BRIEFING 
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 8, 1993


                                                      BRIEFER:  
Christine Shelly

Subject                                                             Page

ARMS CONTROL
Consultation with Russia on US Clarification 
of ABM Treaty 
..................................................................1-2
US Non-Proliferation Policy .....................................2-3
--  Secretary Aspin's Statement Yesterday .......2-3
US Policy re: Indefinite Extension of NPT ...........3-4

NORTH KOREA
Secretary General's Upcoming Visit ......................4-5
US Consultations with South Korea/Others ........5-6

VIETNAM
Asst. Secretary Lord's Visit re:  POWs/MIAs ......6-8
--  Agenda/Participants 
...............................................6-8
Cooperation with US on POWs/MIAs ........................7

JAPAN
Asst. Secretary Lord's Visit ........................................6

CAMBODIA
Asst. Secretary Lord's Visit ........................................6-7

SOMALIA
Political Dialogue in Ethiopia .....................................8-9
Accomplishments of UN/US over Last Year ..........9-10

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                       DEPARTMENT OF STATE
                       DAILY PRESS BRIEFING

                                                      DPC #160

              WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 8, 1993, 1:05 P.M.
              (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)


          MS. SHELLY: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.  I have no 
announcements, so I'll proceed to take your questions.

          Q    Today, this morning, the Arms Control Association has a 
session on the changes you folks -- you call them clarifications -- 
changes you folks want to make in the ABM Treaty.  I just wonder if you 
have at this point some response from Russia as to whether they were 
willing to engage in what the State Department euphemistically calls 
"clarifications," which would mean alteration?

          MS.SHELLY:  I'm not aware of any response from the Russians 
yet.  I'll check and see if we have anything.

          Q    Please.  It was presented in Geneva.  If you don't mind, 
if it's not a whole lot of effort, there's also a question of whether 
the other former Republics that have radar or other ABM equipment, 
whether they have any --

          MS.SHELLY:  We're willing to take questions that require a lot 
of effort, so we will --

          Q    Well, this is tricky stuff.

          MS.SHELLY:  We will very vigorously endeavor to come up with 
an answer.

          Q    Would you really like one?  How can you folks say that 
the treaty isn't explicit as to what's a strategic weapon and what's a 
tactical weapon?  I can't understand how you could say that in a 
guidance.  State put that out last week.

          There seems to be a common understanding of what a strategic 
weapon is.  And, of course, if it isn't a strategic weapon, it can't be 
anything else but a tactical weapon, unless it's a bus.

          You admit that there's a definition of a strategic weapon but 
you folks don't know what a tactical weapon is.  It's the other weapons.  
So I don't understand.  I understand  what Les Aspin and all his friends 
want to do to the ABM Treaty, so State is in a tough position answering 
these questions.  It doesn't originate here.

          But, really, I think -- I want to know if it really is 
confounding the State Department what a tactical nuclear weapon is.

          MS. SHELLY:  Okay.

          Q    Okay.

          Q    While you're taking such questions, Aspin said yesterday, 
across the street, that this new doctrine of counter-proliferation would 
require a regional ballistic missile defense which would require 
reopening the ABM Treaty for negotiation.

          Have you checked that out?  Would such a doctrine in fact 
require reopening the ABM Treaty, and would the State Department favor 
it?

          MS. SHELLY:  On that particular point, I'd really have to 
refer you back to the Pentagon, to precisely the text of what he said 
and what the meaning of that was.

          State is, of course, very involved in this issue.  The whole 
question of all of these initiatives -- Aspin's initiatives, in 
particular -- are certainly part of the Administration's overall policy 
on non-proliferation.

          As you're aware also, the framework for the policy on non-
proliferation and also export controls was articulated by the President 
on September 27.  State is very engaged in this issue.  There are a lot 
of important roles that State plays in the proliferation question, not 
only in places like North Korea but also through the broader non-
proliferation initiatives that, as I mentioned, the President himself 
had specifically referred to in September.

          Some of the general areas of the subject matter that the State 
Department is involved in is discussing with the parties to the ABM 
Treaty the clarification, as we talked about last week, to allow the 
development of theatre missile defenses.  I will chase down the point 
that you've raised on this.

          State is also, of course, interested in the initiatives in 
NATO to increase Alliance efforts against proliferation.  We're also 
interested in helping Russia and the Newly Independent States to 
dismantle their nuclear weapons and to bring Russia and others under a 
new export control regime.

          Q    Has the State Department signed off on the counter-
proliferation doctrine enunciated yesterday by Aspin?

          MS. SHELLY:  Certainly we were involved in discussions with 
the Pentagon on the initiative.  All of what's going on should be looked 
at in the context of the total Administration policy on non-
proliferation and in particular -- I think this counter-proliferation 
initiative is certainly completely consistent with the broader policy.

          But, again, it's not really up to the State Department to, I 
think, interpret or clarify or make judgments on the particular parts of 
this for which the Pentagon has the lead.

          Q    But even if it should require reopening the ABM Treaty, 
the State Department supports the doctrine?

          MS. SHELLY:  I'm just not in a position to make a precise 
judgment on that.  In the context of the specific questions that have 
come up, I'll see if we can post anything on that this afternoon.

          Q    Let me try one more.  One of the criticisms -- and there 
are so many -- of what the Administration is trying to do is that the 
Non-Proliferation Treaty comes up for review in 1995.  In fact, there's 
going to be an effort -- it comes up every five years -- to make it 
permanent.

          People are concerned -- arms control people are concerned -- 
that if you start messing with the ABM Treaty -- which of course is an 
incentive to over come the missile defense by developing new missiles; 
that's the whole point of the ABM Treaty -- that it will make it more 
difficult to keep the Non-Proliferation Treaty going.  I wonder if State 
would respond to that?

          MS. SHELLY:  I don't think that that is State's view on that.  
One of the things that we are trying to do at State -- and certainly 
with the Pentagon -- in terms of the range of initiatives that are out 
there, is that we are working to secure the indefinite extension of the 
NPT and to strengthen, of course, in connection with that, the IAEA.  
So, no, I don't view those things as mutually exclusive.

          Q    But you understand -- how do I explain -- their argument?  
Their argument is, if you make missile defenses more capable, the result 
-- you can't predict with certainty -- but the result is to try to 
overwhelm that defense.  How do you overwhelm a defense?  By getting 
more weapons.  And how do you get more weapons?  You get them from other 
places.  That's called proliferation.

          So the critics say you're shooting yourself in the foot if you 
care about the Non-Proliferation Treaty.  I just wondered if State is 
prepared to say that's nonsense.

          MS. SHELLY:  I appreciate your defining  "proliferation" for 
me.  But, no, I don't think that is State's position.

          Q    Okay.  They don't see a problem?

          MS. SHELLY:  Not that I'm aware of.

          Yes, Betsy.

          Q    It was announced at the U.N. today that Boutros Ghali is 
going to go North Korea the end of this month.  Is this part of some 
kind of overall plan to get North Korea to comply on behalf of IAEA?  Is 
he going --

          MS. SHELLY:  I'm not aware of any specific linkage between the 
announcement of Boutros Ghali's travel and the state of diplomacy on the 
nuclear issue.

          My understanding is that this is an invitation which was 
extended to the U.N. Secretary General quite some time ago, and it's 
been on the table.  He simply has decided that, in connection with other 
travel to the region, now is the time that he would like to go there.

          As to any particular motivation behind this -- the reasons, 
rationale -- I would really have to refer you to the U.N.

          Q    Does the United States think this is a good idea, 
considering the moment?  Is it propitious that Boutros Ghali go and have 
talks with the North Koreans?

          MS. SHELLY:  Certainly Boutros Ghali is free to travel to any 
country at any time of his choosing.  He sometimes discusses the timing 
of his trips to particular countries with nations who also may have some 
special interests there or issues going on.

          I'm not suggesting in any way that there has somehow been a 
deliberation on this in which we have been involved or have weighed in 
one way or the other.  We certainly knew that this was a possibility, 
and he decided to make the trip at this time.  And, really, as to the 
exact rationale for that, I still would have to refer you to the U.N.

          Q    So although this is a crucial moment for, as you say, 
diplomacy on the nuclear issue with North Korea and the United States is 
a major, if not the major member of the United Nations Security Council, 
the United Nations and Boutros Ghali have really not coordinated on his 
trip?  He's carrying no message?  We don't see his trip as being part of 
this diplomatic effort at all?

          MS. SHELLY:  I'm really not in a position to say whether it 
precisely is or isn't.  He clearly had his own  reasons for deciding to 
make the trip and certainly to make the announcement at this time.  But 
I'm certainly not in a position to ascribe any particular mission for 
it.  That wouldn't be an appropriate thing for me to do.

          And as to the exact timing of it and the means by which he 
would take his decision, I can't engage really any further.  I just 
don't have any information.

          Q    One more follow-up.  Would the United States rather he 
not go at this time?

          MS. SHELLY:  I certainly can't say that.

          Q    Is the U.S. glad he's going?

          MS. SHELLY:  I don't think it's appropriate for me, as the 
State Department Spokeswoman here, to make a judgment on this one way or 
the other, so I'm just not going to dragged into that.

          Q    I doubt if we would have asked that question in maybe 
Trygve Lie's time, but when Mr. Boutros Ghali decided to go to 
Mogadishu, there was no question.  The State Department was very up 
front in wishing he wouldn't go there.  So there have been instances -- 
very recently, before your time at the lectern -- when the State 
Department thought maybe his objectives and the U.S. objectives weren't 
exactly coincident and they would just as soon he rescheduled his trip.

          I'm just wondering.  I don't know.  Maybe it's possible that 
he's go there and it's another opportunity for delay.  It gives the 
Koreans another sounding board; it's another opportunity to negotiate on 
the side and maybe prevent a collision -- and maybe a delay -- which you 
want to get.  So I was just wondering if State had any opinion.  That's 
all.

          Q    What discussions have been held with Boutros Ghali about 
this trip?

          MS. SHELLY:  I don't have details on that.

          Q    Do you expect a readout from him after he returns?

          MS. SHELLY:  I'm sure that he would come back and would report 
to the U.N. Security Council after making this trip.  It's my 
understanding that he normally does report.  There are a variety of 
different ways in which he reports on his trips, and I assume that he 
would be doing so in one of the different ways that he normally does.

          Q    By the way, has the U.S. talked to the Koreans yet?  You 
remember -- I mean, the North Koreans.  Having consulted with the South 
Koreans, is the point now that the U.S. is about to or has been in touch 
with the North Koreans?

          MS. SHELLY:  Are you asking me precisely if a meeting has been 
scheduled?

          Q    Yes.  But I don't mean a high-level meeting.  I mean, you 
know, in touch.

          MS. SHELLY:  Low-level meeting, working-level meeting?

          Q    Not that kind of meeting they always wanted.  The kind of 
meeting that, you know, communicates positions quietly.

          MS. SHELLY:  No meeting has been scheduled so far.

          Q    Have you heard anything from them in any way that you 
would accept as a response to what you've been saying to them?

          MS. SHELLY:  The ball is in our court on this.  I think 
they're waiting for us to get back to them.  The President laid out the 
timetable on this already, which was to talk with South Korea and our 
allies on this.  My understanding is that the consultations are still 
continuing and that we're waiting for those to be completed before the 
next steps.

          Q    And how will it go them?  In a meeting or in a diplomatic 
communication, or how?

          MS. SHELLY:  I assume that we'll get back to them in the usual 
way.

          Q    Which is meeting them at the U.N.?

          MS. SHELLY:  It's usually a meeting up in New York at the 
working level.

          Q    Back to North Korea, can you see any way in which the 
Boutros-Ghali trip could be helpful?

          MS. SHELLY:  I'm just not going to speculate on that.

          Q    (Inaudible) -- are just about to announce a lifting of 
the embargo against Vietnam.  Can you confirm the visit next week of 
Assistant Secretary of State Win Lord -- Mr. Winston Lord?

          MS. SHELLY:  Yes.  I have a little bit for you on that.  Our 
Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Winston Lord, 
will be traveling to the region between December 12 and 16.  He's going 
to be visiting Hanoi to urge the Government of Vietnam to further 
intensify its efforts to help us account for the American servicemen who 
did not return after the war.  Assistant Secretary Lord will also visit 
Phnom Penh and Tokyo.

          Assistant Secretary Lord's visit to Hanoi is in support of the 
President's commitment to make the fullest possible accounting for our 
POWs/MIAs.  He will reiterate that any further steps in the U.S.-
Vietnamese relations will depend strictly on tangible progress in the 
POW/MIA accounting.

          Q    Is this the highest-ranking official to have gone to 
Hanoi?

          MS. SHELLY:  I will have to check on that point and post an 
answer.  I don't have precise information on that.

          Q    Has he gone before?

          MS. SHELLY:  I honestly don't know.  If it happened before my 
arrival here, I'll check on that point -- both on other officials and if 
he has traveled there before.  I'll post that this afternoon.

          Q    Could you say also -- I mean, do you feel at this moment 
that the Vietnamese have slowed down on their cooperation or is there 
some new element that he wants to pursue?

          MS. SHELLY:  I think that it should be looked at in the 
broader context of the Administration's plan to work on the issue.  In 
September the White House announced that the issue of whether or not the 
Vietnamese had made sufficient progress in the POW/MIA accounting would 
remain under constant review.

          So I think the timing of the visit by Assistant Secretary Lord 
should be looked at in that context.  We view this as a normal part of 
the review process on this issue.

          The President also has personally committed himself to 
achieving the fullest possible accounting, and he has made clear that 
further steps, as I mentioned, in the relationship will depend upon the 
tangible progress in this.  So I think it was deemed opportune for him 
to go and to have a visit of this kind, and so this is really part of 
keeping the process announced by the President in September moving 
forward.

          Q    And why is he going to Cambodia?

          MS. SHELLY:  In Phnom Penh he will be exploring with senior 
Cambodian officials the ways in which the two governments can cooperate 
to ensure that Cambodia's hard-won achievements in building peace and 
democracy can be enhanced.

          I should also mention at this point, I'm going to post a 
statement on this this afternoon that will give a few more details on 
this, both in terms of the specific things that he'll be pursuing at 
each of the stops.  As I mentioned, he's also going to Tokyo, and one of 
the main subjects will be the entire economic framework of all of the 
different agreements and preliminary planning for the upcoming visit of 
the Prime Minister to Washington.

          I've got some more details on this, including who's traveling 
with him and that kind of thing.  I'll be posting that this afternoon.

          Q    The Missing-in-Action family reps, whatever, will be 
going with him?

          MS. SHELLY:  I do have some information on that I could share 
with you now.  What's happening right now on this particular visit is 
that only government officials will be participating in this.  As you 
are aware, there have been other high-level visits.  Actually, in fact, 
I think the last visit on this was in July.

          When Ambassador Lord has traveled on this before, he has been 
joined by Veterans Administration officials.  I think it was Deputy 
Secretary Gober, and he also was joined by a JCS representative, General 
Ryan.  There also, I believe, have been family members who have been 
involved as well.

          On this particular trip, my understanding is that just 
government officials are participating.  The Administration is 
continuing to work with the family members, with the veterans involved; 
but I think on this particular trip it's just government officials.

          Q    Do those government officials include General Vessey?

          MS. SHELLY:  I'll see if I have that.  No, I don't think that 
he's listed on this.  As I said, the statement will be going up right 
after the briefing.  It's got the list of participants.  I don't think 
that he is on this trip.

          Q    On Somalia, do you have any assessment of the progress 
being made in talks on Ethiopia?

          MS. SHELLY:  In terms of the talks in Addis, the informal 
discussions on political reconciliation are continuing.  We understand 
that the representatives of the Group of 12 and the SNA met yesterday in 
Addis and continued to meet today.

          We consider that these meetings are a further step in the 
dialogue which we hope ultimately at the end of this process will result 
in political reconciliation among all of the different factions.

          Q    Is Oakley still there?

          MS. SHELLY:  No, he's not.  I believe he's here in Washington 
at the moment.

          Q    He's in the cafeteria.

          MS. SHELLY:  That's definitive.

          Q    Eating hardtack.

          Q    Will he be going back?

          MS. SHELLY:  I don't have any information on his future travel 
plans at this point.

          Q    Gee, I'm tempted to ask you if the Secretary is going to 
come home as scheduled; but it's kind of early, isn't it, to wonder if 
he will get caught up in extended diplomacy out there?

          MS. SHELLY:  As you know, he's back in Jerusalem today.  He's 
going to Damascus tomorrow, and he still has scheduled stops that he had 
indicated before, both in Tunisia and Morocco.  I'm not aware of any 
alterations in that schedule at this point or in any change in the 
expected return date, which is the 11th.

          Q    I have another one on Somalia.  It's now a year since the 
troops went in there, and originally they didn't even anticipate being 
in there this long.  How would you assess what progress has been made, 
what accomplishments, and what's left?

          MS. SHELLY:  I think the chief assessment of the past year 
would be the end of the mass starvation and the widespread civil strife 
that resulted in something like a half a million deaths in the 1991 to 
'93 period.

          We consider that the United States has played a very 
significant role in reversing that; and, of course, as the situation has 
stabilized and settled down, we have been able to increase the emphasis 
on the humanitarian assistance.

          During Fiscal 1993, the United States was able to provide $170 
million in humanitarian assistance, including 215,000 metric tons of 
food and food aid valued at something just short of $90 million.

          The landing of the U.S. troops provided the basic security 
which we believe was needed to try to ensure the safe delivery of the 
relief aid.  This security in turn provided an opportunity for some 
economic recovery and some revival in the economic life, particularly in 
the agricultural sector and also in many of the urban areas.

          Despite the fighting in south Mogadishu, which of course has 
continued, much of Somalia -- and perhaps I could even say most -- has 
been relatively stable for most of the year and does remain so today.

          I think it's clear that the consolidation of gains in the 
humanitarian and the economic spheres requires -- and for this to 
continue certainly requires -- progress now on the political front.

          We believe that a start has been made on this with the 
establishment of district and regional councils in many of the areas.

          The resumption of the process of national political 
reconciliation is also being attempted, as you know, in the talks now 
underway in Addis between the various factions and the clan leaders.

          At this point it's a discussion involving the Somali 
participants; nonetheless, we believe that the U.S. efforts have been 
very helpful in getting the parties to the table and to try to sit down 
and work seriously to try to achieve some progress.

          But I think where we are at the end of this year is that it's 
our hope that the Somalis themselves are going to develop and implement 
elements which would constitute a durable program of political 
reconciliation and to ultimately assume responsibility for their own 
future.

          We've been helpful in trying to give them the time and the 
incentive to do so, but now it's really in their hands.

          Q    Thank you.

          (The briefing concluded at 1:27 p.m.)

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