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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

[NOTE: The Department Spokesman's Office conducted press briefings while in Thurmont, Maryland, for the Camp David Peace Talks, July 2000]

U.S. Department of State

Press Briefing

Tuesday, July 20, 2000
Briefer: Adam Ereli, Director, Office of Press Relations
Thurmont Elementary School
Thurmont, Maryland

3:05 P.M. EDT

MR. ERELI: Okay, I don't have any announcements to make, so let's go straight to your questions.

QUESTION: What do you think of the Pentagon comments that they'd be willing to help the North Koreans with their space program if it didn't have anything to do with missiles? Do you have any?

MR. ERELI: I've seen those comments. In general, US policy encourages other countries to use space launch services from existing providers rather than develop their own space launch vehicles. Any provision of space launch services would need to be conducted in a way where there is no potential for unauthorized technology transfer.

We would be very interested in seeing North Korea eliminate its ballistic missile and space launch vehicle programs and exports in return for the ability to launch its satellites from other countries, using launch services from existing launch providers under strict technology safeguards.

As far as the US support, providing North Korea with space launch vehicles or space launch vehicle technology, this would contribute to North Korea's ability to develop a ballistic missile program that could deliver weapons of mass destruction, and we wouldn't provide it.

QUESTION: Has anyone talked to the Russians yet about what Putin said -

MR. ERELI: We have seen the reports of his remarks. These reports are unclear about specifically what the Democratic People's Republic of Korea said it was prepared to do. We are seeking clarification from the Russian Government as to exactly what President Putin was told in Pyongyang.

QUESTION: You've not had any yet?

MR. ERELI: I don't have anything for you on what the status or outcome of those clarifications are.

QUESTION: How is that clarification going to be sought? Who is going to seek it, specifically?

MR. ERELI: I don't have details on at what level and who will be raising it at what level.

QUESTION: You don't have anything on who might meet the North Korean Foreign Minister next week if the Secretary doesn't go?

MR. ERELI: I don't have anything more on that for you than I did yesterday, which is that Ambassador Kartman is in Berlin from July 19th to the 21st meeting with Vice Foreign Minister Kim Gye Gwan and that they are discussing the full range of bilateral issues.

QUESTION: You don't have any information about who could meet the North Korean Foreign Minister if the Secretary doesn't go?

MR. ERELI: I don't have any information about potential meetings with the North Korean Foreign Minister.

QUESTION: But the Secretary hasn't precluded that she'll still go if things change up here, right?

MR. ERELI: Her travel plans have not been set.

(The briefing concluded at 3:10 p.m.)

[end of document]

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