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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
95/08/15 DAILY PRESS BRIEFING
OFFICE OF THE SPOKESMAN

                       U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
                         DAILY PRESS BRIEFING
                               I N D E X
                       Tuesday, August 15, l995

                                            Briefer:  David Johnson

DEPARTMENT STATEMENT
Undersecretary Tarnoff's Trip to Tokyo, Shanghai, Beijing ...1-2,4
--Discussion of/Possible Access to Harry Wu .................2,4-5

CHINA
Possibility of U.S./China Bilateral Mtgs. in October ........2-3
Departure of Two Air Force Officers .........................3-4
Access to Harry Wu ..........................................4

JAPAN
Prime Minister's Statement on World War II ..................3

CAMBODIA
Report of Former Khmer Rouge Official Residing in U.S. ......5-6
Arrests of Democracy Demonstrators ..........................6

RUSSIA
Status of Search for Fred Cuny ..............................6

FORMER YUGOSLAVIA
Diplomatic Mission/Ambassador Holbrooke Trip to Region ......6-10
--Contact Group Map and Plan ................................8,11
Refugee Situation:
--Reports of Relocation of Refugees to Kosovo ...............9-10

IRAN
Iran/South Africa Contract for Oil Storage Facility .........11

IRAQ
Secretary Perry's Remarks re: U.S./Jordanian Military 
  Exercises .................................................11
Reports of U.S. Request for Permission to Overfly Israel ....11-12

AFRICA
Sao Tome Principe Coup ......................................12
U.S. Aid to Sao Tome ........................................13

VIETNAM
Arrests/Trials of Buddhist Monks ............................13-14
Sentencing of Two American Citizens .........................14-15
U.S. Recognition of Vietnam .................................15

FRANCE
Nuclear Intentions ..........................................15

                           U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
                             DAILY PRESS BRIEFING
                                                   DPB #121
                    TUESDAY, AUGUST 15, 1995, 1:10 P.M.
                   (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)
                   

MR. JOHNSON: I have one brief announcement that you've all been waiting for, and then we'll move into your questions. First of all, welcome to today's briefing. The statement concerns Mr. Tarnoff's trip to China and Japan. Secretary Christopher announced after his meeting with the Chinese Foreign Minister on August 1 that Under Secretary for Political Affairs Peter Tarnoff would travel to China to hold consultations on a broad range of issues. Mr. Tarnoff will visit China from August 24-27. While in Beijing, Mr. Tarnoff will hold discussions with Vice Foreign Minister Li. As in his previous discussions with his Chinese counterpart, Mr. Tarnoff will review bilateral, regional, and global subjects, including Taiwan. Mr. Tarnoff will also visit Shanghai during this trip. He also plans to visit Tokyo on August 23-24 for meetings with Japanese officials as part of a series of regular, in-depth bilateral consultations on political, security, and other issues. As far as his detailed schedule goes, he's August 23-24 in Tokyo; 24-25 in Shanghai; and 25-27 in Beijing. That's the only announcement I have. Q Can I ask you about that? MR. JOHNSON: You may. Q What does this trip say about U.S.-Chinese relations? MR. JOHNSON: It says that we're in a position now and we plan to follow up on the discussions that the Secretary had with the Chinese Foreign Minister in Brunei. My recollection is that meeting was one that was held in a positive atmosphere, and we hope to take advantage of the steps that were taken there to try to hold further discussions on the full range of topics and political channel. We've had meetings between Mr. Tarnoff and Vice Foreign Minister Li before. We believe they've been productive and we hope we can have similarly productive meetings this time. Q Why is he going to Shanghai? MR. JOHNSON: He hasn't been and would like to have an opportunity to both see the personnel at our Consulate General and also to have an opportunity to meet with the American business community resident in Shanghai. Q Do you have the rest of Li's name? MR. JOHNSON: I will attempt to pronounce it but I will also spell it for you. Li Zhaoxing: Z-H-A-O-X-I-N-G. Q And Lee? MR. JOHNSON: It's one word -- Li is L-I. My apologies to Mr. Li. Q David, this visit is going forward despite the fact that Harry Wu remains in jail? MR. JOHNSON: This visit was planned to go forward. It was an opportunity to discuss a number of bilateral topics that we had on our agenda. I would not characterize it as "despite him being in jail." We call on the Chinese Government to release Mr. Wu at every opportunity, including today. We'll continue to do so until his release. Q Will Mr. Tarnoff discuss the Wu case? MR. JOHNSON: I would certainly think that that would be part of his topic. Q So no penalty at all for the Chinese continuing to detain the man who we would like to see released? MR. JOHNSON: I would say that there's every penalty in terms of China's reputation in the world for holding someone who is such a noted human rights figure. Q Do you plan to forge ahead on the planning of a summit in October? MR. JOHNSON: I think the Secretary spoke with some detail about how difficult it would be to envisage such a meeting in light of Mr. Wu's incarceration. Q But he didn't rule it out? He just said it would be difficult? MR. JOHNSON: I think those are the exact words that he used, and I think I'll stay right there. Q Does that include a meeting between the two Presidents around the events at the U.N. General Assembly or just a Washington summit? MR. JOHNSON: I think the Secretary expressed his views on this at some length. I think, certainly, the President and the Chinese President will be there for a multilateral meeting that takes place when a number of heads of state are present. I think what we're referring to when we were talking about difficulty was any bilateral meeting or series of meetings. Q Do you have any reaction or comment to the Japanese Prime Minister's apology today for Japan's actions during the Second World War? MR. JOHNSON: Two things I'd say. First, I would draw your attention to some remarks that Mike McCurry made earlier this morning. Speaking here at the State Department, I would say that we welcome the Prime Minister's heartfelt statement and we accept it in the spirit in which it was offered. Q (Inaudible) too late? MR. JOHNSON: Let me get finished for a moment. Today or yesterday, depending on where one is located, marks the 50th Anniversary of the close of World War II and the surrender of Japanese Imperial Forces. But it also marks the 50th Anniversary of the beginning of a new relationship between Japan and the United States, one of the most successful bilateral relationships in U.S. history. That 50 years of peace and prosperity is a tribute to the men and women of the World War II generation, many of whom sacrificed their lives and the remarkable work that they did to create free and open societies. Q David, can I go back to China for a second? Would you expect that Mr. Tarnoff would raise the issue of the two alleged spies in China kicked out of the country? MR. JOHNSON: I think we've said all we plan to say from this lectern about the departure of the two United States Air Force officers. Q This is a little different. I'm asking if the United States plans to raise it in a meeting? MR. JOHNSON: Your question may be different but my answer is just the same. Q So that's another thing they get away with without a peep from the Clinton Administration? MR. JOHNSON: I think we've decided to talk about that in ways other than in a public forum. Q Well, you said it in a public forum. Q Anything further on another interview with Mr. Wu? MR. JOHNSON: No. We are continuing to pursue at every opportunity another appointment with Mr. Wu in advance of the 30-day deadline which is set in our consular agreement. Q (Inaudible) words if I said the Chinese refused to -- have declined to permit a third meeting? MR. JOHNSON: I think it would be more accurate to say that they have not responded to our continued requests for additional and more frequent meetings with Mr. Wu. Q Will Peter Tarnoff try to see Harry Wu while he's there? MR. JOHNSON: I don't know that that's been determined. I will see if there's something we want to say on that. Q He has no reason -- MR. JOHNSON: Excuse me? Q Peter has no reunion -- MR. JOHNSON: As far as I know, he has no plans to travel to Taiwan. I've given you the extent of his schedule in Asia. Q It hasn't been ruled out, that Tarnoff may try to see Wu? MR. JOHNSON: I don't know that it's been exactly considered, so let me see if I can find something to respond to you on that. Q Would you like to go to something else? MR. JOHNSON: Are we out of Asia? Q Yes. Q On Cambodia. The New York Times had an interesting story the other day about a former Khmer Rouge official -- crony of Pol Pot -- who apparently is living in splendor here in the United States, in Mount Vernon. What can you say about that? And why would the United States allow somebody who is at least alleged to be connected with genocide to just live here nicely? MR. JOHNSON: I see the picture that you have before you. Q His name is Thiounn Prasith. MR. JOHNSON: There are a couple of aspects about that I would address. One is that one's residency in the United States is determined by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, not by the State Department. I do not know what type of visa he entered on or what his status is here, but I will attempt to determine that for you. Q When you say the Immigration Service determines who stays and who doesn't, the State Department often weighs in on these matters and quite heavily. MR. JOHNSON: Depending on certain circumstances surrounding it and the type of visa or other travel document, we do have some say under law as to who might enter the United States. The visa is simply permission to apply to enter, and the determination is finally made by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, or, in fact, the Attorney General, depending on the case. But I'll be pleased to see what role we have to play under law in this case and what sort of status this gentleman has in the United States. Q Also whether or not suspected war criminals are allowed in the United States; if you could add that. MR. JOHNSON: Okay. I know there are provisions of law directly related to the ability of one to enter the United States if you've been engaged in activities specifically related to the Second World War. I will endeavor to find out if they also apply to this case. Q Could we try one on the Cuny thing? Q I'm sorry. On Cambodia. While the Secretary was in Phnom Penh, there were six democracy demonstrators arrested. They were handing out pamphlets calling on the Secretary to ask the Cambodians to "abide by human rights and follow democracy." These men remain in jail in Phnom Penh. Amnesty International called for their release today. The Cambodian Government says they will charge them and try them for inciting others to commit crimes. Do you have any comment on that, or could you take the question? MR. JOHNSON: I'll look into the specifics of the case. I will say that we've made no secret of our belief that individuals all over the world should be allowed to express their political views peaceably. I'll see just what the circumstances of this case are; and if we've made any representations to the Cambodian Government, what they were and what the results were. Q Could I -- I don't know if you've heard about the Interfax report that Fred Cuny -- some Russian official is saying he's alive and all that. Do you have anything on that? MR. JOHNSON: I do. We do hope that Fred Cuny is alive, but we have no concrete evidence indicating whether he is alive or dead. We have many unsubstantiated reports about his whereabouts, but we've found no one who's been in a position to confirm any of them. Allegations that he is employed by Dudayev as an intelligence officer and adviser are utterly groundless. Q Well, can we drop Dudayev from that thought and -- MR. JOHNSON: We can. Q Then you say it's groundless, any notion that he was engaged in anything but -- MR. JOHNSON: Except for humanitarian activities, it is groundless. Q Could you give us a status report on the Holbrooke mission? MR. JOHNSON: He's continuing his work in the former Yugoslavia, meeting with leaders of the governments engaged in the Balkan conflict. He was scheduled to arrive in Sarajevo today but was delayed by poor weather. I understand fog prevented him from flying. He is instead going to meet with the Bosnian Foreign Minister and Croatian officials in Split. He'll then travel to Zagreb and Belgrade to meet with Croatian and Serbian leaders, and then he expects from that point to travel to Sarajevo to meet with Bosnian Government officials. Q Any word on how he's doing? Q Is he doing any good? MR. JOHNSON: He's working on our mission to reinvigorate the diplomatic process, basing his efforts on the ideas that Tony Lake and Peter Tarnoff brought to Europe in their consultations with our allies and partners. What we're trying to do here is to bring in some fresh ideas to try to stimulate the negotiating process, to try to bring the combatants to the table and to engage in some fruitful negotiations which might bring a durable end to this conflict. Q Do these conversations get into peacekeeping operations, and whether that should be altered, because hanging over all of this is impatience in some Western European countries about keeping peacekeepers in Bosnia. Are you looking at other ways? MR. JOHNSON: I think we're all impatient with the course of the hostilities there and the tremendous human toll that they have taken. But today, like in other days, when we've been talking about Mr. Lake's and Mr. Tarnoff's mission and then today Mr. Holbrooke's, I'm going to decline to get into the specifics of those exchanges. Q David, Bosnia's Ambassador to Britain poured cold water on this initiative today, saying it had no chance of success. What's your reaction to that? MR. JOHNSON: My reaction is that we'd prefer to have our exchanges between Mr. Holbrooke and the Bosnian Foreign Minister directly and personally rather than through their emissaries in other parts of the world in exchanges with the press. Q Isn't he speaking from an informed point of view, though? MR. JOHNSON: I have no idea and would not characterize that. Q David, just for Barry's question, without getting into the specifics, does the Administration think there are other ways to maintain a peace in Bosnia, if it ever arises, than what they've been doing for the last three years? MR. JOHNSON: I think that we believe that this is perhaps, if not a unique moment, then at least a moment for opportunity in the negotiating process, and we're trying to take advantage of it. We're trying to use the Contact Group Map and Plan as the basis for the negotiations as a starting point, and we're trying to use the changed situation on the ground and intense consultations with the parties and with our friends and allies to try to come together, to try to get the parties to sit down around the table and negotiate and to bring this conflict to an end. Q This is the peace that Clinton said he would send up 25,000 Americans to enforce? Is that offer still in place as far as you know? MR. JOHNSON: I think the President said that if there was a durable peace that was being enforced and was being abided by, by all the parties, we would, of course, consider the use of United States' troops. No, that offer has not changed. Q Consider the use, though. Are you modifying that at all? MR. JOHNSON: No, I'm not attempting to modify it in any way, shape or form. Q David, you (inaudible) the phrase "to bring the combatants to the table," and once again there appears to be no reference to the Bosnian Serbs who are one of the combatants, right? MR. JOHNSON: That's certainly true. I'm talking about our goal of bringing the combatants to the table, but I'm also talking specifically about Mr. Holbrooke's trip right now, who he's meeting with, and the fact that we have no plans to meet with them now doesn't mean that I'm excluding that forever and for all time. We believe that for the peace to be durable, it has to be agreed among all the parties, and certainly they're one of them. In fact, one of the unmet demands of the Contact Group is for the so-called Pale Serbs to agree to meet and to negotiate on the basis of the Contact Group Map and Plan. Q David, in the short term, does this government think it can exert influence on the Bosnian Serbs through the Belgrade Serbs? MR. JOHNSON: We believe that this moment, with the changed circumstances on the ground, introduces some new opportunities, but I'm not going to get into exactly how we see those playing out. Q David, what do you know about the transfer of refugees to Kosovo today? MR. JOHNSON: As in the past, we are concerned about reports that the authorities in Belgrade plan to relocate Croatian Serb refugees to the Kosovo region. The Serbian Commissioner of Refugees has already assigned about five percent of the incoming refugees to Kosovo. Nearly 90 percent of the population in Kosovo are ethnic Albanians who have suffered harsh Serb repression from the Government in Belgrade. The situation in Kosovo is tense, and we have opposed any effort to resettle a significant number of ethnic Serbians in Kosovo. We have raised these concerns with high-level Serbian and FRY officials and we will continue to do so over the next few days. We expect that will be one of the topics that Assistant Secretary of State Holbrooke raises with President Milosevic when he meets with him later this week. Q Is five percent significant? MR. JOHNSON: It's certainly not insignificant. It does not radically alter the ethnic makeup of the area, but it is not a trend we'd like to see continue, certainly. Q So if it stayed at five percent, you wouldn't jump up and down, but if it went over five percent -- MR. JOHNSON: I'm not going to get into a numbers discussion and tell you at 7.87 percent we've got a trigger mark. That is, I think, not appropriate for this discussion. What we want to do is to see any resettlement there very limited and not aimed at remaking the ethnic makeup of the region. Q Do you know how those five percent found lodging? MR. JOHNSON: I do not. Q It couldn't possibly be someone else's homes they're being moved in to, could it? Or, are they doing some quick construction work? MR. JOHNSON: I do not know whether they are being lodged in refugee housing areas or whether there's been any moving in or out of housing. I'll see if I can get you something on that. Q David, it is five percent of what? What's the gross number? Q 60 to 80. Q Those numbers haven't grown? MR. JOHNSON: Those numbers haven't grown, but I'm hesitant to ask you to do your math based on that because I think the 60 to 80 is departures and not necessarily arrivals inside Serbia proper. So I'll see if I can get you some better math, but I have a feeling that we're not going to have incredibly hard figures on that. Q Could you please comment on reports that your Administration proceeds to replace U.N. troops in the Balkans with NATO-run peacekeeping force, including thousands of troops from Muslim countries and possibly Russia? MR. JOHNSON: I could not. I am unaware of any type of proposal that I would describe in that way. I have consistently declined to get into any of the specifics that anyone is talking about with respect to the current diplomatic mission we have underway, and I'm not going to do it in this case either. Q Then could we change some of these words around, or is it basically something that you're saying you can't substantiate? I mean, if I asked you, for instance, have you talked to the Russians about replacing the U.N. peacekeepers with NATO, would your answer be the same? Or is the catch proposal or idea -- MR. JOHNSON: I'm just not going to engage in a discussion of that. We'd like to give our negotiators an opportunity to have those discussions with the parties to the conflict and give them an opportunity to see if they can make some progress on that. Q So you're not denying this UPI report; are you? MR. JOHNSON: I'm neither denying nor confirming any of the reports, some fanciful, that have come out concerning the negotiators' efforts. Q What about your policy partitioning Bosnia among Serbs, Muslims and Croats, creating for the first time a Muslim entity around Sarajevo? MR. JOHNSON: I can say that we remain committed to the Contact Group Map and Plan as it is currently described. Q That's it? MR. JOHNSON: That's it. Q David, on another subject. Despite your exhortation the other day, Iran and South Africa signed an agreement in which Iran will have a large storage facility for its oil exports in South Africa. Do you have any comment? MR. JOHNSON: We are certainly disappointed that the South Africans saw fit to go forward with that contract. We've made clear when we took steps to remove American companies from economic participation with Iran that we did not believe it appropriate to support the economy of a state dedicated to acquiring nuclear weapons and to undermining the peace process. We will continue to work with the South Africans and other friends to try to convince them of our point of view. Q Try another subject? Any insights on the Iraqi situation -- mostly domestic? MR. JOHNSON: Not really. We are continuing to follow what's going on there. I think Secretary Perry made some statements yesterday about our moving U.S. forces to the region for exercises with Jordan. I'd refer you to Ken Bacon at the Pentagon for a fuller description of exactly what the U.S. military is going to be doing in the area. Q I was wanting more of an analysis of what's going on within Iraq. Do you want to venture on it? MR. JOHNSON: No, I really wouldn't care to. We don't have people on the ground there. It's a bit of an opaque group of people to try to see into. Q You don't have people on the ground there? MR. JOHNSON: We don't have people on the ground there. They were invited out a few years ago. Q There's a story coming out of the region today that the U.S. sought and received permission from Israel to overfly, if necessary, to defend Jordan. Is that anything you care to comment about? MR. JOHNSON: No. Q It was published in several Israeli newspapers. Q Is it a good idea? Q Let's try it another way. Well, do you want to try that? Because Israel has said they will. Now do you think that's a good idea? Does the U.S. think it's a good idea? Q Or do they think it's bad? MR. JOHNSON: I think that the question of whether -- where planes fly, since we don't have planes, would be better sent to the Pentagon. They would be able to confirm or dispute. Q Overfly permission comes from this building, not the Pentagon, I believe. MR. JOHNSON: It depends on the case in point. Not all overflight requirements go through diplomatic channels. Some of them go through military-to-military channels. Q Does the United States need permission to overfly Israel? MR. JOHNSON: We would need permission to overfly any state. Q In Africa, apparently a coup in Sao Tome. Any information or qualitative response? MR. JOHNSON: We are deeply concerned by today's events in Sao Tome, in which military forces have apparently overthrown the democratically elected government of President Miguel Trovoada. Since constitutional reform in 1990 and the first multiparty democratic elections in 1991, Sao Tome and Principe has been a model emerging democracy. While there have been disagreements and political conflicts between the branches of government and the National Assembly, these debates have until now been carried out and resolved in open, democratic and legal fora, in accordance with the provisions of Sao Tomean law. We urge the military not to abandon this fine tradition. We call on these military forces to immediately return power to Sao Tome's democratically elected government. We note that President Trovoada, his family and members of his cabinet are being held. We further call for their safe and humane treatment in accordance with internationally recognized human rights standards. Q Is there a U.S. aid program for Sao Tome? MR. JOHNSON: There is an aid program there. In 1994, the United States gave Sao Tome over $1 million in assistance, including food aid, economic support funds and bilateral assistance through the Development Fund for Africa. They were receiving $300,000 in democracy and human rights funds in 1995. As you know, according to U.S. law, if this coup stands, we would be required under law to cut that aid off. Q The figure of -- there is no democracy element, whatever that program is called, in the '94 figure. MR. JOHNSON: No, there's not. Q But in the '95 figure, is there the other form of aid or just 330? MR. JOHNSON: I believe it's just 300 in 1995. Q 300. MR. JOHNSON: Yes. Q That's the only kind of -- no narcotics money or anything like that? MR. JOHNSON: I'm unaware of any other bilateral aid programs. We do have a Peace Corps mission there. Our approximately 20 Peace Corps volunteers are accounted for and the Peace Corps office has been closed, and the Peace Corps volunteers have been advised to stay in their homes. Q Would you repeat, please, what it is that the law requires the U.S. do about that assistance? MR. JOHNSON: The law would require us to cut that assistance off if the coup remained in place. Q The whole $300,000? Q Anything on Vietnam? MR. JOHNSON: I've got two things on Vietnam. One is, we have seen press reports in which Thich Quang Do and five other Buddhist monks arrested in late 1994 and early 1995 went on trial in Ho Chi Minh City on August 15. He was arrested January 4, reportedly for violating public order after he protested a government crackdown on a United Buddhist Church of Vietnam flood relief mission. The other five Buddhists were arrested in November 1994 for participating in that mission. The United States Embassy and other embassies in Hanoi had raised concerns about the detentions of those who participated in that relief mission. Vietnamese officials did not respond to our Embassy's request to allow a State Department official to attend the trial. We've instructed our Embassy to renew its request for access to the monk. The question you were raising concerned the fact that on August 12, two American citizens were sentenced along with seven other persons for attempting to overthrow the Government of Vietnam. Nguyen Tan Tri received seven years imprisonment and Tran Quang Liem received four years imprisonment. The trial, which lasted two days, was held in the People's Court of Ho Chi Minh City. U.S. diplomats attended that trial. The Americans, who are dual nationals of both the United States and Vietnam, were first arrested in November 1993. I'd note that we have repeatedly voiced our support for peaceful expression of political views and urged the Vietnamese authorities to recognize that right. We've been in contact with Vietnamese authorities both here and in Hanoi to make our views known on this case. Q Can you close a slight loophole? Is that what they were engaged in -- they were peacefully asserting -- MR. JOHNSON: As far as we know, that's exactly right. Q Do you know specifically what they were doing? MR. JOHNSON: I do not know exactly what they were charged with at the trial. Our understanding is that they were engaged in the peaceful expression of their political views. Q Pamphleteering or something? MR. JOHNSON: I'm unaware of the exact nature of what they were accused of doing. Q How do you feel about all of this? Is this trend ominous? MR. JOHNSON: I wouldn't necessarily characterize it as a trend, but it is certainly unwelcome that American citizens engaged in the peaceful expression of political views are arrested and imprisoned. As you know from your recent trip, human rights is one of the issues that is high on our bilateral agenda with the Vietnamese and this certainly highlights the reasons for it. Q By chance, has the State Department heard anything from the French Government on their nuclear intentions since the President's announcement last Friday? MR. JOHNSON: No. I don't have anything for you since what the President said at his press conference. Q Just to go back to Vietnam. Are these activities likely to help you persuade Congress to give MFN to Vietnam and OPIC funding, and so forth? MR. JOHNSON: I wouldn't anticipate that they would be terribly helpful in that request. I'm not familiar with exactly where we stand and whether or not we're pursuing that; and, if so, how quickly. So let me see if I've got something more I'd like to say about that. Q With something like this coming so soon, at least the news being released after the Secretary's trip, is this an outrage to the United States Government, particularly the fact that these were United States citizens? MR. JOHNSON: This is certainly not pleasing to us. Q (Inaudible) take back the recognition? MR. JOHNSON: We've said a lot of things about the recognition and the reason for it and the fact that the centerpiece of our relations with Vietnam are aimed at getting the fullest possible accounting of the missing in action/POW's. That was the basis for our decision on recognition. Q Thank you. (Press briefing concluded at 1:43 p.m.)

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