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DoD News Briefing, Tuesday, July 7, 1998

Presenters: Kenneth H. Bacon, ASD (PA)
July 07, 1998 1:45 PM EDT

Mr. Bacon: Good afternoon. Welcome to the Pentagon. Let me first bring you up to date on the situation in Florida.

We now have a total of 1,580 DoD personnel supporting the fire fighting efforts in Florida, 42 active duty and the rest are Florida Army National Guard personnel, some Florida Air Guard personnel, and some Georgia Guard personnel, as well.

And as you know, over the weekend, the Air Force, through the Transportation Command, provided a lot of airlift to bring in civilian fire fighters and fire engines. They used C-5s and C-141s to augment the fire fighting forces in Florida.

I understand it has been raining today, or is supposed to rain, but the fires are still going. We hope the rain will dampen them, obviously.

With that, I will take your questions.

Q: Ken, this crash, the Blackhawk helicopter crash in the Bahamas, can you explain to us both what the helicopter was doing there and what this flight was supposed to be about, and whether there was any indication that there was authorization for civilians to be on board?

A: Well, first of all, these helicopters were supporting a drug enforcement mission in the Bahamas called Operation BAHAMAS and TURKS, or OPBAT, and that is a mission that's run by the Drug Enforcement Agency.

The military has provided helicopter support for transportation since 1983. There were three Blackhawks down there at the time. I think that is our standard support complement, three Blackhawks, and the helicopters are used to transport U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency personnel and Bahamian police to places they need to go to do their work of interdicting drug smugglers and drug traffickers generally.

That's why the helicopters were down there. That's why they've been down there for the last 15 years, supporting that mission. It is only a transportation function.

The helicopter that crashed, as I understand it, was on a maintenance test flight. In other words, it had undergone some maintenance, some repairs, and it was flying to see if those repairs had been successful.

Obviously, the crash is under investigation by the Army, and it will take them some time to complete the investigation and figure out exactly what happened, so it's premature to comment on the specific details of the crash now.

Q: What about the (inaudible) on board?

A: Well, my understanding is that the Army has not completed notifying the secondary next of kin in this case, and it is probably not proper to comment on who was on board and who was killed until that is completed.

Q: Well, can you talk about the two civilians on board?

A: I cannot. I'm not going to talk about who was on board or the circumstances until the Army, one, notifies the next of kin and; two, I think I would rather let the Army comment on that after they have done their own investigation.

Q: Can you say whether or not there was any authorization for civilians to be on board?

A: I cannot. That is something for the Army to respond to.

Q: Can you speak though, in general, that if it was a maintenance test flight, obviously, and there might have been problems, and this was to look at whether the repairs even were (inaudible)? Is it proper, in general, on such a flight to have any kind of non-military --

A: Well, first of all, let me correct what I said. I don't even know if repairs were made. They might have lubricated part of the machine. I have no idea what sort of maintenance was performed.

All I do know is that they were flying the helicopter after it was in for some maintenance. It could have been scheduled maintenance, like an oil change, or it could have been extraordinary maintenance. I don't know that. That's one of the reasons why the Army is the best source of information on this.

Q: Just in general, what is the procedure for the military to be carrying any kind of civilian on an aircraft?

A: It generally, as I understand it, requires authorization to carry civilians on military aircraft.

Q: There may or may not have been authorization?

A: I don't know whether they had authorization or not.

Q: Can you comment on the Greek Minister of Defense Apostolos Tsokhatzopoulos' visit as a guest of the DoD Secretary William Cohen, and do you know the agenda for the talks tomorrow here at the Department of Defense?

A: Well, it will be a wide-ranging agenda. They will talk about Kosovo, obviously. They will talk about the NATO consideration of military options in Kosovo. They will talk about confidence-building measures in the Aegean and ways to reduce tensions in the Aegean between our two loyal allies, Greece and Turkey.

They will, I'm sure, talk about Bosnia. They will probably talk about such NATO issues as the new strategic concept that is being drafted in Brussels now. They may talk about NATO expansion issues, because that is one of the major issues in NATO today. And I suspect, also, they will talk about Cyprus and ways that our countries can work together to reduce tensions on Cyprus.

Q: So (inaudible), the then-U.S. Under Secretary, under Henry Kissinger during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, today appeared (inaudible) on the issue of S-300 missiles to Cyprus. I wonder, Mr. Bacon, if this particular issue will be in the agenda of Tsokhatzopoulos' talks and what do you expect from the Greek Minister of Defense?

A: I don't think I want to speak for the Greek Minister of Defense, but I'm sure that the S-300 missile issue will arise in the context of ways to reduce tensions on Cyprus.

Q: How do you assess, finally, those talks between Tsokhatzopoulos and Cohen (inaudible) for the security of Greece and the (inaudible)?

A: Well, these talks will be the second chapter of the relationship they began in Athens, and it's a reciprocal visit in return for the very good visit that Secretary Cohen had in Athens. I think the Secretary and the Minister of Defense have established a good relationship and this will build on that relationship.

Q: Are you concerned about the security of Greece?

A: I'm sorry?

Q: Are you concerned about the security of Greece?

A: Well, Greece and the United States are allies in the most successful security alliance in the history of the world. I think both countries are very secure, and they will concentrate on talking about ways to expand the security that both our countries enjoy to other countries in the area, in the Balkans, and also to the Aegean area as well.

Q: Do you have any insight as to whether the two gentlemen will sign any agreements of any arms sales or anything of that --

A: I don't believe they will.

Q: Can you comment on the significance of the apparent agreement now with the United States and China to conduct joint military exercises?

A: Well, first of all, let me say that China and the United States have been working on ways to improve military to military relationships since December of 1996, when the Defense Minister -- Chinese Defense Minister Chi came and visited Secretary Perry. Then, at the summit here last year in November between President Jiang and President Clinton, there was discussion of ways to work together in exercises and to improve military to military relationships. Secretary Cohen discussed this same theme in Beijing in January and it was obviously one of the topics that came up on President Clinton's visit to China last month and early this month.

We have already had joint search-and-rescue exercises with China. We had air exercises at the end of December in 1997. We had a long series of joint search-and-rescue exercises with the British forces operating out of Hong Kong. The British left and China took over the security of Hong Kong and we continued the same types of exercises with the Chinese forces. So, the first one we held was, as I said, late last December and that was with the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department, the U.S. Air Force, and the U.S. Coast Guard.

There's another one planned to take place this December and that will, I assume, go ahead as scheduled. That will be another joint search-and-rescue exercise with the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department, the U.S. Air Force and, I believe, the Coast Guard as well. So far, I believe those are the only joint exercises we've had with the Chinese military.

We have, long before the summit, invited them to send observers to several exercises and one just started yesterday. It's called RIMPAC 1998. It's an annual Naval exercise that takes place in the Pacific. It's a large Naval exercise and the Chinese have agreed to send two observers to that exercise. They will be aboard ships participating in the exercise. I believe there are six countries in the exercise. They will be aboard ships between July 15th and July 20th in and around Hawaii.

There's a second exercise that will begin later this month and that is called Cooperative Cope-Thunder, which is an air exercise -- multi-lateral air exercise -- that will take place in Alaska. That will involve air forces -- air force representatives -- from the United Kingdom, United States, Australia, Japan, Singapore, and there will be two Chinese observers watching that exercise as well. As I said, these arrangements were made long before the President's trip to China.

What was new and a breakthrough on the President's trip to China was an agreement to have reciprocal observer missions watching joint exercises in the two countries. The details of that haven't been worked out yet, but there was a fact sheet issued by the National Security Council when the President was in China that said both countries had agreed to send observers. That means we would send observers to China to watch certain military exercises and, on a reciprocal basis, they would be able to send observers to the United States to watch certain exercises.

So, over the next weeks and months, representatives from China and the United States will sit down and work out a schedule of joint exercises in each country that will be observed by the other country. And that was significant, because it's the first time that we've moved to a reciprocal observer status. Previously, we have invited the Chinese, and they haven't always invited us to watch their exercises.

Q: Further on China?

Q: Just on this point, is there a stated number of reciprocal exercises?

A: No, there was not a stated number. I mean, the fact sheet that was issued in China just contains a sentence -- two or three sentences, I guess -- on this explaining what's going to happen, saying that the details would be worked out. And I can give you a copy of that fact sheet if you don't have one already.

Q: Just so I understand, all the specific exercise information that you gave us before, that is stuff that was already planned? That was not covered by this new breakthrough, is it?

A: The Chinese observers, the PRC observers that had been sent to watch -- that will be sent to watch RIMPAC and that will be sent to watch Cooperative Cope-Thunder in Alaska -- those arrangements were made prior to the President's visit. They were very much in the spirit of the earlier summit that President Clinton had had with President Jiang here in late 1997.

Q: Have they reciprocated yet and planned any other -- any exercises that U.S. observers would go to?

A: I don't believe so, but that's exactly what was going to be worked out in talks following up on the summit.

Q: This used to be a rather modest number of observers. What's the value of this? I mean, does it go beyond the actual numbers? I mean --

A: I think it's actually a rather important confidence-building measure. It shows that, one, we have nothing to hide in these exercises involving several countries. And two, it shows the Chinese that we're willing to come and watch our exercises and other countries working together. We've been working very hard for the last couple of years to get the Chinese to subscribe to these types of confidence-building measures and also to become more open in their own planning and their own exercising, so that it will reduce the possibility of miscalculation by neighboring countries.

We've appealed to them, for instance, to brief our neighboring countries on their budgetary plans, their defense modernization and spending plans. And we've sent Assistant Secretary Warner and teams of people to China to brief them on our budget. They get briefings similar to what you get down here in the Pentagon press room on our modernization plans.

Q: I've got another China question. With regard to the detargeting arrangement that was announced a week ago by the President, Ken I understand that there are no details that had been worked out in that agreement yet. Is that correct? Is it much the same as the observer matter and -- was it even mentioned that there might be observers or visitations of various representatives to each nuclear arsenal of each country?

A: I'm not up on the details of that, but the President just returned on July 4th. He's only been back in the country for three days, so it's not surprising that there may be some details that aren't completely worked out yet. But my understanding is that those details will be worked out as necessary.

Q: All right. One other point I wanted to pursue in this particular matter, is the United States nuclear forces, especially the missile forces, are they currently de-targeted completely and would it be necessary for the U.S. to do anything at all to meet the detargeting agreement with the Chinese?

A: Our forces have been detargeted since 1994. They have not been aimed at any country. That was the -- we detargeted our forces after our agreement with the Russians in 1994.

Q: The matter of Gen. Hale. Now that the Pentagon Inspector General's report has been released, has it caused -- and has found a pattern of inappropriate behavior by the General -- does it call to question at all Gen. Reimer's decision to allow him to retire?

A: I don't believe so. I think there's been a lot of confusion about Gen. Reimer, the Army Chief of Staff. First, he's not the subject of any investigation. Gen. Reimer is not the subject of any investigation. Let me explain what happened back in March.

When the Hale story broke the DoD IG -- when it broke in the press, the DoD IG was already looking into allegations concerning Major General Hale. The IG focused, and you've seen the report -- the redacted version of the report -- focused on the charges involving Major General Hale and some other charges that arose in the course of the investigation. The IG did not look at how Gen. Reimer or anybody else in the Army handled Major General Hale's request to retire.

When Secretary Cohen learned of the allegations against Major General Hale and that the IG was already investigating those charges, he asked the Department's General Counsel to review the Army's procedures for handling the retirements of general officers. So the second part here was a review requested by Secretary Cohen, and that review was to be conducted by the General Counsel of the Department of Defense.

That review focused on the Army's regulatory methodology for processing the retirement requests of general officers. It looked at how those procedures were applied to Major General Hale's request to retire. The purpose of that review by the General Counsel is to determine if the process for handling retirement requests is fair and adequate. It is not -- and I repeat again -- it is not a review of Gen. Reimer's actions. It's a review of procedures and process.

The general counsel's review is not complete and, therefore, the General Counsel has not sent it forward to Secretary Cohen yet.

Q: Just to be clear then, Gen. Reimer is not facing any future judgment on whether he did the right thing in allowing Gen. Hale to retire?

A: That is correct.

Q: Does that mean that Secretary Cohen supports Reimer's decision to pull out and he'll retire early?

A: Well, Secretary Cohen wants to see all the facts in this but, as I expressed earlier, his actions, Gen. Riemer's actions, are not under review here. What's under review are the Army procedures for dealing with retirement requests by general officers.

Q: Are you saying by that that Gen. Reimer did follow Army procedures and that, therefore, that's why it's not a question but that perhaps if there is a problem perceived by the General Counsel with these procedures that there may be some changes made in that?

A: Well, the Army has already made some changes in its procedures. It did that about three weeks ago. There may be more changes made as a result of this review. I think it's premature to say if there will be changes made or what they will be if they are made, but there could be more made as a result of this review.

Q: At this point with the review not concluded, you cannot say whether Gen. Reimer and the Army followed the normal procedures that they would follow?

A: Well, I think it's not appropriate for me to comment on the review until it's complete. But I want to point out that Gen. Reimer's action here is not what's at issue. It was the procedures that the Army followed or the procedures that the Army had and followed.

Q: It would be impossible to examine the procedures without looking at Gen. Reimer's actions because he was obviously an important part of that procedure, right?

A: Well, I think that the review is, as I said, focused on the regulatory process.

Q: But isn't Gen. Reimer a key element in that regulatory process?

A: I think I've been very clear here. Gen. Reimer is not the issue. I think I said at the very beginning that he's not the subject of any investigation. I have said that he is not, that his actions are not, under review. Gen. Reimer is not the issue. What we're looking at here --

Q: (Inaudible) arbitrarily before the investigation is even conducted or completed absolutely dismissed Gen. Reimer's actions in this regard since he is such a key element in that regulatory process.

A: Well, there are many -- I think that when the facts are all out here you'll see that it's a very complex issue. But I just want to tell you that what the General Counsel has been looking at is the regulatory process or the procedures that the Army had in place.

Q: Secretary Cohen has full confidence in Gen. Reimer's performance in light of Hale's retirement?

A: I think Secretary Cohen has complete confidence in Gen. Reimer.

Q: I have a question about whether or not the Army insists that Gen. Hale will not escape punishment if it's determined that he has been guilty of some significant wrongdoing. Is there any question about whether the Army will be able to mete out punishment such as reduction in rank or even court martial now that Hale is retired?

A: Well, the Army is looking at its options right now and, as you know, has asked its Criminal Investigative Division to provide some more information to it to answer some questions it didn't think were answered completely by the Department IG report, and it will decide what to do when it assembles all those facts. But I think the Army is quite confident it will be able to do what it decides to do.

Q: When will the General Counsel's work be finished?

A: It's hard for me to say when it will be completed. I don't think it will be too long.

Q: Will you release that report?

A: I don't know whether we will or we won't. To the extent that it produces changes in procedures, we'll certainly announce those.

Q: Can I just go back one more time and make sure I understand something. The General Counsel is reviewing Army procedures. But if I did understand you correctly, there is no review of whether Gen. Reimer followed the procedures that existed at that time; is that correct?

A: As I said, what the General Counsel is looking at is the Army's regulatory methodology, its procedures for handling these retirements. It is not -- this is not a -- there is no one person who is the subject of this review. It is much more looking at a system or a set of procedures.

Q: Sure, I understand that point. But just to the best of your knowledge anywhere in the Department of Defense or in the Department of the Army, is anyone reviewing whether or not Gen. Reimer complied with the procedures as they existed at that time?

A: They're looking at the adequacy of the procedures and, of course, how they were followed. But the issue here is not what Gen. Reimer did or didn't do; it's the procedures.

Q: How can you lay to rest the concerns about a double standard without looking at Gen. Reimer's actions?

A: Well, first of all, double standards are always very tricky. It's easy to use the term "double standard" to sort of evoke double standard, but usually when you examine the facts and compare very -- two very complex or three very complex situations involving human activity, the facts are usually so radically different between the two that I think most reasonable people come to the conclusion that it's difficult to easily make it the general standard charge, the double standard charge, here. I think when the facts are known here, people will see that it's not a double standard.

Q: Let me try once more on this question of the General Counsel and Reimer. If the General Counsel is looking at how the procedures were applied in this case, the Hale case, how can that -- whether or not his name is mentioned, how can that be anything but a judgement on Reimer's handling of this case?

A: You all seem to want to rush to judgment on this. What I've said very clearly that this investigation is not focusing on the activity of one person. It's not focusing on Gen. Reimer. It's focusing on procedures.

The person that is the subject of this investigation is Major General Hale. It's not anybody else. That's what the IG has focused on. The General Counsel doesn't have to focus on Gen. Hale because that's being done by the IG. What the General Counsel is doing, at the request of the Secretary, is focusing on the Army's system or procedures for dealing with general officer retirements.

Q: But you also said he was looking at how it was applied, and how those procedures were applied in the Hale case, right?

A: I did say that.

Q: Well, Ken, am I missing something?

A: Yeah, I think what you're missing is that this is looking at procedures. It is - Gen. Reimer is not the subject of an investigation. He is -- the purpose of this is not to review Gen. Reimer's actions. I don't see how it can be clearer than that. I've said it four times if I've said it once.

Q: The instigation of the General Counsel's investigation is Secretary Cohen?

A: Yes.

Q: And what prompted that?

A: He wanted to make sure that the -- he wanted to look at the Army's procedures in this case. And that's what the General Counsel is doing.

Q: So the Hale case prompted his interest?

A: Yes, the Hale case prompted his interest.

Q: Well, Ken, how are you going to deal with the perception that this review by the General Counsel has been set up in such a way to protect Reimer from any criticism?

A: I'm going to deal with it by letting the facts come out and assuming that people will review the facts fairly and reach the conclusion the facts leads them to.

Q: So to try to summarize here, is to look at the procedures and perhaps look how the procedures worked in this particular case to examine the adequacy of those procedures, not the adequacy of any individual's behavior? Is that sort of it?

A: The purpose here is to -- of the IG investigation is to examine Major General Hale's behavior. And you've seen the report. You can judge whether they've done that adequately or not.

Q: I am sorry to ask it. But there was an allegation brought before the Department that Gen. Reimer did not fairly apply the regulations and rules as they stood at that time. What is it that has made the Department decide to dismiss that allegation apparently and not look into it? You're saying that it's not being looked into?

A: I'm saying that the issue here is Major General Hale's behavior and the IG was told to look into that, asked to look into by the Army, and has looked into that. And you've seen the report.

The Secretary separately asked the General Counsel to look at the system or procedures for handling general officer retirements -- retirement requests. That's what the General Counsel has been doing. The report is not yet done and it hasn't gone to the Secretary yet.

Q: So what -- you said the Army did make some changes three weeks ago. Those escaped my attention. What were the changes?

A: It basically had to do with the role of the Secretary of the Army in making these decisions and the need to get full facts from the Inspector General. And one of the issues here throughout and one of the issues that will be looked at is what sort of information the Army had when it acted on the requirement request.

Q: So the General Counsel's investigation is into procedure with no intent to apply any sort of punitive action?

A: That's correct.

Q: Against any individuals?

A: That is correct.

Q: So while Gen. Reimer is not the focus of this investigation, are Gen. Reimer's actions excluded from this investigation?

A: Well, I've said it as clear as I can. He's not the focus of this investigation. It's not directed at a person. It's directed at procedures.

Q: Can you explain these changes a little better, Ken. You're saying that now before -- before another general is allowed to retire, if there's anything going on in the -- about him in the IG's office there has to be some sort of full report to the Secretary of the Army before he can be allowed to retire?

A: There has to be a review of any investigations that are underway and --

Q: Nothing existed at the time?

A: There was not a procedure to do that at the time. And that was one of the issues here.

Q: But that was a requirement, even though there wasn't a procedure?

A: I'm not positive that it was a requirement, actually. But the Secretary of the Army -- the Acting Secretary of the Army Mike Walker has signed a memo that makes it very clear that from now on, there has to be full disclosure of any problems or allegations that a person may be facing at the time he or she requests retirement.

Q: Can we get it?

A: You can get it from the Army, sure.

Q: From the reading of the IG's report, it seems -- and correct me if I'm wrong that -- although it was redacted for names -- that Major General Hale lied or didn't speak the full truth when asked about the investigation of his activities to DoD personnel, I believe. Isn't that the essence of the problem here, that one individual believed Major General Hale when he was told that this was not a serious problem and was allowed to retire?

A: Well, I think that that --

Q: And it's that trust from one individual -- which seems to Gen. Reimer -- of another individual and that this did not meet the standards of proper Army leadership, I believe it was put. It seems to go to the essence of the relationship between these two men; therefore, it should bring into question Gen. Reimer's act.

A: You've read the report. And the subject of the IG report is Major General Hale and his activities and now the Army is looking at that report and deciding how to respond to it.

Q: Is the Secretary pleased with the Army's response? Is that enough?

A: The Secretary -- the Army hasn't responded yet.

Q: The Army has given it to the CID?

Q: Criminal Investigations. Is that -- in Secretary Cohen's finding?

A: It's one step in a longer process.

Q: Right.

A: The process isn't over.

Q: When will the Army respond?

A: Pardon?

Q: will the Army respond?

A: I don't know how long it's going to take them to do the investigation, and I don't know whether if they're, in fact, going to wait until the investigation is complete. I think they're -- now, this is a complex issue. And most complex issues take time to resolve. I'm sure they'll do it as soon as they can.

Q: Another question. Do you have any guidance on the time frame for the release of the Pentagon's investigation of Operation TAILWIND? Do you know if that will be this week or perhaps --

A: Well, we're hoping to get a working draft of the report by Friday. And depending on what shape the draft is in, I would guess that it will be out sometime next week. Don't hold me to that. It will -- as I say -- depend on the draft and then it will depend on when the Secretary can get the time to review it once it's complete.

Q: You're not aware of any startling new discoveries?

A: I am not. I am not.

Q: Have you declassified all the documents that were previously classified?

A: I don't know the answer to that question. We've certainly declassified a lot and we're in -- in terms of pages. And I think there were 75 pages -- 76 pages which I believe will be declassified, if they haven't already, isn't that right?

A Participant: Still working that.

A: Still working that, but they should be declassified.

Q: Does that include after-action reports?

A: Well, I believe there will be some after-action reports in there. But I haven't looked at the whole list of stuff that's been declassified.

Q: Is that investigation confined only to the military's actions in Vietnam in 1970, the operation in question, or does it involve the subsequent reporting of TAILWIND?

A: You mean subsequent reporting by CNN?

Q: Right.

A: The investigation will look primarily at the two charges that CNN made and has retracted. And it will ask the questions: Were these charges correct? What do we know about them? And are they supported by the facts? That's what the investigation will do. And I'm quite confident that -- based on everything that I've seen -- the investigation will conclude, as did CNN, that the charges cannot be supported.

Q: But will the investigation also include whatever interaction there was between CNN and the military and Pentagon during that reporting process?

A: No.

Q: Okay.

A: That's one of the things that -- I read the CNN report, the one done by Floyd Abrams, and he does that in quite some detail. Yes.

Q: Quick question on -- general question on the disciplining of retired general officers. I think DDI checked a few weeks ago to see whether anyone had ever been recalled to active duty to be disciplined, and I think the answer was "no" in any of the services throughout American history. But I'm wondering are there cases in which retired general officers in this situation of Hale have been -- have been seriously sanctioned, though they are already retired? Could you check?

A: Well, I don't know the answer to that. I'm not sure that history is always a guide to the future, however.

Q: Could I go to the subject of Korea (inaudible)?

Q: I have one more on this. Ken, you spoke about changes a couple of weeks ago to the Army's procedures on handling retirement requests of general officers. Are these procedures different from service to service?

A: I expect that when the General Counsel finishes her review that the recommendations will be service-wide, not just confined to the Army.

Q: Another serious matter. Ken, we were in the State Department yesterday going over the figures on oil delivery to Korea. And if 66,000 metric tons of oil is, indeed, purchased with money that's not yet available, then only two-fifths or a little more than 40 percent of the promised 500,000 metric tons will be delivered in three-quarters of the delivery year, October 20 -- October 21st, I believe it is. In other words, we are -- the U.S. and KEDO are very far behind and the Koreans -- the North Koreans have been kicking about it and say they're going to pull out, break the KEDO framework and go ahead and go on with their nuclear processing, et cetera. My question to you is does the Pentagon see the North Korean attitude as justified and does the Pentagon have any money to kick in?

A: This is a State Department issue now. And in the past we have always met our obligation under the framework agreement, and I have no reason to believe we won't meet our obligation this time under the framework agreement.

As you correctly pointed out, the year for this purpose ends on October 20th. We have several months between now and then, and I anticipate that we will deliver the full amount of oil on time.

Q: And so as far as you know, the North Koreans have not begun any kind of activities? I understand they started to lube the -- and maintain their processing plant? Has that happened?

A: Well, they've been able to do some maintenance, I think, under the agreement, but the issue here is that their nuclear program remains frozen. That is why the framework agreement is important. That's why it's important for the United States, including the United States Congress, to support the framework agreement, and that's why the frame work agreement helps bring peace and stability to the entire Asian region. And that's why we're so determined to meet our obligations under the framework agreement, so it remains in effect.

Q: And under the agreement, U.S. monitors or safeguards remained in effect to --

A: I think they may be International Atomic Energy Agency monitors, not U.S. monitors. I think they're IAEA.

Press: Thank you.

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