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

.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
DAILY PRESS BRIEFING
Monday, June 13, 1994
 
                              I N D E X
 
 
                                 Briefer:   Michael McCurry
 
 
TERRORISM
Confession of Youssef Shaaban to Pan-Am 103
  Bombing ......................................1-2
 
NORTH KOREA
Reported Withdrawal from IAEA ..................3,14-15
Defueling/IAEA Observation .....................2,4
US Discussions on Sanctions ....................2-5,14,16
UN Resolution/Timing ...........................3
 
HAITI
Sanctions ......................................5,8
Role of UNMIH ..................................5-6
Support for Use of Force .......................6-7,15
US Humanitarian Aid ............................7
Prospects for Closing Airport/Americans
  Leaving ......................................8
Caputo Memos to Secretary General ..............8-9
 
GREECE
US Position on Air-to-Air Missiles Aboard
  Aircraft Patrolling the Aegean ...............9-10
 
RWANDA
UN Report on Genocide ..........................10-11
 
NEWLY INDEPENDENT STATES
US Aid in Market Transition ....................11-13
 
CHINA
Nuclear Testing ................................15
(###)
 

DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING

DPC #90

MONDAY, JUNE 13, 1994, 12:40 P.M. (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)

MR. McCURRY: Good afternoon everybody. I'm here to conduct a briefing on behalf of the United States Department. We'll begin with questions from the Associated Press.

Q So did he do it? (Laughter)

MR. McCURRY: Colonel Muster did it with a candlestick in the library. I'm saying no more.

Q Is this Palestinian a setup, or do you have reason to believe he's (inaudible) Pan Am, or what do you have to say about it, please?

MR. McCURRY: Thanks for getting me in the general vicinity of a question. You're referring to news reports that the Palestinian Youseef Shaaban has confessed to the Pan Am 103 bombing. He says he has acted alone.

We have seen these news reports. We have no evidence to corroborate them. We do have evidence against the two indicted Libyans, and we are confident that that evidence will stand up in a court of law. We will, of course, follow up on the report, as you would expect us to do, as we do with all leads in connection with this terrorist act.

Q Do you know anything about his stepping forward? Do you have any reason to suspect the Libyan Government set him up, or --

MR. McCURRY: We know nothing of the details of this. We obviously will look into it. We learned of the alleged confession from news accounts that we saw this morning, and we're pursuing them now.

Q Just one very quick one. The family group out of, I guess, New Jersey -- a fellow named Ammerman calling, dismissing this as obviously a fraud and calling on the U.S. to have a boycott, an embargo, etc. Is there any action the U.S. is planning to take against Libya?

MR. McCURRY: The action that we are pursuing with respect with Libya is consistent with our efforts under U.N. Security Council resolutions to get the formal right to extradite these two suspects and try them. We've also proceeded with discussions at a variety of levels on pressure that we can bring to bear on Libya to allow that extradition to take place. Those discussions will certainly continue.

Q (Inaudible) is good enough; right?

MR. McCURRY: As required in U.N. Security Council resolutions, the two suspects may be tried in either the United Kingdom or the United States.

Carol.

Q Are you going to try to interview this guy yourselves?

MR. McCURRY: We'll have contacts with the Government of Lebanon. I'll report back to you once we know the answer to that.

It would be appropriate for us to follow up on any information, anything that might represent a lead in this case even if the information turns out to be of somewhat limited quality.

Q North Korea?

MR. McCURRY: Steve. Go.

Q Any word from the North Koreans officially that they have withdrawn from the IAEA?

MR. McCURRY: We, I suspect like many of you, you may have just seen an official of the International Atomic Energy Agency indicate that they have not received any formal notice from the DPRK that North Korea intends to withdraw from the IAEA. To the contrary, the IAEA reports that they have had contact with their two inspectors who were at the Yongbyon facility today and who report that their activity has been fairly normal there today.

We certainly will monitor that development. But as you heard Ambassador Gallucci say yesterday, any removal of the cameras or inspectors necessary to monitor the spent fuel that now has been removed from the reactor would be a new and very dangerous development.

Q Do you see anything new in what the North Koreans said over the weekend about permitting inspections in exchange for diplomatic relations with the United States?

MR. McCURRY: There doesn't appear to be anything new in those statements. Their requirements, as indicated by the IAEA, are very clear. At this point in which the reactor has been defueled, the need to maintain adequate safeguards to assure no diversion of that material is quite urgent.

Q Mike, continuing on that. Do you regard their further statement that any sanctions mean a declaration of war just a repetition of what they've said in the past, or anything new by degree?

MR. McCURRY: I think many of their statements repeat statements they've made earlier. And as we've indicated in the past, we are not intimidated by those statements.

Terry.

Q I think Bob Gallucci said as of Sunday that the President hadn't made a decision on the exact nature of the package of sanctions you proposed to the U.N. Has a decision been made at this point on the precise makeup of this package of sanctions?

MR. McCURRY: I don't know the answer to that. I'll have to check at the White House to find that out.

Q Is there a timetable at this point for when you intend to present this to the Security Council this week?

MR. McCURRY: I believe Ambassador Albright, within the last hour, has indicated publicly that she hopes to begin consultations with other members of the Security Council within a matter of days. And, as I think you heard the Secretary indicate last week, it would be our hope to begin moving this week or some time in that general timeframe on a resolution.

Q How long do you expect before there will be a vote on the measure then. What is the time?

MR. McCURRY: As there often is with this issue, and with the need to develop core support among members of the Security Council, a need to ensure that we've had adequate consultation, thorough discussions of all the issues so that those in the international community who support the type of action developing in the United Nations remain together as we address this very difficult issue.

So we are anxious that we proceed. We think it's proper to proper to proceed but we also want to do so with full support within the international community, and we will conduct every bit of careful diplomacy necessary to try to achieve that aim.

Q Mike, you referred a moment ago to the monitoring of the spent fuel which has been removed. Just what kind of monitoring has that stuff been put under? And when did that happen?

MR. McCURRY: The inspectors have been present to monitor activity at the facility. I would have to refer you to the IAEA as to what access they have, for example, to the storage pond with the spent fuel rods are located, or what type of physical ability they have to inspect.

Our information, based on the status of the defueling operation and the storage of the spent fuel rods, is based on the on-hand, on-site inspections that we do have from the two IAEA inspectors who are present there now at the facility. But what they do technically, I'd have to refer that to the IAEA.

Q Without getting into the technical thing, it seems to me a very big matter if in fact all that spent fuel is under satisfactory monitoring. We have that. It's not a technical thing. It's just like, are you satisfied or aren't you.

MR. McCURRY: We have been, until this point, satisfied with the monitoring. The monitoring is sufficient to assure that there has been no diversion of this material. But, as I indicated, any change in that status would be a very dangerous development.

Sid.

Q How would we likely respond if there was change in our ability to monitor?

MR. McCURRY: I don't want to speculate on what a change in the status of that safeguards regime present at the facility would mean. It's certainly something, as with this issue generally, that the international community -- and specifically the Security Council -- would have to address with a great deal of urgency.

Q Mike, this is not a trick question. But on sanctions, would the first step -- if it's a series of steps -- would the first, or whatever step, be economic sanctions and not some other form of sanctions?

MR. McCURRY: You won't be surprised -- I think those of you who had a chance to watch Ambassador Gallucci yesterday saw that he very specifically declined to review the elements of a perspective sanctions resolution for the simple reason that we are continuing to work with other members of the Security Council as we draft the resolution and begin to discuss text. So I'm not going to advance the discussion of types of sanctions beyond where Ambassador Gallucci left it yesterday.

There are different ways. Obviously, he discussed a phased-in approach, and there are different ways you could phase a sanctions package in.

Q I didn't see him, but I didn't think we'd get very far if we asked for what specifics.

I'm asking a very general question, and maybe you could answer it. If there's a first step, would that first step necessarily be economic as opposed to another form of sanctions -- diplomatic, culture, etc. -- which would be about the mildest form of punishment that you could imagine?

MR. McCURRY: I would not want to specify what a first phase of sanctions might look like. Not at this point.

Ready to go on? One more?

Q Haiti?

MR. McCURRY: And then we'll come back.

Q What have the other countries of Latin and Central America told the United States concerning their willingness to support or participate in an invasion of Haiti, if that becomes necessary?

MR. McCURRY: I'm not aware there have been any discussions of specific plans of that nature. I think what we have been doing is working multilaterally through the OAS and also through the United Nations to discuss steps that can be taken to restore President Aristide and restore democracy to Haiti.

The consulting that we have done has been, first, on the sanctions regime itself and how that should unfold and how it should be developed. And, secondly -- and this may be conceivably where some confusion has arisen -- we've also talked with others in the region about the reconfigured U.N. mission in Haiti -- the UNMIH; the U-N-M-I-H. But that was always foreseen as the U.N. force that would go to Haiti in the aftermath of changes that would begin to unfold in Haiti involving the police and military authorities. It would operate in what was believed to be a permissive environment.

So I think our consultations with others in the region have been toward that. We've received a fair amount of support from other countries, specifically from the other friends of Haiti -- Venezuela, Canada, France -- and we have pursued with them a discussion of how you would get that U.N. presence in Haiti.

Q I'd like to parse this answer just a little bit more. You referred specifically to no discussion of specific plans of an invasion. Setting aside any specific plans, what's your reaction to The New York Times story today which said that a majority of those countries would be willing to participate in an invasion or support an invasion if sanctions don't work?

MR. McCURRY: I didn't read the article that carefully. But it looked like it was good reporting based on discussions with a number of the countries involved.

I've told you, our consultation has been directed at sanctions and directed at the reconfigured U.N. mission in Haiti. That's the basis upon which we've proceeded both diplomatically and then also in our conversations with other governments in the region.

Q Mike, just to follow that one more time, at least. There still is a gap here. While I understand that your consultations have been directed at sanctions and at the reconfiguration of the military, as described in the U.N. thing, the article talks about something else. I don't think you've answered that directly, whether or not it's come up -- even though we've focused on other things in the discussion - -

MR. McCURRY: What's the question you're trying to get me to answer here?

Q Has support from other countries been talked about with these other countries?

MR. McCURRY: Has --

Q Has support for military action at a point down the road been discussed?

MR. McCURRY: I think we have reviewed the full scope of things that are involved in addressing the Haiti issue. As you know, the President has said he does not rule out the use of force. But I would confirm only that our discussions have focused on the sanctions regime and the reconfigured U.N. mission.

Q Mike, you spoke a good word -- I know you just used it. Are there several options still available? There's a view -- I don't know where I read it over the weekend, but there's a view that the President has now sort of left himself with no alternative but an invasion if the sanctions don't work; that they've narrowed and narrowed -- the Administration has narrowed the options to the point where there are only two left.

What else is there besides sanctions and invasion? Is there anything else out there?

MR. McCURRY: What's out there is obviously the military living up to the obligations they have twice before agreed to and making the changes necessary to restore democracy and the President there.

The other options that exists, if they choose not to follow that wise course, are ones that I'm just am not going to speculate on here. That's something that the President and his senior foreign policy team will address at an appropriate point.

Q I'll put it another way. How long is the United States prepared to let the people of Haiti -- yourself said, suffer the brunt of these type of sanctions -- how long are you prepared to let them suffer before you do something to relieve that? And how long are you prepared to --

MR. McCURRY: We're doing an extensive amount to ameliorate the effects of the sanctions. We're feeding over a million people a day now in Haiti. We've got specific exemptions that exists within the sanctions regime to allow food and medicine to get through. We're even allowing Haitians to transfer up to $50.00 -- I believe $50.00 a year; some limited amount of money -- that they can send to family members to help them themselves deal with the consequences of Haiti.

I just decline to say that we're not doing anything about the effect of these sanctions on innocent people in Haiti.

Q Okay. Whatever you are or are not doing and whether that's --

MR. McCURRY: We're doing a great, Sid, as I just indicated. Just to make clear, your question was probably not correctly phrased.

Q Answer it in any phrasing you'd like, but how long are we prepared to let the people suffer, whatever it is you feel they're suffering?

MR. McCURRY: I think the effect of sanctions themselves, newly tightened sanctions, will have to be measured as we look ahead. I'm not going to put any specific deadline on how we measure the effectiveness of the new sanctions regime. After all, it's only recently been announced. In the case of a bar on commercial air traffic, it doesn't even go into effect until the end of month. So I think the first thing we're going to do is to see how these new tightened sanctions work when they actually take effect.

Chris.

Q Speaking of those -- the cut in the air travel -- I think there's a report out of Haiti that Haitian authorities are considering closing the airport five days before that June 25 deadline. If they did that, what would your reaction be? Would that be a provocative act?

MR. McCURRY: There's a press report from a right-wing group in Haiti that contains that notion. We understand, or we're led to believe that the Haitian army itself has vetoed that idea even though it's popular among some elements of the rump government of Mr. Jonassaint.

But in any event, the ban on air traffic would take place as scheduled, June 25.

Q This idea is out there, and you say the Haitian army has vetoed it. What if that did happen and what if, for example, Americans who are there all of sudden found themselves without a way to get out of Haiti?

MR. McCURRY: I think we addressed that here on Friday, some of the steps we're taking to try to assist those who are now going to depart as a result of some of the measures we announced on Friday involving travel and involving the removal of dependents and some diplomatic personnel there. But we will be working with the principal carrier, American airlines -- I believe there are some other carriers as well - - to assist those who do plan to depart.

The concern and safety of the 8,000-plus Americans in Haiti is something, as the President himself has indicated, is a very real, direct interest to us. I believe the Haitian authorities are well aware of that.

Q What is your comment regarding the ABC revelation of these Caputo memorandums to Boutros Ghali, which they're repeating, showing on screen now, the text and claiming that --

MR. McCURRY: Given what Mr. Caputo himself has said -- and certainly the strong denial that Deputy Secretary Talbott has made -- it's probably not warranted to continue flashing those memos on the air. Those are greatly overblown. As I indicated earlier, there was no specific discussion of any plans for invasion with Mr. Caputo. He has said as much and so has Deputy Secretary Talbott.

Q Has he denied specifically that --

MR. McCURRY: I believe they issued -- I'm told they issued some type of statement over the weekend, indicating exactly that.

Q Last week the Greek Foreign Minister attributed to Secretary of State Christopher, immediately after their meeting in Turkey, that somehow the U.S. Government demanded from the Greek Government to disarm its war planes patrolling the Aegean Sea during interception of Turkish war planes which systematically for 20 years now are violating the Greek national airspace and infringing the Athens FIR (inaudible) flight information (inaudible).

Could you please comment if was really an American demand to the Greek side? And, in the meantime, could you please clarify the U.S. position on this crucial issue?

MR. McCURRY: The Secretary very carefully explained that conversation with the Greek Foreign Minister while we were in Istanbul. I would think it would be easy to go back and look at the transcript of his remarks and see that there was no discussion of any type of demand or any language of that nature.

We have urged the Greeks on several occasions to make a reciprocal gesture to the Turkish decision to remove air-to- air weapons from their planes which operate over the Aegean. That's consistent with U.S. policy of seeking to reduce tensions and avoid incidents in the Aegean, and the Secretary had a productive discussion with the Greek Foreign Minister on that point.

Q He responded to this effect, that means U.S. mediation between Greece and Turkey?

MR. McCURRY: It's not indicating a mediation effort. It was a suggestion by the United States to two close NATO allies that there were steps that could be taken that could reduce tension in the Aegean, steps that we felt would be very much warranted.

Q Did the Turkish official explain to your government their decision to change its policy after 20 years?

MR. McCURRY: I think the Greek Foreign Minister addressed himself, and I wouldn't want to add anything beyond the statements that he indicated publicly.

Q One more question. What is the U.S. position on those violations, infringement over the Aegean?

MR. McCURRY: Of airspace violations?

Q Yes.

MR. McCURRY: I would want to take that question and see what exactly we have said, if anything, on that subject.

Jim.

Q Mike, when you were gone, we were having a discussion with Christine on Friday about Rwanda and acts of genocide. We neglected to ask a couple of questions which maybe you could answer now.

The U.S. policy is now that acts of genocide have been committed. We didn't ask against whom and by whom?

MR. McCURRY: That is exactly what I believe the U.N. Rapporteur is looking at. There have been various reports of the type of violence committed. There have been largely anecdotal and in some cases very specific information that has been made available about the type of violence that has occurred.

I would not want to answer that question, Jim, given that through the U.N. Human Rights Commission we have now sent an investigator, in a sense, a special rapporteur, to Rwanda to answer precisely that question.

The significance of saying that acts of genocide have occurred is that specific acts can be prosecuted appropriately through international organs and people can be brought to justice. That's why it's a very powerful statement to say that acts of genocide have occurred.

Q I understand what you just said, but going back to my original question, if you are defining acts of genocide, clearly there has to be a target.

MR. McCURRY: Acts of genocide are crimes -- constitute the crime of genocide as defined by the 1948 genocide convention, and they can then be prosecuted. The significance of saying that acts of genocide have occurred is that those specific acts constitute crimes which can then be prosecuted, and that's as we've done in Bosnia, as we will do with the work of the rapporteur in Rwanda. It gives us the opportunity and the avenue to investigate specific crimes, which is, I think, important in the way the international community can bring to justice those who are responsible for genocide.

Q I mean -- right -- the rapporteur is going to presumably find who can be charged with this. But the question I'm still trying to get at is, has it been determined by either this government or by an organ of the United Nations what the target of these acts of genocide --

MR. McCURRY: Who we believe --

Q Is it tribal, and, if so, what tribe?

MR. McCURRY: The pattern of violence that has existed in Rwanda is now becoming pretty clear by news accounts that you are well aware of. But I don't want to go into answering that question in advance of the U.N. actually giving us the formal report that they're going to assemble and compile from their rapporteur that will address that question with enough precision that you can do something about the crimes that have occurred.

Q On Korea again. Did the Secretary make any interesting phone calls over the weekend?

MR. McCURRY: I don't believe over the weekend he made any interesting calls. I think he will have some discussions related to meetings that have occurred between the Chinese and the Japanese, but I believe those are scheduled for later today.

Q Could somebody give us a little sheet of paper on it at the end of the day if he talked to the Chinese or the Japanese about it?

MR. McCURRY: I will. As we can make that available, I will, yes.

Terry.

Q State of aid to the former Soviet Union. The Secretary is looking for someone new to take over that responsibility, is that correct? And he's having a hard time finding somebody to take the job, and what exactly is the nature of the problem?

MR. McCURRY: I'm not sure that a problem is what you're describing. I think there's a very strong desire on the part of the Administration to, in a sense, build on the work that's been done in that assistance program and bring some people into the mix who will be able to advance our arguments to Congress and to the American people about the importance of nurturing the transformation taking place in Russia. And I believe that's something, my understanding is, that Tom Simons would like to see happen; it's something that Strobe Talbott would like to see happen.

I don't believe that they have selected an individual yet but they are looking to locate someone who can help advance that argument and advance that program effectively.

Q Is it your contention that the program is operating satisfactorily, and are you pleased with the results so far, or are there problems as I guess the congressional leaders' letters suggested in having an impact and spending the money appropriately?

MR. McCURRY: It's difficult, hard work changing a totalitarian command type economy into a free market capitalist system. That goes without saying, and I think that we've indicated that bumps along that road are not particularly surprising. What we're trying to do is smooth out any bumps that do exist and make sure that the aid is as effective as possible, and that the aid gets exactly to those who are making the transformation take place in Russia -- those entrepreneurs, those who are building new opportunities and economic opportunities by, in a sense, assisting with the change in Russia itself.

I believe that we're looking at a variety of ways that we can improve that. We're looking at ways that we can improve our delivery of aid so that it goes to recipients who can make a difference, and we're also relying on the expertise that the United States can provide. A large part of our funding, as we've acknowledged, goes to those who can assist the Russians and provide the technical expertise that will allow them to do things for themselves.

Q Is too high a portion going to American consultants and American firms, American business, rather than to the ultimate recipients --

MR. McCURRY: A substantial portion of it, of necessity, goes to those who have got the technical expertise necessary to help people do things like write business plans, develop budgets, do capital acquisition plans. Those are the types of things that are techniques and familiar in Western commerce that are unfamiliar in a former communist state. So by nature a large part of the assistance goes into that type of activity.

But we are working to make sure that that program is effective, and we testify on it frequently before Congress, as you know.

Carol.

Q Mike, as you articulated, it was my understanding that that was the goal of this Administration and even the past Administration from the beginning. What went wrong?

MR. McCURRY: I don't believe I indicated anything went wrong.

Q Well, if you're not satisfied and you're looking for somebody new to give it a new direction --

MR. McCURRY: I didn't say we were unsatisfied. I said that we were looking to bring some people in who could make the programs even more effective.

Q You mentioned Congress. One account is you got turned down already by two -- I don't know if McHugh is still in Congress -- by McHugh and Solarz? Is it you need an advocate before Congress? Is that one of the --

MR. McCURRY: Barry, you know, you want me to discuss personnel things.

Q No, no. But it's significant, I think, that they're both congressional types, and you mentioned Congress.

MR. McCURRY: You want to find the right person for the job and someone who can effectively build the case of support for these programs, not only within Congress but with the American people as well. So you're looking for someone who's got that type of stature and who could relate well to a variety of audiences.

Q Isn't that the -- excuse me -- isn't that the Secretary of State's job in part to expand and promote the number one -- one of the top Administration priorities?

MR. McCURRY: Absolutely. And, as you well know, the Secretary's identified exactly that program as one of the six top of his own personal priorities, and he devotes a considerable amount of time to doing exactly that. But he's not expected to do each and every one of those six things unassisted.

Sid.

Q On the Middle East, Mike.

MR. McCURRY: You don't have to say anything more. I don't know when we're going. I don't know if we're going. We'll go when it seems that we could make some progress and help push the process forward. End of story.

Q And when you get there will you see Yasir Arafat?

Q That's not my question.

MR. McCURRY: You've got another question. Okay.

Q The Palestinian Compliance Report -- the thing that -- the statutory requirement of the State Department that came out a week or so ago -- said that President Clinton within thirty days would announce the opening of a diplomatic office for the Palestinians; that he would also waive the legislative requirements barring U.S. direct aid to the Palestinians. Do you have a date when that office might be opened --

MR. McCURRY: You catch me short. I was traveling during that period and wasn't aware that that report had gone out. I'll go take a look at that and see if I can get a better answer tomorrow on that.

Q One more on Korea. Do you now have an expectation that the Chinese would abstain in the Security Council on the sanctions resolution?

MR. McCURRY: I don't want to address any expectations we have as to pending Security Council resolution. As I've indicated, we are working very closely with other members of the Security Council and our hope would be that we could build the broadest possible support for the draft resolution that is taking shape in New York. But I just don't want to speculate on how individual governments might address specific draft language as it develops at the United Nations.

Steve.

Q Yes, also on Korea. The IAEA spokesman suggested, if I heard him correctly, that Ambassador Gallucci might be informed by the North Koreans of any decision to withdraw from their regime. Does that make sense? Or is that true or has he heard?

MR. McCURRY: I believe he was referring to -- we are the depository for assessionaries to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and I believe he may have been indicating that if there was any formal withdrawal from the Non-Proliferation Treaty, it would be done --

Q Withdrawal.

MR. McCURRY: -- with the United States as the holder of the assessionary documents. But I don't know whether that's equally true of membership in the IAEA itself. I'd have to check on that. I heard the same question. I'm not sure what that referred to.

Q A pro forma question. Has he been informed of their decision?

MR. McCURRY: No. I checked on that, and we have not -- similarly with the IAEA -- have not received anything formally from the DPRK withdrawing -- concerning any plans related to the IAEA or the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Q About the China nuclear test. Can you inform us about any of the parameters -- say the yield, anything that will tell us about what that test was for, and have we asked the Chinese why they continue to test in violation of all other treaties, etc.?

MR. McCURRY: We've made clear in our diplomatic discussions with China that we would hope that in the spirit of the moratorium that has existed and the negotiations over the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty that there not be testing. We've made clear that those types of tests are disappointing, because they run counter to the environment in which you could achieve a comprehensive test ban.

The Chinese reasons for testing are the ones that they indicated publicly. They are for modernization of their program, safety of the devices, as they say publicly, and I don't have anything that disputes their own government statements about why they test.

Q One more thing on Haiti. Is it your understanding that there's something in the U.N. resolutions or the OAS resolutions on Haiti that would possibly justify the use of force eventually?

MR. McCURRY: There are some fairly broadly stated concerns expressed by both the United Nations and the OAS about the need for democracy in the region to continue unimpeded, and there are many statements like that that are the basis of policy-making that individual governments could elect.

Lee.

Q Would you like to take another run at timing of sanctions on Korea? Could it take weeks or months for any sanctions to pass?

MR. McCURRY: It could take a considerable amount of time for a discussion like that to unfold at the United Nations. This is a very important issue that many governments want to see addressed with a great deal of precision, and, as I said, we're willing to take the time necessary to try to keep a consensus within the international community as we move ahead on a very difficult issue.

That said, there is some urgency involved with this issue as well, and that we do believe that the time has come for sanctions to be applied, and that we will pursue our concern with the proper dispatch.

Q Mike, on another nuclear issue. Have you come up with an answer to the question on the legality of the use of the nuclear weapons, which was taken last Wednesday?

MR. McCURRY: I don't know. I was not the briefer that day. There was a taken question on Wednesday? I'll look into it.

Q Thank you, Mike.

MR. McCURRY: Okay.

(The briefing concluded at 1:11 p.m.) (###)

To the top of this page