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Exchange With Reporters Prior to Discussions With President Kim Yong-sam of South Korea

November 23, 1993

North Korea

Q. We'll ask about Korea this time. Are you both on board with the same package for North Korea to permit international inspection of its nuclear sites?

President Clinton. Well, we'll have a statement about that later. We just started our meeting. So I think we have to have the meeting before we can make a statement.

Q. But it appears that President Kim seems to have a deviation in the policy.

President Clinton. We haven't had our meeting yet. Give us a chance to talk about it, and then we'll be glad to comment about it.

Q. Are your options limited since China and Japan don't want you to proceed with sanctions?

President Clinton. I think I'd like to comment on all that in the—we'll have a press statement, and then I'll answer questions about it. But I really would like to speak with President Kim first.

Q. Do you know if North Korea has a nuclear weapon at this point?

President Clinton. I want to have this meeting first and then I'll——

Q. What else can we ask you about?

Q. Nothing ventured——

Philadelphia State Senate Campaign

Q. Are you going to ask the Attorney General to look into the Philadelphia State senate race? One of the——

Q. Gingrich said you would.

Q. Are you going to do that, do you think?

President Clinton. The first I even knew about it was this morning. I don't know enough about it to give an answer. I'll have to look into it. I had not heard anything about it until this morning. I knew nothing about it until he mentioned it this morning.

President Kim's Visit

Q. How come you didn't jog together today?

President Clinton. Tomorrow. I don't know if he'll run with me tomorrow, but I'd like him to.

Q. It depends on how late your dinner is.

[At this point, one group of reporters left the room and another group came in.]

President Kim. My impression is that most of the journalists would like to raise interest by describing the subject as a very difficult issue. In fact, sometimes they're very simple ones, in a way unnecessarily complicates—[inaudible]

I think that this time we had a very sizable amount of journalist delegation this time. More than 100 people, I think, accompanied me on my visit in the U.S. this time.

President Clinton. They all got to go first to Seattle, and then here?

President Kim. Yes.

NOTE: The exchange began at 11:08 a.m. in the Oval Office at the White House. A tape was not available for verification of the content of this exchange.

William J. Clinton, Exchange With Reporters Prior to Discussions With President Kim Yong-sam of South Korea Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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