DoD News Briefing

Tuesday, June 16, 1998 - 1:36 p.m. (EDT)
Mr. Kenneth H. Bacon, ASD (PA)


Q: One question on North Korea.

A: Yes.

Q: North Korea's official news agency has admitted their missile exports to other countries and also this report says they demanded the U.S. to lift sanctions in terms of the missile exports. Do you have any comment?

A: I'm sorry. Who said this?

Q: North Korea's official news agency.

A: And tell me again what they've said.

Q: Well, they said they have admitted their missile export.

A: We know that they are exporting missile technology. In fact, we've been engaged with the North Korean government in trying to stop the proliferation of missile technology. We have had a series of talks with the Democratic People's Republic of North Korea on this issue. We have not made as much progress as we would like to make, but we are continuing to work with them on that.

Q: According to this report they have demanded the U.S. to lift some of the sanctions with replies that they're stopping missile exports to other countries.

A: Well, they have asked or demanded that we lift sanctions in the past. We continue talking with them on a variety of topics, one of which is the return of the remains from the Korean War, another is stopping missile proliferation.

We are continuing to talk to them about -- in the context of the framework agreement which they seem to be honoring -- and we have also, of course, launched four-party talks involving China, North Korea, South Korea and the United States to try to reach a peace agreement on the Korean Peninsula, so we are having a series of talks. But, right now, the sanctions remain in place. If we were to begin to make progress in some of these areas we're discussing with the North Koreans, we might be able to consider lifting sanctions, but I don't think the time has arrived yet.

Q: So, do you have anything on the resumption of the missile talks or the four-party talks?

A: I don't know what the schedule is. These are handled, actually, by the State Department and you should direct your question to them.

Q: Just to follow up on that question, could you confirm exactly which countries have received missiles from North Korea?

A: No, I don't think so at this time, no.