EXCERPTS THE WHITE HOUSE Office of the Press Secretary ______________________________________________________________ For Immediate Release May 11, 1998 PRESS BRIEFING BY MIKE MCCURRY The Briefing Room 1:30 P.M. EDT Q What is the President reaction to the nuclear tests in India and how will he express that reaction? MR. MCCURRY: The President is deeply distressed by the announcement of three nuclear tests. He has authorized a formal presentation of our displeasure to be made to the government in New Delhi. While it was foreseen, given the electoral program of the newly-elected party that they might take this step, it still flies in the face of an international consensus about the need to promulgate and nurture the new regime on a comprehensive test ban, and we will certainly be sharing those thoughts and others with the new government in India. Q Will this jeopardize any presidential plans to go to India? MR. MCCURRY: It's impossible to speculate at this point about what impact this might have on the President's future travel plans. Q Are sanctions being anticipated? MR. MCCURRY: Sanctions are already anticipated when non-nuclear member states violate the restrictions that exist, or the consensus about those restrictions. There are certain unilateral U.S. sanctions that may apply, and those are under study at this point. Q And what would those be? MR. MCCURRY: I'm not fully aware. Apparently in law, I believe there is a Glenn amendment that may be applicable, but we're looking at that question now. Q Are you saying the President might decide not to go -- hasn't he already accepted an invitation? MR. MCCURRY: He has and I'm declining to speculate on whether this will have any impact on those plans. Q Do you think that this heralds a new kind of government in India, where they will be more belligerent and they're preparing more of their arms for -- MR. MCCURRY: Well, there is a new government and that new government made clear during the campaign how it wished to approach the posture it would take with respect to nuclear matters. But setting that aside, we think it still is a negative development to see these tests publicly announced and undertaken by the government. And for all the reasons that we are working hard to promulgate the Comprehensive Test Ban, we would the governments would refrain from expanding the use of fissile materials at a time when we are trying to limit it. Q Who is talking to them? Who is carrying the message? MR. MCCURRY: We'll have to check and see. I think initially it was going to be communicated through Embassy New Delhi, but we can get more on that. They were addressing some of that over at the State Department as I came out here. ................ Q And also, has the United States spoken with India's neighbors to ask them not to quickly respond to the actions -- MR. MCCURRY: Certainly we have had contact with the government of Pakistan and urged restraint, yes. Q On India again, was the administration caught off guard by this underground test, or where there some imminent signs this was about to happen? MR. MCCURRY: It is my understanding we had no advance notification that the tests would occur. Q So was it a surprise? MR. MCCURRY: I can't answer that without delving into the kinds of information that we view and do not discuss here.