U.S. Team Again Searching for Remains of MIAs in North Korea


Stars and Stripes
Pacific edition, Saturday, April 23, 2005

SEOUL — For the 10th consecutive year, U.S. personnel are searching for the remains of U.S. troops missing in action in North Korea, the Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced Wednesday.

A 27-man team — composed of military and civilian specialists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii — entered the communist country April 16.

The team will focus on two areas: Unsan County, about 60 miles north of Pyongyang, and an area near the Chosin Reservoir, in the northeast.

U.S. troops battled Chinese units in Unsan County in November and December of 1950, and about 300 U.S. soldiers are believed to be missing, according Wednesday’s news release. And more than 1,000 American troops were reported as missing in combat after fighting Chinese forces from November to December 1950 in the Chosin campaign.

Recovery teams in the field are led by a forensic anthropologist or archeologist and are supported by specialists in mortuary affairs, explosive ordnance disposal, medicine, vehicle maintenance and linguistics. Two U.S. personnel stay in Pyongyang to provide logistical and personnel support, according to the release.

The current mission will end in mid-May.

According to the release, teams have recovered more than 200 sets of remains since 1996; 20 were identified and returned to their families.

Visit the Web site of the Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office at www.dtic.mil/dpmo for more information.