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U.S. Department of State Daily Press Briefing #78, 99-06-17

U.S. State Department: Daily Press Briefings Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Department of State Foreign Affairs Network (DOSFAN) at <>


U.S. Department of State
Daily Press Briefing


Thursday, June 17, 1999

Briefer: James B. Foley

1-3		U.S. positions/sanctions / U.S. Policy Remain Unchanged /
		  UK/Netherlands Text / Weapons of Mass Destruction

TURKEY/GREECE 4 Training Camps of PKK Terrorists Reported in Greece / U.S. Dialogue with Allies

CHINA 5-9 Readout of Ambassador Pickering Meetings/ Departure Statement / Delegation was Treated with Tact and Courtesy / Compensation Offer / Bombing of Embassy Mistake / ASEAN Meetings / Chinese Compensation to U.S. Embassy in Beijing

KOSOVO 10,11 Influx of Serbs Civilians Fleeing / Deployment of KFOR Troops to Zone 2 12 KFOR Will Provide Security in the Province / Orthodox Monastery Ransacked/ Securing of Sites for War Crimes Indictment

TERRORISM 13 Threats from Usama bin Laden 14 Security has been Increased at US Diplomatic Missions

IRAQ 15 Meeting with the Iraqi Kurds / Names of Delegation

NORTH/SOUTH KOREA 15,16 Missile Program / U.S. Military Deployments


DPB #78

THURSDAY, JUNE 17, 1999 1:25 P.M.


MR. FOLEY: Good afternoon. Welcome to the State Department. I don't have any statements.

QUESTION: (Inaudible.)

MR. FOLEY: We share the dominator's philosophy - the puck stops here. That's our watchword tonight and Saturday night.

QUESTION: I was wondering about the US position on Iraq and on sanctions. The President made a little statement but - and of course you know things have been going on at the UN.

MR. FOLEY: Right.

QUESTION: What's the thinking here - that you couldn't hold the fort against the rest of the world, or has your attitude about Iraq changed and you find him not as bad as he used to be?

MR. FOLEY: No, not at all, Barry. I think I will give you a detailed answer in terms of what's happening at the UN, especially in regard to the text that the Netherlands and the UK have circulated. But the fundamental answer that I wish to give is that we haven't changed neither our policy nor our attitude towards the Iraqi regime in any way whatsoever. In other words, it's based on a fundamental lack of trust in the intentions and in the performance of the Iraqi regime. So what we would like to see happen is that the inspection regime be in a position to go back and do its job of disarming Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction programs. And so any step that we might consider approving would be based completely on Iraqi performance in this regard; in other words, the success of actual disarmament would be the predicate to any adjustment in sanctions. So it's not putting the cart before the horse in any way; and on that fundamental point, our policy remains unchanged.

To give you, though, a detailed update as to where we are, in mid-April the Netherlands and the United Kingdom jointly circulated ideas for a resolution incorporating key suggestions of the three Iraq assessment panels. This week, Council members are discussing the latest updated proposals for a possible resolution. Those discussions are ongoing.

The Dutch-UK proposals are drawing increasing Council support as the right overall approach on Iraq. Generally speaking, we are pleased with the proposal and can support most of it, although we have some problems with parts of it. We have not made a decision to cosponsor any draft, but we're working to insure that any resolution reflects US priorities.

What are those priorities? First, Iraq must comply with its obligations under all existing resolutions. Second, we want to see the arms inspection teams back on the ground in Iraq implementing a robust, effective arms control regime. Third, the United States will not accept any suspension or lifting of sanctions in the absence of Iraqi full compliance. That's the fundamental point I was making at the beginning. Finally, given the Iraq regime's extraordinary record of defying international norms and threatening regional peace and security, the United States will not accept any outcome which would give Saddam Hussein control of Iraq's oil revenues as long as he is in defiance of Security Council resolutions. So those are the fundamental points that guide our thinking as we look at the UK-Netherlands draft.

As you know, there are other resolutions being circulated. The Russian- Chinese and the French drafts, in our view, share two flaws that make them unacceptable to us. Both would have the effect of diminishing the effectiveness of the UN disarmament effort in Iraq and would reward Iraq prior, prior, to Iraq's having completed existing UN Security Council demands for disarmament.

QUESTION: There are things in parts of the resolution that you don't agree with. How do you explain - or can you try to explain - the division between the United States and its best friend, Britain, on this subject? The two of you have stood together against, sometimes, the French and certainly against the Chinese and the Russians. And now the British have parted company part of the way, no?

MR. FOLEY: I think what is true is that the British - and we support this - are trying to find a way forward out of the current impasse in which we don't currently have inspectors on the ground doing their job of seeking to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction. That's an important objective which is not happening right now. The question is how do we move forward? Do we move forward towards a robust, effective inspections regime, rewarding Iraq prior to its having satisfied the requirements of Security Council resolutions - i.e., disclosing all information about its weapons of mass destruction programs, allowing for the destruction of its weapons of mass destruction? Do we accept some sort of mechanism to move forward, rewarding Iraq prior to its meeting those terms? No, in the view of the United States. And that is not what the UK-Netherlands resolution is about.

We may have continuing work, in our view, to do around the edges. But on the fundamental point, as I understand it, the UK-Netherlands text calls for partial suspension of sanctions following Iraqi compliance with disarmament requirements; not merely Iraq's agreeing that a disarmament regime will go forward or will be present in the country. No, it's predicated on Iraq actually meeting the outstanding obligations that exist. In that fundamental respect, we're supportive of such a mechanism; in other words, a disarmament team of inspectors going back in there, doing their job and then, on the basis of actual performance, considering the possibility of sanctions suspension.

But there's another fundamental point, again, as I understand it, in the UK- Netherlands text which means that in terms of revenues, that Iraq's purchases will still be escrowed and, therefore, under the control of the United Nations. In other words, we're not going to be in a position of trusting that Iraq will not be purchasing weapons material or other unacceptable items that would escape the scrutiny of the international community. That's another fundamental point of agreement between the United States and the sponsors of this resolution, another point that separates us from some others on the Security Council.

So I really don't see any change in the United States' position.

QUESTION: I was just going to ask a follow-up on Iraq, generally. If the State Department feels like the Iraqis should take, as an object lesson, the extremely successful air campaign that was waged in Serbia, and see that air campaign as possibly more acceptable now to the Middle East allies of the United States? Basically what I'm asking is should Iraq be more compliant, based on that air campaign in Serbia?

MR. FOLEY: That's an interesting question -- kind of a philosophical question. And, of course, it's hard to read into the mind of a dictator like Saddam Hussein, who often seems to act against his own country's interests, if not his own personal interest, at critical points. Certainly the contrary would have been true, had NATO and the United States failed to respond to Saddam Hussein's campaign of ethnic cleansing, or had we failed to succeed in our response to his campaign of ethnic cleansing. I think it's indisputable that that would have sent a very unhelpful message to would-be ethnic cleansers and dictators like Saddam Hussein who threaten their neighbors and are developing programs of weapons of mass destruction. That would have been a very unhelpful message. So I don't think Saddam Hussein can take any comfort whatsoever in the robust and successful response of the United States and NATO in the Balkans in the last few months.

But I would hesitate to draw specific conclusions as to what Saddam Hussein may or may not do in the future. That's why we remain utterly vigilant in terms of our military deployments. You've seen, obviously, ever since Operation Desert Fox, continued Iraqi attempts to challenge the no-fly zone, and equally consistent responses, effective, robust military responses on our part.

QUESTION: Yesterday in an interview, the Prime Minister of Turkey, Mr. Ecevit --

MR. FOLEY: I will have to come back to you.

QUESTION: You mentioned - I didn't quite get the two points that the US objected to in the UK-Netherlands draft. There was the - you said --

MR. FOLEY: I didn't spell them out; and I don't have that. As I understand it, they're not fundamental points. I mean, the fundamental points are, in response to Barry's question, we want to -

QUESTION: You want it escrowed -

MR. FOLEY: The escrow is one. So control over Iraq's purchases. Secondly, effective arms inspections. In other words, not merely arms inspections, but the ability of the arms inspectors to certify that Iraq has actually complied with its obligations.

QUESTION: Mr. Ecevit, the Prime Minister of Turkey, stated yesterday in an interview with a Greek channel that in discussions between US officials and Turkish officials, the US accepted the fact that in the past there were training camps of PKK terrorists in Greece. Which is the US position on that, and in the subject of terrorism in Greece in general?

MR. FOLEY: Well, first of all, we're not in the habit of discussing publicly that which we're discussing privately with close allies of the United States. What I can say is that we have been aware of past reports of PKK training in Greece. We take all reports of terrorist activity seriously, and appropriate US Government agencies evaluate them.

Foreign Minister Papandreou, in his meeting with Secretary Albright in May, said afterwards - you were probably present - "we will spare no effort in combating and finally making our world a terror-free world." Our intention is to work with Greece, as we have been over the last few months, as Greece increases its efforts to combat terrorism.

QUESTION: On this issue, last years - not the last one, the previous one - the terrorism report says that the US Government doesn't have any concrete proof that there were training camps in Greece of PKK terrorists. I see some kind of difference in your answer today in comparison with this report.

MR. FOLEY: Are you referring to the report of two years ago or one year ago?

QUESTION: No, no, not the last one; the previous one. Not the one a few months ago. I mean, the previous year.

QUESTION: (Inaudible.)

MR. FOLEY: Right, well, I'd refer you to whatever the last one states. You're talking about the patterns of global terrorism, the most recent report. That's an authoritative statement of our views on Greek involvement with the PKK.

QUESTION: Well, you just referred - in answer to the question, you referred to reports of - if I heard you right, the US recited to the Turkish Prime Minister that it has heard reports, it has had reports that there were camps, training facilities in Greece.

MR. FOLEY: I'm not referring to what we may or may not have discussed with the Turkish Prime Minister. I simply stated, on its own, the fact that we have had past reports of PKK training in Greece.

QUESTION: Oh, I see. Well, have you come to - what kind of report? Are you talking about informers or newspaper accounts?

MR. FOLEY: Well, the US Government receives information from a variety of sources. I'm not in a position to comment about all of them, but we've received such reports.

QUESTION: But you don't want them to hang out there? -- (inaudible) --

MR. FOLEY: (Inaudible.)

QUESTION: Yes, but when you have something like this --

MR. FOLEY: We have an ongoing dialogue with Greece as well as with Turkey and other allies and other friends around the world on terrorism. The Secretary had an excellent meeting with Foreign Minister Papandreou -- among other such excellent meetings with him - in May. He made very forthright statement that we applaud.

QUESTION: Well, that's fine, but if there's something out there that sort of libels or slanders a NATO ally, doesn't the US have an obligation to come to the bottom of it and decide whether the reports are valid or not, or just let them --

MR. FOLEY: There's a difference, however, Barry, between what I'm prepared to say publicly and what we might be engaging on privately. We take such reports seriously, but as befits a relationship between a close friend and an ally, we discuss these issues privately.

QUESTION: Could we do China? Do you have an evaluation on Secretary Pickering's meetings?

MR. FOLEY: Well, he put out a statement in Beijing prior to departing. I don't know if you've seen it; we can make it available if you'd like. Do you want me to draw from it briefly and then tell you what more I know?

This is not me speaking, this is Ambassador Pickering: At the request of President Clinton, I came to Beijing to meet with senior officials of the Chinese Government in order to present our explanation of the causes of the accidental bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade on May 7, 1999. I came with the delegation to fulfill President Clinton's promise to President Jiang that a full investigation into this incident would be conducted and that its results would be presented in Beijing. Also I delivered a letter from President Clinton to President Jiang Zemin. Our delegation consists of representatives from the National Security Council, Department of State, Department of Defense and the intelligence community.

We've offered to provide payment to the injured and the families of those killed, with the details to be worked out diplomatically very soon. We look forward to further productive discussions with China in the mutual interests of the two countries.

That was Ambassador Pickering's departure statement from Beijing earlier today. In terms of my own knowledge of the results of his visit, I would say in a sort of pre-ambulatory way - if there is such a word - that Ambassador Pickering is headed to Europe now; he's going to be with President Clinton for the G-8. Undoubtedly we'll see Secretary Albright in Europe as well. So he's going to be providing a direct readout or debrief to his authorities - Secretary Albright, President Clinton - directly, and I would expect him to provide more detailed information to them than I am in a position to provide to you at this point.

What I can say, though, is that the meeting was, from our perspective, a serious meeting - excuse me one second - excuse me. It was a serious meeting; it was one in which the Pickering delegation was treated with tact and courtesy. The Chinese listened carefully to the explanation; they regarded it as a serious report, a thorough report, a detailed report. I think you've seen Chinese spokesmen on television this morning indicating that they were not fully satisfied with the report. I would like to point out, though, that from our perspective, we believe that the information Ambassador Pickering provided is sufficient to demonstrate that the bombing was a terrible mistake. While the Chinese can speak best for themselves, they continue to express concerns about the event. Our discussions, including regarding issues relating to personal losses and property damage, will continue following his visit, through normal diplomatic channels.

QUESTION: Do you know a dollar figure on the compensation effort?

MR. FOLEY: No, not to my knowledge. I don't believe he got into that level of detail. As his statement indicated, he made a commitment, though, which is important, to provide payment to the injured and the families of those killed. I think that is, as I said myself, is going to be worked out through diplomatic channels.

QUESTION: There have been suggestions that the problem on May 7 went beyond the problem of the old map. Do you have any information on that?

MR. FOLEY: I'm sorry; I didn't quite understand.

QUESTION: There have been reports that the problems which led to the mistaken bombing went beyond one mere old map and that there were other factors involved, as well.

MR. FOLEY: Right, that's a wholly legitimate question. We have committed to providing a detailed explanation to the Chinese authorities; President Clinton promised President Jiang that. And that's what Ambassador Pickering did yesterday in Beijing - he fulfilled that promise to provide that kind of an explanation.

Secondly, we've also committed to providing information to the Chinese people, and we've committed to providing this explanation to the American people. I hope we'll be in a position to do that soon. I think, first things first: Ambassador Pickering is going to go report to President Clinton and Secretary Albright in Germany. I hope we'll be in a position soon to release the report - release the main conclusions of that report. That will happen; I can't tell you exactly when it will happen.

QUESTION: So it's very clear that the Chinese are not satisfied with Mr. Pickering's friends. So they use very strong words for - and what next step could be for the United States? Don't you have any -- (inaudible) -- send Mr. Pickering to China?

MR. FOLEY: Well, as I indicated, we believe the information we provided is sufficient to demonstrate that the bombing was a terrible mistake. It is a fact that the Chinese authorities, since day one, going back to May 7, had maintained that this was not a mistake, that this was an intentional bombing. I think it would have been unrealistic to expect - and we certainly did not expect - that the Chinese authorities would change their mind merely upon the presentation of this report.

I would note in a positive vein, though, that Xianhua has today published, I'm told, a detailed, accurate summary of the report. So they are giving the Chinese people, themselves, an opportunity to have this information and begin to analyze the information.

Secondly, we have just presented the report, and it is detailed. We would expect the Chinese will have an opportunity to study it further -- again, going back to my initial point that we did not expect there to be a change in their attitude merely upon the presentation of the report. I think this will take time. We will have to see where we go from here. As I said, diplomatic channels will remain open. We will be discussing the issues of the payment and of other related issues with the Chinese through diplomatic channels. We do very much believe that it is in the interests of both China and the United States to re-engage on a range of issues of importance to both countries, and we hope that both countries will be in a position to move forward on the relationship as time goes on.

QUESTION: On this report, since this was a NATO operation in which this unfortunate accident happened, are the offers of compensation - is that just from the United States, or would this be a NATO-wide contribution to them? Will contributions be offered also to the Spanish and to other embassies that were damaged?

MR. FOLEY: On your last question, I don't have the answer on that. I'll have to take that question. I've not seen or heard anything on the latter aspect. What Ambassador Pickering announced, though, was a US commitment to provide payment to the families of those killed and to the injured. That's a United States commitment. But in terms of other embassies, of other nations that were damaged, certainly I don't think there was a destruction of an embassy as occurred with the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade. But I'm sure that issue is being discussed either bilaterally or through NATO channels; but I just don't have that information.

QUESTION: So is the Chinese bombing being treated just as US-Chinese issue, or is NATO, the organization, going to somehow become involved in this issue?

MR. FOLEY: I'll have to check on that. To this point, certainly, this has been a US undertaking. The investigation of the accident, the report that we put together has been presented, obviously, by the United States, bilaterally to China. That's all I'm aware of to this point.

QUESTION: Are you all going to put out the actual report?

MR. FOLEY: I'm told it's a summary. I've also been told that it's accurate.

QUESTION: I guess - so Secretary Albright is going to meet Chinese Foreign Minister next month in Singapore during the ASEAN meetings. By that time you can expect to solve the issue of the Chinese and the United States --

MR. FOLEY: Well, I can't confirm what you said about the Secretary's schedule in the month of July. I think her schedule is yet undetermined for the month of July.

QUESTION: When you get one on the ASEAN meetings, will you let us know so we can plan our vacations?

MR. FOLEY: When we get what?


QUESTION: When you get the dates for the ASEAN meetings.

MR. FOLEY: I think, Barry, we have the dates.

QUESTION: I know, but her participation in the ASEAN meeting. It would be very useful so we can make our vacation plans for the summer.

MR. FOLEY: I think that Barry Schweid's vacation plan are uppermost in the Secretary of State's mind.

QUESTION: Well, there were Secretaries of State who also tried very hard to avoid ASEAN meetings; much like Secretaries of State seem to cancel trips to Mexico.

MR. FOLEY: I can't quite accept the premise, having accompanied the Secretary, myself, to the last ASEAN meeting, and knowing full well she attended the briefings.

QUESTION: I'm thinking of one a couple before her who didn't have it circled in red on his calendar .

MR. FOLEY: Let me say, Barry, that having made light of your vacation --

QUESTION: Don't make light - it's all right.

MR. FOLEY: -- priorities, let me hasten to add that you're not alone in that boat.


QUESTION: Did the question of Chinese compensation for the damage at the US Embassy come up? Did you address that?

MR. FOLEY: Ambassador Pickering did tell the Chinese that we're also willing to discuss the issue of the damage done to China's Embassy in Belgrade, and we expect that to be pursued subsequently through diplomatic channels at perhaps an expert levels.

QUESTION: Can I ask you a question that's really a hard one? Do you think the Chinese sincerely believe the US intentionally bombed their embassy? Do you think it's a sincere argument, or is it just - or are they trying to -

MR. FOLEY: Speaking here in a very official capacity, we talk about our policy, what we're doing, why we're doing it. I don't think it's appropriate for me to try to extemporaneously read the minds of the Chinese leadership. I think that's not appropriate.

Certainly from our perspective, we've stated not only that it was an accident, but that it would have been unthinkable for it to have been anything but an accident, for all kinds of reasons having to do with our bilateral relationship with China, having to do with the ongoing air campaign and the need to bolster international support for what we were doing in Kosovo. It made no sense; it was truly an accident. We presented a detailed, thorough report to the Chinese leadership explaining why it happened, how it happened, that it was indeed an accident. It's for them to explain their views and their thinking. As I said, we didn't expect there to be a sea change merely on the basis of the presentation of the report.

QUESTION: Furthermore --

MR. FOLEY: Did I get the question wrong?

QUESTION: Yes, will there be compensation to the United States for the damage?

MR. FOLEY: The issue did come up and that, too, will be discussed in further diplomatic contacts.

QUESTION: They agreed to continue talking about that, as well?

MR. FOLEY: They acknowledged that that is an issue that we will continue to - or that we will discuss subsequently in diplomatic channels.

QUESTION: There's a fundamental fact, I think, missing here, Jim. Isn't it logical that if the United States meant deliberately to attack the Chinese and to disrupt the function of their embassy, we would've bombed in the daytime when there were people in the building?

MR. FOLEY: Well, Bill, the whole idea from our perspective is absurd - that we would have deliberately done something so tragic and so --

QUESTION: That's what I mean. Isn't it unreasonable that we would bomb at night rather than --

MR. FOLEY: There are all kinds of reasons why this was a mistake and not deliberate, and you can add to them if you want.

QUESTION: Can we move to Kosovo now? There's an international agency - the World Food Program is reporting today that up to 50,000 Kosovo Serbs have fled Kosovo since the Albanians started to go back. First of all, is there anything that the United States and its allies can do to prevent more Serb civilians from fleeing Kosovo? And secondly, what implications would the departure of a huge segment of the Serb population there have for the practicality of keeping Kosovo part of Serbia in the future?

MR. FOLEY: I think the point I was making yesterday is that this is an inherently fluid situation right now in which large numbers of Serb military forces are flowing out of Kosovo according to schedule. In a minute I'll bring you up to date on those facts and figures. Large numbers of KFOR elements are flowing into Kosovo. There is a large reverse movement of refugees, of deportees back into Kosovo. The roads are clogged and the situation is inherently fluid. What you will see at the end of this process, when all the Serb forces are out - and our understanding is that it is on schedule, that they've vacated Zone 1, having had an extra 24 hours to do so. KFOR is deploying into Zone 2, even in some areas into Zone 3 and that the Serbs have largely vacated Zone 2 by now is my understanding - the V-J forces.

When this process in complete, NATO and KFOR will provide a secure environment for the province and that all the people of Kosovo will benefit from this -- both Kosovar Albanians and Serbs and other minorities that may be there. My understanding is that KFOR is making a particular effort to deploy troops into areas with particular concentrations of Kosovar Serbs in order to ensure their security to the full extent possible. KFOR will be even-handed in response to violations of agreements and provocations, and will protect the safety of everyone in Kosovo, whatever their ethnicity. Its response to any violation of internal order from whatever source will be robust.

Now, it is a fact that Serb civilians have been departing Kosovo, even in large numbers. That is unfortunate; it is also, however, a reflection of this transitional phase and the uncertainties that exist - the fact that KFOR - the fact that, first of all, all the Serb forces have not completely departed because that schedule is continuous through Sunday. All KFOR has not entered; I believe the numbers are around 26,000. They will go up to near 50,000 and provide a robust security presence throughout. The KLA has not yet demilitarized simply because the mechanisms have not been finally agreed and put into place. But all of those things will happen: the Serb forces will be out; KFOR will be everywhere in the province; and the KLA will be demilitarized. That will create a secure environment.

It is our hope and expectation that many of the Serb civilians who have left Kosovo will return to Kosovo because, after all, this is their home, too. It's not as if they will face some promising future in Serbia, which itself is, given the economic mismanagement of the country and the cumulative effect of sanctions and now military action, is in really very, very bad shape. Whereas the Kosovar Serbs have homes, have livelihoods in Kosovo, they want to, we think, remain in Kosovo. When they see that all of the things I suggested will happen - when they see that those things have happened in a matter of weeks, we believe that it will be more attractive to them to go back.

This is not just the United States saying so. I've noted that some Serb Orthodox religious leaders have urged those who left to keep an eye on the situation. They give credence to the commitment of KFOR and the international community to protect them. They seem to recognize that it is a fluid situation now and they've been urging their compatriots to return when the situation has stabilized.

So, yes, it is not a positive development that they are moving in that direction, but we hope it is a reversible development. Certainly KFOR is going to provide security in the province, and it will be safe for them to return.

QUESTION: Regarding them feeling safe enough to come back, have you seen the reports that an Orthodox monastery was ransacked and a 20-year-old nun was molested by KLA members over a period of several days?

MR. FOLEY: Very disturbing reports. We're very concerned about the incidents that have been reported. KFOR is investigating these and other incidents. KFOR treats these matters very seriously. This only serves to underscore the importance of getting KFOR fully deployed throughout Kosovo.

In fact, the Serbian Orthodox bishop who departed Prizren received a KFOR military escort to ensure his safety. I think you probably saw General Jackson making an address to Serbs in Kosovo yesterday, stating that it was very much a part of his mission to provide security for all the ethnic groups of Kosovo.

QUESTION: Jim, do you have any more information on the war crimes side of this - on numbers of mass grave sites? Has there been an increase in the official number? Do you have anything on the forensic teams going from this country to help with this?

MR. FOLEY: Well, I know that the FBI, working closely with the State Department and the Department of Defense, is planning to field two teams of investigators into Kosovo as soon as possible. I believe we put out a statement on that a few days ago. An advance team of four people - three from the FBI, one from the State Department -- arrived in Skopje a couple of days ago. This team will be working out - or is working the logistics for the entry of two survey teams. We hope that those two teams, totaling 25-35 people, can be on the ground by the end of this week, or at the latest the beginning of next week. Of course, it's subject to circumstances on the ground in coordination with KFOR.

Following an assessment by these FBI teams and further discussions with the ICTY, larger, full-scale investigative teams will probably be deployed. It's our intent to support the ICTY as fully as possible and we are making every effort to give the ICTY the support it needs.

I think it is true -- and you've seen the reports, Betsy -- that as KFOR deploys, they are finding more and more such sites -- mass grave sites or sites where atrocities appear to have taken place. The one positive, if you can use that word in such a horrible context, is that NATO is indeed beginning to secure these sites so that when the forensic teams arrive, they will be able to do their work undisturbed, with the sites not having been further compromised in any way.

So I think a lot of us felt and said, during the air campaign, that we were likely to find that things were even worse than we imagined because what we got anecdotally were reports of survivors who could now testify to everything that had been happening. It is true, just reading the press and watching TV, that the KFOR forces are coming upon more and more examples of such massacres.

QUESTION: Is there any legal prohibition to a government giving sanctuary to Milosevic or any other indicted war crimes suspect?

MR. FOLEY: Well, I believe, under Security Council resolutions, that all member states of the United Nations are obligated to transfer indicted war criminals to The Hague. So that's the best way I can answer the question: it's a legal obligation to be proactive or to be active in transferring them to The Hague.

QUESTION: Do you have information about Milosevic seeking a Romanian visa and being denied?

MR. FOLEY: I've not heard that report at all, no.

QUESTION: Jim, do you have any more today on the talks between the KLA and US and or other people on things like demilitarization, civilian implementation -

MR. FOLEY: I don't have a lot of detail on that. As I told you yesterday, talks have been ongoing and also, as I told you yesterday, we continue to have a commitment from

the Kosovar leadership, from the KLA leadership and other military elements on the Kosovar side that they will meet their commitments under Rambouillet; they will disarm. It is a question of finalizing the details in a text, I believe, of having that politically approved, of having that implemented on the Kosovar side -- the word gotten out to soldiers all over Kosovo and the KLA leadership actually implementing these commitments. In our view, that will happen; we don't have any reason to believe that it won't happen. But I can't bring you up to date on where the talks are at the moment. Other questions?

QUESTION: Can you give us an update on the talks that are going on between Secretary Cohen, Albright and their Russian counterparts?

MR. FOLEY: No, I'm sorry. I'd like to be able to but that will be given out by the spokesman on the spot - Mr. Bacon, Mr. Rubin in Helsinki. I don't have any update on that.

QUESTION: Can I follow up on that question? With regard to what Mr. Yeltsin has reportedly said - what's in the wires - that the Russians must have a sector, can you make any comment on that or is that also in Jamie's purview?

MR. FOLEY: I'm not going to make news here about that which is being discussed in Helsinki. Bill, you know our views on that; they've been stated by every senior American official. They haven't changed.

QUESTION: Can you update us though on her -

MR. FOLEY: Yes. She's planning to travel to Brussels tomorrow. Secretary Cohen is, as well. There's going to be a joint meeting of the North Atlantic Council with foreign and defense ministers tomorrow afternoon, Brussels time. That's the extent, as I know it, of her schedule.

QUESTION: Can we finally scrub that commencement speech?

MR. FOLEY: I think so. That's my understanding.

QUESTION: And how about Romania and Bulgaria?

MR. FOLEY: I have no information in that regard. I don't know what the state of her schedule is following the NAC meeting tomorrow.

QUESTION: New subject -- is that okay? bin Laden - can you say if the US has seen stepped up activity by Bin Laden and his network that may indicate increased terrorist attacks?

MR. FOLEY: Well, you may have noticed a week ago, on June 10, the State Department issued the most recent in a series of public announcements reminding American citizens worldwide to remain vigilant with regard to their personal security. This latest public announcement noted the continuing threats by Usama bin Laden to kill Americans and added that he does not distinguish between military and civilian targets. The Department has also advised all US diplomatic missions that these threats are continuing.

We've said all along that we believe bin Laden will strike again. We do not have specific information about timing or location, but the general pattern of activity of bin Laden's organization that we've noted for many, many months has continued. We take all threats from bin Laden seriously. You probably saw he gave a media interview in recent days and certainly that was no surprise to us. We regard him as a serious threat and we have taken a number of counter-measures and precautions in response.

The United States has been engaged in an active counter-terrorism effort with our friends and allies to thwart additional terrorist attacks. Working with diplomats, intelligence and law enforcement officials, we've stepped up efforts to share information about terrorist activity, to implement effective counter-measures and to arrest and prosecute suspected terrorists.

As you may know, 15 suspected bin Laden operatives have been indicted for the Nairobi and Dar Es Salaam bombings. Two of them were indicted yesterday in New York. Since the bombings in August, the Department has also increased security at US diplomatic posts and missions worldwide. A number of our posts have temporarily suspended or limited services to the public at various times, as you know, because you reported on this, and others may do so in the future.

Ten months after the Africa bombings, we continue to operate worldwide at a heightened state of readiness.

QUESTION: Has there been a change in the hours or the services that are available at US missions in Africa - any hours trimmed?

MR. FOLEY: Well, I'm not in a position to provide that kind of information today. As you know, from time to time we have alerted you - because we have an obligation to alert the public, including American citizens traveling - of adjustment in hours, of adjustment in services. I can check if there's any information in that regard that is pertinent and that I can make available to you.

But in terms of a specific threat assessments and security postures, for obvious reasons I don't want to get into that publicly. But I'll check in terms of our embassy profile or functioning.

QUESTION: I was just going to follow up, too. Can you say, just for the record, in terms of whether the pattern that the US has seen, whether there has been sort of an up-turn in the past few weeks; that you've seen up- turns in increased activity before and that there's another sort of increase in activity that leads --

MR. FOLEY: I wouldn't want to characterize it in that way. As I stated, we do not have specific information about timing or location. On the other hand, though, bin Laden is regarded as an utmost threat. He is responsible for the bombings of our two embassies last August. He stated before then that he had terrorist intentions toward American citizens - did not distinguish between civilians and officials or military. He has restated his intentions. So we've made clear all along, including last August after the bombings, that another attack could take place at any time.

Obviously, we are extraordinarily vigilant in this regard, and we've continued to see a pattern of activity on the part of his organization. For obvious reasons, though, Kelly, I cannot be specific about our posture or what we're seeing, apart from what I've already said.

QUESTION: Is there anything you can say at all about this meeting that's going on with the Iraqi Kurds?

MR. FOLEY: Well, I addressed it a bit yesterday. We can get back into it, if you'd like. I was asked the names. Would you like me, Sid, to provide the names? I think you guys asked me which Iraqi Kurds are here.

The delegation from the Kurdistan Democratic Party is led by Sami Abd El Rahman and includes Hoshyar Zebari, Jowhar Naumiq and Farhat Barzani. My apologies for the poor pronunciation.

The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan delegation is led by Kamal Fouad and includes Arsalan Bayez, Omar Sayyed Ali and Barham Saleh.

QUESTION: (Inaudible.)

MR. FOLEY: We can do it afterwards; I'll show you the names.

QUESTION: Going back to Usama bin Laden, CNN's reported American embassies' surveillance in Mozambique, Ghana and Senegal. I was wondering if you could give any

time frame as to when those surveillance occurred?

MR. FOLEY: I would never, from a public podium, give out any kind of information that could be useful to those who wish us ill or harm.

QUESTION: Was it in the last month or the last six months?

MR. FOLEY: I'm sorry. I refuse - utterly refuse to answer your question.

QUESTION: Could you comment at all on the reports of North Korea planning to test fire a second missile later this summer?

MR. FOLEY: We've seen press reports on a possible upcoming North Korean missile launch. The United States views the North Korean missile program as a serious threat to the region and to our non-proliferation interests. We continue to press North Korea to cease all production, deployment, testing and export of missiles and missile technology. We continue to consult very closely with our South Korean, Japanese allies on the full range of North Korean issues.

QUESTION: In turns out that the Clinton Administration has decided to seriously bolster its naval forces in the Yellow Sea. There's an aircraft carrier that will be getting there in four or five weeks; there's two guided missile cruisers that are in the region and on their way. Can you comment on the kind of message you're trying to send to the North Koreans as a result of that?

MR. FOLEY: Well, I believe that the Pentagon has put out information in that respect about deployments.

QUESTION: But I'm talking about -

MR. FOLEY: I've seen some release but I don't have it at my fingertips, so I can't comment on the specifics. That's for the Pentagon to talk about, in any case. But I think we've stated all along, from the beginning of those naval confrontations, that the United States, in close coordination with our South Korean allies, have remained very vigilant. It's obviously been a flash point in the Korean Peninsula for many decades, and there are points in which the tension rises. But even when there's no tension, the fact is that we are present and vigilant in a military and security sense. So this is no exception. But in terms of the specifics you were asking me yesterday, I'd refer you to Captain Doubleday at the Pentagon.

QUESTION: I know the specifics, but the political message that sends - I mean, that's - sending the aircraft carrier is a significant political message, as it was when you sent one - not you, but the Administration sent one to the Taiwan Straits during the military exercises.

MR. FOLEY: Well, look, it's hazardous for me to venture into the issue of military deployment, so I'm going to refer you to Captain Doubleday. My understanding, though, is that at the time of the beginning of the air campaign, over Serbia and Kosovo, that an aircraft carrier was removed from the Pacific, and now one is returning. I think that is part of our normal pattern of deployments, but I refer you to the Pentagon for the details, for confirmation.

QUESTION: Yesterday, you said that the place where the exchange of fire between the North and South Korea took place belonged to international waters, and the South Korean Government seems to think -

MR. FOLEY: I didn't say that. I was asked a question and I spoke to my understanding; but I did not give an official authoritative --

QUESTION: So that's not the official viewpoint of the US Government on this issue?

MR. FOLEY: What I can tell you about that subject is that, as I indicated yesterday and Mr. Rubin did on previous occasions, that the Northern Limit Line was and still is demarcated by the UN command as a practical way to separate forces. We were talking about this yesterday. We believe it's been an effective means to prevent military tension between North and South Korean military forces for 46 years, since 1953. So it's served a useful purpose that has benefited both sides.

We continue to urge the DPRK to recognize this practicality by keeping its craft north of the line. In 1953, the area was a zone of conflict, you'll recall - a war zone; and territorial jurisdictions, they remain in dispute today. Therefore, we believe this is a practical measure, or a practical mechanism that has allowed there to be a reduction in tensions or the means of diffusing tensions. We continue to urge the DPRK to keep its naval craft north of that line for practical reasons.

QUESTION: You may have misspoken, but you did say yesterday that this was in international waters.

MR. FOLEY: No, I did not make that statement. You made a statement and I said that was my understanding.

QUESTION: But that's not the case?

MR. FOLEY: Well, I've checked, because I needed to check on something like that; and I did not make an affirmative statement stating our policy. And having checked, what I'm told is really what I just said - that there are territories, jurisdictions that remain in dispute today in that area. I'd have to refer you to the UN command which, after all, as I said, it's the UN command there that demarcated this line as a practical way to separate forces. It goes back to '53; it has worked. We think it's a practical mechanism that has helped diffuse tensions, and that's how we look upon it. In terms of authoritative views on its meaning and impact and significance, I'd refer you to the UN command.

Thank you.

(The briefing concluded at 2:15 P.M.)

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