World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


State Dept. Daily Press Briefing for September 8

Daily Press Briefing Richard Boucher, Spokesman Washington, DC September 8, 2004

INDEX:

SUDAN
- Department of State Report on Atrocities in Darfur
- Interviews of Refugees in Chad
- Legal Definition of Genocide/Determination
- International Community Efforts/Cooperation with UN and African
- Union
- UN Security Council Resolution 1556
- Expanding the African Union's Presence/Monitoring
- Potential Sanctions

RUSSIA
- Beslan, North Ossetia Terrorist Attack
- U.S. Views of Terrorists/Chechen Terrorists
- U.S. Assistance Toward Disaster Relief

NORTH KOREA
- Status of Six-Party Talks

IRAN
- Discussions with European Allies on Iranian Nuclear Program
- Activities
- Violations of Nonproliferation Treaty Safeguards
- Upcoming IAEA Board of Governors Meeting
- Referral to the UN Security Council

SOUTH KOREA
- Uranium Enrichment Disclosure

TRANSCRIPT:

1:13 p.m. EDT

MR. BOUCHER: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for waiting for me today. It's a pleasure to be here. I don't have any statements or announcements. I'd be glad to take your questions.

Mr. Schweid?

QUESTION: Pass.

MR. BOUCHER: Pass?

QUESTION: On the Washington Post, quotes from an eight-page State Department internal report, based on your interviews in Chad of Darfur refugees, can you confirm the gist of that report, that the -- that that specific report has concluded that the government there -- it's not as if this is particularly newsworthy -- but has supported a systematic campaign of killings based on ethnicity and race? Was that the conclusion?

MR. BOUCHER: First of all, the report, the final touch is being put on the report, although the Secretary has had the material of the report in its penultimate form, you might say, for some time. And he's -- as he said yesterday, been studying it carefully. He will offer our assessments tomorrow of that report in his testimony.

The fundamental nature of the situation that was revealed in the interviews that we did is essentially what we've described to you here before and I'm happy to do that again.

We sent out a team, as you know, in August -- actually, it was from July, July and August, July 12th to August 18th. They interviewed 1,136 Sudanese refugees in 19 locations in eastern Chad that were selected in a random and representative manner, we think, from those who were in Chad. We conducted interviews, several person -- different personnel from the State Department, the Human Rights Bureau, the Intelligence and Resources Bureau and the U.S. Agency For International Development, as well as with two nongovernmental organizations that we were working with.

And the goal of the project was to collect systematic and factual information on what has been happening in Sudan in a way that will lead us to better understand exactly what's been going on in these villages and therefore, look at some of the other issues around like the question of whether it's genocide.

I think you all remember from our early briefings, we expected that because most of these people were in Chad that they would have left their villages some time ago and therefore the information we might have would be a little bit dated. But what, in fact, we found was some of the information they had was quite recent and it confirms not only what had been going on, but what continues to go on; and it coincides with some of the information, for example, similar to some of the information that the African Union has been reporting on the continuation of attacks.

What these interviews have revealed is that there's a consistent pattern to the attacks that have taken place and have continued, according to the African Union, as late as last week. Government aircraft have been used to bomb villages. Trucks with government soldiers and then Jingaweit militias on horseback or on camels arrive in the villages. The villages are surrounded. People who flee are attacked and chased down and the villages are looted and burned. That, unfortunately, has been a pattern that we've seen again and again, and we're evaluating information on those attacks, what people saw, what they heard, to try to make further determinations.

But that's the essence of what we found in our own research. It's, as I said, similar to information we'd heard before, similar to the information now being reported in some detail by the African Union. But it's also, I think, collected in a more systematic manner than we had before, and therefore, a more solid basis for making determinations of two kinds. One is, the big question is, you know, is it genocide? What does it all mean?

And even more specifically, the specific questions, what needs to be done? What does the government have to do? What do the rebels have to do? What does the international community have to do? And it helps then inform the kind of decisions we've had to make in preparing the new UN resolution that we are circulating today up at the United Nations that is a strong resolution that's focused on what needs to be done to help the lives of people in Sudan.

QUESTION: If I could just follow up on that. Do you accept -- a senior State Department official, a high-ranking State Department official, is quoted in that story as saying that whether or not it's genocide is a political determination, not a legal one. Do you agree with that?

MR. BOUCHER: I don't -- no, I don't.

QUESTION: So it is a legal question, in your mind?

MR. BOUCHER: There is sort of three elements. One is, what are the facts? Second is, what is the law? Is there a conclusion, therefore, that writes itself, that is based on the facts in the law? Is it absolutely obvious? And, if not, then maybe there is a bit of a political element of what kind of call do you want to make.

But I think we've tried to do this in a systematic manner, so it's -- any conclusions that are reached are based on the facts and based on the legal environment.

QUESTION: So it's not in that gray zone where it might be a political matter?

MR. BOUCHER: I don't want to step into the gray zone today. I think the Secretary will have to give our assessment of the facts and the law and the judgments.

QUESTION: But you just said that there was a gray zone, and you said that it was going to be based on the facts in the law, therefore implying that it wasn't in the gray zone. And I want to -- I mean --

MR. BOUCHER: No, I didn't say it wasn't in a gray zone. I said, theoretically, that's where you start. There's the facts, there's the law. If there's an obvious conclusion, you reach that conclusion. If not, then you have to maybe do some interpretation or reach some political judgments. But we're considering all those factors, first and foremost the facts and the law.

QUESTION: And just last one. Has he made up his mind on that or not yet?

MR. BOUCHER: We're working on what he's going to say tomorrow. He's working on what he's going to say tomorrow.

QUESTION: Can you be more specific on the laws that you are reviewing for his determination? Is it international law, and if so, which documents -- or national U.S. law?

MR. BOUCHER: I didn't actually ask the lawyers specifically that question, but there is the International Genocide Convention is the primary issue that has to be looked at when it comes down to that particular determination.

QUESTION: When you said "pattern" and then you went ahead, you seemed to describe a pattern of behavior, of action, of attack. Is there an ethnic pattern here, too? Well, that's really the point.

MR. BOUCHER: That is one of the points of genocide, if that's the question.

QUESTION: Yeah.

MR. BOUCHER: I didn't introduce that element in the original answer because the issue here is not just genocide, but rather also what needs to be done for the people on the ground, whatever ethnic group they are. But yes, there is a pattern that the Arab militias and the government forces, who are Arab, have been attacking non-Arabs in the villages.

Teri.

QUESTION: You said that you're looking at what needs to be done, but it seems like it's already been laid out over and over for the Sudanese Government what needs to be done, not least of -- in the last UN resolution. So how can you still be wondering what needs to be done when (inaudible) done it.

MR. BOUCHER: I don't know that we're wondering. I think we're focusing more and more on very specific things that the government has to do, in particular that the international community can do to make it better, that the chief element in the new resolution is the call for an expanded African Union force. As you know, we've been working on that with a number of parties, with the United Nations, with other members of the United Nations, with the African Union, with African governments and even with the Sudanese Government and the rebels in the peace talks that are being held in Nigeria.

So that we think that one of the most important things that the international community can do right now is to provide for an expanded presence of African Union forces and to give them a more proactive role in the monitoring of the situation. And that is something that can, we think, should be done in this UN resolution that we're circulating today. It calls on states more specifically to support the African Union's efforts, something the Secretary General has been stressing. It makes clear the Government of Sudan needs to cooperate with the African Union's mission and immediately address any reports of violations that they come out with. It calls on Sudan to facilitate international overflights to monitor the situation and demands that Sudan, in accordance with the April 8th ceasefire agreement, immediately cease all military flights in and over Darfur.

So these things that come out of the information that -- what we see going on on the ground, what we see, what the African Union and others see is devoted -- is directed very specifically at what they can and should be doing. It doesn't change the demands of 1556, but it adds to them in a more focused and specific way.

QUESTION: But if you're focusing on the AU troops, then it seems to me you're absolving -- okay, not absolving, but glossing over the fact that the government didn't do the basic things you asked for in 1556. And isn't it so that you were not able to put anything about sanctions in the new resolution, either?

MR. BOUCHER: The -- first of all, the resolution, I think, makes more explicit that the -- in our view, should make more explicit -- let me put it that way because we're still circulating -- we'll have to discuss the draft. But our proposal makes more explicit that the Council will take actions, including consideration of an embargo on the Sudanese petroleum sector at the time of the next 30-day review. So that prospect is there, remains there in more explicit terms.

QUESTION: It gives another 30-day period?

MR. BOUCHER: But there is a whole series of requirements that are added on in terms of what the government should be doing now and things that the international community can do now to improve the situation.

QUESTION: And another 30-day review?

MR. BOUCHER: There's the continuation of the 30-day periods. Yeah.

QUESTION: Which makes it more than a 30-day period.

MR. BOUCHER: No. No, I mean, you'll see it in the language of the resolution.

QUESTION: Okay.

MR. BOUCHER: It's not quite the same as another 30 days from now, if it was 30 days from the original resolution, then there is time on that. There is a continuation of renewable 30-day periods, rather than some new 30-day period.

QUESTION: If they didn't do any -- if they didn't do what you wanted in this 30 days, why give them more time?

MR. BOUCHER: Let's face it. The first resolution dealt with a number of things. It dealt with humanitarian access. It dealt with security. The UN has reported, we have reported, that much more action was taken in the area of humanitarian access but a few things were done in security that have not effectively altered the situation. We are, at this point, think the next important step to take, the most appropriate step at this time is to specify what needs to be done to help people on the ground in Sudan.

Imposing new sanctions at this time may or may not help people on the ground in Sudan. We know that adding African Union monitors will make them safer. We know that ceasing government flights will make them safer. We know that monitoring and overflights can make them safer. And what we're focused on in this resolution is things that can be done right now by the government but also by the international community to make the people of Darfur safer.

Okay, sir.

QUESTION: What's the point of having a resolution that calls for adding African Union -- more African Union monitors when the Sudanese Government has resisted this in the past?

MR. BOUCHER: The Sudanese Government has discussed this matter, both in Khartoum with our people and some other -- others who have talked to them, and in the peace talks in Nigeria. So we do think that having the United Nations Security Council support this idea, which is supported by, not only Security Council members, but by the Secretary General, by members of the African Union and others, will make it much more likely to happen.

And as you know, the African Union has variously expressed its willingness to do this, and we hope the government will agree to it.

QUESTION: Thank you, Ambassador. On the recent events in Beslan, does the United --

QUESTION: May I do one last Sudan?

MR. BOUCHER: Okay. We're going to finish Sudan, and then we'll come back to --

QUESTION: What do you make of the allegation that the Administration just doesn't want to criticize the Sudanese Government because you fear that they would cooperate even less, if that's possible?

MR. BOUCHER: The Secretary has addressed the issue before about how do you conduct the diplomacy, how do you conduct the pressure. The goal has to be what can you do to help the people on the ground, what can you do to get action by the government; and therefore you do have to calibrate the actions that the international community takes, always seeking to move forward and that
-- just an essential factor of the diplomacy.

QUESTION: Do they go easy on the government because they think --

MR. BOUCHER: I don't think we're going easy on the government, and I don't think the government thinks we're going easy on them either. But the international community needs to calibrate its pressure and focus on its goals to make sure that they can be effective.

QUESTION: And one last one. You said that this resolution will help stop the government flights, the government -- you said that we know that adding AU troops will help and that stopping the government sanctioned planes --

MR. BOUCHER: The government use of aircraft.

QUESTION: Planes. Right.

MR. BOUCHER: Yeah.

QUESTION: How will this help that?

MR. BOUCHER: Well, the resolution makes clear that that is one of the explicit responsibilities -- our draft makes clear.

QUESTION: Wouldn't that be in 1556 also?

MR. BOUCHER: I'd have to go back and check.

QUESTION: Wouldn't that be implicit in 1556?

MR. BOUCHER: It would be implicit. There's a value to making it explicit and to making it one of the measures that will be -- one of the -- I don't want to use the word "measures" twice in one sentence -- that could be one of the things that the -- one of the factors that the Council has to evaluate when it comes time to consider further measures, whether or not they have done that explicit thing.

QUESTION: Okay.

MR. BOUCHER: Yeah. Nicholas.

QUESTION: I realize you just circulated the draft, but do you have a sense of support from other members? I mean, was it -- how much was it done in -- how much does it reflect other people's views or is it a completely U.S. view?

MR. BOUCHER: We have been consulting with some members of the Council. We have been discussing elements of the text with other members of the Council and with key partners in the African Union, for example. So we do think it incorporates different ideas that we've heard from different people. It's the full text being circulated today to other members of the Council, including, for example, the people that co-sponsored 1556. We'll see what the reaction is when we put the whole thing out, but yes, we have discussed the elements of the text with a number of different governments.

QUESTION: And this is -- the U.S. draft is not co-sponsored by anyone else, is that right?

MR. BOUCHER: At this point, we're circulating the U.S. draft. We would expect there to be co-sponsors, but we don't have any others to announce at this point.

Yeah.

QUESTION: Could you do another Sudan one? Since the calibration of pressure -- you were very careful to say pressure by the international community -- but is that calibration, that diplomatic or political calculus that you're doing to figure out what will maybe change the government's behavior, part of your thinking in making the genocide determination?

MR. BOUCHER: I would say, as I said before, first and foremost, the question of genocide is one of fact and one of law.

QUESTION: Right, but you, yourself said that there was a political --

MR. BOUCHER: If there is any political element into it, it's a small factor.

QUESTION: So it might be part of that small factor, then?

MR. BOUCHER: A small factor of a small factor, at most.

Sir.

QUESTION: Thank you. On recent events in Beslan, does the U.S. Government believe it can be solely attributed to international terrorism or that there is specific Chechen aspect to it? And is the U.S. Government likely to be pressuring the Putin administration into seeking a political settlement with the separatists?

MR. BOUCHER: I think, first and foremost, the United States Government has made very, very clear that there is no justification, no excuse for the kind of horrible actions at Beslan. The people who took over the school are terrorists, plain and simple. Groups that sponsor them are terrorists, plain and simple. They need to be fought, they need to be eliminated, and we stand with Russia very closely as they face that threat of terrorism.

Whether it's international terrorism tied to an international group or Chechnya or what other factors, what other sources there might be for this particular action, this particular group, I really think we need to leave to the Russian investigators who will look into all of that in the course of their investigation. I don't have any information or judgments for you on that at this point.

QUESTION: On the political settlement?

MR. BOUCHER: Our views of -- our basic views haven't changed. But we're not dealing with that here. We're dealing with a terrorist attack, a horrible terrorist attack on schoolchildren, and there's no question of political aspects of this. This is terrorism, plain and simple, as far as we're concerned.

QUESTION: I just want to follow up. The Russian Foreign Minister yesterday announced that Russia will be seeking to renew extradition proceedings against Mr. Akhmadov, one of the separatist leaders who is currently residing in the United States. Have you received any official communiqué from Moscow on this?

MR. BOUCHER: I didn't see anything about that, but I'm afraid we don't comment on extradition in any situation, so I'm not in a position to do that.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) pursue the -- I know where you're putting your emphasis, how horrible the event was. But you have and the Secretary have said that political settlement ultimately is the way to resolve the issue and you're open to talking to Chechens. So the question occurs: Are there Chechens you can talk to who can effect a settlement who are not terrorists and separatists?

MR. BOUCHER: I don't --

QUESTION: Who are these Chechens that can be found that can have a -- you know, can help -- help -- can produce a solution when the aggressive Chechen movement is engaged in this type of behavior?

MR. BOUCHER: I don't have --

QUESTION: (Inaudible.)

MR. BOUCHER: -- an instant analysis for you and, frankly, I don't think this is the day or the week for it.

QUESTION: No, I understand.

MR. BOUCHER: That is not a factor here. The factors are that a group of people who are clearly terrorists took over a school and murdered men, women and especially children. That's not a political act. There is no excuse for it. There is no justification in it. There is no political factor in it. And that's the issue that we're dealing with now.

QUESTION: But aren't they in charge of the movement? And if they're in charge of the movement, how can the U.S., good-willed as it is, find --

MR. BOUCHER: I don't know --

QUESTION: -- find a formula --

MR. BOUCHER: I don't know that anyone would say these people are in charge of "the movement" until we know more about who they are and how they operate.

QUESTION: By the way, is there anything further on the Russian suspicion that al-Qaida members may have been in the schoolhouse?

MR. BOUCHER: I don't have anything more on that, but there is a third C-130 that arrived today, if you want to know that.

QUESTION: That's the --

MR. BOUCHER: That's the one that we predicted --

QUESTION: (Inaudible.)

MR. BOUCHER: Unrelated to al-Qaida. I thought he was going to ask the question when he said, "Is there any further -- " and I was all set to answer it and then he went in the other direction.

QUESTION: I asked yesterday.

MR. BOUCHER: But no, there's no further information on al-Qaida. But since you mention it, since I mentioned it, we did have a third C-130 arrive in North Ossetia today. The flight delivered trauma and burn kits valued at $80,000 purchased by the U.S. Agency for International Development's Office of Foreign Disaster Relief. That brings the current value of shipments that we've made, or contributions that we've made, to $735,000.

QUESTION: And this is -- I assume this was requested also by Russia?

MR. BOUCHER: Yeah.

QUESTION: As the other two.

MR. BOUCHER: At Russian request. We're working with the Russians on even other requests that might have, other things they might need.

QUESTION: That was my next question. They haven't made a concrete additional request?

MR. BOUCHER: We're talking to them about other things they might need. I don't have any schedule of flights or deliveries at this point.

Nicholas.

QUESTION: There was today some rhetoric from a Russian general that sounded very much like the doctrine of preemption, talking about going after terrorists anywhere in the world. Is that something that you might be willing to support?

MR. BOUCHER: I have seen some reports of that. I think it's -- I'm not really in a position to interpret it. Any interpretation would have to come from the Russians.

Yeah.

QUESTION: But do you think that -- regardless of interpreting it, I mean, he says, " as for launching preemptive strikes on terrorist bases, we will carry out all measures to liquidate terrorist bases in any region of the world." I mean, I don't think anybody wants you to interpret it. We want to know if the U.S. Government thinks that's a good idea.

MR. BOUCHER: I don't really have any comment on it. Sorry.

Yeah, Tammy.

QUESTION: New topic?

QUESTION: Pardon me. Can I follow up?

MR. BOUCHER: Yeah. No? On this, sir.

QUESTION: Jordan journalists have been released this morning from North Ossetian Federal Security Service prison where they spent four days. Journalists said they felt aggression from Russian law enforcers. Do you have anything about that?

MR. BOUCHER: I don't know about that. I don't have anything on it. Sorry.

QUESTION: The Pentagon announced today that, that a detainee has now been determined no longer to be an enemy combatant and the State Department is working on getting this detainee back home. Can you tell us anything about what's happening?

MR. BOUCHER: Where's home?

QUESTION: Well, that's one of the questions.

MR. BOUCHER: Let me look into it and find out what we are doing. I'm sure they're right. I'll catch up, find out for you. Yeah.

QUESTION: North Korea.

MR. BOUCHER: Yeah.

QUESTION: North Korean Deputy Ambassador announced this morning North Korea will postpone six-party talks this time because of South Korean Government uranium (inaudible). What is your comment?

MR. BOUCHER: Because the South Korea Government what?

QUESTION: Uranium.

MR. BOUCHER: Uranium?

QUESTION: Yeah.

MR. BOUCHER: And -- I'm sorry. I didn't see an official announcement. I'll have to check and see if there is such a thing or if it's a comment.

Sir.

QUESTION: Are you still confident that you're going to have a plenary session by the end of the month?

MR. BOUCHER: I never said we were confident; I said we were willing, that we hoped it would happen, we hoped --

QUESTION: It was hope.

MR. BOUCHER: I wasn't even hopeful, I just hoped that it would happen, which, in our lingo there's a difference. I don't know what it is. But no, we've always said that we, and others, our partners in this matter, were quite prepared and willing and hopeful of going to talks as determined, as scheduled; and we would hope that the North Koreans would agree to that, to do that as well since they agreed originally to come to talks this month. So I'm not aware that they've made any official announcement. We'll obviously want to see what they've said and check with other parties -- see if they've heard anything official. But our goal remains to have the talks as scheduled during the course of this month.

QUESTION: On Iran, they're in talks with the EU again to freeze part of their program. Is the U.S. willing to give the European negotiating method another chance without referral?

MR. BOUCHER: I've seen various reports. I think they've also had discussions with the International Atomic Energy Agency to some extent. I think that's what some of the reports said. I think overall, though, our view, the one I expressed yesterday, remains. There is an effort underway by Iran to confuse the issue a week before the Board of Governors meeting.

We'll have to see if all this discussion leads to real, concrete steps of compliance. What Iran has not done is to suspend all enrichment-related activities, which the Board called for in four resolutions over the past year, and which Iran itself committed at one point to the Europeans to do.

There were six reports over the last 15 months that say that Iran has deliberately violated its Non-Proliferation Treaty safeguards obligations over almost two decades, consistently failed to cooperate fully with the agency over the past 18 months, continued to defy the Board's requests and defiantly abandoned its past promises to the Europeans to suspend its troubling enrichment-related activities. I think the -- given that record, it's hard for the international community to have any confidence in Iran's promises. We believe the latest promises to suspend some enrichment-related activities are made only days before the next Board of Governors meeting and are intended merely to manipulate the discussion next week, delay any serious action by the Board, and buy Iran more time to perfect its uranium enrichment program.

What is needed now is not another pledge by Iran, but rather concrete action by Iran to end its pursuit of nuclear weapons capability, including its pursuit of a complete nuclear fuel cycle that would give Iran that capability. We are continuing to work closely with allies to find a diplomatic solution to Iran's defiance. We believe such a diplomatic solution must include reporting Iran's safeguards of it's -- Iran's noncompliance with its safeguards obligations to the UN Security Council.

QUESTION: Have you noticed any wavering of anybody who was perhaps coming towards your -- coming to your side this time?

MR. BOUCHER: I think I'll let other governments define their position. We continue to talk to other members of the Board, including the EU-3, and the need -- stressing the need to find Iran in noncompliance and to refer that to the Security Council.

QUESTION: Would you characterize your support?

MR. BOUCHER: It's not really in a position at this point to characterize support. We're still days away from the meeting. We'll have to talk about what there is to support, as we get closer.

QUESTION: (Inaudible.)

MR. BOUCHER: I'm not going to try to characterize it today. We're still in discussions with other parties. We'll see what kind of support our position gets. As the Secretary said from the beginning, we'll just have to see whether there is really a consensus in the Board to do this at this point. We think it's the right step and the necessary step, at this point.

QUESTION: Richard, despite your statement that you think it's hard for the international community to have any confidence in Iran's promises and you believe Iran is engaging in this effort to confuse the issue and to manipulate sentiment ahead of the Board, you are not, however, opposing the EU-3 conducting this effort to talk to them about it because you said -- you said, we'll have to see if this leads to concrete steps. So it's fine with you for them to continue pursuing this now (inaudible) skepticism?

MR. BOUCHER: I think we've always been skeptical about the promises that Iran has made, but we've never been opposed to people talking to Iran. The focus, we think, needs to remain, as it has been in the Board, on getting the Iranians to take real steps and concrete steps and not just collecting promises again.

QUESTION: Has the U.S. been talking to South Korea about its --

MR. BOUCHER: Still on Iran?

QUESTION: No, I wasn't on Iran. Sorry.

QUESTION: Just what kind of action would you like to see from the Security Council, sanctions or just warning, or --

MR. BOUCHER: I think that's another step down the road. We obviously have to think about that and look at that, in terms of the Board, the IAEA statutes, and how the Board of Governors needs to handle this at the Agency. We think the appropriate step now for the Board of Governors is to refer it to the UN. When we get to the UN, then we'll discuss with other members of the UN what the steps are that the Security Council might take.

Okay.

QUESTION: Can I try South Korea --

MR. BOUCHER: Okay.

QUESTION: Has the U.S. been talking to the South Koreans to see if anything has been going on beyond those four uranium enrichment experiments, specifically anything involving plutonium?

MR. BOUCHER: I think I'd just have to say, in general terms, we are in touch with the South Korean Government. We're also aware generally of what the South Koreans reported to the International Atomic Energy Agency on nuclear experiments conducted in past years. We have confidence that the agency will pursue all these matters, including any questions that might arise from the declaration, and we've seen them doing that.

So at this point, as far as other possibilities and things, withhold comment. The other day, we did express our satisfaction that South Korea is reporting its activity, was working with the Agency, and was working on mechanisms so that the Agency and the international community could know that the possibilities of recurrence of any actions that shouldn't have taken place can be eliminated.

QUESTION: I hate to pounce on a candid answer like that, but last week, it sounded like the statement was convinced it's over. They have these experiments. I think, first, it was one experiment, and then it mushroomed into four, but I may be wrong. But it's over. They have said, that's it, and you seem to be quite happy to -- I mean, quite -- what's the word? -- prepared to take South Korea at its word.

Now it sounds like maybe a little more -- you could talk to them a little bit more and find out really what else they may possibly, conceivably have been doing.

MR. BOUCHER: Well, I think I'd put it this way, that it's our understanding is that all these activities were in the past, and some of them quite a while back in the past, but that it's important for the agency to do a thorough job with the South Koreans on this, to make sure that they're fully understood, that it's clear that they have not occurred again and that they will not occur again. That's what we stressed from the beginning, and that's where questions may be asked and we assume they'll be answered.

QUESTION: Would it not have been better if the South Koreans had fessed up about these activities earlier?

MR. BOUCHER: There always comes a point for people to fess up about their activities. The point was reached in South Korea because they signed the Additional Protocol in February, a step which we have encouraged nations around the world to take, and they were presenting their initial declaration, which was a comprehensive look at all of the activities. And that, I think, is commendable that they are bringing these matters to light at the appropriate time of submitting this declaration.

QUESTION: Thanks.

MR. BOUCHER: Okay.

(The briefing was concluded at 1:44 p.m.)

###

DPB # 148

[End]


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Mexico: Violence And Repression Of Teachers

The member organizations of Network for Peace express our indignation over the acts of repression that the Mexican State has carried out, through the police forces... In Chiapas, Guerrero and Oaxaca, the conflict has resulted in murders of teachers and civilians as well as hundreds of wounded and dozens of people arrested. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Britain's Pleas For Mercy

So… Boris Johnson is promising that he won't be holding a snap general election, if he's chosen as the next UK Conservative Party leader. Reportedly, he is even making that promise a feature of his leadership campaign, since a vote for Boris would therefore mean (wink wink) that his colleagues wouldn't have to risk their jobs and face the wrath of the British public until 2020. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news