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U.S. Department of State Daily Press Briefing #128, 99-10-08

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


Friday, October 8, 1999

Briefer: James P. Rubin

1	Release of Declassified Documents Relating to Events in Chile from
	 1968 to 1978 
1	Assistant Secretary Koh will Brief the Press Regarding His Recent
	 Trip to Indonesia and East 
1	Timor on Tuesday, October 12 at 1:30 p.m.
1	Statement on Global Population Reaches Six Billion
1	Statement on the USIA Waiver Review Branch Relocates to the Visa Office
1-2	Statement on the Apprehension of Khalfan Khamis Mohamed

AMERICA'S DIPLOMACY 2 Investment in US Security and Future / Congressional Cuts in the President's Foreign Affairs Budget Risk Mortgaging US Future Security for Short-term and Short-Sighted Savings / Congress cuts the Administration's Request of $43 million by 36 Percent / Current Foreign Affairs Bill Hampers New Programs to go after Terrorist Fundraising and Counter Threatened Use of Chemical, Biological and Radioactive Weapons

CHILE 2-4,8-9 State Department Reaction to Extradition Hearing Outcome of Pinochet Case/ Principles of Accountability and Justice, Release of Documents on Human Rights Abuses / State Department View of CIA

CTBT 4-6, 13-14 Ratification of the CTBT Treaty / Nonproliferation / Chinese Espionage

MEXICO 6-7 Return of Donated Helicopters

RUSSIA (Chechnya) 8 Escalating Violence / Effects on US-Russian Relations / UN Humanitarian Assistance / Threatened Stability in Caucasus Region / Reports of NATO Intervention 10-12 North Caucuses Deployment Issue / CFE Treaty / Russian Non-Compliance with CFE / SanctionsAgainst Russia / Links to Usama Bin Laden and Dagestan and Chechnya

DROC 7-8 Resolution of the War / Cease-Fire Violations / US Support

INDONESIA 12 Security in West Timor Camps / Humanitarian Access to Refugees / Linkages to Militia and Armed Forces

NORTH KOREA 13 Declassified Perry Report


DPB #128

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 8, 1999, 1:10 P.M.


MR. RUBIN: Greetings. Welcome to the State Department briefing. Let me tell you how we're going to proceed this afternoon. After a shortened briefing by me, we're going to turn to a briefing by Ambassador Michael Sheehan, the Secretary's Coordinator for Counter-Terrorism, so we'll try to have a somewhat shortened briefing and then Ambassador Sheehan will be here to brief you on the release of this report.

Before beginning, let me just let you know what we'll have in the form of statements.

Today the Department of State, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Defense, the FBI and the National Archives are releasing newly declassified documents related to events in Chile from 1968 to 1978. The focus for this second release was on documents dated from '68 to '73. A final release from '68 through the final years of Pinochet's rule will take place early next year.

Today's release consists of over 1,100 documents, including 350 from the Department of State, 160 from the CIA and 115 from the National Archive. Some 500 or so documents from the Department of Defense and the FBI have been withheld to protect the privacy of individuals, among other factors. A complete set of the released documents is available for public review in College Park and we can certainly assist you in efforts in that regard.

Secondly, Assistant Secretary Koh will be briefing next Tuesday here in the Department after my briefing. He is now in Indonesia and has been in both East Timor and West Timor and has had a number of meetings and has discovered a number of troubling developments that he will be describing. He probably will have a briefing in the field, but he will be available for all of you on Tuesday.

Thirdly, on a lighter note, on October 12th, 1999, we will observe the fact that, according to the UN projections, world population will have reached 6 billion. So on Tuesday, the 12th, we will be having a policy forum here in the Department to discuss this development and its significance.

Fourthly, we have a statement on the USIA waiver review branch relocates its office. Can you stop writing please?

And, finally, let me say that the Department of State is pleased to announce the apprehension of Khalfan Khamis Mohamed in South Africa on October the 5th. Mr. Mohamed was one of five individuals indicted last December in the bombing of the US Embassy. This attack resulted in the deaths of 11 innocent people and wounded more than 80 other civilians. This apprehension was the result of a joint investigation by the Department's Diplomatic Security Bureau, the FBI, and South African law enforcement authorities.

He arrived in New York yesterday, was formally charged in the District Court this morning. Mr. Mohammed, as well as a number of others were indicted in connection with the terrorist attack. A number of these other individuals remain at large and we have offered a $5 million reward.

Let me say that that statement brings to light an issue that I'm going to try to focus on a little bit in the coming months. Adequately funding America's diplomacy is an investment in our security and future. It is the preventive medicine that saves us from more costly and more dangerous remedies. Congressional cuts in the President's foreign affairs budget risk mortgaging our future security for short-term and short-sighted savings.

There are many examples of this that you may hear from me about in the days to come. Today, I would like to give you one example. In the aftermath of the August attacks, which killed over 250 Africans and 12 Americans, the US Government expanded its anti-terrorism training program to include 12 additional nations in Africa and the Newly Independent States and to face new threats such as weapons of mass destruction. These programs train foreign officials to help protect airports and embassies, detect bombs, rescue hostages, manage crises and deal with other law enforcement matters connected to terrorism.

The current Foreign Affairs bill passed by Congress cuts the Administration's request of $43 million by some 36 percent, which guts the funds needed to go forward with these badly needed training programs. It hampers new programs to go after terrorist fundraising and counter their threatened use of chemical, biological and radioactive weapons. At a time of increased terrorist threats, these cuts would undermine our efforts to protect Americans traveling and working abroad, as well as our diplomatic and military personnel. We believe that this is too high a price to pay.

Ambassador Sheehan may have some further comments on that after the briefing. But let me say, in light of the fact that just today we have apprehended a suspect in a terrorist bombing as a result of cooperation with countries in Africa, it strikes us as particularly troubling that the very program of cooperating with African countries in the fight against terrorism is one of the programs being cut by Congress. But Ambassador Sheehan may have more to say on that.

That is all I have in the nature of announcements. If you have any questions on subjects that weren't covered upstairs, we can address those and then move to Ambassador Sheehan.

QUESTION: It is also the anniversary of Don Larson's no-hitter, but why extend the briefing?

Pinochet. We can't seem to - well, let me approach it this way. Your reaction, the State Department's reaction all along has been kind of generic. You know, generic statements, non-specific statements supporting justice and accountability.

Does the US welcome what's happened now? Would you like to see Pinochet brought to justice? When it's said that the US condemned what he was doing at the time, I may have been off that week but I can't remember.

MR. RUBIN: Or getting bar mitzvahed.

QUESTION: Yeah. But put another way, do you think the US, previous administrations, were public enough in criticizing, in condemning this dictator?

MR. RUBIN: On the last point, I have not made it a practice to use this podium to comment on the positions of previous administrations. I don't think that would be appropriate. This is the State Department podium. We are one government and one continuous government.

QUESTION: But Eisenhower's support for the Test Ban Treaty has been cited every day now. We do comment on stands taken by previous administrations.

MR. RUBIN: I'm sorry, Barry. We do not criticize the positions of previous governments from the podium. We may explain or enlighten or seek to elucidate particular points. We do cite precedents in the case of the fact that in the Comprehensive Test Ban, this has been a goal of many administrations. I think that is an historical point that is different than using the State Department podium to criticize previous governments.

With respect to Chile's decision - I'm sorry, the British decision - yes, we have explained our principles, the principle of accountability and justice and also the principle of new democracies dealing with these problems. This is an ongoing legal matter; this is not the end of the road. There are additional appeals and additional steps that are going to take place and we do not feel that it is appropriate to comment on every step in the legal process that Pinochet is going through in the United Kingdom.

QUESTION: But if the step is to bring him closer to justice, isn't that something you welcome?

MR. RUBIN: We have said - and I'll be happy to repeat for you - that there are two principles that apply here. One principle is that we have certainly led the world in the creation of tribunals in Rwanda and Yugoslavia to bring to justice those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity, so we are second to none in our effort as a nation to bring to justice those responsible for crimes against humanity and war crimes.

There is another principle that we have repeated over and over again, and that is the principle that Chile is a democracy, a young democracy that is going through its own process, and I think as you have seen from recent developments in Chile there have been effects from the legal situation in the United Kingdom for Mr. Pinochet on what's going on inside Chile. And we think both of those principles deserve great weight and we do not think it's appropriate to comment on each development in the legal process in the United Kingdom.

QUESTION: Would you compare this as a step forward to get justice to the Chileans or Americans who died during the --

MR. RUBIN: Well, clearly, we have worked very hard on this subject. As I indicated at the opening of the briefing, we are working very hard throughout this government to try to declassify information about the human rights abuses in Chile during the period I described.

Let me take this opportunity to say that any State Department official who was criticizing the Central Intelligence Agency for not working hard enough doesn't speak for the State Department. That's not our view. The CIA has an enormous challenge in declassifying documents. We've been working very closely with the CIA and it's easy enough to find some official to criticize another agency in this town, but that person's views are not the views of the State Department and I wish I knew who they were so I would discourage them from making such views known in the future.

As far as your main question, it's the same question that your colleague asked me; that is, we are not going to comment on every legal step in this process. We have explained our principles that apply here. We do support accountability and justice and we don't feel that every twist and turn in the legal process requires our comment.

QUESTION: On question on the CTBT?

MR. RUBIN: Yes. A more pointed question or just general thoughts on it?

QUESTION: Clearly, it looks like a setback for the Administration that you can't even have a debate at the moment and, on the other hand, I guess you have a bigger risk of losing the fight on this one. How do you assess it?

MR. RUBIN: The way I assess it is it's how the development of the CTBT won't be a setback for the Administration or the Congress if it goes down, if it's not ratified; it would be a setback to the nation; it would be setback to the cause of nonproliferation; it would be a setback to the effort begun by President Eisenhower. And so it would be a setback to our efforts to use our leverage, our prestige and our pressure around the world to encourage other countries not to take the nuclear path, to not conduct nuclear testing and to not pursue nuclear weapons programs.

If the Senate fails to ratify this treaty, the Secretary has made clear the effects would be profoundly negative in Europe among our allies who count on our leadership in nonproliferation, in Asia where we are seeking to constrain or would like to constrain China's nuclear modernization program, in North Korea where we're trying to prevent them from going down the nuclear path and, obviously as the Secretary indicated this morning, in India and Pakistan. So there would be profoundly negative consequences around the world by a failure to ratify.

Having said that, we also believe that the treaty has not received the adequate consideration, serious and careful debate it deserves. So we are prepared to see a situation develop in which its formal vote and debate would be postponed.

We want to see that happen because we think a few short days of debate in the Senate is not enough time for the legitimate questions to be asked and answered and for the senators involved to understand perhaps as fully as they should the profoundly negative consequences of voting this treaty down.

We have heard there are a number of discussions going on on Capitol Hill about the Senate schedule. We do not control the Senate schedule. The Secretary certainly made clear the Administration's view that a postponement would be in the national interest and we are awaiting the discussion of the Senate leaders to continue.

Having said that as well, it's also correct that we do not want to see the CTBT issue postponed for a very long time because to postpone it for too long would be to abdicate our role as a leader in the fight against nonproliferation. We don't want to go out of the nonproliferation business for a number of years as a result of a postponement.

QUESTION: Weren't you surprised at the fact that people like Senator Lugar and not to mention a whole slew of former Defense Secretaries and National Security Advisers seemed to be publicly opposed to the treaty?

MR. RUBIN: I would prefer not to try to divine their logic. I don't agree with their logic, the Administration doesn't agree with their logic. Their arguments don't hold up to the very simple proposition. We don't need to test. It has been established that we don't need to test, that with a stockpile stewardship program we can maintain reliability and safety indefinitely.

So what this debate is about is whether other countries will test. We think they have diminished the effect of non-ratification on the rest of the world and exaggerated the dangers to our nuclear arsenal when our Laboratory Directors in the Department of Energy does believe it will be able to certify the reliability and safety of our deterrent.

What we find particularly troubling is the underlying assumption in some of these critics' argument that somehow a future President wouldn't follow the advice of the Pentagon and the Department of Energy and begin to test if that was necessary. We think that if that advice was forthcoming, if the reliability and the safety couldn't be certified, then the President would be prepared to test and it would be irresponsible for any future President not to do so. So we are particularly puzzled by this presumption of irresponsibility that underlies a lot of the criticism.

QUESTION: What is not too long a period to delay the vote and is it now policy here with the Clinton Administration not to have the treaty voted on in the Senate this particular session? Is that --

MR. RUBIN: I think what I can say, as Secretary Albright implied earlier today and yesterday, is that we think it is in the national interest to postpone the vote. It's not up to us to determine the calendar of the Senate. That is something that the leaders on both sides are now discussing. But, again, as far as the outer limit is concerned, in general we would be concerned about an indefinite delay that could mean years of us out of the non-proliferation business.

QUESTION: How about a delay until after the election in the fall?

MR. RUBIN: I think I'm trying to give you the outer limits of our position right now. We think it's appropriate for these matters to be discussed by the senators. On the one hand, we think a postponement is in the national interest; on the other hand, we don't want a situation where we're out of the business for many, many years.

QUESTION: You're asking - you will be asking, if I hear you correctly, Mr. Lott and the powers - the leadership of the Senate --

MR. RUBIN: And by the phrase of many, many years, I hope you are not interpreting it as accepting the position of three or two or five.

QUESTION: Any (inaudible).

MR. RUBIN: If that was your interpretation of what I was saying, I would like to strike the comment. For a long time would be our view, the view that the Secretary made.

QUESTION: You would like Mr. Lott, then, to pull - to yank - this particular bill?

MR. RUBIN: I think I've addressed that question.

QUESTION: Time Magazine is reporting that the Justice Department has notified McDonnell-Douglas and a Chinese-owned aerospace company that they face indictments for export violations unless a plea bargain is reached later this month. I know that because this is a matter that has to do with Justice you're not going to comment directly on that, but what do you think that would do to US-Chinese relations?

MR. RUBIN: I will have to get a considered answer to that legitimate question. That has not been provided to me, nor predicted.

QUESTION: Is there any information that the State Department has that would lead it to believe that the export license should have been denied? Are you able to comment on that?

MR. RUBIN: I would have to investigate what we would be prepared to say in a public forum about a matter like that.

QUESTION: On Mexico, I'm wanting to know how the US Government have received the return of the helicopters, 72 helicopters that were given to Mexican Government three years ago. What do you have about possible negotiations with the Mexican Government to refurbish 20 of them and return them to Mexico?

And what do you think about the proposal of Mrs. Dole in regards with the struggle against drugs? She says if she becomes President she will deny the help, the assistance, for the drug efforts to Mexico and Colombia.

MR. RUBIN: On the general helicopter issue, the donated helicopters have been returned to the United States. We are now working closely with our Mexican counterparts to resolve the ultimate disposition of the helicopters. It's really a Department of Defense issue to discuss it in more detail.

With respect to Mrs. Dole, let me take this opportunity to start a formulation that I will use in the coming year, which is I don't think it would be appropriate for me to engage in the domestic political process by commenting on every proposal from candidates for the Presidency of the United States. General views on general topics, particular criticisms stated generally are subjects that obviously will come up. Sometimes you will even anonymously be quoting critics from the Republican Party, I'm sure, in your questions but I don't think it would be appropriate for me to comment on Mrs. Dole specifically.

QUESTION: On the helicopters, can you confirm that there are negotiations now with the Mexican Government to return maybe 20 of them?

MR. RUBIN: Well, I'd rather not get into the discussion of what specific items are being discussed in the ultimate disposition. We are discussing the disposition with them, though.

QUESTION: If (inaudible) able to find a viable resolution of the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo are still going on and with respect to joint military commission the (inaudible) set by the Lusaka Accord is due to meet on its first session next Monday in Kampala. So I'm wondering if you have anything to say on that subject.

MR. RUBIN: There have been reports of fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo, most notably last weekend's clash near Kabinda. We consider the cease-fire still to be in effect despite some obvious violations.

Let me say that we condemn violations of the provisions of the Lusaka Accords by any party. We are working through our embassies in the region and calling on all sides to cease military operations and abide by the terms of the Accords.

We are aware of reports that rebel groups supported by Rwandan forces have attacked armed Hutu groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo. We are following the situation closely and are strongly urging all sides to observe the terms of the accord.

QUESTION: Can you comment on the kind of support the US Government is willing to give to the mechanism meant to help bring peace to the Congo?

MR. RUBIN: Well, Secretary Albright has been involved from the beginning in trying to encourage the various governments involved to take the right decisions. She has asked Assistant Secretary Rice to be involved in that. We certainly would look at some of the mechanisms being considered carefully at the United Nations and elsewhere for what may be necessary to deal with the terrible conflict.

I suspect that Secretary Albright may have more to say about that as she travels around Africa, leaving next Sunday for her trip there and touching on countries that are particularly concerned about that development.

QUESTION: Can you comment on the escalating violence in Chechnya and the possible effects that could have on US-Russian relations?

MR. RUBIN: With respect to Chechnya, let me say Russian artillery and aircraft continue to strike targets against Chechnya and we have seen reports that there were small-scale clashes between ground troops. Reports of people displaced vary widely. It looks like at least 111,000 have fled the fighting. We understand an additional convoy of UN humanitarian assistance arrived in Ingushetiya yesterday. This convoy brought foodstuffs. We're contributing in a number of ways to the humanitarian situation.

We are deeply concerned about reports of civilian casualties due to escalation of the conflict in Chechnya. We deeply regret the loss of life, the innocent loss of life. We have also underscored the importance for all concerned to act responsibly.

We have raised with Russian officials at all levels, including Secretary Albright's level, our concerns about continued military escalation as well as recent military actions. We continue to believe that any resumption of general hostilities in Chechnya would further threaten stability in the entire Caucasus region. We have urged a constructive dialogue involving all legitimate leaders. We believe that only in this manner can Russia be able to achieve long-lasting stability in the Caucasus.

QUESTION: There is a report that the Chechen president is asking NATO to try to mediate a peace with Moscow. Do you think it's appropriate for NATO to do that?

MR. RUBIN: NATO is not a mediating organization and I've even seen reports suggesting that NATO should intervene in this conflict. No one in NATO, to my knowledge, is even considering such an eventuality.

QUESTION: I think in some of these documents that you had mentioned that have been declassified, one of them deals with a guy named Charles Horman, who is a journalist in Chile who was killed in 1973. And, apparently, a document that was authored by a State Department official says that US intelligence was aware of Chile's - that Chile saw Horman in a serious light and that US officials did nothing to discourage the logical outcome of Chile's paranoia about him.

I was wondering if you were familiar with this particular subject?

MR. RUBIN: No, I think it would be - the documents were just released so I would suspect that anyone who suspects they knows what were in the documents would do well - I am talking about the person you are quoting there - to actually read the document and then see whether we are in a position to comment.

But, again, what we are trying to do here is to release as much information as possible, to be as open as we can. We in the State Department have worked very, very hard to get information out there and to declassify documents. The documents speak for themselves and it is up to others to draw conclusions and interpretations.

We have released the documents so that the public can view them, the public can make its decisions about their significance and draw their own conclusions, and we can't be in a position of thousands of documents to be trying to be the ultimate arbiter of the meaning of those documents. They speak for themselves. They are as declassified as possible and we would prefer for others to draw their own conclusions based on reading them.

QUESTION: Can I just say something on the Pinochet case? You are saying you are not commenting on any legal steps that he is taking in this case. But Pinochet is - the approval of the extradition is a big, big step in the - for the people who are trying to indict him for crimes of torture of thousands of people. In other cases, like narco-traffickers or others, you always say something. Why you are not trying to say at least this is a big step in favor of justice for the Chilean people who lost families?

MR. RUBIN: In the case of narcotics traffickers, murders, terrorists who conduct activities like that, there are not two principles that apply. I have said there are two principles. The first principle is the principle of accountability and justice, and the US Government strongly condemned the abuses of the Pinochet regime when it was in power.

There is another principle and that is important, consistent with the principle of accountability, to support countries like Chile that, over a sustained period of time, have made significant efforts to strengthen democracy and to promote reconciliation and the rule of law. Those are two principles that apply that are relevant to this particular case. The example you gave me that is from another type of case, those types of principles wouldn't apply.

QUESTION: But it's the same like the United States is trying to wash their hands on the case of Pinochet.

MR. RUBIN: You can choose to write - because you are a journalist and you have the freedom to draw your own conclusions - what you think. But if you wrote that, you would not be accurately reporting what I've said to you.

QUESTION: On Chechnya and Russia, do you have anything to say on the report the Russians will not obey the CFE agreements in the North Caucasus due to the situation in Chechnya?

MR. RUBIN: Yes, we are familiar with the North Caucasus deployment issue. It is correct that the Russians have told us and other CFE treaty partners that they seek to comply with the Conventional Forces In Europe treaty but have exceeded limits in Russia for the North Caucasus region. The Russians have promised to provide us additional information about their military activities in Chechnya with regard to these treaty limitations.

The good news is that Russia has come forward and discussed this issue, demonstrating its commitment to notify pursuant to the treaty. It also demonstrates that the treaty is an important tool for constraining military equipment levels and ensuring international scrutiny. The bad news is that they have exceeded the limits.

Let me say in that regard that, overall, Russian compliance with the CFE Treaty has been generally good. The question of the flank region has been a long-standing one. Their levels have exceeded the flank limits for some time. We take compliance very, very seriously. We're reviewing the details of the information they've provided to us and we'll be taking this matter up with them on a number of levels in the coming days.

QUESTION: How much have they exceeded the limits?

MR. RUBIN: Substantially. There are two limits. One limit is the existing limit and the other limit is the larger limit that would come into play if the treaty were adapted and approved this November. We're talking about many, many hundreds of pieces of equipment over the limits in the armored combat vehicle category.

QUESTION: Is there any way to bring them back to the limits?

MR. RUBIN: Well, they would have to bring themselves back to the limits.

QUESTION: What about - what is the value of the treaty, then, other than that they're now --

MR. RUBIN: Well, the treaty doesn't provide a military enforcement mechanism to launch an invasion of Russia by which we could take the Russian armored combat vehicles out of the Caucasus and return them to Russia. That would be the standard that you're suggesting there.

What the treaty can do is to identify the problems. It can require that Russia notify and it can help bring international pressure to bear on them to comply. That's what arms control treaties can do. Those who create artificial suggestions or straw men as to what a treaty can do, we can't answer those criticisms. Some of that has come in the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty debate. People have sought a guarantee from us signing a treaty that another country won't test. Treaties don't do that. Arms control treaties don't do that. They don't have military enforcement measures that the United States would use military force to guarantee such an outcome.

What they can do is provide verification, provide international legitimacy for certain rules and regulations that each country is committed to, and that if they violate they are subject to international pressure and, in certain cases, sanctions. So that's what can be done in the real world. In I don't know whose world we can guarantee that an exceeded limit in a country like Russia could be reversed through military force.

QUESTION: Is this an out-and-out violation or is there some clause in the agreement which the Russians can cite; for example, emergency deployments or national interests?

MR. RUBIN: Well, they have been exceeding the flank limit for a long time so they clearly have been exceeding that limit for some time. This is not a matter of a temporary deployment that gives them some provision under the treaty. They have been exceeding it for a long time.

One of the ideas that we have been pursuing in the discussions to adapt the treaty is to increase that limit, but what I can tell you is that even the increased limit is below where they are now by a significant number of armored vehicles. So what has to happen here is we have to be very candid and honest and make clear that the Russians are exceeding the limit; at the same time, not throw the baby out with the bath water, as some might want us to do in the case of such a violation; point out that Russian compliance with the treaty has been generally good, with some exceptions; and now begin a discussion, a serious discussion at the appropriate levels, to try to ensure that the Russians come back into compliance.

QUESTION: You say they have been exceeding it for a long time. Can you be more precise on that? And why have they delayed so long in informing you that they have exceeded it?

MR. RUBIN: Well, there are two issues. There is one issue is that they have been above the limit for a long period of time, the lower limit. They are now - we and they have been working on an adapted treaty to have a higher limit that takes into account the fall of the Berlin Wall, the end of the Soviet Union, and adjusts this treaty, adapts it, to the modern situation. They have not been in excess of that adapted limit, which we would have expected to go into force beginning this November, two months from now, at the OSCE Summit.

The point I am trying to make now is that their current deployment is above even the adapted treaties limit, and that's why it is such a matter of concern to us and something we will take up with the Russians.

QUESTION: To East Timor, are you actively considering sanctions against Russia for exceeding the limits substantially?

MR. RUBIN: Roy, you asked me a question about what we could do to ensure that the Russians came back into compliance which led me to give you a discussion of arms control treaties in general - what can be done and what can't be done.

The mode that we would approach a violation in would be to discuss with the Russians the reasons for exceeding of the limits, to get an explanation of what their intentions are in the future, and to try to bring them back into compliance. The question of sanctions is not a question I am prepared to entertain at this time.

QUESTION: Have you received any new reports in regard with the involvement of Usama Bin Ladin with the rebels --

MR. RUBIN: I have answered this question in the past. I would be happy to repeat it for you. The best answer I can offer you is, we are familiar with reports of links between Usama Bin Ladin and some of the rebels in Dagestan and Chechnya but we've never confirmed the actual transfer of funds or the presence of Usama Bin Ladin himself or his fighters in this conflict.

QUESTION: There is a wire report by Reuters out of Jakarta that reports that many hundreds of East Timorese soldiers and police have resigned from the Indonesian armed forces and have joined the militias and this is especially affecting the security in West Timor around the camps where the people are continuing to be terrorized by the militia.

Can you comment on this particular problem in West Timor camps?

MR. RUBIN: We are deeply concerned about what has been going on in West Timor over recent weeks. It's why Secretary Albright raised this issue with Foreign Minister Alatas in New York. It's why she designated Assistant Secretary Koh to go to the camps in West Timor. It's why she designated Julia Taft to go there as well.

As a result of our pressure on the Indonesian Government to take account of this situation, we do think that the situation has improved and there is greater humanitarian access to the refugees in West Timor who are seeking to go home. Assistant Secretary Koh may have more to say from his firsthand account on Tuesday, but we remain concerned about the situation in West Timor and we, in particular, point out that some returns to East Timor took place yesterday; that the Government of Indonesia appears to be making attempts to respond to concerted international attention focused on the issue.

But the key to a safe return program is to allow the UN and relief organizations to have safe access to the camps, which they do not yet have, and that is what we were pushing for.

QUESTION: Is there any verification of the report that the people in the camps, some 200,000, are being held in those camps, forcibly detained and not allowed to go back to East Timor?

MR. RUBIN: I don't want to make a general comment like that. We do have concerns about what has been going on in West Timor in terms of linkages between the militias and the armed forces and what's been going on in these camps. It is a problem that has been there for some number of days now. That is why Secretary Albright has been pushing for the Indonesians to allow the international community access. It is why she sent Assistant Secretaries Koh and Taft to the region and perhaps when you have your shot at Assistant Secretary Koh, you can ask that question more directly.

QUESTION: Has the US heard any response from the North Koreans to Dr. Perry's invitation to their vice foreign minister?

MR. RUBIN: We have not scheduled the high-level meeting at this time.

QUESTION: And do you know when we can get our hands on a declassified Perry report?

MR. RUBIN: I have heard a little bit about that. I would expect very, very shortly that that report will be available and, as soon as it is, I will make sure that all of you get it on a timely basis.

Yes, last question so we can go to Ambassador Sheehan, if you don't mind.

QUESTION: There is a very convincing argument in support of the Test Ban treaty and if it's been raised and I've missed it, please let me know. But regarding arms control treaties, in 1990 at the Disarmament First Committee Conference at the UN, the First Deputy Foreign Minister of the Soviet Union raised a very, very effective argument in favor of the treaty and he said that until the Test Ban Treaty is adopted, the possibility exists that new and inconceivably destructive weapons could be created that would essentially render null and void the value of any previous arms control treaties.

MR. RUBIN: Who said this?

QUESTION: This was the First Deputy Foreign Minister of the Soviet Union. I wonder whether anybody has raised that because it seemed like a very, very convincing argument.

MR. RUBIN: Well, there are two reasons to promote the Comprehensive Test Ban. One is to stop countries that don't have nuclear weapons or have not tested them or have not perfected them from testing them and developing a usable nuclear capability. That is something that we generally regard as the term "nonproliferation," preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons to new nuclear states.

The second reason for pursuing the Comprehensive Test Ban is to prevent other countries from modernizing their nuclear forces. It is one thing to ensure the safety and reliability of nuclear forces. It is another to see the whole - see a new generation of nuclear weapons develop. This is particularly acute in the case of China.

Time and time again we have heard about the dangers of Chinese espionage obtaining information that could help China develop new nuclear warheads, particularly warheads that might enable them to have a multiple warhead missile capability they now do not have. If this treaty is ratified, and if the Chinese ratify it and live up to it, they will not be able to develop with confidence a new generation of multiple warhead missiles. That's one of the reasons why we think the treaty is so important.

(The briefing concluded at 1:50 P.M.)

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