TITLE:STATE DEPARTMENT REPORT, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 8 (03/08/95)
STATE DEPARTMENT REPORT, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 8
(WTO director general, Korea, Croatia) (610)
NEWS BRIEFING -- Acting spokesman Christine Shelly discussed the following
ALLEGATION ABOUT WTO CANDIDATE SAID WITHOUT BASIS
Responding to a question, Shelly said an allegation reported in the March 7
Journal of Commerce concerning former Italian Trade Minister Renato
Ruggiero, a candidate for World Trade Organization (WTO) director general,
"appears completely without basis."
Claiming that the U.S. government has intelligence which is damaging to
Ruggiero's candidacy, the Journal of Commerce said he was accused of
helping some Italian companies escape reprisals for evading the U.N. trade
embargo against Iraq.
While reminding reporters that "we don't comment on intelligence reports,"
Shelly added, "I can say that the allegation...appears completely without
basis. We do not approve of any attempt to affect the reputation of
individuals by leaks and innuendos."
"We have full respect for those who have offered their candidacies as
international public servants in the WTO," she said. "As to the general
issue regarding the filling of that position, the U.S. is continuing to
look at all options. We have not endorsed or rejected any candidate for
the WTO director general's position. We do feel strongly that the decision
on the WTO DG position should be made by consensus."
NORTH KOREAN OBJECTIONS TO REACTOR SAID NOT COINCIDENTAL
The acting spokesman said North Korea's continuing public objections to a
South Korean model light water reactor (LWR) are probably not coincidental.
Commenting on Pyongyang's statement in Geneva March 8, Shelly said, "We've
seen the report. As you know, the KEDO (Korean Energy Development
Organization) talks start today in New York, so the timing on this is
probably not just coincidental."
The United States, South Korea and Japan were instrumental in forming the
multinational Korean Energy Development Organization which will provide LWR
technology to North Korea in return for Pyongyang's commitment to freeze
1ts nuclear program under the U.S.-North Korean agreement signed last
"Our position on this remains exactly as it was," Shelly emphasized. "There
is no alternative" to the South Korean reactors. The United States
believes that KEDO "will determine that the light water reactor should be
and will be of the Republic of Korea model, which is the only viable option
as far as we, and I believe the rest of the international community, see
it," she said.
CONTINUED INTERNATIONAL PRESENCE IN CROATIA DISCUSSED
The acting spokesman said there are indications that Croatian authorities
have been discussing "ideas related to a continued international presence"
in Croatia, despite President Franjo Tudjman's announcement that he wants
the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) to withdraw when its current
mandate expires on March 31.
Shelly's comments were prompted by questions about the visit to Zagreb
earlier this week by Richard Holbrooke, assistant secretary of state for
European and Canadian affairs. Holbrooke met with Tudjman, Croatian
cabinet officers and United Nations officials.
She rejected media reports that suggested Holbrooke's mission was a failure.
"We believe that progress has been made on issues of concern to all sides
on this. No final decisions have been reached, and we have every
expectation that the discussions on this will continue."
Citing other reports from the region and from U.N. sources, she said "there
are some indications that Croatian authorities...have been discussing ideas
related to a continued international presence there."
Shelly said the United States has discussed Holbrooke's trip with its
partners in the five-nation Contact Group and will be consulting at the
U.N. Security Council within the next couple of days on options that are
available and steps that should be taken.
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