U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING OCTOBER 5, 1994 U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING I N D E X Wednesday, October, 5 1994 Briefer: Michael McCurry CUBA Status of Applications for US Companies to Provide Telephone Links ....................... 1-4 CHINA US Lifts Sanctions re: Compliance with MTCR .... 4 Discussions with US on Hong Kong ................ 5-6 Human Rights/Sanctions .......................... 15-16 INDIA Travel Warning re: Plague ....................... 6 HAITI Departure of Military Leaders ................... 6-7 Sanctions/Border Monitors Withdrawn ............. 7-8 Departure of Travel-Ready Refugees to US ........ 8-9 Voluntary Returnees ............................. 8 Police Force/Training ........................... 9 Return of Aristide .............................. 10 NORTH KOREA Talks with US Resume in Geneva .................. 11,16 BOSNIA Enforcement of UN Security Council Resolutions .. 12-14 Border Leakage/Sanctions/Border Monitoring ...... 13 War Crimes ...................................... 14-16
DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS OFFICE
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 5, 1994, 12:47 P.M. (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)
MR. McCURRY: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the U.S. State Department. This is our Daily Briefing and I am starting with the following update on some things we've talked about in the past.
I've gotten questions from time to time about the status of telecommunications agreements with Cuba. I want to alert you that earlier this week, specifically, on October 3 -- which is Monday, right? -- the State Department advised the Federal Communications Commission that it had no objection to some pending applications that had been filed with the FCC by five telecommunications companies. They are SPRINT, MCI, IDB, LDDS, and WILTEL -- IDB is IDB World Communications Services, Inc; LDDS Communications, Inc.; WILTEL International, Inc; SPRINT Communications Company; and MCI Telecommunications Corporation.
They have filed applications with the FCC for authority to provide direct telephone service between the United States and Cuba. The expectation is, or we anticipate at least that the FCC will probably grant those licenses shortly. We understand that AT&T has also indicated that it has reached a similar operating agreement with the Cuban phone company and plans to resume service under its own long-standing FCC licenses.
These are negotiations that each of these companies conducted separately with the Cuban phone company, but we are required under regulation to submit advisory opinions to the FCC before the applications can be granted.
It's important because we had been objecting. I'd like to run through just a little bit of the history of this. First, these agreements have been under negotiation for some time. The negotiations, I think, have been going on for at least 15 months, in the case of one of the companies, to get the service in.
It is specifically called for in the Cuban Democracy Act of 1992 that there should be improved telecommunications between the United States and Cuba. That's one of the reasons why these various companies entered into negotiations with Cuba, in the first place.
I guess the specific language from the statute, in case you need that, is that the Cuban Democracy Act authorized the establishment of "efficient and adequate telecommunications services between the U.S. and Cuba."
The original applications that had been filed by these companies called for a collect-call surcharge of $4.85 per call. This has come up before. You'll recall, at the time that we had registered some objections to that, based principally on our view that those were unreasonably high costs, given that the highest surcharge throughout the rest of the Caribbean is in the neighborhood of a dollar.
So back in May, we had advised the FCC that we felt that proposed surcharge was unreasonable and unjustified and therefore we did not think the applications should be granted. The companies remained in negotiation with the Cubans. They filed, in September, a new collect-call surcharge that represented a charge of only one dollar per call. Based on that much more reasonable figure, we advised the FCC on October 3 that we had no objection to approval of the applications.
Q Mike, this is the Cuban -- the high surcharge with the Cubans were --
MR. McCURRY: Correct. That was the surcharge that they would impose on the call. I thought that was interesting.
Q (Inaudible) the surcharge?
MR. McCURRY: I didn't say that.
Q Does this have anything to do with migration negotiations?
MR. McCURRY: No. They were not connected at all to the migration talks. In fact, even during the course of the migration talks, this issue arose once or twice a week. We pointed out very carefully that this had been under negotiation for some time and was within the framework of the Cuban Democracy Act itself. There was no linkage whatsoever.
Q Where did it come up?
MR. McCURRY: It came up here. We got a couple of press inquiries.
Q It didn't come up in the talks?
MR. McCURRY: It didn't come up in the talks at all, no. This was not related; not an item on that agenda.
Q Is there an even split on revenues generated by these phone calls?
MR. McCURRY: I don't believe so. I believe I can check that. I think those are revenues that accrue to the Cuban Government. Because of our embargo, it's one of the things that not only do we look at but the Treasury has to look at as well.
Q The funds which have been deposited in the Haiti account since 1961 or so remain frozen?
MR. McCURRY: That's my understanding.
Q Do you have any information there on when this new and improved service is possible?
MR. McCURRY: I don't. We understand that the companies now have to go and carry out some technical and operational tests, working with the Cubans, so that they can figure out what the condition of the existing telecommunications equipment and facilities are. That will take some time. But, really, the individual companies will have to let you know what kind of schedule that they intend to pursue.
Again, this is pending FCC approval of the licenses. All we've done, in effect, is dropped our objections to those license applications.
Q Do you have any figures on how many calls can go through now and how many calls that will --
MR. McCURRY: I don't, Sid. I don't. I imagine the best place to go is to some of the individual companies that are in negotiations with the Cubans. But I'll see if any of our folks have got good data on that; we'll try to share it.
Q Mike, on the surcharge, we've gone through this before. Presumably, this will result in some tariffs accruing to the Cuban Government?
MR. McCURRY: That's correct.
Q Does that require a special waiver, then, under the embargo?
MR. McCURRY: No, it doesn't. Because, as I say, it's specifically authorized by the Cuban Democracy Act, so they've got statutory authority to do that. To my knowledge, it does not require a separate waiver from Treasury, unlike other types of transactions which have to get a Treasury clearance through the Office of Foreign Assets.
Q Filing break?
MR. McCURRY: A filing break has been asked for. How about that, I made news. Hooray! He's the only one leaving. Filing break has been graciously granted. Moving on. What else would you like to know about.
Q Mike, a question about yesterday's lifting of sanctions on China, not on Pakistan. The decision was based not on China's past behavior but on future commitment. So what do you think Pakistan should do to get a similar (inaudible), and I also have a question later -- a follow-up.
MR. McCURRY: What we would say, as we said yesterday, the same type of dialogue that resulted in the agreement yesterday between the United States and China should occur between the United States and Pakistan. We have offered Pakistan the opportunity to work with us to achieve our non-proliferation goals which could lead to a waiver of the sanctions that had been imposed on the Pakistani entity. We would very much look forward to having those kinds of discussions with Pakistan, but that would have to develop within the context of our bilateral relationship.
Q Are those talks going on? Have the talks broken down?
MR. McCURRY: We've had discussions with them on non- proliferation issues. I'm not aware that we have recently, specifically addressed the M-11 issue in a manner resembling the detail of the negotiations we've had just in the past several days with the Chinese.
Q Whenever the U.S. took up the issue with India, India is the "China Factor." Now that the "China Factor" has been taken care of, are you going to put pressure on India? Are you going to take up the issue more vigorously on the question of the Prithvi and Agni and other Indian missile programs?
MR. McCURRY: Our concern stems from our own belief that the presence of the M-11 missile in that region would be destabilizing in the midst of a volatile region. But that is by no means the only step that must be taken to limit the tension and limit the conflict within the region.
It is important that China has now committed itself to a global export ban on missiles that are covered by the Missile Technology Control Regime, but there are other steps that certainly would be warranted in the view of the United States to reduce tensions in the region.
Q With regard to these steps, you've not mentioned India specifically. Would you like India --
MR. McCURRY: There are steps that we believe could be taken by a number of parties in the region that would help reduce tension. I wouldn't want to single one specific country out.
Q (Inaudible) from Hong Kong. We understand that the Secretary of State mentioned the Hong Kong issue to the Chinese Vice Premier a couple of days ago. Is it now the U.S. main concern that Hong Kong is only on its business value rather than -- is the United States concerned about Hong Kong's democratic developments?
MR. McCURRY: By no means. In fact, the Secretary's intervention with Foreign Minister and Vice Premier Qian Qichen was to encourage China, as the transformation takes place, to preserve those democratic institutions that have been so valuable in the economic and political life of Hong Kong and to encourage very close coordination with the United Kingdom as that transformation and transition takes place.
Q But did he focus more on the business aspects as a means of convincing the Chinese?
MR. McCURRY: I would suggest to the contrary. I think he was more focused on the need to preserve democratic institutions, the value of those, and the history of Hong Kong. But he did note, of course, the important commercial success of Hong Kong and the importance of keeping alive those institutions of market democracy that helped nurture that type of economic success. I believe he made the point that the Chinese understand the benefits of transitions to market economies. They also, we hope, would understand the way in which democratic institutions nurture that type of economic progress, which they know something about now, having made certain types of reforms in their own economic system.
Q Was there much of a response, though, from the Chinese?
MR. McCURRY: It was not a subject of lengthy conversation in the course of their bilateral meeting. They had a number of topics that they touched upon, but I would say that having had very good conversations with British Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd on the subject of Hong Kong, the Secretary did want to raise the importance of that issue and the importance to the United States of the dialogue that's occurring between the United Kingdom and China on the future of Hong Kong.
Of course, Foreign Minister Qian Qichen met, himself, with Foreign Secretary Hurd, and they had an opportunity to review that discussion, which was just a matter of several days old as of the time of their conversation.
Q Mike, is the U.S. continuing to watch planes that come from India closely for plague -- possible plague victims?
MR. McCURRY: I don't know the answer to that, Betsy. A good place to go for that would be U.S. Public Health Service or Centers for Disease Control. That would be the entity that I think would be keeping track of that, but I can do some checking on that.
Q Does your travel warning remain in effect?
MR. McCURRY: It is my understanding the travel warning remains in effect, and we have not changed it, and we have noted in the past the conditions that exist in India.
Q Mike, on Haiti, any sign that the other two members of the troika are going to follow Colonel Francois?
MR. McCURRY: I wouldn't say there are any signs. It's certainly our expectation and, as General Shalikashvili said yesterday, they will be gone by October 15 at the latest. We don't know of any reason to think otherwise.
Q I was reading in the Post, out of curiosity, Security Council Resolution 940, and in it, it says that the backers of the United Nations agree to facilitate the departure of the leaders. Are you doing that?
MR. McCURRY: I am not aware of anything that would pose an obstacle to their departure if they chose to depart Haiti.
Q And are you actively facilitating them leaving?
MR. McCURRY: I just don't want to get into any details on that. I'd say that the means of their departure, the modalities for their departure, are fairly well known and I don't think would post any complication should they choose to exercise the option of departing Haiti prior to October 15.
Q Are you in touch with (inaudible). He might choose to go, for example. For example, Panama has offered him asylum, and I believe he has a home in Spain.
MR. McCURRY: I think you've seen reporting about some of the other venues that they might choose if they chose to depart Haiti, but I don't want to single out any discussions we've had and thus set off a mad race to dial up foreign governments who we might have been talking to.
Q Mike, is the sanctions mission on the Dominican- Haitian border still in operation, or has it been quietly shut up?
MR. McCURRY: No, the MOG was deliberately withdrawn. My understanding is the MOG -- that's the Multinational Observation Group -- was deliberately withdrawn just prior to the insertion of the multinational force out of concern for security and other issues. They had a pull back. And to my knowledge they're not continuing their work monitoring that border. That begins to become less of a problem as we near the date that President Aristide returns and all sanctions are, of course, lifted.
There's not much point in enforcing those sanctions as we look very near now to the point of their complete removal as President Aristide returns.
Q Mike, you said "deliberately withdrawn from the border."
Q From the Dominican Republic.
MR. McCURRY: From the border area; I assume that was for operational reasons but I wouldn't be able to tell you about that. The Pentagon might be able to tell you about it.
Q While we're on the subject of the border, what ever happened to the 900 to 1800 Haitians who are "travel ready" and some of whom had left prior to the insertion of the multinational force? Did the rest of them -- are they still there? Have more been coming in?
MR. McCURRY: Actually, some of them have been coming back. Hold on and I'll tell you more. Maybe I won't tell you more. There had been some. I thought I had this.
(TO STAFF) Would someone go check? We had that in the package yesterday, the whole number count. I just don't see it.
Charlie, I'm sorry, I don't see it here in this stuff that I have, but I'll get someone to get it. Essentially there were people who were continuing to make their way out. In fact, even during the initial days of the presence of the multinational force in Haiti, there continued to be departures via the land route through Dominican Republic, and, of course, that is the right of those who have been granted travel-ready status. We had said that we would be open to anyone who wanted to reconsider, who chose to stay in Haiti, given the changes that are occurring in Haiti, but that is an individual decision that people would have to make.
Let me, while we're on the subject, tell you a little more about those Haitians who are at Guantanamo who had been picked up at sea and returned there. They continue to be voluntarily returned to Haiti. There were 494 who returned to Haiti yesterday aboard a U.S. Coast Guard cutter and another 492 that will be arriving in Port-au-Prince today.
There are 444 who are scheduled to depart or ready to depart from Guantanamo to return; and it is clear that in a lot of cases individuals are just making the decision as they see the enormously hopeful changes taking place, and they want to take advantage of that and return to their homeland. There are others for their own reason who are deciding that they want to stay put at Guantanamo until they see what develops, but we are very encouraged by the fact that so many individuals have come forward and indicated that they would like to now return to Haiti and to participate in the transformation of Haiti.
(Staff hands paper to Mr. McCurry) Thank you. Once again on the travel readies, I guess the last group that left, Charlie, was last Thursday, on the 29th. There were 122 who departed via Dominican Republic that day and came continue the United States, and that means that the total of those travel ready folks who have left is now up to 818, and there are now about 700 left who are in travel-ready status; probably another 800 or so who could be approved if they wanted to come back.
But again those folks had not been finally processed. You know, go back and ask them and say, "Is there anything about your condition or about your circumstances that suggests that you'd like to change that status?"
Q With the eventual change of government, doesn't the claim of a legitimate fear of persecution disappear; therefore, their status as political refugees?
MR. McCURRY: It could in theory, but I'm told that once having been granted that status, that status remains valid. I'll have this INS question ultimately about whether or not they have to go back and recheck that status, but I've been told in recent days that, once approved and once travel-ready, they can come out. Clearly, the environment in Haiti is not risk-free, and there continues to be concern about the possibility of violence there, and violence especially by those associated with the former regime.
Q The people who are being trained as policemen in Guantanamo, would they most likely return after Aristide returns, or will they come in as part of this multinational force?
MR. McCURRY: I'm told that they are principally being trained as police assistants, and they are not necessarily either going to serve as part of the police force or as part of the international police monitors who are associated with the multinational force, and who are under the direction of Ray Kelly; that they are more, in a sense, going to be facilitators for the police and probably serve in most instances in a capacity as interpreters, because they've got the language familiarity.
So the type of training -- there's a wide range of backgrounds, experience. There were not that many people, frankly, who had any type of law enforcement experience that would be useful to the international police force that is part of the multinational force down in Haiti. But they are going to see what they can do to try to get those folks incorporated as assistants to the international police force.
Q The Post said this morning that the U.S. Government still has not worked out all the details with President Aristide's people about the ground rules governing the activities of the U.S. forces in Haiti.
MR. McCURRY: Yes. It's not exactly a ground rules agreement, George. It's the status of forces agreement which is very often used by the United States Government to cover a wide range of activities when we've got U.S. military personnel based on foreign soil. It's not an absolute requirement that you have such a status of forces agreement; but both the United States and the legitimate Government of Haiti felt it would be desirable to have one, and that's why they've been engaged in negotiations to try to conclude that agreement.
It would not be a precondition for President Aristide's return, but it is a good and useful way to structure the agreement, government-to-government, for the deployment of a large force on foreign soil. But we'll continue those discussions. They've been proceeding smoothly. I don't want to get into any of the details of the back-and-forth with the duly elected government, but we're satisfied that we're making progress.
Q Can you tell whether the U.S. will have a role in protecting Aristide when he goes back?
MR. McCURRY: I would prefer not to. I mean, we get very close at that point into a question about executive protection, and just as a general matter, I don't like when folks in our government talk about the security arrangements we make for our President, and I think it behooves us not to be too detailed about security arrangements we might or might not help with as they relate to a foreign head of state.
Q Will we return him to Haiti?
MR. McCURRY: We got commercial air service flying tomorrow, but I suspect that we probably will assist.
Q The first flights will be tomorrow?
MR. McCURRY: I think today. Anybody know?
MR. McCURRY: Actually, I read somewhere that American Airlines was starting up today. I see CNN has in their never- ending coverage of Haiti -- they've got their cameras out there to watch the arrival of American Airlines, or whoever, whichever carrier becomes the first commercial carrier to return.
Q Ambassador Bill Gray is finished with his service on Haiti. Who is the point man on Haiti?
MR. McCURRY: We have a lot of people who are working that issue. He had a very important role as the Special Adviser to the President, but given the complexity of the issues surrounding Haiti, everybody has had sort of a central role to play, including the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the Chairman, the Deputies at both the Pentagon and here, the National Security Adviser. There has been a lot of people working various aspects of the policy.
By the way, Bill Gray has done an absolutely spectacular job by everyone's account, and during the period that he has served as Special Adviser, he did this as a volunteer, you'll recall, and had a temporary assignment; and through the gracious willingness of the United Negro College Fund to let Bill Gray depart for a while to help on this, we were able to have his services. But he does have responsibilities to them and did need to return fairly promptly.
In fact, at President Clinton's request, he extended the amount of time that he was available to the United States Government to help us, and we were very grateful for that. But there are a lot of people now who will continue to work. In fact, he will continue to be very available to us as we need to consult with him and draw on his assistance and his expertise as we move through these next critical phases of Operation Uphold Democracy.
Q On Korea, how long do you expect the current Geneva talks with North Korea will continue?
MR. McCURRY: I don't have any firm indication at this point. I can only tell you that Ambassador Gallucci is obviously returning to Geneva with -- returning actually today, having had consultations both here and New York, and he expects to resume talks, I believe, later today in Geneva with his North Korean counterpart.
We have not been giving much of a readout of the meetings as they've been in progress and deferring to the delegations in Geneva to provide most of the news, but they will be able to alert you to their schedule in the days ahead.
Q The situation in Sarajevo appears to be getting more serious with the Bosnian Serbs claiming the airport and stopping a number of caravans going to a number of the safe areas. Does this government plan on any action?
MR. McCURRY: That subject had been addressed most recently by Secretary of Defense Perry when he was meeting with the other NATO Defense Ministers in Seville, and we have long indicated, both as a participant in NATO and as a supporter of UNPROFOR, that we believe there should be very strict enforcement of existing U.N. Security Council resolutions, and NATO is prepared through its own decisions to make good on those promises of assistance.
The situation -- not only with the airport but with the conditions of utilities in and around Sarajevo -- has been bad. General Rose, the UNPROFOR Commander, has had discussions with both the Bosnian Serbs and the Bosnian Government about relieving the situation. But we stand prepared to be in a position to be more vigorous in enforcing those existing resolutions and measures that the international community has adopted to try to change the situation on the ground.
Q Excuse me, one follow-up. But Perry said that armaments were getting across the border from Serbia, and --
MR. McCURRY: I was speaking about Sarajevo -- the conditions within Sarajevo. The border monitoring question is a different question. We can get into that a little bit if you want.
The border between both Serbia and Bosnia and Montenegro and Bosnia is a long one, and the type of mission that the International Conference on the Former Yugoslavia has authorized is not going to be capable of verifying all up and down the length of that border that has been closed. What they can do is monitor, as best they can, traffic at some of the key points, and they are doing that now.
General Beau Palnaes is the Director of that mission that is observing the border and has reported to the Secretary General that the Serbs have effectively implemented their decision to close the border. That is the report from those observers who are on the ground.
We are aware that there are reports to the contrary. This is what Secretary Perry was referring to, that there have been reports that there are some goods other than humanitarian goods that might be coming across the border; and we stand very prepared to use our own resources, our own personnel and our own information to help the United Nations understand whatever the accurate picture of conditions along the border might be.
Remember, that under the terms of U.N. Security Council Resolution 943, if at any point the Secretary General reports to the Security Council, based on the reports of this mission, that there are goods other than humanitarian supplies that are coming across the border, the sanctions measures that are in place now are automatically reimposed on Serbia. And we would support the reimposition of sanctions on Serbia if it's established that goods other than those humanitarian supplies are crossing the border contrary to the pledges that Milosevic and others have made.
Q What do you have in mind when you say that the United States is prepared to use -- what -- personnel, I think you said, or resources?
MR. McCURRY: We're actually going to have some U.S. members participate in that mission. They'll be going out there -- I think the first U.S. participants in that mission leave tomorrow evening, if I'm not mistaken, and they are mostly people who are probably -- I don't know if they have a relationship with the Customs Service, but they're people who are familiar with the techniques of the U.S. Customs Service, and they're available to help on some of that border monitoring.
Q How many will be going?
MR. McCURRY: I actually am not sure, Elaine. We had a number. I think the total size of the monitoring mission is 130, and I believe our participation is going to be 20 or 30, something like that. That's out of memory but we can firm that up and get a better answer.
Q Just follow-up on North Korea. Can you confirm that --
Q Come back to Bosnia?
MR. McCURRY: Stay on Bosnia, yes.
Q Excuse me if these questions have been asked. Is the Administration sharing any of the intelligence that it might have, even though it may be very sketchy on Serbian non- compliance with the United Nations?
MR. McCURRY: That's an intelligent question, and we don't answer intelligent questions here. (Laughter) I said that we would provide -- you missed earlier, Elaine -- I said that we have been providing -- in a position to provide and will provide resources, personnel and information to the ICFY monitoring mission, but I can't answer your question with any more specificity than that.
Q Still on the former Yugoslavia, earlier you said on Sarajevo that we stand prepared to be more vigorous in enforcing the U.N. resolutions. In what way?
MR. McCURRY: We've long called for stricter enforcement of things like the exclusion zones that have been ordered around Sarajevo and other safe areas. I'd refer you to some of the things that Secretary Perry said in Seville which were specific. That's something that the NATO Defense Ministers have now tasked NATO with -- some urgent instructions to draw up some specific things that can be done to make the enforcement of those measures more robust. But since it's being handled most recently by the Secretary of Defense, and since I believe he's probably talking about this at a press conference right now, I'll kind of defer to him.
Q Another Bosnian question. In December of '92, then Secretary of State Eagleburger at a meeting in Geneva branded Slobodan Milosevic a war criminal who should be prosecuted by a Nurenburg-style tribunal. Is that still the position of the United States Government?
MR. McCURRY: In furtherance of those views that war crimes have been committed, the United States Government, through very effective representation at the United Nations and elsewhere, achieved the impanelment of a war crimes tribunal which has a prosecutor now which is looking at exactly the types of questions related to your question: Who ought to be prosecuted, who is guilty of crimes, and who can be brought before the bar of international justice? I think that's the proper place to get a specific answer to a question like that, just as we wouldn't comment on matters under litigation within the United Nations course, this is, in a sense, now in the international court because it's before the war crimes tribunal. It will be up to the prosecutor and the judges who constitute that tribunal to decide who is guilty.
Q It was a different Administration, but it was important at the time. At least, what Mr. Eagleburger said at the time was that it was crucial to name names. So does the United States Government still consider Milosevic a war criminal?
MR. McCURRY: We consider that a matter that has to be adjudicated and prosecuted by a panel that we helped create now. It is no longer a question. At the time Acting Secretary Eagleburger made those comments, there was no way in which you could bring to justice those guilty of such crimes. The naming of names and the provision of evidence, or securing evidence, was a very, very important thing to do. That's what the United States Government did. That continued in the current Administration.
We've assembled a great deal of evidence, as you know, which we have shared with the international war crimes tribunal. Those who are guilty of those crimes are now in a position to be prosecuted and punished by that tribunal.
It is now a matter of a legal proceeding that's underway. It would very incorrect for us to make judgments about cases that they might, in fact, want to prosecute. It will be up to a very effective prosecutor who the Secretary has met and talked to fairly recently and who Madeleine Albright has been working with.
The important thing is, there's a way to bring those people to justice to validate any claims made by former government officials, or officials of previous Administrations. We've got a way to bring those people to justice now.
Q Mike, returning to China for just a minute. Yesterday, after the signing of the agreement, Vice Premier Qian Qichen had a statement about events and he said that the remaining sanctions are still stumbling blocks for good Sino- U.S. relations.
Is there any word on whether -- he indicated that it would be an act of faith for America to drop those remaining sanctions.
MR. McCURRY: Those are the so-called Tiananmen sanctions. Those sanctions depend on a number of things related to the status of conditions, as we understand them, in China. They are not suspended or lifted although they can be waived as they have been waived in some instances in the past.
The status of those existing sanctions will depend on the progress that we feel being made in the U.S.-Sino relationship.
Q So it wouldn't be dropped as an act of faith, which is what he was kind of hoping would happen?
MR. McCURRY: I'm not aware of any plans to drop it as an act of faith. It's a matter of U.S. law. I don't think that we would be in a position to do that in any event.
Q Just to follow up on North Korea. Can you confirm newspaper reports that there will be no change in U.S. policy on resumed talks? There will be no sweeteners or no new proposals?
MR. McCURRY: I don't think Ambassador Gallucci intended to return to Geneva to have a conversation that he's already had. That would be a rather stale approach to a negotiation in progress.
I think he came back here specifically to review with senior officials in our government the status of those negotiations, the ideas that have been developing in the high- level talks occurring in Geneva. I'm sure that he's going back there armed with a new brief that will achieve the same objective. Maybe that's what the author of the report meant to imply.
He returns to Geneva, certainly, with the same objective that he's had in the past, which is an overall settlement that can resolve the nuclear issue satisfactorily. That's his objective. That is, indeed, the same. But I suspect he's going there having reflected on where the conversation is at this point.
Q Back on Milosevic versus Eagleburger. Is it too strong to say that you're disassociating yourself from what Eagleburger said in December?
MR. McCURRY: Absolutely. He made some comments. Other U.S. officials have commented on that. I am, as a matter of prudence and as would be consistent with practices in our own system, declining to comment on matters that might be under adjudication before an international body. I wouldn't stand here and declare O.J. Simpson guilty either, because we can't do that. We don't do that as Spokesman for U.S. Government bodies when there are matters that are under adjudication. It's just the sensible way to behave.
Q Can I ask another Bosnia question? If you've answered it, just let me know. Does the State Department believe that the Serbs have fully lived up to their promise to ban non-humanitarian assistance to the Bosnian Serbs?
MR. McCURRY: Asked and answered earlier.
(Press briefing concluded at 1:26 p.m.)
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