U.S. Department of State Daily Press Briefing #58, 00-06-14
From: The Department of State Foreign Affairs Network (DOSFAN) at <http://www.state.gov>
U.S. Department of State
Daily Press Briefing
I N D E X
Wednesday, June 14, 2000
Briefer: RICHARD BOUCHER_
1-2,4-6,9,11 North-South Korea Summit Meeting
2,4 North Korea Missile Program
2-3 Lockheed Martin Agreement
MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS
7 Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations at Andrews Air Force Base and
Bolling Air Force Base
8 US Secretary to Meet with Chairman Arafat
9 Arrest of Chairman of Media Most, Gusinky
10 US Stance on Asylum Status of Cuban Doctors
12 Amnesty International's Annual Report
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
DAILY PRESS BRIEFING
DPB # 58
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 14, 2000 12:30 P.M.
(ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)
MR. BOUCHER: Okay, good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I don't have
any statements. I have one small request, which is I'd like to be out of
here in time to go see the treaty signings at 1:30 because - well, because
that's more fun than this, actually.
MR. BOUCHER: I hope so. Write about her signing treaties. You can write
that all day long; I'm happy.
All right, let's go to questions. George.
QUESTION: What do you have on what the two Korean leaders agreed to at
MR. BOUCHER: We don't have any of the details at this point. We
obviously welcome their talks. We welcome any results that they can
produce. The topics and subjects that they've been discussing are very
important and, as we've said before, we hope this will lead to a process
that reduces tensions on the Peninsula.
QUESTION: You don't have anything to say about the agreement to move
toward, or work toward, reunification?
MR. BOUCHER: We don't really have any of the details or the copies of the
statements at this point, so I don't have an analysis for you. We do
recognize the seriousness with which they dealt with the issues and the
importance of the issues and the possible benefits of their cooperation, so
we generally welcome things without being able to comment on the specifics
at this point.
QUESTION: Well, how about Kim Chong-il's jocularity? Is that a positive
sign that this guy is kind of coming out of what was his shell?
MR. BOUCHER: I think, again, we certainly think that these conversations
are important, this dialogue between North and South Korea is very
important. And, generally, we have said that the contacts that the North
Korean leadership is having with others - the visits to China, the talks
that they had with the United States, Japan and others - that these are
very welcome. So without commenting on jocularity, I think this increase
in contacts on the part of North Korea is a very important development and
one that we're - you know, one that's good to see.
QUESTION: Well, but isn't there some way you could comment on, you know,
MR. BOUCHER: It appears to be very good.
QUESTION: I just find it a little bit surprising that the United States,
which prides itself on its openness, is being about as forthcoming as North
Korea used to be on this whole matter.
MR. BOUCHER: Matt, look. You guys, I don't know what you're reading in
the wires. You're reading statements that were supposedly signed barely an
hour and 15 minutes ago.
QUESTION: I'm not asking you about the --
MR. BOUCHER: I'm not going to go through in specific detail commenting on
things we haven't had a chance to analyze. We're certainly very happy. I
don't remember ever commenting on jocularity from this podium. We
certainly welcome the atmosphere. It's a good atmosphere. We just said
that to you. It's very good that they're having these talks. We're glad
to see them getting together. We're glad to see all the contacts that
North Korea is having these days. And we will continue, for our part, to
work on the issues that are important to us as well.
QUESTION: Could this possibly have any impact on the North Korean
missile program that has the US poised to maybe spend $30 billion a year to
defend against, tens of missiles, as Mrs. Albright has said?
MR. BOUCHER: I suppose one of the things that we have been discussing in
our dialogue with North Korea is the missile program. And as you know,
they have announced in the past a moratorium on further missile testing,
which we thought was very important, and we would hope to see that
continue. Does that change plans for missile defense? No, it doesn't
because there are other technologies, capabilities, developments, that the
United States needs to be able to deal with. We think there is a threat to
the United States that will come up in coming years, and we need to be able
to deal with that.
QUESTION: Well, the freeze doesn't change that, I think you're saying,
but does the summit and the apparently warming of - call it relations, does
that have any - or do you have any hope that will have implications for the
MR. BOUCHER: No, frankly. I don't think we see in this the seeds of
anything that would change the possibility of missile threat to the United
States that we would have to deal with.
QUESTION: Can you give us the details of the Lockheed agreement?
MR. BOUCHER: Yes. We reached a consent agreement with Lockheed. Let me
get my stuff. We reached a consensual settlement with Lockheed Martin over
their transfer to China of space launch assistance. The settlement
involves $13 million in total penalties; $8 million will be paid over a
four-year period, $5 million of which has been suspended. Lockheed can
draw on this amount, the suspended $5 million, to fund a series of remedial
compliance measures that are specified in the consent agreement and the
annex to the agreement.
The remedial compliance measures include institution of a comprehensive
computer control system throughout the country, the company's missile and
space launch sector. Lockheed Martin has eight months to build a computer
system. State and Defense will have access to this system over the next
four years, which is the duration of the consent agreement, including all
of the company's overseas activities involving missiles and space that are
subject to regulation under the Arms Export Control Act and the International
Traffic in Arms Regulations.
Other measures include restructuring of reporting relationships within the
missile and space sector to provide for stronger headquarters oversight by
Lockheed's legal department and establishment of a new procedure for
Lockheed to audit new corporate acquisitions for Arms Export Control Act
violations and then to report them promptly.
I should make you aware that the consent agreement, the order approving the
agreement and the State Department's charging letter are all available for
public inspection in the Department's reading room, which is at 515 22nd
Street, first floor.
QUESTION: It's my understanding that Lockheed does not accept any - well,
that they're not admitting that they did anything wrong. But it seems to
me that in the very least, by accepting this $5 million portion which is to
improve their security, that they are admitting that they could have done
things better. Is that fair?
MR. BOUCHER: I think that's a fair characterization. We certainly think
that these remedial measures and better oversight measures are necessary to
ensure that violations don't occur in the future.
QUESTION: But can I ask - I know it'll get technical but I'm willing to
risk it. This computer business, I mean, you know the central complaint
was out of Martin Marietta. Martin Marietta, which was absorbed eventually
by Lockheed in its growing monolithic control of the industry, was
providing Asia Sat with technology or at least know-how. You know, part of
what you're saying here suggests - and I know we can draw our own
inferences - that headquarters didn't have too good an idea what the
fellows out in the field were doing.
But how would a stronger - a better computer system address what was the
central complaint; that this Hong Kong company with strong ties to China
received information from, you know, Martin Marietta? I don't know if it
was a subsidiary but --
MR. BOUCHER: I think the way I'd put it, Barry, is that we think that the
information that was transferred was inappropriate, and that the reports
that were transferred were not appropriate, and that there was a serious
problem here that information had the potential to be used to be applied to
missile development. That's no exception in this case.
So the computer system will allow us, as they plan their technology
transfer and information activities, will allow us to see what's going on
so that we and they can compare notes before things are transferred. And
having a better collective centralized oversight within the company means
that when we and they talk about what's going on and decide which parts are
appropriate and which aren't, they'll have all the information and we'll be
able to look at it too and decide what ought to go and what shouldn't.
QUESTION: Could you just explain a bit about the $5 million suspended?
Then you said they can draw on this? So they don't pay the $5 million, but
how can they draw on it if it's suspended?
MR. BOUCHER: I would imagine some of that detail is in the consent
agreement so I won't try to do it from here.
QUESTION: (Inaudible) -- what exactly it means.
MR. BOUCHER: Well, it means there's $5 million somewhere that they would
draw on to finance things like the computer system and the other remedial
QUESTION: For them to spend up to $5 million on these various --
MR. BOUCHER: I don't know if it's actually deposited in escrow somewhere
and then drawn on. That's something I'd have to look in the consent
QUESTION: Who gets the 8 million?
MR. BOUCHER: I assume the US Treasury. Who do you pay these things to?
I'll double check on who gets the 8 million. That's a very good question;
I should have asked. Let me check.
QUESTION: And this is basically case closed then, right?
MR. BOUCHER: Yes.
QUESTION: There's no way that they're subject to any further --
MR. BOUCHER: It's a settlement, yes.
QUESTION: Before we leave Asia, can I go back to North Korea for a
minute? Notwithstanding the news of the day, am I correct that the last
scheduled visit to the underground site is over and done with, and you have
no plans for further visits? Or can you bring us up to date on that while
we're on it?
MR. BOUCHER: I think we have talked about this. We did visit again the
suspect site, and we found that it was not being used for any purposes that
we had worried about; that the situation was the same as when we'd seen it
before. I know there have been discussions about alternative development
for that site.
I don't know for sure that we won't go back, so that's something I'll have
to double check on.
QUESTION: One more, please. Your answer on the national missile defense
MR. BOUCHER: May 30th we visited again. The team found conditions
unchanged since the first visit. Well, anyway, I've still left where I
just was, which is I'll have to check and see if we're going back or
QUESTION: It essentially ended with the agreement with the North Koreans
does not preclude or allows for --
QUESTION: Leaves it open.
MR. BOUCHER: We may visit the site in the future. Thank you for those
who read it more carefully than I did.
QUESTION: North Korea is a rogue state. You want to build the national
missile defense because of rogue states like North Korea. If they turn a
new page and start behaving themselves, why would this not be taken into
account here vis-a-vis the national missile defense system?
MR. BOUCHER: Because they're not the only place where we see the
development of missile technology around the world. And in terms of US
national defense, we have to be able to deal with capabilities and possible
timelines in a great many areas. And that's why we think it's necessary.
We do believe there's a threat. That's one of the four criteria that the
President will have to look at. And we'll have to deal with the potential
here as we go forward, not just from North Korea but from elsewhere.
QUESTION: That could be fair enough for a general observation, but this
program has two phases: and the first phase is strictly to defend against
North Korea; the second is Iran. I know the US has spoken of other hostile
rogue states but, if I understand correctly, what is being considered by
the President is a program specifically designed to get something in place
by 2005 to defend against North Korea. So, you know, if North Korea
behaves, certainly that program would have to be rejiggered or maybe it
wouldn't be necessary, you would think, if it's North Korea that you're
defending against in that phase.
MR. BOUCHER: Barry, as I said, first of all, I don't think we see in this
summit in particular the seeds of any changes that would change the
possible threat that we might face. Certainly a reduction in tensions is
important, but on the specific issues of possible missile threats I haven't
seen nor heard of anything in this summit that negates that.
Second of all, when it comes to US national defense, the President has
decisions to make based on the possible threat and the capabilities that
might emerge. That's both a technical question and an intention question,
and he will have to deal with that with the best analysis possible at the
time he makes the decisions. But certainly we've made quite clear that we
think the threat is there, and we haven't seen anything at this stage that
makes it go away.
QUESTION: You said you don't see the seeds of a change, but they're
talking about reunification. Under a reunification scenario, would that
not make an enormous difference to the whole --
MR. BOUCHER: You've got me so far out in the future speculating on this,
we really can't do it. What I can tell you now is that there is a threat
that we see emerging; we have not seen that threat change.
QUESTION: A new subject? Is there anything developing on Israel's sale
of AWACS technology to China?
MR. BOUCHER: I think I can answer that with a "no." Let me double
QUESTION: Does that mean --
MR. BOUCHER: Okay, I tell you what. Let me try to answer the question
first, okay? I appreciate all the assistance.
The Secretary spoke to you Monday on her way out the door as we headed off
to Syria. She made quite clear that we don't think that linking assistance
to Israel is an appropriate way to address those issues. The commitment
that we have to Israel's security is very essential, and our assistance is
part of meeting that.
At the same time, we share with Congress strong concerns about Israel's
arms transfer and defense relationship with China. We have made those
concerns known to the Government of Israel at the highest level, and there
is a continuing dialogue between us on this issue.
QUESTION: Any indication that they take it seriously - the Barak
MR. BOUCHER: I think they do take us seriously, but I wouldn't say that
we've seen a change in the situation at this point.
QUESTION: Can you say - I mean, does this - the Secretary's schedule for
today does say that she is going to attend the theater tonight with the
Representative who is the one who has called for this linkage. Should we
read into that anything, and also should we read anything in to the title
of the play they're going to see, bird-like in its --
MR. BOUCHER: No, I don't think we can read anything into the title of the
play. I think you read into the fact that they're going to the theater
that the Secretary has a variety of contacts with Members of Congress in a
variety of ways, and even when we don't agree with some particular aspects
of things that people are doing, we try to keep in touch and work with them
and try to work things out.
QUESTION: Well, would you imagine that the subject would come up in the
MR. BOUCHER: I don't know how long the intermission is. I would say it
would be a logical subject for them to discuss.
QUESTION: Can you say who invited who to this?
MR. BOUCHER: No, I can't. I'm sorry.
QUESTION: And you said there were no developments on the Israeli front,
but have there been any developments on the congressional front in this - I
mean, even before the theater --
MR. BOUCHER: I'm not aware of any new changes on the Hill in the last two
days. There may have been. As I said, I've been flying on an airplane.
QUESTION: Do we expect some tomorrow?
MR. BOUCHER: Do we expect some tomorrow? Just after we get back to you
on the Korean summit issues.
QUESTION: Is there anything - the OSCE
QUESTION: Can we stay in the Middle East?
QUESTION: What exciting gems do you have for us today on the Israeli-
MR. BOUCHER: That's a pretty high standard. Negotiations began yesterday
at Andrews Air Force Base and Bolling Air Force Base. Special Middle East
Coordinator Dennis Ross and his team will be meeting today with the
negotiators at each site separately and together. Now that the Secretary
is back, she may have the opportunity to meet with the negotiators, but
nothing is scheduled at this point.
And we look forward to the visit by Chairman Arafat to Washington. He
arrives, I think, this evening. They'll be meeting at the White House
tomorrow with the President and also having lunch with the Secretary
QUESTION: Are you saying meeting the Secretary is possible today?
MR. BOUCHER: No, I think he arrives late tonight.
QUESTION: No, I mean with the Secretary meeting the negotiators.
MR. BOUCHER: No, nothing is scheduled between her and the negotiators.
It's just possible that they might meet.
QUESTION: And the lunch is where?
MR. BOUCHER: I'll check on that and see if I can make that available.
QUESTION: And can you tell us whether they made any progress yesterday?
MR. BOUCHER: I don't think I'd want to get into the content of the
QUESTION: Well, maybe you can get into the logistics. Are the talks
suspended or on a break? Or you pick your own word, because we have strong
reason to believe that the Palestinians aren't happy on the prisoner issue
and have called a respite. I don't know how old your guidance is, but I
don't know that they're in motion right now and I don't know Dennis is
going to see them today.
MR. BOUCHER: Well, I think we've seen some reports that just came out. I
think what I would say to that is that, as I said, we're having discussions
with the parties and the negotiators. They're having some meetings
together; we're having some discussions separately. There's a whole
variety of issues being discussed, including permanent status issues as
well as interim issues, and we're continuing to work that process.
QUESTION: Have they met today in any shape or form?
MR. BOUCHER: I guess I'm not sure I can say yes to you. I will double
check that one very quickly. I'm just not sure of the exact timing.
QUESTION: If they're going to meet today, you'd have to find a word out
there in the ether to describe the atmospherics, as Matt would put it, and
might suggest it's less than warm.
MR. BOUCHER: Well, not as good as the Korean summit.
QUESTION: For instance.
MR. BOUCHER: Without trying to characterize them, these discussions are
continuing. We're in very close touch with the different delegations and
the negotiators. And before I say yes, they have met today, I have to
check on the timing of what was done.
QUESTION: Could I go back to North Korea? The North Korea and South
Korean leaders apparently agreed on four points, including relaxation of
tension. Are you in any way concerned that it might imply the future
reduction of United States forces in South Korea since the Perry Report
clearly stipulated that there be no change as far as the force posture is
MR. BOUCHER: The summit between the North and South Korean leaders is
indeed a historic event. We certainly hope it begins a process to reduce
tensions on the Peninsula. We certainly cooperate and work very closely
with President Kim Dae Jung. His vision has led us here. We have
cooperated and worked very closely with our South Korean allies.
But at this precise moment, with the results just started to be announced
of this summit, I don't think it's appropriate to start speculating over a
longer term about all the many changes that might occur on the Peninsula.
Certainly our commitment to the security of South Korea is very, very
strong and we would intend to maintain that peace and stability on the
Peninsula are very, very important to us. So I don't think it's appropriate
at this time to start speculating about dramatic change way down in the
future. Let's try to deal with the issues that we have coming out now, and
certainly a lot of welcome news and a lot of very important news.
QUESTION: The OSCE is calling for an explanation by the Russians for the
arrest of Gusinskiy of Media Most. Has there been any contact to the
Russian Government by the State Department? Are they demanding any
MR. BOUCHER: Our Embassy in Moscow has been actively seeking more
information on the issue. Our diplomats have spoken with Russian
authorities and Media Most officials as well about the Gusinskiy arrest.
We understand Gusinskiy has met with his lawyers and that his lawyers were
present today during prosecution questioning.
It's important that Mr. Gusinskiy, or indeed all persons that are accused
of criminal acts, are afforded due process rights and protections in
accordance with the Russian constitution and law. We note that after the
raid on May 12th to the headquarters that a higher court called into
question the legality of the raid. Many prominent Russian figures have
spoken out about this against the apparent political motivation behind last
month's raid and yesterday's arrest, and certainly these questions need to
be dealt with.
We agree that Russia's international standing will be severely damaged if
the government lets stand actions that are intended to intimidate
independent media and voices with whom it does not agree. There have been
a series of events recently in Russia which have drawn international
attention to the issue of press freedom. As you know, this is an important
issue to us. The Secretary and the President both made that clear when
they were in Moscow during the summit, and we're looking very, very closely
at the circumstances of this particular case.
QUESTION: Some time ago, retired Navy Captain Edmund Pope was arrested
in Moscow on espionage charges. In the following two weeks or so, we
followed the developments of this closely and then at least we tried to
find out what we could. And then it seems that he dropped off the screen,
and I was wondering if you could tell us what's happened with him.
MR. BOUCHER: I'll have to get you an update on that. I don't have
anything right now.
QUESTION: Do you have anything more to add on the Cuban doctors in
QUESTION: Can we stay with Russia? It's not exactly Media Most, but
since you mentioned Clinton, the speaker of the Federation Council today is
quoting President Clinton as having said recently while in Moscow that the
US is not against union between Belarus and Russia. Can you just reiterate
for the record what the US position is on this union?
MR. BOUCHER: I'll have to get that for you later.
QUESTION: Just to clarify, do you have anything on the Pope case at
MR. BOUCHER: I don't have anything new to say. I mean, we've expressed
our concern; we've expressed our support for due process. I think we've
been having consular visits and been able to visit with him, but I haven't
heard of any new developments.
QUESTION: Are we satisfied from our consular visits that he is receiving
his cancer medication, for example? Some of his family members are
planning to go over this weekend and are very concerned because they
haven't gotten word from him.
MR. BOUCHER: I'll have to check on that kind of detail. As Lou mentioned,
I haven't followed it as closely over the past few weeks.
QUESTION: The Cuban doctors in Zimbabwe. Although the United States has
offered them - has granted them refugee status, the Zimbabweans continue to
detain them and to say that they're looking for a country to take them.
There seems to be a lack of communication between the various parties on
this. Can you explain what's going on?
MR. BOUCHER: I can't explain it in great detail to you at this point.
What has to happen, and what we've called for, is for the Government of
Zimbabwe to meet its obligations under the Geneva Convention. That would
mean immediately releasing these doctors to the United Nations High
Commissioner for Refugees which, if they believe that these people had a
legitimate claim of persecution and therefore to refugee status, the United
Nations High Commissioner for Refugees would arrange resettlement in a
third country. That's the process that needs to be followed. The ongoing
detention does appear to be against international law, and it's important
for the Government of Zimbabwe to live up to its obligations.
QUESTION: I'm a little bit confused. I was under the impression that
they had already gone through that process; that UNHCR had already said
that they were eligible and that the US had already said okay, come on in.
Is that not the case?
MR. BOUCHER: I don't believe we've said that.
QUESTION: That's what the INS told us the other day.
MR. BOUCHER: Well, good.
QUESTION: You don't believe that's correct?
MR. BOUCHER: Has there been a public statement by the INS that I missed?
Not that I'm aware of.
QUESTION: How about, yesterday the Ambassador in Zimbabwe, along with
five other of his colleagues, met with - mainly on the election issue, but
I'm just wondering did they bring up - did he bring up, or she, whoever the
Ambassador is, bring up the case of the Cubans with the Zimbabwe Government?
MR. BOUCHER: I'll have to check on that.
QUESTION: On Korea again, the Chairman Kim Chong-il wait to visit Seoul
at an appropriate time and the President Kim Dae Jung declared that the
summit has been successful. How do you appreciate this development?
MR. BOUCHER: We think it's great. I think I've said many times we think
it's a very positive development and we welcome a dialogue. We hope the
process continues and that it succeeds in reducing tensions on the
QUESTION: On this new Senate legislation that has, I believe, passed
committee that would make disclosing classified information a felony, it
would significantly toughen the law as it stands now. And as I understand,
the CIA is for it; the Justice Department is against it. Can you tell us
where the State Department stands?
MR. BOUCHER: My understanding is that the Administration has taken a
position against the legislation, that there is an Administration position
against the legislation. I do want to make clear that we certainly support
appropriate measures to prevent unauthorized disclosures of classified
national security information. We believe leaks are very damaging to our
foreign policy and to particularly our negotiating stance.
When appropriate, certain incidents can be referred to the Justice
Department for prosecution. You'd have to check with them under what
statutes that is. But we also punish people for leaking information with
appropriate administrative and personal sanctions. So we take it seriously,
but the Administration does not support this legislation.
QUESTION: Earlier today, as it does every year, Amnesty International
released its annual human rights - worldwide human rights report, in which
of course you're not surprised at the criticism of the United States is
still there, as it has been. They say that the US is acting with flagrant
violation of international human rights standards, basically in death
penalty cases involving people who are convicted of committing crimes while
they were minors.
And I'm wondering, does this kind of stick in your craw or do you just
completely ignore it? How do you deal with criticism like this?
MR. BOUCHER: I don't want to try to comment bit by bit on a particular
report. Most of these issues that they raise in reports like this are
domestic issues, and what I would say, I guess, is in our diplomacy we
don't claim to be perfect and we recognize that many aspects of human
rights procedures are being improved constantly in the United States.
But we take all these things seriously. We have a very solid judicial
system. We have very solid self-correcting and policing mechanisms, and we
have a free and open discussion of the status of human rights in the United
States. So we do think that we try to live up in this country to the
highest standards. We may not make it occasionally, but that anybody who
wants to talk about the human rights situation in the United States, that's
fine with us.
(The briefing was concluded at 1:05 p.m.)