U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE 95/06/15 DAILY PRESS BRIEFING OFFICE OF THE SPOKESMAN U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING I N D E X Thursday, June 15, 1995 Briefers: Robert Gallucci Thomas Hubbard Nicholas Burns NORTH KOREA Implementation of U.S.-DPRK Agreed Framework --Kuala Lumpur Agreement on Key Issues ...................1-12 - Light Water Reactor Model--KEDO to Select ...........1-2,5-7 - KEDO to Select Prime Contractor .....................2,6-8 - DPRK to Negotiate w/KEDO on Outstanding LWR Issues ..2,5,7 - DPRK Nuclear Freeze .................................2 - Team of U.S. Technical Experts ......................2-5 - Delivery of Heavy Fuel Oil ..........................2,8-9 - Dialogue with South Korea ...........................2 --Funding of Agreed Framework/U.S. Contributions .........5,9-11 Establishment of Liaison Offices .........................3 Leadership/Transition in North Korea .....................8,11-12 BURUNDI Attack on Motorcade: U.S. Ambassador Krueger, Burundi FM .12-15 IRAQ Republican Guard Mutiny ..................................15-16 American Detainees: Access/Interests Section Delivery, Reverend Jackson Offer to Mediate Release ..............16-19 FORMER YUGOSLAVIA Report of Bosnian Gov't. Military Build-up ...............19 Involvement of Former President Jimmy Carter .............20-21 Secretary Christopher Mtgs. w/EU Negotiator Bildt ........21-24 U.S. Position on Conflict: --Strengthening of UNPROFOR in Bosnia, Rapid Reaction Force, Political Efforts, Contact Group Map and Plan ..........21-25 Security Council Resolution on Rapid Reaction Force ......25 Reports of Serbian Assistance to Bosnian-Serb Military ...26 --Reports of Other Sanctions Violations: Cyprus, Russia ..26-27 LEBANON A/S Pelletreau Meetings in Beirut ........................27 Modifications to Travel Restrictions .....................27-28
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
DAILY PRESS BRIEFING
THURSDAY, JUNE 15, 1995, 12:44 P. M.
(ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)
MR. BURNS: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the State Department briefing. I'm very pleased that we can begin today's briefing with a special session with Ambassador at Large Robert Gallucci and Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Thomas Hubbard.
Mr. Hubbard recently returned from Kuala Lumpur after reaching agreement on key issues concerning the implementation of the U.S.-DPRK Agreed Framework. Ambassador Gallucci and Deputy Assistant Secretary Hubbard will speak on the successful negotiations achieved in close consultation with our allies in the Republic of Korea and Japan which will keep North Korea's dangerous nuclear facilities frozen and ensure that the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization will select the reactor model and prime contractor for the light-water reactor project.
After some initial comments by Mr. Hubbard, they will be glad to take whatever questions you have, and after that I will proceed with the Daily Briefing. Tom.
DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY HUBBARD: Let me open just with a few brief comments. I think you all know that I spent over three weeks in Kuala Lumpur in daily discussion, daily negotiation with my North Korean counterpart, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Kim Kye-Gwan.
These were difficult discussions. We spent some rather hard days, but I think we achieved a result that is good for U.S. interests and that of our allies.
During our talks, the United States and the DPRK agreed, number one, that the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization, or KEDO, will select the reactor model for the light-water reactor project in North Korea.
Our joint statement has a very detailed technical description of that reactor model, and following a meeting of the KEDO Executive Board in Seoul the same day, Ambassador Gallucci announced that the reactors will in fact be of the type currently under construction, under production at Ulchin, South Korea.
We also agreed that KEDO will select a prime contractor to carry out the LWR project. The KEDO Executive Board in Seoul also announced that the prime contractor will be a South Korean firm. That firm will be responsible for all aspects of the LWR project, including design, manufacture, construction and management.
And finally, as a result of our talks, the DPRK has agreed that it will henceforth negotiate directly with KEDO on outstanding issues related to the agreement on the LWR project.
Besides the LWR project, we and the DPRK delegation also discussed a number of other issues directly related to implementation of the Agreed Framework. The two sides reaffirmed their commitment to implementing all provisions of the Agreed Framework. In this context, the DPRK will maintain the freeze on its existing nuclear program.
The DPRK agreed to receive this month a team of U.S. technical experts to begin implementation of our bilateral understanding on the safe storage of the DPRK's spent fuel rods. This is a very important step forward.
We also agreed to begin discussions as quickly as possible on cooperative steps to monitor the phased delivery of heavy fuel oil KEDO is committed to provide the DPRK. We hope to reach rapid agreement on these monitoring steps and a schedule for delivery of 100,000 tons of heavy fuel by October 21, as called for in the Agreed Framework.
During the meetings, the U.S. side repeatedly stressed to the North Koreans the need to engage in dialogue with the South, as also called for in the Agreed Framework. North-South dialogue is essential, both for the full implementation of the Agreed Framework and for the creation of a stable peace on the Korean Peninsula.
During the course of these talks, we consulted very closely with our allies, the ROK and Japan, throughout the process, both in Kuala Lumpur and in all three capitals. As you know, Ambassador Gallucci and Assistant Secretary Lord went to Seoul and Tokyo while we were engaged in discussions in Kuala Lumpur.
Our cooperation with Japan and the ROK was excellent throughout the course of these negotiations, and we believe firmly that we achieved in Kuala Lumpur an agreement that advances our common interests.
I'd be happy to take questions now.
Q Can you tell us why this agreement will effect the goal of closer economic and diplomatic ties with specific reference to the opening of liaison offices?
DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY HUBBARD: As you know, we agreed last October in Geneva that we would establish liaison offices in respective capitals as soon as we have resolved the consular and other technical issues related to those offices. We have not yet resolved all of those technical issues.
The DPRK in recent weeks has indicated that their willingness to continue discussions of the liaison offices was contingent upon our successful conclusion of talks on the light-water reactor project. So now that that has taken place and we have reached a conclusion on the LWR project, we hope that we can move forward and carry out additional meetings with the DPRK on the liaison offices.
Q When will the documents be signed, and will they be made public?
DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY HUBBARD: There's no document to be signed at this point. We issued a joint press statement, and that is all there is to be now. Hereafter, KEDO and the DPRK will continue their discussions of a supply agreement for the LWR project, and I presume that will be public when it's reached.
Q The earlier tentative agreement was ad referendum. Presumably now both capitals have accepted what was negotiated in KL, and the issuance of the press statement is the final agreement.
DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY HUBBARD: That's correct. At one point in Kuala Lumpur I thought that I would probably have to return to Washington before I would get authorization to issue the joint press statement. In fact, our discussions in Washington and our consultations with the ROK and with Japan proceeded much more quickly than I had anticipated, and we were able to complete that in Kuala Lumpur.
Q When are technical experts going to see about the fuel rods, and what's the next -- what's the timetable on actually implementing some sort of -- whatever you're going to do with the rods taken out and store them or --
DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY HUBBARD: We agreed in Kuala Lumpur that that visit would take place as soon as possible in the month of June. We have gone to them and proposed sending a delegation just as soon as possible. I don't believe we've yet had a definitive response from the DPRK, but they told us in Kuala Lumpur they wished that team to arrive just as soon as possible.
Bob (Gallucci), do you have any more on this?
Q Weren't you supposed to provide some canisters for the rods to go in? Has that all been done?
DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY HUBBARD: We've reached agreement on what will be done. It will, of course, take several steps to get actually to that point. The first point in fact will be to send some chillers into the area where the fuel rods are being stored so that the temperature of the water can be lowered. That's the first step. After that we'll proceed with the rest of the project.
Q And when do you think that whole piece will be finished, when the rods will be removed?
DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY HUBBARD: Bob, do you have an estimate of that?
AMBASSADOR GALLUCCI: No, but I could take longer to say we don't know than you can. (Laughter) Tom said that you chill the water, then you stabilize the chemistry. You clarify the water so you see what you're doing. And while you're doing all that in Pyongyang, you're having an American company, whose name I don't know, fabricate the canisters into which the rods will be put.
The actual shipment of the canisters -- assuming that all these steps proceed as quickly as they can, and, of course, we'd like them to, then the canisters, I believe, would be there before the end of the year, and the placement of the rods into the canisters would begin some time this calendar year, but I'm not sure how long it will take for everything to be completed. Not a very long time, but the time factor relates to the corrosion of the cladding, as you've been told a million times. Once we get to the point of stabilizing the pond and getting the canisters over there, then the rush kind of diminishes to do that. Then we have time to actually put them in the canisters.
Q Do you have a final destination for those fuel rods?
AMBASSADOR GALLUCCI: We have an initial destination which is right in the pond. Then the shipment of the rods, as you know, is paced to the delivery of nuclear equipment under the Agreed Framework for the light- water reactor which we expect will be about five years into the future.
We did, as I think we have said, some exploration with some countries who have the capability to take spent fuel of the gas graphite type. We have a number of countries that said in principle they would entertain the possibility, and that's all we need at this point. The short answer to your question is no, we have no definite arrangement.
Q What are these remaining outstanding issues that need to be resolved, something you mentioned overseas with the scope of supply? What is that? And I also wanted to clarify -- I've seen several different numbers. I've seen $4 billion for the KEDO project, $4.5 billion, and then there's been talk about another -- discussions over an additional $1 billion for power lines and electric grids. So could you outline the remaining outstanding issues and clarify those numbers?
DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY HUBBARD: I think the latest estimate of the cost of the LWR project is something around $4.5 billion. We won't really be sure until we undertake some of the initial steps that are in fact called for in the joint press statement that we issued in Kuala Lumpur -- that is, to send a site survey team to do an actual examination of the site where the project will be built, and based on that, we can begin to have a better estimate of the cost.
The North Koreans have repeatedly in a number of places asked for add-ons to the project. Sometimes they've used the figure $1 billion. That figure did not come up in my discussions in Kuala Lumpur. The North Koreans made clear that they will wish some add-ons to the LWR project. I made clear in Kuala Lumpur that for the moment that what we were prepared to do was begin the site survey, to commit to provide the funds needed for site preparation of the actual project site. It can't move forward without that, but that further discussions of all the remaining issues would have to take place with KEDO.
My expectation is that KEDO will be prepared to provide what is normal for a project of this kind and no more than that.
Q Are there remaining outstanding issues?
DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY HUBBARD: There are a number of things - various technical issues such as reactor safety and the like need to be provided for. There does need to be eventually an agreement on exactly what the scope of supply will be. There are a host of technical issues. What we did in KL, basically, was decide the reactor model and decide the commercial arrangements for carrying out the project. In both cases, this will be a South Korean model and a South Korean prime contractor. Henceforth, it's going to be up to KEDO and the DPRK to work out the additional details.
Q You said the KEDO Executive Board in Seoul would name the prime contractor, and it would be a South Korean firm. Have they named the firm yet?
DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY HUBBARD: Bob (Gallucci) is the Chairman of the KEDO Executive Board.
AMBASSADOR GALLUCCI: If you look at the announcement we made, it says that we, KEDO, will begin negotiations with KEPCO, which I believe stands for Korean Electric Power Corporation or Company, which is the state utility. The formulation we will begin negotiations is because there must be a contract between KEDO and the prime contractor, and then the South Koreans are nominating KEPCO for that role.
We can't say that KEPCO is going to be the prime contractor, of course, until in legal terms there is a contract, but that's the direction we are heading.
Q What do you think was the key to the North Koreans' willingness to accept South Korea as a prime contractor on the project?
DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY HUBBARD: I think they realized that we and our allies, the ROK and Japan, were firm in our determination that a South Korean firm would be the prime contractor. I think the North Koreans throughout the course of these weeks in Kuala Lumpur had to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of accepting something that they didn't want to accept.
I think they felt they had a strong interest in actually having this LWR project carried out. It relates very directly to their national development. I think they determined that they had a strong interest in better ties with the United States and a more active involvement in the international community.
When they weighed the potential loss of all of that against the disadvantages from their point of view of accepting South Korean reactors, I think they decided to accept the South Korean reactors.
Q But, Mr. Hubbard, it's correct, isn't it, that there's nothing on the record that binds North Korea to accept the South Korean reactors, right?
DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY HUBBARD: I think there are two things in this joint press statement that we issued the other day that bind them. First and foremost, they agreed that KEDO will select the reactor model and indicated that they would accept KEDO's choice. They did that knowing that KEDO would, in fact, decide to provide South Korean reactors which it, in fact, did the same day.
Secondly, there's a somewhat arcane technical description of a reactor contained in the joint press statement. It had something to do with two coolant loops combined with a 1,000-megawatt electric power generated capacity.
That technical description describes the reactors currently being built at Ulchin, South Korea, and no other reactors.
Q When it comes time for South Korean technicians to enter North Korea to implement and build the LWR, can't the North Koreans then say, "Oh, we never agreed to this?"
DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY HUBBARD: There's a third point in there that says the project will be a turn-key project. I think once the supply agreement with KEDO is signed, the North Koreans should have no further say in that. I don't mean to be overly optimistic. Nothing is ever easy in discussions with the North Koreans. Certainly, we don't think carrying out a $4.5 million light-water reactor project with the North Koreans is going to be easy. I think there will be a number of issues to be resolved along the way.
I think one of the most important results in my meetings in Kuala Lumpur was the North Koreans acceptance that these talks -- these negotiations -- would henceforth take place between the DPRK and KEDO.
The Executive Board of KEDO consists of the United States, the ROK, and Japan. In future talks on these subjects, the ROK will, of course, be present through their KEDO representatives.
Q I have two questions. First question is, when is KEDO supposed to begin the negotiations with North Korea to conclude the supply contract?
DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY HUBBARD: As soon as possible, as indicated in the joint press statement.
Q Do you know the target date?
DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY HUBBARD: We haven't set any finite date. But I think both sides want to move forward just as quickly as we can.
Q The second question is, why you had the discussions in Kuala Lumpur, the North Koreans requested Tokyo to supply further aid. Do you think the acceptance of the South Korean model and their request for further aid had something to do with the formal transition of power to Kim Jong-Il?
DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY HUBBARD: That's hard to say. In dealing with the North Koreans, I try to speak only from what I've actually experienced and heard from the North Koreans. They said nothing to me during the course of three and a half weeks of discussion in Kuala Lumpur about the leadership transition in North Korea.
Q What happens next on the heavy oil shipments? Are there further talks on that regarding working on a mechanism to make sure there's no future diversion?
A second question is, is the U.S. prepared to supply a percentage of that oil ahead of the October deadline as requested by the North Koreans?
AMBASSADOR GALLUCCI: A team left this morning for Pyongyang to discuss modalities or methodologies for monitoring the disposition of future heavy fuel oil deliveries. That's something that we said was necessary to set in place before we delivered anymore in light of our conclusion that some of the heavy fuel oil that was delivered in January was diverted for non-permitted purposes -- namely, for steel manufacture.
Our willingness to phase the delivery of the fuel oil that is due under the terms of the Agreed Framework between now and October 21 of this year will depend upon (a) the successful conclusion of the discussions and the placement of whatever equipment is necessary to monitor the fuel oil; and (b) our own conclusions about the best way to proceed, and certainly (c) our financial capability to pay for the fuel oil.
The "b" part of that is that it is probably in our interests to make sure that the fuel oil is delivered in a phased way so that the North Koreans can more easily do what they said they would do with it -- namely, use it simply and only for electrical and energy generation, or directly for the production of heat rather than dumping a quantity of heavy fuel oil on them which they have difficulty in managing. Sort of a mutual interest here.
But the first element I want to emphasize is that we've got to have a monitoring system in place.
Q When are those talks about to begin?
DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY HUBBARD: The team left this morning. It'll take a couple of days.
DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY HUBBARD: I think they begin on the 17th.
Q What do you mean, "our ability to pay" in regards to the fuel oil?
AMBASSADOR GALLUCCI: As you know, heavy fuel oil cost money. KEDO is responsible, in a general way, for the provision of this heavy fuel oil. We, together with the Japanese and South Koreans, as the Executive Board of KEDO, are encouraging participation in KEDO, both political and financial. We have a number of countries who have joined KEDO and have made contributions and some who have indicated their intention to do so.
But let me take this opportunity to encourage others to do likewise so that KEDO can fulfill its obligations. That's what I mean.
Q Is it a U.S. commitment; not a KEDO commitment?
AMBASSADOR GALLUCCI: No. If you look at the Agreed Framework and the President's letter, the obligation we took on was to form an international consortium, which we did, to provide the light-water reactor and the heavy fuel oil. We formed the heavy consortium. That consortium is KEDO, and it is beginning to do its work. We have, as I said, attracted financial and political support. We certainly wish to attract more of both.
Q A follow-up. If KEDO had to buy the oil and ship it today, could it afford to do so?
AMBASSADOR GALLUCCI: Could it ship --
Q Does it have the funds to fulfill the obligation?
AMBASSADOR GALLUCCI: The remaining obligation to be fulfilled by October 21, 1995, is for an additional 100,000 tons, which is in the neighborhood of $9 to $10 million, I think -- million, million.
The answer is right at this moment in the bank account. If the question is "Is there $9 or $10 million?", there is not.
Q How much is there and how much more do you need for that and other activities?
AMBASSADOR GALLUCCI: Let me go to the U.S. Treasury question, lest there be any ambiguities on that point.
There is an initial obligation in the Agreed Framework for the United States to provide -- and we did take on that obligation -- the first 50,000 tons, which cost between four and five million dollars. That delivery was made on January 21 of this year. It was made out of Defense Department emergency funds.
Future shipments, we said, would be paid for and arranged by KEDO. That's our intent. In this fiscal year's reprogramming activity, we haven't reprogrammed money for heavy fuel oil. We have reprogrammed money for KEDO; for the headquarters costs -- some money for that. We plan to make a reprogramming notice on the Hill. We have reprogrammed money, in the Department of Energy budget, for the spent fuel.
We have made a request in next year's budget -- FY-96 -- for money for heavy fuel oil. So our plan intent is to arrange for and pay for heavy fuel oil out of contributions to KEDO this year.
Q Can I ask you, on allocation of the money for the reactor itself -- the $4.5 billion estimated right now -- is that going to be paid for by the three KEDO members? If so, is there a rough percentage breakdown? And are you going to solicit political and economic contributions from other countries?
AMBASSADOR GALLUCCI: We have had some very good consultations and communications with both the Japanese and the South Korean Governments in this connection before the President wrote his letter to the North Korean leader which accompanies the Agreed Framework of October 1994.
The understanding we have, which has been reaffirmed several times by both governments, is that South Korea, in financial as well in the manufacturing, construction, and design modes, would play a central role in financing the North Korean reactors and the reactor project. Japan has said they will play a significant financial role.
So this leads you, I know, to ask how much, in percentage terms, does a central and a significant role add up to? The answer is, quite a lot. It is our intent to complement the remaining percentage that may be necessary to generate from other sources to have KEDO do that. But we are confident, and both countries have been free to say this -- most recently at a press conference after the Executive Board meeting on Tuesday evening in Seoul -- that they are prepared to take on this financial burden.
But we are looking for both political and financial reasons to broaden the base. The United States should play a role there. In our request to Congress for FY-96, we asked the Congress to allow us to play a small role in that consortium.
As the Secretary of State said in testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in January, the bill to the United States taxpayer over ten years, we could expect would be in the neighborhood of $20 to $30 million a year. That would be for heavy fuel oil, for headquarters costs, and for our participation in the light-water reactor. We are asking for $22 million for all three together in the next fiscal year. While it's not a negligible amount of money in absolute terms, in relative terms it is a relatively small contribution to a $4.5 billion project. But it is politically significant and important and we, indeed, do believe we need it.
Q I'll ask either or both of you for a fingertip question: Did you get any feel how the North Korean decision process is working? Who is making the decisions? Do you have a feel of a deliberate, systematic command system there or is it more ad hoc?
DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY HUBBARD: I've had a number of opportunities to try to gage that, including when I went to Pyongyang in January to bring back our captured helicopter pilot and in these talks. The North Koreans talk about their decisions being made by the supreme leadership or the supreme leader. They talk about interagency disputes, not too different from the kind of interagency disputes most governments have as far as I can determine.
They do seem to get their instructions when they need them. They are sometimes unpredictable in their response, but I think that's to be expected from a country as isolated and as different from us as North Korea is.
I did come away from a series of meetings convinced that there is a functioning government in North Korea that is capable of making important decisions in a reasonably orderly way.
Q And would you think that the military is playing a primacy role?
DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY HUBBARD: I would say primacy -- a primary role. But, certainly, the military is a factor in decisions in the North Korean Government.
Q It's my remembrance that when we provided the first tranche of oil, we hoped to be able to recoup that cost from KEDO. Do you think that we will recoup that cost? Is my remembrance wrong?
AMBASSADOR GALLUCCI: Yes, it is. (Laughter)
Q Tom, can you tell us why several of the North Korean delegates returned home early?
DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY HUBBARD: I think the North Koreans were becoming frustrated with these talks just as we were. They went on for a long time. Many members of my delegation wanted to go home. They weren't permitted to.
You have to ask the North Koreans why their delegates went home. I suspect it was a signal of their frustration with the pace of the talks, and certainly the pace of discussions and developments seemed to quicken after those members went home.
MR. BURNS: Thank you.
(Following the briefing by Ambassador Gallucci and Deputy Assistant Secretary Hubbard, Spokesman Burns resumed the briefing at 1:13 p.m.)
MR. BURNS: I'm prepared to address any other questions you have on issues apart from the North Korea talks.
Q Can you give us an update on the situation in Burundi with the Ambassador there, please?
MR. BURNS: Yes. As you remember yesterday, our Ambassador, Robert Krueger, was in a motorcade in the southern part of the country along with the Burundi Foreign Minister, along with special representatives of the OAU and others and that motorcade was ambushed, it was attacked.
Neither Ambassador Krueger nor the Foreign Minister nor the Special OAU representative, fortunately, was injured in the attack, although Ambassador Krueger's car was hit by at least one bullet.
Unfortunately, most unfortunately, a military observer from the Organization of African Unity was killed in this attack as was one officer from the Burundi army. Two drivers and I understand six other military personnel were wounded.
Ambassador Krueger, the Foreign Minister, and the OAU Ambassador all returned this morning to Bujumbura. They held a joint press conference in Bujumbura where they denounced the attack and where they praised the bravery of the security personnel, both American and those from the Burundi security detail as well, whose quick actions they think prevented further loss of life.
We expect that the Burundian Government now will announce an investigation of this incident and take all necessary steps to see that those responsible are subject to due process of law.
Q Did they then talk about restrictions on the Ambassador's travel? Has he talked about whether he feels it's safe to go back out into the countryside? Has the State Department issued guidelines to him suggesting that he stay in the capital or away from that region for the time being? What kind of communication has there been on that?
MR. BURNS: I know just from a meeting in which I participated this morning that there has been an initial conversation between Ambassador Krueger and the Department -- the Bureau of African Affairs -- about future travel.
Obviously, there's an unsettled situation in Burundi. Ambassador Krueger has the responsibility to represent U.S. interests as best as he can and as he deems it appropriate. We certainly do not want to see our diplomats become prisoners to any situation.
On the other hand, security is also very important. There has to be some kind of compromise between those two objectives. The Ambassador will work out that question with officials back here. But I'm not aware that any specific instructions have gone back to him.
Q If I can follow up one more time. He did send his family back a while back because of the violence in Burundi, as I guess most family members were sent back.
Have you heard any talk, or has he suggested in any way that he'd be of a mind set to pull out, to decline further service in Burundi?
MR. BURNS: The Ambassador's family did return a couple of months ago when there was a great deal of ethnic violence in Burundi. There was a drawdown of non-official personnel as a part from our embassy community. We are going to maintain our Embassy there.
The United States does have an important influence to play. I'm not aware at all that Ambassador Krueger is thinking of returning to the United States.
Let me just take the opportunity to say that he has done an outstanding job. He has the respect of the Secretary and everybody else in this building for what he has done. His personal credibility in Burundi is quite high among all the groups. He has played a leading role and has been very vocal in denouncing those who believe that violence is the way to achieve political objectives.
We fully stand behind him. He does have a difficult dilemma now because there has been an attack on him. We want him to take the proper safeguards for his own security, and I'm sure he will do that and for the security of other embassy personnel; but we're going to stay in Burundi.
Q I notice you said "an attack on him." My understanding yesterday was that it was attack that wasn't intended to attack him specifically. Is it different today?
MR. BURNS: Well, we simply don't know. There was attack on the convoy of cars in which he was traveling. Who is to say as to who was the target of that attack? There were other senior people, including the Foreign Minister of the country, in the motorcade.
We are going to support as much as we can the investigation that's being undertaken by the government in Burundi to apprehend those who were responsible for this. But we simply at this point do not know the reasons for this attack.
Q Any more information at all who was responsible for the attack?
MR. BURNS: I don't believe so, no. We are working hard with the government to try to determine that. Obviously, there is no justification for this type of act.
I would like, now that we're on this, just to draw some attention to the fact that two of the American Diplomatic Security personnel from the Department of State took extraordinary actions yesterday to protect our Ambassador; one of the agents demonstrating, I think, real courage, returned fire that we think allowed the motorcade to escape this ambush.
Another was cut by glass or shrapnel during the attack. His injuries are not serious and did not require hospitalization.
We have all around the world Diplomatic Security agents protecting U.S. Embassies, U.S. Ambassadors, protecting the Secretary when he travels. They are putting a lot on the line in their job, and these two individuals certainly did that yesterday. We do want to commend them for their actions.
Q Are you saying that if they had not taken that action that the Ambassador may have been killed?
MR. BURNS: I simply don't know. It's hard for us in Washington to reconstruct an incident that took place so far away. All we know is that they did take aggressive and early action that we think contributed to the fact that the motorcade was able to escape the ambush.
I don't have their names here. It's a good question. Perhaps we can look into whether or not we can release the names. It's not my impression -- it's our policy, generally, not to release the names of our Diplomatic Security personnel, but I'll certainly look into it.
Q How large a group of security personnel did he have? And what kind of weapon was the agent armed with?
MR. BURNS: Mark, I think to enhance our ability to provide security for our Embassy and for the Ambassador, I don't think I want to describe the dimensions of our security detail because that just wouldn't be wise to do. But, needless to say, we have a fundamental obligation to protect our personnel overseas. It's something that the Secretary takes quite seriously.
Q What kind of weapon?
MR. BURNS: I'm simply not going to go into that, Mark.
Q On another subject: What do you know about what happened or didn't happen in Baghdad in the past 36 hours or so?
MR. BURNS: We're trying to piece together what happened in Baghdad. As you remember, I think we all discovered that these events had taken place just as we were beginning our briefing yesterday.
I do have more information today for you, Jim. We don't know all the details, but we can confirm that there was a mutiny by a small number of Republican Guard armored troops in Abu Ghurayb, which is near Baghdad. The troops attacked a radio transmitter in Abu Ghurayb. The incident appears to be over, but the current situation is not entirely clear to us.
It is worth noting that the mutiny involved tanks from the Republican Guard, the elite component of the Iraqi military. It was apparently put down by other Republican Guard units. It occurred, as I said, in Abu Ghurayb, which happens to be the Baghdad suburb where the prison in which our two Americans are imprisoned is located.
The rebellion, we think, was led by members of the Dulaym tribe, one of the major Sunni Arab tribes of Iraq. It's a group that has traditionally -- at least up until now -- had been a strong supporter of Saddam Husayn. This appears to be the second incident of unrest in recent weeks involving the Dulaym.
We have seen various media reports reporting unrest in the Dulaym area, which is west of Baghdad, in May, possibly sparked by the torture and killing of a senior Dulaym tribal member by the regime in Baghdad.
While this incident may have been put down, it does suggest that Saddam Husayn is under increasing pressure from groups loyal to him in the past.
Obviously, because the attack took place in Abu Ghurayb, we have been concerned over the last 24 hours about the welfare of Mr. Barloon and Mr. Daliberti, the two American citizens who are being unjustly imprisoned in that suburb.
We have no evidence to indicate that the prison was affected by this incident.
Mr. Krystosik, the Polish diplomat representing the United States in Baghdad, tried this morning to visit Mr. Daliberti and Mr. Barloon. He was denied access as he has been for the past seven to eight weeks.
On Tuesday, we were able to deliver a package of food items to the prison for Mr. Daliberti and Mr. Barloon. The prison guards accepted the package and gave the messenger from the Interests Section a receipt signed by the two Americans. Of course, we cannot confirm that, in fact, they did sign it or what was included in the package that eventually made it to them.
This just points up once again the outrageous nature of their incarceration in Iraq and our call for their immediate release.
Q Do you have any objections to Jesse Jackson's suggestion that he go to Iraq to try to get them free?
MR. BURNS: Reverend Jackson has informed us that he is discussing with the Iraqis a humanitarian effort to secure the release of the two Americans. If he does undertake a mission -- and I'm not sure that he's decided to undertake a mission -- he would have our best wishes for success.
There is no justification for holding Mr. Daliberti and Mr. Barloon. They should be released immediately.
We don't have, I think, details on Reverend Jackson's plans. I would refer you to him for the details of what he intends to do if, in fact, he does undertake a mission.
If he does, let me just emphasize, it would be in a purely private capacity. He would not be acting in any way as a representative of the United States Government. He would carry no messages from us but he would certainly have our best wishes.
Q The detailed information you have about what you're calling a "coup" in Iraq, where does that come from? How did you get that?
MR. BURNS: I don't believe I called it a "coup." The information comes from a variety of sources available to us.
Q You called it a "mutiny." I'm sorry.
MR. BURNS: I was referring to something that occurred in the past. The information is available to us from a variety of sources.
Q You say a small number were involved in the mutiny. How small is small? Can you put a number on it?
MR. BURNS: I can't.
Q How do you spell "Dulaym" as in Dulaym tribe?
MR. BURNS: "Dulaym," we would transliterate as D-U-L-A-Y-M -- "M," as in Michael.
Q Were the troops that put them down members of another clan or tribe? Was this clan against clan?
MR. BURNS: We think that they were put down by another element of the Republican Guard forces. I don't know if that's an ethnically-based element or whether it comprised of mixed forces. I just don't know the answer to that question.
Q Is this the most serious mutiny from within the Republican Guard since the Gulf War?
MR. BURNS: I am not competent to answer that question, Mark. I don't believe we know the answer to that question. But it is an indication to us that Saddam Husayn's regime is being questioned by a number of Iraqi citizens.
We know, of course, since well before the Gulf War, but certainly in the immediate aftermath of the war in 1991, that both the Kurds in the north and the Shi'its in the south, of course, had a fundamental objection to his regime. But now we have at least some evidence that groups that had been previously loyal were, we think, responsible for the events yesterday.
Q How do you draw that direct line if, on the one hand, this is perhaps related to a tribe which had one of its members, which you acknowledged, was tortured or killed some months ago and not just limited to that incident as opposed to a challenge to Saddam's leadership?
MR. BURNS: Charlie, obviously, I'm not in a position to go into everything we know and think about this incident, but what I can tell you is that we understand that in May a senior member of the Dulaym tribe was accused of coup-plotting against Saddam Husayn, and he was tortured and executed.
That could be -- we are just now drawing inferences here -- one reason why elements of the Dulaym tribe within the Republican Guard decided to undertake this attack yesterday. But it is a little bit difficult, standing where I am, to speak in great detail about why these incidents take place.
Iraq is still very much a closed society to the United States and certainly to the U.S. Government. While we do our best to understand what is happening there, we don't have complete knowledge of why these events occur.
Q Nick, do you know anything -- yesterday on the wires there was some reference to a General in Dulaym, who was a member of the Dulaym tribe, who was executed. Is that the same person you're talking about?
MR. BURNS: I didn't see the wire report, but it may fit the pattern of what I'm talking about.
Q He was a General, and at the time of his execution there were reports of serious riots among the same tribe. Do you know anything about that?
MR. BURNS: We do know that in May there was unrest in Iraq related to the incident that I talked about before concerning the senior member of the Dulaym tribe.
MR. BURNS: Any more on Iraq before we go to Bosnia? Bosnia.
Q Yes, thank you, Nick. It's been reported that Mr. -- well, we know Mr. Silajdzic took off in a hurry yesterday. I believe there's a nationwide alert in Bosnia, in the Muslim portion -- in the government portion of Bosnia. Mr. Sacirbey, I believe in Geneva, their Foreign Minister, said that the 50,000 -- that was what was reported a little while ago on the radio, a U.N. count of 50,000 -- Bosnian troops northwest of Sarajevo were there for offensive purposes to come against the Serbs. Mr. Silajdzic yesterday said that they were there for defensive purposes. What can you tell us about the up-to-date situation regarding the massing of troops and the intentions as far as we know?
MR. BURNS: We've certainly seen the reports, and we've been informed by members of the Bosnian Government that certainly there's a great deal of frustration on the part of the Bosnian Government and the Bosnian people with the current situation in Sarajevo and throughout Bosnia.
We've seen press reports about the supposed massing of troops north and northwest of Sarajevo. We know that this morning Bosnian Government forces shelled a Serb-held region approximately 12 miles north of Sarajevo; but U.N. observers, according to the reports that I have, are not characterizing this as the beginning of a major offensive or counter-offensive.
All I can tell you is that we are monitoring the situation closely. As late as the time when I came out here, we were not aware that any offensive was underway.
Q I have another question somewhat related. Ex-President Jimmy Carter yesterday said that he was interested, monitoring, up-to-date on the situation in Bosnia; would go, if invited by the Contact Group. What would the Department's reaction be to his becoming involved directly on the ground?
MR. BURNS: We have been in touch for a long time, many, many months, with former President Jimmy Carter about the situation in Bosnia. We keep him regularly apprised of our own thoughts and plans and our own analysis of the situation there. We certainly welcome that part of his testimony yesterday which emphasized the importance of a negotiated settlement as the basis of a resolution for the terrible conflict in Bosnia.
We do not agree with the suggestion that we should be prepared for unconditional talks with the Bosnian Serbs. As you know, it's long been the position of the Contact Group, including the United States, that the beginning of peace talks should be based upon the Contact Group map and plan. The refusal of the Pale Serbs, the Bosnian Serbs, to accept that map and plan as the beginning of talks, of course, has led to our policy of trying to isolate the Pale Serbs until they can decide that they're going to take this step.
As to any plans that former President Carter has, I would simply have to refer you to him. It's really his judgment to make as to whether or not he will become more actively involved in the negotiations there.
MR. BURNS: Still on Bosnia?
Q Yes. Just for the record, the State Department is against any such Bosnian military operations, right, with the aim of breaking through the siege of Sarajevo?
MR. BURNS: We had a very long discussion of this yesterday. I'd refer you to that discussion. I would be quite willing to say again, briefly, in answer to your question that we do not have a neutral, antiseptic view of the conflict in Bosnia.
We greatly support the Bosnian Government's attempts to achieve justice. We think that can best be achieved through negotiations. We have great sympathy for the plight of the Bosnian people, especially those people who are living in the enclaves in Sarajevo and other enclaves who are being deprived of the necessities of life and who have to live under bombardment.
It has been our feeling that there is not a military solution available to the Bosnian Government at the current time, and that we would strongly urge them to give negotiations a chance, to work with us as we try to convince both Belgrade and the Pale Serbs that negotiations ought to be the focus of the situation in Bosnia.
Secretary of State Christopher met last night with Carl Bildt, who is the new EU negotiator for the Bosnian conflict. They had an excellent discussion, a long discussion, about Mr. Bildt's plans to try to re-energize discussions. You've seen some comments from him this morning. The situation is very grim, and I think he has a quite realistic view of the situation.
We have resolved to work very closely with Mr. Bildt, both the United States Government and the Contact Group. We hope and expect that he will take part in meetings of the Contact Group at the political director level and at all levels, and we wish him well and will give him all of our support.
We think, as we go through the current week and look ahead to next week and the week after that, the appointment of Mr. Bildt, the fact that he will be making new efforts to try to achieve a political settlement, the effort by the French, U.K. and Dutch Governments to form a rapid reaction force -- all of these things we hope might coalesce into a situation where we can achieve our central objectives. Let me just repeat those for you.
We believe that UNPROFOR must stay in Bosnia. It has a role, a mission that is fundamental to the security of the people there. We believe that it should be strengthened, and that gets to our very clear, unequivocal support for the idea of a quick or rapid reaction force. We believe that that force can help make UNPROFOR more tenable and we hope more credible, and it can help UNPROFOR continue to stay as a presence in Bosnia. We believe that we need to contain the conflict in order to save lives.
Q Nick, does the deployment of the rapid reaction force at this point depend on the consent of the U.S. Congress?
MR. BURNS: Let me just talk about substance and procedure. In terms of the substance of the idea -- the idea that was discussed in great detail between President Chirac and President Clinton and Secretary Christopher yesterday -- we support the rapid reaction force. We support the French-U.K.-Dutch idea for all the reasons that I've just stated.
On the issue of the procedure of funding, which is a very important procedure -- I don't mean to belittle it by using that word, but it is a procedural question at this point -- senior officials of the Department are on the Hill right now consulting with senior members of the Congress about this issue. Since those negotiations are underway as we are meeting here, I don't think I want to get into the details of it. It's certainly a question that's got to be worked out with the Congress.
Q Nick, to follow that up, do American officials feel as though the understanding at the outset of the quick reaction force -- when it was announced -- on how it would be financed has been changed, and that whereas the United States would always supply support, equipment and personnel in the beginning, now we're being asked to pony up 30 percent of the overall cost?
MR. BURNS: As you know, in Noordwijk -- at the five-and-a-half hour Contact Group meeting in Noordwijk, I think, looking back on it, there may have been some misunderstanding of this particular question. But I think as a result of our recent discussions this week with all the governments involved, and particularly the French Government since President Chirac was here, I think we now have a clear understanding that it's their intention at least to go in a certain direction, and that is a U.N.-assessed direction.
This is a complicated question. It does involve the need for the Administration to consult with the Congress, and that's what we're doing this afternoon.
Q Can you explain a little more fully what Mr. Bildt brings to the table that isn't already there? I mean, why do we need another special negotiator to try and solve this problem?
MR. BURNS: He's not just another special negotiator. We have not added by one. He replaces Lord Owen, who was the European Union's negotiator.
Mr. Bildt is a very distinguished individual. We worked with him very closely last summer when Sweden and the United States, Germany and some other nations combined forces to convince the Russian Government to withdraw its troops from the Baltic countries. He's a very distinguished, capable person. He's very intelligent and very determined, and we certainly got a sense of that from the conversations the Secretary had with him last week. So I think his personal qualities that he brings to bear are quite impressive.
Secondly, the three European Union members of the Contact Group have decided -- two troop contributors have decided that UNPROFOR has got to remain in Bosnia and that it's got to be reinforced by a rapid reaction force.
That is all occurring now, and Mr. Bildt's appointment occurs simultaneously. What we're hoping for is that both a resuscitated and reinforced UNPROFOR might now continue in parallel with a reinvigorated political effort, led by Mr. Bildt, to see if we can make some breakthroughs on the political side. He has taken a great interest in Bob Frasure's discussions with Mr. Milosevic on the question of Serbia's possible recognition of Bosnia.
He also will be, of course, primarily responsible for the continued offer of the Contact Group map and plan as the basis for negotiations. He is off to a very good start. He has had good consultations with the Russian Government; very fine, excellent consultations yesterday with Secretary Christopher; and I believe today he's in New York for meetings with Ambassador Stoltenberg and I think tomorrow meetings with the U.N. Secretary General, Mr. Boutros-Ghali. So he's doing the right things.
Obviously, his appointment takes place at a time of great difficulty and of real grimness, I think, in the situation in Bosnia -- in the status of the UNPROFOR forces themselves and the fact that hostages have been taken; the fact that the fighting has increased and the people who are affected, the civilians, find themselves in a much more dangerous environment.
What we're hoping is that the continuation of UNPROFOR and Mr. Bildt's appointment will both move us to higher ground and move us to a point where we can begin to make progress. I don't think anybody in this government, in our government, wants to predict success. We know that the situation has deteriorated quite badly over the last couple of weeks, and we know that there has now to be a concerted political effort to make progress. There's no guarantee for success, but it is certainly worth the effort, and we think he's a good person to make that effort, and he has our full support.
Q Nick, the way you describe it, it seems that whereas Lord Owen worked in partnership with Stoltenberg, Bildt will be almost a new member of the Contact Group and in fact will have a leading role within the Contact Group. Is that right?
MR. BURNS: I think from the conversation last night he certainly intends to work closely with Ambassador Stoltenberg. Secondly, the United States believes quite strongly that there has got to be very tight coordination, close coordination, between Mr. Bildt's efforts and those of the Contact Group. They are not synonymous efforts. Mr. Bildt is a representative of the European Union.
But what we'd like to see is Mr. Bildt participate in Contact Group meetings. That was not always the case with Lord Owen. We'd like to see very close diplomatic coordination, even on a daily basis, both with our experts here -- with Dick Holbrooke and Bob Frasure here -- with our Ambassadors overseas, wherever Mr. Bildt is traveling. He wants that as well, and he and Secretary Christopher agreed that they would be tightly in contact and tightly in focus.
He does not, however, have a mandate to negotiate on behalf of the United States, and you wouldn't expect that. The United States can alone represent its own interests. But as a member of the Contact Group, we look forward to close coordination with him.
Q Nick, back up to the Netherlands, the Contact Group, the misunderstanding. Was it the U.S. impression at The Hague that the French and British were going to pay for the rapid reaction force themselves?
MR. BURNS: Well, those were early days. (Laughter) The concept - --
Q (Inaudible) (Laughter)
MR. BURNS: It was the early -- that's right -- the early hours of one morning, as I remember it quite clearly. I think the concept was just getting to us at that point, just being described to us orally. We hadn't seen anything on paper to that point. There were a series of meetings involving Secretary Christopher, Secretary Perry and General Shalikashvili.
Clearly, I think, we didn't have the type of understanding then that we have now. We know what they are proposing to us now. That question, of course, is one that the Administration has a responsibility to consult on with Congress, and that's what we're doing today.
Q But the issue of going to the Security Council for resolution did not arise then, is that what you're saying?
MR. BURNS: No, Judd, I thought you were referring to the issue of funding, and that's what I was speaking to.
Q But the issue now is that it's requiring -- it's under the auspices of the Security Council, isn't that correct, and requires a 30 percent U.S. contribution?
MR. BURNS: There is a resolution that is being debated and discussed in New York at the Security Council. That's right. And that resolution has not yet been voted upon. We have asked for an opportunity both to review the situation in the U.S. Government -- which we've essentially done over the last 24 hours -- and also an opportunity to consult with Congress before we are going to be in a position to vote at the United Nations.
So it's really not possible for me to predict when that vote will occur. We've certainly got to have the discussions this afternoon. I don't know whether or not it will require additional discussions beyond that with the Congress.
Q Can I make sure that I understand your position? The United States does not believe that direct talks with the Pale Serbs should be resumed until they accept the map.
MR. BURNS: Right, Carol. We have said for a long time now that there is an offer on the table from the Contact Group, not just the United States; it's the Contact Group map and plan. It should be the basis for the resumption of talks.
We would not be in favor of just beginning anew, in general, discussions without direction with the Bosnian Serbs.
Q The Secretary told this to Bildt yesterday, right?
MR. BURNS: I don't remember that as being a specific part of the conversation. I think it's just clearly understood. All the members of the Contact Group agree to this. We reaffirmed at Noordwijk the Contact Group map and plan as the basis for talks. As I try to remember the conversation, I don't believe that there's any need to really refer to it. I'm sure there's no misunderstanding with Mr. Bildt on that.
Q You've been asked in the last few days several times about assistance from Serbia, the Government of Serbia to the Bosnian Serb army. Are you satisfied that there are no weapons, arms, military assistance of any kind reaching the Bosnian Serbs from countries other than Serbia? From Russia, for example?
MR. BURNS: There are a couple of questions here, and let me just try to parse them a little bit. On the issue of whether Serbia proper is assisting the Bosnian Serbs militarily, I think we've been quite clear and careful in saying that we believe there have been leakages in the sanctions regime, which is certainly not perfect.
We believe the sanctions regime should be tightened and reinforced, and that's why we have asked for an increased number of monitors on the Bosnian-Serb border.
I cannot confirm the reports that Serbia has sent a significant amount of military equipment and is giving a significant level of military assistance to the Bosnian Serbs, but that's really all I can say on that.
On the issue of what other countries are doing, we certainly try to track that fairly closely because of the importance that we attach to the sanctions regime. We are looking into a great number of reports of sanctions violations. We're quite interested in this issue. We certainly do not approve and did not encourage any third country to violate U.N. resolutions.
Q May I follow up?
MR. BURNS: Certainly.
Q In today's New York Times, they reported about Cyprus -- they are involved with some power company and money laundering from the Russian side. Do you have any comment on it?
MR. BURNS: I may have a comment on it, if I can find the right reference. If I can't find the right reference, I won't; but I do. Here it is. Yes. We saw the same article you did and read it.
We're very concerned by allegations of sanctions violations on the part of some individuals in Cyprus. We have repeatedly made these concerns known at high levels to the Government of the Republic of Cyprus.
The Government of Cyprus has assured us that it will take the necessary actions to comply with all U.N. resolutions. That's my reaction.
Q How about the Russian side -- money laundering subject?
MR. BURNS: As I said before, there have been a number of reports, not just recently but throughout the history of the sanctions regime, of violations of the regime; and when we think that the reports are credible, we look into them from wherever they occur.
Q Nick, do you have any situation report on Mr. Pelletreau's visit to Lebanon and his statements about lifting the ban on travel and when will this be into effect?
MR. BURNS: As you know, Assistant Secretary Pelletreau has been in Beirut for meetings with the leadership of the Government of Lebanon. He announced today a slight modification to the travel restrictions that currently apply to Lebanon. I believe the modification is essentially that non-Americans will now be able to purchase tickets in the United States for travel to Lebanon. Up until today they were not able to do that. But the restrictions on American citizen travel to Lebanon are still on the books and they still pertain, and we think there's good cause to keep them there, at least for the time being.
Q Nick, it's unclear to me whether that -- Secretary Pelletreau announced that Middle East Airlines could now sell tickets in the United States. Is that-- this is a noted terrorist carrier.
MR. BURNS: Sid, let me take that question for you and simply ask. I don't know the answer to that question.
Q U.S. citizens are not to travel, but none -- U.S. citizens -- are they permanent residents or people who are visiting in this country and they want to go to Lebanon, they cannot --
MR. BURNS: No. It's non-U.S. citizens who are visiting in the United States, who would like to purchase an air ticket from some city in the United States to Beirut. They are now able to do that. Until today they were not. Tickets were not sold in the United States until today for travel to Lebanon. Now they can be sold but only to non-U.S. citizens, not to U.S. citizens. The ban on travel by U.S. citizens remains in place.
Q When will this be effective?
MR. BURNS: I'll simply have to refer you to our Near East Bureau for that. I don't know if it's immediate, as of today. We can certainly check that for you.
Q Do you have anything on official travel -- a ban on official travel to Lebanon? Was that changed at all?
MR. BURNS: Official government travel? When it's necessary for U.S. Government officials to travel to Lebanon, we do. Assistant Secretary Pelletreau is there today. But it is not a common practice for U.S. Government officials to travel there because of the well known risks involved.
Q The well known risks involved are the reason that Secretary Pelletreau's trip was kept so quiet before he arrived?
MR. BURNS: I think it should be well known to everybody why we don't announce ahead of time Assistant Secretary Pelletreau's trips to Lebanon. They're for obvious reasons.
Q Today marks the year anniversary since Jimmy Carter's trip to North Korea, and he followed up with a trip to Haiti and then Bosnia, and I think it's fair to say that not all of these missions -- in fact, perhaps none of them -- had the blessings of people in the Department here. As you look back over the year, can you say whether he's made -- his unique position puts him in a position to make a contribution?
MR. BURNS: Contribution to --
Q Contribution to American diplomacy. Is he able to solve problems that can't be solved through conventional methods?
MR. BURNS: I would simply say that everyone in this government from the President on down has great respect for him. He has made a great contribution. He made a great contribution in office. He has made a great contribution since leaving office to asserting American ideals overseas. I think many members of this Administration have good and frequent contacts with him.
Q Thank you.
MR. BURNS: Thanks.
(The briefing concluded at 2:50 p.m.)
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