BANGKOK The Department of Defense announced today that U.S. and North Korean officials reached agreement Thursday in Bangkok on a framework to recover remains of American servicemen who are missing from the Korean War. The agreement is for calendar year 2005.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for POW/Missing Personnel Affairs, Jerry D. Jennings, led the two-day talks. His negotiating team included representatives from the Department of State, the Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the U.S. Pacific Command and the United Nations Command.
This joint humanitarian mission is our obligation to the fallen servicemen and their families, said Jennings. Wherever it takes us, this we must do to honor the sacrifices made by these American heroes.
Next years operations in North Korea will mark the 10th consecutive year that U.S. specialists have carried out remains recovery missions in that country. Specialists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command have recovered remains believed to be those of more than 200 soldiers since 1996.
Thursdays arrangement called for U.S. teams to work in two areas in North Korea where more than 2,000 soldiers and Marines are believed to be missing. Their missions will take place April-October in Unsan County, about 60 miles north of Pyongyang, and near the Chosin Reservoir in the northeast part of the DPRK.
Additionally, the American teams will conduct investigations in July apart from the remains recovery excavations in the two areas. The arrangement included details on matters relating to safety of the teams, to include rehearsals of medical airlift should an emergency arise.
Of 88,000 Americans missing from all conflicts, more than 8,100 are from the Korean War.
For additional information about POW/MIA recoveries, visit
http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo , or call the Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office at (703) 699-1169.