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Daily Press Briefing of U.S. State

Subject: Daily Press Briefing of U.S. State Department (10/07)
Date: Tue, 8 Oct 1996 04:13:26 -0700

                   U.S. Department of State
                      Daily Press Briefing
                   October 7, 1996   Monday

QUESTION: I'd like to move to Burma. Are we done with North Korea? 

MR. BURNS: Sure. 

QUESTION: I was wondering if any U.S. sanctions against Burma are imminent?
There has been talk in the media about a ban of future U.S. investment
there. I was just wondering what the status of that was, and if we're going
to see anything new? 

MR. BURNS: Let me just give you what we know about the situation and then
go directly to your question. 

What we know is that the dictators in Rangoon, over the last day or two,
have said that they've been releasing members of the National League for
Democracy -- of the many hundred who were arrested. 

Our best account, however, indicates to us that we think that roughly 200
people, including 34 members of the parliament, democratically elected,
still remain in the custody of the dictators in Rangoon, in Burma. This is
most worrisome for any country that's concerned with human rights. We
continue to make this message clear to the Burmese authorities from our
diplomatic mission in Rangoon. 

As you know, the President, last Thursday, signed a proclamation which
suspends the entry into the United States of Burmese Government officials
who formulate or implement or benefit from their objectionable policies. 

The United States, under the bipartisan legislation that was passed this
past summer by the Congress, the United States Government has the
flexibility to entertain additional measures, including tough sanctions,
should that be necessary. 

Needless to say, this seems to be a critical moment in Burma. Of course, we
wish Aung San Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy well. We'll
keep the situation under review. We do reserve the right to undertake
additional measures should that be necessary. 

QUESTION: But there's nothing imminent? 

MR. BURNS: The way we normally work is, we try not presage or preview
events until a decision has been made and we're ready to act. The Burmese
authorities are going to have to live with some suspense on this issue. But
that's okay because I don't see why we ought to give them any advance
warning considering the actions they've taken against their own people. 

QUESTION: The Charge d'Affaires will arrive in Rangoon as scheduled? 

MR. BURNS: Yes. Kent Wiedemann, a senior Foreign Service officer, is going
to be arriving, I think within a matter of a couple of days, in Rangoon to
take up his duties as the U.S. Charge d'Affaires. We don't have
ambassadorial-level relations because of the unpleasant and objectionable
policies of the Burmese Government. 

Judd, did you have something. You've been persuaded not to ask a question.
I can see the hand signals. I know what's going on here, you know. I can
see what's going on in the front rows. I know what that means. That means,
get them out of here. But Mr. Lambros has got one final question.

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