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DoD News Briefing24/10 - Rumsfeld and Gen. Myers

DoD News Briefing24/10 - Rumsfeld and Gen. Myers

NEWS TRANSCRIPT from the United States Department of Defense

DoD News Briefing Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld Thursday, Oct. 24, 2002 - 1:44 p.m. EDT

(Also participating was Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff.)

Rumsfeld: Good afternoon. Let me make a few comments before we start.

First, we've mentioned from time to time that there's been a good many so-called caches of weapons found in Afghanistan. The total number, I'm told, as of last week was 475. In the beginning, they were found during military sweeps. Somewhat later, they were located during small attacks on enemy concentrations, or through liaisons with regional leaders. Most recently, as the coalition forces have developed relationships with the people in Afghanistan and been physically present in the areas, the overwhelming majority of the information has come from tips by local Afghans.

The numbers -- I just looked at a tally, and it's -- it's something like this: AK-47 rifles, 2,100, with 720,000 rounds; heavy machinegun ammunition -- over 5.0 million rounds; mortars -- 190 mortars -- with 70,000 mortar rounds; 200 RPGs plus, and some 14,600 rounds; 2,116 air-to-air missiles; and 2,708 rocket launchers; and 42,997 107-mm and 122-mm rockets; 359 MANPADS; 302 SA-7s; 3,693 mines; 72 anti-aircraft weapons. Just enormous numbers of weapons.

And the important thing is, this transition from finding them because of military sweeps to finding them with very small numbers of U.S. forces because local Afghans are literally coming up and alerting the coalition forces -- this is not just U.S., but the coalition forces -- to the location.

A brief word on a subject that was raised with me in the hall a little earlier this afternoon about the sniper case. Needless to say, we all share the hope that the ordeal will soon be over. From everything we've seen here, the cooperation on this matter between the authorities at the federal, state and local levels have been excellent. I understand that the Justice Department has asked our department for some information on at least one individual that they have in custody, and we're working with Justice officials to determine what may be releasable.

We continue to get a number of inquiries about the department's assistance to other federal agencies and local jurisdictions in connection with this case. That certainly is understandable. But the department is, as you know, not the lead agency, and as a result we will not be commenting.

We do plan to continue to refer all inquiries to the Department of Justice and the task force that's organized to work on this matter.

I -- just as I did in the case of the EP-3, where I felt it was a sufficiently sensitive matter that one voice dealing with it was best, and we -- the Department of State took the lead there, in this instance, it's the Department of Justice that we feel is the appropriate agency.


Myers: I have nothing, sir.

Rumsfeld: Questions? Charlie?

Q: Mr. Secretary, understanding what you said about the sensitivity of it and them being the lead agency, could you at least confirm that one of the two arrested had served in the U.S. military and perhaps tell us the circumstances under which he separated from the military? Could you at least confirm that, sir?

Rumsfeld: I not only can't confirm that, I can't even confirm that your statement's correct, that he -- they were arrested. I understand people are -- a couple of people are in custody, but I do not know if they have been arrested as such.

Let's see. Yes?

Q: Mr. Secretary, when last we met, using the example of the Cuban Missile Crisis, you built a very strong case for action vice inaction. And even though we know --

Rumsfeld: I think I thoughtfully examined the elements of both action -- the risks of action and the risks of inaction.

Q: Oh, no question. Magnificently --

Rumsfeld: Good. Okay. I feel better.

Q: (Laughs.)

Q: But the -- even though, as you often say, and as we know, the ultimate decision as to any kind of war with Iraq is up to the president, may I ask you point-blank, sir, if Donald Rumsfeld had his way, would you go after Saddam Hussein militarily? And if so, would you do it soon, based on the inaction versus action?

Rumsfeld: Yes, you may ask that. (Soft laughter.) Will I answer that? No.

The -- I think that as I said -- and I'm very serious about it -- that these are really important issues, and it's terrific that they're being raised and discussed and considered and weighed. And I'll be -- I'm happy to talk about them, but one thing I'm not happy to talk about is any advice I might or might not give the president. And I just don't do that.

Q: How about a personal opinion?

Rumsfeld: (Chuckles.)


Q: Mr. Secretary, you spoke on Tuesday a little bit about planning to release some detainees from Guantanamo Bay. I'm wondering if you can update us a little bit on whether that's happened, or be a little more clear about what the plan is -- numbers, and so forth.

Rumsfeld: The last I looked, it was less than a handful.

Q: How many in a handful?

Rumsfeld: One hand has five digits. (Laughter.)

Myers: It's less than that.

Rumsfeld: It's less than that, maybe something like that. (Holds up four then three fingers.) (Laughs; laughter.)

Myers: I think it's kind of like this. (Holds up hand off-camera.)

Rumsfeld: Is it? Yeah. (Laughs; laughter.)

Myers: Actually, it could be that, but --

Rumsfeld: Has it happened? No, it hasn't happened. It's in process. These things take a little time. But --

Q: And their nationalities?

Rumsfeld: Gosh. Not Americans.

Q: Multiple nationalities?

Rumsfeld: I think there may be two, one or two, but not more nationalities.


Q: General Myers, did the hunt for the sniper involve the new U.S. Northern Command? Or did it reach that threshold?

Myers: I think -- I think the support that we provided to the Department of Justice was -- Northern Command was involved, but I think it was done through other means for this particular time. And that will evolve over time -- the support to federal -- at least federal authorities will evolve over time. I think this one was essentially done through other means, through the DOMS process, as opposed to Northern Command.

But as you know, Northern Command has just -- we're calling it initial operational capability, but not full. So it will take us a while to pick up all of that. But I think they were involved.

Rumsfeld: There's one other thing I forgot to do, and that is to go to New York Times editorial comment, which said something about me using the word "bulletproof." And it's true, I did. What happened was, as I recall, I think I was here on probably the 26th of September, I think I was told, and in a press briefing I was asked about the linkage between al Qaeda and Iraq. And I took a piece of paper -- this one, as fate would have it -- which I had gotten from the Central Intelligence Agency -- and asked them -- which I'd asked them for -- and I believe I said that, that a number of us had said, "Give us the definitive word." And so I read off of it and said it was from the intelligence agency, I believe.

Then I was down the next day, I think, in Atlanta, and I was asked about this subject, and I said that the agency had come back to me with five or six sentences that were bulletproof. And it was the -- when I said the -- something was bulletproof, I was referring to the five or six sentences that I had read here off of a piece of paper which I'd received from the agency.

What we've done in the department has been to be very careful about, oh, having John McLaughlin, for example, or George Tenet do the briefing in Warsaw or do the briefings when people come into the building so that everyone is aware what the agreed community position is on intelligence. And I think it was The New York Times had an editorial that was querying about the word "bulletproof," and that's the -- that is what it had reference to.


Q: Speaking about The New York Times and their article today, they have this article about a Defense Department team sifting through intelligence information separate from, obviously, the CIA and the DIA. Can you talk about that team, what it does and why it's created?

Rumsfeld: I asked about that this morning after skimming that article, and I'm told that after September 11th, a small group -- I think two, to start with, and maybe four now, or some number close to less than a handful of people in the policy shop were asked to begin poring over this mountain of information that we were receiving on intelligence-type things, and that they have been doing that. It is not -- any suggestion that it's an intelligence-gathering activity or an intelligence unit of some sort, I think, would be a misunderstanding of it.

Q: The suggestion in the article is that you're unhappy with the intelligence that you're getting about the link between al Qaeda and Iraq.

Rumsfeld: Why would I be unhappy? The intelligence is what intelligence is. It says their best estimates.

If you go back in history, I was on the -- chairman of the Ballistic Missile Threat Commission, and at the end of that, we had been asked by the Congress and by George Tenet to take a look at the intelligence community and make an assessment of our best judgment as to what the strengths and weaknesses are, where the gaps were, were too many things stovepiped and that type of thing. We did, and we prepared, this group of -- with one exception, namely me -- of really very thoughtful people, Larry Welch and a whole host of excellent talents who were users of intelligence over the decades -- came out with an intelligence side letter, which we then got unclassified. And it's around someplace, and it's worth reading. It's very good.

One of the things in there I can remember we put in was the importance of having well-informed users of intelligence in Iraq with the suppliers of intelligence, with the analysts. And to the extent there's no feedback coming from a reader, a user of a piece intelligence, then one ought not to expect that the level of competence and -- not competence so much as currency on the part of people supplying that intelligence will be as good as it would as if there's an effective interaction.

And there is a very effective interaction going on. I don't get briefed today by anyone other than the CIA. I get briefed every morning by them. And it is an excellent relationship between the Department of Defense and the intelligence community, in this sense: they're really well knitted together at the CENTCOM level in Afghanistan and all of that activity. George Tenet and I couldn't have a closer relationship. We meet together for lunch, I think, almost once a week. We are able to sort through issues, and we get them dealt with.

There are always are going to be people who have different intelligence views within the agency, and there's no question but that on some of these important terrorism issues, you're seeing differences of opinions out of the intelligence community and the Central Intelligence Agency.

There also are going to be people who will ask a lot of questions, and there's no question but that the people in the Department of Defense, General Myers or Rumsfeld and others, ask a lot of the questions of the intelligence community, and then they get -- they come back with responses.

But I'm not unhappy at all about intelligence. Indeed, I have found my briefer to be very effective and to -- responsive in terms of testing -- pinging the system to see -- to get the best answers that they can on subjects that I find of interest. (To the general.) Don't you?

Myers: Absolutely.

Rumsfeld: Yeah. It's been a good relationship.

Q: But of course there are people at the CIA whose job it is to do just what you say, to go over this mountain of information and to draw up analysis. So why, again, is it necessary to have people here doing exactly what intelligence analysts at the CIA are supposed to be doing?

Rumsfeld: People are doing that all over town. They do it at the State Department. They do it in my office. I do it. I take this information and read it and think about it and sort and ask questions and talk to other people about it. We discuss it in our morning meeting with General Myers and General Pace. It is what one ought to do.

Q: If you think about it, what comes out of intelligence is not fixed, firm conclusions. What comes out are a speculation, an analysis, probabilities, possibilities, estimates --

Q: Best guesses --

Rumsfeld: -- assessments, if you will. And then you take those -- if you think that -- if that comes from the intelligence side, then it goes to the policy people. That's what our job is. Our job is to take that information, look at it, think about it, and then make judgments off of it.

You don't -- it doesn't come out saying, okay, Mr. Policymaker, turn right, turn left, do this, do that. It comes out, well, on the one hand this, and on the one hand that. And then the policymakers have to function off of -- almost always -- a great deal less than perfect knowledge -- perfect information. It's going to be 10 percent, or 20 percent, or 30 percent of what's knowable you might know. And so it's happening everywhere that people do that. The president does it. All of us do. And it's hard work -- and it's not easy; it's difficult.


Q: You started by saying you read this article this morning and asked about it --

Rumsfeld: I think I said I skimmed it --

Q: Well --

Rumsfeld: I don't want to be held accountable for -- (laughter) --

Q: And nonetheless, you did say that you asked about this effort this morning --

Rumsfeld: I did.

Q: -- after seeing it in the newspaper.

Rumsfeld: Yeah.

Q: So, were you -- you did not order this organization to be established? You didn't know about it until you saw it in the newspaper this morning?

Rumsfeld: It's interesting. I read my name in headlines, and everything --

Q: It certainly seems Dr. Wolfowitz --

Rumsfeld: -- as though -- as though I'd been some sort of a creator or sponsor of this.

Q: Well it certainly seems Dr. Wolfowitz knew about it -- he was --

Rumsfeld: He did, he did. And I asked him, and I asked Doug Feith, and I asked General Myers, and somebody else -- I can't remember -- and it came back to me that -- roughly what I said; that after September 11th, a couple of people were asked to start going over this. After that, the group of the size -- the size of the group was enlarged to, I think, four, or something. I don't know what it is today. And that they have been looking at terrorist networks, al Qaeda relationships with terrorist states, and that type of thing.

I was told, in answer to a question, that at one moment somebody recommend that I receive a briefing. And that -- that one, or possibly two of the people who do this for Doug Feith, did in fact brief me on something. And that was the sum total -- I knew they worked for Doug, I didn't happen to know that they were in -- what else they did, but I was briefed by them. And then I was so interested in it, I said, gee, why don't you go over and brief George Tenet? So they did. They went over and briefed the CIA. So there's no -- there's no mystery about all this.

Q: What I'm not understanding, so -- was it Dr. Wolfowitz or Doug Feith that ordered this up? And my other --

Rumsfeld: I think it's Doug Feith. It's his shop. The people work for him. I don't know, I didn't ask them that question.

Q: Well, I guess the other question is, when it really gets back to it, how satisfied are you with the intelligence you have seen on the connections between Iraq and al Qaeda? And have you had reason to send some of that intelligence back through the system and ask for harder and harder links to be established between Iraq and al Qaeda? Or are you satisfied with what you got originally?

Rumsfeld: You don't know what you don't know. And so in comes the briefer and she walks through the daily brief, and I ask questions. I couldn't send anything back, as such. What I could do is say, "Gee, what about this? Or what about that? Has somebody thought of this? Could you get me all your sevens or eights" -- or whatever else seems not to be there, what's missing -- those kinds of questions. But I do that every day. Everyone who gets briefed -- (to General Myers) -- You do that.

Myers: Same thing.

Rumsfeld: Yeah. The president, the vice president, everybody does that. They -- then back comes a memo saying, "In response to a question by Secretary Rumsfeld" -- or Secretary Powell or somebody else -- and there's the answer to the question.

Q: So what is the current state of knowledge, I guess, you know, not hypothetically, but realistically, about the links between Iraq and al Qaeda, based on everything you've seen since you talked about it several weeks ago? Do you believe --

Rumsfeld: I -- at least I don't think I know anything more than I did when I read this two or three weeks ago.

Q: You still believe they're very solid links?

Rumsfeld: Well, I have every reason to believe that what the Central Intelligence Agency gave me is correct. And that's why I said it's bulletproof. Because I said, "Tell me what you know," and they told me what they knew. And I said, "Fine. Tell me, when I get all these questions from the press, what I can say; what's unclassified, what could we present." And they gave me this that I read. And it's just that simple.

Q: Mr. Secretary, is the team tasked with looking specifically at links between al Qaeda and Iraq? And if so, have they come to conclusions that are different from those of the intelligence community --

Rumsfeld: I don't know the answer to that question. I think I -- I think I correctly reflected what I was told this morning, that they looked at terrorist networks, relationships with terrorist states. Therefore, that subject would be part of that. Whether it's the totality of it, I would doubt.

And what was the second part of your question?

Q: Whether their conclusions -- whether they've come to different conclusions about the nature of those links than, say, others from the intelligence community.

Rumsfeld: There's very little conclusion-drawing in this business. If you think what I read to you, I read that our understanding of the Iraq-al Qaeda relationship is evolving. So that was one thing I read.

And then I said, "As always, it's based on sources of varying reliability." Some of the information we have received comes from detainees, and particularly some high-ranking detainees.

And then I -- and then it says, "We have solid evidence of the presence in Iraq of al Qaeda members." That was one of the statements, and that's what I read.

Now, conclusions, could they be wrong? I suppose. You know, there's no question they could be wrong in their conclusion, although they do qualify it; they say that their knowledge is evolving. They say that sources are of varying reliability. I mean, I've got every reason to believe that this was very carefully written. I happen to know from looking at the classified information that there's more there than is unclassified, but I wouldn't think it would be fair to say that there's anything wrong with this.


Q: If I can be the cynical one again, the problem, I think, that this story raises in the minds of especially those who might be skeptical of the administration is that the intelligence community, professional intelligence analysts -- who, presumably, don't have any political loyalties -- are just calling it as they see it; but when you have an office that's staffed by political appointees, are they maybe looking for facts to support preconceived conclusions about what's going on? I think that's what's giving folks pause.

Rumsfeld: First of all, I don't know that they're political appointees, the people in the office.

Q: Well, it's headed by a political appointee.

Rumsfeld: I don't know that, either.

Q: Well, the office is headed by a political appointee.

Rumsfeld: The overall office, but not this group of people.

Q: But can you address --

Rumsfeld: (Inaudible) -- we get --

Q: Got it. Okay.

Rumsfeld: Above all, precision, Pam.

Q: (Laughs.) Yes, sir!

Rumsfeld: We want precision.

Q: But can we just address the appearance here? And maybe you can --

Rumsfeld: You know, I don't know how to answer that. It is -- is it possible that there are people on the face of the Earth who believe something and they ask enough questions trying to validate something? I suppose that's true.

Q: But nothing here.

Rumsfeld: But I would think a good analyst would hypothesize that something might be true and then ask the same questions down that track, and then hypothesize that something else might be true and ask the same questions down that track. If I were an analyst, a professional analyst instead of an amateur analyst, I would do that. I would put myself in the shoes of people who might want to do something a different way, and end up down that different track, and then say, "Well, how do I feel about all that?" and weigh them against each other and then make an assessment.

Q: Is the problem --

Rumsfeld: So you're asking me is there anyone in that office who might have done that? Well, I guess I hope so.

Q: Is the issue here --

Rumsfeld: Do I think that's bad or evil or wrong? No.

Q: -- that the intelligence analysts haven't looked at all the hypotheses, and then this group has come up with some others that they're now seeking --

Rumsfeld: That I don't know. That I don't know.

Q: Mr. Secretary, may I just go back to the sniper? In general, because there has been a name that's been linked to the military, because this particular person once served in the Persian Gulf, as did McVeigh, I wondered if you could just put in perspective for the military -- and also for General Myers to do this -- that there are thousands of people who go through the military and that --

Rumsfeld: Millions.

Q: Could you put that in perspective in terms of it's not necessarily a black eye for the military or anything like that?

(General Myers confers off mike with Secretary Rumsfeld.)

Rumsfeld: (To General Myers) Well, she asked you. (Laughter.)

Q: I mean -- but really. To put that in perspective, really.

Myers: Oh, I think that's -- I mean, first, I think that's ludicrous to think this is a black eye on the military. We have -- what? -- between active duty and Reservists today, over 2.2 million serving. They turn over at some rate, so there's -- you know, there's tens of millions out there who have served. And to say that one person, because in this case, the one that they have in custody is a male, that all males are bad, or that they served or that they belong to a certain religious organization, or skin color or anything like that, I think that's just really a stretch.

Rumsfeld: Furthermore, this person, to my knowledge, hasn't been arrested, hasn't been charged. So your question is taking about five leaps ahead.

Q: May I just follow up one more time? Also, Fort Lewis -- if you could explain how large Fort Lewis is and not a sniper training place -- just to outline -- (laughter). But could you explain how large a base Fort Lewis is and that it does a variety of things --

Myers: I'm not the expert on Fort Lewis. And I know what you know. I know it's a large installation, and I know that the Army uses it for a lot of its -- right now for some of its transformational activities and some interim brigades. So it is large and there are -- I mean, there's multiple-thousands of folks stationed there, and their families, and so forth.

Beyond that, I don't know how I could describe it.

Rumsfeld: And over a period of years, it's tens of thousands of people who serve there, and they're just terrific people. I was out there earlier this year, or late last year, and had a terrific visit with the young men and women serving our country out there.

Q: Can I ask --

Q: General? General?

Rumsfeld: Wait a second.


Q: The man in custody -- two men, actually, in custody. The name has been released. Law enforcement officials have told us that he served in the military. We've gotten names of places that he has served, including Fort Lewis and Fort Ord.

I don't understand why the military can't give us some elaboration on his record --

Rumsfeld: They might be able to. I think they have to --

Q: Well, that's you.

Rumsfeld: Well, it just happened in the last 15 minutes. I mean, sometimes --

Q: I think that's an exaggeration.

Rumsfeld: Sometimes I overstate for emphasis. (Laughter.)

It happened today and --

Q: No, no. It was last night.

Rumsfeld: Was it last night? I thought it was early this morning.

Q: Last night.

Q: 1:00 a.m. was when he was apprehended.

Rumsfeld: 1:00 a.m. is today, so I wasn't too far off. (Laughter.) And that was the middle of the night, right? And there are so many laws and so many restrictions about privacy that have been passed, and which restrict and determine precisely what people can do, that the -- it happened at 1:00 a.m. It's now 13 hours later and 10 minutes. And the people upstairs in the legal shop are looking at -- then at some point after 1:00 a.m. a request came into this building -- let's pretend it was this morning and -- that's a guess, don't hold me to it. And then they go out and start looking up the laws and seeing what they can release, and beginning to be able to respond, and they will in due -- in good course.

Q: I'm sorry, one more. For today's news cycle. (Laughter.) Can you tell us whether -- we've been talking a lot about military intelligence, resources. Can you tell us whether military intelligence resources or personnel have been brought to bear at all in helping -- in this hunt for the sniper?

Rumsfeld: I think what I would say is that the --

Q: Apart from surveillance.

Rumsfeld: Yeah, I didn't -- I'm not confirming anything. I'm just saying the Department of Defense has cooperated in some ways, and we're not going to discuss in what ways --

Q: Well, General -- excuse me -- as the nation's top --

Rumsfeld: -- for this new cycle.

Q: -- as the nation's top military officer, this whole sniper thing has engendered fear, and horror, and anger in this area. And while nobody would -- if this gentleman served in the military, nobody would blame the military for what's happened. Could you at least disabuse people of the notion that he received some kind special sniper training in the military?

Myers: I could, but I'm not going to do that. I mean, I could go through the history, because I have the history here. The problem is just as the secretary said it --

Rumsfeld: Is that right? I don't have that! (Laughter.)

Myers: I have the history. I have the history, yeah, if I could -- we could leave it on the floor. (Laughter, cross talk.) I could -- I could leave it on the floor. But the problem is the Privacy Act, and what can be released or not, and that's being worked with Justice right now, so you're going to have to be patient while they work through it. We would be criticized if we were to release information prematurely and that's -- you know, you don't want to jeopardize any of this business right now. This is --

Q: How about on background, General? (Laughter.)

Q: Mr. Secretary, you said -- (inaudible) --

Myers: Told you I had it on background.

Q: -- (inaudible) --

Rumsfeld: Wait a second -- let me --

Q: -- Justice Department had come to the Pentagon --

Rumsfeld: -- let me give some other folks a couple of questions.

Q: Secretary, you opened this thing with talking about the weapons caches that have been found. And on Tuesday, General Myers talked about the new battalion of Afghan army they're training. There's been concern that some of the weapons you've been uncovering you've been turning back over to some of the -- you know, regional, you know, executives, warlords, whatever you want to call them. And that undermines your attempt to create -- help create -- a national army.

Rumsfeld: To my best knowledge, that's false. When I got into this act, they were destroying everything they collected. Being a taxpayer, I was offended by that, and I asked them to please stop destroying those weapons and save anything that is stable and usable.

They -- I am told by them that they have promptly obeyed that instruction and that they now destroy anything that's unstable or not usable. And they are saving all the rest, and it is for the Afghan National Army. And to my knowledge, not a single round or weapon has gone to a regional leader.

Q: (Off mike) -- someone who's been over there.

Q: Not over there.

Rumsfeld: Interesting.

Q: Yeah.

Q: There's a different story coming out of Afghanistan.

Rumsfeld: Meaning they're --

Q: Special Forces guys in charge of the training told me, on the record --

Myers: We'll have to look at it.

Rumsfeld: Wouldn't that be a surprise to you?

Myers: That would be a surprise to me.

Q: You really should read UPI more. (Laughter.)

Rumsfeld: It is possible that --

Q: (Off mike.)

(Groans from the press corps.)

Q:, world. (Laughs.)

Q: We've got a lot of -- (off mike) -- here.

Rumsfeld: Give that guy the hook. (Laughter.)

It is entirely possible that when we say who captured the weapons, we should be more careful. It may very well be that Afghan forces find the caches and keep them. It may very well be that a U.S. element will be embedded in an Afghan group, and a tip-off will come on a cache, and the cache will remain with the Afghan group that found the cache.

If it is U.S. forces, I believe I am correct. If it's coalition forces, I believe I am correct. And if I am wrong, I'll bet it changes in a week.

Q: Some of George Tenet's forces --

Q: Can I ask a --

Rumsfeld: Ah.

Q: You might want to ask him --

Rumsfeld: That -- I'm only speaking for the Department of Defense. It may very well be that there are people from other government agencies on the ground who dispose of things differently than we do, but I'll check.

Q: Can one of you explain what -- the relative advantage the U.S. gets, in the southern no-fly zone of Iraq, of using armed Predators? What was the rationale for using that? And what advantage does it give the United States that perhaps you have not had before?

Myers: The real advantage, of course, that the Predator brings, armed or unarmed, is the fact that it's persistent. It's over the target area for long periods of time, and it can move between targets. That's the first advantage.

And then it can be present while aircraft are patrolling and perhaps see with its sensors reaction to the aircraft that are flying -- in other words, surface-to-air missiles or anti-aircraft fire. And of course, then, they can respond.

Rumsfeld: Last question.

Q: Thank you. (Off mike.)

Myers: So I mean -- so that's -- it means it's going to see it and be able to respond immediately. And that's --

Q: (Off mike) -- and -- but even though it has a tiny warhead --

Myers: Right.

Q: -- that is still effective, or has it been effective?

Myers: Yes. On targets, it's effective. Absolutely. You get some targets, of course, it's not, because -- like you said. But it's -- so it's only certain targets.

Rumsfeld: We will make this the last question.

Q: Mr. Secretary, thank you. North Korea has admitted they are developing nuclear weapons. That is --

Rumsfeld: I'm sorry. Start over for me.

Q: North Korea has nuclear weapons --

Rumsfeld: North Korea.

Q: Yes. That is a direct breach of Geneva agreement. Under the circumstances, does the United States have any plan to take military pressure to North Korea?

Rumsfeld: I think that the announcement or the revelation -- the confession that North Korea made to Assistant Secretary of State Kelly was a violation, as you say, of that situation. It's a violation of the North-South agreement between North Korea and South Korea. It's a violation of the International Atomic Energy Commission arrangements. It's a violation, I think, of the Nonproliferation -- no, of the agreed framework -- four separate agreements, I'm told, that they're violating.

What the president and the secretary of State have indicated is they plan to conduct rather intensive discussions with the Republic of South Korea and discussions with Japan, our allies and participants in the agreed framework, and then, in addition, talk to some key participants in the world, including the People's Republic of China, Jiang Zemin -- who's going to be Crawford, Texas, this weekend, I believe -- and certainly the Russians -- those two countries have borders on North Korea -- and work with them to fashion some sort of a plan as to what should be done about what is clearly a very unfortunate and dangerous situation. The country has violated every agreement that it's entered into with its -- with other countries in the international community.

Thank you very much.

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World Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On The Ongoing Carnage In Gaza

The past month has devoted a lot of space to the best music and films of 2018, and far less to the past year’s human rights violations. The under-reporting on the ongoing carnage in Gaza has been a case in point. More>>


Deal On Paris Implementation: Rapid Action Urged At Climate Change Conference

Following a year of devastating climate disasters around the globe, from California to Kerala, and Tonga to Japan, the annual UN Climate Change Conference opens with the goal of finalising the implementation guidelines for the Paris Climate Change Agreement. More>>


New Report: Refugees In PNG Being Pushed To The Brink

Refugee Council of Australia and Amnesty International paint a stark picture of a traumatised refugee population hit hard by Australia's recent healthcare and counselling service cuts, as well as continued threats to their safety. More>>


Jamal Khashoggi: UK, France, Germany Join Calls For Credible Investigation

Germany, the United Kingdom and France share the grave concern expressed by others including HRVP Mogherini and UNSG Guterres, and are treating this incident with the utmost seriousness. More>>


MSF Not Wanted: Nauru Government Shows Continued Callousness

The Nauruan Government’s decision to ask Doctors Without Borders to immediately leave shows continued callousness towards asylum seekers desperately seeking a safe place to call home, Green MP Golriz Ghahraman said today. More>>