TUESDAY, MAY 13, 1997 Briefer: Nicholas Burns

QUESTION: On North Korea, have you heard anything more from the
Pyongyang on the four-way talks?

BURNS:  Silence.

QUESTION:  Missile talks?

BURNS:  Silence from Pyongyang.

QUESTION:  Silence. 

BURNS:  The ball is in their court.

QUESTION:  What does that all tell you?

BURNS: They have to get back to us on the four-party talks. There is
an open invitation. They have to get back, of course, on the missile
proliferation talks. We are working well, monitoring the agreed
framework; that is in place.

QUESTION:  The MIA talks didn't go through?

BURNS: The MIA talks proceeded last week, but I can't point to any
breakthroughs for you. Unfortunately that is a very serious issue for
American families in the United States. On food aid, we are proceeding
with our shipments of food; the ships are arriving.

QUESTION:  What is your analysis?  What is the bottom line here?

BURNS: I always rely on Secretary Christopher's wisdom in these
matters, and that is -- former Secretary of State Warren Christopher,
who is a very astute observer of the North Koreans, and I think all of
us still agree with this, and that is that it is very difficult for us
to read the North Koreans and to tell you why all this is happening.
They are --

QUESTION:  Opaque.

BURNS: Opaque, thank you. We'll continue to try to convince the North
Koreans it is in their interest to cooperate with us.