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

SEPTEMBER 21, 1994

                     U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
                      DAILY PRESS BRIEFING

                          I N D E X

                Wednesday, September, 21 1994

                        Briefers:  Robert Gallucci
                                   Michael McCurry

   Opening Remarks by Ambassador Gallucci ..........1-3
   Meetings with US re: Liaison Offices/Nuclear
     Issues/Light-Water Reactors....................3-4,13-14
   US Consultations with Allies re:  Nuclear Needs .4-6,13
   -- Role of South Korea ..........................5-6
   Political Transition ............................6
   North-South Talks ...............................6-7,13-14
   Concern re:  Nuclear Weapons Program ............7-8
   Status of Removed Fuel/Transfer Out of Country ..8-9
   President Carter's Discussions ..................9-11,14
   IAEA Inspections ................................11-12
   Energy Survey ...................................12-13

   Status of Sanctions/Embargo .....................14-16
   Multinational Force Mission/Rules of Engagement .16-25
   --  Human Rights Abuse by Military/Police........16-25
   --  Reforming Military/Police ...................17-22
   Return of Legislators Supporting Aristide .......22
   Contribution of President Carter ................25-26
   Refugees ........................................23-24
   US Diplomatic Contacts ..........................27


DPC #135


MR. McCURRY: Good afternoon everybody. We thought we'd start today's daily briefing at the U.S. State Department with something other than Haiti. It is an important subject. There's on-going high-level discussions, as you know, between the United States and North Korea on the subject of North Korea's nuclear program. Those high-level talks resume on Friday.

I'd like to introduce, to start the briefing today, Ambassador-at-Large Robert Gallucci. Ambassador Gallucci is Director of the Senior Policy Steering Group on Korea, which is the U.S. Government's lead interagency group monitoring the talks and preparing Ambassador Gallucci to do a splendid job at the talks -- helping him to do a splendid job at the talks.

He's here today. He would like to tell you a little bit about what we expect to happen when the high-level dialogue resumes with the DPRK on Friday, and then he'll take some questions. He is departing this afternoon for Geneva.

Ambassador Gallucci. Glad to have you.

AMBASSADOR GALLUCCI: Thanks, Mike. Good afternoon. I'd propose to just make a few brief comments about our posture as we go off to Geneva. As Mike said, a bunch of us are leaving this afternoon. The talks begin on Friday.

The session that begins on Friday follows the session that we had in August that concluded with the agreed statement of August 12. I think most of you are familiar with that statement. It laid out elements of a settlement that both sides agreed would be captured in a settlement if we can, indeed, negotiate a final resolution to the nuclear issue.

Elements that are defined in that statement go to some of the most important issues in the North Korean nuclear problem. The elements include the statement by the DPRK of its willingness, in the context of a settlement, to freeze the strategic portions of their nuclear program: the two large gas- graphite reactors that are under construction -- to freeze the construction of those reactors, to freeze the construction of reprocessing facilities that are being expanded; the willingness of the DPRK to return to the Non-Proliferation Treaty without any ambiguities about any special status, acceptance in principle of special inspections by virtue of their willingness to accept safeguards as they are provided in their agreement with the IAEA .

That safeguards agreement explicitly refers to special inspections. So the elements that the DPRK accept in the context of a settlement are indeed quite important.

They also include the willingness to implement the North- South declaration on denuclearization.

For our part, we said in that statement that we were prepared to provide assurances that in the context of a settlement we would bring together a multilateral effort to provide a light-water reactor project, roughly on the size of 2000 megawatts of electrical generating capacity. We are prepared to provide negative security assurances; not to threaten or use nuclear weapons against North Korea, provided North Korea remained a party to the NPT in good standing.

We agreed that we would move in the direction of more normal relations, including opening offices for representation in each other's capitals, again in the context of an overall settlement.

The statement acknowledges that there are a number of issues that are quite important that are unresolved. Among those issues, certainly, is the question of the disposition of fuel that's in the storage pond.

There is a five-megawatt reactor which we believe should not resume operation but which the DPRK would like to refuel and restart. There's the timing of the implementation of the special inspections in the context of a settlement.

As some of you know, there are some yet fundamental issues to work out with respect to the architecture or the arrangements under which the light-water reactor project would be consummated.

So we have a fair amount of work to do. We made some progress last time, and we go off to Geneva with confidence that we'll be able to address these issues and the hope that we'll address them successfully.

We begin on Friday. To anticipate one of your questions: I don't know how long the session will last. Usually, they have, in the past, lasted about a week. Certainly, we're prepared to stay a week and, if necessary, presumably longer.

One of the issues we usually talk about in the first session is just how long and at what pace will our discussions will proceed. I'll know more about that after we have our first session in Geneva.

I think at this point, I would stop right there and take your questions.

Q Mr. Ambassador, in the interim there have been technical talks. I wonder if you could tell us if that's -- well, if there's been movement, and how close are you, at least -- two issues. There's so much to cover, let me try just two: Normal relations, and providing and financing, and who will (inaudible) reactors?

AMBASSADOR GALLUCCI: In the agreed statement that I referred to of August 12, we anticipated that we would have meetings to follow up on some of these issues. We anticipated that, if possible, the meetings would take place before we went to the next session. Indeed, we did conduct those meetings.

In Pyongyang, we had meetings on the subject of establishing liaison offices. Those meetings were intended to be at the working level of a very preliminary nature; essentially fact-finding. Those are three qualities that accurately describe the meetings that were held in Pyongyang.

They were not intended as negotiations and they were not negotiations. We had a good exchange of views on what would be involved in establishing liaison offices. I would say "Mission Accomplished" in that context.

At the same time that we were meeting in Pyongyang at the Deputy Office Director level, we had meetings in Berlin as well. The agenda in Berlin included the light-water reactor project, the disposition of the spent fuel that's in the pond, the provision of assistance in the area of alternative energy.

This third point, I should say a word about. In the agreement, the DPRK would forego any further construction of these two large gas-graphite reactors. One is rated at 50 megawatts; the other at 200. So in the theory of a settlement, these two reactors would not be completed, and there would be a period of time therefore in which the DPRK would forego 250- megawatts of electrical generating capacity until such time as the light-water reactor project came on line with 2000- megawatts of electrical generating capacity.

So during that period we have told the DPRK that we would be prepared to assist them to meet energy needs that they forego by giving up -- excuse me -- energy capacity they forego and needs that are created therefor by giving up those two reactors. So that was a third issue area discussed in Berlin.

The meetings in Berlin, I would say, did not go as well as the meeting in Pyongyang. I say that because we believe the DPRK representative raised a number of issues and took positions that were inconsistent with our understandings of positions as expressed by the DPRK representative, Vice Foreign Minister Kang in Geneva in August.

That said, again, it was not a negotiating session. We heard their views. We expressed our views which were somewhat at odds on some of those issues. We agreed, certainly, that we would take these issues up again in Geneva, and we fully intend to do that.

Q On the interim alternative energy. Did they tell you precisely what they would need? And is it the sort of thing that the United States and its companion countries would be willing to supply?

AMBASSADOR GALLUCCI: If I can separate out what we take as the authoritative position out of Geneva from some ideas which were expressed in Berlin. In Geneva, we understood that the DPRK, foregoing 250-megawatts of electrical-generating capacity, was seeking assistance either with fuel, to the extent they had excess capacity that merely needed to be fueled, or with additional generating assistance in a non- nuclear area.

We said that we would, together with them, address that need and we would see what made most sense to meet that need. In Berlin, we got some different ideas that were a little grander in terms of what might be done. As I said, I do not credit them.

We are going to work on the basis of what was discussed in Geneva last, and we'll proceed from there.

With respect to how those needs might be met, we, in the agreed statement, refer to a multilateral effort. We have had initial consultations with a number of countries. The other four countries who we have consulted most closely with -- South Korea, Japan, China, and Russia, but other countries in Asia and Europe as well -- we have consulted about forming a group, a consortium, which we would call, at least at this point, the Korean Energy Development Organization, or KEDO for short, and we would invite these countries to come together and form an organization, the members of which would have an interest in working together to help resolve the nuclear issue and playing a role principally in providing the energy needs to meet the legitimate concerns the DPRK would have as it makes its transition from the gas-graphite technology to light-water technology.

This group or countries we would look to also to help in the area of alternative energy, and the consortia would provide a way of channeling this assistance and a way of rationalizing that assistance to the DPRK.

Q And who is in the organization?

AMBASSADOR GALLUCCI: Let me be clear about this. There is at this moment not an organization, but there is an idea about which we have had initial consultations. After this session in Geneva, we would plan to have further consultations. The idea has been shared with a number of other countries. I named key countries in the region with whom we have consulted most closely as we have been pursuing settlement of the nuclear issue.

But we would hope to broaden the base to other countries, and we have indeed discussed it with other countries. Let me add one more point here. Until we have commitments of governments -- and we do not have commitments of governments and have not sought firm commitments; we have had only consultations -- I am not going to go into any detail about who might be the other members of such an organization.

Q Just possibly on this organization, can you talk a little bit about how South Korea functions within that context? I mean, South Korea and the United States have made a big point about them playing a very important role. Talk about the relationship.

AMBASSADOR GALLUCCI: Sure. In fact, that is a key point, because, as you probably know, it is the South Korean role that is of major concern, the North Koreans have told us, in the provision of the light-water reactor project.

The best way to characterize the South Korean role is that it will be central. It will be central both in terms of financing and in terms of construction with respect to the light-water reactor project.

We have consulted very closely with the Republic of Korea. I think you know that Foreign Minister Han was here for very good consultations and met with the Secretary, met with the President, and the week after that, last week, I was in both Tokyo and Seoul. So we have consulted very closely about the role that the Republic of Korea will play as well as the role that Japan will play.

Q Although there will be a consortium, South Korea's role will be dominant?

AMBASSADOR GALLUCCI: I believe the word I tried to use as "central." I like "central." (Laughter) And I'd hope you'd come to develop some affection for it, too. (Laughter)

Q To follow on Mr. Han's remarks in his visit, the larger picture politically between the North and the South, he commented that it was as yet not possible to have scheduled talks between the governments of the North and South. And what is the current status? Can you tell us about the transition in North Korea, the takeover of power by Kim Jong-Il, and just basically what are the prospects of this transition government and the reflection on the talks?

AMBASSADOR GALLUCCI: First of all, I think you have heard representatives from the DPRK say that the transition is a natural and normal one under the very abnormal circumstances of the passing of a leader of a country who had always led that country. This is the first transition, but their position is that the transition is going as they expect it even if it isn't going as everybody in the West might have expected; that there's a mourning period that they are still in; that at the end of that mourning period, Kim Jong-Il will take on more of the formal positions of authority that maybe those of us in the West might have expected would have happened sooner.

I know nothing really beyond that, and I have seen no reflections in our talks of any difficulties that I can report to you.

With respect to North-South relations, we have made quite clear to everyone, and particularly to the DPRK, that while we certainly are very interested in improving our relations with North Korea, we have no intention of doing it at the expense of our relations with South Korea; that it is very important to us that as we make progress with the North in settling the nuclear issue, progress is also made between North and South in settling outstanding issues between the two of them.

To do that, the North and the South will have to resume talks. We are encouraging the North to do that. The South has indicated most recently some additional openness to resumption of talks. We're pleased by that. In the end, of course, the North-South relationship is something that the North and South are going to have to work out.

Q (Inaudible) is there a time frame whereby we'd like to see this arrangement made between North and South? Is there a deadline?

AMBASSADOR GALLUCCI: Certainly no deadline, but it is just as certain that we would like progress in a rapprochement between these two parties to proceed as soon as possible.

Q Mr. Ambassador, in your opening remarks, you referred to the August 12 statement you said laid out elements for the settlement. And then you said a willingness to freeze strategic elements. What exactly do you mean by "strategic elements"?

AMBASSADOR GALLUCCI: It is no secret that we and other countries are concerned that North Korea has in the past pursued at least a nuclear weapons option with their nuclear program and perhaps had a full-blown nuclear weapons development program. It is concern about this, combined with a lot of other characteristics of the situation, that make the Korean nuclear problem one that is of such an order of magnitude and is regarded properly as a grave one for northeast Asia and for the international community.

When I use the word "strategic," it is a recognition, (a) that there is this concern about a nuclear weapons program; (b) that in a review of the capabilities of North Korea from -- and capabilities to produce nuclear weapons -- as one reviews those capabilities, one sees a five-megawatt research reactor a reprocessing capability and needs to be concerned about that five-megawatt reactor producing roughly six to seven kilograms of plutonium a year.

At the same time, however, under construction is a 50- megawatt reactor and a 200-megawatt reactor. These are both radial electric, not thermal, and by saying that I am describing reactors which respectively would produce something on the order of 60 or 70 kilograms per year and 125/130 kilograms of plutonium per year.

So we'd be comparing elements of their program which would generate easily a couple of hundred kilograms of r each year. That capability is not yet on line, and so when I talk about freezing, I'm talking about freezing reactors under construction which are strategic in terms of a political/military capability. It's a potential capability. We'd like to freeze it where it is, and we'd ultimately like those facilities dismantled. That's the sense in which I used the word "strategic."

Q Can you bring us up to date on the status of the fuel rods and the pond and even though I know the talks in Berlin touched on this, and I know they weren't negotiations. Is there a change in the status? Are you more assured, less assured, more worried, concerned, about what's going on chemically?

AMBASSADOR GALLUCCI: Chemically? You mean worried chemically?

Q Well, how's the water?

AMBASSADOR GALLUCCI: How's the water. We have no more information, direct information, about the condition of the pond than we have ever had, which is to say we don't have access to the pond. Again, the IAEA does in the sense that the IAEA inspectors are on the scene and look into the pond, but the IAEA cannot assess -- doesn't have equipment and is not capable of assessing the condition of the fuel.

So the short answer to the question is we don't know more from direct knowledge. However, what we do know is that this type of cladding or covering on the fuel deteriorates over time when subjected to water. We don't know is how bad it was when it went in the water, and we don't know the characteristics of the water to know how quickly the cladding will deteriorate.

Those are a lot of words that I think tell you that we are ignorant with respect to the absolute condition of this fuel. And I also I should add to that that we have maintained now for almost two months our willingness to assist the North Koreans with the stabilization of the water in the pond if they wished. This is up to them if there's a safety concern. They have so far declined that offer and indicated they can manage this problem.

Moreover, in Geneva last, the North Koreans said they were prepared to forego reprocessing and to store this fuel. They indicated that they would be interested in some assistance in storage and that they had dry storage in mind. Our position on storage has never changed, notwithstanding reports to the contrary. Our view has been that certainly we have opposed reprocessing from the start, but our view has been that, with respect to storage, we'd assist, if that were a step in preparation of the fuel for shipment out of the country.

Our favored disposition, our policy objective with respect to that fuel is to have the DPRK agree to have it shipped to another country for disposition. The question of time always comes up in this connection, and we have talked about the cladding deteriorating and ultimately, potentially creating a technical problem, either radiological or fire. That is a possibility.

This is a matter that the North Koreans are going to have to deal with. We stand ready to help. What we do not believe is plausible is a credible argument that they are forced to reprocess the fuel. They are not forced to reprocess the fuel. Management of that fuel is quite possible without reprocessing, and we have stood ready to help them.

They have not indicated now that they are going to reprocess. They have indicated they're prepared to forego reprocessing. How exactly this issue will be resolved, I cannot predict, but it certainly is on the agenda for Geneva.

Q Has any country agreed to accept those rods?

AMBASSADOR GALLUCCI: We consulted with a number of countries about accepting the spent fuel if the DPRK agreed to have it shipped. In these matters, one does not get firm commitments. One gets either a positive or negative indication, and we got positive indications from more than one country, so much so that I would say to you -- and I have said to the DPRK -- that that fuel would not or should not remain in North Korea because we couldn't find some place to put it. I'm convinced we have more than one country which would receive the fuel for disposition.

Q Can you tell us the purpose of Jimmy Carter's visit with the North Koreans and your conversations with him and the purpose of those conversations?

AMBASSADOR GALLUCCI: You may have told me something I don't know.

Q I read in briefings from yesterday that there were conversations -- that you may have had some conversations.


Q Yes.

AMBASSADOR GALLUCCI: I know about my conversations. It was his going to North Korea which --

Q I didn't say going to North Korea. I understood that he spoke with the North Korean Ambassador to the U.N. I'm not sure what the purpose was.

AMBASSADOR GALLUCCI: Okay. What I understand is that President Carter spoke with the North Korean Ambassador, and he's also spoken with the South Korean Ambassador, and I spoke to him last night. Without going into all topics that may have been discussed and all conversations, to the extent I'm aware of them, I'll tell you that the former President is interested, as he has been in the past, in promoting and favors certainly the renewal of a dialogue between North and South.

As you know, it was as a result of his visit to Pyongyang that North and South agreed on a summit before Kim Il-Sung's death. And I'm sure that on President Carter's mind is a willingness to help if the two sides would wish him to help to promote such a dialogue.

Q What is the U.S. position -- excuse me -- I mean, there's a story in this morning's paper, the Washington Times, that the South Koreans want him to take on this mediating role, and you just said it's up to the two of them to resolve their differences. Does that mean the U.S. is neutral on Jimmy Carter being -- somehow getting North and South together?

AMBASSADOR GALLUCCI: Let me use the words. The way I would put it is as follows: We certainly favor a resumption of dialogue between North and South, and if North and South believe that President Carter could be of assistance, we certainly would support President Carter playing such a supportive role.

Q I'm just interested in following up on what President Carter can do that you-all can't.

AMBASSADOR GALLUCCI: I think something that should be obvious is that President Carter is a unique asset for the United States of America, and because of his experience -- and he has a lot of it in negotiation because of the fact that he was a former President -- also because of his rather special standing -- can help resolve difficult international problems. The position of the State Department and the U.S. Government would only be one of support for such an effort, and if he can help bring these two countries together in a dialogue, we would certainly applaud him for it.

Q Cannot the President of the United States or the Secretary of State or anybody in this Administration play that kind of role?

AMBASSADOR GALLUCCI: I think what I would tell you is that I don't think in any circumstance one person acts alone. And this is now going to fall back to a personal view, but I think that in a case such as President Carter's involvement earlier this summer in that situation which I know something about, as opposed to the others which I do not, it's clear to me that he played a constructive role. It's also clear to me that he came on the scene in circumstances that were rather special.

It always seems almost impossible to sort out independent variables and why things happen the way they do. He played a constructive role; others played a constructive role.

Q Within the framework of a firm deal between the United States and North Korea, how long is Washington prepared to wait for the special inspections of the two -- of the special inspections.


Q You had indicated a few weeks ago that if it happens a couple years down the road, that's okay, as long as it happens.

AMBASSADOR GALLUCCI: I bet I didn't say that, but let me --

Q (Inaudible)

AMBASSADOR GALLUCCI: I still bet I didn't say it. Let me put it this way now: We have taken the position that on the subject of special inspections we have no flexibility on the principle that this issue will not be resolved without a settlement of what has happened in the past, and right now the IAEA requires special inspections, so they must -- they must be part of the settlement.

The second point is, though, since special inspections are of two radioactive waste sites which are not going anywhere, there is no urgency to the conduct of the inspection in a technical sense. That said, and recognizing that this is a sensitive political issue for all, and particularly for the North, we're prepared to defer the conduct of the inspections until somewhat into the settlement process.

We have not been specific about exactly at what point the conduct of the inspection would have to take place. We have indicated, certainly, there would have to be before any equipment associated with a light-water reactor project would arrive, and that certainly is years down the road. That is not saying that we're prepared to wait years. That is putting, if you will, a back end on it. We can't have equipment arrive until special inspections are completed.

But there may be other elements of the settlement which could not proceed without special inspections having been conducted. That question of timing is one of the issues, as I indicated when I made some opening remarks, that has yet to be resolved. It's one of the issues on the agenda for Geneva, and about that I can say no more.

Q Have they given you any indication that they will permit the special inspections?

AMBASSADOR GALLUCCI: As I indicated to you, with their agreement to the elements of a settlement in which they say that they will accept inspections under their safeguards agreement with the IAEA, that safeguards agreement is what's known as a 153 type agreement -- full-scope safeguards agreement -- makes specific reference to special inspections.

That said, you may know that after the evening in which we concluded this agreement, I did a press conference and Vice Foreign Minister Kang did a press conference, and I said at my press conference what I just said to you and which I understand he said was something a little bit different. It was something on the order of "never." (Laughter)

I was asked subsequently to reconcile what he said with what I said, and I prefer that you ask him to reconcile what he said with what he agreed in the agreed statement. All I can say to you to shed more light on that, which is clearly not what I'm about to do, is that this is a difficult problem, and at some point they are going to need to accept the special inspections in principle and indeed conduct them if there's going to be a settlement.

MR. McCURRY: Two more questions. Betsy.

Q Has there been any discussion of any kind of an energy survey so that you know exactly what you are trying to address, what gap you're trying to fill?

AMBASSADOR GALLUCCI: Yes, and thank you. It is extremely important to us and to any country that has shown any interest, and there are several assisting in the energy needs of the DPRK, that there be an energy survey so that a rational program can be designed to address those needs; and that was a point that we made very clearly and forcefully in Berlin, and it's an important point for any number of us that may be involved in the settlement.

Q Have they addressed this at all?

AMBASSADOR GALLUCCI: Not definitively. They have entertained the concept, but I could not say we have a commitment to accept an energy survey from, for example, an organization like the International Energy Agency out of Paris. But there are others that could do it, but that would be one that could do it.

Q But this must be done before any agreement is reached?

AMBASSADOR GALLUCCI: For us it's a precondition of providing assistance. It's not a settlement issue, because this is something that we are prepared to do for the DPRK, and in order for us to be able to do it, we need to better understand their energy situation; but not only their needs, but their production capability.

MR. McCURRY: Last question.

Q Ambassador, on two points quickly: Can you tell us how much would be the initial size of the fund which is necessary for the KEDO. I understand you said that there has been no commitment sought yet to any countries, but from the necessity side of it, how much will be necessary, including this alternative energy?

AMBASSADOR GALLUCCI: That is some place between difficult and impossible to say in any precise way with any confidence. We have been using the number of $4 billion as a large round number to describe the light-water reactor project alone. It is very difficult to assess the funding necessary for alternative energy because we don't know whether it's going to be all in terms of fuel or some in terms of production capacity. And even in terms of fuel, there's a great deal of difference in cost between providing coal and heavy oil, for example.

So I just cannot go into that without misleading you, I fear, but certainly you start with a multi-billion dollar funding package that we would be attempting to put together as part of a settlement.

Q Second question is you've spoken in a briefing in South Korea that there will be a certain kind of linkage between the timing of opening the Asian offices and also the reopening of a North-South dialogue. Would you elaborate a bit on that?

AMBASSADOR GALLUCCI: I'm sure that I didn't say there was linkage. I'm sure the question was was there linkage, and without trying to recall what I said in Seoul, let me say that we are intent on pursuing our settlement with the North, and we regard progress at the same time between North and South as extremely important to the ultimate resolution of the issues outstanding between us.

So that when we look to something like a liaison office, which obviously has a large political/diplomatic quality to it, we'd be looking for progress in the North and South. I have not and cannot be specific about what steps have to be taken in one venue or another venue. I don't think that's particularly constructive. I think the idea is what's important, and that we will be encouraging the North to get on with its dialogue with the South.

Q This is a quick follow-up to the earlier question about President Carter's recent talks. Is it your understanding that those talks are strictly limited to the North-South and not back to his earlier work on the nuclear side?

AMBASSADOR GALLUCCI: I can't tell you more than I know. And what I think I know is that the South Koreans are interested in President Carter playing a role in helping to promote a North-South dialogue. Exactly how that will happen, if that happens and what else may be involved, I just can't speak to. I really would refer you to President Carter -- Plains.

Q Thank you.


(Following Ambassador Gallucci's briefing, the Daily Briefing resumed at 1:14 p.m.)

MR. McCURRY: Thank you, Ambassador Gallucci. We'll now go to any questions about other parts of the world.

Q Can we go to Haiti?

MR. McCURRY: Do it.

Q Could you say what the Administration's position is concerning the lifting of the sanctions? Will there be some sort of move to have a piecemeal lifting of the sanctions before October 15, consistent with what some people in the Aristide camp believe?

MR. McCURRY: There will be discussions in New York at the United Nations on the question of how to address that issue. As you recall, the arrangements that were negotiated on Sunday for the departure of the de facto regime called for lifting without delay the economic embargo and the economic sanctions in accordance with relevant United Nations resolutions.

United Nations resolutions are quite specific. Both U.N. Resolution 917 and U.N. Resolution 940 are very specific about the conditions in which there can be a suspension of sanctions or a lifting of sanctions.

Our interests, as I've said several times, are to take those steps that are necessary to help the people of Haiti and to take those steps that are necessary to help the multinational force in Haiti do its work. In that respect, there may be certain things that can be addressed pertaining to the sanctions regime that can speed the delivery of humanitarian aid to the people of Haiti. There may be steps that could be taken that would allow certain types of products, especially petroleum products to go into Haiti to assist the multinational force in the conduct of its work there. Those are all matters that will be within the province of the U.N. Security Council which has ordered the sanctions regime on Haiti, and they will be addressed, as the agreement suggested, without delay.

Q Any commitment made to Cedras to do this?

MR. McCURRY: There was a signed agreement between former President Carter and a leader of the de facto regime which reflected conversations that former President Carter, Senator Nunn, and General Powell had with General Cedras.


Q I don't understand why the MNF has to -- that you have to lift sanctions in order for the MNF -- which I assume is to be equipped, brings its own equipment, and is responsible for its own equipment.

MR. McCURRY: They have lots of equipment available, but there may be faster, cheaper ways to get certain types of products to Haiti if you can lift some of the relevant sanctions in due course.

Q Just for to fuel MNF vehicles?

MR. McCURRY: There are lots of aspects of the operational activity of the multinational force in which they might want to contract with private-sector providers of certain types of goods and materials. Those types of flights would currently be banned under the existing restrictions that exist on air traffic to Haiti. That's the type of question that the United Nations would examine. These are all --

Q They're only for the use of military vehicles?

MR. McCURRY: It would be for the use of the proper conduct of the multinational force. That would be the type of question that would be addressed if the United Nations wanted to address the question of easing any sanctions prior to the return of President Aristide.

The trigger for lifting of sanctions is quite clear in U.N. Security Council Resolution 940, and that is the return of President Aristide to Haiti.

Q Are there now ground rules for how the U.S. -- how the multinational forces will act when faced with violence against demonstrators in the streets of Haitian cities?

MR. McCURRY: The question of rules is a specific question about the rules under which the forces in Haiti are conducted. So it's not proper for me to address that question. The rules of engagement questions are properly answered by the Commander- in-Chief or others at the Pentagon. I believe that General Shalikashvili plans to do so today.

I will say, as a general proposition, what you've seen the General say in the last 24 hours remains very, very clear. There's a very precise, specific and limited mission that the multinational force has in Haiti. Among those mission objectives is to create the secure and stable environment necessary for the return of democracy to Haiti.

What we saw yesterday in Port-au-Prince is clearly not secure and stable. In fact, it is indicative of the type of abuses that set the United Nations in motion in the first place.

Recall that in the United Nations resolutions that now govern the work of the multinational force in Haiti and that will govern the work of the U.N. mission in Haiti in the future, a very key objective of that mandate is to professionalize the Haitian military and to create a separate Haitian police force. The need for those -- for anyone who witnessed the violence yesterday in Port-au-Prince are manifestly obvious.

But the work that the multinational force is now doing, remember, is very much in its initial stages. That force is being inserted, being built up. I'm sure that there are mission priorities that the Pentagon can tell you more about that they have to address first and foremost. They cannot take on the police function that properly is -- that Haitian authorities ought to be responsible for in the near term.

Whether they will be able to do that and how they will be able to address that violence, I think you're hear a lot more about from others within this government as we go throughout the day.

Q I infer from what you just said that in this interim, until the armed forces of Haiti are professionalized, then the ability or responsibility of the multinational force is to step in, in case of violence, will be sort of a stop- gap and in time, that will slide out?

MR. McCURRY: The long-term goal here is to help the duly elected government of Haiti create a peace force that can take on those responsibilities associated with law enforcement that any government in the world would be expected to take on -- to provide for the safety and security of citizens, to end the type of violence, and the type of reprehensible actions that this regime currently in Haiti has been associated with.

The multinational force, to the degree it can play some role in quelling that type of civil disturbance, that is a question that is really properly for General Shalikashvili and those who are commanding U.S. military presence on the ground. They are going to be addressing that question at several points later in the day.


Q Could I follow on that? While you say this is an operational military thing, there's also very clearly a political diplomatic component which is made evident by the fact that just about every newspaper in the United States today has a banner headline that says, "Haitian police attack Haitians as American soldiers stand by watching." How long do you think you can take the position that we're there to help create the conditions for a new Haitian government to take over and do it while these kinds of headlines persist?

MR. McCURRY: You're asking me, "Will a very careful and precisely-drawn mission be vulnerable to public pressure or public opinion?" I think it is very clear that this Commander- in-Chief -- President Bill Clinton -- and the commanders of this operation set out very specific objectives and timetables for this mission. To protect the safety of those young Americans who are in Haiti now, that mission plan has to be followed and executed very, very carefully.

We have often, in other circumstances, been criticized for expanding the scope of missions when U.S. forces are abroad -- the so-called problem of "Mission Creep." I think right now we're in the very early phases of an operation that is going extremely well. I think we are cognizant of the fact that there is very disturbing incidents of violence occurring in Port-au-Prince. But that, after all, is precisely the reason why the multinational force is in Haiti, to begin with.


Q I'll try this a different way. Today, apparently, the military regime banned all demonstrations and told the public that they would take all necessary measures in order to keep public order. Is this part of the agreement that the United States reached on Sunday night? Did you say that --

MR. McCURRY: No. That is not contained in that agreement. The U.S. Commander in Haiti, General Shelton, has had a very direct meeting today with General Cedras on that subject. He is reporting -- if not right now, he has already reported on the results of that conversation with members of the press. So I'll defer to him.

It is more than sufficient to say that the type of violence that we witnessed yesterday is not the type of violence that can be tolerated in creating a secure and stable environment necessary for the restoration of democracy in Haiti. That is the mission, in a large sense, of the forces now in Haiti.


Q The President of the United States told us that the mission, in a rather extensive interview with the wire services, he graphically backed it up with pictures, that the mission was to protect Haitians from being killed, raped, maimed, tortured. Yet, we hear that the United States is not going to become involved in Haitian-on-Haitian violence.

I'm not talking about civil disorder in the streets, which has not been the problem until now. I'm talking about, will people who are pro-Aristide and are in hiding be protected from being murdered, raped, or otherwise intimidated on an individual way?

I wonder whether the mission includes protection of Haitians from Haitian killers?

MR. McCURRY: I can't address individual circumstances. Maybe you can ask me -- if you've got a specific case you're asking about, I can do that. I can tell you that the creation of conditions in Haiti that will allow the restoration of democracy are designed precisely to end those types of human rights abuses.

Will those human rights abuses end overnight merely because the multinational force has begun the very first stages of its operation in Haiti? Obviously not. Will, in time, those types of abuses subside as the multinational force deploys, strengthens its numbers and continues to do its work? Surely, those abuses will begin to subside. But they will not end until there is a duly elected government, led by President Aristide there with a retrained military and a professionalized police force that is separate from the military. Those are the goals of the U.N. mission.

But the American people, I think, will understand when we say, we are not requiring our U.S. military presence in the first hours of this operation to over-reach beyond the objectives that they have very clearly set out for themselves.

We know from experience that it is very dangerous to do that, and it puts young American lives in harms way.

Q So that members of FRAP, who were involved in lots of killings until just a couple of days ago, will not be presented with military pressure to stop these killings?

MR. McCURRY: That's certainly not the case. We have made very direct our strong objections to the types of incidents that we saw yesterday which involved police force elements, I believe. Not necessarily FRAP elements. Regardless of the source, that type of conduct is objectionable, and we will make very clear our objections. To the degree that it fits with the very precise objectives and plans of this mission, to the degree that the multinational force can address that, they will subject to the prudent judgment of the commanders in the field.


Q In most of the 3,000 cases of killings and so forth -- rape and torture -- it's been difficult to identify the assailants.

Yesterday, it was very clear on film the man responsible for murdering this coconut vender. Does this Administration think that that man should be immediately relieved of duties, at the very least, and prosecuted for the crime he clearly committed in front the entire world?

MR. McCURRY: Of course. That would be the thing that would happen in any type of democratic society. That type of abuse would be addressed very quickly by law enforcement officials and by a judicial system. Unfortunately, that is not the type of -- those types of institutions do not function that way in this regime currently led by a de facto, illegitimate group of leaders.

When the duly elected government is in place, they can follow up on those types of abuses and prosecute them to the full extent that the Haitian law provides.

That is not a question, again, that is within the province of the multinational force. That is something that is within the province of Haitian law enforcement officials.

Q Just a quick follow-up. Has Cedras been asked to have that man disciplined or removed from his duties? Wouldn't that crime yesterday fall under the amnesty that you all say is part of this agreement you signed with Cedras?

MR. McCURRY: You would have to direct that question to General Shelton who has had a conversation fairly recently with General Cedras.

Q Under the political amnesty you say exists, wouldn't all these crimes, such as that one yesterday, he would be absolved of crimes in the interim --

MR. McCURRY: There is no political amnesty that exists. Any amnesty drawn up would be drawn up by the Haitian parliament. To my knowledge, the Haitian parliament has not convened to address the question of an amnesty.

Q Do we think that crimes in this interim period should be covered under an amnesty agreement?

MR. McCURRY: We think crimes in this interim period should not occur. How they are addressed and how they are prosecuted is the province of the Haitian parliament.


Q I don't think you mean to put it that way. But the way this is coming through my cranium is that -- what you're saying is that --

MR. McCURRY: Your cranium.

Q -- eventually we anticipate that there will be a functioning Haitian government that will be able to maintain law and order and will help them reach this point with training and things sometime down the line. But in the meantime, even though we are in the process of putting 15,000 armed men into this country, essentially what they are doing, at least until October 15, is basically acting as a screen behind which the police there can continue to do as they want. That's how it sounds.

MR. McCURRY: Then your cranium allowed misleading information to infiltrate. That is not at all what I meant, and you know I didn't mean that so you're taking some liberties. That should not sound that way.

I made it very clear that there is a set of objectives and priorities for this multinational force. They are in the first stages of setting up and becoming operational there. They cannot address every single horrible instance of abuse that this regime is responsible for. Because if they tried, it's very likely that they would get in trouble and that they would not be able to successfully achieve the mission objectives that have been outlined for them by the Commander-in-Chief.

So we're being careful and prudent, about how they go about they go about doing their work. But, remind, the work that they are doing is aimed at exactly the objective of stopping that type of civil disturbance.

You'll hear from others in the United States Government today about steps that can be taken in the short term, in addition to registering our protest with Haitian military authorities. You'll hear from others about steps that can be taken by the Pentagon to address this type of violence when the commanders are convinced that they can do so and do so successfully as part of their mission plan.

That's not for me to address here at the U.S. State Department. That's for those who are commanding those troops in the field to address, and I believe they will do so very shortly.


Q The planning for this -- and a senior official the other day talked to reporters about how you had planned so thoroughly for this contingency and that contingency. Didn't you anticipate that this kind of violence, no matter how you went in -- whether it was an invasion or an intervention or this other sort of hybrid -- that there would be sort this kind of violence? And didn't you address the question of how you would respond?

MR. McCURRY: The answer is "yes" in both cases. We addressed how we would respond. General Shalikashvili, on numerous occasions, has said that type of violence, given that Haiti has been a very violent society, that type of violence is one of the aspects of this mission that was to be most challenging and to be of most concern. Because it was not possible to address each and every instance of violence in the country.

Among other things Ambassador Swing has pointed out, and correctly so, is that we are witnessing -- because it is certainly very much within the concern of all of us at the moment -- witnessing in real time these types of incidents as they occur. The pattern of abuse that has gone on for so long for so many years in Haiti so many months in Haiti -- exactly as this regime reneged on its commitments at Governor's Island -- the pattern and the type of abuse that you've seen has accelerated. This has been the daily fact of life for the people of Haiti -- the type of violence we saw yesterday.

Remember, that's the reason why we are there, setting up the operations of this force, and successfully moving towards the return of President Aristide and the restoration of democracy. I believe patience is required as we set up this operation and make it functional.

Those troops in the field will respond, I think, very effectively to any commands that are given and any change in the situation that allows their own rules of engagement and their own mission objectives to be altered as the force gets set up and gets running.


Q Are you having any luck in rounding up the 40 exile parliamentarians in this country and sending them back?

MR. McCURRY: They are making plans to do that. I don't think that they are making imminent plans to dispatch them, nor has there been a session of the Haitian parliament called at this point. But there is planning underway to help with the return of those 40 pro-Aristide members of the Haitian parliament who reside here in the United States.


Q To follow on this line of questioning, and then a question of my own, if I might. Is there a remedy, a provision now or will there be a provision of the United States forces to offer sanctuary, protection, for those Aristide people who might be in danger, for those who may be going back from the United States? Are we going to protect them?

MR. McCURRY: I may be misunderstanding your question. As the multinational force sets up and deploys around Haiti, if they discover instances in which pro-Aristide citizens are being threatened or under attack, they will respond consistent with whatever orders they've been given by their commanders in the field.

As to those who are currently in the United States who may wish to return, I think it's premature at this point to address what would happen to those who are returning. We've got Haitian citizens who are currently at Guantanamo who may wish in the near future to return to Haiti. We've got Haitians -- we were talking the other day here about Haitian citizens in Haiti now who have been approved for refugee status who might wish to come to the United States.

All of these circumstances could easily change as the return of democracy becomes imminent in Haiti. People might change their minds about what they want to do.

Q What I'm asking is, can Haitians that are fearful -- fearing for their lives -- come to the U.S. military people and seek protection; be invited to do that?

MR. McCURRY: I'm sure that they could approach our U.S. forces if they feel they are in imminent danger, and I'm sure that U.S. forces will respond as effectively as they can consistent with the orders they've been given by their commanders.


Q Two questions. Having mentioned Guantanamo, is there any movement right now about returning or setting up the mechanism for the return of those people?

MR. McCURRY: There's a lot of discussions underway about it, Steve, but there's not anything that's operational at the moment. For among other reasons, Guantanamo is involved in part of "Operation Uphold Democracy." I think on some of the refugee questions, they've stood down some of those operations until we get through the initial days of operations of the multinational force.

Q And secondly --

Q Can we follow up?

Q Okay.

Q (Inaudible) Guantanamo or any numbers of people saying they want to go back?

MR. McCURRY: For the recruiting that they were doing or for --

Q No, no. Not that.

MR. McCURRY: Oh, for people who want to return.

Q Haitians saying -- we've seen it on TV -- "we want to go home."

MR. McCURRY: I don't know. I'll have to check on that, but the right of voluntary return is something that's available to those who are at Guantanamo. I don't think they're making arrangements right now to return people to Haiti, because we do that, as you recall, through the International Organization of Migration who charter flights -- I mean, would ideally charter flights to go back into Haiti once it's possible to do that. But I think at the moment, the last I heard, the airport is otherwise occupied.

Q And just to go back to the question of sanctions. I didn't hear you say anything that was different from what you said in the past two days on the question of sanctions, but am I incorrect? Did you say something new there?

MR. McCURRY: No, no. I just tried to say it a little more clearly maybe than I said it in the past, but it is important that -- remember, I said yesterday or during the briefing yesterday said that there was a very specific reason why President Clinton insisted on the reference to relevant U.N. resolutions in the question of addressing sanctions, and that's because there is a structure that's actually laid out in Resolution 917 and then reaffirmed in Resolution 940 that creates the scenario by which the United Nations could take further steps to lift sanctions.

Q Do you have any indication when the Israelis and Jordanians will begin participating --

Q Can I stay on Haiti for a moment, please?

MR. McCURRY: No, this is to go in as part of the MNF.

Q Yes, I mean, they're going there. And a second question --

MR. McCURRY: To answer that one, I don't. The only decisions on the timing for the insertion of the multinational force and specifically the multinational elements of the multinational force will depend on the developments in Haiti and will be made at the appropriate time. That's the kind of guidance that I usually get around here.

Q What language is that written in? And on a second question, please: The Saudis. You've made very clear to me that the United States never asked the Israelis -- whatever -- another government says otherwise. But what about the Saudis? Are they going to be involved in any way?

MR. McCURRY: Did we check that the other day when we got into that, how broadly we -- I think we encouraged broadly participation in the multinational force, and I'll have to check and see if we specifically directed inquiry to the Saudis.

Q I'm just curious to know whether the State Department has any reaction to all of President Carter's unkind words about the State Department and its abilities and its performance.

MR. McCURRY: We obviously have a different view of the conduct of the Department, but I think President Carter's remarks, if they need a response, I think the best response and most effective response is the one that I cited yesterday: that Secretary Christopher, when he was invited by President Carter to speak at the dedication of the Carter Center in 1986, said that -- and I'll echo in this something that Ambassador Gallucci just said a moment ago as a personal observation, but I think it reflects the thinking of the Department as well and certainly of the Secretary that former Presidents are unique assets, and particularly this former President who has been associated through the Carter Center with extraordinary work at global diplomacy and conflict resolution.

They have a very special and unique role to play. The institution of the ex-Presidency is one that is sort of under studied, but Secretary Christopher, when he did study it in order to deliver this speech in Atlanta in 1986, discovered that there was a real potential to use the resources of an ex- President to help in certain matters of conflict negotiation, conflict resolution, negotiation, and diplomatic dialogue.

I think in that spirit, Secretary Christopher warmly welcomed former President Carter's participation in this discussion; and, as you just heard from Ambassador Gallucci, would warmly welcome his work in the North-South discussions in Korea.

These are complements, when they are done effectively and when they're done consistent with U.S. foreign policy and the U.S. foreign policy objectives determined by the Secretary of State and President of the United States, these efforts by former Presidents -- in this case former President Carter -- can be very complementary of the types of objectives we're pursuing as we conduct foreign policy.

But I'd make it very clear that it's the President of the United States and his chief diplomat, the Secretary of State, who conduct U.S. foreign policy; and the efforts of former President Carter, as they assist in that conduct, are very much welcome.

Q On that subject, he said at one point -- President Carter said at one point that he didn't talk with the State Department before he went down to Haiti. Is that true?

MR. McCURRY: That's not true in this sense. He had discussions with President Clinton directly. Those discussions were very much informed by the people in this Department who have been central in developing our policy on Haiti, especially within recent days. I cite specifically Secretary Christopher, obviously, but also Special Adviser Gray, Deputy Secretary Talbott, Special Adviser Gergen. There are a number of people from our Department who spent a long part of this weekend in the Oval Office with the President of the United States.

As the President of the United States was talking directly to President Carter, he was relying upon a lot of good judgment and counsel from those here at the State Department who were contributing to the effort.

On any number of occasions, we have cited specifically the work of the Carter Center in the work of the former President himself as he works on his independent efforts to address some of the problems that exist around the world, and I think we've made known to him very often and certainly very recently that we are very anxious to make sure that he feels he has the information he needs or the type of dialogue that he needs to effectively conduct his unique efforts around the world.

But again I'd make it clear, part of the purpose of that type of conduct and consultation is to make sure that he is thoroughly briefed on the goals and objectives of U.S. foreign policy as defined by the President and by the Secretary of State.

Q During the weekend, mostly 24-hours days, is it true that the Secretary and Strobe Talbott dropped out for a couple of hours to see a --

MR. McCURRY: The quiz show. They did. At one point they took a break. They had been working, I think, since about 6:00 in the morning on Saturday and went back to work after taking I think about a two and a half hour break to go see a movie. Not a bad thing to do in the course of obviously what was a pretty much a 24-hour-day.

Q Mike, concerning the --

MR. McCURRY: By the way, I think it was a report the two of them went. I think they also took their families. So it was the one chance they had during a long weekend to also see their families.

Q Concerning the issue of authority in Haiti, is there now a -- is it a dual -- could we call it or characterize it as a dual authority, that of the de facto regime and the U.S. military through this transition period, up to a point where the de facto regime will step down?

MR. McCURRY: No. There is only one legitimate government of Haiti. It is headed by the duly elected President, President Aristide. There is an acting Prime Minister, Robert Malval, in Haiti, with whom we have had diplomatic dialogue, and he has ministers.

There is no authority that the United States attaches to the military leaders who are now scheduled to depart very soon from power.

Q No American military then is not under the authority of the Malval Government, but the Malval Government is the authority in Haiti.

MR. McCURRY: They are the officials of the government that the United States recognizes.

Q Thank you.

(The briefing concluded at 1:45 p.m.)


To the top of this page