Return to: Index of 1994 Daily Briefings || Electronic Research Collections Index || ERC Homepage

.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
DAILY PRESS BRIEFING
Friday, March 11, 1994


                                                            Briefer:  Christine Shelly

RUSSIA/UKRAINE
Implementation of Trilateral Agreement ....................1

SOUTH AFRICA
Unrest in Bophothatswana ..................................................1-3
--  Participation in Transition .........................................1,3
--  Deployment of GoSA Troops .........................................2-3
Two US Journalists/Others Harassed/Attacked ........2

FORMER YUGOSLAVIA
Possible Increase of US Troops in Macedonia .............3-4

FYR OF MACEDONIA
US Diplomatic Relations ......................................................4

DEPARTMENT
Visit of Ambassador Flynn to US .....................................4

IRAN
Execution of Synagogue Sexton .........................................6

SINGAPORE
American Citizen Sentenced to Prison/Corporeal
  Punishment/US Contacts/Protests ...............................6-7

MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS
Consular Information Sheet re: Hebron Massacre ......6
Secretary's Contacts with Arafat ....................................7-8
US Contacts with Parties .....................................................7
Negotiations on UN Resolution re: Palestinian
  Security/Funding ...................................................................7-12
Russian Proposal for International Conference/
  --  Foreign Minister's Meeting with Secretary ........10-11,15
US Studying Fundraising in US by Persons Linked
  to Terrorist Organizations ................................................12-13

TERRORISM
US Studying Fundraising in US by Persons Linked
  to Terrorist Organizations .................................................12-14

UK
Heathrow Airport Fired on/US Condemnation ...............14-16
  --  Gerry Adams' Visit to US/Conditions .....................14-16

NORTH KOREA
Asst. Secretary Gallucci's Visit to South Korea ..........15-16

(###)

DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING

DPC #40

FRIDAY, MARCH 11, 1994, 1:20 P. M. (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)

MS. SHELLY: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I don't have any announcements to make, so I'll go directly to your questions.

Q Ukraine has stopped shipping its warheads to Russia. Does the State Department have a reaction?

MS. SHELLY: Yes. I've seen some reports of that, and I've been looking into it. I can't say very much on this without having any precise information on what exactly is going on.

We've seen the reports of the difficulties. We expect that Russia and Ukraine will be able to work out any difficulties that they might have of this kind. I think the key point for us is that the implementation of the trilateral agreement, as signed in Moscow on January 14, is going forward, and that is the most important thing.

President Kravchuk recently assured President Clinton that all major issues with regard to the shipment back to Russia had been worked out, and there might be some temporary difficulties of this kind between them, but we certainly expect that any difficulties they do encounter will be worked out.

Q Ukrainian officials are saying the problem is that too much information is being made public about where the warheads are going and such. That's a new angle to me. Does the agreement involving the United States have any reference to how much is made public or not, or is this --

MS. SHELLY: Not specifically that I'm aware of. I've seen the reports also.

Q Do you have any reaction to the events in Bophuthatswana? How's that?

MS. SHELLY: That's pretty good. I was practicing that, too.

Q Is that why you're late?

MS. SHELLY: It's an extremely long word, so I had to practice it a lot of times.

This was addressed, I think, sort of preliminarily yesterday by Assistant Secretary Moose, and because there have been a lot of developments on this, I thought there might be some interest. So in fact I've got a kind of an update on the most recent developments in terms of the context there and also a little bit on the reaction for you.

South African President De Klerk met today for three and a half hours with a representative of Bophuthatswana Government. Following that meeting, he held a press conference in Pretoria, which he said first that the Bophthatswana leadership has agreed to participate fully in the transition process, including participation in the Transitional Executive Council and the Independent Electoral Commission.

The Northwest Christian Democratic Party has registered to contest the elections, apparently subject to an expected approval by the Bophuthatswana Parliament which I understand will meet next Tuesday.

The South African and Bophuthatswana defense forces are in contact with each other. South African defense forces, I understand, are deploying somewhere between 1,500 and 2,000 troops to help restore order.

The South African Government has been in continual contact with the ANC. President De Klerk and Nelson Mandela were scheduled to meet at 10 o'clock a.m., Washington time, to discuss the situation.

As to some of the other developments, I understand that hundreds of other white right-wing militants, reportedly followers of Eugene Terre'Blanche's white right-wing AWB Party, have moved into Mmabatho. We have reports that a vehicle carrying white militants was shot at and up to three of the occupants may have been killed.

Lucas Mangope, the so-called President of Bophuthatswana, departed the capital by helicopter yesterday and reportedly is in his private farm outside the capital.

Paul Taylor, a reporter for the Washington Post, and John Battersby, a reporter for the Christian Science Monitor, were assaulted by right-wing followers. We understand they have received medical attention, but they have not been hospitalized. We have reports that other journalists, both foreign and South African, have also been harassed or attacked.

The United States has never recognized the independence of Bophuthatswana. The South African Government is responsible for law and order and for the protection of citizens and visitors there.

We welcome the South African Government's decision to take action in consultation with the Transitional Executive Council to restore law and order, and to permit the people of the region to participate in the forthcoming election.

We condemn the attacks against the journalists covering the developments, and I would add that intimidation of members of the press is completely unacceptable.

The recent developments underscore the need to have a rapid movement toward a stable constitutional democracy. We again call on all parties to move toward a peaceful transition to democracy and to achieve a full participation in the nation's first non-racial elections.

Q Could I switch subjects?

MS. SHELLY: Sure.

Q There was a report in today's New York Times on -- titled, "U.S. Troops to Release Scandinavians in Bosnia." Could you comment on that and, if so, could you tell us anything about the funding for these U.S. troops?

MS. SHELLY: Again, I think we're pretty much where we were on this yesterday. We had said yesterday and also the day before that the U.S. is considering an increase in the U.S. troops -- the number of U.S. troops which have been committed to UNPROFOR in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and this would be in order to free up some of the troops which are in this contingent from other contributors for possible deployment to UNPROFOR in Bosnia.

The Pentagon also got into this question in a little bit more detail than this. I don't really have anything to add to that.

Q Do you have anything you can comment on in terms of the funding of these U.S. troops?

MS. SHELLY: No, that would not be a State Department question anyway. That would be a question for the Pentagon.

Q Recently, Secretary Christopher in the Subcommittee for Foreign Operations presented material, and he said that the United States focus their interest in Romania, Bulgaria and Albania. Can you please clarify a little bit this explanation more, and why Macedonia is not on the list?

MS. SHELLY: I'm going to have to take that question. I'll have to go back and look at his testimony and then put that in some context.

Q Also I have a question, when will diplomatic relations will be established between United States and Republic of Macedonia?

MS. SHELLY: On that one, I think I'd probably -- I'm going to have to look into that. I think that no final decision on the timing of that has yet been taken. I'll look into that also and see if there's anything else we can say.

Q President Clinton two days ago -- he said that there is no meeting with Greek representative here (inaudible), and he said that the United States will postpone this establishing of diplomatic relations. Can you tell something about this?

MS. SHELLY: Anything that Clinton might have addressed is jurisdictionally a question for the White House. That's not for me to comment on.

Q Why is the State Department not authorizing Ambassador' Flynn's trip back to the United States?

MS. SHELLY: I've seen the reports on that, and I think that some of them have not exactly gotten this correctly. Ambassador Flynn is returning to the United States to attend an official function at the White House. He indicated in connection with this trip some interest in traveling to several other cities.

We've indicated to the Ambassador what activities are compatible with his official position and which of those might be inappropriate. As additional information on those becomes available, we will certainly update our guidance to him. But I'm not really going to go beyond that at this point.

Q What kind of functions is he attending?

MS. SHELLY: I'll have to check on that.

Q Can you tell --

MS. SHELLY: I just know it's a White House function.

Q That's almost -- I mean, what you've told us so far is almost unusable, because you're not specifying where he can go, where he can't go, and why he's coming to Washington, which is the whole point of the story.

MS. SHELLY: It may be your point in the story that you wish to write, but basically what kind of arrangements --

Q We know he's coming from the Vatican, and they're asking here, what does the State Department say? Where can Flynn go, where can't he go, why can't he go some places, and what is his purpose in coming back to Washington? Can you fill any of those holes?

MS. SHELLY: I just said that he was coming back in connection with an official function at the White House. I also indicated that he had expressed a desire to engage in some other travel plans and activities while he's here. The general guidance that we might give to an Ambassador -- and this is any Ambassador -- coming in from the field that puts in similar types of requests, they get guidance from us on what we think is fine and what might be more problematic. This is in the nature of our exchange with them, and I'm not going to get into a stop-by-stop, plan-by-plan description of our exchanges with him.

Q It's not a request for that. First of all, if we had an idea what is this serious business he's coming back for, the story would have some focus. If he's coming back -- I have no idea why he's coming back. If he's coming back to go to a cocktail party and uses that as a launch pad to go around the country, that's one thing. If he's coming back for serious consultations about a serious matter, that gives it a different complexion. Can you give us some help as to why he's coming back? What is the official purpose of his return?

MS. SHELLY: I have said what the official purpose is. I will check and see whether we wish to be any more specific about the function at the White House.

Q Can you tell us, he was to attend or wanted to attend a fund-raising for a Catholic museum in New York. What could possibly be considered inappropriate about that?

MS. SHELLY: I don't know. I don't have anything for you on that.

Q Let me ask a couple more questions. Is there some concern here about recent allegations that Ambassador Flynn and those who may have worked for him at one time may have misused campaign funds? Is that under review here?

MS. SHELLY: I'll have to check.

Q Is Ambassador Flynn himself free to talk about the fact that the State Department has turned down his request to visit some cities?

MS. SHELLY: Why don't you ask him.

Q Specifically, is he permitted to be Grand Marshal of a St. Patrick's Day parade?

MS. SHELLY: I don't know.

Q Can you check?

MS. SHELLY: I'll check.

Q As a general policy matter, are Ambassadors barred by the State Department from engaging in the United States in any activity that might be considered political?

MS. SHELLY: I'll check on that.

Q The State Department issued a statement the other day about the execution of the Sexton of a Synagogue in Iran. Has there been any reaction from the Iranian Government in any way?

MS. SHELLY: To the State Department's statement?

Q Well, the State Department's position, yes.

MS. SHELLY: No, I haven't seen any reaction, but I would certainly want to make sure that I was correct on that. So I'll check on that. Not that I'm aware of, and, if that's not correct, I'll see if we can correct that with a taken question this afternoon.

Q There is also a Consular Information Sheet issued in the wake of the massacre at Hebron, and Americans are advised not to go to East Jerusalem. Does that include the Old City?

MS. SHELLY: I'll have to check on that. We had some guidance on this. I used it at a press briefing a couple of days ago. As to your specific question on that, I'll have to check.

Q While we're on human rights, anything further on the Ohio teenager who was sentenced to be flogged in, where was that, Singapore?

MS. SHELLY: Right.

Q We're being asked by Ohio. You know, you're on the case, you said you're going to keep it up. Is there any development? Anything you can tell us?

MS. SHELLY: Not since I addressed this two days ago. We're continuing to monitor it very closely.

Q (Inaudible) of the young man at this point? Have you had contact with him?

MS. SHELLY: Our Embassy has been in continuous contact with him since his arrest, and I don't have a moment- by-moment readout here of the contacts, but we continue to be in contact with him.

Q Is there anything you can say about communication with the PLO on the status of the U.N. resolution and on resumption of talks?

MS. SHELLY: Yes. Unfortunately, I'm still in a kind of difficult position on this one today, because, as you know, the discussions on the Security Council resolution are still continuing; and also the Secretary is continuing to work this one extremely actively while's he's on the road. So I'm fairly limited in what I can get into.

What I can tell you about as to communications of the Secretary with Arafat, I can't get into the specific nature of these because they're continuing to be worked very actively. The Secretary and the members of the peace team have had numerous contacts with Chairman Arafat and other leaders in the region throughout these last days.

The overall objective is still very much the same. We want to help the parties reconvene their negotiation, complete the implementation negotiations and get the implementation underway. Prompt implementation of the agreement is the surest way to try to change the realities on the ground for the Palestinians.

On the Security Council resolution, as I said, the negotiations still continue among the parties. No agreement has yet been reached. It remains on the agenda. I would note, if I can just make a comment in passing -- although, as I said, unfortunately I'm not in a position to discuss the details of the resolution -- I would note that the resolution should not be viewed in isolation.

Obviously, it's one possible element in a series of steps that would get us back on the road to the implementation of the Declaration of Principles. I cannot predict when the parties will agree on a resolution. What I can tell you is the U.S. will seek a prompt and appropriate Security Council action as soon as the parties agree on the text which addresses the situation.

Q That sounds a little bit like a deal, that it's not something isolated. Can you explain?

MS. SHELLY: I chose my words on this one very carefully, and I'm not prepared to go beyond that.

Q One quick thing on the -- or two quick things on the frequent contacts. Is one of them a form of a letter from Christopher to Arafat?

MS. SHELLY: I don't have anything on a letter.

Q And they've been in frequent contacts, but you can't say whether that contact took the form of a letter.

MS. SHELLY: I don't have anything on a letter.

Q Okay. I didn't ask you about the contents of a letter, I just wondered whether there's been a letter. In whatever these contacts are, you made the statement, you know, the negotiations should resume, blah, blah, blah. Is that the point the U.S. is making in these contacts with the PLO, that we would like to see the negotiations, etc., etc.?

MS. SHELLY: That certainly is the point we have been making with all of the parties concerned, but I'm not going to state that our contacts are restricted to that.

Q No, no. I didn't ask if it was restricted, but is that one of the points that's being made by Christopher and others in contacts with the PLO: Please come back to the table as quick as you can. It's the best way to blah, blah, blah. You know, the U.S. position.

MS. SHELLY: Yes.

Q The U.S. is making that position.

MS. SHELLY: Yes.

Q I don't understand, Christine, that you have no commitment from the PLO to return to talks on the implementation.

MS. SHELLY: I'm not going to get into that.

Q What was the question?

MS. SHELLY: Which question?

Q Just given, just made.

MS. SHELLY: This one? Whether or not we had a firm commitment from the PLO yet or was it true that we didn't have a firm commitment from the PLO yet to come back to the table.

Q Well, you mentioned that this resolution that's being discussed should not be seen in an isolated position. What do you expect to come up at the U.N. on the issue of the negotiations between Israel and the Arab countries and the PLO?

MS. SHELLY: I'm sorry. I'd like to answer that, but I'm just not in a position to get into the details.

Q (inaudible) other resolutions or further discussion in the Security Council?

MS. SHELLY: Again, as to the next steps of this, I'm just not in a position to address that right now. As you know, we have been engaged in intensive contacts on this with the parties in these matters. It's being worked virtually every hour, as we speak. I might say something to you here right now that maybe in an hour might be slightly different than that, and it's just not my position to do this as the briefer here today. This is what the Secretary's working. And, when we have something that we want to say on that more specifically, I'll certainly get out here and say it.

Q We're certainly not trying to intimidate the briefer. What we're trying to get at --

MS. SHELLY: The briefer by definition doesn't get intimidated, but thank you for your gesture. I appreciate that.

Q What we're trying to get at, is the Security Council becoming a principal actor in the negotiations that would seem to have reached the point of possibility of peace by the September 13 Declaration of Principles? Is the United States taking the position in any way that, look, we're on the right track; don't break it up with resolutions that might go contrary to the Declaration of Principles?

MS. SHELLY: You're raising a very, very broad question about the role of the Security Council or the U.N. as a framework to address all of this, and I don't have a cosmic response to your question.

What I can tell you is that the U.N. Security Council is a forum in which the events of two weeks ago are being addressed at this particular point in time. But I cannot take this a step further and say that there is a broader plan or a bigger consequence to it. It's simply a forum in which an action on this -- and to address what happened -- is taking place.

You know that the Security Council resolution has been under discussion for some days on this, and it is simply that resolution which is the focus of the Security Council debate and discussion at this point.

Q Can I ask you, does the U.S. consider the resolution in its current draft form a balanced resolution?

MS. SHELLY: I can't get into that.

Q Wait a minute. The U.S. has a record of vetoing resolutions that aren't balanced.

MS. SHELLY: The U.S. has vetoed resolutions in the past. That's a factual statement.

Q But the rationale usually is, it's not a balanced resolution, so it's kind of critical to know if this is a balanced resolution that the U.S. this time won't veto.

MS. SHELLY: As to the eventual U.S. action on this resolution, again, Barry, I just hope you can appreciate, I'm constrained from getting into that.

Q I really am not asking what the U.S. -- I know what the U.S. is going to do, and I'm not asking what they're going to do. I would like an on-the-record statement from the State Department -- because I don't think there will be at the U.N. -- is this a balanced resolution?

MS. SHELLY: Barry, I will certainly look into that, and I will see if there's anything that the State Department would like to say on this, officially, on the record, this afternoon.

Q What is your assessment as to whether the resolution will actually be voted upon today at the United Nations Security Council?

MS. SHELLY: I don't have any information on that.

Q Are there any more meetings planned on this, like next week, in the near future, like the PLO meeting they had last week?

MS. SHELLY: Again, I don't have any information on that.

Q New subject. Mr. Kozyrev said Russia should court the idea for (inaudible) observers in the occupied territories. Do you have comment about this?

MS. SHELLY: This is very difficult for me on this one today. First of all, Foreign Minister Kozyrev is in the region right now, as you know, and also, once he gets back to Russia, he will then be heading out to meet with Secretary Christopher. Again, throughout this last several days, we have continued our own contacts with the Russians, and the Secretary will also be talking about the Middle East and the general state of play; the way ahead; obviously,also hearing what the Russian ideas on this are in his own meeting.

Again, I'm just constrained by where this is vis-a-vis the Secretary's own work, and I just can't get into the substance.

Q Christine, is it the U.S. view that Kozyrev is being helpful in this process, because that wasn't Israel's view as of a few days ago.

MS. SHELLY: Again on Israel's view, I refer you to Israel, and I don't think it's helpful to me or for the meetings -- for me in the context of today's briefing to get into helpful/unhelpful characterizations.

A few days ago I might have had a little more room for maneuver but today I don't.

Q Could you be helpful on North Korea?

Q One more --

MS. SHELLY: That's probably a value judgment based on the nature of my response. But, wait, before we switch topics.

Q Middle East, a little bit. On that U.N. resolution, has there been -- can you tell us anything -- has the State Department considered the possibility, if requested by the parties, if they agree to an international presence -- has the State Department or the U.S. Government considered a role for U.S. peacekeepers or Russian peacekeepers or anybody's peacekeepers?

MS. SHELLY: As that has not yet been the case, it falls within the domain of hypothetical, and I can't get into it.

Q Can I follow up on this, then?

MS. SHELLY: Sure.

Q Has the State Department prepared in any way, shape or form or considered or consulted with other Departments of the U.S. Government who would pay for the peacekeepers? What would this do to U.S. assessments to the U.N. for peacekeeping? Where would the money come from? Surely, in this building that subject has had to have been discussed.

MS. SHELLY: The general subject of contributions to peacekeeping certainly is one that is discussed. As to your specific question on this, I don't have any information on that.

Q Would you have any comments in general on the last few days in terms of peacekeeping, peacekeeping costs, any comment on letters that have gone from Congress to the White House on the subject of peacekeeping?

MS. SHELLY: I'll look into that.

Q Christine, do you recall since the Clinton Administration came into office whether there has been a clear statement of policy on settlements in the occupied territories; and, if there is such a statement, can you point me to it?

MS. SHELLY: I think our position on settlements is well known. It certainly comes up from time to time in the context of testimony and other things. The briefers also from time to time get those questions as well.

Nothing has changed on that in terms of our position, and I think I can refer you probably to previous statements by officials on that. But I don't have anything -- usually we try to have a little bit of something on that. I'm not sure that it's going to be specifically what you're looking for.

You know, generally speaking that our position on settlements, that the Palestinians and Israelis have agreed that the final status negotiations will cover these issues, and that's also our view. It's a final status issue. Going beyond that, I don't have anything further.

Q What about obstacle to peace, legal or illegal? Do you have anything on either of those questions?

MS. SHELLY: Yes, they're a problem, and they don't help.

Q Legal or illegal?

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

Q I have one more question on the Middle East. Have you had any action with regard to the request from the Palestinians for some way of controlling the resources that are flowing from various parts of the United States to the extremists among the settlers?

MS. SHELLY: I got this question some days ago and said that I would be looking into it, and in fact I have been.

The issue of fund-raising activities in the United States by groups whose members have been involved in terrorism, this is an issue that involves U.S. domestic laws. The Department has been discussing and researching the matter with officials from other relevant agencies, and by that -- I don't know if I have a complete listing of that, but Justice Department, Treasury.

There is an informal interagency working group looking into whether any additional useful steps might be taken under existing laws and regulations on this.

I understand that the work of this group is continuing.

It's a complicated question because it's inter-agency and it's really a process which is worked in the generic context, and as the work of this interagency group is continuing we'll certainly try to shed whatever light we can on their deliberations. And if there's any specific regional or country context in which this is being pursued, we obviously will also try to share that with you.

But that's kind of where we are now in terms of what we can say.

Q Could you take an additional question on that? It's been reported that Dr. Goldstein -- Baruch Goldstein -- was being supported by money that was, indeed, exempt from U.S. taxes; he was being supported under 50l(C)(3). Is the working committee looking into the possibility of cutting off IRS authorization for 50l(C)(3) status for some of those?

MS. SHELLY: Yes, I'll look into that. I don't know whether there is any -- and I would guess, actually, that I'm probably not going to be able to get into a question with that degree of specificity as the work is going on -- but I'll make a good-faith effort to look into it and see if there's anything we can say.

Q A more general basis on that, in order to block contributions, would these organizations in the occupied territories have to be defined as terrorists?

MS. SHELLY: Don't know. I'd have to look into that.

Q Can you look into that?

MS. SHELLY: I'll look into that, but again I don't know how much further. I mean it's taken several days to try to get even a little bit more because of the interagency nature of this and the fact that the interagency group is working on this now. I'll look into it. I'm not real optimistic that I'm going to have much more to say on this probably for some time.

Q Would your remarks also have applied to the funders of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad and others -- so- called extremists in the Middle East?

MS. SHELLY: Yes. I don't have anything for you on that.

Q Well, I mean is the interagency group also looking into this sort of funding?

MS. SHELLY: As I said, my understanding is that their approach to this is generic about addressing the issue of support for groups whose members are involved in terrorism.

As to the specific groups, I don't have any information on that with me. On all these things I'll look into that and see if there's anything else we want to say that is country- or group-specific, but I'm also telling you I'm not real optimistic we're going to take this beyond what I've just told you today.

Q Re the two attacks at Heathrow Airport, after the first mortar attack Gerry Adams on television on Thursday night refused to denounce the attacks and said in fact there would be more. His temporary visa to allow him to come here -- part of the grounds given for it was that he would denounce violence, and apparently the Embassy in Dublin was satisfied he would renounce violence. What is the reaction, (l), to the attacks; and, second, Gerry Adams now saying there will be more attacks after telling the U.S. Government that he would denounce violence?

MS. SHELLY: Well, O.K. I think on this, just in terms of what we know and what our reaction is, what occurred today was the second incident on this. Apparently, a number of incendiaries were fired at London's Heathrow Airport earlier today and these particular devices did not detonate.

We've not seen any claims of responsibility for the latest terrorist act. I don't know if there's anything in the last hour or so on the wire. Our Embassy in London is reporting that the British authorities are still investigating this.

The Provisional IRA did acknowledge responsibility for the March 9th mortar attack at the airport.

On the policy question, the United States condemns the criminal terrorist acts that were perpetrated this week at Heathrow. They endangered thousands of innocent lives.

As we've stated on previous occasions, we reject the notion of terrorism as a legitimate political instrument.

As to your specific question about Gerry Adams, Gerry Adams was permitted one limited visit to the United States for one specific purpose. We had hoped that it would further the peace process on which the Irish and the British governments have embarked.

The United States continues to support the efforts of the Irish and the British governments to respond to the desire of the overwhelming majority of people in northern Ireland for peace and for political progress. And once again we call upon all parties who claim a legitimate stake in the future of Northern Ireland to unreservedly renounce violence.

Q And the Russian proposal for a second international conference similar to Madrid is a dead letter now? Is that finished, or is still on the table somewhere? Are the Russians still pushing it?

MS. SHELLY: Yes. Again, the Russians made their proposal. They've discussed it with some of the parties in the region. Kozyrev will also be sharing his thinking with Secretary Christopher when they meet. We indicated on this yesterday, and I think at least on one previous occasion this week, that we considered that getting the direct talks -- the bilateral track -- going again, that that was the best way that we saw to make progress here.

And beyond that I really can't help you.

Q Can you do North Korea? Have you got something?

MS. SHELLY: Yes. Again, this is my permanent watching brief on this one.

On the inspections and on the South/North talks, I don't think there's any news on this within the last 24 hours.

The only thing I can really add on Korea is that Assistant Secretary for Political-Military Affairs Bob Gallucci and officials from our bureaus of Political-Military Affairs and East Asian and Pacific Affairs are in Seoul for meetings with top Republic of Korea officials, including President Kim and Foreign Minister Han, on the North Korean nuclear issue.

They're a continuation of our close consultations with South Korea on this issue. The talks started today, and they'll also continue tomorrow.

There were some reports on this that Assistant Secretary Gallucci, who you know would head the U.S. team in a third round of talks, would only meet the North Koreans if the IAEA inspections were completed and the envoys exchanged. And on that, North Korea understands that the U.S. agreement to begin the third round, which is scheduled for March 2lst, is based on that premise -- the premise that the inspections will be fully implemented and the North/South dialogue will resume through the exchange of envoys.

He's reiterated that understanding in his meetings with the South Korean officials.

Q Do you have anything on inspections?

MS. SHELLY: No, nothing new on the inspections.

Q Thank you.

MS. SHELLY: Sorry. I'm sorry, George. There was one more.

Q Just two points. To go back to, (l), on the Gerry Adams' statement and what he said -- that there will be more attacks. I mean have you any reaction to his statement that the IRA will make more attacks? "Spectacular," I think, is what he called them.

MS. SHELLY: Yes. I don't have a specific reaction to that. I mean as I mentioned to you, we reject -- and we're reiterating our rejection -- of the notion of terrorism as a legitimate political instrument; and we once again call on the IRA to reject terrorism.

Q Just one last point.

MS. SHELLY: Yes.

Q Douglas Hurd in a BBC interview said that he hoped that the IRA's dishonesty was obvious to everyone everywhere. Is it obvious to State?

MS. SHELLY: I'm sorry? What was your question?

Q He said that the IRA's dishonesty is now obvious to everyone everywhere. Is it obvious?

MS. SHELLY: Yes. I'd want to look at the statement, and I think I would have to think about it a little more before I'd want to give a response to that. I think I've told you what we want to say on this today.

Thanks.

(The briefing concluded at l:53 p.m.)

(###)

To the top of this page