US DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING JUNE 20, 1994 U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING I N D E X Monday, June 20, 1994 Briefer: Michael McCurry HAITI Evidence of Fractured Relations in Leadership ... 1- 4 Impact/Assessment of Sanctions .................. 1,4 --On Elite ...................................... 2- 5 --On Engery Prices .............................. 3 Processing of Haitian Boat People ............... 5 MIDDLE EAST PEACE Secretary Christopher's Meeting with Jordan's King Hussein .................................. 6,10 Secretary Christopher's Travel Plans to Region .. 6,7 Talks with Parties on AID Mission ............... 8- 10 Denial of Nabil Sha'ath Travel to E. Jerusalem .. 10 SINGAPORE Scheduled Release of Michael Fay ................ 8- 9 Repercussions of Caning on Bilateral Relations .. 8 NORTH KOREA Attempts to Confirm Kim Il-song's Offer ......... 11-13,16 Bases for Resuming U.S./DPRK Dialogue............ 11-14 Information from IAEA on Diversion of Material .. 13 Status of Sanctions Resolution .................. 13-14 Christopher/Kozyrev Discussions on Resolution ... 14 MTCR and other Non-Proliferation Concerns........ 15 Possibility of North/South Summit ............... 15 BOSNIA Contact Group Meetings ......................... 16- 17 Ambassador Redman's Schedule ................... 17 CANADA Transit Fee Levied on Salmon Fishermen ......... 17- 18 RWANDA Discussions on Draft French Resolution ......... 18 Location of Armored Personnel Carriers......... 18
DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING
Monday, June 20, 194, 1:25 P.M. (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)
MR. McCURRY: Good afternoon everybody. No prepared statements today, so we can go right to questions. I think much of the material that we would deal with today, I think you heard the Secretary address earlier. But I'm happy to give you what limited information I have available.
Rita, you want to start?
Q I don't know if you dealt with Haiti because I wasn't there.
MR. McCURRY: A little bit.
Q Do you feel that some wealthy Haitians should bribe the military rulers from power? That that would be a good idea? Is there any thinking that the rank and file of the Haitian military feel -- is there a split between them and the leaders, that it would be a good idea for the leaders to leave because of that?
MR. McCURRY: The second question first. Secretary Christopher, just a short while ago, did indicate that we have seen from time to time some evidence of fractured relations in the upper ranks of the Haitian military leadership. That's no doubt due to the pressure that the Haitian military leaders now feel as a result of the sanctions which are in place and which are bringing pressure to bear on them to live up to the commitments they've made to clear out so that democracy can be restored to Haiti, along with the democratically-elected President, President Aristide.
That, frankly, is the best conceivable inducement for the leaders themselves to honor their commitments. They face growing pressure from the international community, a united hemisphere, and, indeed, a united world community is expressed through statements at the United Nations and their obligations are quite clear and they should live up to them and live up to them now.
Q You didn't answer the question. Is the United States discussing, considering, the possibility of somehow inducing these leaders with monetary or other inducements to leave the country?
MR. McCURRY: I don't have any answer to that question different from the one that the President gave on television this morning.
Q Mike, besides Evans Francois statement in which he distance himself from almost immediately that his brother was considering -- there was a split between his brother and Cedras and he was considering stepping down. What other evidence, empirical evidence, does the U.S. Administration see that there is a split in the Haitian leadership?
MR. McCURRY: None that I am in a position to point to publicly. But I would say that we get regular, consistent, and quality information from our Embassy in Port-au-Prince that describes their assessment of the political situation and the views of the Haitian military leadership and also the rank and file of the Haitian military. Based on that assessment, we believe that there is evidence that they are certainly feeling the pressure that the international community is bringing to bear.
Q Do you also have a sentiment on the ruling class, the rich people in Haiti that perhaps they are entertaining some, or talking about bribing, promising a cushy life in exile, ways to get --
MR. McCURRY: I wouldn't want to speculate on what they are thinking of or what they might be considering. But I would say that we believe that the sanctions regime now in place is having an impact on the ruling elite as well.
Q Back when Lawrence Pezzullo was Special Advisor, he also often said that there were cracks emerging within the military. Are the cracks we're seeing now different quantitatively or qualitatively from those?
MR. McCURRY: I don't know. I'd have to go back and ask Ambassador Pezzullo what cracks he was thinking about at the time.
Q Can you give us any evidence --
MR. McCURRY: One thing I'd point out to you, I'm not indicating anything different from what the Secretary told you just a short while ago. We certainly don't have any firm indication that the military leaders are now prepared to live up to their obligation to leave office and to vacate. That's what the international community is looking for. And, frankly, speculation or words or statements they might be considering are not nearly as forceful or meaningful as just their actions in departing and leaving, as they well should at this point.
Q You said sanctions are having an impact on the elite. Can you elaborate a little bit about how they are feeling the pain?
MR. McCURRY: Consistent with some of these reports that we have from our political officers on the ground, we hear, anecdotally, information about concerns that have been raised by the elites.
Some of these reports, we attach the proper significance to all of these reports that we should. They're anecdotal. They reflect individuals who are in individual circumstances. But from time to time, they do indicate to us that they're feeling the heat and they are making Haiti's military rulers feel the heat.
Whether that will have the desired effect is the question. The answer to that from our perspective is very clear: They have obligations that they must meet and they must leave.
Q Can you give us an anecdote or two?
MR. McCURRY: I'd prefer not to because most of that comes to us by ways in which we protect the confidentiality of the people who share the information with us and that would impede the ability of diplomats in the field of report if we compromise that type of reporting, much as you all have similar arrangements that you make with your sources.
Q Most recent reports are that the price of gas has actually gone down from $10.00 to $6.00. What do you have to say about the embargo, how will that --
MR. McCURRY: It had been $5.00 and it went up to $10.00 and it was hovering around $8.00. I'm not expert on the oil markets in the part of Port-au-Prince that they call "Kuwait City," I believe.
The price of gasoline fluctuates. It's gone up. That's one indication that the sanctions are having some bite.
Q What's your assessment of the embargo, then? The border is tighter now?
MR. McCURRY: Our assessment is that it needs -- it's not yet sufficient. We have worked with the Dominican Republic, as you know, to take steps or to consider steps that would tighten enforcement along that border. We acknowledge that leakage along the Haitian- Dominican Republic border remains serious.
I think President Balaguer has said as much. We, as you know, have been working at the United Nations with a team of experts to look at very specific things that can be done to improve enforcement along that border. The report that those experts made has now been delivered to the Secretary General, and they are, at some point, going to make requests of individual member nations, as I understand it, to take certain steps that could help strengthen the enforcement of the sanctions.
We, obviously, will be interested in cooperating and helping, as we can, when those requests come in.
Q Senator Graham, who is in touch with, I assume, some of these -- not Senator Graham -- Senator Graham who is in touch with some of the elite, did not seem to think that there was any cracking in the determination of the military and their supporters. Did he give you anything different than he's said publicly? Have you talked with him about that?
MR. McCURRY: No. Of course, he had a desire to go and explore exactly those conditions along the border, and I think, as you know, was prevented from doing so by what appeared to be de facto-regime-related military units up along the border. That's something that I think we obviously --
Q But he seemed a lot more pessimistic about the effect of the sanctions and getting rid of the military and convincing the military to leave. I was wondering whether he --
MR. McCURRY: I think our assessment is that more needs to be done to make that sanctions regime effective. I think, in that sense, we probably agree with the Senator, if that was indeed his assessment.
Q How more can you squeeze the elite, which is apparently the target, if any changes are going to take place?
MR. McCURRY: The steps that we have announced, we think, will have an impact. We would encourage other nations to join us in that type of sanctions effort. We've taken some steps consistent with our obligations as a United Nations member and as an OAS member. We've taken some steps that we think can be effective in bringing that kind of pressure to bear on those elites, and we would hope that other nations would consider doing likewise.
Q Can those folks still make telephone calls to the States?
MR. McCURRY: I do not know the answer to that.
Q Do you have the updated figures on how many refugees, or how many boat people in Jamaica have been granted refugee status and how many have been repatriated?
MR. McCURRY: I don't. I'll just run through what I've got. It starts with interdictions. There were no interdictions Friday. I don't have a report -- (TO STAFF) Did anyone see anything from over the weekend?
I think most of what we have is where we were on Friday. Christine did that on Friday, so we've got nothing new from where we were when they covered it for you on Friday. I haven't seen anything that would indicate that there was any other processing going on. But, Steve, we'll check on that and see if the numbers have changed or if they've taken any more to the ship for processing.
Q One other thing. At some point when Noriega was still in Panama, the United States offered to make payment or to get him out of there, to allow him to leave in exile, presumably with the use of American tax funds at the time -- that thought. I was wondering whether there's any consideration given to anything like that by the United States, if it will get them out of there?
MR. McCURRY: Saul, that predates my arrival here. I'm not familiar with the circumstances involving Manuel Noriega, so I can't shed any light on that.
Q I'm just asking whether there's any consideration at all being given to the use of American tax funds or facilities to transport these people or get them out of there, if they'll go?
MR. McCURRY: I don't have any answer different from the one the President gave earlier today.
Q What the President said was that the United States is not trying to persecute anyone, which doesn't really necessarily answer the question of whether the consideration of using financial inducement or otherwise is being discussed.
MR. McCURRY: I gather that's your interpretation of his answer, and I don't have an answer different from the one that he gave.
Q What does it mean, then, if the United States is not --
MR. McCURRY: I don't have an answer different from the one that the President gave. I think I made that clear already.
Q A new subject. For a time there was a sense that the Secretary is debating and hesitant to go back to another round in the Middle East because his time will not be really -- it's not worth his time. Today for the first time he said that he will go by the end of the summer, and I was wondering if there's any new factors or evidence of some kind of progress in the Middle East that will justify that?
Also, he mentioned democratization process in Jordan, and I was wondering what exactly he's offering the King in that area.
MR. McCURRY: Secretary Christopher and King Hussein are still holding their lunch now, so on the second question, I don't have much I can offer, and I don't know that I would have much to offer. I think they've had a general discussion about ways in which they can nurture democratization, political change in Jordan, and that's been a part of the discussion that we've had bilaterally with the Government of Jordan for some time.
On the first question, the Secretary's travel plans -- I think he was pretty clear and said exactly what all of you know, that we assess, as we look at where the various tracks are and where the parties are in their negotiations, when the Secretary's time can best be spent advancing the dialogue of the parties, and that's a judgment call that we make based on our discussions with the parties, and then we plan accordingly.
You'll frequently hear me stand here saying we don't have any plans at the present to go. Everyone wants it to be otherwise, and we deal with reports, especially from the region all the time, saying that the Secretary is coming here or there on such and such a date. That's all highly speculative, because it's the Secretary, after all, who plans his calendar, and he's the one that is in a position, based on the advice he gets and the discussions that he has with the parties, to make a determination of when his resources are effectively used in traveling to the region.
He has just told you that he foresees going to the region some time this summer. That's not a surprise to anybody. I think he's indicated and we've indicated in the past that there would be some points at which he would need to personally help advance the dialogue, especially on the Israel/Syrian track where he's been doing a lot of the direct work himself; and I just think we will continue to work with the parties and assess when the Secretary's time and efforts can best be spent on the Middle East.
The Secretary is heavily engaged in a number of problems that we face around the world, as you well know, and judging when we can most effectively make use of his time in the Middle East is something that we do with a great deal of care and precision.
Q In the absence of a trip by the Secretary himself at an early date, is there consideration of sending Dennis Ross or anybody else out to do an exploratory trip?
MR. McCURRY: I'd have to check on that. I wouldn't want to speculate on that. We have done that in the past, as you know, but I'm not aware of any plans to do that now. But I will check and see if there is some possibility that we might pursue this with other members of the team.
Q Would it be fair to deduce that the fact that there is no early trip by the Secretary, means that there is not sufficient negotiating progress seen in the exchanges since his last trip to warrant one this time? In other words, is it a negative sign?
MR. McCURRY: I would not interpret the Secretary's travel plans negatively. The parties themselves continue to remain substantively engaged on what are the threshold issues in their dialogue, especially on the Israel/Syrian track, and the Secretary's plans to travel have to take into account when he can best advance the dialogue that the parties are having.
I don't think it would be proper to infer negatively that there's somehow lack of progress simply because he does not deem, at this point, to see a trip as being an advantageous development.
Q Mike, in the region also, is the U.S. considering opening an AID office in East Jerusalem? Israelis -- there's high emotions on both sides on that issue. I have two questions really on that. Is Brian Atwood preparing to go to, sort of, talk to the parties and work that issue out, and where does that stand right now - - the decision?
MR. McCURRY: I'm not aware of whether Brian Atwood, the AID Administrator, has any plans to travel. I can check on that. But we are in a general sense on this issue still working on the administrative arrangements for an AID mission to support the Israeli-PLO agreement.
We have been talking to the parties and hope to finalize some details on how that might be structured in the very near future. That's about all I have on it at this point.
Q Michael Fay is scheduled to be released tomorrow from Singapore. What can you give us on that? What update do you have?
MR. McCURRY: Only the same information you have. He is scheduled to be released from prison tomorrow. We understand his father will be traveling to Singapore to accompany him on his return to the United States, and our Embassy continues to be in touch with the family, and we will continue to provide assistance as necessary.
Q Can we get back to the Middle East for a minute?
MR. McCURRY: I'm sorry. You had another one.
Q Have there been any repercussions in U.S. relations with that country, and have there been more canings since the hoopla with Mr. Fay?
MR. McCURRY: I would have to check and see. There was an another caning case, and I would have to check and see what the status of that case has been. I think there have been repercussions, because the fallout from this incident is something that becomes a factor in our bilateral relations, but I wouldn't want to suggest specifically how it has been a factor.
Q Does the United States plan to talk to him, interview him, debrief him after he gets out of prison?
MR. McCURRY: I think as you recall, we have had contact with him since he was dealt his punishment, so we have had follow-up contact with him.
Q What do you hear from that contact?
MR. McCURRY: For many reasons that have to do with the way we conduct consular activities when we operate in foreign countries, we can't tell you much publicly about it, but we have shared the information that we have with his family and with his legal representative.
Q Mike, on the Middle East and a follow- up on the question about aid. In the past, you've told us that U.S. policy toward a Palestinian state has not changed, and I think the last time I asked the question -- what that policy is -- you declined to answer it.
So I have two things now. Again, what is U.S. policy towards the creation of a Palestinian state?
MR. McCURRY: Same as it has been.
Q Okay. And, number two, is the United States at all concerned that something it might do in terms of an AID office might be perceived by one side or the other as U.S. acquiescence in the creation of a Palestinian state?
MR. McCURRY: No, we do not have that concern. Because we consult so closely with the parties on issues like this, they are fully aware of our intentions.
Q A follow-up to that: Why do you have to consult with the parties when it's United States' policy that we do not support -- in our own interests we do not support the creation of a Palestinian state, and with all the lawyers and everybody else in this building, why should you even have to consult? You know that if you do certain things, it will be perceived in a certain way.
MR. McCURRY: Because of the enormous sensitivity of the issue to the parties themselves and also because of the way that this issue is dealt with within the agreements that the parties themselves have reached, it is incumbent upon the United States to be respectful of the parties' concerns in presenting our views carefully on any matter that touches on issues that they, themselves, have structured their own discussions about.
Q So are you saying that other countries and other people can basically dictate what the United States' policy is towards creation of a state?
MR. McCURRY: That's an absurd inference, because we're talking about an issue that you know the complexity of, that certainly the entire world knows the complexity of, and the fact that we would take great care in discussing our own plans with the parties is something that would be an obvious course that one would expect from a U.S. response.
Q Then why are you so reluctant to go on record again, to explain to us what U.S. policy is towards creation of a Palestinian state?
MR. McCURRY: Because we just don't want to go down that road. If we would go down that road, we'd be on that road forever, and I don't think there's anything I can usefully contribute to your understanding, that we could do here at the podium, in what would be called a circular discussion that would likely go nowhere.
Q But practically speaking, wouldn't it be far more functional to have that office either in Jericho, an administrative seat of government, or in Gaza City, than to have it as a symbol in East Jerusalem?
MR. McCURRY: I have not looked at the arguments pro and con sufficiently to be able to answer that, but it's an AID decision ultimately, and as we get into the final arrangements that are being discussed, we'll come and try to lay that out.
Q Could we talk about Korea a little bit?
MR. McCURRY: Yes. Anything more on this?
Q Did you have a readout on the meeting with the King today, you know, to what general things were discussed or specific things?
MR. McCURRY: No. They had a very short meeting, one-on-one, and then went straight into the session they had with you at the photo opportunity, and I believe they're still lunching -- or they're scheduled to still be lunching now. So we'll see if we can't get a little more maybe later in the day on it.
Q Does the United States support Israel's decision not to let Nabil Sha'ath travel to East Jerusalem in his official capacity?
MR. McCURRY: I saw a wire ticker on the difficulty that he had encountered in traveling just prior to the briefing today and asked someone to look into it. I don't have an answer now, Steve, but it is something we are aware of, and, if we can find out more about it and have something declarative to say, we'll either post it or deal with it tomorrow.
MR. McCURRY: Korea. I promised --
Q Could you bring us up to date on what you're doing to try to nail down the veracity or sincerity of the North Korea proposal? Are there talks in New York today?
MR. McCURRY: I can only tell you that we are going to move to confirm Kim Il-song's offer through diplomatic channels this week. The details on how we will do that, I just don't have available.
Q Is the Secretary talking to anybody about this? Have you made any phone calls about this?
MR. McCURRY: The Secretary has discussed North Korea with some of his foreign counterparts. I don't believe he has had a discussion following up the matters that were discussed at the White House this weekend.
Q Was he there yesterday for that briefing?
MR. McCURRY: No, he was not. He was returning from California, I believe, yesterday.
Q Michael, what sort of manifestation of this commitment from the North Koreans are you looking for? Is it a piece of paper, a meeting? What exactly is it you want from them? Not what you'd ask for. How do you want them to --
MR. McCURRY: We would like to see a basis for resuming a dialogue with North Korea, and that basis would be restored if North Korea clarified certain things that had been said to indicate that they are freezing major elements of their nuclear program while these prospective talks take place, and that they are not refueling the reactor nor reprocessing any of the spent fuel that has been removed from the reactor; and that they are maintaining continuity of IAEA safeguards at the facility.
Q But the reactor issues aside, do you want a piece of paper from them? Do you want a letter? Is their word good enough? What about this --
MR. McCURRY: We want to seek, as you would expect in diplomatic channels, the type of confirmation that would satisfy the United States and senior policy-makers in this government that they are committed to doing exactly those things that I just indicated.
Q What would satisfy the -- what is it that would satisfy the U.S. Government. I mean, I understand what -- I hear clearly what you're saying, but what do you want to flow out of this conversation?
MR. McCURRY: We want to see some very specific things about some very specific points I just made -- commitments on no reprocessing, no refueling, and an IAEA continuity of safeguards presence that would allow us to be absolutely certain that those things are being met.
Q Will the inspectors who are there be able to do those things or confirm these things, the freezing, the non-reprocessing?
MR. McCURRY: They should be. I mean, that's a question I really must refer to the IAEA, because they're in the best position to tell you how they can technically verify things that are within IAEA as a safeguards regime. They should be in a position to be able to do those things, I would think.
Q So that are we leaving it up to the IAEA, as we have in the past, to decide whether North Korea has lived up to what it has apparently told Carter?
MR. McCURRY: No. As I indicated, the United States will be moving through diplomatic channels to seek confirmations from North Korea.
Q Is it at all possible that the United States would send an official representative to North Korea?
MR. McCURRY: I don't want to speculate about diplomatic channels. I just don't have those details available. I've told you all I can tell you.
Q Is that a possibility that you're considering?
MR. McCURRY: I don't want to speculate that that will be a possibility or not a possibility. I don't have any details.
Q But you're not ruling it out.
MR. McCURRY: I didn't say that. I said I have no details that would allow me to speculate on how that diplomatic channel might be pursued. I just don't have any information that I can share with you.
Q Do you have any information on whether they mean the same thing -- North Korea means the same thing by freezing as those steps you laid out, or is that the thing you're waiting to get confirmation on?
MR. McCURRY: Freezing major elements of their program, which would include assurances that there are no reprocessing and no refueling of the reactor are specific commitments. We can be assured in specific ways that that confirms the substance of what was presented by President Carter based on his discussions with Kim Il- song.
Q Does the United States have any independent ways, aside from the IAEA, of determining that?
MR. McCURRY: I can't answer that without discussing how. Again, you understand, probably.
Q Can you say "yea" or "nay" on whether the United States, short of sending somebody over there to take a look --
MR. McCURRY: The best and, as we have indicated, the proper way is to have an IAEA safeguards presence that can assure continuity of safeguards.
Q Let me follow up on this subject just briefly, and then I have another question, Mike. Is the United States Government confident at the present time with the two inspectors and the cameras and whatever else the IAEA has set up and from the reports we're getting from them that no fuel has been diverted from the cooling pond, no rods have been taken out? Are we satisfied about this?
MR. McCURRY: It is our understanding, based on what we have heard from the IAEA, that there's been no diversion of material subsequent to the defueling of the five megawatt reactor.
Q And they are able to certify this?
MR. McCURRY: They are able to provide us information consistent with that.
Q Do you think President Carter's visit to North Korea has made any difference in U.S. effort to get consensus of the tensions against North Korea at the Security Council?
MR. McCURRY: No. There's been no change in our desire to consult with other members of the Security Council and continue our efforts in New York to build an international consensus on a sanctions approach that would work in convincing North Korea that it must live up to its international obligations relating to non- proliferation.
Q That's different from a sanctions resolution?
MR. McCURRY: No. A sanctions resolution is what is under discussion, and the text of that remains a subject of diplomacy underway by Ambassador Albright today, and I'm sure will be part of the Secretary's meetings on Wednesday with the Russian Foreign Minister.
Q Mike, the other day Gallucci said that if the high-level U.S.-North Korean talks were to resume, that would presumably suspend the talks about sanctions. If there were to be a North-South Korean summit, would that also make the sanction resolution moot?
MR. McCURRY: I think we'd have to discuss that at the point we actually see such a summit take place. It's not profitable to speculate on what might happen to a draft resolution until such time as a summit of that nature actually took place.
The premise for a U.S.-DPRK dialogue is the one that I indicated to you earlier.
Q My question originally was on the sanctions issue, and I'll just ask your comment on this -- from the Wall Street Journal today. It says that, "Pyongyang's conciliatory rhetoric as transmitted by Carter has all but derailed for now the U.S. effort to win U.N. Security Council approval of a two-phase sanctions plan against Pyongyang." Is that accurate?
MR. McCURRY: There's an interpretative analysis written in the New York Times, and so labeled, I believe, as "news analysis." I can't comment on the --
Q The Wall Street Journal.
MR. McCURRY: The Wall Street Journal.
MR. McCURRY: Another learned publication. I believe they're expressing that as an opinion and not as a fact. I just am not in a position to dissect it.
Q Just one other follow-up, if I might. Will Mr. Kozyrev and our Secretary of State be discussing the sanctions dispute in Brussels?
MR. McCURRY: I believe they will be discussing the sanctions resolution when they meet in Brussels, yes.
Q Can you explain why the Secretary wasn't at the debrief yesterday by former President Carter?
MR. McCURRY: He was out of town on a personal trip to California, but he remained in telephone contact, I believe, with all of the principles, and certainly with Ambassador Gallucci who was there. I believe Assistant Secretary Lord was there as well, and he had extensive conversations with them throughout the day.
Q Mike, while all this is going on with the IAEA, is the Administration at all concerned about North Korean compliance with the Missile Technology Control Regime?
MR. McCURRY: I'm sure we are, and we have MTCR-related concerns in the past -- principally, arms transactions that involve Iran and Syria. We've talked about those here before in the past. That remains a fundamental concern of ours as we discuss the North Korean nuclear program. It's not only the acquisition of a device or the enhancement of a program. It's also the ability to proliferate weapons of mass destruction through their own types of arms sales and transfers.
Q Have these MTCR issues been considered in planning for the possibility for asking for sanctions at the U.N.? Or will it solely be a nuclear issue?
MR. McCURRY: I'm not sure. Our concern in raising a sanctions resolution, as it relates to North Korea, extends to a range of non- proliferation concerns. I'd say we are seeking sanctions because we expect North Korea to abide by certain non-proliferation norms that go beyond a nuclear program and also get into the proliferation of arms technologies.
Q Do you have any (inaudible) comment on the agreement of a summit meeting between South and North Korea?
MR. McCURRY: We would welcome the convening of a summit between the Presidents of South and North Korea. It would be a constructive first step to resolve their differences through dialogue.
Q I can't remember. Were you asked specifically whether there were any meetings scheduled this week in New York with North Korea?
MR. McCURRY: I think I gave the answer that I had to give on that.
Q You didn't say one way or the other.
MR. McCURRY: I just said we will move to confirm the offer this week through diplomatic channels that I don't have any details on.
Q I want to get this straight. You have left open the possibility -- though you didn't say -- that somebody might travel to North Korea. You left them the possibility --
MR. McCURRY: No. I never even opened the possibility. I just said I didn't have enough information to even speculate on such a thing.
Q I want to ask you if you are considering -- you said you're not going to answer the question. How would --
MR. McCURRY: We could play the message in a bottle. I told you, I'm not speculating on the way in which we are going to conduct this. I've got no details.
Q But you left open --
MR. McCURRY: I've no details for you how we will do this. Don't think that this is not painful for me. (Laughter)
Q Considering that the smart people who write those guidance understands how the press thinks, speculation is therefore left to us as to whether the United States might be considering direct contacts with the North Koreans on a higher level than the New York venue.
MR. McCURRY: I don't want to speculate on that. I certainly understand you free to speculate on it. When we give answers like this, you speculate even more and maybe that's something people will begin to understand a little.
Q Can we talk a little bit about Bosnia.
MR. McCURRY: Yes. Let's do Bosnia. Let's get off of North Korea. (Laughter)
MR. McCURRY: You're sort of sending me into combat unarmed.
Q Just like the Bosnians.
Q What's your understanding of where that Contact Group peace plan stands?
MR. McCURRY: I am told they had productive meetings in London last week. I don't have a lot more. This is continuing with my "no details/no information" policy today. I don't have a lot of detail on what Redman is up to. He's remaining in Europe. We're going to link up with Ambassador Redman in Brussels, because we certainly expect the work of the Contact Group to be covered in some detail in the meeting with Foreign Minister Koyzrev on Wednesday. But that's pretty much where things stand.
I think you've seen enough reporting to get some sense that the Contact Group has been working on a proposal that they're attempting to finalize at this point. I think those discussions are going to continue.
Q What about the possibility of going to Geneva this week?
MR. McCURRY: I personally think that's highly unlikely. I don't want to rule that out entirely. The Secretary's best guess is that we'll probably come back Wednesday night at this point. Secretarial schedules have a habit of changing sometimes, but I'm not aware of any change at this point in the schedule which calls for us to make the one stop in Brussels.
Q On the transit fee, Canada is charging salmon fishing boat operators in the Northwest. Any --
MR. McCURRY: I can't believe these guys -- ask the Canada question. I've got a great answer to this. I just don't have it here in my book at the moment.
Have we had any --
Q Any communication over the weekend with Canada on that. Is there any change in the standoff?
MR. McCURRY: Over the weekend.
Q Any development? And what action will be taken against Canada for imposing this fee?
MR. McCURRY: I'll have to check and see if we have had further contact over the last several days on this. I know that we have been pursuing this with the Government of Canada. We are very concerned about the safety of fishermen and the inside passage. We will check further and see if there's been any further contact over this past weekend.
Q Are there plans to take any action to try to get that money back that some of the fishing operators --
MR. McCURRY: We are pursuing things that will protect the security and the interests of the fishermen. But I would prefer to do a little checking on that before I get too deeply into the subject.
Q What about fishing? Anything to say about the Norwegians cutting the Icelandic trawler lines?
MR. McCURRY: I saw a story on that. I'd have to find out more about that.
Q What's our feeling about France's interest in intervening in Rwanda?
MR. McCURRY: We are supportive of their efforts to muster international support for an early deployment of a U.N. force that would help put an end to the atrocities in Rwanda. Secretary Christopher so communicated that to Foreign Minister Juppe last week.
Q Isn't there some talk about France doing it on its own?
MR. McCURRY: There are discussions that we've had, and they're underway at the United Nations now about a draft French resolution that would establish a U.N. force, some type of international force, which would include French forces. We have been accelerating our own efforts within our government to help equip any U.N. force that might go to Rwanda. That's been described at various briefings in the last several days.
Q Where are those APCs?
MR. McCURRY: Chris, I'd have to check. I know the Pentagon briefed up on that, at least on Thursday.
Q Would we support France sending troops unilaterally if there is no U.N. mandate to do so?
MR. McCURRY: Our discussions with them have been in the context of sending a U.N. force.
Q Different subject.
Q A specific answer to that question?
MR. McCURRY: That was pretty specific. About as specific as I'm going to get today.
Q Different subject?
MR. McCURRY: Yes.
Q Has the State Department taken any position yet on the World Cup results to date?
MR. McCURRY: I think that's the last question of the day.
(Press briefing concluded at 2:04 p.m.)
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