For Immediate Release
March 31, 2003
U.S. Department of State Daily Press Briefing
Daily Press Briefing
Richard Boucher, Spokesman
March 31, 2003
1 Secretary Powell's Travel to Ankara and Brussels 4/2-4/4
1-2,4,7,14 Purpose and Timing of Secretary Powell's Travel to Ankara
1-2,5,6 Special Envoy for Iraqi Opposition Khalilzad in Turkey
2-3 Purpose for Secretary Powell's Travel to Brussels
3-4 Prospects for Secretary to Address Public Groups / Media in Ankara
4-6,7 Agenda / Discussion of Issues During Secretary's Travel to Ankara
7-9 Statements on Alignment with Iraq / US View
10-12 US View of Iranian Involvement in Iraq
13,15,16-17 US Imposition of Missile Proliferation Sanction on
North Korean Entity
13 US Public Diplomacy Efforts and Outreach to Arab Media and Public
13-14 Discussion of the Powell Doctrine
16 Treatment of Iraqi POWs
14 Delegation of US Civil Affairs Office with Governor of Herat
15-16,17 US Imposition of Nonproliferation Penalties on Pakistani
17-18 Secretary Powell's Meeting with Israeli Foreign Minister
18 Parliamentary By-Elections
MR. BOUCHER: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. If
I can, I would like to start by telling you that the Secretary of State
will travel to Ankara and Brussels this week, departing from Washington
on Tuesday, that is tomorrow, and returning on Thursday, April 3rd.
In Ankara, Secretary Powell will meet with Turkish leaders to
strengthen our relationship with this close NATO ally. He will discuss
our continuing cooperation in the war against Iraq as well as
post-conflict issues regarding Iraq; also, expect to take up the war on
terrorism, Cyprus and a variety of mutual concerns.
In Brussels, the Secretary intends to consult with members of the
European Union and with NATO and conduct a number of bilateral
meetings. Discussions in Brussels will focus on the war in Iraq and
also on the broad range of post-conflict issues that we want to discuss
with our European allies at this time.
The Press Office is notifying news organizations that can be
offered a seat under the rotation system.
So I would be glad to take your questions about that or anything
QUESTION: Did his agenda include a new letter of -- a new request
from the Turkey?
MR. BOUCHER: We will have to see when we get there where we stand.
As you know, we have been doing a lot of coordination with the Turkish
Government. Our Special Envoy for the Iraqi opposition, Zal Khalilzad,
is out in Turkey right now. He has been having meetings with the
Turkish Government, coordinating on issues involving Northern Iraq. So
there's a lot of work going on on those issues.
I don't know of any additional requests at this moment, but we will
just see when he gets out there.
QUESTION: And also, according to Turkish press, Mr. Khalilzad
couldn't solve some problems with the Turkish Government. Did the
MR. BOUCHER: I wouldn't relate it specifically to those discussions
or specifically to some other issue. It is a chance at a critical
moment, obviously, for both us and Turkey, to talk about what is going
on in Iraq, talk about the affect on Turkey, talk about many of the
things we are doing together with Turkey in the war on terrorism, and
et cetera, but also to talk to Turkey as we want to talk to others
about the post-war scenarios, about how to reestablish an Iraq that has
a representative government whose territorial integrity is maintained
and how we can work together to do that.
QUESTION: Richard, on the stop in Brussels, will the Secretary be
proposing in any way a more concrete plan for NATO to play a role in
peacekeeping on the reconstruction of Iraq?
MR. BOUCHER: I don't know of anything. Let me just not try to get
into any specifics at this point about what he might discuss during
this trip. I told you the general topics. Obviously, we will get out
there and be discussing a whole variety of things with our friends and
allies, both in NATO and with European Union allies, as well.
QUESTION: Does the State Department have any position on NATO
peacekeeping in post-Saddam Iraq?
MR. BOUCHER: Yes.
QUESTION: Can you share it?
QUESTION: When did he --
MR. BOUCHER: No, I -- on the issue of sort of stabilization and
peacekeeping in post-Saddam Iraq, obviously there is a job that needs
to be done. That job of stabilization, that job of maintaining security
for the Iraqi people, clearly American forces will be there to help
with that, but there may be ways of involving others, as well. But that
is at an early stage right now, I'd have to say.
QUESTION: Richard, two things. When did he decide to make this
trip? Was it -- is it safe to say that, you know, toward the end of
last week he did not -- he wasn't considering going? Or is that not
MR. BOUCHER: Well, that's not quite correct, either. We've been --
for a couple weeks now, he's been considering making a trip and it was
yesterday that he decided to make this trip at this time. These were
stops that were anticipated anyway.
QUESTION: And, you know, it wasn't all that long ago that the
Secretary was upstairs, told some of us that Belgium may not
particularly be a great destination for people in his position,
particularly those who have been named in lawsuits. Is the Secretary
pretty confident that he's not going to get served with any kind of
legal papers when he arrives?
MR. BOUCHER: I am sure the lawyers are going to give us their final
judgment on that, but I am not sure that things have progressed to
quite that point in the Belgian parliament yet where that would be an
QUESTION: Richard, I'm sorry. What do you mean? It was my
understanding the Belgian parliament was moving to alter the law --
MR. BOUCHER: To alter the law.
QUESTION: -- that they couldn't be sued. But right now, as far as I
understand, there is a suit pending.
MR. BOUCHER: I guess it's on the books, yes. I'll check with the
lawyers. I'm sure we'll make sure that's not a concern before he goes
QUESTION: Is this a fence-mending trip? Is there a need, as far as
he can --
MR. BOUCHER: No.
QUESTION: Well, things are going very well with all the allies?
MR. BOUCHER: Things are going quite well with all our allies. No,
we have a lot of issues with some of our allies. We have close
partnerships and cooperation with others. Remember, NATO and the
European Union are very broad organizations that have a variety of
democratic governments involved, and each with their own views and each
with their own public issues. We will be seeing NATO allies like
Britain and Spain and Italy and Portugal and Poland, as well as NATO
allies like France and Germany and members of the European Union. So,
you know, we have allies with different views. We will be talking about
I think the issue at this moment, though, for us and the Europeans
on the diplomatic track is to look at what is going on in Iraq, not in
terms of the past but in terms of what we can do to make -- to give
Iraqis a better future, and how we can all get involved in the relief
and reconstruction efforts.
QUESTION: Richard, in Turkey, where the population is said to be
about 90 percent against the war, does the Secretary have any plans to
talk to the Turkish people outside of government meetings, any kinds of
interviews with TV or addresses to the public groups?
MR. BOUCHER: I don't have a final schedule, but I would expect
finding ways to talks to the -- to people in Turkey and in Europe is an
important part of what we would like to do as we travel through their
QUESTION: Richard, a couple of -- a week or two ago, the Secretary
was responding to criticisms that he wasn't traveling enough, and the
Secretary said, you know, it's not necessary, in this day and age I
rely on telecommunications, all the technology that's available to me
and able to do my job, and I only travel when I feel as if it's
Why -- what makes this particular trip at this particular time
necessary for the -- to take the Secretary away from the President and
advising him in that role?
MR. BOUCHER: As I think I tried to explain, we are at a moment in
the conflict when the military part continues to go according to plan
and when it is time for those of us who have been working on the
diplomacy and on the humanitarian effort, also to start talking in
somewhat more detail with some of our friends and allies about the
post-conflict engagement and about the post-conflict scene. That
remains an item on our agenda, along with many other things, like
Middle East peace, which remain under active discussion with our
friends and allies, and the Secretary thought this was an opportune
moment to go out and work on these issues directly with some of our
QUESTION: Richard, a few other questions. One, will his trip to
Ankara have as part of it any kind of an assessment of whether Turkey
-- of what aid Turkey may need as a result of damage to its economy it
may have suffered because of the war? How much of the $1 billion that
was included in the supplemental it might actually get? And, secondly,
in Brussels, is there any reason to believe that he'll meet
collectively with the European Union foreign ministers?
MR. BOUCHER: The answer to the first question, I'm sure the subject
of our proposed assistance for Turkey, should Turkey suffer economic
consequences, that will probably be discussed. But he's not there to
make an economic assessment quite at this moment. We don't have the
money in hand yet and, in any case, it's generally not what the
Secretary of State does on his trips. But I'm sure the subject will be
discussed of the economic impact and how our money can be used to
On the second question of collective versus bilateral meetings with
European Union friends, maybe -- still putting the schedule together.
Okay. Let's go to the back.
QUESTION: Since you mentioned that he will be staying in Ankara,
the Secretary of State is going to discussions over the Cyprus issue,
does he have any new idea or a new approach to this problem or just --
MR. BOUCHER: I think it is obviously a subject of continuing
commitment and concern on behalf of the United States. The Secretary
General's envoy, I think, has been asked to produce an assessment for
the Secretary General of what happened and what happens next. So that
is really where the immediate ideas and action are. So I don't know
that we're going out -- we're not going out with any new proposal of
any particular kind, but we certainly do want to talk to Turkey about
the continuing need to try to solve this problem.
QUESTION: Did you announce if he's going to discuss the Kurdish
situation? Because the Turks are very concerned, particularly in these
days as you are moving direct to Kirkuk and Mosul areas.
MR. BOUCHER: Well, I was sort of asked that by your neighbor before
about the issues that Zal Khalilzad is discussing while he is in Ankara
right now. And certainly, the Kurdish areas and various parts of that
issue are being discussed in some intensive detail between the United
States and Turkey.
At what stage, where these issues are when we get to Turkey, I
can't quite say now, but I'm sure the Secretary will want to discuss in
general terms the situation in Northern Iraq and how the United States
and Turkey can cooperate to make sure that refugee flows or terrorism
or other matters that would be of concern to Turkey, as well as the
United States, to make sure those things don't arise.
QUESTION: About the control of the Kirkuk and Mosul area?
MR. BOUCHER: I can't say specifically that one or the other city
might or might not be discussed.
Okay. Ma'am. In the back.
QUESTION: Yes. Secretary of State recently said that, you know,
they are waiting an offer from the Turkish side for greater cooperation
and we will find out what they offer so and then we will make our
offer. Did he get any sign from the Turkish Government for a greater
cooperation? And why the visit now, because you said at this critical
moment. Why did you use this?
MR. BOUCHER: Because there's a war going on next door to Turkey.
MR. BOUCHER: And Turkey has concerns about the situation there. We
have had a lot of discussion with Turkey about our cooperation. At this
moment we have -- share Turkey's concerns about the potential economic
impact and I think we all want to look forward in terms of our
discussions with Turkey, as with the rest of our European allies, about
the post-war situation and what we can all do to bring stability, to
bring representative government, to maintain Iraq's territorial
integrity, and make it so that Turkey's neighbor is a plus for the
region -- an open economic partner that they can trade with and have
relations with. So we are in the middle of the war. It's a good time --
it's a moment where we should be looking forward, looking not only at
the current situation, but also the post-war situation.
QUESTION: As a follow-up, you know, you said you take care of
Turkey's concern. One of the concern is the -- you are targeting
terrorist groups in Northern Iraq, naming only one of them, al-Ansar,
and you're saying that they have connections to al-Qaida. There are
other terrorist groups over there. One of them is a separatist group
aimed at Turkey and you're not mentioning any of the other groups.
MR. BOUCHER: Again, we are discussing these issues in some
considerable detail with the Turkish Government. I made clear that Mr.
Khalilzad, when he came out of the Foreign Ministry today, said they
have discussed potential refugee flows and the problem of terror, the
threat to Turkey, as well as the issue of Kirkuk or the possibility of
instability there, discussed ways of discouraging instability. So that
situation that Turkey faces with regard to potential for terrorists
from that part of Iraq is certainly much on our minds and something we
are working with Turkey to cooperate on.
QUESTION: Does the U.S. still maintain its hope to have a northern
front from Turkey?
MR. BOUCHER: That's a military question that I can't answer over
QUESTION: Where do you stand with Turkey in terms of the
coordinated movement on the troops. I mean have you settled the issue?
Are you still hoping that Turkey won't move its troops? Have you gotten
assurances from them? Where does it stand?
MR. BOUCHER: I think you have seen the statements that Turkish
leaders have made, including General Ozkok last week. You have heard
from us that we don't think there should be Turkish incursion into
Northern Iraq or any uncoordinated movement of forces. And you have
also heard from our Special Envoy out there, who in his statements
today said that, "We both agree that Turkish forces going into Northern
Iraq is not an end in itself for Turkey. But Turkey has legitimate
concerns and interests and we will do everything we can in cooperation
with Turkey and the local people in Northern Iraq to head off those
The approach that we have taken, and I've explained to you before,
is that the United States believes that through our own efforts and
through our cooperation with Turkey and with the groups in Northern
Iraq, we can avoid the kind of instability, the kind of refugee flows,
the kind of terrorism, the kind of dangers, that Turkey is legitimately
QUESTION: Could you explain a little more fully what factors make
it an opportune time to go now, when it obviously, apparently, wasn't
an opportune time when you were still in negotiations with the Turks
before the war started?
MR. BOUCHER: There is always any number of things going on in the
Secretary's life. There may be negotiations with the Turks and UN
resolutions and roadmap discussions and a variety of other things that
maybe you all don't pay that much attention to on the day to day, but
things like fighting AIDS and fighting famine and helping prepare for a
war in Iraq.
QUESTION: So he's (inaudible)?
MR. BOUCHER: So -- no, it is just a chance at this moment, I think,
to get away, a chance to get out to important allies. I would point out
that over, I think, four or five weeks running, including a trip to
China, he met with many of our friends and allies in New York, because
that is where they were and that is where he met them. So it is not
like he hasn't seen these people face to face. He has been, you know,
in face to face with European leaders in particular already half a
dozen times this year, and so this is a chance to go see them out there
where they are.
QUESTION: A tiny bit south, Syria --
MR. BOUCHER: We have just one question over here.
QUESTION: Is the issue of Turkey serving as a base for American
military operations passed?
MR. BOUCHER: Third time I've been asked the question.
QUESTION: Sorry, I didn't --
MR. BOUCHER: I'm not in a position to really answer, whether
northern front or the future requests of Turkey with regard to military
operations. Those just aren't questions I can answer at this moment.
They are really questions for the military whether we still want that.
And on the trip, if we raise it, we will tell you.
QUESTION: Syria. What do you make of the Syrian Foreign Ministry's
statement this morning saying that they basically decided to align
themselves with Iraq in this conflict, one, as just a country in the
region and a country with a lot of its interests in what happens in
Iraq, but also as a member of the UN Security Council?
MR. BOUCHER: I did not see that particular statement so I don't
think I have any comment on that particular statement. But I would
remind you of what the Secretary said last night: "Syria faces a
critical choice. Syria can continue direct support for terrorist
groups and the dying regime of Saddam Hussein, or it can embark on a
different and more hopeful course. Either way, Syria bears the
responsibility for its choices and for the consequences."
Issues of Iraq and things like transshipment of military-related
items and dual-use items through Syria into Iraq have been on the
agenda for many, many months. Secretary Powell has raised these a
number of times himself. Our embassy has been very active on this
subject, including in recent weeks and days. And so we intend to
continue to raise these issues because they're very important to us.
QUESTION: Right. Well, I guess, then, do you consider right now
what -- Syria to be a hostile?
MR. BOUCHER: I don't have any different characterization than the
one the Secretary gave last night.
QUESTION: Okay. And the Secretary used the word "consequences" in
his speech. Note that the UN resolution that you're operating -- you
say you're operating under the authority of 1441, also talks about
consequences. In that case, it was --
MR. BOUCHER: It talks about serious consequences.
QUESTION: Exactly. So is this -- is it a deliberate choice of words
or is it just a coincidence that --
MR. BOUCHER: It's a regular word in the English language.
QUESTION: Yeah, but he could have said repercussions, too.
MR. BOUCHER: And then you'd be asking me what's the difference
between repercussions and consequences. I can't --
QUESTION: Well, I think the Syrians are wondering.
MR. BOUCHER: It is a normal English word that has normal English
meaning, and that is that you can't align yourself with a regime, a
dictatorship that is contesting the whole world and fighting the United
States, without there being consequences for the world's attitude
QUESTION: Richard, for over a year now, this Administration has
been threatening -- or, not threatening, but this Administration has
voiced its disapproval of Syria's cooperative behavior with Iraq. Do
you have a timeframe for when you could see the Syrians making the
strategic choice that the Secretary so wants them to make?
MR. BOUCHER: Well, I think on many of the things that we've seen,
we wanted them stopped right away. So I'd just leave it for that.
QUESTION: Well, I don't want to parse it too much because it
doesn't sound like you want to get into -- any more detailed on this,
but there was this threat of consequences last night, obviously.
Secretary Rumsfeld said similar things on Friday. When do the
consequences, unspecified as they are, kick in for serious decision?
MR. BOUCHER: I don't think there's any way I can answer that at
this point. There is no fixed timetable. There is obviously daily
consequences for how people view you in the world if you decide to take
certain positions. That is true of any government. That is particularly
true of a government that might be, as I said, sort of aligning itself
with a brutal dictator whose days are numbered.
QUESTION: Richard, Syria still. Is there any concern that in making
such blunt public statements about both Iran and Syria, you know,
Administration officials making such blunt statements, that it might
backfire, given the culture in that part of the world and the fact that
you are confronting them so publicly?
MR. BOUCHER: I think it is important to us to make clear what our
views are, and we have made them clear in private, we have made them
clear in public. Nobody in the Syrian Government will be surprised at
the strength of our views on this issue by the way they hear them in
public because they have already heard them that way in private.
QUESTION: And have you gotten any response at all from Syria in
terms, you know, addressing your concerns?
MR. BOUCHER: I wouldn't be able to characterize the response at
QUESTION: What about Iran? Did you just --
MR. BOUCHER: Let's -- Teri.
QUESTION: What do you consider the U.S.'s leverage over Syria at
this point? If you've already had these one-on-one discussions where
the Secretary made clear the views -- the sanctions, they're on the
state sponsors of terrorism list -- I mean, what really -- what kinds
of consequences could it have besides just the public opinion?
MR. BOUCHER: Again, I'm not in a position at this point to go into
any more details about what consequences may occur. There is a
consequence to an ongoing relationship of not making this choice or of
making the wrong choice in this case of, as the Secretary said, you can
either tie yourself with the terrorists and support a dying regime of
Saddam Hussein, or you can choose a better path for Syria and for its
So, at the very least, there are the foregone benefits, the
opportunity costs of choosing this course, opportunity costs for your
own people, the opportunity costs for your relations in the world.
QUESTION: Well, to move over to Iran, there have been, you know,
whether it's through third-party channels or indirect talks or
whatever, there have been some things that you and the Iranians have
agreed upon in terms of -- in terms of active neutrality, things like
that. Are you afraid that coming out so publicly against Iran and Syria
to some extent will, to follow up on Vicky's question, kind of ruin any
kind of engagement that you already have, even if it's -- even if it's
MR. BOUCHER: Again, we have made these views known privately, we've
made them known publicly. Iran shouldn't -- doesn't have any illusions,
I am sure, that we have been concerned for many, many years about their
support for terrorism, their opposition to the peace process, their
development of weapons of mass destruction, especially the nuclear
developments. I mean, have the United States running around the world
campaigning with people not to help the Iranian nuclear program in any
way. It's not going to come as any surprise to the Iranian Government
that we oppose their nuclear developments.
So these are not surprises, nor are they particularly new in terms
of statements, but they're quite clear statements that, at a moment
when you have U.S. forces as part of a coalition fighting in Iraq, we
do not think that neighbors of Iraq should be helping, helping Iraq.
QUESTION: Well, but at the same time, I mean, there are instances
that you have needed the Iranians' cooperation. A couple of -- a week
or two ago, there was a missile incident and it seemed to be kind of
solved pretty quietly and not a lot of rhetoric on either side.
MR. BOUCHER: I guess we're being accused of being undiplomatic in
this instance. Is that right?
QUESTION: Well, I guess I question the timing of such rhetorical
statements at a time when you're actually looking for the Iranians'
cooperation on Iraq and seem to be, if not getting cooperation, then
certainly they could be a lot more of a spoiler than they seem to be
MR. BOUCHER: I don't think I can comment on the timing. These are
views that have been expressed before, expressed repeatedly, that are
well known to the governments involved, both Syria and Iran. And it
will come as no surprise to them that we've made these statements.
QUESTION: Richard, I would like to look at it -- I don't know
whether it's inside out or outside in, but certainly from a different
way. Given the fact that 10 years ago Jordan supported Iraq and given
the fact that last week we just asked for a $1 billion in aid for
Jordan, I wonder if Syria and Iran might not be taking an interesting
road to getting on America's good side?
MR. BOUCHER: You're asking me to predict our relations with Syria
and Iran 10 years down the road?
QUESTION: Well, maybe a little ways down the road. I don't know.
MR. BOUCHER: I don't think that's something I could do, Charlie.
Find an academic or somebody with a crystal ball to do that for you.
QUESTION: Sort of in that same vein of Jordan and aid to neighbors,
that neighbors shouldn't be helping Iraq, is the U.S. concerned at all
that among the weapons found that there are piles of ammunition with
Jordan denoted as the country of origin? And are we doing any -- is the
U.S. doing anything about that?
MR. BOUCHER: I don't have anything on those weapons at this point.
I don't think that's something I can get into, as they are still on the
battlefield. But I'm sure, obviously, the assessment and exploitation
of the information in whatever context might ensue will be done at the
QUESTION: Richard, I just want to make sure, in reference to a
question that Elise asked, are you saying that the Iranians as well as
the Syrians are aiding Saddam's regime?
MR. BOUCHER: I am -- do I have with me the text? I don't have the
exact words that the Secretary used last night. Our concern about Iran
has been the involvement of Iranians in Iraq. You know that the issue
has been raised with these so called "Badr Brigades" possibly moving
into Northern Iraq or even being there. And so we've been concerned
about that. We've made no secret of our views that we oppose any
Iranian presence in Iraq because we think that kind of presence would
be serious, it would be de-stabilizing. So we have made that message
very, very clear and, I think, in a very serious manner.
QUESTION: Isn't that far -- that's a far cry -- I mean, the Badr
Brigades fought Saddam in 1991. Isn't that a -- that's a lot different
than what Syria's doing, which is giving them night vision goggles from
MR. BOUCHER: I'm not here to compare and contrast. I was asked a
generic question about whether expressing our view so strongly
undercuts the kind of cooperation we might envisage, and I said no. But
that doesn't mean that each of them is doing the same thing. Okay?
Let's keep going. Elise.
QUESTION: Do you think that perhaps the movement of the Badr
Brigades has anything to do with Iran seeing Turkey seek to move some
of its troops towards --
MR. BOUCHER: You want to go ask Iran that question? Be my guest. I
don't have speculation on somebody else's political motives.
QUESTION: But isn't one of the reasons that you were afraid to --
MR. BOUCHER: I'm not here to be a political commentator on what
other people do. I'm sorry. I'm not in a position to examine, to try to
divine, Iran's motives in doing this, that or the other. We don't think
it's a good step. We oppose it. I can tell you U.S. views, that's all.
QUESTION: Does the -- do your very strong statements on the issue
of Iran at this particular juncture say anything about your optimism,
or lack thereof, of engaging the Iranian Government at some point --
you know, the reformers in Iran? Have you sort of given up on them?
MR. BOUCHER: I wouldn't draw any broad political conclusions. Our
policy on Iran has been frequently stated and well stated, I think, and
I will just stick with what we said before.
QUESTION: Yesterday, when Secretary Powell spoke about Iran, he
mentioned that there was going -- he seemed to hint that there would be
a new international effort regarding its nuclear program. Can you --
you seem to have, today, been saying that there really isn't much new
in these statements about Iran, there's always been concerns about it,
but is there -- The Financial Times over the weekend said that the
Pentagon had a list of oil companies working with the Iranians that
would be ineligible for contracts. Is there anything --
MR. BOUCHER: I think we also made clear what our view was on
contracting, and we administer the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act, so that's
a question we can answer for you, as well.
QUESTION: Well, I understand that, but the -- anyway, I don't want
to get into that Financial Times story. Is there anything more you can
say about any new policy of substance -- the Secretary --
MR. BOUCHER: No. You did.
I should have brought the Secretary's text with me. I don't have
the exact words that he said on Iran, but what I indicated was policy
goals. It's no secret the United States doesn't like Iran's support
for terrorism, is concerned about their development of weapons of mass
destruction, especially nuclear, is concerned about the human rights
situation in Iran, believes that the voices that are calling for reform
and change and more democracy in Iran deserve our support and
appreciation. And so those are the fundamentals of the policy at any
Obviously, our concern about nuclear developments in Iran has only
grown in recent months with the kind of information that has been
coming out on Iran's nuclear fuel cycle. And obviously, equally
obviously, we are engaged in an effort with governments that may have
some form of nuclear cooperation with Iran to try to point out these
new facts and make sure that they understand this is why we have
opposed it all along.
The policy hasn't changed. The effort certainly has.
QUESTION: Does the United States have any plan to impose trade
embargo against North Korea?
MR. BOUCHER: I couldn't answer a question like that at this point.
As you know, we have looked for a peaceful and diplomatic solution to
the problems in North Korea. All options are available to the President
should he make any decision like that. But at this point, we're
exploring opportunities to try to solve this peacefully and
QUESTION: Can I ask you about public diplomacy? Last week, you
mentioned how some of the Arab press are misconstruing stories. Is
there anything that the U.S. is actively doing about that, and could
you just sort of talk about the public diplomacy ongoing efforts?
MR. BOUCHER: I think there's a lot of things going on. The first is
we are perhaps a little more outspoken than usual on places and stories
that we think jump to conclusions or are erroneous.
The second is that we are pretty active in briefing ourselves and
trying to make ourselves available to the Arabic language press so that
we have American officials appearing, I don't know, a dozen times a
week on Arabic media of various kinds. Probably more than that if you
start adding in all the work that our embassies do day after day after
As you know, Arabic language journalists have been welcomed in
Doha. Some of them are embedded with U.S. forces. And we try to make
available to them the kind of footage that we might have, for example,
of the humanitarian efforts, as we do to media around the world, so
that people can understand the true nature of what the United States is
doing in Iraq and the fact that our goal is to help the Iraqi people.
So we try to make that kind of information available to them.
QUESTION: There have been some reports over the weekend,
editorials, talking about Secretary Powell's feeling about how this war
is going. And could you speak to this? He's -- I know he has said that
he endorsed the war plans, but he certainly didn't endorse Donald
Rumsfeld and was a little bit hazy in terms of whether he thinks that
his question of the Powell doctrine -- overwhelming use of force -- is
MR. BOUCHER: Decisive. He has answered that question, like, a dozen
times. And anybody who reads his transcripts and looks at what he says
should have a quite clear view of how the Secretary feels about the
things. Read the transcripts from last week and see how many times he
was asked about the Powell doctrine, how many times he said "clear
political goals, decisive use of force, this operation meets that
standard;" how many times he said he has total confidence in the war
planners and the people who are carrying out the plan; how many times
he has said he is, you know, with the President on this one.
You see these very odd stories that sort of talk to somebody who is
not reflecting the Secretary's views and where the Secretary's views
are known not to be the same, and yet somehow what that person out
there in the wilderness thinks is imputed to be -- to relate to the
Secretary in some manner or the other. The fact that that person has
views is great and may be important, but one shouldn't sort of confuse
all the various views out there when the Secretary himself is so clear
about what he thinks at this juncture.
QUESTION: Did the Powell doctrine call for decisive force and
overwhelming use of force?
MR. BOUCHER: The Powell doctrine, as the Secretary frequently
points out, including in each one of these interviews I'm referring you
to, the Powell doctrine, I think, was codified by a journalist, and the
way the Secretary usually puts it is decisive force.
QUESTION: Have these developments concerning Syria and Iran had any
impact on making the decision on this trip to Ankara? Any impact?
MR. BOUCHER: I wouldn't say it had any particular impact on the
trip to Ankara, no. The trip to Ankara is because we have an important
ally with a lot of issues and things we want to do with that ally, and
that we need to talk about the situation next door in Iraq, we need to
talk about the future of Iraq, but we also need to talk about many
other issues in our bilateral relationship. The economic situation in
Turkey remains important to us and there is just a whole lot of other
things. It's a key ally and a key place at a key moment, and that's
why we're going there.
QUESTION: You don't think developments in Syria will not be on the
table? I mean --
MR. BOUCHER: I didn't say that, either. But I don't know if we will
discuss developments in Syria and Iran and the region or not at this
point. We will have to see how the meetings work out. But the reason we
are going is not - we are not going to Turkey to talk about Syria,
we're going to Turkey to talk about Turkey, to talk about the region
that Turkey is in, talk about what the United States and Turkey can do
together as allies.
QUESTION: But you remember there was this meeting before the war,
the peace initiative by Turkey and all these --
MR. BOUCHER: No, that's not what we're going to talk about,
either. Okay, we had a gentleman over here. Sir.
QUESTION: I was wondering, a few days ago in Afghanistan the
Governor of Herat, Ishmael Khan, met a -- apparently met a delegation
of the U.S. Civil Affairs Office there. I was wondering if you had
anything on that.
MR. BOUCHER: I don't have anything on that. I'll see if there's
anything to say about it.
QUESTION: Moving back to North Korea for a second, one, the
question was odd because isn't there already some sort of trade embargo
on North Korea?
MR. BOUCHER: There are many sanctions still remaining on North
Korea, but as you know, in the past, some of those have been lifted. I
took the question to be do you intend to re-impose some of those. Maybe
that wasn't the question, but that's the way I took it.
QUESTION: Okay. Well, then can you explain the imposition of the
sanctions on North Korea that you did do, and, actually, perhaps
explain why it wasn't, as I understand it, why it wasn't -- I mean,
this is a question directed at the publishers of the Federal Register,
but why it wasn't in there as it was supposed to have been?
MR. BOUCHER: Feel free to ask the publishers of the Federal
Register. We submit things for publication and they decide when to
On March 24th, the United States imposed missile proliferation
sanctions on the North Korean entity, Changgwang Sinyong Corporation.
Sanctions were imposed for its involvement in the transfer of Missile
Technology Control Regime Category 1 items from North Korea that
contributed to a Missile Technology Control Regime Category 1 missile
program in a non-Missile Technology Control Regime country. Sanctions
will be announced in the Federal Register shortly, I am assured.
That's as specific as I can get.
QUESTION: Okay. And can you talk about the entirely unrelated other
sanctions that were imposed on a Pakistani company?
MR. BOUCHER: I didn't say that. But I can talk about the sanctions
imposed on a Pakistani company.
On March 24th, the United States imposed nonproliferation penalties
on the Pakistani entity, Khan Research Laboratories, pursuant to
Executive Order 12938, as amended. Under this order, penalties are
imposed on the Khan Research Laboratories for a material contribution
to the efforts of a foreign country, person or entity of proliferation
concern to use, acquire, design, develop or secure weapons of mass
destruction and/or missiles capable of delivering weapons of mass
QUESTION: Okay. Now, I don't know how you're going to respond to
this at all, but given the fact that these sanctions were imposed on
the two -- the two sets of sanctions were imposed on the same day,
should one draw any kind of conclusions from that?
MR. BOUCHER: I will leave it to you to draw whatever conclusions.
QUESTION: Is there any conclusion that the State Department is
drawing between these two --
MR. BOUCHER: Not any conclusion I'm able to draw in public. I would
be able to say that the -- I read you the law and the order with regard
to the sanctions on Pakistan. Among the many possibilities that that
contains these sanctions on Khan Research Laboratories were because of
the importation of missiles.
QUESTION: The Iraqi civilian fighters that were caught in Iraq, are
they going to be treated as war POWs according to Geneva Convention, or
are they going to be sent somewhere like Guantanamo, or?
MR. BOUCHER: I think I have to leave it to the Pentagon to answer
that question since these are people picked up on the battlefield at
this moment. Whatever their exact legal status, I can tell you they'll
be treated humanely, they'll be given due attention to their needs and
to their comfort and their safety.
QUESTION: Richard, can I go back to this North Korea for one
second? Sorry, I forgot this. It's my understanding that the sanctions
on this North Korean entity actually apply not just to the North Korean
entity, but to the Government of North Korea, as well. Is that
MR. BOUCHER: I will see if I can get the exact reach of the --
QUESTION: Who would be familiar with the entities?
MR. BOUCHER: The entity is Changgwang Sinyong, C-h-a-n-g-g-w-a-n-g;
and the second word Sinyong, S-i-n-y-o-n-g, Corporation.
Under U.S. law, there are different penalties if the sanctioned
activity involves Missile Technology Control Regime Category I items.
That would be missiles or major sub-systems versus Category II items.
The penalty in this case is for Category I activity. In addition, it
was determined that the activity made a substantial contribution to
So, for a two-year period, the North Korean entity and its
sub-units and successors will be denied all new individual export
licenses for State license and Commerce license exports, all new U.S.
Government contracts and all imports into the United States of products
In addition, because North Korea is a country with a non-market
economy that is not a former member of the Warsaw Pact, the Helms
Amendment to the missile sanctions law requires that these sanctions,
except for the ban on Commerce licenses, be applied not just to the
Changgwang Sinyong Corporation, but also to all activities of the North
Korean Government relating to the development or production of Missile
Technology Regime annex items or affecting the development or
production of electronic space systems or equipment and military
QUESTION: And, hopefully, won't get the same --
MR. BOUCHER: Is that clear?
MR. BOUCHER: At least it's long.
QUESTION: But in actual, in practical terms, there wasn't any
business going on between the United States and the North Korean
Government on this, in this area or between the U.S. -- U.S. companies
and this North Korean company, you say?
MR. BOUCHER: I don't know for sure if that extends to everything,
but a good part of this, as you note, exports from the United States
would already be covered on the bans for dual-use high-tech items or
military items that wouldn't be sold to that. Whether this company or
its subsidiaries, sub-units and successors had any exports to the
United States or not, I don't know.
QUESTION: But it's safe to say that there is not really any -- the
impact of this on this company is going to be -- is likely to be
negligible and this is -- you're just doing this to get it out there
and on the record?
MR. BOUCHER: Well, we do this as a matter of law, first of all.
Second of all, we have to decide as a matter of law the appropriate
penalties under the law. These are the appropriate penalties under the
law. Whether they, you know, lose out right now or lose any future
possibilities, that depends on a whole lot of other factors I can't
predict at this point.
QUESTION: Do the sanctions on the Pakistani entity, do those apply
solely to that entity or also to the government?
MR. BOUCHER: In the case of the Pakistani entity, they apply to the
QUESTION: And why only to the entity in that instance?
MR. BOUCHER: It, as I explained, in North Korea's case, it was a
non-former Warsaw Pact country and that has a different -- there is a
different angle under the law that applies there.
QUESTION: Can we move on to the Israelis?
MR. BOUCHER: Sure.
QUESTION: Thank you. Just, I don't -- Foreign Minister Silvan
Shalom said that, while not giving a timeline, that the Israelis would
not negotiate until there was at least an effort to end the terror. Do
you have any comment on this and does this jibe with what the
Secretary, how the Secretary views the roadmap process once you guys
MR. BOUCHER: Our intention, as you know, is to publish the roadmap
when the Palestinian Prime Minister is confirmed. In the meeting today,
the Secretary and the Foreign Minister discussed that process of moving
forward on peace, looking, understanding the plight of the Palestinian
people, I think, on both sides, and seeing what we could do in terms of
working with the new leadership that we see emerging on the Palestinian
The United States and Israel have been both looking for this kind
of transformation that's occurring and we need to see how that can be
made to work and whether the new prime minister and government, once
they are confirmed, are able to take up the responsibilities of -- that
would eventually lead to statehood.
So certainly ending the violence is the first priority. The
Secretary made that abundantly clear last night in many ways, I think,
several times during his speech. And that it is important before we
should expect any significant progress on this road to know that we
have to end the violence. We have to take away the uncertainty for
people, the abnormality of people's lives. And we have to not only give
the feeling of safety and security for Israelis, but also a sense of
hope and opportunity for Palestinians, as well. And so I would say they
discussed both sides of that today.
QUESTION: You have anything to say about the by-election in
MR. BOUCHER: The by-election in Zimbabwe. Yes, I do, as a matter of
Candidates for the Opposition Movement for Democratic Change Party
have defeated candidates from the ruling Zimbabwe African National
Union Patriotic Front Party in parliamentary by-elections in Highfield
and Kuwadzana, two high-density suburbs of Harare.
The United States calls on the Government of Zimbabwe to ensure
that all parties to the elections peacefully accept the results. The
Movement for Democratic Change victories occurred despite a political
playing field that has been and remains far from level.
The pre-election period was marred by a substantial escalation in
political violence perpetrated predominately by the government and
ruling party supporters. In some instances, primarily on March 29th,
diplomatic observers from the United States and other countries were
subjected to intimidation by ruling party supporters.
Results of the March 29-30 elections were announced on March 31 by
state radio and officials at the counting centers for the districts
where ballots were tallied under observation of the two parties,
polling agents and a representative of the Zimbabwe Election Support