POW/MIA News Digest 2011
The Washington Post reports that, in the wake of Kim Jong-il's death, the future of the remains recovery missions in North Korea agreed to in October remains uncertain. “We’re just trying to remain positive, and believe that the recovery agreement will hold,” said Rick Downes, president of the Coalition of Families of Korean & Cold War POW/MIAs. “It’s something the North Koreans have wanted for a long time now, and I would think they still want that.”
October 20, 2010
After three days of negotiations in Bangkok, the Defense Department has released a statement announcing that US and North Korea have reached an arrangement to resume operations to recover the remains of US servicemen unaccounted for during the Korean War. Under the agreement, US teams will work in two areas of North Korea: Unsan County, and around the Chosin Reservoir.
October 17, 2011
The Associated Press reports that Pentagon officials will meet with their North Korean counterparts in Bangkok this week to resume efforts to identify and repatriate the remains of US troops unaccounted for during the Korea War. The US delegation will be led by Robert J. Newberry, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for POW/MIA Affairs. The remains recovery program, initiated in 1996, was suspended in 2005 amid rising tensions between North Korea and the United States.
August 19, 2011
North Korean officials have announced their willingness to begin talks to resume remains recovery operations of American POW/MIAs unaccounted for during the Korean War, reports the Washington Post. The North Korean announcement signaled the most progress on the re-opening the issue since the US halted the program in 2005.
August 9, 2011
The U.S. recently sent a letter to the North Korean government requesting the resumption of remains recovery operations in North Korea, the New York Times reports. Citing a spokeswoman from the Pentagon’s Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office, the article states North Korean officials recently contacted the United States to indicate that they would look favorably upon a request to resume the recovery of remains.
January 18, 2011
North Korean officials have signaled an interest in opening discussions to restart operations to recover the remains of US POW/MIAs from the Korean War, CNN reports. Former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, who visited Pyongyang in December 2010, told a CNN crew that “the North Koreans started out by saying, ‘you know, if we can better our relationship, we can give you more remains of your soldiers.’”
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