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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 749-00
December 15, 2000

ROK OUTSIDE EXPERT VISIT TO WASHNGTON PROVES TIMELY

Senior officials of the Department of Defense and the No Gun Ri "outside experts" from the Republic of Korea held serious and constructive talks today on the status of the No Gun Ri review.

Franklin D. Kramer, assistant secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, led the U.S. delegation. Other U.S. members included Stanley Ross, assistant secretary of State; Charles Cragin, principal deputy under secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness; and Ambassador Thomas Hubbard, principal deputy assistant secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs.

Retired General Paik Sun-yup led the Korean delegation, which included four additional "outside experts" from Korea and representatives from the Office of the Prime Minister. The "outside experts" are advisors appointed by the Korean government to provide counsel on the No Gun Ri investigation.

In addition, the Korean group met with the Deputy Secretary of Defense Rudy de Leon and Secretary of the Army Louis Caldera.

During these meetings, both countries discussed progress on determining the facts of what happened at No Gun Ri. The two sides agreed that the close bilateral cooperation on this issue reflects the trust and friendship built in over fifty years of partnership. The two sides pledged to continue their close cooperation to ensure that the RoK-U.S. relationship remains as strong as ever.

Commenting on the numerous media reports on the No Gun Ri investigation, the U.S. and ROK delegations agreed it was important to continue close cooperation. They agreed that since portions of the No Gun Ri report are still being completed, the meetings held today were timely and helpful in bringing the investigation to closure. The U.S. and RoK delegations emphasized that the dignity and sacrifices made by the Korean villagers and U.S. veterans should not be diminished. Lastly, while both sides desire to conclude the No Gun Ri review by the end of the month, they recognized there are still details that need to be discussed.

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