U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE 95/06/07 DAILY PRESS BRIEFING OFFICE OF THE SPOKESMAN U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING I N D E X Wednesday, June 7, 1995 Briefer: Christine Shelly NORTH KOREA Status of Nuclear LWR Talks w/ U.S. in Kuala Lumpur ..1-5 Consultations with Republic of Korea and Japan .......1, 3-4 U.S. Position on Provision of LWRs to North Korea ....4 CHINA/TAIWAN Lee Teng-hui U.S. Visit: Restrictions on Actions ....5-6 --Cancellation of Lee's Cornell Press Conference .....5 --Chinese Retaliatory Actions .......................6 --Media Coverage of Lee's Departure from Taiwan ......6 CUBA Admission to the OAS; U.S. Policy ....................6-7 IRAQ Detained Americans: Court Denial of Appeal ..........7 --Krystosik Denied Access to Daliberti & Barloon .....7-8 SERBIA/BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA Amb. Frasure Meetings/Talks with Milosevic ...........8-10 Contact Group Proposal re Sanctions Suspension .......8-9 Milosevic Involvement in Release of UNPROFOR Hostages ..........................................8-10 Downed U.S. F-16 Pilot ...............................10 MIDDLE EAST PEACE TALKS Expectations for Secretary's Trip to Region ..........10-11
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
DAILY PRESS BRIEFING
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 7, 1995, 1:13 P. M.
(ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)
MS. SHELLY: Good afternoon. Welcome to the State Department briefing. I don't have any announcements nor any guests who are willing to come down and make a special appearance, unannounced. So I'll be happy to go right to your questions.
Q Christine, could you tell us where the U.S.-North Korean nuclear talks stand now?
MS. SHELLY: Yes, I would be delighted. As you may have seen in some remarks that came out of Kuala Lumpur earlier today, U.S. and DPRK negotiators have made progress in some of the key areas that have been under discussion.
Deputy Assistant Secretary Hubbard also made some remarks to that effect.
Working-level experts met today to continue discussing those issues which are still outstanding. It is a very complex matter. In any case, as a procedural matter, I would note that any agreement that might be reached in Kuala Lumpur would be on an ad referendum basis to allow for further consultation.
Throughout this process, we have worked in very close consultation with our allies in the Republic of Korea and Japan. We obviously would continue to do so.
The U.S. position on provision remains the same. It is South Korean reactors that will be provided, and South Korean firms will play the central role in carrying out the project.
Q When you said there was progress, is that progress on that key issue of the reactors?
MS. SHELLY: There is progress, generally. That is certainly one of the issues, if not the main issue, under discussion.
Q They have dropped demands that they made earlier for other kinds of add-ons to the deal?
MS. SHELLY: I am still in a position of not being able to get into the substance of what's under discussion. I realize that you would like to get into that more; and, of course, I do note that there had been some press statements that do touch on the substance that have been put out on the DPRK side.
But as I said, the agreement is something that's being worked on. There has not yet been a full agreement on all of the points yet, so I'm still not in a position to be able to get into the details of the substance.
Q What turned it around?
MS. SHELLY: I don't know whether it's a question of something specifically "turning it around." They have made progress out there. I think that the progress has been slow because the issues are difficult and complex. I think at the same time, slow has also been steady.
We indicated last Friday that we were actually reasonably optimistic about the progress that had been made. This pattern in the talks I would say followed similar patterns in these kinds of discussions before -- at least, certainly, in the context of, for example, the talks in Geneva -- that after a lot of exchanges at the beginning that occurred, then as a measure of agreement begins to take shape, the groups begin to start working on text -- written text -- with an effort to obviously to put in writing -- put on paper -- the reflection of the agreement in those particular areas.
So I can tell you that they are working on texts. Certainly, the agreement itself reaffirms their commitment -- the commitment on both sides -- to a full implementation of the Agreed Framework. That's about as much as I can say for today, without getting into the substance.
Q Are they working on a text with brackets or without brackets?
MS. SHELLY: The textual discussions often have parenthesis or brackets on those areas which still under discussion. In a way, the entire thing is in parenthesis or brackets in the sense that what is agreed, in any case, as I mentioned, is agreed on in an ad referendum basis.
Q The North Koreans said today that there was an agreement in principle. Would you agree with that assessment?
MS. SHELLY: I would not say at this point that there is agreement on all elements that have been under discussion. I think that there is a reasonable measure of agreement in key areas, as reflected by Deputy Assistant Secretary Hubbard's statement, but that there is not a full agreement yet.
Q Have both sides made concessions?
MS. SHELLY: This has been a negotiation, and negotiation involves give-and-take on both sides.
Q Christine, you said it's ad referendum. Does this presuppose that there will be a further meeting at the Gallucci level to finalize the agreement?
MS. SHELLY: It does not presuppose any particular format or follow-on meetings.
Q Must there be a follow-on meeting? Will one be necessary, is the question?
MS. SHELLY: We have reached closure on the issues yet. That is simply not something that I'm in a position to advance any details on.
Q Will you send Hubbard to South Korea and Japan to discuss this were you to reach some kind of agreement there?
MS. SHELLY: We have been in contact with our allies virtually every single day -- multiples times, I think, and in a number of different places -- we have continued, as the talks in Kuala Lumpur have unfolded. We've had consultations here in Washington; we've had consultations in capitals, and we've also had consultations in Kuala Lumpur as well. There are, certainly, at least three different places where we've had consultations with the key allies on this and these have been on-going.
So it's not a question of there being an element of surprise in the way that this has unfolded. We have always been meticulous in our consultation process in all of the contacts and the evolution of this issue with South Korea and with Japan. Obviously, we'll continue to work in that fashion.
Q When you say it's ad referendum, you mean it has to be approved by South Korea and Japan, do you? Is that what "ad referendum" means?
MS. SHELLY: No. "Ad referendum" meaning that it is referred back to those governments that have been involved in the agreement but then also permits us to have those consultations with the key allies. I don't really view these things as two distinctly separate things; but "ad referendum" normally means that it's to be referred back to capitals prior to putting any final agreement.
But let me stress once again that that is simply a statement that I made at the beginning on the process related to these negotiations. It is not suggesting that an agreement at this point has yet been reached.
Q Another subject?
MS. SHELLY: The same subject? Sure.
Q Are there any differences between the United States and South Korea on how to describe the type of reactor?
MS. SHELLY: That's something that I'm not in a position to get into in the context of this briefing today.
Q Can we hear one more time -- maybe one more time -- what is the U.S. demand, or what is the U.S. position on the reactors? Say it one more time, because sometimes it's get a little slippery.
MS. SHELLY: The U.S. position on provision remains the same. It is South Korean reactors that will be provided and South Korean firms will play the central role in carrying out the project.
Q Does that mean the reactors have to be manufactured in South Korea?
MS. SHELLY: I don't have other details to offer beyond that formulation.
Q They're going to be made by Westinghouse, I assume?
MS. SHELLY: You had a question, also.
Q Any prospects on how long it will be going until the finish of the --
MS. SHELLY: We never put a date by which this had to be concluded. Certainly, by what you've seen and what I've been able to cite today, and the public statements coming out of Kuala Lumpur, it's obvious that progress has been made, but I think they'll keep at it as long as they deem that it's useful and until they reach the measure of success that I think both sides would like. But there is not a date by which something has to happen on this.
Q Would you like to see kind of a matter of days rather than a matter of weeks?
MS. SHELLY: Again, I would hesitate to really even offer, because that gets me into a speculative mode.
Did you want to switch subjects?
Q Could we, about President Lee of Taiwan, who is making his way to his class reunion? Are there restrictions on what he may be able to do in Los Angeles, which apparently is his first stop?
MS. SHELLY: When we briefed some days back -- I think it was about a week ago -- we put out the details of what he was going to be doing in each of the places. I think the time in Los Angeles, if I recollect correctly, was more in the nature of a kind of rest stop. It would be after flying a rather considerable distance, and he was going to simply fly an overnight there. I don't have any other details on his Los Angeles activities.
Q Christine, Taiwan is reportedly to have canceled a press conference in Ithaca, New York by President Lee because of disagreement with the Department of State. Do you have anything on that -- because of the disagreement over timing of the press conference?
MS. SHELLY: I don't have much to say on that except to tell you that we did not ask Cornell or Taiwan to cancel the press conference.
Q But do you have something to say on the timing of the press conference, the original press conference?
MS. SHELLY: We expressed the view -- I believe already publicly -- that we did not have an objection to Cornell hosting a press conference by Lee Teng-hui following his lecture to the alumni which, of course, as you know, is to take place on June 9.
Q But not the next day?
MS. SHELLY: Again, I've said what I have to say on that.
Q Just one more. With President Lee on U.S. soil now, have you any new indications from China about any possible further retaliatory measures China might take?
MS. SHELLY: No, I'm not aware of anything new on that score. We certainly regretted that China canceled or postponed certain agreed visits and dialogues. It's our view that those exchanges would have helped us to overcome some of the current difficulties and to develop the type of relationship that both of our countries seek.
We do hope that the exchanges can be rescheduled at the earliest possible opportunity.
Q When President Lee departed Taipei, he was afforded quite a bit of pomp and attention which doesn't seem to be consistent with the profile of the trip as desired by the United States. Does the Administration consider this unhelpful in terms of the reaction by the Beijing Chinese to his trip -- the kind of attention he was given?
MS. SHELLY: I don't know whether I have a full measure of understanding about exactly what transpired prior to his departure. I have seen only some remarks that he's said to have made that had been picked up and reported by the wire services. But I'm not at all sure that I have a full picture on that and would hesitate to offer a view unless I felt that I did have one.
I would just reaffirm from our side that it is a private visit. Our understanding related to this suggested that the way in which the events were held and scheduled and any other activities would be consistent with that is certainly a mutual understanding.
Q Another subject?
MS. SHELLY: Sure.
Q Is the United States opposed to the reinstatement of Cuba in the OAS?
MS. SHELLY: This is something that we addressed yesterday, so I might also refer you to the comments then. In the context of some remarks that the OAS Secretary General made to the OAS General Assembly in Haiti, the issue of Cuba came up and the possibility of Cuba at some point re-entering the OAS. But, as we said yesterday, that, of course, is something that comes up from time to time but it would be necessary for Cuba to undertake political and economic reforms before something along that line could occur.
Q Do you have an update on the two Americans in Iraq and also any reaction to the apparent decision on their legal situation there?
MS. SHELLY: We had seen, of course, some press reporting suggesting that this second court had now come down with a verdict which is upholding the previous verdict in the case, and naturally we spoke with Mr. Krystosik immediately out in Baghdad.
He has not been informed by the Iraqis nor by the attorney for Mr. Daliberti and Mr. Barloon of any decision of the Court of Cassation on the appeal. If, in fact, it turns out that this is what happened, I would just offer the view that it would not come as a surprise to anybody based on how the Iraqi justice system works.
So we're not in a position to confirm that the sentences for the two have been upheld. We certainly do believe that the Iraqis should release the two men immediately on humanitarian grounds as they simply made a very innocent mistake.
Q There's a wire story that says that he was present in the court. Would that be incorrect?
MS. SHELLY: That he was present -- Mr. Krystosik was present in the court?
Q Maybe they meant the original trial.
MS. SHELLY: I think they must have been referring to the original trial, because again he was -- I'm not sure that there was actually any court appearance related to the review -- this second appeal which had been considered. But as he was not informed of the decision and was unaware of it, I think we can certainly infer that he was not present in the court for something related to this second appeal.
Q A few days ago you said that he still had not had any access to them. Does that still remain the case?
MS. SHELLY: That is correct. He has not been permitted to resume his regular visits with the two men. He continues to press on a daily basis for access to the two men. As I corrected myself after the last briefing, the date at which he was last able to have access was the 11th of April. So it's been now almost two months since the last visit.
We have therefore not been able to have direct contact with the two men through him, and, of course, we cannot verify issues related to their condition and their health and also some issues related to the items that I had talked about a day or two ago that they had signed for and said that they had received. The Iraqis have indicated that all of the food and toiletry items that we have passed on to the prison -- that they have been delivered.
But the Iraqis have advised that all correspondence must be routed through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. That was one point of clarification that I was able to get related to letters going in and out.
Q Is Ambassador Frasure still in Belgrade, and has he met with President Milosevic?
MS. SHELLY: Ambassador Frasure is on his way back. Secretary Christopher instructed Ambassador Frasure to return to Washington today from Belgrade. He did have a meeting with President Milosevic this morning prior to his departure. He is coming back to Washington for consultations on the next steps.
I don't have a lot I can say on his meeting with President Milosevic except simply to say that in those last discussions that he had, he conveyed the U.S. expectation that President Milosevic should distance himself from the actions of the Pale Serbs. He should recognize Bosnia. He should keep his border sealed with the Bosnian Serb territory, and he should continue with his efforts and pressure on Pale to try to get them to accept the Contact Group map and plan.
Q By him being recalled -- by Ambassador Frasure coming back, should we read into this that the talks have stalled or that there seems to be no more room for movement on Mr. Milosevic's side?
MS. SHELLY: I mentioned yesterday that progress had not been made along the kinds that we had hoped for. He had been there and had had several discussions on the Contact Group proposal, but while he was there, he also had taken advantage of the opportunity to try to impress upon Milosevic the need to try to make some progress with Pale Serbs on issues, such as, for example, the U.N. peacekeepers.
But as to the original point of his visit, which was, of course, the Contact Group proposal, there was not progress that certainly we would have liked to have seen on that visit.
I wouldn't overdramatize the ending of his visit there now. I wouldn't characterize it as a rupture. It certainly is our expectation that the discussions will continue at some point, but we certainly hope that he will come to the view that he should accept the Contact Group map and plan. So it certainly is very much there on the table, but it was simply not something that we were able to reach agreement on during the course of this visit.
Q I didn't know that the map was the focus of Mr. Frasure' talks.
MS. SHELLY: It was the Contact Group -- well, the Contact Group -- I'm sorry --
Q I thought the idea was to offer him a deal --
MS. SHELLY: I'm sorry. The Contact Group proposal -- I'm sorry -- that did relate to the sanctions, specifically to the sanctions being suspended --
Q For recognition.
MS. SHELLY: -- in return for Serbian recognition of Bosnia and not being lifted permanently but being selectively suspended. But we would still like him to pressure the Pale Serbs to accept the Contact Group map and plan.
Q Did he help get hostages out, do you think?
MS. SHELLY: He was not negotiating issues related to the U.N. hostages.
Q No, I mean Milosevic -- did Milosevic help get the hostages out?
MS. SHELLY: President Milosevic said that he was deeply engaged in this issue with the Pale Serbs, and that he was trying to bring about the immediate release of the hostages. Certainly, there was some measure of progress in that insofar as a group was released and there do seem to be some indications of movement on a second batch.
But I think the proof is in the pudding on this one. We want to see all of the U.N. peacekeepers who are detained or otherwise being held to be released immediately and unconditionally.
Q Is it your feeling that Frasure's efforts to get Milosevic involved in the hostage issue weakened his case on the recognition of Bosnia, because Milosevic thought he'd done the West a favor by getting some hostages released and therefore could hold out for more on the recognition front?
MS. SHELLY: We never saw any linkage between either of the two issues. Now, what factors might weigh on President Milosevic's thinking, we're not in his head. It's hard to say.
There certainly was speculation out there to that effect, that he somehow felt that these issues had strengthened his hand. We saw no relationship between them and certainly did not accept the view that actions related to trying to seek the immediate and unconditional release of hostages -- that that would somehow change the nature of the offer being made to him by the Contact Group.
Q Just to follow on that, you've made your position clear over a number of days, but did Mr. Milosevic tell Ambassador Frasure that he saw linkage?
MS. SHELLY: I don't know whether he specifically said that to him.
Q Anything on the pilot?
MS. SHELLY: I have nothing on that.
Q Do you want to tell us about the Secretary's expectations, or should we let him do that on the plane or somebody in his behalf? Do you have any --
MS. SHELLY: I think it's more the latter. There are lots of --
Q Because I'm sure he's aiming to make progress in the Arab- Israeli dispute, isn't he?
MS. SHELLY: The Secretary's always aiming to make progress on the Middle East peace process. But I think he will indicate with the traveling party what he hopes to achieve in the context of that visit. We are not providing our usual backgrounder here, since one of the people who is usually involved in that also happens to be in the region. And I'm sure the Secretary will be --
Q I think I know who you mean.
MS. SHELLY: You think you know who I mean?
Q Yes. He's a font of information. Thank you very much.
MS. SHELLY: Thank you.
(The briefing concluded at 1:35 p.m.)
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