THE WHITE HOUSE

                    Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release                             May 11, 1998     

                         PRESS BRIEFING BY 
                            MIKE MCCURRY 
                        The Briefing Room                            

1:30 P.M. EDT

             Q    What is the President reaction to the nuclear tests 
in India and how will he express that reaction?
             MR. MCCURRY:  The President is deeply distressed by the 
announcement of three nuclear tests.  He has authorized a formal 
presentation of our displeasure to be made to the government in New 
Delhi.  While it was foreseen, given the electoral program of the 
newly-elected party that they might take this step, it still flies in 
the face of an international consensus about the need to promulgate 
and nurture the new regime on a comprehensive test ban, and we will 
certainly be sharing those thoughts and others with the new 
government in India.
             Q    Will this jeopardize any presidential plans to go 
to India?
             MR. MCCURRY:  It's impossible to speculate at this point 
about what impact this might have on the President's future travel 

             Q    Are sanctions being anticipated? 

             MR. MCCURRY:  Sanctions are already anticipated when 
non-nuclear member states violate the restrictions that exist, or the 
consensus about those restrictions.  There are certain unilateral 
U.S. sanctions that may apply, and those are under study at this 

             Q    And what would those be? 

             MR. MCCURRY:  I'm not fully aware.  Apparently in law, I 
believe there is a Glenn amendment that may be applicable, but we're 
looking at that question now. 

             Q    Are you saying the President might decide not to go 
-- hasn't he already accepted an invitation?

             MR. MCCURRY:  He has and I'm declining to speculate on 
whether this will have any impact on those plans.

             Q    Do you think that this heralds a new kind of 
government in India, where they will be more belligerent and they're 
preparing more of their arms for -- 

             MR. MCCURRY:  Well, there is a new government and that 
new government made clear during the campaign how it wished to 
approach the posture it would take with respect to nuclear matters.  
But setting that aside, we think it still is a negative development 
to see these tests publicly announced and undertaken by the 
government.  And for all the reasons that we are working hard to 
promulgate the Comprehensive Test Ban, we would the governments would 
refrain from expanding the use of fissile materials at a time when we 
are trying to limit it. 

             Q    Who is talking to them?  Who is carrying the 

             MR. MCCURRY:  We'll have to check and see.  I think 
initially it was going to be communicated through Embassy New Delhi, 
but we can get more on that.  They were addressing some of that over 
at the State Department as I came out here.


 Q    And also, has the United States spoken with India's 
neighbors to ask them not to quickly respond to the actions -- 

             MR. MCCURRY:  Certainly we have had contact with the 
government of Pakistan and urged restraint, yes. 

             Q    On India again, was the administration caught off 
guard by this underground test, or where there some imminent signs 
this was about to happen?
             MR. MCCURRY:  It is my understanding we had no advance 
notification that the tests would occur.
             Q    So was it a surprise?
             MR. MCCURRY:  I can't answer that without delving into 
the kinds of information that we view and do not discuss here.