A team of U.S. POW/MIA specialists met last week in Beijing with officials of the Peoples Republic of China to pursue further access to archival documents relating to American prisoners of war and to coordinate case investigation and recovery operations in China in 2006.
Led by an official of the Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO), the team held meetings at the PRC Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of National Defense, and the Chinese Red Cross.
For several years, the U.S. has sought access from China to documents that may shed light on the fates of more than 2,000 Americans held as prisoners of war by the Chinese or North Koreans during the Korean War. From 1951 until the end of the war, the Chinese operated the camps where the Americans were held and therefore might have information pertaining to American POWs.
More than 8,100 Americans are still unaccounted-for from the Korean War, including more than 2,000 believed to have died as POWs.
During the meetings last week, the Chinese agreed to consider the U.S. request and were optimistic that a way could be found to access the documents. They also agreed to begin logistics planning in support of several investigations at sites where the remains of American airmen lost in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War may be found.
Last year, local and central government officials in China assisted U.S. teams in Dandong where they located the remains of Air Force Capt. Troy Cope, missing from the Korean War.
For additional information about the department's mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO Web site at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call (703) 699-1169.