March 7, 1997

Briefer: Nicholas Burns
3 Bilateral Meetings in NY with North Korea
20 North Korean Delegation Visit to DC

BURNS: Just a couple of things. As you know, today is the day that we're having our bilateral meeting in New York with the North Korean delegation, and I'll be glad to take any questions on that. I know that there's going to be a background briefing up at the United States Mission in New York at 7:00 p.m. tonight. I hope to have something to say towards the end of the day myself, and I'll try to make that available to you. This is the long-promised bilateral meeting that will concentrate on the major issues before the United States and North Korea.

Q: What time (inaudible).

BURNS: It will just depend on when the meetings end, George. I'll have to talk to Chuck Kartman, who's representing the United States up there. I don't know what time the meetings will end.

Q: Are you On-the-Record on this or On Background?

BURNS: I'll hopefully be On-the-Record.

Q: Nick, on North Korea, I was just wondering, there are reports that the North Korean delegation will be visiting Washington at the invitation of the Atlantic Council. I was just wondering -- (1) if their visa status would agree with such --

BURNS: I'm going to have to defer to John on this. I just don't know.

Q: And just to finish the question, and (2) if they come, are there any plans to meet any government officials?

MR. DINGER: The DPRK raised the issue in New York with us Wednesday, and we're looking into whether it's possible.

BURNS: So we're looking into whether it's possible for them to travel for this private meeting in Washington, D.C. But our bilateral meeting is taking place in New York today. At that meeting we're going to review all the major issues on our agenda: the Agreed Framework; non-proliferation issues, of course; the remains, the 8,100 MIA cases left over from the Korean War; the exchange of liaison offices between our two countries; the food situation; the Four-Party Talks proposal. We expect all of that to be on the table in the meeting currently underway, and our side is being led by Chuck Kartman, as you know.

Q: So right now their visa status only allows them to be in New York. There would need to be a change in visa status to go to Washington?

BURNS: I believe so. These officials are either visitors from Pyongyang or they represent the North Korean mission to the United Nations. There is no North Korean office in Washington, D.C., as you know.