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Daily Press Briefing

Ian Kelly
Department Spokesman
Daily Press Briefing
Washington, DC
October 2, 2009


Ambassador Goldberg leading interagency delegation to UAE and Egypt / discussing implementation of sanctions on North Korea as called for in UNSCR 1874
Has already traveled to Malaysia, South Korea, China, Japan, Thailand, and Singapore
Decision taken by the IOC to choose Rio de Janerio over Chicago (and other cities) is not related to US image problem associated with visa applications process difficulties / other factors in IOC decision was that South America has never hosted an Olympics

U.S. concerned about the welfare of US Diplomat Hogan; Netherlands forensic service has confirmed his DNA on blood traces on clothes found on beach

U.S. believes that Iranians in Geneva meeting have agreed in principle to open up facilities and to accept the proposal to send low-enriched uranium out of the country / ElBaradei going to Tehran this weekend to work out the details / will not be a deal until all the details are ironed out
Not an open-ended process; not talk for talk's sake / burden on Iran to take concrete steps over the next couple of weeks
U.S. raised cases of American citizen being detained or have gone missing, including Robert Levinson; hope Iranians will take our concerns seriously

Secretary Clinton's upcoming trip to Moscow is a follow-up on the agreement in July to start a bi-national presidential commission on a such issues as security, counterterrorism, counternarcotics, nuclear nonproliferation cooperation, civilian nuclear energy cooperation, education and exchanges, and issues related to civil society
Priority is successor agreement to the START treaty which runs out in December

Secretary Clinton has sent a congratulatory message to the people of China marking the 60th anniversary / U.S. enjoys a booming relationship in trade and security cooperation

U.S. does not recognize regime of Robert Micheletti; only minimal contact with de facto regime

U.S. committed to meeting the dire humanitarian needs of the people of Somalia / have in place a very scrupulously monitoring mechanism to ensure that the aid ends up where it is designated / food aid has not been suspended / non-food aid was temporarily suspended but is now back on / U.S. has provided $180 million to people of Somalia in fiscal year

Deputy Secretary Steinberg recently visited East Asia for consultation with the partners of the Six-Party talks; went to Vietnam, Seoul, Beijing and Tokyo to discuss various security issues


12:50 p.m. EDT

MR. KELLY: Well, good afternoon. We’re really kind of flooding the zone today with briefings, so I appreciate your patience and --

QUESTION: Last but not least.

MR. KELLY: Last but not least on a Friday afternoon.

I’d like, first of all, to tell you about a trip by a Senior State Department Official. Ambassador Phil Goldberg, our Coordinator for Implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1874, is leading an interagency delegation, which includes Treasury Deputy Assistant Secretary Danny Glaser. They were in the United Arab Emirates on Thursday, October 1, with – meetings with Emirati officials regarding the implementation of sanctions on North Korea as called for in UN Security Council Resolution 1874. The delegation will travel to Cairo for meetings on Sunday, October 4 with Egyptian officials, and will return to Washington on October 5.

And with that, I’ll open it up.

QUESTION: Just briefly, can you bring us – give us an update on the situation involving your missing vice consul in Curacao?

MR. KELLY: Yeah. I think we were all concerned to see the press release of the authorities there regarding the clothes and cell phone that were found belonging to Mr. Hogan. I think you probably saw the press release from the Netherlands forensic service which confirmed that the blood traces found on the clothes were a DNA match for our colleague, Mr. Hogan. These clothes were found on the beach.

And of course, we’re – as we always have been, we’re very concerned about the welfare of Mr. Hogan. This is obviously upsetting news. It’s not conclusive news. But we will continue to stay in close touch with the Netherlands forensic service and with the Curacao police.

QUESTION: Just to follow up on your comments about Ambassador Goldberg going to the UAE and to Cairo, can you tell us specifically what is he asking for, what – why these two countries in particular?

MR. KELLY: Yeah.

QUESTION: Are there things that the U.S. wants seen done that --

MR. KELLY: Yeah.

QUESTION: -- you can tell us about?

MR. KELLY: Yeah.

QUESTION: What’s the trip about?

MR. KELLY: Well, I think – in order to implement UN Security Council Resolution 1874, Ambassador Goldberg has to meet with a variety of partners. He’s already traveled to Malaysia, South Korea, China, Japan, Thailand and Singapore. We’ve long been concerned about North Korea’s proliferation activities in the Middle East, so this is part of that. And this is part of his overall effort to ensure that the – that this UN Security Council resolution and other relevant resolutions are implemented.

QUESTION: Is the fact that these two countries are on the agenda clue us into the idea that we think that these are two problem areas specifically?

MR. KELLY: Well, not necessarily. I think that these are countries that can help us identify areas where we can deal with this problem of proliferation from North Korea. He will continue to meet with partners not only in the Middle East, but also, of course, in Asia. So --

QUESTION: Well, maybe we can put a finer point on it. Would the fact that the Emirates are a huge port or have – there are huge ports in the Emirates, and the fact that Egypt controls a passage, a little waterway that links the Red Sea to the Mediterranean, might that have anything to do with the fact --

MR. KELLY: I think that’s a reasonable assumption, yes.


QUESTION: Can we change the subject?


QUESTION: I want to talk about the Olympics.

MR. KELLY: The Olympics? Okay.

QUESTION: As you know, the Chicago bid was turned down.

MR. KELLY: Yeah.

QUESTION: In fact, Chicago came in last place in the running. And I was wondering whether you think that that says anything about whether the international community thinks that America is a welcoming place. And do you think that this will hurt America’s image and, in fact, President Obama’s image abroad, considering he put so much of his personal investment in going there?

MR. KELLY: Well, as a native Chicagoan, I appreciate the efforts the President put into this. I think that the city of Chicago would have welcomed having the Olympics in 2016. But I think that – I don’t think this necessarily demonstrates that Chicago is not a welcoming place. I know --

QUESTION: I’m not talking about Chicago. I’m talking about America in particular.

MR. KELLY: Well, I think you’re making quite a radical extrapolation from a decision – one decision of the International Olympic Committee. I don’t think it’s necessarily indicative of the fact that the U.S. is not a welcome – go ahead.

QUESTION: Well, it was actually – because it was – it was brought up by one member of the IOC in a question-and-answer period with the President. You know, post-9/11 security restrictions and the difficulty of people – some people getting – lots of people being able to get visas. And the President himself said that he thinks that he would – this would be a – said he thought that if Chicago was to – if Chicago were to host the Olympics, that it would be proof of the welcoming nature of America. So I don’t think that it’s entirely out of line for the question to be asked.

MR. KELLY: Well, again, but you’re extrapolating too. I mean, you’re --

QUESTION: No, I’m not. The White House put out a transcript of it.

QUESTION: This would be the first post-9/11 Olympics.

MR. KELLY: No, what I mean is this one member of the IOC is entitled to an opinion.


MR. KELLY: I mean, we recognize that we need to do more to make it easier for legitimate visa applications to – or applicants to make it to the U.S. We understand we have an image problem about that process. But I --

QUESTION: You don’t think that had anything to do with it?

MR. KELLY: Well, it might. I mean, the image may have had something to do with it, yes, but I don’t think that’s the reality. I really do think that you’re – you are probably drawing a broad conclusion about a very narrow decision by --

QUESTION: No, you just said that you’re sure that the image problem had something to do with it.

MR. KELLY: No, I’m saying --

QUESTION: This would be the --

MR. KELLY: -- that we recognize that we do – I mean, every country has an image problem.

QUESTION: You said – you just – I’m sorry, you just said that I’m sure that the image had something to do with it.

QUESTION: No, no, no, he said the image may have had.


QUESTION: Well, what she’s asking you – if this is going to help or hurt America’s image abroad because of this.

MR. KELLY: I really would caution you all from drawing too broad a conclusion about this one decision. I mean, we also have to look at the merits of the other applicants as well. I mean, this was a competition.

QUESTION: As a native Chicagoan, you would not agree that the merits of the other cities were better than your own hometown, would you?


MR. KELLY: (Laughter.) Well, I mean, there are other factors here too. I mean, South America has never hosted an Olympics.

QUESTION: Well, any --

MR. KELLY: By the way, do we know who won?




QUESTION: Rio de Janeiro.

QUESTION: So now they know.

MR. KELLY: Congratulations, Rio.

QUESTION: But up until – up until --

MR. KELLY: I think it’s great that South America will have its first Olympics.

QUESTION: Up until President Obama arrived in Copenhagen, a lot of the chatter was that America was one of the top contenders with Rio. So you --

MR. KELLY: Well, now you’re really making a radical conclusion. You mean that President Obama’s trip there actually tipped the scales against Chicago?

QUESTION: Well, I mean, I’m not saying it, but I’m asking you whether you think it did.

MR. KELLY: Yeah, I --

QUESTION: I mean, for America to come in last --

MR. KELLY: I categorically --


MR. KELLY: -- reject the suggestion that --

QUESTION: For America to come in last place after the U.S. President travels there --

MR. KELLY: My fellow Chicagoan says they came in fourth, not --

QUESTION: Not last.

QUESTION: Oh, excuse me.

MR. KELLY: We Chicagoans, we think that’s important that we didn’t come in last. (Laughter.) It’s like when Leo Durocher said this is not a last-place team, and then they came in eighth. Of course, this is the Chicago Cubs I’m talking about.

QUESTION: You’re a Cubs fanatic?

MR. KELLY: I’m talking about the Cubs, yeah. This was Leo Durocher in 1967, I think.

QUESTION: I’ll change the subject.

MR. KELLY: Please do.

QUESTION: Okay. On Iran, today the Iranian ambassador to Britain, I believe, said that the Iranians did not agree to – on this – on this deal on the uranium to send out their low-enriched uranium to a third country. So how do you – do you think that the Iranians are playing a game here? Are they playing for time? What do you think is going on?

MR. KELLY: Well, I haven’t seen that report, but it is our understanding that they agreed in Geneva to accept this proposal to send out the – this low-enriched uranium out of the country, and that we understand as well that the director of the IAEA, Mr. El Baradei, is going to be in Tehran this weekend to try and work out the details.


QUESTION: Can I change the subject?

MR. KELLY: Mm-hmm. Well, actually, any more on Iran?

QUESTION: I just had a quick one. The – this idea that they’ve got two weeks to open up the Qom site to the IAEA inspectors, is there any – what happens if they don’t?

MR. KELLY: I don’t think that there’s a hard and fast deadline. I think that we made it quite clear this was a matter of some urgency, that we expected them to take urgent and concrete steps to open up this facility, and not only just open it up but also make sure that we were able to – or that the IAEA would be able to talk to some of the engineers there and see documents, see plans. So I mean, it is – as I said before, it is a matter of some urgency that they open this place up, but I don’t know if we’ve had an actual --

QUESTION: The two weeks – we shouldn’t look at that as too much written in stone?

MR. KELLY: I’m sorry?

QUESTION: The two – the idea that they’ve got two weeks to do it, you don’t think is actually –

MR. KELLY: I don’t know that it’s written in stone necessarily, but I think we’ll find out more details when – after Mr. El Baradei’s trip.

Boy, right in and you’ve got a question.

QUESTION: Well, (inaudible) because I didn’t understand something. It was my understanding that the Iranians did not agree to do it, that they agreed to consider sending the material abroad, which is different than agreeing to actually doing it, and that they were going to have a meeting to discuss it.

MR. KELLY: Yeah.

QUESTION: Now, you just said that it was your understanding that they actually agreed to do it.

MR. KELLY: It is my understanding that they agreed to do it.

QUESTION: Because –

MR. KELLY: They –

QUESTION: – you’re sure?

MR. KELLY: Well, okay –

QUESTION: Just because –

MR. KELLY: – they agreed in principle to do it, is my understanding.

QUESTION: Does anybody else remember from yesterday that they agreed to consider it only? I mean, that was sort of the – that was out of Geneva.

QUESTION: The Iranian ambassador to Britain who Elise was talking about was actually a member of the Iranian delegation in Geneva, and he actually said that yesterday after saying no, we did not agree to this, and that it hadn’t really been discussed. So there seems to be a bit of a – well, there doesn’t seem to be – there is a bit of a contradiction between what the two sides believe came out of that meeting.

MR. KELLY: Yeah. Well, we’ll have to see what the Iranian ambassador to Britain –

QUESTION: I mean, does an agreement – does an --

MR. KELLY: I’ve said –

QUESTION: -- do you regard an agreement in principle to be the final?

MR. KELLY: Well, as I’ve said before, the IAEA is going in this weekend, headed by Mohammed El Baradei, to try and iron out the details of the agreement. So we’ll see what that --

QUESTION: So it’s not a done deal?

MR. KELLY: -- what comes out of that. Sorry?

QUESTION: So it’s not a done deal?

MR. KELLY: Well, I mean, it won’t be a done deal until all the details are ironed out by the IAEA.

QUESTION: Then don’t you think it’s a bit premature to say that they’ve agreed?

MR. KELLY: I’m only telling you what our understanding is, is that they agreed in principle to open up these facilities and send the low-enriched uranium out.

QUESTION: I have a question about the two weeks. You said Iran – and the President said two weeks. Or what?

MR. KELLY: I’m sorry?

QUESTION: Or what? Like, what if they don’t –

QUESTION: That question was just asked, literally.

QUESTION: Well, I don’t think it was answered, because I –

MR. KELLY: Well, look, this is the beginning of intense diplomatic activity. What you have is you have El Baradei going in this weekend to, as I say, to iron out these details that were – of the agreement in principle. You also have a meeting in Vienna on October 18, and this will be to specifically address the logistical and technical aspects of the Tehran research reactor proposal. So let’s see what comes out of that.

QUESTION: But I’m just saying that, like, you put out – the U.S. put out there two weeks. So what are you saying? That if it doesn’t happen in the next two weeks, you’re going to take the offer off the table? Or do you really think that it –

MR. KELLY: No, I’m not saying that.

QUESTION: Okay, well, until – no, no, no.

MR. KELLY: I’m saying that there’s not – we don’t have like a drop-dead date.

QUESTION: So – okay, so then why did you put out a drop-dead deadline of two weeks? I mean –

MR. KELLY: Well, because we’re trying to – we expect that in the next couple of weeks --


MR. KELLY: – they will come up with concrete proposals.

QUESTION: No, President Obama said Iran must do this within two weeks, which indicates that there’s going to be some consequences if it doesn’t. But do you think that –

MR. KELLY: There will be consequences if it doesn’t.

QUESTION: In two weeks?

MR. KELLY: Well –

QUESTION: Do you really think that in two weeks, if this doesn’t happen, and do you really expect it to happen in the next two weeks, if you really think that it’s going to --

MR. KELLY: We do expect it to happen in the next two weeks.

QUESTION: Okay, but if it doesn’t, you’re not taking the offer off the table.

MR. KELLY: No, we’re not.

QUESTION: And certainly, sanctions aren’t going to be agreed to in two weeks.

MR. KELLY: Well --

QUESTION: So what happens in two weeks?

MR. KELLY: -- what we have said all along is that this is not an open-ended process, we are not in this just to talk for talk’s sake. We expect there to be specific, concrete steps taken by Iran to raise the level of confidence that what they’re doing there is what they say they’re doing, and that’s that they have a nuclear program for exclusively peaceful purposes. So the burden is on them. They have to come up with these concrete steps. And –

QUESTION: I understand, but if you give a deadline of two weeks, then you have to have consequences at the end of two weeks, don’t you? Or –

MR. KELLY: Well, there will be consequences if they don’t take –

QUESTION: – or your deadlines don’t mean anything.

MR. KELLY: That – well, we have said this is not an open-ended process and we expect prompt, concrete steps to be taken over the next couple of weeks. And the process is beginning with the visit of El Baradei to Tehran, and then the visit to Vienna to talk at the IAEA about the Tehran research reactor proposal.

QUESTION: Can I change the subject?

MR. KELLY: Any other on Iran?

Yeah, go ahead.

QUESTION: During the bilateral, did Jalili respond at all in any way to the concerns raised about the U.S. citizens detained in Iran?

MR. KELLY: Well, I think – you know what I told you yesterday. We did raise the cases of all the American citizens who are either being detained or have gone missing. And we ask for Iran’s assistance in getting these – the individuals who are being held released. And we also ask their assistance on ascertaining the whereabouts and the welfare of missing American citizen Robert Levinson. And we would hope that the Iranians would take our concerns seriously, and we await prompt action on these requests.

QUESTION: Wasn’t – the secretary of the National Security Council, was there anything --

MR. KELLY: I don’t --

QUESTION: -- in terms of his response --

MR. KELLY: There’s nothing that I can share with you.


QUESTION: I wanted to ask you about the Secretary Clinton upcoming trip to Moscow that you announced earlier today. Could you share any additional details with us, and is she bringing interagency team with her? Can we expect any deliverables like, I don’t know, treaties or documents signed by the end of the visit?

MR. KELLY: Yeah. Well, this is to follow up on the agreement in July to start a bi-national presidential commission on a number of issues of bilateral interest in the area of security, with counterterrorism, nuclear nonproliferation cooperation, civilian nuclear energy cooperation, education and exchanges, and then issues related to civil society. So that’s – that’ll be one very discrete part of the program. And there will be the first meetings of the working groups.

In addition, you know that a real priority in U.S.-Russian relations is coming up with a successor agreement to the START treaty, which runs out in December. So Secretary Clinton will take the opportunity to talk to her – or to our Russian counterparts on progress being made there. And there’s just a whole range of bilateral issues that we have. We have a growing trade relationship with Russia. We have growing cooperation in counterterrorism, counternarcotics. And there’s just a – as I say, a broad range of bilateral issues that she will raise. She’s going to be there, I think, three days.

QUESTION: Do you expect Iran and North Korea might come up?

MR. KELLY: I would expect they would.


QUESTION: I have two questions: one on China, one on India. China – again, 60th anniversary of Communist China. In New York, the Empire State Building was lit. Are you celebrating the Communist China’s 60th anniversary, where there is no value for human beings and Tibetans are still crying and asking for freedom?

MR. KELLY: That seems to be a very tendentious question, Goyal. (Laughter.) Well, you probably saw that the Secretary sent a congratulatory message to the people of China marking the 6th anniversary. We have a booming relationship in trade, a growing relationship in security cooperation. China is an important player in the international arena in the Security Council.

But at the same time, we’ve been very – also very open about some of our concerns about human rights in China, about problems of freedom of expression and problems of the media, and – but we continue to have a very robust bilateral agenda with China.

QUESTION: Actually, on that, it did not go unnoticed by some that the Secretary’s message actually only congratulated China on the – on half of its 60 years of nationhood, the last three decades. Does that mean that you’re not really congratulating them for the first 30 years of their --

MR. KELLY: Matt, I don’t recall the entire text of this message, but I believe it was on the occasion of the 60th anniversary.

QUESTION: Yes, that’s what the title said, and then it said the last 30 years have been – China has demonstrated – anyway, I’m just interested in trying --

MR. KELLY: I appreciate --

QUESTION: Were you making the distinction --

QUESTION: You don’t have it in front of you?

QUESTION: You’re making the distinction between the first three decades and the second three decades in China?

MR. KELLY: I appreciate the remark.

QUESTION: Okay. Well, it’s not a remark. I was just wondering if there was – if you were making the distinction.

MR. KELLY: Well, I don’t have a ready answer to that question.

QUESTION: Can I change the subject --

MR. KELLY: Yeah.

QUESTION: -- on Honduras?

MR. KELLY: Honduras?

QUESTION: Yeah. Are there any restrictions on official U.S. contact with members of Micheletti’s de facto administration?

MR. KELLY: Well, as you know, we don’t recognize the regime of Roberto Micheletti, and as such, we have only minimal contact with his regime, particularly senior members of his regime. We have imposed some visa sanctions on some members of that regime. But at the same time, of course, we are very eager to find a solution to the ongoing conflict and try and reach a solution that restores the democratically elected president to power.

So we do have contacts with representatives of the regime in order to help advance that goal, and of course, we have an Embassy in Tegucigalpa which is very actively involved in facilitating the OAS mission to try and find the solution.

QUESTION: Thank you.

MR. KELLY: Yeah, Mary Beth.

QUESTION: Different subject. On Somalia --

MR. KELLY: Anything else on Honduras before we --

QUESTION: On Somalia, there was a report today that at least $50 million in American aid has been delayed, according to the UN, because the State Department is concerned that any aid that gets to the Shabaab might, you know, violate U.S. law. And apparently, there has been a sort of round of back-and-forth with State and Treasury over --

MR. KELLY: Yeah.

QUESTION: -- you know, what to do about that whole issue. So what is the status of that now? Is it still delayed or --

MR. KELLY: Yeah. Well, I think that the bottom line is that we are committed to meeting the very dire needs of the people in Somalia and we’re committed to meeting their humanitarian responsibilities in general. We are, of course, aware of the possibility that some of this aid is going through areas that are controlled by al-Shabaab, which, of course, is a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization.

And as a result, we have very, very – we have put in place, very scrupulously, monitoring mechanisms to ensure that the aid ends up where it’s supposed to end up. We’ve made a real effort to try and partner with organizations that are operating in good faith and are trying to get this aid to the people who need it. One of the – of course, one of the problems that we have is it’s such a dangerous place that, I mean, really, we have to work through local organizations. Americans cannot deliver the aid. But we feel very --

QUESTION: Can you confirm, in fact, that it has been suspended – the aid?

MR. KELLY: No, no, it hasn’t been suspended.

QUESTION: No, it’s not been suspended?


QUESTION: Because the WFP is very clear saying that U.S. aid has been suspended because of these allegations.

MR. KELLY: No, not true.

QUESTION: It’s not. Okay.

MR. KELLY: Do you want me to tell you what we’re doing?


MR. KELLY: We’ve already provided $180 million to help the people of Somalia this fiscal year, including approximately $140 million in food aid. And we provide about 50 percent of the food for Somalia’s food aid program. We’re committed to helping the 3.8 million people who rely on this aid. We understand that the WFP, the World Food Program, is investigating allegations of food aid diversions. And renewal of some of the non-food humanitarian programs was delayed while we reviewed the conditions on the ground and their impact on our programs.

We’re working with our implementing partners to get these programs up and running. They were temporarily suspended while we conducted our review; however, the food aid pipeline for Somalia kept going. It never stopped. It never was broken. And right now, we have a – our food aid is being delivered on a normal schedule.

So there was a pause, but there was enough assistance in the pipeline that it continued to reach the people who needed it.

QUESTION: But – so you’re saying there was a pause in delivery of the assistance to --

MR. KELLY: Pause in throughput, but not a pause in the actual delivery.

QUESTION: I think that most of this aid is shipped into Mombasa. So what – if that’s– if that’s the case, or wherever it goes to, it will – wherever it goes to, to then be sent on to Somalia, there was a pause in that. There was never a pause in stuff that was already there going into Somalia?

MR. KELLY: That’s my understanding, yeah.

QUESTION: Well, Ian, I’m sorry. You said – first you said that there was a temporary suspension of non-food humanitarian aid, but now you’re talking about food. So I’m a little confused about what was – what was – where was the temporary suspension and – you know --

MR. KELLY: The temporary suspension didn’t relate to food aid.


MR. KELLY: It was just the non-food aid.

QUESTION: What is that?

MR. KELLY: Well, that would be other humanitarian assistance material – tents, blankets --

QUESTION: But the food aid --

MR. KELLY: -- medical aids.

QUESTION: -- you said it was paused, right? It was paused even though you said folks on the ground were still getting food because of the stockpiles or whatever.

MR. KELLY: It was temporarily suspended.

QUESTION: The food?

MR. KELLY: Yeah. U.S. food aid deliveries were temporarily suspended while we conducted a review. But the – this was deliveries to Somalia. But there was enough in the pipeline that it reached the people who needed it.

QUESTION: How could it reach the people who needed it if it was temporarily suspended?

MR. KELLY: Because there was enough on the ground in Mombasa to --

QUESTION: So you weren’t sending any new ones to Mombasa; is that right?

MR. KELLY: Right.

QUESTION: There was non-humanitarian --

QUESTION: So the WFP is complaining out of turn here?

MR. KELLY: Well, they may have been concerned because we did suspend the delivery for a while. They may have been concerned that there would be a break in --

QUESTION: Can you say when that temporary pause ended, or when – and when it began?

MR. KELLY: I’ll have to find that out.

QUESTION: Is the review complete?

MR. KELLY: I believe so.

QUESTION: And so the shipments are back on?

MR. KELLY: The shipments are back on.

QUESTION: And so was there a change made as a result of this review to ensure that the food or whatever didn’t fall into the hands of al-Shabaab and help them?

MR. KELLY: I don’t know the answer to that question. I don’t know. We’ll see if we can find out.

QUESTION: Just – can I follow up on Somalia?

MR. KELLY: Yeah.

QUESTION: I don’t usually ask these kinds of questions, but I don’t understand – we give food aid to North Korea, right, which is a designated state sponsor of terror?

QUESTION: No, it’s not.

QUESTION: It’s not?

QUESTION: No. Where were you last year?

QUESTION: I was on leave. (Laughter.)

MR. KELLY: You’re forgiven.

QUESTION: No, but we have in the past given food aid while it was. Is that right, Matt?



MR. KELLY: Yeah. I mean, we don’t provide food aid to --

QUESTION: So we give food aid to people – we give food aid --

MR. KELLY: Yeah.

QUESTION: -- even when it could get into terrorists’ hands?

MR. KELLY: Right.


MR. KELLY: Right.

QUESTION: So I just don’t understand this whole discussion really, why it – I mean, if you’re trying to get it to the right people, but (inaudible) obligation --

MR. KELLY: Well, but even with North Korea, I mean, we did have people on the ground.


MR. KELLY: We had monitors on the ground to make sure that it was ending up in the right place.

QUESTION: I mean, so it’s inadequate monitor – monitoring is the issue?

MR. KELLY: Yeah. I mean, we could have monitors on the ground --


MR. KELLY: -- in North Korea, but because --


MR. KELLY: -- of the security situation in Somalia, we have to --

QUESTION: Okay. So that --

MR. KELLY: -- rely on local providers.

QUESTION: That clarifies that. Do you have any guidance on Sheikh Sharif’s visit here and his meeting with Johnnie Carson and whether there’s been an evaluation of increasing this aid, as was discussed when we were with Secretary Clinton in August?

MR. KELLY: No, I don’t. We’ll see if we can get you an update on that.


QUESTION: Just on the pause, would that roughly cover the 50 million that was mentioned in the Times story? Is that sort of where that figure’s coming from, do you mean?

MR. KELLY: I believe so. I think the Times story was accurate.

QUESTION: What? Wait a second --

QUESTION: From the --

MR. KELLY: Largely accurate.

QUESTION: What part, the amount? Because what you’re saying is that there was never – the impact of this – there was never any impact on the ground to this pause --

MR. KELLY: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: -- is what, I think, you were trying to tell us before.

MR. KELLY: Right.

QUESTION: Is that correct?

MR. KELLY: That’s correct.

QUESTION: So when WFP complains that there has been an impact on the ground or they’re concerned, they’re --

MR. KELLY: That there will be, I think, is – yeah.

QUESTION: But that never happened?

MR. KELLY: Never – well, it’s my understanding that it never happened.

Yeah, in the back.

QUESTION: Yeah, can I go back to North Korea?

MR. KELLY: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: Do you have any update on James Steinberg’s recent visit to East Asia and the output from the consultation with partners of the Six-Party Talk?

MR. KELLY: Yeah. He was in Hanoi September 26, 27, had a wide range of meetings on bilateral and regional subjects. You know that Vietnam assumes the chair of ASEAN into 2010 in Kuala Lumpur. Met with the prime minister, vice foreign minister, and defense minister.

He, of course, talked about how we are committed to a deepening of U.S. ties to Southeast Asia and the countries of ASEAN, met in Beijing with a range of senior Chinese officials, and he had a chance to build on the talks that we had with China between – the talks between our two presidents last week in New York and Pittsburgh. And then was in Seoul September 29-30; talked about, again, a number of regional security issues, and also talked about the need to closely coordinate on policy regarding North Korea.

Similarly, in Tokyo, they talked about the need for – to closely coordinate on North Korea and talked about a number of regional and global issues. He – Deputy Steinberg is back in the Department today.

QUESTION: So after this consultation, has any decision been made about these bilateral talks?

MR. KELLY: No, no decision’s been made yet.

QUESTION: Thank you.

MR. KELLY: Thanks.

(The briefing was concluded at 1:22 p.m.)

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