Philip J. Crowley
Assistant Secretary
Daily Press Briefing
Washington, DC
May 28, 2010


Index for Today's Briefing
  • ANNOUNCEMENTS
    • Secretary Clinton will travel to Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Barbados, June 6-10
    • U.S. extends condolences to families of those killed in attack on mosques in Lahore today/Condemns brutal violence against innocent people
    • U.S. extends condolences to families of the victims of the train derailment in India today
    • Ambassador Rapp and Legal Advisor Koh will lead an interagency observer delegation to the Rome Statute Review Conference in Kampala
    • Tomorrow is International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers/Pays tribute to the men and women serving in UN peacekeeping around the world
    • U.S. donated additional medical equipment to China yesterday/Greatly saddened by tragic events in Qinghai and continues to stand by ready to assist
    • 2010 NPT Review Conference is scheduled to conclude today in New York
  • SUDAN
    • A young consular officer attended the inauguration of President Bashir/U.S. has important business with the Government of Sudan/Pressure government to implement the CPA
    • President Bashir should cooperate with the ICC/Those responsible for war crimes in Sudan should be held accountable for their actions
    • Special Envoy Gration travels to Sudan and engages government officials regularly/Sudan has specific obligations to undertake for full implementation of the CPA
  • NORTH KOREA
    • U.S. has longstanding concerns on North Korea's proliferation activities/Export of dangerous materials/Expect South Korea to bring North Korea's behavior before the UN Security Council/Ongoing North Korean activity is destabilizing
    • Visit of Chinese Premier Wen to South Korea is ongoing/Hope China will support the conclusions of the Cheonan investigation
  • INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT
    • U.S. does not get a vote on what the ICC or the review conference will decide to do, but will make its view known during the course of the two weeks
  • SRI LANKA
    • Secretary Clinton and Sri Lankan Minister of External Affairs Peiris discussed importance of the reconciliation commission and its independence/Importance of rebuilding institutions/Dialogue within the Tamil community
  • JAMAICA
    • Not aware that the U.S. has any knowledge of what Mr. Coke is thinking or where he is
  • RWANDA
    • U.S. is aware of the arrest of Peter Erlinder by Rwandan police
  • UKRAINE
    • U.S. will continue to engage and cooperate with the new Ukrainian Government/Will support whatever decisions it makes in terms of relations with Europe or the U.S.
  • JAPAN
    • Significant step as both U.S. and Japan work to achieve objectives of relocating 8,000 Marines and families to Guam, returning to Futenma as soon as possible/Still some details to work out/Expect to have that work done by the end of August


TRANSCRIPT:

1:45 p.m. EDT

MR. CROWLEY: A grand entrance. Welcome back.

QUESTION: Thank you.

MR. CROWLEY: Okay. Continuing on with the rest of the world, Secretary of State Clinton will travel to Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, and Barbados from June 6 through 10 to participate in the General Assembly of the Organization of American States and consult with our regional partners on issues of shared interest. She will be in Peru June 6 through 8 and will – there for the OAS General Assembly, then she’ll travel to Ecuador on the 8th and on to Colombia where she’ll meet with the government leaders of both countries, and then will be in Barbados on the 9th, where she’ll meet with leaders of Caribbean nations as well.

Turning back to Pakistan, we extend our condolences to the families of those killed in the violent attack on mosques in Lahore during Friday prayers today and condemn this brutal violence against innocent people. We also condemn the targeting and violence against any religious group, in this case, the Ahmadi community. As our Ambassador in Pakistan Anne Patterson said, cowardly assaults on people at prayer are attacks against people of all faiths. Pakistan has witnessed an increase in provocative statements that promote intolerance and are an incitement to extremist violence. Attacks by extremists on religious minorities in Pakistan undermine the building of a tolerant democratic society.

And likewise, next door, we express our condolences to the victims’ families of the tragic train crash today that killed 65 people and hope for a speedy recovery of all those injured. We’re not aware of any U.S. citizen injured or killed in the train accident.

Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues Steve Rapp and Legal Adviser Harold Koh will lead an interagency observer delegation to the Rome Statute Review Conference in Kampala, Uganda from May 31 through June 11. The Rome Statute is the agreement under which the International Criminal Court was established and the agreement called for the holding of this review conference. The U.S. is not a party to the ICC, but has an interest in participating as an observer to advance U.S. interests and engage other delegations on matters of importance to the United States. And we will advance U.S. views regarding various amendments to be considered at the review conference, including, in particular, amendments related to the crime of aggression.

The United States views the end of impunity and the promotion of justice as moral imperatives and stabilizing forces in international affairs. And while we have specific concerns about aspects of the ICC, participation in the Rome Statute Review Conference is consistent with this Administration’s commitment to engage the international community on issues that affect our interest and promote accountability.

Tomorrow is the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, a day that pays tribute to the brave and dedicated men and women serving in UN peacekeeping missions around the world. This has been a very difficult year for UN peacekeeping. The UN has suffered its greatest loss of life in a single event when 96 MINUSTAH peacekeepers died in the Haiti earthquake in January, in addition to peacekeepers who died in the line of duty in Sudan, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. More than 120,000 peacekeepers from over a hundred nations serve in the UN’s 15 peacekeeping missions, risking their lives to make the world safer and more secure, and we thank them for their efforts.

Yesterday, the United States handed over donated medical equipment, including neonatal reanimation and warming tables, infant incubators, and blood gas analyzers, as well as water quality testing equipment to China, where – and this is a second installment of assistance. On May 23rd, we gave two water purification machines to the people of Qinghai. Each unit will supply clean drinking water to 10,000 people per day. And we will continue to offer our assistance to China as it continues to cope with the effects of last month’s earthquake.

The 2010 NPT Review Conference is scheduled to conclude today in New York. Everyone recognizes that the new approach the United States has brought to the table on nonproliferation, beginning with the President’s speech in Prague a year ago and the Secretary’s well-received opening statement on May 3rd, that has helped to energize this conference. This is certainly a substantial contrast between the atmospherics of this conference and the one held five years ago. We will be looking for an outcome that strengthens all three pillars of the Nonproliferation Treaty – nonproliferation, disarmament, and peaceful uses of nuclear energy. And we remain mindful that any party can block consensus. I believe the plenary will begin at 3 o’clock this afternoon and we certainly hope that no country will deliberately block consensus.

QUESTION: Can I – just on that?

MR. CROWLEY: Yeah.

QUESTION: Would – everyone recognizes the new approach brought by the U.S. has helped to energize this conference? Did you take a poll? Everyone recognizes it? Is --

MR. CROWLEY: Well --

QUESTION: I mean, who is the “everyone”? Everyone in the U.S. Government?

MR. CROWLEY: Thank you, Matthew. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: Well, you know --

MR. CROWLEY: I mean, we are certainly mindful that there is one country in particular participating in the conference that is not in compliance with its safeguard obligations. I don’t profess to speak for that particular country.

QUESTION: All right.

MR. CROWLEY: But with that --

QUESTION: Can I --

MR. CROWLEY: We expect – it’s hard to say when the NPT conference will wrap up. We’re hopeful it will do so today. I think the last one or two have gone into overtime, but we will hope to put together a call later this afternoon, this evening, or tomorrow. We’ll have some officials on hand to help understand what the outcome was and why actions were taken as they were.

QUESTION: I’m sure that Memorial Day celebrators will be very happy for that.

MR. CROWLEY: (Laughter.)

QUESTION: Can I ask you, appropo of Harold Koh and Stephen Rapp going to the ICC meeting, why exactly the U.S. sent someone to participate or at least to attend in Bashir’s inauguration and who it was?

MR. CROWLEY: We had a young consular officer who was the U.S. representative at the inauguration. And I would point out, first of all, that it also included the inauguration of SPLM Chairman Salva Kiir as the first vice president of the Republic of Sudan and the president of the Government of Southern Sudan. We have important business that we are conducting with the Government of Sudan and we are – will continue to press the government to fully implement the CPA. Our participation was in line with that of most nations who sent ambassadors or DCMs. In our case, it was below that level.

QUESTION: So what do you make of people who say that this sends a bad signal?

MR. CROWLEY: Well, I mean, our presence at this ceremony should not be confused in any way with our continuing pledge that President Bashir should respond to the warrant for his arrest for war crimes in Darfur. We continue to believe that those responsible for war crimes in Sudan should be held accountable for their actions, but we are working closely with the Government of Sudan not only to resolve the situation in Darfur, but as we’ve outlined here, there are vitally important actions to be taken as we prepare for the referendum on Southern Sudan, border demarcation, other key events. So we have a relationship with Sudan and it was on that basis that we had a consular officer present.

QUESTION: But you don’t think that sending someone to attend the inauguration runs counter to the idea of --

MR. CROWLEY: No.

QUESTION: -- wanting him held accountable?

MR. CROWLEY: I mean, no – as we’ve said, no electoral process or no ceremony changes the fact that President Bashir should cooperate with the ICC and should be held accountable. And there should be, ultimately, justice in Sudan.

QUESTION: What about the people who say that this goes against earlier statements I think you yourself made from the podium that the election, that this inauguration, culminates – was neither free nor fair. Doesn’t this, in effect, mean that the U.S. is giving its stamp of approval to --

MR. CROWLEY: Nothing – the presence of a consular officer, never mind an ambassador, never mind a DCM, never mind a delegation – this was a young consular officer. It was a reflection of our relations with Sudan. It is about that basis. It is not about President Bashir or – our feelings about the recent election are well known.

QUESTION: The opposition in Sudan calls the special envoy to Sudan, General Gration, as the representative of the party of the Sudanese party in Sudan. Do you have any reaction to that?

MR. CROWLEY: Michel, I’m sorry, I didn’t understand the question.

QUESTION: Yeah. The opposition in Sudan calls Ambassador or General Gration the Sudanese or the President Bashir’s party representative in Sudan. Do you have any reaction to that?

MR. CROWLEY: Well, General Gration has made a number of trips to Sudan and has engaged government officials on a regular basis because, again, the Government of Sudan has very specific obligations that it has to undertake for full implementation of the CPA. It is on that basis that we deal with the Government of Sudan. We have nothing to do whatsoever with President Bashir.

QUESTION: Except for going to his inauguration.

MR. CROWLEY: And that of the first vice president.

QUESTION: Yes. Now that the next trip of the Secretary Clinton to Latin America, I was wondering if you have some more details on the agenda. She’s going not only to Peru but Colombia and Ecuador, and I think this year the – one of the topics will be disarmament. So security issues at the General Assembly, so that that will be an issue also in Colombia, too?

MR. CROWLEY: Well, those are all good questions. We’ll have a preview briefing next week as we get closer to her departure.

QUESTION: P.J., there’s a new UN report out that says North Korea is illegally exporting nuclear and ballistic materials and technology despite UN sanctions. Is this – what’s your reaction to this? And is this a sign that the UN is finally coming around to things that the U.S. has long suspected?

MR. CROWLEY: Well, go back to last summer when the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1874 expressly because we have longstanding concerns about North Korea’s proliferation activities and its export of dangerous materials to unsavory countries and characters around the world. I don’t think that this is a stark revelation. We’ve had concerns some of the countries named in that report. We’ve had concerns about relations and exports to, among others, Burma. And – but we’ve come – came together a year ago, passed 1874. We have been aggressively doing our part and other countries have done the same to implement 1874, try to restrict the kinds of exports which can have destabilizing impact both inside the immediate region and other places in the world. We’ll continue to do that.

And as we consult and then come – at some point in the coming days, we expect that South Korea will bring North – issues regarding North Korea’s behavior back before the Council. And we’ve pledged we will support fully South Korea and that we’ll see what other steps are appropriate so we can further restrict and minimize the threat that North Korea poses to the region and the world.

QUESTION: So there is evidence to support, since that last UN resolution, that there – that North Korea continues to export these materials.

MR. CROWLEY: Well, North Korea is – I mean, again, this is not a revelation. The ongoing activity of North Korea is destabilizing within its own neighborhood and elsewhere. It is an exporter of counterfeit material, it’s an exporter of illegal material, it’s an exporter of dangerous hardware and materials. And we’ve long recognized that, unfortunately, this is the export of missiles, nuclear technology and other things are the cash crop of North Korea. It’s expressly why we have offered North Korea a different relationship, so that it can actually go about building a legitimate economy, one that is far more constructive and conducive to stability and peace in the region. But as long as we recognize the danger posed by South Korea, we’ll continue to take appropriate steps --

QUESTION: North Korea.

MR. CROWLEY: I’m sorry, North Korea – continue to take appropriate steps to minimize the danger that – and risk that North Korea poses to its neighbors and to the United States.

QUESTION: To which countries is North Korea exporting these materials?

MR. CROWLEY: I haven’t read that full report so – but I know Burma is one of those countries mentioned and we have mentioned from this podium before.

QUESTION: Is Iran one?

MR. CROWLEY: Hmm?

QUESTION: Is Iran --

QUESTION: Iran and Syria are also mentioned.

MR. CROWLEY: I mean, to the – I mean, in implementation of 1874, countries that intercept shipments – illegal shipments from North Korea, should investigate those and report those to the UN. I suspect that this report is a culmination of some of that reporting in terms of the implementation of sanctions by a variety of countries. We are fully supportive of those efforts.

QUESTION: Also on North Korea, Chinese Premier Wen is obviously in Seoul, talked a little bit about the situation but didn’t sign up, at least publicly, to pointing the finger at North Korea for the South Korean naval frigate. Are you – is the U.S. satisfied now? What does the U.S. make of Wen’s statement on this? And where do you think we go forward with China on marshalling international concern about --

MR. CROWLEY: Well, I think Premier Wen is still in the country, so the visit is still ongoing. South Korea will continue its consultations with China and others. We expect that South Korea will in the coming days bring the matter before the UN Security Council, and we’ll see at that point what the attitudes of key countries would be. We certainly hope that through this visit, China will recognize and support the conclusions of the investigation. We think that the evidence is compelling and we think that it’s time for the international community to come together in a united and demonstrated way and send a clear message to North Korea.

QUESTION: P.J., does the Secretary Clinton make any decision to de-list North Korea as terrorist country?

MR. CROWLEY: We – there’s no change. That is the question that we are evaluating, and we will be guided by facts and the law.

Yes.

QUESTION: Chinese Premier Wen said that China will not defend anyone responsible for the Cheonan sinking. So how would you assess that kind of --

MR. CROWLEY: Well, I think we just answered that question. Premier Wen is still there. I think he’s had the opportunity to consult with President Lee and others. China has to draw its own conclusions based on the evidence that is in the investigation, and we would hope that China will support international efforts and South Korea as we consider appropriate action in the Security Council in the coming days.

Charley.

QUESTION: But certainly, a couple of days ago, the State Department and certain members of the State Department were pointing to the Chinese visit today, the expectation that there might be stronger comments by the Chinese?

MR. CROWLEY: Well, let’s see what comes out of this meeting.

David.

QUESTION: Back on the ICC, did I get it right? The United States is proposing an amendment to the Rome statute?

MR. CROWLEY: No.

QUESTION: Okay.

MR. CROWLEY: You did not get it right. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: Okay. What’s the angle, then, with the amendment? I didn’t --

MR. CROWLEY: Well, one of the matters that will come before the review is amendments related to the crime of aggression. It will be an issue that is debated during the upcoming conference. We have our own views on that. We’ll – I think Steve Rapp will present a first intervention by the United States on Tuesday. Actually, we hope to perhaps link Steve and Harold up with you all during the course of their time in Kampala so they can help you understand not only what’s happening, what we’ve said, and what the issues are.

At the end of this, we don’t get a vote on what the ICC or the review conference will decide to do, but we will obviously be there, be in the room, and make our views known during the course of the two weeks.

QUESTION: Is this an indication that the United States might be, again, warming to the idea of joining up with the Rome treaty?

MR. CROWLEY: I wouldn’t point you in that direction.

QUESTION: P.J.

MR. CROWLEY: Go ahead.

QUESTION: Go ahead.

MR. CROWLEY: Go ahead.

QUESTION: One more question on Sri Lanka, if you please.

MR. CROWLEY: You’ve just had the Secretary and you’ve had Bob Blake.

QUESTION: Yeah, I know, but --

MR. CROWLEY: Go ahead.

QUESTION: What was it – one clarification, actually. Let’s say many Tamils – (inaudible), the Sri Lankan foreign minister defended his country and his president as far as war crimes and atrocities and human rights violations and all that. But many human rights organizations and also Tamils, what they’re asking is really, the general acted on the advice of the president and his government as far as whatever happened in that part of the Tamil area.

So what they’re saying is that – not the general, but the president should be put in the – or before the International Court. And they’re asking the UN or the United States that there should be justice as far as the crimes committed by – or alleged crimes committed by the president.

MR. CROWLEY: Well, I actually think Bob answered that question already today. Look, a lot of the discussion today was on the importance of this reconciliation commission and its independence. I thought another aspect of the foreign minister’s comments to Secretary Clinton was that Sri Lanka is consulting with a number of countries who have gone through this experience before, South Africa among them. So we think they have framed the issue in the right way, but clearly, we’ll be watching very closely on what it does.

The other thing that the foreign minister mentioned was the importance of rebuilding institutions within – and dialogue within the Tamil community. That’ll be a very, very important aspect. So the new government has a mandate, it has a special responsibility, and we will be watching carefully to see what actions Sri Lanka takes in the coming months and what the impact within the country is.

QUESTION: Thank you, sir.

MR. CROWLEY: Yeah.

QUESTION: Yeah, I’ve got two brief ones. Are you aware of reports that Mr. Coke in Jamaica may be ready to or willing to surrender?

MR. CROWLEY: That’s a good question to ask the Government of Jamaica.

QUESTION: No, no, to the U.S., surrender to the U.S.

MR. CROWLEY: I’m not aware that we’ve – we have any knowledge about what Mr. Coke is thinking or even where he is.

QUESTION: Okay. And then do you know anything about the arrest of an American lawyer in Rwanda, charges of denying the genocide?

MR. CROWLEY: We are aware of the arrest of Peter Erlinder by Rwandan police. I think in terms of particulars, it’s probably – you need to address those questions to Rwandan authorities. Our consular section has been in touch with him, but for – due to privacy concerns, we can’t say anything more.

Charley.

QUESTION: Just another question, another topic, please. Any reaction to Ukraine halting its efforts to join NATO? And what are the U.S. concerns that this does demonstrate a tilt away from the West (inaudible)?

MR. CROWLEY: This is a decision for Ukraine to make. We will continue to engage and cooperate with the new Ukrainian Government and support whatever decisions it wants to make in terms of its relations with the rest of Europe or the United States.

QUESTION: Thank you.

MR. CROWLEY: Thank you. Wait, I’m sorry. One more, one more.

QUESTION: U.S. and Japanese Government announced a joint statement yesterday and – of Futenma. And it is almost same as existing plan in terms of the location. So what’s your reaction on that? Are you satisfied with what you got?

MR. CROWLEY: Well, it was a significant step as both governments worked to achieve the objectives of relocating approximately 8,000 Marines and their families to Guam, returning Futenma as soon as possible and the consolidation of the remaining military facilities in Okinawa. I mean, there are still some details to work out. Experts will be working on some of the particulars regarding the consolidation of operations at Camp Schwab. We expect to have that work done by the end of August.

QUESTION: As you know, there are – still some difficulties remain, such as oppositions from Okinawa and instability of the administration. You know, are you still confident? I mean, how are you going to deal with it? You’re believing the Japanese Government will do it well?

MR. CROWLEY: Mm-hmm. Well, I mean, we are very conscious of the – of both the benefits and the impact that this alliance and the presence of U.S. forces on Okinawa, that it has. By the same token, we think this is a reaffirmation of the commitment that both governments have to our security alliance, and we are very mindful of the difficult decisions that Japan has made in recent weeks. But by the same token, we’re also mindful of the current security environment that underscores the importance of our security alliance.

QUESTION: Thank you.

MR. CROWLEY: Thank you.

(The briefing was concluded at 2:10 p.m.)
1:45 p.m. EDT

MR. CROWLEY: A grand entrance. Welcome back.

QUESTION: Thank you.

MR. CROWLEY: Okay. Continuing on with the rest of the world, Secretary of State Clinton will travel to Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, and Barbados from June 6 through 10 to participate in the General Assembly of the Organization of American States and consult with our regional partners on issues of shared interest. She will be in Peru June 6 through 8 and will – there for the OAS General Assembly, then she’ll travel to Ecuador on the 8th and on to Colombia where she’ll meet with the government leaders of both countries, and then will be in Barbados on the 9th, where she’ll meet with leaders of Caribbean nations as well.

Turning back to Pakistan, we extend our condolences to the families of those killed in the violent attack on mosques in Lahore during Friday prayers today and condemn this brutal violence against innocent people. We also condemn the targeting and violence against any religious group, in this case, the Ahmadi community. As our Ambassador in Pakistan Anne Patterson said, cowardly assaults on people at prayer are attacks against people of all faiths. Pakistan has witnessed an increase in provocative statements that promote intolerance and are an incitement to extremist violence. Attacks by extremists on religious minorities in Pakistan undermine the building of a tolerant democratic society.

And likewise, next door, we express our condolences to the victims’ families of the tragic train crash today that killed 65 people and hope for a speedy recovery of all those injured. We’re not aware of any U.S. citizen injured or killed in the train accident.

Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues Steve Rapp and Legal Adviser Harold Koh will lead an interagency observer delegation to the Rome Statute Review Conference in Kampala, Uganda from May 31 through June 11. The Rome Statute is the agreement under which the International Criminal Court was established and the agreement called for the holding of this review conference. The U.S. is not a party to the ICC, but has an interest in participating as an observer to advance U.S. interests and engage other delegations on matters of importance to the United States. And we will advance U.S. views regarding various amendments to be considered at the review conference, including, in particular, amendments related to the crime of aggression.

The United States views the end of impunity and the promotion of justice as moral imperatives and stabilizing forces in international affairs. And while we have specific concerns about aspects of the ICC, participation in the Rome Statute Review Conference is consistent with this Administration’s commitment to engage the international community on issues that affect our interest and promote accountability.

Tomorrow is the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, a day that pays tribute to the brave and dedicated men and women serving in UN peacekeeping missions around the world. This has been a very difficult year for UN peacekeeping. The UN has suffered its greatest loss of life in a single event when 96 MINUSTAH peacekeepers died in the Haiti earthquake in January, in addition to peacekeepers who died in the line of duty in Sudan, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. More than 120,000 peacekeepers from over a hundred nations serve in the UN’s 15 peacekeeping missions, risking their lives to make the world safer and more secure, and we thank them for their efforts.

Yesterday, the United States handed over donated medical equipment, including neonatal reanimation and warming tables, infant incubators, and blood gas analyzers, as well as water quality testing equipment to China, where – and this is a second installment of assistance. On May 23rd, we gave two water purification machines to the people of Qinghai. Each unit will supply clean drinking water to 10,000 people per day. And we will continue to offer our assistance to China as it continues to cope with the effects of last month’s earthquake.

The 2010 NPT Review Conference is scheduled to conclude today in New York. Everyone recognizes that the new approach the United States has brought to the table on nonproliferation, beginning with the President’s speech in Prague a year ago and the Secretary’s well-received opening statement on May 3rd, that has helped to energize this conference. This is certainly a substantial contrast between the atmospherics of this conference and the one held five years ago. We will be looking for an outcome that strengthens all three pillars of the Nonproliferation Treaty – nonproliferation, disarmament, and peaceful uses of nuclear energy. And we remain mindful that any party can block consensus. I believe the plenary will begin at 3 o’clock this afternoon and we certainly hope that no country will deliberately block consensus.

QUESTION: Can I – just on that?

MR. CROWLEY: Yeah.

QUESTION: Would – everyone recognizes the new approach brought by the U.S. has helped to energize this conference? Did you take a poll? Everyone recognizes it? Is --

MR. CROWLEY: Well --

QUESTION: I mean, who is the “everyone”? Everyone in the U.S. Government?

MR. CROWLEY: Thank you, Matthew. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: Well, you know --

MR. CROWLEY: I mean, we are certainly mindful that there is one country in particular participating in the conference that is not in compliance with its safeguard obligations. I don’t profess to speak for that particular country.

QUESTION: All right.

MR. CROWLEY: But with that --

QUESTION: Can I --

MR. CROWLEY: We expect – it’s hard to say when the NPT conference will wrap up. We’re hopeful it will do so today. I think the last one or two have gone into overtime, but we will hope to put together a call later this afternoon, this evening, or tomorrow. We’ll have some officials on hand to help understand what the outcome was and why actions were taken as they were.

QUESTION: I’m sure that Memorial Day celebrators will be very happy for that.

MR. CROWLEY: (Laughter.)

QUESTION: Can I ask you, appropo of Harold Koh and Stephen Rapp going to the ICC meeting, why exactly the U.S. sent someone to participate or at least to attend in Bashir’s inauguration and who it was?

MR. CROWLEY: We had a young consular officer who was the U.S. representative at the inauguration. And I would point out, first of all, that it also included the inauguration of SPLM Chairman Salva Kiir as the first vice president of the Republic of Sudan and the president of the Government of Southern Sudan. We have important business that we are conducting with the Government of Sudan and we are – will continue to press the government to fully implement the CPA. Our participation was in line with that of most nations who sent ambassadors or DCMs. In our case, it was below that level.

QUESTION: So what do you make of people who say that this sends a bad signal?

MR. CROWLEY: Well, I mean, our presence at this ceremony should not be confused in any way with our continuing pledge that President Bashir should respond to the warrant for his arrest for war crimes in Darfur. We continue to believe that those responsible for war crimes in Sudan should be held accountable for their actions, but we are working closely with the Government of Sudan not only to resolve the situation in Darfur, but as we’ve outlined here, there are vitally important actions to be taken as we prepare for the referendum on Southern Sudan, border demarcation, other key events. So we have a relationship with Sudan and it was on that basis that we had a consular officer present.

QUESTION: But you don’t think that sending someone to attend the inauguration runs counter to the idea of --

MR. CROWLEY: No.

QUESTION: -- wanting him held accountable?

MR. CROWLEY: I mean, no – as we’ve said, no electoral process or no ceremony changes the fact that President Bashir should cooperate with the ICC and should be held accountable. And there should be, ultimately, justice in Sudan.

QUESTION: What about the people who say that this goes against earlier statements I think you yourself made from the podium that the election, that this inauguration, culminates – was neither free nor fair. Doesn’t this, in effect, mean that the U.S. is giving its stamp of approval to --

MR. CROWLEY: Nothing – the presence of a consular officer, never mind an ambassador, never mind a DCM, never mind a delegation – this was a young consular officer. It was a reflection of our relations with Sudan. It is about that basis. It is not about President Bashir or – our feelings about the recent election are well known.

QUESTION: The opposition in Sudan calls the special envoy to Sudan, General Gration, as the representative of the party of the Sudanese party in Sudan. Do you have any reaction to that?

MR. CROWLEY: Michel, I’m sorry, I didn’t understand the question.

QUESTION: Yeah. The opposition in Sudan calls Ambassador or General Gration the Sudanese or the President Bashir’s party representative in Sudan. Do you have any reaction to that?

MR. CROWLEY: Well, General Gration has made a number of trips to Sudan and has engaged government officials on a regular basis because, again, the Government of Sudan has very specific obligations that it has to undertake for full implementation of the CPA. It is on that basis that we deal with the Government of Sudan. We have nothing to do whatsoever with President Bashir.

QUESTION: Except for going to his inauguration.

MR. CROWLEY: And that of the first vice president.

QUESTION: Yes. Now that the next trip of the Secretary Clinton to Latin America, I was wondering if you have some more details on the agenda. She’s going not only to Peru but Colombia and Ecuador, and I think this year the – one of the topics will be disarmament. So security issues at the General Assembly, so that that will be an issue also in Colombia, too?

MR. CROWLEY: Well, those are all good questions. We’ll have a preview briefing next week as we get closer to her departure.

QUESTION: P.J., there’s a new UN report out that says North Korea is illegally exporting nuclear and ballistic materials and technology despite UN sanctions. Is this – what’s your reaction to this? And is this a sign that the UN is finally coming around to things that the U.S. has long suspected?

MR. CROWLEY: Well, go back to last summer when the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1874 expressly because we have longstanding concerns about North Korea’s proliferation activities and its export of dangerous materials to unsavory countries and characters around the world. I don’t think that this is a stark revelation. We’ve had concerns some of the countries named in that report. We’ve had concerns about relations and exports to, among others, Burma. And – but we’ve come – came together a year ago, passed 1874. We have been aggressively doing our part and other countries have done the same to implement 1874, try to restrict the kinds of exports which can have destabilizing impact both inside the immediate region and other places in the world. We’ll continue to do that.

And as we consult and then come – at some point in the coming days, we expect that South Korea will bring North – issues regarding North Korea’s behavior back before the Council. And we’ve pledged we will support fully South Korea and that we’ll see what other steps are appropriate so we can further restrict and minimize the threat that North Korea poses to the region and the world.

QUESTION: So there is evidence to support, since that last UN resolution, that there – that North Korea continues to export these materials.

MR. CROWLEY: Well, North Korea is – I mean, again, this is not a revelation. The ongoing activity of North Korea is destabilizing within its own neighborhood and elsewhere. It is an exporter of counterfeit material, it’s an exporter of illegal material, it’s an exporter of dangerous hardware and materials. And we’ve long recognized that, unfortunately, this is the export of missiles, nuclear technology and other things are the cash crop of North Korea. It’s expressly why we have offered North Korea a different relationship, so that it can actually go about building a legitimate economy, one that is far more constructive and conducive to stability and peace in the region. But as long as we recognize the danger posed by South Korea, we’ll continue to take appropriate steps --

QUESTION: North Korea.

MR. CROWLEY: I’m sorry, North Korea – continue to take appropriate steps to minimize the danger that – and risk that North Korea poses to its neighbors and to the United States.

QUESTION: To which countries is North Korea exporting these materials?

MR. CROWLEY: I haven’t read that full report so – but I know Burma is one of those countries mentioned and we have mentioned from this podium before.

QUESTION: Is Iran one?

MR. CROWLEY: Hmm?

QUESTION: Is Iran --

QUESTION: Iran and Syria are also mentioned.

MR. CROWLEY: I mean, to the – I mean, in implementation of 1874, countries that intercept shipments – illegal shipments from North Korea, should investigate those and report those to the UN. I suspect that this report is a culmination of some of that reporting in terms of the implementation of sanctions by a variety of countries. We are fully supportive of those efforts.

QUESTION: Also on North Korea, Chinese Premier Wen is obviously in Seoul, talked a little bit about the situation but didn’t sign up, at least publicly, to pointing the finger at North Korea for the South Korean naval frigate. Are you – is the U.S. satisfied now? What does the U.S. make of Wen’s statement on this? And where do you think we go forward with China on marshalling international concern about --

MR. CROWLEY: Well, I think Premier Wen is still in the country, so the visit is still ongoing. South Korea will continue its consultations with China and others. We expect that South Korea will in the coming days bring the matter before the UN Security Council, and we’ll see at that point what the attitudes of key countries would be. We certainly hope that through this visit, China will recognize and support the conclusions of the investigation. We think that the evidence is compelling and we think that it’s time for the international community to come together in a united and demonstrated way and send a clear message to North Korea.

QUESTION: P.J., does the Secretary Clinton make any decision to de-list North Korea as terrorist country?

MR. CROWLEY: We – there’s no change. That is the question that we are evaluating, and we will be guided by facts and the law.

Yes.

QUESTION: Chinese Premier Wen said that China will not defend anyone responsible for the Cheonan sinking. So how would you assess that kind of --

MR. CROWLEY: Well, I think we just answered that question. Premier Wen is still there. I think he’s had the opportunity to consult with President Lee and others. China has to draw its own conclusions based on the evidence that is in the investigation, and we would hope that China will support international efforts and South Korea as we consider appropriate action in the Security Council in the coming days.

Charley.

QUESTION: But certainly, a couple of days ago, the State Department and certain members of the State Department were pointing to the Chinese visit today, the expectation that there might be stronger comments by the Chinese?

MR. CROWLEY: Well, let’s see what comes out of this meeting.

David.

QUESTION: Back on the ICC, did I get it right? The United States is proposing an amendment to the Rome statute?

MR. CROWLEY: No.

QUESTION: Okay.

MR. CROWLEY: You did not get it right. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: Okay. What’s the angle, then, with the amendment? I didn’t --

MR. CROWLEY: Well, one of the matters that will come before the review is amendments related to the crime of aggression. It will be an issue that is debated during the upcoming conference. We have our own views on that. We’ll – I think Steve Rapp will present a first intervention by the United States on Tuesday. Actually, we hope to perhaps link Steve and Harold up with you all during the course of their time in Kampala so they can help you understand not only what’s happening, what we’ve said, and what the issues are.

At the end of this, we don’t get a vote on what the ICC or the review conference will decide to do, but we will obviously be there, be in the room, and make our views known during the course of the two weeks.

QUESTION: Is this an indication that the United States might be, again, warming to the idea of joining up with the Rome treaty?

MR. CROWLEY: I wouldn’t point you in that direction.

QUESTION: P.J.

MR. CROWLEY: Go ahead.

QUESTION: Go ahead.

MR. CROWLEY: Go ahead.

QUESTION: One more question on Sri Lanka, if you please.

MR. CROWLEY: You’ve just had the Secretary and you’ve had Bob Blake.

QUESTION: Yeah, I know, but --

MR. CROWLEY: Go ahead.

QUESTION: What was it – one clarification, actually. Let’s say many Tamils – (inaudible), the Sri Lankan foreign minister defended his country and his president as far as war crimes and atrocities and human rights violations and all that. But many human rights organizations and also Tamils, what they’re asking is really, the general acted on the advice of the president and his government as far as whatever happened in that part of the Tamil area.

So what they’re saying is that – not the general, but the president should be put in the – or before the International Court. And they’re asking the UN or the United States that there should be justice as far as the crimes committed by – or alleged crimes committed by the president.

MR. CROWLEY: Well, I actually think Bob answered that question already today. Look, a lot of the discussion today was on the importance of this reconciliation commission and its independence. I thought another aspect of the foreign minister’s comments to Secretary Clinton was that Sri Lanka is consulting with a number of countries who have gone through this experience before, South Africa among them. So we think they have framed the issue in the right way, but clearly, we’ll be watching very closely on what it does.

The other thing that the foreign minister mentioned was the importance of rebuilding institutions within – and dialogue within the Tamil community. That’ll be a very, very important aspect. So the new government has a mandate, it has a special responsibility, and we will be watching carefully to see what actions Sri Lanka takes in the coming months and what the impact within the country is.

QUESTION: Thank you, sir.

MR. CROWLEY: Yeah.

QUESTION: Yeah, I’ve got two brief ones. Are you aware of reports that Mr. Coke in Jamaica may be ready to or willing to surrender?

MR. CROWLEY: That’s a good question to ask the Government of Jamaica.

QUESTION: No, no, to the U.S., surrender to the U.S.

MR. CROWLEY: I’m not aware that we’ve – we have any knowledge about what Mr. Coke is thinking or even where he is.

QUESTION: Okay. And then do you know anything about the arrest of an American lawyer in Rwanda, charges of denying the genocide?

MR. CROWLEY: We are aware of the arrest of Peter Erlinder by Rwandan police. I think in terms of particulars, it’s probably – you need to address those questions to Rwandan authorities. Our consular section has been in touch with him, but for – due to privacy concerns, we can’t say anything more.

Charley.

QUESTION: Just another question, another topic, please. Any reaction to Ukraine halting its efforts to join NATO? And what are the U.S. concerns that this does demonstrate a tilt away from the West (inaudible)?

MR. CROWLEY: This is a decision for Ukraine to make. We will continue to engage and cooperate with the new Ukrainian Government and support whatever decisions it wants to make in terms of its relations with the rest of Europe or the United States.

QUESTION: Thank you.

MR. CROWLEY: Thank you. Wait, I’m sorry. One more, one more.

QUESTION: U.S. and Japanese Government announced a joint statement yesterday and – of Futenma. And it is almost same as existing plan in terms of the location. So what’s your reaction on that? Are you satisfied with what you got?

MR. CROWLEY: Well, it was a significant step as both governments worked to achieve the objectives of relocating approximately 8,000 Marines and their families to Guam, returning Futenma as soon as possible and the consolidation of the remaining military facilities in Okinawa. I mean, there are still some details to work out. Experts will be working on some of the particulars regarding the consolidation of operations at Camp Schwab. We expect to have that work done by the end of August.

QUESTION: As you know, there are – still some difficulties remain, such as oppositions from Okinawa and instability of the administration. You know, are you still confident? I mean, how are you going to deal with it? You’re believing the Japanese Government will do it well?

MR. CROWLEY: Mm-hmm. Well, I mean, we are very conscious of the – of both the benefits and the impact that this alliance and the presence of U.S. forces on Okinawa, that it has. By the same token, we think this is a reaffirmation of the commitment that both governments have to our security alliance, and we are very mindful of the difficult decisions that Japan has made in recent weeks. But by the same token, we’re also mindful of the current security environment that underscores the importance of our security alliance.

QUESTION: Thank you.

MR. CROWLEY: Thank you.

(The briefing was concluded at 2:10 p.m.)
1:45 p.m. EDT

MR. CROWLEY: A grand entrance. Welcome back.

QUESTION: Thank you.

MR. CROWLEY: Okay. Continuing on with the rest of the world, Secretary of State Clinton will travel to Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, and Barbados from June 6 through 10 to participate in the General Assembly of the Organization of American States and consult with our regional partners on issues of shared interest. She will be in Peru June 6 through 8 and will – there for the OAS General Assembly, then she’ll travel to Ecuador on the 8th and on to Colombia where she’ll meet with the government leaders of both countries, and then will be in Barbados on the 9th, where she’ll meet with leaders of Caribbean nations as well.

Turning back to Pakistan, we extend our condolences to the families of those killed in the violent attack on mosques in Lahore during Friday prayers today and condemn this brutal violence against innocent people. We also condemn the targeting and violence against any religious group, in this case, the Ahmadi community. As our Ambassador in Pakistan Anne Patterson said, cowardly assaults on people at prayer are attacks against people of all faiths. Pakistan has witnessed an increase in provocative statements that promote intolerance and are an incitement to extremist violence. Attacks by extremists on religious minorities in Pakistan undermine the building of a tolerant democratic society.

And likewise, next door, we express our condolences to the victims’ families of the tragic train crash today that killed 65 people and hope for a speedy recovery of all those injured. We’re not aware of any U.S. citizen injured or killed in the train accident.

Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues Steve Rapp and Legal Adviser Harold Koh will lead an interagency observer delegation to the Rome Statute Review Conference in Kampala, Uganda from May 31 through June 11. The Rome Statute is the agreement under which the International Criminal Court was established and the agreement called for the holding of this review conference. The U.S. is not a party to the ICC, but has an interest in participating as an observer to advance U.S. interests and engage other delegations on matters of importance to the United States. And we will advance U.S. views regarding various amendments to be considered at the review conference, including, in particular, amendments related to the crime of aggression.

The United States views the end of impunity and the promotion of justice as moral imperatives and stabilizing forces in international affairs. And while we have specific concerns about aspects of the ICC, participation in the Rome Statute Review Conference is consistent with this Administration’s commitment to engage the international community on issues that affect our interest and promote accountability.

Tomorrow is the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, a day that pays tribute to the brave and dedicated men and women serving in UN peacekeeping missions around the world. This has been a very difficult year for UN peacekeeping. The UN has suffered its greatest loss of life in a single event when 96 MINUSTAH peacekeepers died in the Haiti earthquake in January, in addition to peacekeepers who died in the line of duty in Sudan, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. More than 120,000 peacekeepers from over a hundred nations serve in the UN’s 15 peacekeeping missions, risking their lives to make the world safer and more secure, and we thank them for their efforts.

Yesterday, the United States handed over donated medical equipment, including neonatal reanimation and warming tables, infant incubators, and blood gas analyzers, as well as water quality testing equipment to China, where – and this is a second installment of assistance. On May 23rd, we gave two water purification machines to the people of Qinghai. Each unit will supply clean drinking water to 10,000 people per day. And we will continue to offer our assistance to China as it continues to cope with the effects of last month’s earthquake.

The 2010 NPT Review Conference is scheduled to conclude today in New York. Everyone recognizes that the new approach the United States has brought to the table on nonproliferation, beginning with the President’s speech in Prague a year ago and the Secretary’s well-received opening statement on May 3rd, that has helped to energize this conference. This is certainly a substantial contrast between the atmospherics of this conference and the one held five years ago. We will be looking for an outcome that strengthens all three pillars of the Nonproliferation Treaty – nonproliferation, disarmament, and peaceful uses of nuclear energy. And we remain mindful that any party can block consensus. I believe the plenary will begin at 3 o’clock this afternoon and we certainly hope that no country will deliberately block consensus.

QUESTION: Can I – just on that?

MR. CROWLEY: Yeah.

QUESTION: Would – everyone recognizes the new approach brought by the U.S. has helped to energize this conference? Did you take a poll? Everyone recognizes it? Is --

MR. CROWLEY: Well --

QUESTION: I mean, who is the “everyone”? Everyone in the U.S. Government?

MR. CROWLEY: Thank you, Matthew. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: Well, you know --

MR. CROWLEY: I mean, we are certainly mindful that there is one country in particular participating in the conference that is not in compliance with its safeguard obligations. I don’t profess to speak for that particular country.

QUESTION: All right.

MR. CROWLEY: But with that --

QUESTION: Can I --

MR. CROWLEY: We expect – it’s hard to say when the NPT conference will wrap up. We’re hopeful it will do so today. I think the last one or two have gone into overtime, but we will hope to put together a call later this afternoon, this evening, or tomorrow. We’ll have some officials on hand to help understand what the outcome was and why actions were taken as they were.

QUESTION: I’m sure that Memorial Day celebrators will be very happy for that.

MR. CROWLEY: (Laughter.)

QUESTION: Can I ask you, appropo of Harold Koh and Stephen Rapp going to the ICC meeting, why exactly the U.S. sent someone to participate or at least to attend in Bashir’s inauguration and who it was?

MR. CROWLEY: We had a young consular officer who was the U.S. representative at the inauguration. And I would point out, first of all, that it also included the inauguration of SPLM Chairman Salva Kiir as the first vice president of the Republic of Sudan and the president of the Government of Southern Sudan. We have important business that we are conducting with the Government of Sudan and we are – will continue to press the government to fully implement the CPA. Our participation was in line with that of most nations who sent ambassadors or DCMs. In our case, it was below that level.

QUESTION: So what do you make of people who say that this sends a bad signal?

MR. CROWLEY: Well, I mean, our presence at this ceremony should not be confused in any way with our continuing pledge that President Bashir should respond to the warrant for his arrest for war crimes in Darfur. We continue to believe that those responsible for war crimes in Sudan should be held accountable for their actions, but we are working closely with the Government of Sudan not only to resolve the situation in Darfur, but as we’ve outlined here, there are vitally important actions to be taken as we prepare for the referendum on Southern Sudan, border demarcation, other key events. So we have a relationship with Sudan and it was on that basis that we had a consular officer present.

QUESTION: But you don’t think that sending someone to attend the inauguration runs counter to the idea of --

MR. CROWLEY: No.

QUESTION: -- wanting him held accountable?

MR. CROWLEY: I mean, no – as we’ve said, no electoral process or no ceremony changes the fact that President Bashir should cooperate with the ICC and should be held accountable. And there should be, ultimately, justice in Sudan.

QUESTION: What about the people who say that this goes against earlier statements I think you yourself made from the podium that the election, that this inauguration, culminates – was neither free nor fair. Doesn’t this, in effect, mean that the U.S. is giving its stamp of approval to --

MR. CROWLEY: Nothing – the presence of a consular officer, never mind an ambassador, never mind a DCM, never mind a delegation – this was a young consular officer. It was a reflection of our relations with Sudan. It is about that basis. It is not about President Bashir or – our feelings about the recent election are well known.

QUESTION: The opposition in Sudan calls the special envoy to Sudan, General Gration, as the representative of the party of the Sudanese party in Sudan. Do you have any reaction to that?

MR. CROWLEY: Michel, I’m sorry, I didn’t understand the question.

QUESTION: Yeah. The opposition in Sudan calls Ambassador or General Gration the Sudanese or the President Bashir’s party representative in Sudan. Do you have any reaction to that?

MR. CROWLEY: Well, General Gration has made a number of trips to Sudan and has engaged government officials on a regular basis because, again, the Government of Sudan has very specific obligations that it has to undertake for full implementation of the CPA. It is on that basis that we deal with the Government of Sudan. We have nothing to do whatsoever with President Bashir.

QUESTION: Except for going to his inauguration.

MR. CROWLEY: And that of the first vice president.

QUESTION: Yes. Now that the next trip of the Secretary Clinton to Latin America, I was wondering if you have some more details on the agenda. She’s going not only to Peru but Colombia and Ecuador, and I think this year the – one of the topics will be disarmament. So security issues at the General Assembly, so that that will be an issue also in Colombia, too?

MR. CROWLEY: Well, those are all good questions. We’ll have a preview briefing next week as we get closer to her departure.

QUESTION: P.J., there’s a new UN report out that says North Korea is illegally exporting nuclear and ballistic materials and technology despite UN sanctions. Is this – what’s your reaction to this? And is this a sign that the UN is finally coming around to things that the U.S. has long suspected?

MR. CROWLEY: Well, go back to last summer when the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1874 expressly because we have longstanding concerns about North Korea’s proliferation activities and its export of dangerous materials to unsavory countries and characters around the world. I don’t think that this is a stark revelation. We’ve had concerns some of the countries named in that report. We’ve had concerns about relations and exports to, among others, Burma. And – but we’ve come – came together a year ago, passed 1874. We have been aggressively doing our part and other countries have done the same to implement 1874, try to restrict the kinds of exports which can have destabilizing impact both inside the immediate region and other places in the world. We’ll continue to do that.

And as we consult and then come – at some point in the coming days, we expect that South Korea will bring North – issues regarding North Korea’s behavior back before the Council. And we’ve pledged we will support fully South Korea and that we’ll see what other steps are appropriate so we can further restrict and minimize the threat that North Korea poses to the region and the world.

QUESTION: So there is evidence to support, since that last UN resolution, that there – that North Korea continues to export these materials.

MR. CROWLEY: Well, North Korea is – I mean, again, this is not a revelation. The ongoing activity of North Korea is destabilizing within its own neighborhood and elsewhere. It is an exporter of counterfeit material, it’s an exporter of illegal material, it’s an exporter of dangerous hardware and materials. And we’ve long recognized that, unfortunately, this is the export of missiles, nuclear technology and other things are the cash crop of North Korea. It’s expressly why we have offered North Korea a different relationship, so that it can actually go about building a legitimate economy, one that is far more constructive and conducive to stability and peace in the region. But as long as we recognize the danger posed by South Korea, we’ll continue to take appropriate steps --

QUESTION: North Korea.

MR. CROWLEY: I’m sorry, North Korea – continue to take appropriate steps to minimize the danger that – and risk that North Korea poses to its neighbors and to the United States.

QUESTION: To which countries is North Korea exporting these materials?

MR. CROWLEY: I haven’t read that full report so – but I know Burma is one of those countries mentioned and we have mentioned from this podium before.

QUESTION: Is Iran one?

MR. CROWLEY: Hmm?

QUESTION: Is Iran --

QUESTION: Iran and Syria are also mentioned.

MR. CROWLEY: I mean, to the – I mean, in implementation of 1874, countries that intercept shipments – illegal shipments from North Korea, should investigate those and report those to the UN. I suspect that this report is a culmination of some of that reporting in terms of the implementation of sanctions by a variety of countries. We are fully supportive of those efforts.

QUESTION: Also on North Korea, Chinese Premier Wen is obviously in Seoul, talked a little bit about the situation but didn’t sign up, at least publicly, to pointing the finger at North Korea for the South Korean naval frigate. Are you – is the U.S. satisfied now? What does the U.S. make of Wen’s statement on this? And where do you think we go forward with China on marshalling international concern about --

MR. CROWLEY: Well, I think Premier Wen is still in the country, so the visit is still ongoing. South Korea will continue its consultations with China and others. We expect that South Korea will in the coming days bring the matter before the UN Security Council, and we’ll see at that point what the attitudes of key countries would be. We certainly hope that through this visit, China will recognize and support the conclusions of the investigation. We think that the evidence is compelling and we think that it’s time for the international community to come together in a united and demonstrated way and send a clear message to North Korea.

QUESTION: P.J., does the Secretary Clinton make any decision to de-list North Korea as terrorist country?

MR. CROWLEY: We – there’s no change. That is the question that we are evaluating, and we will be guided by facts and the law.

Yes.

QUESTION: Chinese Premier Wen said that China will not defend anyone responsible for the Cheonan sinking. So how would you assess that kind of --

MR. CROWLEY: Well, I think we just answered that question. Premier Wen is still there. I think he’s had the opportunity to consult with President Lee and others. China has to draw its own conclusions based on the evidence that is in the investigation, and we would hope that China will support international efforts and South Korea as we consider appropriate action in the Security Council in the coming days.

Charley.

QUESTION: But certainly, a couple of days ago, the State Department and certain members of the State Department were pointing to the Chinese visit today, the expectation that there might be stronger comments by the Chinese?

MR. CROWLEY: Well, let’s see what comes out of this meeting.

David.

QUESTION: Back on the ICC, did I get it right? The United States is proposing an amendment to the Rome statute?

MR. CROWLEY: No.

QUESTION: Okay.

MR. CROWLEY: You did not get it right. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: Okay. What’s the angle, then, with the amendment? I didn’t --

MR. CROWLEY: Well, one of the matters that will come before the review is amendments related to the crime of aggression. It will be an issue that is debated during the upcoming conference. We have our own views on that. We’ll – I think Steve Rapp will present a first intervention by the United States on Tuesday. Actually, we hope to perhaps link Steve and Harold up with you all during the course of their time in Kampala so they can help you understand not only what’s happening, what we’ve said, and what the issues are.

At the end of this, we don’t get a vote on what the ICC or the review conference will decide to do, but we will obviously be there, be in the room, and make our views known during the course of the two weeks.

QUESTION: Is this an indication that the United States might be, again, warming to the idea of joining up with the Rome treaty?

MR. CROWLEY: I wouldn’t point you in that direction.

QUESTION: P.J.

MR. CROWLEY: Go ahead.

QUESTION: Go ahead.

MR. CROWLEY: Go ahead.

QUESTION: One more question on Sri Lanka, if you please.

MR. CROWLEY: You’ve just had the Secretary and you’ve had Bob Blake.

QUESTION: Yeah, I know, but --

MR. CROWLEY: Go ahead.

QUESTION: What was it – one clarification, actually. Let’s say many Tamils – (inaudible), the Sri Lankan foreign minister defended his country and his president as far as war crimes and atrocities and human rights violations and all that. But many human rights organizations and also Tamils, what they’re asking is really, the general acted on the advice of the president and his government as far as whatever happened in that part of the Tamil area.

So what they’re saying is that – not the general, but the president should be put in the – or before the International Court. And they’re asking the UN or the United States that there should be justice as far as the crimes committed by – or alleged crimes committed by the president.

MR. CROWLEY: Well, I actually think Bob answered that question already today. Look, a lot of the discussion today was on the importance of this reconciliation commission and its independence. I thought another aspect of the foreign minister’s comments to Secretary Clinton was that Sri Lanka is consulting with a number of countries who have gone through this experience before, South Africa among them. So we think they have framed the issue in the right way, but clearly, we’ll be watching very closely on what it does.

The other thing that the foreign minister mentioned was the importance of rebuilding institutions within – and dialogue within the Tamil community. That’ll be a very, very important aspect. So the new government has a mandate, it has a special responsibility, and we will be watching carefully to see what actions Sri Lanka takes in the coming months and what the impact within the country is.

QUESTION: Thank you, sir.

MR. CROWLEY: Yeah.

QUESTION: Yeah, I’ve got two brief ones. Are you aware of reports that Mr. Coke in Jamaica may be ready to or willing to surrender?

MR. CROWLEY: That’s a good question to ask the Government of Jamaica.

QUESTION: No, no, to the U.S., surrender to the U.S.

MR. CROWLEY: I’m not aware that we’ve – we have any knowledge about what Mr. Coke is thinking or even where he is.

QUESTION: Okay. And then do you know anything about the arrest of an American lawyer in Rwanda, charges of denying the genocide?

MR. CROWLEY: We are aware of the arrest of Peter Erlinder by Rwandan police. I think in terms of particulars, it’s probably – you need to address those questions to Rwandan authorities. Our consular section has been in touch with him, but for – due to privacy concerns, we can’t say anything more.

Charley.

QUESTION: Just another question, another topic, please. Any reaction to Ukraine halting its efforts to join NATO? And what are the U.S. concerns that this does demonstrate a tilt away from the West (inaudible)?

MR. CROWLEY: This is a decision for Ukraine to make. We will continue to engage and cooperate with the new Ukrainian Government and support whatever decisions it wants to make in terms of its relations with the rest of Europe or the United States.

QUESTION: Thank you.

MR. CROWLEY: Thank you. Wait, I’m sorry. One more, one more.

QUESTION: U.S. and Japanese Government announced a joint statement yesterday and – of Futenma. And it is almost same as existing plan in terms of the location. So what’s your reaction on that? Are you satisfied with what you got?

MR. CROWLEY: Well, it was a significant step as both governments worked to achieve the objectives of relocating approximately 8,000 Marines and their families to Guam, returning Futenma as soon as possible and the consolidation of the remaining military facilities in Okinawa. I mean, there are still some details to work out. Experts will be working on some of the particulars regarding the consolidation of operations at Camp Schwab. We expect to have that work done by the end of August.

QUESTION: As you know, there are – still some difficulties remain, such as oppositions from Okinawa and instability of the administration. You know, are you still confident? I mean, how are you going to deal with it? You’re believing the Japanese Government will do it well?

MR. CROWLEY: Mm-hmm. Well, I mean, we are very conscious of the – of both the benefits and the impact that this alliance and the presence of U.S. forces on Okinawa, that it has. By the same token, we think this is a reaffirmation of the commitment that both governments have to our security alliance, and we are very mindful of the difficult decisions that Japan has made in recent weeks. But by the same token, we’re also mindful of the current security environment that underscores the importance of our security alliance.

QUESTION: Thank you.

MR. CROWLEY: Thank you.

(The briefing was concluded at 2:10 p.m.)
DPB # 83

[This is a mobile copy of Daily Press Briefing - May 28]