May 13, 1998


9:02 P.M. (L)


                               THE WHITE HOUSE

                        Office of the Press Secretary
                              (Berlin, Germany)
For Immediate Release                                     May 13, 1998     

                              PRESS BRIEFING BY 
                        PRESS SECRETARY MIKE MCCURRY 
                              Radisson SAS Hotel
                               Berlin, Germany 	     			       

9:02 P.M. (L)



	     Q	  France has said they're opposed to sanctions, 
and I think Russia.  That's not a very good start --
	     MR. MCCURRY:  I think that other -- everyone here is 
well aware of the view that other governments take on the use of 
economic policy as a tool of diplomacy.  Very few, hardly any 
other countries in this world view economics as the useful tool 
for diplomacy that the United States sees.  It may reflect our 
own status as an economic superpower, but it also reflects maybe 
some different ways in which people think about market flows and 
their own positions as market capitalist democracies.  
	     Prime Minister Blair has indicated this will be a 
subject that the leaders will take up and address when they meet 
in Birmingham, and we'll see how ideas have developed as we look 
ahead to the coming discussion in a few days.

	     Q	  How do you pursue that given the reluctance --
	     MR. MCCURRY:  They will meet and discuss this issue, 
as the Prime Minister indicated.

	     Q	  If the U.S. urges economic sanctions against 
India and most of the other G-8 nations refuse, does that send a 
mixed message to India and undercut the effect of the U.S. 
	     MR. MCCURRY:  Depends on what other ways in which 
those other governments choose to express the displeasure that 
they have all, to my knowledge, expressed in the wake of these 
tests.  They have all universally, as far as I know, condemned 
the tests, and no doubt, each of those governments will have 
different ways of expressing their displeasure.
	     Q	  So does that mean that Clinton will tell them 
that if they don't want economic sanctions, they should take some 
other kinds of steps?
	     MR. MCCURRY:  That means that many of them may move, 
and maybe already some -- obviously, Japan is one -- are already 
moving to do exactly that.  And I think that there will be some 
discussion in Birmingham about how to coordinate the work that 
all the governments around the table would want to do to remind 
India of its obligations and to express the displeasure that has 
been voiced by each of those nations.
	     Q	  Is the situation with the media at this point 
such that we learn about these nuclear tests at roughly the same 
time the administration learns about them -- do you consider that 
the President gets a good jump on that information or is such now 
that --
	     MR. MCCURRY:  Well, it depends.  It depends.  We've 
had in the period of time that Bill Clinton has been President, 
there have been tests by a number of governments and there have 
been different -- a different quantity and quality of information 
available in each and every instance, as far as I recall.

	     Q	  In these instances -- everybody is getting  
information around the same time as the President --
	     MR. MCCURRY:  Well, whatever information that you 
had access to and whatever information we had access to is 
something that I imagine that Admiral Jeremiah and the 
President's foreign intelligence advisory board are going to be 
looking at carefully in the next week or so.

            END                        9:11 P.M. (L)