News

ACCESSION NUMBER:384418

FILE ID:PO1402

DATE:03/23/95

TITLE:STATE DEPARTMENT REPORT, THURSDAY, MARCH 23 (03/23/95)

TEXT:*95032302.PO1

STATE DEPARTMENT REPORT, THURSDAY, MARCH 23

(Korea/reactors, Turkey/Iraq, Lockerbie/rewards) (720)

There was no State Department news briefing.  However, acting spokesman

David Johnson discussed the following topics with reporters:



NORTH KOREA CAUTIONED NOT TO END NUCLEAR FREEZE

1he acting spokesman acknowledged that North Korea has made clear its

objection to South Korean light water reactors and has threatened to end

the freeze on its nuclear facilities if a light water reactor contract

agreement is not concluded by April 21.



"We've reminded the DPRK that the agreed framework calls only for the two

sides to make 'best efforts' to reach agreement by that date," Johnson

said.  "April 21, from our point of view and from the point of view of the

agreed framework, is not a deadline."



He noted that the next round of light water reactor negotiations with North

Korea will begin on March 25 in Berlin.  "As long as North Korea maintains

the freeze on its nuclear program, we will continue our best efforts to

secure conclusion of that agreement as soon as possible," Johnson said.



If North Korea breaks the freeze, the United States will begin consulting

with its allies about future U.N. Security Council consideration of the

nuclear issue and possible sanctions, the acting spokesman said.



OPERATION PROVIDE COMFORT RELIEF FLIGHTS RESUME

The acting spokesman said the coalition partners in the Gulf war March 23

resumed the Operation Provide Comfort relief flights which provide

humanitarian assistance to Kurds and other refugees in northern Iraq.



The flights were suspended March 20 when Turkish armed forces launched a

major offensive into northern Iraq directed against terrorists of the

Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).



Johnson said Turkish forces have penetrated about 40 kilometers into

northern Iraq and, for the most part, they continue to encounter only light

resistance.  Turkish officials say 13 Turkish soldiers have been killed and

15 wounded.  As many as 200 PKK rebels have been killed.



Asked about West European expressions of concern about the Turkish military

operation, Johnson replied: "The United States recognizes the very serious

threat which terrorism poses to Turkey and the Turkish people.  And while

we share many of the same concerns of our allies, we believe it is

essential to support all legitimate Turkish efforts to counter this

threat."



Reminding reporters of the Turkish government's assurances to the United

States about "the limited nature" of the action, Johnson said, "We continue

to stress to the Turkish government the importance of observing recognized

standards of international human rights during this operation and the need

to make a maximum effort to protect civilians."



U.S. SPOTLIGHTS REWARD OFFER FOR LOCKERBIE BOMBING SUSPECTS

Johnson pointed out that earlier in the day the Federal Bureau of

Investigation (FBI) had placed the two suspects in the Pan Am 103 bombing

case on the agency's "Ten Most Wanted" list.



They are Abdel Basset Ali Al-Megrahi and Lamen Khalifa Fhimah, both Libyan

intelligence agents.  They are being sought by both the U.S. and British

governments for the December 21, 1988, bombing of Pan Am 103 over

Lockerbie, Scotland, which killed 270 people, including 189 Americans.



"The department wants to take this opportunity to remind the public of the

United States government's reward offer of up to $4 million for information

leading to the location and apprehension of the two suspects," Johnson said

  in reference to the reward campaign that was announced some time ago.



"We're renewing some of our publicity efforts in conjunction with the FBI's

decision to place the two on their 'Ten Most Wanted' list," the acting

spokesman explained.  The campaign by the State Department's Bureau of

Diplomatic Security will include posters, match books, and advertisements

in several international newspapers and magazines.

1

Overseas, people with information on the two Libyan fugitives should contact

the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate or write to: Heroes, P.O. Box 96781,

Washington, DC 20090-6781, USA.  The reward program also is being

advertised on the INTERNET.  Reward information may be found at the

following INTERNET address: [email protected]



The Counterterrorism Rewards Program has been an effective tool in combating

terrorism.  The U.S. government has paid out over $3 million for credible

information received worldwide in more than 20 cases in the past few years.



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