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



Monday, May 2, 1994

                                      Briefer:  Christine Shelly

Council of the Americas Conference at Department
  Today and Tomorrow ............................1
No Daily Press Briefing Tomorrow ................1

Prospects for US Military Intervention ..........1-2
Efforts at Diplomatic Solution ..................2-4
Tougher Sanctions/Draft Resolution ..............2-4
--  Observers for Dominican Republic Border .....2,4

Situation Update ................................5
UN Call for Ceasefire/Humanitarian Aid ..........5
Sources of Arms/US Demarches ....................5,8
Efforts at Negotiated Settlement ................5
US Contacts with Parties/UN/Others ..............5-6
Refugees Departing/Remaining ....................6
UN Forces in Country/Peacekeeping/US Contribution6-7

Reported Statement of Department Official re:
  Production of Fissile Material ................8-9

Safe Areas ......................................9-10
Update on Fighting ..............................11-12,16-17
--  Withdrawal of Serbs from Gorazde ............12
US Objectives ...................................18

UN Sanctions ....................................12-13
--  Flushing Turkish Oil Line ...................12-13

US Embassies Closing .............................13-15

Withdrawal from Military Armistice Commission ...15
Meeting Last Week with US in New York ...........15
US Conditions for Dialogue ......................15-16


DPC #69


MS. SHELLY: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I have one short announcement, a reminder that the Council of the Americas is hosting a conference in the Department today and tomorrow, at which senior executives from U.S. multinational firms operating in Latin America and private sector representatives from other countries in the hemisphere are attending.

Speakers include Timothy Wirth, Counselor of the Department; Mickey Kantor, the U.S. Trade Representative; and Ron Brown, Secretary of Commerce.

A complete schedule and arrangements for press coverage is available in the Press Office.

My second item is to let you know that we will not have a regular press briefing tomorrow, Tuesday, May 3. The Press Office, of course, will be open for business as usual.

I'll be happy to take your questions.

Q There are lots of stories out today, suggesting that the Administration may be considering the use of military force in Haiti. Do you have anything interesting to say on that subject?

MS. SHELLY: I don't know whether what I would have to say would be interesting or not. I think that you know on that particular point, which other senior officials have also addressed, that we are committed to fully exploring every diplomatic option in our efforts to resolve this crisis peacefully.

And as to the possibility of military intervention, the Administration has neither ruled in nor out this particular option.

Q Is it under more active discussion now than it was, say, a month or two ago?

MS. SHELLY: I think we have always kept all of the possible options with respect to Haiti under review, and I think it's in that same situation.

Q You can't answer the question better than that, as to whether it's more actively being discussed now than it was a month or two ago?

MS. SHELLY: The emphasis here, George, is that we are on the diplomatic track on this, as you know. We have talked about the different elements of the initiative in our policy. The first element of this is, of course, to go to the U.N. Security Council with a view to tightening the sanctions resolution.

Last Friday we provided all of the Council members with a copy of this draft resolution. The Council will meet to discuss the resolution as early as tomorrow, and, as I mentioned before, we expect there to be relatively rapid movement on this front.

We're also working with the government in the region on tightening the enforcement of the existing sanctions which are in place. We continue to believe that sanctions will generate further pressure for the military leadership to relinquish power. We are working with the Government of the Dominican Republic on ways to halt the fuel leakage which is widely known to have occurred along the Dominican and Haitian border; and the Dominican Republic itself has also approached the U.N. Secretariat and has asked for assistance in establishing observers on the border.

We fully support this plan, and we still believe that the emphasis on sanctions and toughening sanctions and tightening up the existing sanctions is the best way to bring additional pressures to bear on the military regime.

Q But, Christine, along the patterns that you've used -- that this Administration has used elsewhere, hasn't it been found that a combination of diplomatic and actual or threatened use of force is the most effective combination? Is that pattern also applicable to Haiti?

MS. SHELLY: I don't want to make country comparisons or crisis comparisons here. We laid out what our interests were, what our objectives were, in the past in the context of the Governors Island agreement. Our overall broad objectives are, certainly, still to seek the return of democracy to Haiti and the return of President Aristide.

Certain measures have been put in place by the international community, by the U.N., by the OAS. We are certainly, as I just mentioned, vigorously pursuing those, including tightening them. The existing regime certainly has had some holes in it. Those holes need to be plugged.

There is also a very necessary humanitarian element that has gone along in tandem with the tough sanctions and with an effort to mitigating the impact on the poorest of Haiti's population.

But nonetheless we believe that the military must be restrained in their actions. They must be led to understand that they cannot continue to go on like this, and that they need to step aside. And I don't want to get into a speculative discussion about the military intervention option. I don't think that's my role here or useful for me to get into.

As I said, we have not ruled that in or ruled that out at this point, but the elements of our policy have been laid out, and we will continue to work the sanctions track and also to try to do our very best to mitigate the adverse effects of that on the Haitian people.

Q Can you help us with some of the details of the proposed U.N. resolution? If in fact it is passed and all charter and all private aircraft flights into Haiti are banned by this, how are you going to enforce that?

MS. SHELLY: I would really hesitate to get too much into the details of this, because this is a resolution whose elements are still very much under discussion up in New York. I think that the precise modalities of the resolution, including enforcement, are still under discussion, and I think it would just not be appropriate for me to get ahead of myself here in talking about implementation of something which has actually not been adopted yet.

So at this precise moment, I think I really have to decline to go any further.

Q How much leakage from the Dominican Republic does the U.S. Government believe there is? Substantial?

MS. SHELLY: I think it's hard for us to have an absolutely clear picture on this. I think that it's quite clear that there has been considerable fuel leakage. The reports that we hear about how much automobile traffic there is and things like that, I think indicate that it has been certainly significant.

We believe that the military has been in a rather singular position on this to exploit the conditions of scarcity which have occurred, and that they've been able to reap a kind of monopolistic profit as a result of the supplies that they have been able to control and move around.

So I think we could talk a little bit probably about the numbers and the impact on the economy, but I think it's very, very difficult to get a quantitative handle or a value handle on the degree to which the leakage has occurred. But it certainly has been something that has been significant, and it's something which has been a great source of concern to us and to others who have been trying to work the issue.

Q Were there specific decisions taken at the White House meeting yesterday that you know of -- the principals' meeting?

MS. SHELLY: I'm afraid that principals' meetings at the White House are normally not mine to get into. I'll have to decline that one too.

Q Does the draft resolution specifically mention any of the Haitian military rulers?

MS. SHELLY: Again, I'm just going to not get into that. I don't want to get into discussions of the draft at this point. I may have a little bit more to say on that tomorrow -- or Wednesday -- but I don't have anything right now.

Q New subject?

MS. SHELLY: Still Haiti?

Q Yes. Are you ready to send troops to the border between Haiti and the Dominican to enforce the sanctions?

MS. SHELLY: I think on that particular point, whatever we might do, I think we would do in the context of the assistance that the United Nations would render to the Dominican Republic in helping them to actually place observers along the border. We fully support that plan, and I don't know what the exact elements of that would be -- where the people might come from -- but I certainly would not rule it out.

Other Haiti?

Q New subject.

MS. SHELLY: New subject?

Q Yes.

MS. SHELLY: Okay, who --

Q Rwanda. (Inaudible)

MS. SHELLY: Rwanda. Do I have something new on Rwanda. Would you like to be a tiny little bit more specific? What's the --

Q Is the Administration asking other countries in Africa to go in militarily to Rwanda to help resolve the crisis, and which countries would those be?

MS. SHELLY: Maybe I can review a little bit where we are on both our contacts and what we know about the current situation. First of all, the fighting in Kigali and other parts of Rwanda continued throughout the weekend. The RPS continues to tighten its grip around the city and Kigali, but neither side appears to have gained a clear advantage over the other.

About 450 UNAMIR troops remain in Kigali, and at this moment there are no plans to reduce that number. There was quite a bit of action up in the Security Council on Friday afternoon on this. The Security Council issued a Presidential statement which called for an immediate cease-fire and end to the killings, and an urgent international effort to meet the humanitarian needs of the displaced people in Rwanda and in bordering states.

The statement further appealed to all states to refrain from providing arms to Rwanda and reiterated its conviction that the Arusha peace agreements remain the only viable framework for a resolution to the conflict.

The United States supports these views. We have made demarches to other states in the area to try to stop the arms flow to Rwanda, and we're also urging a United Nations Security Council resolution to implement a mandatory arms embargo.

We support ongoing efforts by the United Nations and Tanzanian officials to broker peace negotiations in Tanzania between the two sides. I understand that a meeting has tentatively been scheduled for tomorrow in Arusha.

At the end of last week we gave some indication in an answer to a question that we posted about what the nature of our contacts with the various parties had been. I can add to that, that senior Administration officials have continued to be in daily contact with both sides of the Rwandan conflict.

We have consistently and forcefully told them that the violence must stop. We are pursuing contacts with a number of governments and organizations in an attempt to bring an end to the bloodshed. We've spoken with key leaders in Rwanda's neighboring states. In particular, we have spoken with the Tanzanian President who is, as you know, the facilitator of the Rwandan peace talks which are scheduled to resume tomorrow.

We've also had contacts with the OAU Secretary General. We have been maintaining our steady pace of diplomatic contacts with the French, with Belgian and with the German Governments. We've also consulted with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees as well.

The refugee situation, which I think you have some details of on this, is that the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees has confirmed that approximately 250,000 Rwandans crossed the border into Tanzania in the space of 48 hours over the weekend. Tanzania has accorded them safe haven in keeping with their long-standing tradition of welcoming refugees.

The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies describe this movement of refugees as the fastest and largest population movement the Federation has dealt with in the last 75 years.

The flow of refugees came to a halt on Saturday when the border crossing at Rusumo was closed. The Rwandan Patriotic Front, the RPF, has taken control of the bridge and is preventing any further refugees from crossing over. We understand that as many as 300,000 additional refugees may be waiting to try to cross into Tanzania.

I have some other details which you might want to get after the briefing about what else is being done to care for the refugees in Tanzania. I'd also like to draw your attention to the statement that the President made on the radio on Saturday, in which he also called for an immediate cease-fire and a return to the negotiations.

Q The U.S. supports sending in some sort of multinational force to intervene in Rwanda?

MS. SHELLY: I think there is a hope that there will be the possibility of an enlarged international presence there, presumably under United Nations auspices, but this is something which is under discussion right now, and certainly with a view to trying to get the parties separated and trying to -- once a cease-fire can be achieved, their presence I think will be necessary not only to try to facilitate political talks and reconciliation but also very strongly the need to facilitate the humanitarian aid effort.

So it's certainly our hope that the U.N. peacekeeping force will stay in place. It can be expanded, and the U.N., working with the OAU and other international organizations would be able to bring to bear their influence on these needs.

Q Is the U.S. willing to pay, and is the U.S. willing to send American troops to be part of that?

MS. SHELLY: The United States certainly lends its support and certainly would expect to assume its share of whatever burden that might be, assuming that that is done through United Nations auspices.

Q Financial, not troops, is that right?

MS. SHELLY: At this point I can concentrate on the financial, and no decision has -- the issue of troops has not yet come up.

Q Can we leave Rwanda?

MS. SHELLY: Was that on Rwanda or another --

Q Rwanda.

MS. SHELLY: Want another question on Rwanda?

Q You mentioned the international force would be under the U.N. peacekeeping. Does that mean that the overall philosophy is just that the fighting continues and has to play itself out, because I believe that the RPF say they're not interested in coming to the negotiating table.

MS. SHELLY: I think there is some kind of a tentative commitment to attend these talks tomorrow in Tanzania, and I think that there has been some posturing on both sides about the conditions under which they would agree to cease fire or to stop fighting.

But certainly the idea is to get them to agree to a cease-fire, get them to stop the killings, and then to try to address the more fundamental political problems.

Q One more on Rwanda. Does the United States Government have any information that Uganda has supplied arms to the various factions inside Rwanda?

MS. SHELLY: I'm going to have to take that question. I haven't seen anything specific to that effect. I can't rule it out. If it turns out that it's something which is via only viable more sensitive sources, I of course am not going to be in a position to comment on it. But I'll look into that and see if we have anything we can say.

Q Along those lines, which are the governments that the U.S. has demarched in terms of arms flow?

MS. SHELLY: I don't know if we're going to want to get into that. I'll put that into the "look into it and see if we have something we want to say" category.

Q I'm sure there's not a great desire to get into it, but nonetheless --

MS. SHELLY: That's why I didn't formally agree to take the question.

Q There has been a furor in India over the remarks of a senior Administration official last week at the Overseas Writers Club luncheon. The official said that the goals of the U.S. were to seek to verify an end to the production of fissile material in India, and this official also clearly said that Mr. Robert Einhorn, who led the delegation to the talks in London last week, would be seeking -- this would be one of the goals he would be seeking.

Would you have any comment on that?

MS. SHELLY: I don't have any comment right now. I'll look into that and see what we might be able to say this afternoon.

Q Nothing at all about the London talks? It was pretty hush- hush. No one knew about it. And traditionally the State Department has posted such bilateral talks up on the board.

MS. SHELLY: Actually, I think on the talks themselves, we did have some guidance on this last week. I just don't have it with me. So if I could ask you to check first with the Press Office and see what we had the end of last week, and then if that doesn't address your question, we'll endeavor to do so later this afternoon.

Q And this particular question, too, about the senior official and the fact that she clearly said that Mr. Robert Einhorn will be seeking to cap the nuclear situation?

MS. SHELLY: Yes. That one I'm a little bit constrained here, because we have lots of State Department speakers who are making remarks in addresses all the time to different groups, and it's absolutely impossible for us to chase every single one of these down and to check a particular phrase or words or statements on something.

Again on this one I will check with our area of the world that handles that and see if there's anything we want to say, but at the moment I'm not in a position to comment.

Q May I follow that up? This is very important in India. Is it possible to get a full text of the statement that Lynn Davis delivered. By now it is known it was Lynn Davis. There's no longer any hiding her identity. Is it possible to give us a full text of her statement?

MS. SHELLY: Let me check and see. We frequently do make such texts available. Let me see what I can do -- see if we can release that.

Q (Inaudible) -- Talbott was in New Delhi -- was it (inaudible) that the talks were in London -- is it impossible to put any pressure on India?

MS. SHELLY: I don't have an answer to that one. I don't know.

Q Just a quickie follow-up, the one about the fact that Lynn Davis is, after all, the point person for nuclear proliferation affairs, so it was just -- not just another State Department official making statement at a luncheon. So it's pretty significant as to what she says, and she articulated U.S. policy in that speech.

MS. SHELLY: Okay. So what's the question?

Q The question being that it was just not another State Department official just at a luncheon making a speech. Here she was articulating U.S. non-proliferation goals, so the reason being that what she said is pretty significant.

MS. SHELLY: Let me look into that. As I said, I would, and we'll see what we can post this afternoon.

Q Does the United States support the idea of making Brcko a safe area?

MS. SHELLY: I don't have a specific answer for you on that. As I mentioned at the end of last week, we have been looking into what we might be able to do of a preventative character to try to make sure that the fighting doesn't just leave safe areas and go into other areas.

This is something which we have had some exchanges on with our allies, but it has not reached the point yet where we can comment specifically on what that might be.

Certainly, the point of this is not just to have the safe areas be the only areas that are safe and the rest of the country is not protected. The idea, of course, is to try to make sure that all of Bosnia-Herzegovina can be as secure as possible.

So that's something we're looking into, and I hope we might have a little more to say on that before too long.

Q At a luncheon on Friday, the Bosnian Ambassador, Sven Alkalaj, did testify about the movement of equipment to -- Serbian equipment from Gorazde being set up around Brcko, and he did say definitely -- and this was confirmed by his secretary this morning -- that there was an intention of the Serbs to initiate hostilities at Brcko.

Now back to this gentleman's question: What is the U.S. and the U.N. going to do to protect Brcko?

MS. SHELLY: On the second point yet, I've just said that these are -- how to take this beyond the safe areas is something which is under discussion now. We indicated at the end of last week that there was an identifiable -- or at least we're actually quoting UNPROFOR and their reports, saying that there did appear to be indications of some of the weapons from Gorazde or possibly from other places heading in that general direction.

But we'd also made it very clear that the intentions -- notwithstanding what others may have said -- that the intentions of those forces remained unclear. It's something we're watching extremely closely, and we are also trying to ascertain exactly what those intentions might be, and then also to try to do what the international community can do via its presence there through UNPROFOR to try to expand the concept of security to other areas.

But, as I said, I'm just constrained right now. Some exchanges are taking place on this, and we're just not in a position to get any more specific.

Q Can you provide us with U.S. comments on the gun battle, the tank and artillery battle, that happened between the Danish U.N. forces and Bosnian Serb forces? Were air strikes called for? Why not? What is the U.S. view of that exchange in terms of how dangerous it is?

MS. SHELLY: In terms of the fighting situation generally in Bosnia and other areas, I can share with you what I have on this. The situation around Gorazde was relatively stable over the weekend. Ten to fifteen Bosnian Serb troops attempted to withdraw weapons from a depot inside the Sarajevo exclusion zone but were turned back by French UNPROFOR troops after a four-hour standoff.

There were also reports of sporadic machine gun fire reported in the outskirts of Sarajevo on Sunday. UNPROFOR reports that three shells, apparently Bosnian Serb, hit the outskirts of Sarajevo in violation of the cease-fire. I understand that no casualties were reported.

Around Tuzla in northern Bosnia, we can confirm that Danish UNPROFOR troops came under attack by Bosnian Serb forces and returned fire, apparently destroying a Serb munitions dump and killing at least eight individuals. The UNPROFOR troops, I understand, suffered no casualties.

There were reports of several Bosnian Serb shells hitting the town of Olovo in northern Bosnia.

As to the second part of your question about the airstrikes, I'm not in a position from here to really pronounce judgment on airstrikes versus no airstrikes. A lot of the things that occur, the incidents that occur, don't fall exactly within the categories of actions. Sometimes they are on the border. Sometimes they involve small arms fire rather than the use of heavy weapons. Sometimes the activities take place out of the exclusion zones.

I think that the question specifically about when there are airstrikes and if particular categories of incidents fall within that, I think those are most appropriately directed to UNPROFOR. We are not military commanders here. We cannot make the determinations here about what's happening on the ground, and we cannot make precise determinations here about what constitutes violations and what triggers airstrikes.

Q To my knowledge, at no time during the Bosnian conflict has any U.N. force returned as much fire as the Danish troops did yesterday. It was a very heavy barrage from them back at the Bosnian Serbs. My question is, what does this say to the U.S. Government about how deep U.N. forces are getting here and what Serb intentions are?

MS. SHELLY: I think what it says -- the bottom line of what it says is that when UNPROFOR troops are fired on in the kind of way that they were by Bosnian Serb forces, they're going to fire back.

Q Do you have any update on the Serbs who remain in Gorazde?

MS. SHELLY: Not a lot. I've been trying to check on this and see if we could get more information. UNPROFOR has confirmed that all of the formed units of Bosnian Serb army have withdrawn from Gorazde, but they're also reporting that something like 60 Bosnian Serb police remain within the three kilometer zone around Gorazde in the village of Zupici.

They are armed, but apparently they do not have any heavy weapons in their possession. UNPROFOR observers are on the scene. They are working the matter as rapidly as they can, and they're hopeful that this situation will be resolved within a couple of days.

Q What about reports (inaudible) radio said somewhere that the Serbs have been moving heavy weapons back into the zone around Sarajevo.

MS. SHELLY: There were a couple of reports to that effect, and we looked into those, and I could not get any confirmation that that had in fact taken place.

Q I had a question on sanctions on Iraq.

MS. SHELLY: Can we not leave Bosnia? Can we come back? You'll be the next non-Bosnia question.

Q I was told by the Embassy this morning that shelling continues into Sarajevo area, at Tuzla and at Bihac -- at those three villages.

MS. SHELLY: I don't have that information with me. I'll check. Other Bosnia questions? Okay, next subject.

Q Last week, Turkey decided to flush 12 million barrels of oil in the Iraqi-Turkish pipeline, and the United States was not too happy with that. Then Secretary Christopher again last week announced that there would be a new land-based inspection regime to help out Jordan who is also suffering, you know, from the sanctions.

Is there any similar inspection regime in the works for Turkey, and what's the Administration's current stand on Turkey's decision?

MS. SHELLY: I've got a little bit of information about the Turkish pipeline question with Iraq, and I'll certainly share with you what I've got.

The Government of Turkey approached us about its interest in flushing its oil pipeline with Iraq in order to preserve it. We've had discussions with the Turkish Government about this matter, including a discussion which Ambassador Albright had with Turkish Foreign Minister Cetin in New York on April 27.

We understand the importance to Turkey's economic future of being able to preserve what for them is certainly a very vital economic asset. We've made it clear that we would be opposed to any steps that would violate United Nations sanctions against Iraq. Turkish officials have told us that the Turkish Government wants to act within the framework of U.N. resolutions on this particular action.

We're continuing our discussions with the Government of Turkey on this subject.

To my knowledge, the flushing has not actually taken place. I'm going to check that to see if that is the case. It was my understanding that it had not taken place. But that discussions were underway about the modalities of this, if it would be possible in some way under this. I don't have much more in the way of details on this, but I would be somewhat surprised to learn that the flushing had actually taken place. It was my understanding that this was under discussion but had not yet occurred.

I'm going to check on that and, if that is not the case -- if the flushing in fact has taken place or if I can get you any more details regarding that, I'll put an answer up this afternoon.

Q Can we do Grenada?


Q What do you have on the prospective closing of the Embassy in Grenada, please?

MS. SHELLY: Yes, I have a bit on this. The United Government has had to examine a number of ways to reduce Federal spending in an effort to address the budget deficit. Unfortunately, the Department of State has concluded that it cannot continue to staff and fund all of its missions overseas because of the high cost of maintaining permanent staff in many countries.

It has determined that it would be possible to retain diplomatic and consular relationships in many cases through regionally accredited Ambassadors and staffs as well as through the use of consular agents.

We already have used this concept in some locations in the Caribbean. After a long and difficult examination, the Department has come to the painful conclusion to recommend the closure of Embassy Grenada.

We plan to transfer responsibility for maintaining our diplomatic relations with Grenada to our Embassy in Bridgetown, Barbados. We do plan to establish a consular agency in Grenada.

This action is to be taken only in response to budgetary pressures and in no way reflects on Grenadian-American relations or on the commitment of the United States Government to our friends in the region.

Currently, the proposal to close the Embassy is before the United States Congress which, by law, has a 45-day period for review and comment.

The Department notified Congress on March 29 of its intention to close the post so that the 45-day period would actually expire on May 13. Actual closure is scheduled for sometime in mid-June.

Q Could you give us a clear idea of the budgetary pressures? Are you mandated to reduce spending by "X" amount in this fiscal year, for example?

MS. SHELLY: I will take that question as to the precise amount. As we had to meet our funding limitations on this, we conducted a rather extensive review which was worldwide on this. I have with me only some data on the Latin American situation here.

It was also determined necessary that our Embassies in Antigua and Barbuda would be closed effective this summer. Earlier this year we closed our consulate in Maracaibo, Venezuela. During Fiscal '93, we closed our consulate in Mazatlan, Mexico, and our Consulate General in Martinique.

In light of the need to reduce Federal spending, we're also trying to identify new ways of doing business, as I indicated above, through the concept of regionally accredited Ambassadors and staffs and consular agents.

I don't know if we actually have the data that I can share with you about the precise financial impact of a single closing, but I'll see what we can provide in the way of the numerical situation on this, either in terms of individual posts, or posts in the region that might be closing, or overall.

Q How big was this facility -- two people, ten people?

MS. SHELLY: I understand that there were two Americans who were diplomatic personnel who will be affected by this decision.

Q Including an Ambassador?

MS. SHELLY: It's just two Americans. I think it was an Ambassador and one other, it's my understanding.

Q On North Korea, I have two questions. Do you have any reaction on North Korea's unilateral withdrawal from the Military Armistice Commission? It was reported yesterday.

My second question is, when do you expect the second United States and North Korea working-level contact will take place in New York?

MS. SHELLY: On the first part of your question, I addressed that, I think, at Thursday's press briefing, so you might want to check the transcript. We expressed regret at the announcement but we also indicated that we needed some time to actually study fully what the consequences of the action would be. We indicated that we also considered that the Armistice was still in place.

On your second -- I'm sorry, what was your second question? About the contacts in New York?

Q Yes.

MS. SHELLY: I think we mentioned on Thursday or Friday that another meeting had occurred between the North Koreans and ourselves up in New York. We didn't give a lot of details on that meeting as is usually the case.

We consider that the ball is in -- on the discussions with respect to the third round of talks that we would have, the ball is in Pyongyang's court. As North Korea is well aware, it must satisfy the IAEA's needs for inspections in order to maintain the safeguards before a third round of the bilateral talks can begin.

In addition, we have made clear that the U.S.-North Korean dialogue will not be possible if the defueling of the five megawatt reactor occurs without the IAEA inspectors present.

Substantive South-North dialogue on the nuclear issue remains vital to a thorough and broad settlement of the nuclear issue. We expect Seoul and Pyongyang to work out an arrangement to reopen their dialogue at the earliest possible time.

Q Your answer of last week was on the suggestion of the peace agreement of North Korea. But after that, they announced a unilateral withdrawal from the Armistice Commission. So is it the same?

MS. SHELLY: I did address what our reaction to that announcement was. I did address that, I think it was last Thursday. But we also indicated that we were going to take some time to actually study what the announcement meant and the full extent of the communication. We certainly indicated our regret with that announcement and the intention that it signaled, but we also considered that the Armistice was still in effect.

I'll look and see if we're prepared to say anything more on this. But it may be that for the moment we still have this announcement under study.

Q Christine, I've got a housekeeping question. Is it tomorrow that you are releasing the Patterns of Global Terrorism Report, and is there going to be a briefing coinciding with it?

MS. SHELLY: We expect that we will be releasing it shortly. We haven't actually released it yet. I expect that that would be occurring sometime this week. I will also check in to see what kind of public arrangements we would be making about rolling it out for backgrounders or whatever. I'll have to check on that point.

Q There is no fix on date?

MS. SHELLY: I don't have anything.

Sorry, there was one more question.

Q This is from a couple of days ago -- on Bosnia again. Why do you think it was that some high U.N. officials were criticizing the United States? They said that there had been overstated reports of the damage in Gorazde and that, really, the hospital -- just some windows were broken and not that many people -- I forget the figures, but they sort of downgraded how many people had been killed.

Do you think there's a problem with the information that's getting out or perhaps the seriousness of the assault on Gorazde was overstated at all?

MS. SHELLY: I'm not really sure I'm in a good position to make a definitive judgment about that. We did address that a little bit. I think UNPROFOR indicated itself that at the time when the siege was actually taking place, it was certainly a situation of a kind of chaos and panic going on and it made it very difficult to assess exactly the extent of the casualties and those wounded.

On the wounding side, I think they originally thought that there might be something like 2,000 people who would need to be medically evacuated. In the end, the number that was evacuated, I think, was somewhat less than a 1,000.

So UNPROFOR itself, which, again, is the organization in the best position to both make assessments of things and also obviously revise them, when that is appropriate to do so, they did so and they indicated that the casualties -- certainly, there is a lot of collateral damage to the Gorazde area. I don't know whether there was any kind of estimate about that.

But as to the numbers of casualties and wounded, both of those figures were revised downward. I don't think it was with any intention of trying to over-dramatize the picture. I think it was simply very difficult for them, in that particular mode, and until they were actually able to get a significant presence deployed into Gorazade to actually to take a look around itself, it was very difficult for them to come up with an accurate estimate of at least the casualties and the wounded people.


Q Boutros Ghali has apparently laid down the law to some senior U.N. officials in Bosnia, as one of the wire stories headlined it. He's told them to shut up. Is the U.S. satisfied with the way things are playing out now?

MS. SHELLY: There have been a lot of exchanges on this already, and I don't want to throw fuel on the fire here. We can appreciate sitting back here that the situation out on the ground is very tense. It often is very difficult to get information from one part to another. There is a lot of pressure and a lot of stress.

I think sometimes people have said remarks that were perhaps made in the peak of frustration and maybe not something that when they had the chance to give a considered view, they would necessarily have said again.

There have been things which have been said probably by most of the parties involved in this, some of which have perhaps not been the most appropriate statements at the time. When individuals or nations feel that something has been said that is not appropriate, they obviously direct those protests to appropriate authorities, either seeking clarification or expressing their views on what transpired.

But there has been a lot of coverage on this, on some of the exchanges of remarks, and I just don't think it's very productive for me to get any more further into it.

Q Do you have a State Department assessment of what the Bosnian Serbs, with their weapons and their troops and now their movements, are going to do next? What is their intention? Are they going to make peace or are they going to go back to making war?

MS. SHELLY: What we want to do, of course, is to get a cessation of hostilities, get the parties back to the negotiating table to sort out the territorial issues that are facing them, and to obviously bring a comprehensive solution to the conflict that will result in an end of the military confrontation.

But as to the particular intentions of Bosnian Serbs or any of the other parties, for that matter, I just don't think it's appropriate for me, as the briefer, to say what those intentions are. We're not the ones who are working at UNPROFOR. All of the presence out there on the ground and all of the envoys and the special negotiators are working toward the goals which I've described, with a view to trying to bring an end to the fighting.

I don't have a crystal ball. I can't predict what those intentions are, but we hope that in the end they will be differences that will be settled peacefully and not on the battlefield.

Q Thank you.

MS. SHELLY: Thank you.

(Press briefing concluded at 1:46 p.m.)


To the top of this page