ACCESSION NUMBER:300671 FILE ID:POL305 DATE:08/25/93 TITLE:STATE DEPARTMENT REPORT, WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 25 (08/25/93) TEXT:*93082505.POL STATE DEPARTMENT REPORT, WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 25 (Japan, North Korea/Syria) (520) NEWS BRIEFING -- Spokesman Michael McCurry discussed the following topics: U.S. HAILS JAPAN'S DECISION ON NON-PROLIFERATION The United States applauds Japan's decision to support indefinite extension 1f the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the spokesman announced. An August 23 statement by Prime Minister Hosokawa that halting the spread of weapons of mass destruction is an urgent security imperative for Japan came as part of his first major policy statement to the Diet, McCurry told reporters. "The United States warmly welcomes this action by Prime Minister Hosokawa, which stands as a reaffirmation of Japan's dedication and commitment to the international nuclear non-proliferation regime," the spokesman said. "The United States attaches tremendous importance to the NPT, which is the cornerstone of the international nuclear non-proliferation regime and crucial to U.S. national security. The NPT's success reflects the overwhelming international consensus against nuclear weapons proliferation, as well as broad support for the role of International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards in verifying the treaty's non-proliferation undertakings," said McCurry. "We believe that continued strong international support for the NPT will contribute to the achievement of its indefinite extension in 1995 -- a goal to which the United States attaches great importance," he said. CHARGE ABOUT SCUD TRANSFER WOULD INVOLVE MTCR Israeli charges that Russian aircraft flew North Korean Scud missile parts to Syria would reflect a violation of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), but it is not clear to the United States that such a violation has occurred, McCurry told reporters. "We're talking about an MTCR-related issue and, clearly, this is something that falls right in the category of MTCR guidelines," he declared. "We oppose the shipment of ballistic missile-related equipment to areas of instability, including the Middle East." The United States has raised the issue with governments in the Middle East and elsewhere, he said. "The proliferation of ballistic missiles to the Middle East has been a source of concern which predates the peace process, and one of the purposes of the peace process itself is to alleviate the kind of tension that leads to these types of proliferation issues," he said. Israel and Syria are participants in the peace process and Russia is a co-sponsor of the talks along with the United States. McCurry explained that the United States cannot comment on the substance of the Israeli charges because they pertain to "sensitive questions of intelligence and information gathering in which you can't always be sure of what you're looking at and what you're trying to answer. "Sometimes a country, as it evaluates information carefully, has to look long and hard at the question of what actually has happened, what actually has transferred, what actually has shipped. That's the nature of these types of issues as they are dealt with by any government," he asserted. "I don't want to minimize the importance of the question," he made plain. "I'm just saying that it involves information that we have to evaluate and look at very carefully." NNNN .