United States and North Korean negotiators agreed Sunday in Bangkok on a schedule of operations to recover remains of American soldiers missing in action from the Korean War.
Three operations, by 28-person teams and lasting about 30 days each, are scheduled to begin on July 20. The final repatriation of recovered remains would occur about Oct. 29.
The three-day talks, led by Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for POW/Missing Personnel Affairs Jerry D. Jennings, were a continuation of discussions held in January, also in Bangkok. At that time, no agreements were reached.
Since 1996, 22 joint recovery operations in North Korea have recovered remains believed to be those of 152 American soldiers. Eleven have been identified, with approximately ten others in the final stages of the forensic identification process.
Conducted by the U.S. Army Central Identification Laboratory Hawaii (CILHI), these operations have covered areas about 60 miles north of Pyongyang in Unsan County, where elements of the U.S. 8th Army battled Chinese forces. Additionally, U.S. recoveries have included sites near the Chosin Reservoir where major American losses from the 1st Marine Division and the Army's 7th Infantry Division occurred November - December 1950.
During this year's final joint recovery operation period, U.S. teams will survey sites on the western shores of the Chosin Reservoir in preparation for base camp construction there during a future operation.
Additionally, improved medical airlift will be available for all team members on a 45-minute alert, and improvements in communication calls for two-way radios at every site and twice-daily communications checks.
More than 8,100 American servicemen are missing in action from the Korean War.