[EXCERPT] U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY BRIEFING
DPB # 65 TUESDAY, APRIL 29, 1997 1:23 P.M.
You know the Secretary last night had a working dinner with Foreign
Minister Qian Qichen. Let me very briefly review the highlights of
that for you. The dinner was devoted to a discussion of global issues
and also issues pertaining to the Asia-Pacific region, the environment
and U.N. reform -- those four issues. It was a very good meeting.
On Korea, they agreed that we really do need to have intensified
communication and consultations between the United States and China.
We are half of the four-party peace talks. We are two countries that
want the four-party peace talks to begin as soon as they can. They
agreed that we would exchange meetings, we would have meetings between
our senior officials on Korea. They discussed the food aid issue. They
discussed the agreed framework -- the nuclear freeze that is in place
on North Korea, and a variety of other issues.
Q: Nick, in the Secretary's meeting last night with Minister Qian
Qichen, can you tell us what the Chinese were saying about the food
situation in North Korea, and whether the minister was able to shed
any light on why the North Koreans are delaying in responding to the
four-party talks request?
BURNS: I think it's fair to say the Chinese share our assessment that
there is a dramatic food shortage in North Korea. Minister Qichen told
us that China has contributed a substantial amount of corn, grant corn
aid to the North Koreans just recently. We welcome that. We think that
countries have an obligation to meet this humanitarian need.
Q: Yesterday, during your -- I'm sorry, Bob.
Q: And on the other, Nick. Did he shed any light on why the North
Koreans are delaying a response to the Four-Party --
BURNS: We did discuss why both of us think North Korea has not yet
made a clear decision to join the Four Party peace talks and let them
begin. I think both of our countries would like to see those talks