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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
Taken Questions of 6/28/94

BURMA -- PRESENCE AT ASEAN MEETING

Q: What is the U.S attitude towards Burma's attendance at this year's ASEAN meeting in Bangkok?

A: THAILAND, AS HOST OF THIS YEAR'S ASEAN MEETINGS, INVITED BURMA TO ATTEND THE OPENING CEREMONIES AS ITS GUEST. WE UNDERSTAND THAT BURMA WILL NOT ATTEND THE POST-MINISTERIAL CONSULTATIONS ATTENDED BY THE U.S. AND OTHER NON-ASEAN COUNTRIES. NATURALLY, IT IS UP TO THE ASEAN MEMBERS TO DECIDE WHICH COUNTRIES PARTICIPATE IN THEIR MEETINGS. HOWEVER, THE U.S. HAS MADE CLEAR ITS VIEW THAT IT IS PREMATURE FOR BURMA TO BE ACCORDED OBSERVER STATUS OR MEMBERSHIP IN ASEAN, ABSENT IMPROVEMENT IN ITS HUMAN RIGHTS RECORD OR SIGNIFICANT POLITICAL REFORM.

UPDATE: CHINESE MIGRANTS

Q: Can you provide an update on the status of the Chinese illegal migrants who were transferred to Guantanamo?

A: The 108 Chinese illegal migrants who had been aboard the U.S. Coast Guard cutter RELIANCE were transferred to Guantanamo today for repatriation to China.

NORTH KOREA: NUCLEAR ISSUE

Q. Will Assistant Secretary Gallucci meet with Japanese or South Korean officials before the third round of U.S.-North Korean talks?

A. ASSISTANT SECRETARY GALLUCCI IS SCHEDULED TO MEET WITH OFFICIALS FROM THE GOVERNMENTS OF JAPAN AND SOUTH KOREA LATER THIS WEEK, BEFORE HE DEPARTS FOR GENEVA. SINCE WE BEGAN THIS EFFORT NEARLY A YEAR AGO, WE HAVE KEPT IN CLOSE TOUCH WITH OUR ALLIES IN THE REGION. WE EXPECT TO CONTINUE OUR CLOSE RELATIONSHIP WITH JAPAN AND SOUTH KOREA AS WE WORK TO RESOLVE THE NORTH KOREAN NUCLEAR ISSUE.

HAITI

Q: Has there been a reduction in the staff of the refugee processing program in Haiti?

A: IN THE DRAWDOWN OF EMBASSY STAFF, EVERY EFFORT HAS BEEN MADE TO RETAIN A FULL COMPLEMENT OF STAFF IN THE REFUGEE PROCESSING PROGRAM. WE UNDERSTAND THAT THERE HAS BEEN A REDUCTION OF ONE INS INTERVIEWING OFFICER. HOWEVER, THE INS PRESENCE REMAINS STRONG, AND THIS REDUCTION HAS HAD NO SIGNIFICANT IMPACT ON THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE PROGRAM. ALL THREE PROCESSING CENTERS REMAIN OPEN AND CONTINUE TO WORK NORMALLY. THE IN-COUNTRY PROCESSING PROGRAM REMAINS THE BEST AND SAFEST ALTERNATIVE FOR THOSE HAITIANS WHO BELIEVE THEY HAVE A CLAIM TO REFUGEE STATUS.

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