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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 624-94
November 03, 1994

STATEMENT BY JAMES WOLD DEPUTY SECRETARY OF DEFENSE FOR POW/MIA AFFAIRS ON HIS TRIP TO VIETNAM

"The purpose of my visit to Vietnam was to continue the process established by the presidential delegation that visited in July. As the senior Department of Defense representative responsible for our accounting effort, I returned to address specific areas of our work, and to see first hand the results of these labors. My intention is to return on a regular basis to continue the senior level dialog between our two governments, and to ensure and to measure continued cooperation as we work toward the fullest possible accounting of our missing.

"My visits to excavation sites in Quang Ninh and Hoa Binh Provinces reinforced my earlier, favorable impressions of the hard work that is being done, and the team work that has developed between U.S. and Vietnamese joint field activities teams. The U.S. government is appreciative of the cooperation demonstrated at this level, and of the progress made by these field teams.

"In my meetings with Vietnamese officials in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Interior, and Ministry of Defense, I stressed the need for continued cooperation that will lead us to more answers. I emphasized that the quick and thorough investigation of live sighting reports remains our number one priority. I also thanked the Vietnamese for their ongoing unilateral efforts to review archives in the Ministry of Interior, and encouraged them to continue their unilateral efforts in developing ways which will lead to concrete results.

"I am confident that the government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam recognizes the critical importance that continued progress in the POW/MIA issue plays in the relationship between our nations and that we will work together to realize progress on this complex and difficult question."