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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
Taken Questions for December 8, 1993

1.  ABM TREATY
Q.  Has the U.S. received a response from other Anti-Ballistic Missile 
(ABM) Treaty states on its approach last week about theater missile 
defenses?

A.  WE ARE STILL CONSULTING WITH THE OTHER PARTIES TO THE ABM TREATY.

--THOSE CONSULTATIONS ARE CURRENTLY TAKING PLACE IN THE REGULAR MEETING 
OF THE ANTI-BALLISTIC MISSILE TREATY'S STANDING CONSULTATIVE COMMISSION.

Q.  Will the clarification the U.S. is seeking to the ABM Treaty involve 
amending or reopening the Treaty?

A.  -- I WANT TO MAKE CLEAR THAT THIS ADMINISTRATION IS COMMITTED TO 
PRESERVING THE INTEGRITY OF THE ABM TREATY.

--OUR DISCUSSIONS ARE IN A VERY PRELIMINARY STAGE.  IT IS NOT POSSIBLE 
FOR US TO SAY AT THIS TIME HOW ANY CLARIFICATIONS TO THE TREATY WOULD BE 
RECORDED.

--AS WE CONTINUE THESE DISCUSSIONS, WE WILL BE KEEPING BOTH OUR ALLIES 
AND CONGRESS INFORMED.

Q.  What is the difference between "strategic" and "theater" that you 
are trying to clarify?

A.  WE NEED A SYSTEM TO DEFEND AGAINST SOPHISTICATED SHORTER-RANGE 
MISSILES -- "THEATER" MISSILES -- THAT DID NOT EXIST IN 1972, WHEN THE 
ABM TREATY WAS NEGOTIATED.

--WE FEEL THE ABM TREATY DEFINITION OF WHAT CONSTITUTES A DEFENSE 
AGAINST "STRATEGIC" MISSILES IS NOT CLEAR ENOUGH TO ALLOW THE DEFENSES 
WE NEED AGAINST THE "THEATER" MISSILES OF TODAY.

--THAT IS WHY WE ARE WORKING TO CLARIFY THIS WITH THE OTHER PARTIES TO 
THE ABM TREATY.


2.  VIETNAM 
Q:  Is this the highest-level visit by an American official to vietnam?  
Is it the first visit to Vietnam by an Assistant Secretary of State?  By 
Assistant Secretary Lord?

A:  NO.  ASSISTANT SECRETARY LORD LAST VISITED VIETNAM IN JULY WHEN HE 
JOINTLY LED A DELEGATION WITH DEPUTY SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF 
VETERANS AFFAIRS HERSCHEL GOBER AND LIEUTENANT GENERAL MICHAEL RYAN OF 
THE JOINT STAFF.  (###) 

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