U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE OFFICE OF THE SPOKESMAN DAILY PRESS BRIEFING DECEMBER 28, 1994 U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING I N D E X Wednesday, December 28, 1994 Briefer: Michael McCurry BOSNIA Activities of War Crimes Tribunal/US Support ....1-4 Serbian Suppression of Media/US Objection .......2-3 NORTH KOREA Hubbard Mission to Gain Release of CWO Hall .....4-11 US Contact with North Korean Officials ..........5-6 Agreed Framework/Status of Oil Shipment..........6-10 RUSSIA Fighting in Chechnya/Impact on CFE ..............11-14 MIDDLE EAST PEACE Violence in Occupied Territories ................12 TURKEY Support for Operation Provide Comfort ...........12-13 US Reviewing Application to Sell Cluster Bombs...13 CHINA/TAIWAN US Arms Sale Policy .............................14 CHINA Prospects for US Trade Sanctions ................14-15 Report Israel Sold Arms Involving US Technology .15
DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 28, 1994, l2:4l P.M. (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)
MR. McCURRY: I've got several statements to start with, so why don't get under way.
The first is concerning United States support for the War Crimes Tribunal and investigating atrocities in the former Yugoslavia.
The United Nations has established, as many of you know, an international war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia -- the first international war crimes tribunal since those convened in Nuremberg and Tokyo at the conclusion of World War II. In creating this tribunal -- and the one recently established for Rwanda -- the Security Council has reaffirmed a fundamental principle that binds civilized societies: that those who commit crimes of genocide and crimes against humanity must be held accountable for their actions.
Efforts by Bosnian Serbs to rid Bosnia of its non-Serb, mainly Muslim, population are continuing. As indicated in a recently issued report by the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, the Muslim population of northern Bosnia has been reduced by a factor of ten, from over 500,000 inhabitants to around 50,000, in just two years. Overall, according to the UNHCR estimates, since the Bosnian tragedy began, Bosnian Serbs have expelled, killed, or imprisoned over 90 percent of the 1.73 million non-Serbs who, before the war, lived throughout the territory now held by the Bosnian Serbs.
The latest round in a campaign of ethnic cleansing accelerated in recent months -- especially in the Bijeljina area in northeast Bosnia, and Banja Luka in northwest Bosnia, and Rogatica south of the Gorazde enclave.
Within the last ten days, we have received reports that Bosnian Serbs expelled more than l00 Muslims from Bijeljina. The refugees claimed that before they left, Bosnian Serbs locked them in unlit rooms and abused them; and brutal and heinous methods have been employed to force the Muslim population from their homes. There have been numerous incidents of Bosnian Serbs bursting into Muslim homes at night to evict, rob, and rape the inhabitants. Women, children, and elderly people have been forced to flee during such evictions, regardless of their health or their physical condition. There are also reports that men of military age have been taken prisoner and made to perform forced labor in detention camps and on the front lines.
These crimes, we would make clear, did not arise spontaneously or by happenstance and unless those responsible are held accountable, there can be no lasting peace or reconciliation in Bosnia. And that is why the tribunal established by the United Nations is so important.
It's also why, as you'll see in a longer statement that will be available in the Press Office, we point out that the Administration has supported financially the work of the Tribunal since its creation. We've contributed investigators, lawyers, experts, who can assist in the work.
The Tribunal has issued its first indictment -- there are more that are now pending -- and they've also taken over some cases where they will begin to prosecute those responsible for these crimes.
A second statement that I'd like to draw your attention to involves the harassment of independent media in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The Administration has been following for some time with great concern the treatment of independent media in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia -- that is, Belgrade, Serbia-Montenegro.
The authorities in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia have launched a drive to take over the independent daily newspaper Borba by reversing a privatization process begun in l99l, thereby ending the paper's independent editorial policy.
The authorities in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia have also endangered freedom of speech and free access to media outlets in their effort to bring down an independent and private Studio B radio and television station that operates, I believe, out of Belgrade.
We are also concerned by reports that the independent weekly NIN and several independent radio stations have come under direct or indirect government pressure. These all contradict the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia's assurances that its human rights record would measure up to internationally accepted norms. We call upon the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to cease all harassment of independent media immediately to allow those fairly reporting facts to continue their work and to allow freedom of the press to have some measure of opportunity in the Federal Republic.
Q Mike, you said a shakeup of Borba. Hasn't it been taken apart now?
MR. McCURRY: My understanding, Barry, is that they have attempted to have a government-appointed editor responsible for policy; and the journalists working at Borba have, to their credit, been publishing in recent days their own independent version of the newspaper -- getting it out on the streets, I believe, before the sort-of government-sponsored paper has arrived. But it's clearly an attempt to harass, to otherwise limit their ability to fairly and accurately report on developments in Bosnia and elsewhere.
Q Mike, on your war crimes statement?
MR. McCURRY: Yes.
Q Are you directing that also to Belgrade?
MR. McCURRY: We're directing that. We believe it's a responsibility that the War Crimes Tribunal is a creature of the Security Council, and all countries have got a responsibility, as with any decision of the Security Council, to assist in the legitimate functioning of an entity established as a result of a U.N. Security Council resolution. So, of course, we do call upon governments to cooperate with the work of the Tribunal to allow access to those who can provide evidentiary information and to allow access to those who might be possibly under investigation for the commission of such crimes.
Q I'm referring to providing information. Former Secretary of State Larry Eagleburger named Milosevic as someone who had to answer to it.
MR. McCURRY: Right.
Q Does this Administration feel that there are people in Belgrade like Milosevic who also have to answer to this War Crimes Tribunal?
MR. McCURRY: This Administration believes that the War Crimes Tribunal work is important and will answer the question of who are guilty of the commission of crimes against humanity, war crimes, acts of genocide, that may have occurred during the conflict in Bosnia. That's why the work of this is important, and the identity of those individuals -- some of whom have been suggested by previous Administrations -- can now be investigated thoroughly by the Commission, and those who are guilty of those crimes can in fact be brought to justice.
Q I'd like to develop an anomaly. Some of the people -- Milosevic, Karadzic, and General Mladic -- are --
MR. McCURRY: Jim, I'll point out that you're referring to people who were identified during previous Administrations. It's not necessarily by the existing War Crimes Tribunal.
Q They are clearly among those responsible for what you correctly say are not random acts of ethnic cleansing. These are the same people that you're trying to bring to an agreement on a document. In other words, you are trying to negotiate with these same people who are quite possibly indictable as war criminals, however. How do you bridge that gap?
MR. McCURRY: They are the people in control of the parties that are waging war and we are trying to get people waging war to stop it, to stop the killing. But it makes no less important the eventual justice that those guilty of these crimes must face at the hands of the Tribunal and the International Court of Justice.
Q Can I ask you about Korea?
MR. McCURRY: Yes.
Q Do you have any report to share with us on Mr. Hubbard's meeting with the Foreign Ministry, that is?
MR. McCURRY: I think the President has handled most of that earlier today at the White House. I can provide a little more.
Deputy Assistant Secretary Hubbard crossed over to North Korea mid- morning December 28th, which obviously would be North Korea time. They drove to Pyongyang. He arrived in the afternoon yesterday, which I guess would have been very early morning last night our time.
He met for two and one-half hours with officials of the North Korean Foreign Ministry. The meetings then adjourned overnight. He will meet again with North Korean officials in the morning on December 29th -- again on Korean time.
He's reported on his meetings back here to Washington to numerous officials here. As these talks go on, we're not going to characterize them. I think, as the President indicated earlier, it would be premature to do so. And given that he's had only one meeting and likely to have more meetings, there really is not much more we can say on the status of the discussions that he's having.
Q A second point: He'll be meeting with military folks, correct?
MR. McCURRY: Say again?
Q The second in this series is with military people. The first was with Foreign Ministry officials.
MR. McCURRY: No. He met with Foreign Ministry officials. I'm not aware of any plans for Deputy Assistant Secretary Hubbard to meet with military officials.
There have been, throughout recent days, meetings in Panmunjom through the Military Armistice Commission between the U.N. High Command -- usually a U.S. officer and North Korean military officers know. I would imagine there's some possibility that those types of meetings might continue.
Q Was there any meeting today?
MR. McCURRY: There was not one today. There was one yesterday.
Q As this recent crisis drags on, is there a sense that Officer Hall has become a pawn who has been used by the North Koreans to gain other concessions?
MR. McCURRY: I have no way of imagining what motive North Korea has; but I believe, as President Clinton made clear today, there's absolutely no reason for his further detention and he should be released forthwith.
Q Congressman Hamilton said he had been told that, in fact, the meeting did not go well --
MR. McCURRY: Yes.
Q -- and he also suggested that there were going to be, or should be, meetings at a military level because ultimately we were going to have to explain in military terms to the North Korean military why it was that this was not an act of espionage. Can you help us out?
MR. McCURRY: I can't speak for Chairman Hamilton, but I think he was stating the obvious -- which is that we have not yet achieved the result that we are looking for, which is the release of Chief Warrant Officer Hall. In that sense, what the Chairman is saying is pretty obvious.
On the military talks -- as I just indicated to Barry -- there have been talks ongoing at Panmunjom through the Military Armistice Commission. Whether or not those talks might continue I think is an open question, but it wouldn't be surprising if they did.
Q If I could just follow that point, it has been speculated that in fact one of the goals of the North Koreans is to be able to jump over the Panmunjom Armistice Commission instrument and deal directly with the United States, without the U.N. and without the South Koreans.
Is the U.S. willing, even in this particular incident, to have direct U.S.-North Korean military talks?
MR. McCURRY: Barrie, for a long time the North Koreans have sought a separate peace treaty with the United States. We repeatedly tell them that we support a permanent state of peace between the Koreas, but it's an issue that has to be resolved in dialogue primarily between North and South Korea.
They signed in 1991 a Reconciliation Agreement with South Korea -- this is an agreement between North Korea and South Korea -- that calls for the North and the South to live together in a state of peace. North Korea should live up to that agreement.
In the absence of that type of an agreement, the armistice that ended the Korean War is monitored by the Military Armistice Commission, and it's necessary to keep that armistice in place until the goal of a peace is achieved between North and South Korea.
Q If I could rephrase my colleague's question, is the United States considering sending a U.S. military officer, official, to North Korea to speak with the North Koreans?
MR. McCURRY: We have numerous persons there already, including a Marine two-star that's been participating in the talks at Panmunjom in recent days. I'm not aware of any change in the format of those discussions.
Q Is Hubbard trying to see Hall?
MR. McCURRY: We have asked through both Congressman Richardson and have repeated our request for access to Officer Hall and for his release immediately, yes. So he's trying to see him and trying to bring him home.
Q To follow, Mike, on Barrie's question about Chairman Hamilton. He said, I believe yesterday, that the current action on the part of the North Koreans in holding Hall could jeopardize the delivery of oil -- the first delivery of oil according to the nuclear agreement. The Secretary said last week that this action on the part of the North Koreans to hold Bobby Hall could indeed endanger the accord -- the execution of the accord.
Could you update us on that from the perspective of the Department?
MR. McCURRY: Both of those statements stand -- both the assessment of Chairman Hamilton and also what the Secretary indicated last week -- that unsuccessful resolution of this incident and the release of Officer Hall might jeopardize the agreed framework. We're not at that point yet, because frankly nothing is triggered by the framework -- no specific element scheduled for implementation has yet arrived. But they will in due course, and that's all the more reason why we would hope that this matter is resolved expeditiously, precisely because the agreed framework is not only in the interests of North Korea, but it's very much in our interests as well. In this period in which the agreed framework is being implemented, the North Korean nuclear program is frozen. They're not adding to their capacity to manufacture weapons. They're not conducting additional reprocessing of material from the spent fuel rods. They're not reloading and operating a reactor that might thus generate additional fissile material. These are things that are in our interests and in the non-proliferation interests of the world community, and that's why we need to move ahead on the implementation of the agreement.
Q Does January 21 become the deadline?
MR. McCURRY: I don't know that we've ever said. It's been reported publicly, and I don't think that's the wrong date, but I don't know that we've ever publicly said that's the day. Sometime later in next month in which there was a scheduled delivery of the first shipment of heavy oil due. I believe that is correct, yes.
Q Does that become the deadline then? I mean, is --
MR. McCURRY: No, the deadline is now. As the President said earlier today, he should not be detained any longer, and we are seeking his immediate release.
Q Mike, on that question, you or somebody who looked very much like you said yesterday that is puzzling why North Korea would take actions that might jeopardize something that is so important in monetary terms to them. But if there is a split within the North Korean government between the military who apparently don't like the nuclear agreement and others, does it make sense that the military in North Korea would use exactly this occasion to do exactly what they want?
MR. McCURRY: I don't have any way of knowing. I don't know of anyone outside North Korea who has a capacity to know that, because we don't have that level of understanding over how their government functions. It is an isolated regime. It does not have substantial contacts of a nature that would allow you to answer a question like that.
But I think the important thing is having negotiated the agreed framework, having made certain commitments on October 21 related to the freezing of their program and the discontinuation of a certain type of reactor technology, they now need to move forward on that. Any indication that they want to back track on the commitments they made in that agreement would indeed be grave -- would be a source of concern not only to the United States but to the entire world community.
Q Now that the U.S. President has spoken on this issue, would you expect a response from the nominal leader of that country?
MR. McCURRY: Would I? No, I would not.
Q Not you personally, Mike, the Clinton Administration.
MR. McCURRY: It has not been Kim Jong-Il's practice, as far as I'm aware, to comment publicly on much of anything.
Q Mike, in the North Korean statement from the night before last, the North Koreans essentially demanded an apology for the over- flight, calling it espionage. Is the United States considering issuing a statement that goes beyond General Luck's letter expressing regret?
MR. McCURRY: We think it has been more than sufficient what we've been willing to say publicly already that it is regrettable that this unfortunate incident occurred. It occurred as the result of a navigational error during a routine training mission that had nothing at all to do with espionage.
Q A follow-up: In that same statement there was a suggestion that if the United States had taken up the North Koreans on their proposal to replace the Armistice Commission with a bilateral structure, that this sort of thing could have been prevented. Does the United States accept or reject that characterization?
MR. McCURRY: We reject that characterization. There is a mechanism in place that would allow us to discuss this type of incident. We do believe that through dialogue incidents of this nature can be avoided, and that would be clearly in our interests as well as in North Korea's interest.
Q Mike, the Pentagon has indicated that the photograph that was put out by the North Koreans of Airman Hall appears to have been staged, and there are a number of aspects to the picture which are suspicious in the fact that there was no snow and the fact that there documents strewn around at his feet, and so on.
Does the State Department have an analysis of the meaning of that picture, the fact that it was released and is composed with these kind of obscure signals?
MR. McCURRY: None that I'm aware of, no. I mean, again it requires us to speculate on motives when it is entirely opaque as to what the motive might be.
Q Has Mr. Hubbard or anybody else in the U.S. been given an idea what will be done with Mr. Hall? Have they said anything about trying him?
MR. McCURRY: No. We've had an indication dating back to Congressman Richardson's visit there that he would be released very soon, and we accept that as the guiding principle that ought to underlie the discussions now underway between our diplomat and the North Koreans.
Q When they say espionage and they use phrases like "this is a very serious matter" -- which they're saying at the U.N. again today -- they don't spell this out? They just leave this veiled threat hanging in the air?
MR. McCURRY: Barry, I'm not in a position to comment at any great length on discussions that are underway, other than to say, as we've indicated publicly, that we would assure them through the presence of Deputy Assistant Secretary Hubbard privately that there was no espionage aspect to a routine helicopter flight along the DMZ.
Q Mike, in their conversations with Mr. Hubbard today, did the North Koreans make any specific demands?
MR. McCURRY: I'm not going to get into any detail of discussions that Hubbard had today.
Q Is there any evidence, Mike -- to follow my previous question -- or analysis that would lead us to believe that the North Korean military, the army specifically, is trying to wreck the nuclear agreement with the U.S.?
MR. McCURRY: There would be plenty of theories, because everybody has theories. What we don't have are substantive facts that would allow us to make that conclusion.
Q Mike, is there a judgment in the building whether congressional approval in any specific way is required to go ahead with the package for North Korea?
MR. McCURRY: It's a question that's been examined. I don't know if they've had a definitive conclusion as to what aspects of the agreed framework would be subjected to congressional authorization or approval.
Q Do you know if the oil shipment, which you say --
MR. McCURRY: I don't believe that the pending oil shipment is one that would require any congressional approval, but the leadership in Congress and the incoming leadership of Congress has made abundantly clear that they want to review this matter publicly, and they're using their own proper oversight function. And we're more than anxious to do that, because we think every opportunity we have to better explain publicly the features of the agreed framework with North Korea -- they are manifestly in the interests of the United States -- presents us an opportunity to build support for what we think is a very important agreement.
Q Mike, I thought you said recently flatly yes, congressional approval would be needed for the appropriation or authorization of the $5 million for the heavy fuel oil.
MR. McCURRY: On some aspects of it. I don't know whether it would be necessarily in this first shipment that's involved. I'd have to double check that.
Q A spokeswoman for the U.S. Representative office in Taiwan has said that the U.S. will continue with its arms sales to Taiwan. Do you have anything on that?
MR. McCURRY: I don't have anything on that. I'd have to check into that. I'm not sure what sales they're referring to.
Q Mike, can I go back to Korea?
MR. McCURRY: Yes.
Q Can I return to Korea. As complicated and as complex and as important as the whole situation is, does Hubbard's mission involve discussions -- after all, he's there -- with the North Koreans about any other issues, such as North Korea's missile relationship with Iran which is threatening -- which Israel finds threatening at this juncture?
MR. McCURRY: No, Barry. He is not there to negotiate any aspect of discussions beyond securing the release of Officer Hall.
Q Not to get into discussions to get negotiated -- but not to get into other issues, would you say?
MR. McCURRY: He's urgently focused on the question of facilitating the release of Officer Hall. I'm not aware of any plans to have discussions on other issues.
Q Mike, PKK already open a Kurdish Center in Moscow. The last time I asked this same question, you said that your Embassy is inspecting the subject. Do you have any reaction for Russian decision to recognize and permit opening this kind of center in Moscow?
MR. McCURRY: I can work something up for you on that. We have been very concerned about support given to terrorist organizations like the PKK and have been concerned when they provide safe havens -- when countries provide them safe havens. But let me look into that specific report and try to work something up.
Q May I follow up?
MR. McCURRY: Yes.
Q At the same time we heard that the PKK has established a government-in-exile in northern Iraq. Do you have any reaction or any information about this subject?
MR. McCURRY: Not any here with me. I'll check and see if we do here in the Department.
Q On Russia, is it you all's understanding that Russian troops have moved on Grozny?
MR. McCURRY: We don't have a situation report that is accurate enough to describe what they may have been doing earlier today. We know that they strengthened their positions overnight. They took measures to -- what they described as more tightly seal the blockade of Grozny and other towns. We know that there's a lot of intense fighting taking place around the town and also east -- moving out sort of to the eastern perimeter line around Grozny.
But I don't know beyond that what they have done specifically directed at the city today.
Q And have they stopped the air raids?
MR. McCURRY: That's not clear. There's a report from earlier today that there may have been some bombing early in the day. Some of you may have seen a press account that the playground of an orphanage had been cratered and no casualties, thankfully. But I'm not aware of any report beyond that that describes the level of bombing activity earlier today.
Q There are reports about clashes between the Israeli soldiers and Palestinians in the territories near the town of Efrat. Did you express your opinion about this issue to the Israelis, to the Palestinians here, or in Tel Aviv, in Jerusalem?
MR. McCURRY: We're very concerned about the clashes that have occurred and very conscious of the fact that both parties are determined to move forward on implementing the Declaration of Principles, which is the vehicle by which they can avoid that type of violence, by reconciling some of the issues that remain under discussion as part of the framework that the parties themselves have established.
Q Do you think these incidents will affect future talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians?
MR. McCURRY: That is up to the Palestinians and to the Israelis. We certainly hope and believe that it is important for them to continue their dialogue relating to implementing the Declaration itself.
Q Do you have any news about the wisdom of the act or the timing of the enlargement of that settlement?
MR. McCURRY: We don't have any change in our policy on the question of settlements.
Q Today the Turkish parliament started considering Operation Provide Comfort. In the same time is the U.S.- Turkish relations getting increased -- attention is increasing because of the arms sales and human rights subject. Do you expect smooth sailing on the Provide Comfort in the Turkish Parliament?
MR. McCURRY: As we've indicated in the past, we've enjoyed the support of the Turkish Parliament on Provide Comfort. We think it is an important operation. The importance of Provide Comfort extends beyond the bilateral relationship between the United States and Turkey, because it is region-wide and reflects the determination of the world community to follow through on the post-Persian Gulf war resolution.
But obviously we will continue to be in close dialogue with the Government of Turkey to discuss with them the importance of Provide Comfort and to deal with the other bilateral issues such as those you mentioned.
Q Mike, to follow up on the situation in Turkey -- this one on Turkey. It was established later in the day yesterday that there is an application for cluster bombs under consideration -- interagency consideration. You know, I hate to ask each day with it, but if it's dropped or if it goes through, will you let us know? And has it gone through? Has it been dropped?
MR. McCURRY: It has not been dropped. It is an application that is under review. I think we do have an obligation -- if I'm not mistaken, we have an obligation publicly when we've got an applications license that's pending; although in the period in which it's pending, there's very little we can say about it because of business proprietary concerns. And we can't tell you much about what individual export entities have applied for, but we can confirm that there is an application pending that relates to the one that the human rights group was talking about involving cluster bombs for Turkey.
Q Chechnya revisited, if I might, Mike. There was a very disturbing report coming from Moscow about several of the high-ranking officials in the Federation Government in the Yeltsin administration resigning over the Chechnya -- continued Chechnya hostilities -- invasion by the Russians. And it seems to me that there is a danger to this fragile democracy in the continued pursuit of this war. Does the Department have any words of counsel about it?
MR. McCURRY: No, we don't. We acknowledge, and I think we believe that this has been a very difficult matter internally for the Russians to handle. It has been one that has provoked enormous amounts of controversy and discussion within Russia; and, as a democracy does, it grapples with these difficult issues and attempts to make decisions accordingly.
I know that there are some reports that there may have been resignations, particularly in the military command. I'm not aware that we've confirmed any of those reports. Some of those were reported earlier in the week, and they ended up being untrue, as I recollect.
Q Mike, on another subject, there are reports that the U.S. Government is about the lower the boom on China for various infractions in its trade practices. (1) Is the State Department involved in that? And (2) do you know what the state of play is?
MR. McCURRY: I'm sorry, Jim, I've got a note here. Let me actually do this on the Taiwan question earlier. I've got a note just saying that we haven't changed our arms sales policy. It will remain fully consistent with both the Taiwan Relations Act and the 1982 U.S. People's Republic Communique.
Q Okay, lowering the boom on China because of various infractions. Is the State Department involved, and (2) what is the state of play?
MR. McCURRY: The state of play, as I believe was indicated by USTR earlier, is that they are prepared to move ahead with I think up to $1 billion worth of trade sanctions that would be levied mostly because we failed to achieve any progress in our discussions with the People's Republic on intellectual property concerns that we rightfully have. We are very concerned about instances of piracy and instances in which copyright laws here in the United States are not honored, harming unnecessarily U.S. industries; and we believe that there is a system of rules that exists within the international trading order and as a government that wishes to enter into that trading order, China has responsibilities that they need to meet in that respect.
But we work closely through Under Secretary Spero's office on a lot of these trade issues, but the balance of the work on these issues has been coming out of USTR.
Q And as I understand it, the deadline is the end of the year. Presumably, they're not going to change their whole system of reproducing CDs and the rest of it within the next three days. Is it automatic then on the 1st of the year?
MR. McCURRY: Jim, my understanding -- please double check this at USTR, because I might get it wrong, since it's not something we deal with regularly -- but they would impose the penalties by the end of the year, the penalties to go into effect at some date beyond that. I think early in 1995. That then provides some period in which there's a possibility -- and I'd stress the "possibility" -- of additional negotiations with China. That has in fact been a practice. There's been a pattern in the past, and that might be what happens this time. But the USTR folks will be able to tell you a lot more about exactly what they anticipate.
Q Have the Chinese been in touch with the State Department to try to head off this action?
MR. McCURRY: On that issue, since we are fully supportive of the work USTR is doing, I believe most of their contact has been through the Trade Representative's office.
Q Also on China: Do you have anything on the story about this supposed transfer of U.S. military technology from Israel to China?
MR. McCURRY: I don't, George. I've got a book that says -- I will read it to you. Just to make the point, I will read to you what I have.
This is Jim Mann's story, for those of you who didn't see it, in the L.A. Times. The guidance says, "Under the Arms Export Control Act, countries which receive U.S. weapons technology must agree not to transfer it to other countries without specific U.S. authorization. We have procedures in place to monitor transfers of U.S. weapons technology. When we receive reliable reports of such transfers, we take action in accordance with the law. Beyond that, I'm not going to comment."
MR. McCURRY: I'm sure you find that very helpful.
Q China, one more time. On a subject that I've brought up several times, Mike, of the displeasure of the Chinese military regarding a specific incident with the U.S. Navy back in October.
A statement of confirmation came the 19th of December from the Foreign Minister, and my question to you is, is there a possibility -- is it too far a stretch -- that the Chinese military, angry about alleged incursions of violations of their territory by the U.S. Navy could be having some influence on the North Korean military in this matter with Bobby Hall?
MR. McCURRY: Yes, I think that one is too far-fetched.
Q This is too far-fetched?
MR. McCURRY: Yes. I'm not the proper person to ask that question of, obviously.
Q Mike, the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister yesterday, I believe, made a statement that his country is planning to violate Conventional Forces in Europe Agreement. The weak countries in the (inaudible) areas. Do you have any reaction on this?
MR. McCURRY: This was a statement from the Foreign Ministry spokesman in which he raised what has been a persistent concern expressed by the Russian Federation on the so-called flank limits negotiated under the Conventional Forces in Europe Agreement.
My understanding is that they -- the CFE's equipment limits don't take effect until November of 1995, and therefore they couldn't be affecting the current operation in Chechnya, as suggested by the Foreign Ministry spokesman.
The Treaty -- for those of you who have not followed this recently -- they've got sublimits that regulate the type of equipment that can be deployed in specific regions. The Russian military has complained for some time that the flank limits -- the equipment limits in the flank region that includes the Caucasus are overly restrictive and will inhibit their ability to respond to what they see as their own legitimate security needs.
We have suggested that that's an issue that they ought to raise within the Joint Consultative Commission that operates out of Vienna and addresses CFE implementation issues. This has come up on several occasions, and they continue to bat it around within the Consultative Commission.
We continue to believe that the Treaty itself as structured has got a process by which those types of security concerns can be adequately addressed without opening up the Treaty to some further negotiations.
One last one, right here.
Q Just a follow-up to the Taiwan story. You say your policy of arms sales to Taiwan remains unchanged, but obviously arms were sold to Taiwan -- more arms were sold to Taiwan some times than other times. Does the statement by the U.S. Representative in Taiwan signal anything? For instance, more arms will be sold in the new year?
MR. McCURRY: Not that I'm aware of. The last time I recall that there was some adjustment in our policy, I believe it was a campaign season -- am I correct? My recollection is that I'm not aware of this statement. I'll try to find out if there's anything particular on this.
Q Thank you.
(The briefing concluded at 1:20 p.m.)
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