News

[EXCERPT] U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY BRIEFING

DPB # 65 TUESDAY, APRIL 29, 1997 1:23 P.M.

BURNS:
Tomorrow, we unveil our annual report on Patterns of Global Terrorism:
1996. I want to start the proceedings at 11:45 a.m. tomorrow morning
here in the briefing room, on the record with Ambassador Phil Wilcox.
He, of course, is our coordinator for counterterrorism. He will
present our views on the major patterns of terrorism during the last
year. He will also answer your questions on some of the specific
countries concerned. That will be on the record.

I plan to make copies of the report available at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow
morning. It will be embargoed until the press briefing. Then it's your
free choice after that to put it on the wires. I'm also going to put
this on the Internet at 12:30 p.m. -- excuse me, at 11:45 a.m., and
that is www.state.gov. The following day, May 1st, at 3:00 p.m.,
Ambassador Wilcox will be over the Foreign Press Center to essentially
review the same issues with those people who can't make it to the
briefing.
...............

Q: Have new allegations been raised about China's export of chemical
weapons equipment to Iran or Pakistan?

BURNS:  New allegations?

Q:  New allegations.

BURNS:  New allegations.  How new, Sid?

Q: Well, last time we visited this issue, I didn't hear anything about
chemical weapons equipment -- a lot of missiles and so forth.

BURNS: I would have to check. There have been so many allegations from
a variety of sources that it's hard for me to say this is new and that
is old. But when we do see the allegations, we look into them in some
detail. We raise them with the Chinese. Secretary Albright raised a
number of concerns that we have yesterday.

Q: We follow this pretty closely, and I don't recall ever hearing
about a trading relationship regarding chemical weapons or chemical
weapons-related equipment. And yet yesterday, you --

BURNS:  I don't believe that is entirely new.

Q:  Entirely new would mean, I mean, since the last time they met?

BURNS: I would have to check. I don't negotiate proliferation issues
for us. I would have to check with the people who do. But it's not new
in the last couple of days or the last couple of weeks. We have known
about some concerns. We have heard about some concerns for some time,
and we act upon them.

Q:  Can you talk about those, the situation?

BURNS: We don't talk about them specifically, as you know. We've never
done that. We prefer to keep these private, between us and the
Chinese. Yes, sir.

Q: Yesterday, did the Chinese side pick up the U.S.-Japan security
issue? Was there any kind of a role of Japan playing security station
in East Asia?

BURNS: There was not an extended discussion on Japan. The discussion
focused on Korea, Russia, Tibet and the environment, and the United
Nations last night. David.

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

Q: The Israeli Government today has announced that Syria has some kind
of chemical weapons stock, and also that they are open to new kind of
missile which delivers the chemical weapons. Do you have any
information and do you have any reaction on the subject?

BURNS: No, it's the first I've heard of those allegations. I don't
have any information on them.

Q: Are you going to take it up with North Korea in a couple of weeks?
They've been Syria's main supplier.

BURNS: The Syrian issue? We're going to take up a variety of issues
with the North Koreans, pertaining to their alleged activities with a
number of countries. Charlie.

Q: One of the things in the report out of Israel, or in a press report
out of Israel on the Syrian and chemical weapons story is that it was
discussed with the Israeli defense minister and the Secretary of
Defense. Not asking about that, but when the Israeli defense minister
was here recently, did he have any meetings with anybody at the State
Department to discuss this?

BURNS: Well, when Minister Mordechai was here, he met here with
Secretary Albright. That issue did not come up in that meeting.

Q:  Syrian nerve gas did not come up.

BURNS: It didn't come up in that particular meeting. I can't say if it
came up in other meetings that Minister Mordechai may have had here.