U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE OFFICE OF THE SPOKESMAN DAILY PRESS BRIEFING OCTOBER 17, 1994 U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING I N D E X Monday, October 17, 1994 Briefer: Christine Shelly HAITI US Embassy Staff Lauded by Secretary ............1 VIETNAM Foreign Minister's Meetings at Department .......1-2,15-16 MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS Agreement between Israel and Jordan .............2-3 BOSNIA US to Submit Draft Resolution on Lifting Arms Embargo .......................................3-6 Activities of Contact Group .....................3-4 NORTH KOREA Talks with US in Geneva .........................6-7 GERMANY Elections .......................................7-8 IRAQ UN Resolution 949 on Troop Deployment ...........8-11 Views of US/Russia ..............................8-11 Kozyrev UN Statement re: Sanctions .............11-12 Conditions for Lifting Sanctions ................12-14 CUBA Cuban Fisherman Reported Killed by Cuban Exiles .14
DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING
MONDAY, OCTOBER 17, 1994, 1:21 P.M. (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)
MS. SHELLY: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.
The Secretary asked that at the start of today's briefing I bring your attention to his and the President's personal appreciation for the extraordinary performance of our Ambassador and our entire staff in Port-au-Prince. Ambassador Swing and his relatively small staff have endured hardship, isolation and danger, while providing a virtual torrent of reporting on the situation on the ground in Haiti, and policy recommendations on how to rid Haiti of its illegitimate military leaders and to restore the democratically elected government of President Aristide.
Many of you have gotten to know Ambassador Swing and Embassy Spokesmen Stan Schrager over the past several months, and you too appreciate the strong representation of U.S. interests. But working with them have been a number of others, Americans as well as Haitians, who also deserve recognition. For that reason, while the Secretary was in Haiti, he presented the Embassy staff with the Department's highest honor -- the Secretary's Distinguished Honor Award.
The inscription on that award that as presented on Saturday reads: "For sustained and exceptionally outstanding performance by all personnel of the American Embassy in Haiti in the face of personal hardship, isolation, and often danger, culminating in the restoration of Haiti's democratically elected government."
The work of this group of diplomats, combined with the extraordinary skills of the U.S. military in Haiti -- what the Secretary called "the combination of force and diplomacy" -- helped make Saturday's events in Port-au-Prince possible.
I'd be pleased to take your questions.
Q Would he be available to the press any time today? There are some interesting things going on, including the meeting with the Vietnamese. You've probably put that off limits to the writing press, is that true? Is there a chance to talk to the Secretary today, or --
MS. SHELLY: Barry, first of all, as I'm sure you're aware, the Secretary was up in New York this morning for his meeting with Foreign Minister Kozyrev.
Q (Inaudible) was up there too, most likely.
MS. SHELLY: No. He gave a press statement up in New York, and we can make the transcript of that available.
Q There was a photo op; there was no chance to ask him questions.
MS. SHELLY: O.K. He made a statement following his meeting with Foreign Minister Kozyrev.
As to your second question about the photo op this afternoon, regarding the visit with the Vietnamese Foreign Minister, I'm of the understanding that we're treating today's photo op in exactly the same way that we have previous photo ops with the Vietnamese Foreign Minister, which is basically camera and stills.
Q (Inaudible) (Laughter)
MS. SHELLY: No. But I think that the decision was, given where we are in the relationship, that it's still appropriate to follow that same format.
Q They could very easily say, "We don't have an answer for you on that." Every relationship has some sensitivity -- in relationships with Syria, with lots of places -- with Haiti, with everybody.
MS. SHELLY: O.K.
Q I mean they're the big boys. They can say, "No, I don't want to answer that question." But, you know, watching them on television is sometimes our only access. Now, you just read a statement that obviously would have more appeal if it came from him; and now we have a Jordan-Israeli agreement, and I'm sure there are nice things he wants to say about that. It would be good if we could have access to all that more often.
MS. SHELLY: He also addressed the Jordan-Israeli agreement. He did that in his remarks, which are also available at the Press Office, but I'll just say he expressed his very strong delight with the announcement on the Middle East about the peace process continuing to unfold in such a dramatic and dynamic way.
He indicated that the initialing of the Peace Treaty text is just another indication that the enemy's of peace cannot block the peace process. The agreement reached today and the resumption of the direct dialogue are symbols of the durability of peace and the determination of Israel and its Arab partners to build a new structure for stability and security in the region, and the personally congratulated both Prime Minister Rabin and King Hussein for their courage in reaching this agreement.
Q Well, if I have access to him and I don't have access to you, can you say anything about the passing of October l5th, which was initially the promised date for the U.S. to do something in the U.N. about Bosnia and partially lifting of the arms embargo? Where is the U.S. now on this?
MS. SHELLY: O.K. The deadline of October l5th for the Bosnian Serbs to accept the Contact Group plan has passed, with no positive response from the Bosnian Serbs. We're working on a draft resolution to lift the U.N. arms embargo on Bosnia- Herzegovina. In accordance with the President's letter to Congress, we will submit our draft resolution to the Council within the next two weeks.
Q What kind of implementation date?
MS. SHELLY: As I think you know, in the context of our discussions on this we are both working to fulfill the commitments to the U.S. Congress on lift and also to do that in a way which is consistent with the request of President Izetbegovic regarding a delay in the implementation of the lift, which, as you know, involved an approximate six-month deferral of implementation.
Q Can you tell us anything about the Contact Group meeting -- your expectations for the Contact Group meeting this week? Will Assistant Secretary Holbrooke be there, and what do you think about a French proposal for a Croatian-Serbia-Bosnian Summit Meeting?
MS. SHELLY: O.K. I don't have anything on the French proposal. I personally have not seen it, but I'll certainly check on that.
There are a number of Contact Group meetings which are expected to take place this week up in New York. We will be consulting with all of the Contact Group members regarding our preparations on the resolution and the form that that might take. Our idea, of course, is not only to develop the formulation for the resolution but also to continue our consultations on our approach generally to the problem. We want to make sure that we are able to develop and maintain our cohesion and our approach through the Contact Group format to devise not just a U.N. Security Council resolution but also obviously what our strategy should be in the coming months as we might get closer to that deadline.
The real issue is not simply the language in the resolution. The real issue, of course, is how to bring the Bosnian Serbs closer to acceptance of the Contact Group plan and the map.
Q Is Holbrooke going to be there next week or this week?
MS. SHELLY: I'll check on that point. I don't know.
Q On that same subject, the Bosnian Government seems to be suggesting that the Contact Group may reopen negotiations with the Bosnian Serbs on some of the aspects of the plan that had been presented to them and that they've turned down five times. Can you tell me anything about whether the United States favors reopening the negotiations on the Contact Group plan?
MS. SHELLY: Yes. I don't have any information to the effect that there is serious consideration being given to that, so I'm going to have to check on that and just make sure that my understanding is still accurate.
Q According to a letter from the Bosnian Foreign Minister, who set out some specifics on what he had heard that the Contact Group might do, the French, for example, favor a confederation between the Bosnian Serbs and Serbia. Is the United States in favor of something like that?
MS. SHELLY: I think you know we have addressed this in the context of the Bosnian-Croat Federation and our hope that any solution would maintain the territorial integrity of Bosnia. So on that latter point I don't know if we've addressed that specifically, but in any proposal we would want to see it be consistent with that.
Q When is the Contact Group meeting on the peace plan itself -- not on the resolution, but on the peace plan? Is that in New York as well?
MS. SHELLY: I think the Contact Group's meetings this week in New York are not only designed to encompass discussions about the resolution, but I think it is more broadly focused on the whole question of the approach and the next steps and how to try to get the Bosnian Serbs closer to accepting the plan and the map. So I don't have any other details at this point.
But as these meetings begin to unfold, I assume we'll probably have a little more to say.
Q Is there any way of getting them to accept, to yield to some of their demands? Is that possibility?
MS. SHELLY: Again, I will try to get an update on this for us to work on later this week as the meeting unfolds. I don't have a specific answer to your question.
Q Does the draft resolution that the United States Government is working on include any recognition that the Bosnian Serbs apparently are cooperating with the border sealing?
MS. SHELLY: I think we are still at the point of floating ideas about the language of the resolution. I don't know if there is a formal text at this point. But I'm not in a position to comment on whether there are references that might be in or might not.
Q Have you done any polling of the other members of the Security Council to see if they would, in fact, go along with a lifting the arms embargo?
MS. SHELLY: We have had discussions about that. Certainly, our key allies on this are not under any illusions or I think misimpressions about exactly what our intentions are, which are, of course, are to fulfill the President's commitments encompassed in the letter to Senator Nunn.
So I don't think there are any questions about what the U.S. commitment is in this process. But as to the precise exchanges that we have had with allies on this, I wouldn't get into that at this point.
Q Can I just ask, will the resolution have an implementation date, whatever that date is?
MS. SHELLY: I'm not in a position today to get pinned down on specifics on what might be in that resolution.
Q You just spoke of a promise to Senator Nunn. The promise was that on October 15 the U.S. would move to lift the embargo. Now, you've already got that shifted months down the road, using Izetbegovic and a divided Bosnian Government saying he'd like some delay.
Still the question arises, will the U.S. at any point ask that the arms embargo be lifted, which you promised Congress you would?
MS. SHELLY: That isn't the commitment, Barry.
Q The only simple way I know how to do this is to ask if it will have an implementation date, whatever the date is?
MS. SHELLY: Barry, the question about what the intention of the resolution is, is specifically about following up on the President's commitment to seek a lifting of the arms embargo. That commitment is still there. There is no change in that whatsoever. But, to me, that is a different question about whether or not there's going to be an exact date by which it must be lifted.
Q So there may not be an exact date in the resolution?
MS. SHELLY: I'm just not going to get involved --
Q You don't know what to say either way?
MS. SHELLY: I'm just saying that I'm not going to get into any greater degree of specificity about exactly what might be in the resolution or what form the resolution is going to take.
Q Christine, is the United States committed to moving forward with this even if it might mean a veto?
MS. SHELLY: The United States is committed to moving forward with this. The issue of a veto is a hypothetical one at this point. That one, I can't answer.
Q Same thing. I'd just ask for one other thing. There was a long letter written to the Secretary by the Bosnian Foreign Minister delivered Friday and another one written by the President to President Clinton delivered Friday. Can you check to see whether there's been any reply from this Department to Foreign Minister Silajdzic's letter.
MS. SHELLY: I'll check.
Q Can you give an update information about the North Korean talks with the U.S. in Geneva? Did both sides reach any agreement to an agreed statement yet?
MS. SHELLY: I'm sorry, I didn't understand the last part of your question.
Q North Korea and the U.S.A. talks in Geneva right now, did both sides reach any agreement yet?
MS. SHELLY: Have they reached agreement?
MS. SHELLY: No, I don't have anything to announce today. All I can refer you to you, I think, would be Secretary Christopher's most recent comments.
He said, "We had made progress in our efforts to curb North Korea's nuclear ambitions. Nevertheless, the issues which are being addressed in Geneva have been and are very difficult ones. They very complex. The delegations remain engaged in serious and intense discussions."
The delegations met over the weekend, which you know. The discussions also are continuing today. The U.S. delegation will stay in engaged in Geneva with the North Koreans as long as progress is being made.
Q When did he say that? Was that a prepared statement, or was that on TV or something?
MS. SHELLY: I believe it was in his "Meet the Press" appearance.
Q You can't be more specific?
Q (Inaudible) timeframe or any time limit given to these current negotiations?
MS. SHELLY: No, we've never placed a time limit on the negotiations.
Q Can you be anymore specific about what it is that's holding the two sides up right now? Is it the North-South dialogue?
MS. SHELLY: I really can't, Carol. As you know, with the negotiations still underway, we, from this podium, have not gotten into the substance of those negotiations, and that's still, unfortunately, where I am today.
Q Christine, on another subject. Does the State Department have any reaction to the results of the German elections?
MS. SHELLY: Yes, I've got a little reaction on that. The German people voted October 16 to return the ruling coalition - - that CDU/CSU-FDP -- to power in Bonn. The voter turnout was over 79 percent.
We believe this was especially impression in light of some of the concerns which had been expressed earlier about voter disillusionment and the political process.
The United States has long had excellent relations with the Federal Republic of Germany Government headed by Chancellor Kohl. We look forward to continuing our close working relationship with the government and deepening our very important partnership between the two countries.
Q Go back to the Middle East a little bit. Could you give us an idea if there is -- if you've heard, or the Secretary thinks it would be worthwhile to resume his visit to the Middle East, maybe in a couple of weeks?
MS. SHELLY: I don't have anything on that, Barry.
Q Is he going to the Casablanca Conference?
MS. SHELLY: As far I know, he does plan to go there.
Q But you have nothing on whether the situation is of a sort that it would be worthwhile for him to resume his shuttling?
MS. SHELLY: I just don't have a readout on that at this point.
Q Israel radio reports that 300 Syrian Jews -- almost the last Jews left in Syria -- are due to immigrate to Israel, I think tomorrow, under an agreement said to have been negotiated by Secretary Christopher when he was in the Middle East last week. Do you have anything on that?
MS. SHELLY: No, I don't. I'm going to have to check on that. Because of the travel involved, both in terms of the Secretary's return, his departure, and then also his being up in New York, I don't have a readout on all of the things which were worked in the Middle East. So I don't have an answer to that specific question, but I'll check.
Q Talk a little bit about the meeting with Kozyrev today? Did they only speak about Iraq?
MS. SHELLY: In terms of the Secretary's statement on this, which he made following his meeting with the Russian Foreign Minister, he said that they spent most of their time on Iraq. They had reviewed Saturday's actions by the U.N. Security Council which requires Iraq to remove its troops from southern Iraq and, of course, not to enhance their military capability there.
It might be useful for me just to go over this, but, again, you can get the exact text of this from the Press Office after the briefing.
He underscored in his statement to the press what he felt were several points which underline the common direction which we're pursuing with Russia.
First, he said it was in the vital interest of both the U.S. and Russia to oppose new threats by Iraq to the security of the Gulf.
Secondly, that we had agreed it was important to let Saddam know that any aggression would be decisively and unanimously repulsed.
Thirdly, that we had agreed to consult closely as the Security Council continue to address the situation.
Fourth, that they had agreed it was necessary for Iraq to comply fully with all Security Council resolutions and not just some.
Fifth, they had agreed that Saddam is not entitled to any reward for withdrawing troops that threatened Kuwait. Any future lifting of sanctions against Iraq is an issue that stands completely separate and should be reviewed in the normal procedures of the U.N.
And, finally, that Saddam would not get something for nothing.
Q Does he not acknowledge, though, that there seems to be quite a difference between the United States and Russia on the whole issue of easing sanctions?
MS. SHELLY: I think there certainly have been some differences in approach to this. But I think the point, certainly, in the Secretary's comments to the press and certainly the point of having the meeting in the first place, was also to stress the need to have a common understanding about what is necessary and to also make sure that we are embarked upon a course which is a common direction designed to achieve the full implementation of the Security Council resolutions.
So, whereas there certainly has been a lot of public focus on some of the actions of the last few days, I think the Secretary felt positively after this meeting that there was a very good commonality of interests.
Q It's hard to understand how the United States can still claim there's a common approach to this when even coming out of the vote in the Security Council the other night, there seems to be radically differing views as to what that vote allowed -- the United States saying that it means that force can be used against Iraq, if necessary, right away, and others being a little more cautious about that.
MS. SHELLY: I think in the lead-up to the adoption of the resolution, there were certainly a lot of exchanges that took place. The views of all of the Security Council members, obviously, had to be taken into account.
But I think the key point is the fact that the Security Council was able to reach its action on the night of October 15. It was a unanimous adoption of Resolution 949 which did underline very clearly that Iraq is fully responsible for the consequences of not fulfilling demands that were contained in the resolution.
The resolution has very, very strong language in it. There certainly was a very clear condemnation of Iraq's military deployments in the south. It demanded -- again, in very harsh language -- that Iraq withdraw immediately. The Council demanded no future redeployments or military enhancements.
The vote also underscored the determination of the Council to try to prevent such a threat from ever rising again.
The fact that the Russians were a full participant in this decision, certainly, indicates that there is a large measure of agreement, not only between the U.S. and Russia but certainly in the Security Council as a whole.
Q Was the Administration aware, as Mr. Kozyrev said Russia was aware, that Saddam had announced these troop movements as an exercise in several government-controlled newspapers, and it was a little surprised that it was mistaken?
MS. SHELLY: On the specific point, I don't know. I would have to check on that point.
But as a general point, I think any kind of troop movement that results in the massing of 80,000-some troops along the Kuwaiti border -- that it would be very hard for anybody to read that as an action which would not be menacing to Kuwait.
Q Christine, Friday, on the way home, at the Frankfurt refueling stop, the Secretary distributed a statement in which he called the Russian proposal "misguided" and said "it would reward Iraq." Now, he's met with Mr. Kozyrev. Is he now persuaded that Russian foreign policy on Iraq no longer is misguided and no longer attempting to reward Iraq? Have they had a change of heart since he criticized them on Friday?
MS. SHELLY: I think that the --
Q I know you're happy how the resolution came out, but I'm talking about vis-a-vis Russia -- Russia's approach to Iraq.
MS. SHELLY: I think that there was a joint Iraqi-Russian statement which came out of Foreign Minister's Kozyrev's trip to Baghdad.
The Secretary was reacting very specifically to that statement. Also other things unfolded in the context of the 24 hours which followed that which did lead to the adoption, unanimously, of the Security Council Resolution. There has also been an opportunity for Secretary Christopher and Foreign Minister Kozyrev to meet today and obviously have a very substantive exchange on the issues.
So I think we are confident that we are working on the same track. It does not mean that there are not going to be some differences of opinion. But I think the degree to which we were able to get a very clear and unanimous Security Council statement on Saturday night is the best indication, as a formal Security Council decision, that Russia shares all of the different goals that were outlined in that resolution itself.
Q Christine, I don't want to beat a dead horse, but after all of this commonality that you've announced, Kozyrev walked into the Security Council and a made speech in which he proposed that if Iraq was going to do what it promised him it would do, which is recognize Kuwait and live up to the monitoring that's being put in for a six-month period, that the sanctions on their sale of oil -- the export of their oil -- should be lifted.
So it doesn't seem to me that there's a great deal of common ground here between these two states.
MS. SHELLY: Barrie, I think there's a very strong statement of what Russia's position is by its embrace of the Security Council resolution. We're certainly aware of what Kozyrev said with the Security Council in session and all of the lights and action and cameras rolling.
Nonetheless, I think it's very, very clear what the position of the Council is regarding implementation of all Security Council resolutions. It's simply, we have to take our relationship with the Russians and what we believe their official position to be as a product of our bilateral exchanges with them and not the statements that they might make in the public domain.
Q But the United States would still be strongly opposed to lifting the sanctions -- that is to say, their ability to sell their oil -- even if they recognize Kuwait and even if they lived up to all aspects of the long-term monitoring procedures?
MS. SHELLY: Barrie, as I think you know, there is a provision in place which would permit them to make oil sales for humanitarian purposes.
MS. SHELLY: Right. Anyway, in terms of the easing or the lifting of possible sanctions against Iraq, the United States is still firmly behind the necessity of having full compliance with all Security Council resolutions.
Q Including (inaudible) minorities, right?
MS. SHELLY: Right.
Q And can you please specifically tell me what it is Iraq needs to do?
Q Yeah, minorities.
Q We've checked off the possibility that they recognize Kuwait, which the Security Council resolution says, and the long-term monitoring which Mr. Ekeus says they seem to be cooperating with. What is it that's left for Iraq to do, specifically?
MS. SHELLY: Secretary Christopher addressed this yesterday in his "Meet the Press" appearance. He said his goal is to have full compliance with all U.N. Security Council resolutions -- all of them -- including respect for minorities in the country, including the return of some of the Kuwaitis who were captured, including the ones related to the weapons of mass destruction. Again, it's not that one or another of these is the basis for easing or lifting sanctions. We want full compliance with all of them. Our focus is on getting compliance with all of those resolutions.
Q And Moscow agrees with that? You want us to accept that despite their public statements, Moscow agrees that all those things have to be done before Iraq is permitted to sell - - not for humanitarian -- Iraq is permitted to resume oil sales to France and everybody else -- right?
MS. SHELLY: Barry, I think in the context of the Russian vote, on Saturday night in the Security Council, they committed themselves to the position that Iraq needs to comply fully with all Security Council resolutions.
Q There is a provision. I read the Security Council resolution, 687, which is one of the operative ones. Certain sanctions, like the sale of oil -- not for humanitarian purposes -- can take place when certain of the conditions in the Security Council resolution are met.
You're saying that in order for them to get any sanctions lifted at all on oil, they have to comply with all the Security Council resolutions from 686 on; is that correct?
MS. SHELLY: I think we addressed this last week. In the context of the report that went to the Security Council, in the context of some remarks made by Rolf Ekeus, who is, of course, the author of that report and the Chairman of the Commission reporting to the Council, he also made reference to all of the provisions in that resolution.
One of the provisions in that resolution is that Iraq has to show demonstration of its peaceful intent. Even Ekeus himself said that, on that score -- I think the words that he used were -- "That the Iraqis had blown it," I think is what he had said.
It's very clear that if the Iraqis wish to demonstrate peaceful intent so that that part is also met in the context of the resolution, that they're going to have to restrain themselves from engaging in the types of actions that took place a week ago.
Q How do you know that. I don't know of any Security Council resolution -- how do you demonstrate "peaceful intent?" Over what period of time and how?
MS. SHELLY: I think that's up to the Iraqis to demonstrate and also for all of the members of the Security Council to feel comfortable that the facts support those words.
Q So the United States is really waiting for peaceful intent -- for them to demonstrate peaceful intent and also to stop the repression of all minorities anywhere within Iraq?
MS. SHELLY: We're just saying that one single action by itself, whether it's recognition, whether it's borders, whether it's the action on the minorities -- one single element of compliance is not sufficient to begin the process of easing sanctions.
Q On another topic, please. Does the State Department have any reaction to the Cuban Government's report that this weekend seven Cuban exiles infiltrated the island and the result was the death of one Cuban fisherman?
MS. SHELLY: We've seen the reports. I don't have a lot of information on that so far.
We've seen the statements at this point only from the Cuban authorities concerning this alleged incident in which a Cuban fisherman is reported to have been killed. We don't have independent confirmation of the facts on this so far.
We have asked the Cuban Government for more details, and they have promised to provide them. As we have stated, the U.S. Government will enforce the Neutrality Act and other laws designed to prevent violent actions from being launched from U.S. soil. So as a policy that's still something which we feel very strongly about -- the enforcement; but I think until we get a response from the Cuban authorities and we have enough information on the incident in question, it would be very difficult for us to make any kind of judgment about whether or not there had been a violation of that statute.
Q When did you request more information? When do you expect to get your reply?
MS. SHELLY: Yes. I don't have the details on that. I just know that when we got the first reports which came from the authority statements, we did ask for information on that, and I don't know how rapidly we'll get a response. But, certainly, when we have more details we'll have more to say.
Q On another subject? All right.
The Secretary of Defense trip to China. Question l: Have you anything at all Christine, on the results so far on the two topics of nuclear testing and arms proliferation?
MS. SHELLY: Wrong Department.
Q Wrong Department. Second --
MS. SHELLY: Questions to the Pentagon -- Secretary Perry.
Q The second question is: What is the State Department's role in this trip to Beijing on the part of the Secretary of Defense?
MS. SHELLY: Very often, as is the case when a Cabinet member travels to a foreign country, the State Department will often provide senior officials to accompany him or her on that trip, in which this is no exception on that score. I believe that our Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Winston Lord is traveling with Secretary Perry, and there may be one or two other State Department officials who are with him as well. I don't have the names with me. But the State Department has been consulted in the preparations for this visit. We are participating in the visit itself at a high level, but for questions as to the outcome of that, particularly on the topics that you mentioned, you need to ask those at the Pentagon.
Q Can you tell us a little bit about the meeting with the Vietnamese Foreign Minister and what the purpose is?
MS. SHELLY: What I will try to do is provide a readout on that as soon as I can after it's over. I think there will be just a kind of review of where we stand in the relationship, and certainly we'll want to review also a key point in our relationship -- which is the whole POW/MIA accounting. That remains the highest priority for us in the relationship, as you know, in order to get the fullest possible accounting for our prisoners of war and missing in action.
I don't have a lot of other details at this point.
On liaison offices, no date has been set yet for the opening of the offices, although we would expect that we might be in a position to open those liaison offices soon. I don't have anything more precise on that. But after the meeting takes place, I'll see if we can't give a little more details on the readout.
Q And do I understand correctly that your response to Barry on the question of opening it to reporters as well as camera people -- that will not be reviewed and that stands?
MS. SHELLY: Yes, it's my understanding. We try to provide question-and-answer opportunities in the context of photo ops as often as we possibly can, but I understand in this particular case -- I know it was on the schedule last week as one in which there would be Q&A, and I think that was just an honest mistake and I regret the confusion that that may have caused. It's my understanding from the way we have handled previous visits of this type that, given where we are in the relationship, we still felt that this was an appropriate way to handle it, but I do regret any confusion that may have been created by what was on the schedule last week.
Q Do you mean to say that where the U.S. is in its relationships with other countries depends on whether they have open photo ops or not?
MS. SHELLY: No, Sid. This is the way that it's been handled in the past. We have had visits with the Vietnamese Foreign Minister and they have been handled this way, and a decision was made that, simply as the meeting would take place today that it would be handled in the same way. I wouldn't go beyond simply that, which is that that's the way we've done it so far.
Q Back on North Korea, has the State Department been officially notified that Kim Jong-Il has become the leader?
MS. SHELLY: I'm not aware of any changes on that score. We've seen some of the reports that have come out over the weekend regarding the unfolding of the end of the mourning period, but I'm not aware that any new developments have come to our attention or that we're making any different kind of interpretation as to who's in charge of the country. We're watching the developments with interest, but there's certainly nothing new from the way we see it.
Q Thank you.
(Briefing concluded at l:50 p.m.)
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