THE WHITE HOUSE Office of the Press Secretary ______________________________________________________________ For Immediate Release May 20, 1998 PRESS BRIEFING BY MIKE MCCURRY The Briefing Room .................. Q Would the Clinton administration like to see China be Pakistan's security guarantor, in other words put them under a kind of iron-clad nuclear umbrella? MR. MCCURRY: We would like steps taken by all governments in the region to enhance regional security and stability. And there are a number of ways that can happen and a number of ways in which we pursue our diplomacy in coming weeks and months, we'll try to make that happen, in light of India's test. Q So is that one of them? MR. MCCURRY: There will be lots of discussions about ways in which we can enhance security and balance on the Indian subcontinent. Q Well, when would he be ready to present Pakistan with measures that you could take to improve their security beyond the F-16s, which they've already dismissed as being not good enough? MR. MCCURRY: I'm just not previewing the kind of substantive discussions we've had with the government of Pakistan or others about ways in which in the face of the Indian nuclear test we can work to try to put the genie back in the bottle and to limit tensions. Q Mike, was it a mistake with hindsight that the U.S. was so tough on terms of proliferation as far as the Pakistanis are concerned because now U.S. leverage in trying to convince the Pakistanis not to detonate a nuclear device is rather limited? MR. MCCURRY: When we imposed sanctions on the M-11* transfer back in '94? Q Or the Pressler Amendment and all of that -- not this administration, the U.S. government over a couple of administrations. MR. MCCURRY: Well, as most executive branches have, this executive branch has indicated some measure of disagreement with Congress when they tried to handcuff the executive branch in the performance of its constitutional responsibility to conduct foreign policy. And there has been some chaffing at that, yes.