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________________________________________________________
 
 
 
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
OFFICE OF THE SPOKESMAN
DAILY PRESS BRIEFING
September 15, 1994
 
 
 
                      U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
                        DAILY PRESS BRIEFING
 
                             I N D E X
 
                     Thursday, September, 15 1994
 
 
                           Briefer:   Michael McCurry
 
 
SUDAN
   US Evidence of Support for Terrorism/Reaction ...1
 
BOSNIA
   Violations of No-Fly Zone .......................1-2
   Tightening of Serbian Border ....................2
 
HAITI
   Deployment of Multinational Force/US View .......2-4
   UN Goals/Restoration of Democracy/Aristide ......3-4
   Departure of Military Leaders/Options ...........4-8
   --  Reported Statement by Chief of Police .......4
   Multinational Force/Countries Participating .....6-7
   Safety of Americans .............................11
 
NORTH KOREA
   Construction of Light-Water Reactors/ROK Role ...8-10
   Expert Discussions with US/Joint Statement at
     Conclusion of Berlin Talks ....................8-10
 
IRELAND
   Reduced Level of Violence .......................10
 
CHINA
   Foreign Minister's Visit to US ..................11
 
VIETNAM
   DAS Thomsen's Visit re: POW/MIA Issues/Opening
     of Liaison Offices ............................12
 
 
 

DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING

DPC #131

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 1994, 1:27 P.M. (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)

MR. McCURRY: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. This is the United States State Department. I'm Mike McCurry, you are the press. I have one statement on Sudan which we will post. It basically involves some back and forth that we have had with the Government of Sudan about information they requested from us about support of terrorism, and it is a long complicated story that I won't bore you with.

The import of the statement is to disagree with some suggestions they have made publicly doubting the veracity of information we have provided about their support of terrorism dating back to their listing in August of 1993 on the terrorism list.

We have switched things around a little bit in our schedule because, as you know, the Secretary of Defense has just made a statement, and that is the news of the day.

The Secretary of State is deferring to the Secretary of Defense, apparently. That's why he didn't take any questions from you earlier today, in case you were wondering about that.

And with that, let's go to anything you might be interested in.

Q There are some reports from U.N. and Western military officials that hundreds of Serb helicopter flights have been detected or heard over Bosnia in the past ten days, and U.N. officials apparently are concerned that the flights might be originating from Serbia.

What do you know about that?

MR. McCURRY: I don't know anything about that. I know that our information on violations of the no-fly zone over Bosnia, over the former Yugoslavia, comes from UNPROFOR. They have, as a matter of routine, reported repeated violations over the air space in Bosnia and elsewhere in former Yugoslavia, and they do involve principally helicopter flights. But the source and origin of those flights, I'm not aware of.

Q But I mean, as you and your allies anticipate easing sanctions on Belgrade, presumably it would be of some concern if these flights were coming from Serbia.

MR. McCURRY: Yes, there would be some concern about that. But there have been steps taken by the government in Belgrade to control the borders and to restrict the flow of materiel across the border, and that is welcome.

There now will be, very shortly, international monitors who will be present to watch what is happening along that border, and that will determine quickly enough the determination of the government in Belgrade to support those things that Mr. Milosevic has said publicly about their willingness to put further pressure on the Bosnian-Serbs.

Q Mike, on Haiti, Secretary Perry said in his recent news conference that he hopes the invasion won't be necessary. I don't know if it is a difference of terminology or what, but that appears again to be in contradiction to what Strobe Talbott said yesterday, which was that the invasion will take place whether or not the military leaders leave.

MR. McCURRY: No. We are getting too hung up over - - I think Ralph got into this question yesterday. We are getting too hung up on the difference between an invasion against, in the context of a hostile environment, in which our position is anticipation and in which the de facto regime has not stepped aside, and the work that would be done by the multinational force going into a more permissive environment that would exist should the military and police leaders step aside.

What Strobe was emphasizing, I am sure Dr. Perry would agree with this, is that the departure of General Cedras or the Army Chief of Staff or the Chief of Police, would, in a sense, decapitate the de facto structure that exists now in Haiti, and it would be necessary for the multinational force to go in and provide basic civil order in the context of which things could turn chaotic very quickly.

Now that is not an invasion. That is an intervention pursuant to U.N. Security Council Resolution 940 into much different circumstances than would exist if there were de facto leaders in place who were offering armed resistance.

So I hope that clears that up. There is no daylight at all between these comments. And I would echo what Secretary Perry said, because the President certainly feels that, the Secretary of State certainly feels that, we all would wish that any intervention by U.S. armed forces would be unnecessary. And there is a way for that to happen, and that's for the de facto regime to live up to their responsibilities and get out.

Q A follow up, just so that we are speaking the same language here, you define "invasion" as a forceful landing of troops against -- in a unpermissive, in a hostile atmosphere. And intervention is landing troops in a permissive atmosphere.

MR. McCURRY: Somebody go get me Webster's. There must be a definition of "invasion" around, but it is pretty clear that Secretary Perry, as he properly should be, is worried about armed resistance, (inaudible), and very direct threat to the lives of young Americans as they carry out very solemn obligations under order of the Commander in Chief, and that would involve armed resistance by those who would attempt to thwart the intervention that would be carried out under U.N. auspices, if one is necessary.

But it has been clear all along, there are different ways in which this force could do the work assigned to it by the United Nations. It could do it in a permissive environment, so-called permissive environment, or it could do so in a hostile environment. And I think that's the difference between an intervention, a deployment of the multinational force, and what you would refer to colloquially as an invasion.

Q Have you had any indications, links, signs, or inquiries about the offer to facilitate the departure of the leaders?

MR. McCURRY: The Secretary indicated to me that the answer he gave earlier in the week stands. As of today at this moment, nothing yet.

Q Mike, as the invasion and/or intervention approaches, once again the issue of the man that you are putting back into power as a result of the operation, his credentials are being questioned again in the United States Senate. People are saying, among other things, that he is a demonstrable killer.

Do you have any qualms at all about the operation in terms of the man you are putting back into power?

MR. McCURRY: We are restoring democracy to Haiti and the restoration of democracy to Haiti includes returning that individual elected freely by the citizens of Haiti, by an overwhelming vote, nearly 70 percent, with a turn-out that included almost 95 percent of the eligible voters on the island.

We did not choose him. The citizens of Haiti chose President Aristide, and he is the duly elected President.

Q Mike, when you said that the Secretary's answer on whether there had been any inquiries from the troika yet stays the same, has the U.S. initiated any contact with the three de facto leaders or the principal de facto leaders in Haiti in the last couple of days, or is it doing so today?

MR. McCURRY: There are aspects of that that I just can't answer, but as Secretary Christopher indicated earlier in the week, should they indicate to us a desire to depart voluntarily, making arrangements for that departure would not be a problem.

We do have a way to discuss arrangements and we do have a way to understand what their disposition is.

Q So if they express an interest, there is no problem doing it. But you won't answer the question as to whether any contacts have been initiated.

MR. McCURRY: I decline to get into the subject of any contacts that might or might not be occurring.

Q There is a story out of Port-au-Prince in which a radio broadcast was monitored and a man identifying himself as Major Francois suggested that Cedras should step down. Have you investigated that? Do you think it is legit?

MR. McCURRY: We're aware of that report. The Embassy is trying to look into that report. There are a variety of descriptions about how authoritative the information is that that was from the Chief of Police himself. We'll see what we can find out.

Q Mike, is that meeting with Ambassador Swing still on for the weekend or has it by any chance been moved ahead?

MR. McCURRY: It was on, the last time I checked, for some point over the weekend. I can check and see what time. I'm not aware of any change.

Q Can you make a distinction between the issue of initiating a contact by the U.S. or someone else initiating a contact? Is that a distinction you're making?

MR. McCURRY: No. I was sort of trying to do everything possible to stay away from the subject.

Q That's why I'm doing everything possible to get you to come back to it to nail it down.

MR. McCURRY: Let's get it right. "Invade: To enter forcefully as an enemy; go into with hostile intent to enter like an enemy, to enter as if to take possession, to enter" -- and it goes on and on.

Q To take possession, right. That's the one we'll focus on.

MR. McCURRY: Random House.

Q Coming back to that other subject for just a second. When you say, "should they indicate an interest, there would be no problem in making arrangements," that suggests -- by your choice of "should they indicate" suggests that they haven't indicated any interest. Is that accurate?

MR. McCURRY: That right, nothing yet. That's exactly what I answered.

Q If we take it the next step and you decline to comment on whether any contacts are taking place, can we draw an accurate conclusion in saying that contacts have taken place to make the options known but that no interest has been indicated?

MR. McCURRY: The options are known. I think the Secretary of State stood here, and others in the U.S. Government have made it very clear what the options are. The options are getting out of the way, letting democracy return to Haiti.

Q Is it getting out of the way or getting out of Haiti?

MR. McCURRY: It's getting out of the way, and that would mostly probably include getting out of Haiti.

Q But not necessarily?

MR. McCURRY: We've made it clear that if they remain in Haiti they're subject to incarceration and law enforcement and justice at the hands of the duly elected government.

Q So the only options that you say are crystal clear that are out there are options that involve leaving Haiti, as far as the arrangements the U.S. would be willing to make or concerned?

MR. McCURRY: No. Because as we've indicated, too, if they wanted to resign and then turn themselves over to the United States, they could. They would then be delivered eventually to the duly elected government.

Q But they could stay in Haiti the whole time? They could turn themselves over to the U.S. in Haiti?

MR. McCURRY: If they wish to stay in Haiti and turn themselves in and be delivered to the duly elected government for prosecution accordingly, that's an option that's available. I can't imagine that's a very attractive option to them but it's an option.

Q (Inaudible) focusing on these three officers. It has been reported, in fact, it's the army, that they would not allow them to depart or leave Haiti. (Inaudible) they leave and --

MR. McCURRY: We're aware of those reports, but that's clearly something that would be between the commanders, the police chief, and those who serve under them.

Q Have there been any contacts lately with third countries seeking possible asylum?

MR. McCURRY: I'm not going to get into that subject.

Q In the Secretary's meetings with the Canadian and Portuguese Foreign Ministers, did he seek their assistance in the first phase of the invasion?

MR. McCURRY: I believe with Foreign Minister Quellet he discussed the subject of Haiti. They had been in discussion on that for some time. I'm not sure that subject was raised in the meeting with the Portuguese, although they're still having lunch at this point. So it could have come up in their later discussion, but they clearly were reviewing some aspects of the documents that you saw them sign just a short while ago.

Q Did either U.S. ally offer to assist the United States with troops in this situation?

MR. McCURRY: That subject, in the case of Canada, has been under discussion, but I would leave it to the Government of Canada to say anything they have to say on that.

Q What's your current tally of the number of countries that are involved in this?

MR. McCURRY: It is --

Q Strobe said 20 yesterday.

MR. McCURRY: I believe we did add one, but I don't know whether we added one in a sense that we can talk about publicly at your call. I said yesterday that we received certain commitments, as we are in bilateral discussions with other countries, and then they quite properly request the right to make announcements on their own. I believe we do have another commitment, but I don't know whether that's been made publicly.

Let's do an update on that total number and see if it has changed from 19 countries participating with the United States in this effort with a total of about 2,000 troops. That's the current, and then we'll see if we can increase it.

Q France announced today that it was going to send a hundred or something. Is that part of this first wave or is that part of the U.N. follow-on?

MR. McCURRY: I didn't see the announcement. I'd have to check that.

Q Is there any other country going in the first stage of an invasion?

MR. McCURRY: The first elements of Phase I will not be exclusively U.S. but it will certainly be dominated by the U.S.

Q Can you say what other countries will participate?

MR. McCURRY: It's at this point hypothetical. I'll let people who want to brief on -- if there's a military operation to brief about, those who brief can cover that kind of question.

Q Another subject?

Q Sorry, Carol. One more on this. Does the offer -- the arrangements that the U.S. has offered to make to the three military leaders also apply to their families?

MR. McCURRY: I'm just am not going to get into the specifics. The arrangements can be made if they need to be made.

Q For their families as well as for them?

MR. McCURRY: I'm not going to get into the specifics.

Q To whom do the arrangements apply?

MR. McCURRY: The arrangements are discussed in the context of the three people who are most currently of concern: The Chief of Staff of the army, General Cedras himself, and the Chief of Police.

Q A few minutes ago you said this was all crystal clear. Is it crystal clearer to them than it is to us?

MR. McCURRY: Ralph, come on. We can play this game back and forth. I've made it about as clear as I can how much I'm willing to say on this. I'm not going to go beyond that.

Q The North Koreans apparently are putting out the word that they want several billion dollars in compensation beyond the cost of -- you know, light-water reactors. Is the United States and the international community prepared to offer that magnitude of financial help?

MR. McCURRY: Ambassador Gallucci, in public discussions of this, has referred to it -- the building and constructing of light-water reactor technology, of the type that has been under discussion, is estimated variously. But one fairly reliable estimate is around $4 billion -- the discussions have been about.

That's clearly not an amount in hard currency that the DPRK has available. So part of these discussions have been about the financing and provision of the technology.

Q Right. But this question seems to go beyond that. In addition to that, which you acknowledge is a pretty hefty chunk of change, they're looking for something else.

MR. McCURRY: I expect in negotiations such as we're having, they would be looking for additional matters. But that's all part of a discussion that is underway, and it will resume September 23.

Q Do you have a copy of that Berlin statement that they put out?

MR. McCURRY: I do. I can do it quickly if it would help people, just so it's on the record.

This was issued in Berlin yesterday at the conclusion of the Berlin element of the technical talks that are occurring in advance of the resumption of high- level negotiations on September 23.

The joint press statement from the U.S.-DPRK expert- level talks: The United States of America and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea held expert-level discussions in Berlin from September 10-14, 1994, in accordance with the agreed statement of the third round of U.S.-DPRK high-level talks.

Both sides discussed complex technical matters, including the replacement of the DPRK's graphite- moderated program with LWR technology -- that's light- water reactor technology -- the safe storage and disposition of the spent fuel, and provision of alternative energy.

The two sides held full and frank discussions, and agreed that the USA and the DPRK would discuss these issues further.

Both sides agreed to report the outcome of their discussions to their respective governments.

I hadn't seen that on the wire in its entirety. So it's worth putting it on the record.

Q What do they mean by "outcome of the discussions?" I thought there would be no outcome because there were no negotiations; it was just exchange of technical information.

MR. McCURRY: The "outcome of their discussions" means just the information gathered in the course of their discussions.

Q The DPRK also said that the right of choice of which country is LWR is belonging to the North Koreans. What's the understanding of the United States?

MR. McCURRY: The understanding of the United States is, Ambassador Gallucci has indicated -- I believe in Tokyo -- himself is that this is one of the issues that is being negotiated between the two sides as the talks continue. We are certainly aware that the DPRK has reservations about South Korea, the ROK having a central role in the reactor project.

But we, on the other hand -- the United States, on the other hand -- has determined through our own consultations -- quite in-depth consultations -- including with South Korea, that the most viable architecture for the light-water reactor project, in technical, financial, and political terms, involves the Republic of Korea in a central role.

Obviously, those are differences between the DPRK position and the U.S. position, but that's precisely what you would expect in a negotiation that's underway. It's among the things that will be discussed in Geneva September 23.

Q That means the (inaudible) choices still matter for the negotiations, and the United States never agreed or accepted the choice --

MR. McCURRY: That is correct. It is a subject to be negotiated.

Q The Berlin statement says that "they agreed to discuss further." Was that a reference to the September 23 talks, or is there another session of working-level talks scheduled?

MR. McCURRY: It's a reference to the September 23 talks. I'm not aware of anymore technical talks prior to the resumption of the high-level dialogue next week.

Q Another subject. What's your current assessment of the IRA cease-fire? Does it strike you, now that it's been two weeks, or something like that, that it's serious?

MR. McCURRY: The assessment has been, because of the lack of violence, that it does appear to conform to the IRA's declaration of a total cessation of hostilities. It remains to be seen, of course, whether that is a permanent cessation of hostilities. But with time passing, you grow more confident that there is integrity in the statement that was made by the IRA.

Q And what's your planning for meetings over the next couple of weeks with the various protagonists?

MR. McCURRY: In addition to the official visits that will occur in and around UNGA by representatives of the UK and Ireland, there will be -- there have been some contacts back and forth, as I believe Vice President Gore indicated, with the leader of the Ulster Unionist Party.

Q Do you have dates, though?

MR. McCURRY: No, I don't have dates at this time. They were expected to occur in the reasonably near future.

Q And what about Adams?

MR. McCURRY: I don't believe Adams has applied for a visa. I believe that's true as of today.

Q One more Haiti question. Do you have anything more to say today about plans for keeping Americans safe were it necessary for an invasion force to go in?

MR. McCURRY: No, not beyond what I indicated yesterday. It's something that the Embassy and the Ambassador have put a great deal of thought into and care about very, very much. They are clearly going to be contacting members of the American community in Haiti and making sure they understand what the situation is, and they have got advanced planning on how Americans can help stay in contact with each other, so that if it becomes necessary to make arrangements quickly, people could be contacted accordingly. And we are satisfied that those plans have occurred, and again, you know, we have got an existing travel warning on Haiti, which reminds American citizens of the dangers that exist in traveling to Haiti. That has been in effect for some time.

Q Do you have something on the visit next month to Washington by China's Foreign Minister Qian Qichen?

MR. McCURRY: I don't have anything on it, per se. I think it has been -- we have said, from time to time here over the past several months, that we expect him here. He will be here, I believe, for the U.N. General Assembly sessions, and we do expect that he would be received at a high level within the United States, but I don't believe we have announced a program of bilateral meetings with him at this point.

Q The Chinese have said that he will be here October 3rd and 4th.

MR. McCURRY: Third and fourth? That is consistent with my understanding. I don't know -- I was not clear whether we had jointly announced that appearance. Under Secretary Tarnoff, of course, has just been in Beijing, and I'd like to -- I haven't seen the report from his visit yet.

But certainly he met with the Vice Premier and Foreign Minister, and a large part of that discussion was aimed at contacts that Qian Qichen would have while he is here in the United States.

Q Do you have anything to add to reports about high State Departments officials in Vietnam, and the activity that is going around of setting up missions there and here?

MR. McCURRY: Yes. We have had Deputy Assistant Secretary Peter Tomsen in Vietnam. He has had an orientation trip to the region and was, I think, scheduled to be in Vietnam September 14 to 17, so he is there now.

His principal discussion is -- obviously, they are pursuing the joint accounting effort and the fullest possible accounting of the POW/MIA issue. But they will also be reviewing exactly how that occurs. This was his first opportunity to see a lot of the work that they are actually doing on sight in various places around and adjacent to Vietnam where they expect that there are remains that date back to the Vietnam War.

So it is really a chance for him to get a more technical briefing on some of the things that are occurring. And they will talk about the liaison office issue, too. We expect the offices are going to open soon. They haven't scheduled any date yet, but, again, the purpose of the liaison office would be to further the work that the investigators are doing on recovering and identifying the remains.

Q And are you satisfied with progress to date on that? Could more be done?

MR. McCURRY: We hope that tangible progress can be made, especially on the POW/MIA issues, and it has been at times slow-going, but both sides continue to work at the issue.

Q Thank you.

(The briefing concluded at 1:53 p.m.)

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