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Release No: 858-03
November 17, 2003

U.S.-North Korea Conclude POW/MIA Talks

            The Department of Defense announced today that U.S. and North Korea representatives concluded talks about arrangements to conduct five joint operations to recover the remains of American servicemen still missing from the Korean War.


            The meetings, led by Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Affairs Jerry Jennings, were held in Bangkok, Thailand, Friday and Saturday.  Jennings focused on enhancing the safety of the U.S. recovery teams, improving the U.S. remains recovery process and establishing a process for resolving reports alleging that living Americans may have been held in North Korea.


            The operations in North Korea are scheduled to begin early next year in Unsan County, about 60 miles north of Pyongyang, and near the Chosin Reservoir.  In 27 operations since 1996, American and North Korean teams working in North Korea have recovered remains believed to be those of more than 180 servicemembers.


            As a matter of policy, these talks deal with the issue of recovering the remains of missing Americans.  POW/MIA accounting is a separate, stand-alone humanitarian matter, not tied to any other issues between the two countries.


            More than 8,100 Americans are still missing from the Korean War.

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