THURSDAY, OCTOBER 1, 1998
Briefer: JAMES P. RUBIN
Talks began today. US has serious concerns about their missile development program.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
DAILY PRESS BRIEFING
DPB # 111
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 1, 1998 1:00 P.M.
(ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)
MR. RUBIN: Welcome to the State Department briefing. Please put all gambling activities -- must cease; I'm shocked. Welcome to the State Department briefing..............
QUESTION: Do you have anything on - (inaudible) -- ?
MR. RUBIN: On North Korea. The missile talks did begin this morning. These - the US delegation is led by Bob Einhorn. This is a follow up to talks that were held in April '96 and June '97. As you know, this was one of the things that we urged the North Koreans to move forward on during a set of negotiations in August, and let me be clear - the United States has serious concerns about North Korea's missile exports and their indigenous missile activities, including the attempt in August to use a Taepo Dong-1 missile to orbit a very small satellite. The August 31 launch represents another step forward in North Korea's missile development program and is a matter of deep concern to the United States. That is because a further launch of long-range missiles or transfers of such missiles would pose a threat to our interests; to our allies and could spark an arms race in missiles in the region. We intend to make quite clear to the North Koreans that if they were to proceed with additional launches or were to export such missiles, there will be very negative consequences for our policy.
On the other hand, if North Korea were to adopt strict restraints on its missile program, including the cessation of North Korean flight testing production, deployment and export of missiles and related technology, there could be a commensurate improvement in its relationship with the United States. That is the essence of the message we are going to make clear to them; it's a matter we take very, very seriously and - an unrestrained North Korean missile program would have a very negative consequence on our policy.................
(The briefing concluded at 1:25 p.m.)