News

Great Seal

U.S. Department of State

Daily Press Briefing

INDEX
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 15, 1998
Briefer: JAMES B. FOLEY

NORTH KOREA
7Status of Heavy Fuel Oil Delivery to North Korea
7US-DPRK Talks on Suspect Underground Construction
8New UN Appeal for Food Aid


U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
OFF-CAMERA DAILY PRESS BRIEFING
DPB # 138
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 15, 1998, 1:20 P.M. (CORRECTED)
(ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)

....................

QUESTION: On North Korea, a question -- do you have a current status of the oil delivery of '98?

MR. FOLEY: Current status of what? I'm sorry, I didn't get that.

QUESTION: Oil delivery - the fuel oil delivery to North Korea, '98.

MR. FOLEY: Oh, fuel oil delivery. Well, before Congress went out of session, additional moneys were appropriated that allowed the Administration to purchase additional amounts of heavy fuel oil that we are in the process of delivering. I believe that with that appropriation, that we were in a position to met most of our obligations, in terms of providing heavy fuel oil in calendar year 1998 under the agreed framework.

Not all of our obligations -- and my understanding is that the Administration has been examining ways in which to make up for the remaining short fall. I have nothing specific for you on that.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) -- number?

MR. FOLEY: I don't have a specific number.

QUESTION: So you can't say anything - President has signed a waiver?

MR. FOLEY: Well, we are working hard on the issue, and we intend to meet our obligations.

QUESTION: Just to clarify a point, have the North Koreans at any time refused to allow - said they wouldn't go along with the inspections of this site you all discovered, or haven't they just attached conditions to the inspection?

MR. FOLEY: Well, I am not in a position to comment publicly about the specifics of this ongoing negotiation. As I indicated on Friday when the latest round ended, some progress had been made; some gaps were narrowed, but gaps remain. That's why we're hoping to meet again soon to resume these negotiations.

QUESTION: There's a new plea from the UN for food relief for North Korea.

MR. FOLEY: Well, as I indicated yesterday, the United States' decision to donate food aid to the World Food Program 1998 appeal was based on humanitarian need. Obviously, as the assessments for another appeal in 1999 are being formulated, preliminary indications are that humanitarian food assistance may still be needed.

If such an appeal is issued, we would judge our response based on the humanitarian needs the World Food Program and other international humanitarian agencies have assessed. As you know, our track record in responding to such appeals has been very good over the last years.

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(The briefing concluded at 2:00 P.M.)

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