White House Daily Briefing

Office of the Press Secretary

December 18, 2000


The James S. Brady Briefing Room

1:20 P.M. EST

Q: Along the same line, Powell the other day, he said that the
national missile defense would be an important priority of theirs.
Does that change any of the calculations or any decision making for
this White House, preparing for that White House to go forward with
the NMD?

MR. SIEWERT: I think the President has spoken to that. He's
essentially addressed the issue this past fall, in the speech he gave
at Georgetown. And I don't expect that we'll have anything new to say
on that before we - before the end of the term. Although, obviously,
the President and his team have been in consultations with the South
Koreans and North Koreans about how best we proceed on the offer that
the North Koreans have put on the table. Whether that plays into or
doesn't play into the debate about NMD is something that the next
administration will have to judge.

Q: But at this point, there's no decisions on President Clinton's
table for the next few weeks that would in any affect Bush's decision
to go forward with NMD?

MR. SIEWERT: Not that I'm aware of, no.