[EXCERPTS] WHITE HOUSE DAILY BRIEFING
April 24, 1997 PRESS BRIEFING BY MIKE MCCURRY
Q: And also on North Korea, will he also be pressing Japan just to
offer some of its rice stocks to North Korea for famine aid?
MCCURRY: We will -- we may review that matter. I mean, I can tell you
a little more generally, a couple of people wanted to have a general
review of that bilateral meeting. North Korea -- the status of the
Korean Peninsula will certainly be on the agenda, but I think most of
the discussion with respect to Korea will focus on the effort we're
making to advance the President's four party talks initiative. We'll
discuss the situation in the North. The Japanese government in the
past, as has the American government, has responded to requests from
the World Food Program for a donation of food. They might discuss the
humanitarian needs of the North, but I suspect most of the
conversation with respect to Korea will focus in on the issue of the
four party talks and the supportive role that we would like the
government of Japan to play in advancing our diplomatic objective.
Q: But Mike, the two issues, the food aid and the four-party talks,
have been explicitly linked if not by the United States, at least by
North Korea. They've been holding out for additional food aid. The
United States recently has announced additional food aid. But Japan
has held out conspicuously. Would the United States have it in mind to
put some pressure on Japan?
MCCURRY: Well, I think, as you know, we have not linked these two
issues. We've said, we will respond to the humanitarian needs of the
North and respond to the request coming from the international
entities that try to provide humanitarian aid. And we see that as a
responsibility that is separate from advancing our diplomatic
objectives with respect to a peaceful settlement of the tensions on
the Peninsula. So we don't draw that linkage. And we don't suggest to
other countries how they should respond to requests from the World
Food Program, although we hope that our response encourages other to
be helpful as well.