US DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING MAY 20, 1994 U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING I N D E X Friday, May 20, 1994 Briefers: Robert Gallucci Michael McCurry NORTH KOREA Briefing by Ambassador Gallucci ................. 1-11 -- Opening Statement ........................... 2-3 -- Defueling of Reactor/IAEA Access ............ 3-8,14 -- Contacts with US in New York ................ 7 -- GoK Position on IAEA Inspections ............ 6-11 -- Conditions for Continuing Dialogue .......... 7-11 EASTERN EUROPE Under Secretary Davis' Visit to Discuss Security Issues ........................................ 12-13 VIETNAM Secretary's Meeting with Deputy Prime Minister .. 12 Prospects for Liaison Offices for US/GoV ........ 13 DEPARTMENT Resignation of Ambassador Djerejian ............. 13,17,19-20 HAITI US Policy re: Boatpeople/Implementation ......... 14 New UN Sanctions Become Effective Tomorrow ...... 14-15 US Sanctions .................................... 14-15 Discussions at UN ............................... 15 CHINA Prospects for MFN ............................... 15-16 CYPRUS Negotiations .................................... 17-18 BOSNIA Contact Group's Meeting at the Department ........ 18 US-Russian Cooperation .......................... 19 NATO Prospects for Russian Membership in Partnership for Peace ..................................... 19
DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING
FRIDAY, MAY 20, 1994, 1:10 P.M. (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)
MR. McCURRY: Good afternoon everybody. I'll do my portion of these proceedings a little while later, but I want to start with a special guest star, given that it's Friday and given that there's important news that you're all aware of today regarding North Korea.
I've asked Ambassador Bob Gallucci to start the briefing today to really get into some of the, frankly, complex and detailed discussions that have been underway with the IAEA and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea concerning the resolution of the North Korean nuclear issue and also the inspections that have been underway at the nuclear facility in North Korea.
I caution you in advance, I've asked Ambassador Gallucci only to review what we have heard from the IAEA and what our understanding is of some of the activities underway at the facility. He's not in a position to give you a great deal of detail about the Administration's further course of action because this is information that we got from the IAEA just today. So I wanted to start with that caveat on his behalf because he is somewhat restricted in what he can do.
He's going to be participating in discussions later today with others in the United States Government. But I did think it would be very useful for you so you could understand, given the technical and detailed nature of this conversation, some aspects of it that I think he is more familiar with than I am.
Ambassador Gallucci -- for those of you who don't know - - had been serving as Assistant Secretary of State for Political Military Affairs since January 1993. In April, he was asked by the President and the Secretary to take on the role as Chair of the Senior Policy Steering Group on Korea within the United States Government. Prior to that assignment -- he is Assistant Secretary, obviously -- but prior to that he was in the Office of the Deputy Secretary, serving as Senior Coordinator for Non-Proliferation and Nuclear Safety Initiatives in the former Soviet Union.
Bob, we're delighted to have you today, and I'll turn it over to Ambassador Gallucci.
ASSISTANT SECRETARY GALLUCCI: Thanks, Mike. If you'll bear with me, I'd like to begin with a short statement that lays out our appreciation for the situation on the ground as well as the IAEA judgment about that situation.
The International Atomic Energy Agency reported today that North Korea has begun to discharge fuel from its 5- megawatt electric reactor. Since it has done this, without arrangements for the IAEA to select and store certain fuel elements for future measurement, this -- and now I quote -- "constitutes a serious safeguards violation" from the agency statement.
The reason for the IAEA's finding is that North Korea's actions threaten the agency's ability to verify the operating history of the reactor, and particularly their ability to determine whether North Korea removed more fuel from the reactor in 1989 than it subsequently declared to the agency.
The IAEA has determined that it is still possible for preserve the option for conducting these essential fuel measurements. However, further discharge of fuel would, at some point, jeopardize the IAEA's ability to conduct these essential measurements.
Accordingly, the IAEA has urged North Korea to suspend the discharge of fuel pending agreement between the agency and the DPRK on appropriate and required measures to put in place during the fuel discharge campaign. The IAEA has proposed to send senior officials to North Korea immediately to conduct these discussions. Obviously, we urge the North Koreans to accept the IAEA inspections and these discussions.
Although the IAEA is concerned that North Koreans actions will eventually jeopardize the basis for this historical analysis, the IAEA is confident that there is no diversion of the fuel which has been discharged from the reactor and stored at a nearby location in a storage pond.
This fuel remains under IAEA monitoring and safeguards. North Korea has taken no steps, we understand, to obstruct these IAEA activities required to confirm the non-diversion of the fuel.
The IAEA has also reported that it has been able to complete the essential activities left over from the March inspections and other measures required to maintain the IAEA's containment and surveillance equipment. The last inspection activity is the activity referred to in the statement by the President of the Security Council on March 31.
That ends the prepared statement, and now I would take questions.
Q Can you address the issue of how they -- have they seen the fuel rods physically? Or is it under some sort of camera observation? How many fuel rods have actually been pulled? Have they been able to touch or sample the fuel rods on any way?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY GALLUCCI: I'm going to tell you what I know, and frequently use the words I understand because I'm not there; the agency is.
What I understand to be true is that the agency inspectors -- three, I believe -- have been in the reactor and in the other buildings that they are applying safeguards to. At the reactor, they have been able to observe the operation of the discharger fuel from the reactor and the fuel machine pulling the rods out; that they are able to discern the removed rods in the spent fuel storage pond; that there are mechanisms or procedures the agency follows to assure that there is a balance between the number of rods that come out of the reactor as counted by something called the spent-fuel rod counter and the number of rods that end up in the pond to make sure that none went someplace else.
Because, as I think you know, this discharge began before the inspectors got on the scene. But because they have inspection procedures and containment and surveillance equipment, they are able to make the statement that they did make -- that they are not concerned about diversion of the fuel from the reactor as it moved to the pond.
Q How many fuel rods have been removed, and have they been able to sample any of the fuel rods?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY GALLUCCI: I don't know that the agency has given a number of rods removed. Some rods have been removed; some portion of the fuel inventory. If they have not given a number, I don't think I want to give a number, and I'd refer you to the agency. I don't know how they will respond to that question.
With respect to the measurement of the rods, the issue here -- and it's very important that we understand this -- the agency has not requested of the DPRK to be permitted to take the measurements of the rods now. What they have been requesting is that the North Koreans permit the agency to select some specific rods that they wish to measure in the future.
In other words, select the rods now, have them segregated from the other rods, and store it separately so that the agency inspectors can come back at a later date and do what they call "non-destructive analysis," or NDA, in which they will be able to, without taking the fuel rods apart, determine the burn-up and the isotopics of the fuel rods and from the sampling that they have taken, be able to draw conclusions about the operating history of the reactor and thereby be able to draw conclusions about whether or not the declaration the North Koreans made about the operating history and the previous discharge of fuel is accurate or not.
Q One final question, and I'll stop. Is the defueling continuing today, tomorrow? It's underway and is continuing?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY GALLUCCI: My understanding of the situation is that the best characterization of this is that the defueling is continuing. That does not mean that on any particular day it is necessarily true that fuel is being discharged. It may be that either a fuel discharge machine is not operating properly or it may be that there is an element that has swelled and that they cannot remove from a channel. But in general I think the best characterization is that the problem identified by the agency is with us: namely, that the North Koreans are proceeding to discharge the fuel. That's correct.
Q Do we have any sense of at what point the defueling process will preclude the IAEA's ability to measure or look at the history? Are we talking weeks or days or months?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY GALLUCCI: I cannot tell you the answer to that in time, but I want to make a few points in connection with that obviously very important question. The first point is that at some point if agreement is not reached between the Agency and the DPRK on a methodology for selecting and segregating fuel, if the discharge continues, it stands to reason that at some point the North Koreans will discharge fuel in a way that would preclude irrevocably the possibility for doing this non-destructive analysis in the future.
With respect to when that happens, that would depend, if you think a about this a bit, on at least a couple of factors. One, the rate at which they actually remove the fuel, and the pattern that they adopt in the removal of the fuel. The pattern is important because this is not a random sample that the IAEA would like to take from the reactor. They have a pattern in mind, and it depends on whether the fuel removal pattern -- at what point it intersects with the IAEA sampling pattern, and I couldn't predict that.
But all I can tell you is that those are some of the variables, and eventually it would occur, so that certainly we support the Agency in its position that it would like to have the discharge suspended until they reach this agreement. But I can't tell you the time.
Q Are the North Koreans denying access to the rods in the storage pool?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY GALLUCCI: No.
Q And, second, are they uncooperative or impeding this investigation in any overt way?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY GALLUCCI: My understanding of the situation on the ground -- the relationship between the reactor operators and the IAEA inspectors -- is that the operators have cooperated in the activity that the IAEA wished to conduct with regard to completion of the inspection anticipated in the February 15 agreement and begun in March with respect to the containment and surveillance activity and with respect to the observation of the discharge of fuel.
Obviously, we're saying they have not cooperated and reached agreement on a mechanism for the selection and segregation of fuel on this. But apart from that, I think the answer is yes.
Q Ambassador Gallucci, was there any technical reason why the North Koreans had to start discharging when they did and without waiting for the IAEA? As you know, they've made statements saying we asked the IAEA to come. We told them we were going to do this. They didn't show up. We had (inaudible) it's not our fault.
Was there just an overwhelming technical reason why this had to be done, and, if not, what is your speculation as to why they would have started to do it?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY GALLUCCI: I understand, I think as you do, that the North Koreans have said that for technical reasons needed to begin the discharge of fuel. We know -- we, the United States of America know of no technical reason, based on our knowledge of this type of reactor and the circumstances of the reactor. The IAEA has not determined that there is any safety or technical reason for discharging fuel right now or any reason why they should not suspend the discharge. That's my understanding of the situation.
The next part of your question was, if that's true, then you would like me to guess at why the North Koreans are doing this, and that's something I will not do. I simply don't know.
Q I had similar questions. Is there any possible benign explanation or two for this -- what they've been doing? Anything but a suspicious analysis. (Inaudible) who is an expert in the field? Can you give us something that could even include "my understanding is." So far you've given us --
ASSISTANT SECRETARY GALLUCCI: You're right.
Q So far you've told us what is being said out there. I'm wondering if you could add to what is already known by -- because it all seems to point in a suspicious direction. Is there any other conceivable explanation?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY GALLUCCI: Look, in the end I am not going to be able to tell you why the North Koreans are doing what they do. You understand that. And so I'd preface what I say with that comment.
I do note that they have said there are technical reasons for this, and I also note that neither the IAEA nor we can discern any technical reasons for doing this. At this point I don't want to say that there are suspicious reasons. You know also, I think, that the North Koreans have taken the position that they have a unique status under the Non- Proliferation Treaty. Neither the IAEA nor we accept any unique status. We do believe that the North Koreans are bound unambiguously by their agreement with the Agency, and that because they are so bound, they are required to accept the procedures that the Agency determines necessary.
I don't know, and it really isn't terribly useful for me to speculate much further about whether their position reflects a legal interpretation of their standing or not. But, all that aside, there is one thing that is unambiguously true, and that is that the course they are now on will, if not altered in some way or if they do not stop the progress on that course, will inevitably lead them to take steps which will make it impossible for this type of analysis to be done, and thus undercut the basis for the discussions that we would like to continue with them to resolve the nuclear issue. They need to understand that very clearly, and I hope they do.
Q Can you just tell us what contacts, if any, are planned between our government and the DPRK over the next week or two? And also if you'd just reiterate the conditions for a third round of high-level talks and tell us whether those conditions are part of the discussions that you're having in the government today?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY GALLUCCI: I will tell you what I hope you already know, which is that we have a channel in New York which is an open channel. We ask for meetings or they ask for meetings or we provide a communication or they provide a communication as we or they think is needed. These are exchanges which are not negotiations but are, we hope, often useful in advancing the ball to get to a negotiation, to get to the third round. That channel is open, and I can't tell you when exactly.
Q Are you meeting in that channel?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY GALLUCCI: I have in the past. I think we have adopted an approach of not commenting in advance on these meetings, and I'm not going to do that now. You also asked about the bases on which we would go to a third round, and we have, I think, described this in general terms before we certainly needed for the inspections to have been completed that were envisioned in the statement by the President of the Security Council.
We understand that those inspections are essentially, or it may be even entirely completed at this point. We also as long ago as a a year ago in June of last year, when we started this enterprise, described the bases for our talks, and one of the bases that we had -- and we have several, and I want to focus your attention on one, because it's germane today -- and that is that should the North Koreans decide to discharge the core of their reactor, that they do that with IAEA safeguards present.
We said that then and we had that as a separate element in the bases for our discussions in addition to another element, which was the maintenance of a continuity of safeguards on material in North Korea, because we wanted to make sure that it was understood by all that the discharge of fuel, when that occurred, offered a very special opportunity to the Agency to discern the operating history of the reactor. And that's why what is happening now is so important and why we want to get this right. It's because if the fuel is discharged without preserving the opportunity for this special kind of analysis, then it's irrevocably lost, and one of the ways of getting at the question of whether the North Korean declaration about the operating history and discharge of fuel in 1989 is accurate or not, is to do this analysis.
So we need that to be preserved, that opportunity to be preserved, if we're going to go a third round.
Q Can I ask one follow-on? Do you believe that in the course of whatever contacts we've had with the North Koreans over time that they now understand exactly the sort of deal that would be offered if they make a commitment to go nuclear-free, or do you think that the third round is required for them to understand clearly the package that's available if they make that commitment?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY GALLUCCI: You know that we've had two rounds of talks with the North Koreans -- one in June and one in July, the first in New York, the second in Geneva. Obviously, in the course of these discussions we have laid out our objectives and we have indicated steps that we'd be willing to take that we thought would help address their concerns.
However, last year -- late last year, together with our South Korean allies, we decided that we were prepared to proceed to a third round in what we have come to call a broad and thorough approach to the discussions, by which we mean that we are prepared to broaden the elements of a settlement of this issue, to talk much more fundamentally about political and economic objectives -- that both sides may have -- and to put this issue even into a larger context, even as it would still remain the central issue and the issue that must be resolved first before additional progress could be made.
So I think certainly the North Koreans should know by now that we are quite serious about addressing fundamental concerns and doing it in a broad and thorough way in a third round. However, I think it's fair to say that we'd like to think that we have things to tell them they have not yet heard, and that if we can find the basis for proceeding to a third round, we think there's an opportunity there to resolve this issue through discussions.
MR. McCURRY: Let's do two more. Betsy and then Jeff.
Q You said that the IAEA had offered to send more people -- more inspectors to North Korea to discuss this issue with them. Do you know if there has been a response?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY GALLUCCI: As of this moment, I don't know what the situation is with respect to the inspectors going to Pyongyang. As you say, the IAEA has -- I think the correct way to put it probably is -- accepted an offer by the DPRK to have these discussions in Pyongyang, but I don't know whether the arrangements are fixed for the inspector or inspectors to go off to Pyongyang. I think they will be leaving. I don't know what the North Korean position is at this point.
Q As you know, Bob, the North Korean position is that the issue of measurements on the fuel rods is something that can be resolved in the form of a package -- in the course of a package solution to the overall controversy. So I have two questions about this idea -- this position by them.
First, is it technically possible, because most people who talk about the third round, talk about the third round as something that could go on for months before any kind of package solution is reached. So the question is, what happens to the fuel rods over a period? I know it takes two months, approximately, for them to decay. That's the optimum time to sample. What happens if the negotiations in the third round and the question of a package solution is much delayed and you have to put off sampling for a much longer period of time? Does that ruin the sampling opportunity?
And, secondly, beyond the question of whether it's technically feasible, is it politically feasible? Is that an acceptable approach to the United States?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY GALLUCCI: This is just kind of almost a point of order. When I talk about a third round, I'm talking about the set of meetings that go on at a particular time and place like we had; maybe a week or week and a half of meetings in New York and maybe a week, week and a half in Geneva. When I talk about going to a third round, I mean another week to week and a half or something of meetings. Let me just make that point so that's clear.
But the thrust of your question is about the -- first technical and then political basis of time in this connection. On the technical side, without going into detail about the sensitivities to time with respect to the period in which this non-destructive analysis would have to take place, it is a substantial period of time, and I at this moment am not concerned -- perhaps because there are other things to be concerned about -- but I'm not concerned at this moment about running out of time to get inspectors back to Korea to do the non-destructive analysis.
If we have a good meeting in Geneva and we have set the basis for resolving this issue, then I think the timing and the question of non-destructive analysis will fall out of that without difficulty. If we have an unsuccessful meeting, then everything will still be presumably contended between those involved, and we may have some real difficulties.
But there is not a clock that is ticking in such a way that I think will cause us a problem with respect to the technical part of NDA.
Politically, I would hope that everyone would recognize that if we do have a successful third round -- if we can get to one in the first place and do have a successful one -- that the basis will then by definition have been set to resolve this issue, and that the non-destructive analysis, which quite properly can be done some period after the selection and segregation of the fuel elements, can be done on a reasonable, technical schedule, so it should not in my view present a political problem.
Q To clarify, though, their position is not just that this has to be resolved in connection with a third round but in connection with a package solution to the entire complex of issues to be taken up by the broad and through negotiations that you intend to conduct, and is that an acceptable approach? Are we willing to accept deferring the resolution of the measurement issue until a package solution is reached?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY GALLUCCI: Jeff, I'm prepared to believe you know the details of the North Korean position better than I, but I don't know that that's what they think. What I think I know --
Q It's what they say.
ASSISTANT SECRETARY GALLUCCI: I'm prepared to believe that it's been said, too, and I'm prepared to believe it's said this morning. But I will tell you what I think I know about the North Korean position, and that is that there is some connection between the progress on an ultimate resolution of the nuclear issue and their cooperation with the IAEA generally. That's what I think I know to be true at this point.
We, in the early phase that we are in now, need for the North Koreans, if they wish to continue this dialogue, to cooperate with the IAEA to the extent that they permit actions -- the selection and segregation of fuel elements -- that will preserve the opportunity for non-destructive analysis in the future. That's all we need right now. That's all the IAEA needs.
With respect to the progress of those discussions and the ultimate conduct of the NDA, that is something that would, if the negotiations -- a third round -- proceed well, would be taken up. At the moment, we're not engaged on that issue, and I don't believe I at least have a clear view of what the North Korean position is on that.
Q One further point of clarification, then. If you get what you need on this specific issue, then do you have what you need for a third round? Or are there other conditions that you view not to have been met yet?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY GALLUCCI: My own read on this right now is that -- my understanding from what the Agency has told us is the situation on the ground, if the issue of the discharge of the fuel can be dealt with either by the deferral of further discharge or by a rapid agreement on the modalities to preserve future NDA, then I see no reason why we could not proceed to a third round.
Q And yet they seem to be saying that if you will just bend a little bit --
ASSISTANT SECRETARY GALLUCCI: Right.
Q -- and go to the third round, then they will let you do whatever you want to do on the issue of the discharge of the fuel. They, of course, are putting it the other way around.
ASSISTANT SECRETARY GALLUCCI: I think I'd go back now to Mike's opening statement. We received this information, really, in a digestible form today, and we have been and will be talking about this information today; and senior members of the Administration will actually make the decision about how we proceed from here and maybe they've heard some useful points. I don't know. But I really think we are at the decision now of having to decide how to respond, but we haven't done that yet.
(Asst Secretary Gallucci's portion of the briefing concluded at 1:40 p.m.)
MR. McCURRY: Thank you, Ambassador Gallucci. Let me open -- I've got three items that I'd like to do at the start, and then we'll go to some other questions, other places.
First, I want to let you know that Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs Lynn Davis -- note, by the way, the new title -- Lynn Davis will travel to Bulgaria, Slovakia, Hungary and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia May 22 to May 28. Dr. Davis will meet with senior officials in each country to discuss a variety of security issues, including non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems, regional security and arms control, the Partnership for Peace and export controls and the successor regime to COCOM.
This will be the first trip by a senior U.S. Government official to those countries for a broad discussion of non- proliferation, arms control and international security issues. It underscores the high priority this Administration places on these issues and the important role the countries of Eastern Europe can play in global efforts to build stability and security in the post-Cold War era.
MR. McCURRY: I'll do the countries again. Bulgaria, Slovakia, Hungary and the FYROM.
Q Not Slovenia?
MR. McCURRY: Not Slovenia.
Q The purpose you give of her trip -- does that preclude any arms deals with any of those countries, because proliferation sometimes doesn't mean in U.S. terms not providing arms; it just means not providing --
MR. McCURRY: She'll be discussing security issues, broadly defined, but I don't believe -- I think her focus is going to be on non-proliferation issues, and I'd point specifically to some of the export control features of the successor regime to COCOM.
The second item: I think you know that the Secretary is meeting later today with Deputy Prime Minister Tran Duc Luong of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. The overriding purpose of the meeting will be to reinforce the President's continued commitment to achieving the fullest possible accounting for our missing in action and prisoners of war arising from the Vietnam conflict. He'll also underscore steps that we hope can be taken to advance that particular issue and to follow up on activities that have been underway by the Joint Task Force that's been doing very impressive work in Vietnam, following up on some of the POW/MIA cases.
He will also, I think many of you recall, on February 3, when the President announced that we were ending the trade embargo against Vietnam, the President also said we that would at a future date be opening a liaison office with Vietnam. There have been a lot of discussions underway on that subject. The Secretary will be reviewing that with the Deputy Prime Minister, and I think they will be in a position to say that they are moving ahead with preparations to open liaison offices here in Washington and Hanoi.
They've not set the date for when those offices will open. I understand there continue to be some issues that must be resolved relating to properties and some outstanding claims, but they are apparently moving forward fairly quickly in those discussions, and they hope to have those technical details worked out in the very near future.
The establishment of liaison offices in the respective capitals would further the mutual interests of both our countries.
On a third item, I think some of you have seen today that this is a fond farewell to Ambassador Ed Djerejian who I talked to earlier today and who is in the happy position of having accepted what sounds like a very challenging and promising opportunity at Rice University.
The Secretary has written a very warm letter to Ambassador Djerejian, thanking him for his 33 years of service to our country in the Foreign Service, a period which has coincided with remarkable change in the world. Much of that change the Ambassador personally had experience with in some of the posts that he served in.
The Press Office has got available the Ambassador's letters to the Secretary, to the President, and the Secretary's letter back to the Ambassador, just wishing him very well for his future service.
Q Michael, just to clean up some of the ends on this North Korean thing, could you just tell us a little more about the meeting that's supposed to take place today? Is the Secretary going to participate in that? What level is that meeting?
MR. McCURRY: I'd rather leave it up to the White House to talk about that meeting. I think Ambassador Gallucci referred to it as senior members of the Administration. I think they are among the most senior. I'll leave it at that.
Q Also on Korea, Mike, this whole report today is -- the good news is predicated on a matter of the fuel rods going from the reactor to the storage pool, but how does the IAEA and how can we know for certain that those are rods from the reactor?
MR. McCURRY: As Ambassador Gallucci just said, if I'm not mistaken, there are three observers from the IAEA who are present who are aware of the technical aspects of the defueling program that's underway now. I'm not aware that they would be moving fuel rods in from other locations and putting them into those storage ponds.
Q Can we turn briefly to Haiti and see where the Administration is on implementing a processing strategy? I mean, they've implemented the strategy, but they haven't done it yet. Where are you in the decision-making process of actually getting screening on shipboard, on islands, in ports, whatever you're --
MR. McCURRY: Nothing new on that, Jack, from here. They've got productive discussions underway with a variety of countries hopeful for cooperation in fulfilling some aspects of the policy as announced. I think we indicated it was going to take some time. The President has indicated it would take some time to work out those new procedures. They continue to do that, and as they continue to do that, they continue to repatriate directly to Haiti, Haitians that they interdict on the high seas who are attempting to leave illegally.
Q What was up now?
MR. McCURRY: The flow has -- it's greater than we have seen in recent weeks. I wouldn't describe it as a massive out-migration, but there have been, I think since May 8, just over a thousand Haitians who have been repatriated to Haiti.
MR. McCURRY: I think Betsy had one on Haiti.
Q A Haiti question. Is the U.S. planning on exceeding the U.N. sanctions that go into place on Saturday? Are we planning any measures beyond those prescribed in the sanctions put on by the U.N.?
MR. McCURRY: We do review independent steps that we can take in furtherance of U.N. Security Council Resolution 917 to achieve effective enforcement. There are things that we can take independently that are not connected to the multilateral effort to enforce those sanctions. But that is something that is reviewed. I'm not aware that we have anything beyond, at the moment, looking for the most effective way of enforcing the new sanctions that will take affect tomorrow.
So the goal of the United States is to make sure that these sanctions, as they've now been strengthened by the United Nations, become effective through effective use of the resources we have available to carry out the terms of the resolution.
Q On China?
Q No. Stay with Haiti a minute. The United States has long had its own independent sanctions by trying to freeze assets of some of the named people down there. Has there ever been a statement from the podium as to what assets actually are frozen? Or if that is basically a fiction, that there's nothing frozen because they have none here? Is there somebody qualifying that?
MR. McCURRY: We have not quantified it here, Jack, for the logistical reason that the enforcement of those sanctions is done by the Treasury Department. We've often referred people from here over to Treasury. I believe from time to time Treasury has talked, as they can, about the types of accounts, the types of assets that are frozen pursuant to unilateral efforts by the United States in prior times and now on the broaden sanction package resulting from actions by the United Nations.
There are a variety of assets that are available that now under this new regime might be subject to action by other countries who join in the action at the Security Council.
Q There was a meeting in New York between Ambassador Albright and Caputo and others this morning on Haiti. Can you give us a read on that?
MR. McCURRY: I can't give a read on that. I knew that there were some discussions underway. Frankly, I didn't know they were meeting today, but I think there was an effort, as we said in recent days, to move forward now with the Four Friends Group, operating most of the time out of the United Nations to talk about further steps we can take as sanctions go into effect, and as we pursue some of the discussions we're having about processing refugee migration issues as well.
Q Has the State Department Secretary made a recommendation about China -- MFN?
MR. McCURRY: No, the Secretary has not made a recommendation. He's been reviewing the issue, worked with a number of his advisors on the way home from Cairo yesterday on that issue and has continued to work on that issue in the Department here today, and I suspect he will be working throughout the weekend and into next week with it; will at some point, obviously, be discussing the matter with the President.
Q Has there been anything -- something short of a recommendation that permits people to write that certain decisions have been ruled? I don't know how they get to that unless there's a 2-stage (inaudible). Whatever I would recommend to you, I'll let you know, but let's not do this one thing. Do we get that kind of structure here?
MR. McCURRY: You're looking for an opportunity to knock down some of the stories that you may have seen. I'm happy -
Q Because (inaudible) made no recommendation, and we read in the paper that everybody but the President has made up his mind, so something is wrong here?
MR. McCURRY: I think there are a lot of people within our government who have been thinking and working on the issue, and many of them have got opinions. But it's the Secretary who forwards the recommendation to the President. I've seen some of the draft documents that the Secretary has been working on and they span the horizon on what options they might pursue.
The Secretary is himself in the business of shaping this decision now. I can reliably and accurately tell you that he has not sent that recommendation to the President.
The options that are under review -- the suggestion of a story that I saw today that somehow or other an option under review had been dropped and excluded, that's just not true. The range of things that are in the paperwork delivered to the Secretary runs the full gamut just as you would expect of the obvious choices that are available.
I don't want to say others within the government, and including things that we've said here, might tend to make you think that it's aiming in a certain direction. I think we've said several things here, and you've seen others say things that you can certainly draw that conclusion. But it would not be accurate to say that anything had been dropped from the list of options.
Q Is there any U.S. statement on the boundaries conflict between Cameroon and Nigeria?
MR. McCURRY: I'm sorry, I don't have anything that prepared on that. I can --
Q Please, is there any U.S. position on boundaries conflict between Cameroon and Nigeria?
MR. McCURRY: As I just said, I don't have anything prepared here. I would want to work that issue with some who I think have been following that very closely and are quite concerned about it and prepare something for you. We will see if we can do that today.
Q Did the Ambassador Djerejian give any particular reasons for his decision?
MR. McCURRY: He gave a number of them. But I think most important was, he had a very good opportunity at Rice University to serve as the Director -- I want to get the name exactly right -- the James A. Baker, III Institute for Public Policy.
I think also, if I'm not mistaken, at Rice will also hold the Janice and Robert McNair Chair in Public Policy at the Institute. So I think there probably is some teaching aspects to it as well.
I talked to the Ambassador this morning. It was just to wish him well personally myself. He's very excited to both have his family here in the United States and to take on an opportunity. It sounds to me like it will be something that he had certainly hoped to do at the point that he entered into retirement from the Foreign Service. He said it was his opportunity to begin his second career now. Sometimes the timing of things like that are not of your own making, but it was an extraordinary opportunity that I think he was happy to accept.
As I think the Secretary's letter will make clear, we're happy for him.
Q You said in Cyprus the differences were narrowed on several issues. Yet, differences still remain on one or two issues. Could you tell us what these issues are?
MR. McCURRY: I'm sorry, I can't. They give you such vague verbiage on purpose because when they're working a delicate, diplomatic issue like that in which both sides are continuing to explore positions, they feel sometimes that they'd rather not do a lot of that publicly. Our statements generally summarize the fact that they have been working several issues. They're not unknown. I think there's been a lot of reporting on the nature of the conflict. I think some of the positions of the parties are well known as well.
Q A week ago, 29 Senators from the U.S. Senate sent a letter to President Clinton singling out Turkey as the reason why the talks collapsed. So, obviously, a lot of people know a lot of things in the talks. Does that reflect your position?
MR. McCURRY: I think our position is reflected in the statement you're looking at there.
MR. McCURRY: Bosnia.
Q Could you tell us something about a meeting of the Contact Group?
MR. McCURRY: The Contact Group that's been here. I don't have much on their work for this reason: They met yesterday. They are meeting here again today. They are preparing for further negotiations that we hope will occur very soon between the Bosnian Government and Bosnian Serbs.
Because we hope the parties themselves will re-engage shortly and review some of the activity of the Contact Group what they have been working on here in the Department, we are being very circumspect about. They would prefer to share it with the parties before they share it publicly. I think that's a meritorious point of view on their part.
MR. McCURRY: They've got U.S. representatives, Russia -
MR. McCURRY: Yes, representatives of the European Union and the United Nations. If you hold on, I think I can even do better. I do think I've got the names.
As you know, from the United States, Ambassador Charles Redman, who is our Special Envoy for the former Yugoslavia, had been participating -- I'll post the list.
In the case of Russia, several of you have asked who has been representing Russia. That's Alexei Nikiforov, who is the ex-Yugoslav Desk Officer; I should say, ex-Yugoslav expert within the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Q Mike, concerning Bosnia indirectly and on the subject of Russia and in context of the NATO meetings next week, I believe, the attempt to bring Russia into the Partnership for Peace has apparently been somewhat impeded by NATO's air strikes in Bosnia.
According to a DoD briefing with expert Joe Crusel yesterday, he said that relations with the Russians -- our relations, NATO's relations with the Russians -- had been smoothed over, were being smoothed over, and we're improving but there had been damage done by NATO's bombing in Bosnia. Is this your view?
MR. McCURRY: Is that our view of the Russian view? I think I'd let the Russian Government speak for itself on its view of the Partnership for Peace. We've said very often what our view is of the advantages available to the Russian Federation and, frankly, to the countries of NATO as we explore the possibilities of partnership with Russia. We continue to believe that they remain very strong.
We continue to work very closely with the Russian Federation on the problem of Bosnia as evidenced by Foreign Minister Kozyrev's participation in the meetings in Geneva -- the Ministerial-level meetings in Geneva. So I would let the Russians comments on their own view.
Q Mike, one quick question. NPR, I was told, reported this morning that Djerejian's -- one of his reasons was because he was not included in meetings with Rabin. You probably saw that. Are you able to deny that completely?
MR. McCURRY: I wanted to be able to talk to the Ambassador directly myself in order to be able to issue the most categoric denial on his behalf of those allegations. Those arise apparently from Israeli sources and others in Tel Aviv. Frankly, those sources who are just not familiar with the Ambassador's thinking have put him in an uncomfortable position at a very happy moment in his life. He's having to stamp out stories that are untrue. I think that does no favor to a very fine diplomat.
Q Can I have a follow-up on that? When did the Secretary learn about Djerejian's intentions to resign? And was he or was he not included in the last round of meetings with Rabin?
MR. McCURRY: The Secretary has actually known for some time of Ambassador Djerejian's plans. Nonetheless, because of Ambassador Djerejian's extensive knowledge and his very shrewd judgment on issues related to the peace process, the Secretary specifically asked that the Ambassador be included in all of the activities that the peace team has had underway.
There are some meetings which occur one-on-one in which case the Ambassador is not present. There are some cases where there have been one-plus-one -- they're sometimes called -- in which case he has been there and been part of the team that's debriefed afterwards. I think the Ambassador would tell you -- the Secretary would tell you that Ambassador Djerejian has been a very effective, active member of the peace team and has been included in every aspect of the deliberations underway related to the Middle East peace process. He assured me of that this morning himself.
Q Thank you.
MR. McCURRY: Thank you.
(Press briefing concluded at 2:00 p.m.)
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