The Front Page
Korea-Cold War Families of the Missing
August 2005 Issue #8
POW-MIA We Remember!
2005 FAMILY UPDATE LOCATIONS 2005
City selections are based on past update schedules and demographic mapping of family members' home locations.
2005 : August 27, 2005 Columbus , OH
September 24, 2005 San Diego , CA
October 26-28, 2005 Washington, DC*
November 19, 2005 Spokane , WA
* - The Korean and Cold War Annual Government Briefings
2005 National POW/MIA Recognition Day
September 16, 2005
Family Update 2006 Cities (Dates To Be Announced)
Shreveport , LA • Savannah , GA • Oakland , CA • Louisville , KY • Syracuse , NY • Minneapolis , MN •
Seattle , WA • Washington , DC * • Albuquerque , NM
Secretary's Corner by Emma Skuybida:
IMPORTANT NOTICE! The Organization is now two years old and we will have a slate of candidates running for office in our next news letter. If you are interested in becoming a board member please contact the organization at our PO Box # or e-mail us. Requirements are that you have your own computer in order to participate in the voting process and in order to communicate promptly.
Get In Touch With Us:
Korea-Cold War Families of the Missing, Inc.
PO Box 454, Farmingdale, NY 11735 USA
Contact your Congressional Rep through the U.S. Capitol Switchboard - 1-202-224-3121 or House Cloak Room at 1-202-225-7350 (R) and 1-202-225-7330 (D).
US Senate : http://www.senate.gov/
House : http://www.house.gov/
White House: http://www.house.gov/
IN MY OPINION
BY IRENE L. MANDRA
It has been a very busy couple of months for our board members and myself. We have been quite concerned about the US/Russian Commission and the lack of concern coming from the White House. I understand that we are at war, and those servicemen and woman are the primary focus. I have no problem with every effort given for their safety and well- being. But lets talk about men of fifty or so years ago, who were captured. Lets talk about the men who were never returned from POW camps. What about the many planes that the Russians shot down? Why have the Russians continually not given us an accounting of the men whom they pulled alive out of the oceans? I dont understand why this has gone on for more than a half century. Yet not one President has picked up the phone to the Soviet Union and said, I want my people freed and all the remains of Americans shipped home to be honored and buried in the country that they died for. With this in mind the Board of Directors and I sent over thirty letters to Presidential Appointees, Congressional Representatives and Senators calling their attention to our plight. We didnt stop there: we also included letters to President Bush, Condoleezza Rice, and Donald Rumsfed. We tried to reach anyone whom we believe could help on this issue. Please read below the letter that was sent.
The Honorable Condoleezza Rice
Department of State
Washington, DC 20520
Dear Secretary Rice:
We are the families of Americas Missing in Action from the Korean and Cold Wars. We are very upset over the situation that exists between our country and the North Korean government. We respectfully request that you ask President Bush to direct Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld to allow Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) and The Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) to re-engage the North Koreans for the purposes of restarting the recovery operations.
For the last ten years, we have not had a security situation with North Korea as far as the remains issue is concerned. A security issue does not exist at this time. We realize that President Bush said that this was only a temporary shut-down, but we would like to remind all parties involved that this is a humanitarian issue, not a political one. The United States should resolve this issue through diplomacy and know that the families of the missing still wait for closure and have waited for over fifty years with uncertainty. We want our loved ones home now -- we have waited long enough.
Very truly yours,
Irene L. Mandra
The Honorable Hillllary Rodham Clinton
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Senator Clinton:
We are the families of the nation's 'Highest National Priority',America's Prisoners of War and Missing in Action, from the Korean War and Cold War Era.
In 1992, in response to overwhelming evidence in reports anddocuments of Americans transferred to the former Soviet Union and its territories, the United States created the US-Russia JointCommission. The USRJC was tasked with serving "...as a forum through which both nations seek to determine the fate of their missingservicemen. DPMO (Defense Prisoner of War-Missing Personnel Office) provides direct analytical, investigative and administrative support to the USRJC through the Joint Commission Support Directorate."
This Presidential level Commission, unfortunately, has become thestepchild of the issue and clearly has been neglected by subsequentAdministrations and its serviant agencies. Relegating the issue tothe whims of the former Soviet Union, political winds of change hereand abroad, and overshadowed by a variety of crises that haveerupted within various Presidencies, the years of White House neglectof the issue in general and the USRJC in particular, have sent aclear signal to the Russians that the work being done by theCommission is not of the 'Highest National Priority.'
Examples are numerous. When Plenaries repeatedly stall and are put off, the White House, which has been quick to comment on all manners of foreign cooperation and lack thereof, fails to even notice. Commission members have been denied Visas. Researchers have been denied access to archives and materials. Commission members, who have done absolutely nothing, remain in place, reducing the Commission to nothing more than a listing on their Curriculum Vitae. Damning reports of Americans in captivity have been passed to the Russian side and years have passed without an explanation or follow-up.
This spring, a Commission member stated with absolute authority thatAmericans HAD been taken into the Soviet Union at the conclusion ofhostilities in wars past... and never returned. The response from theWhite House was deafening silence.
One would think that such an admission would provide the White House with the ammunition it needed to make a public statement, take a stance on this issue. It did not. Instead the White House waitedbreathlessly and silently for the immediate drama to blow over.
Examples of this are endless;
When President George Bush met with President of the RussianFederation, Vladimir V. Putin, was the work of the Commission or therecent news of Americans held by the former Soviets in past conflictseven mentioned? Did our President ask their President for access tothe GRU files so that our researchers have the ability to furthertheir searches and learn who was and who was not transferred to theformer Soviet territories? Did Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice,during her recent visit to Russia, demand that any and all Americanstransferred to the former Soviet Union be returned, dead or alive?
The answer to the all of the above is a resounding NO.
We have learned that the Russians have been and are engaged withJapan and Germany and are willing to provide information on theirPOWs and MIAs. Do they not have the same willingness when it comes to Americans? Or is their willingness met with the same silence and disinterest from the US that we, the families, voters and taxpayers have witnessed from Washington, DC.
As a result of the actions, or inaction, of the US, the Russians havelowered their standards and diminished their perception of the US-Russian Joint Commission. The management of the Russian side of the Commission is being transferred to their Ministry of Defense, which means we will probably never get the answers we seek on the fate of missing American service men taken to the former Soviet Union. The issue is simply being shuttled down the political food-chain to become nothing more than a problematic footnote to history.
The US must walk the walk. We must broadcast loudly and clearly tothe world, and the Russians, that this is a Presidential level issue,and the USRJC is truly a Presidential level Commission, rather thanan inherited nuisance from a past Administration.
I am writing on behalf of myself as a POW-MIA Family Member as well as the thousands of other families that I represent to ask, demand,that interest on behalf of the current White House and its respectiveappointees and agencies be elevated back to their intended place...of the Highest National Priority, on the Presidential level,administered by a dedicated, respected Presidentially appointedChairman who is beyond reproach.
In this action we will show the Russians, and other former
adversaries, that the US IS serious, DOES want answers and
resolution, and WILL NOT accept less from others engaged with us inseeking answers in this ongoing national tragedy.
The US government, the Presidents, their Administrations andorganizations, owe us and our missing loved ones nothing less.
Very Truly Yours,
Irene L. Mandra
Jul 01, 2005 IMMEDIATE RELEASE
U.S.-RUSSIAN COMMISSIONERS MEET ON POW/MIA ISSUES
The U.S.-Russia Joint Commission on POW/MIAs concluded a series of meetings Wednesday in Moscow as part of a worldwide effort to account for more than 88,000 Americans missing from past conflicts.
The commission, established in 1992 by Presidents Bush and Yeltsin, held its 19th plenary session Tuesday and Wednesday. Chaired by Commissioner A. Denis Clift on the U.S. side and Gen. Maj. (Ret.) Vladimir Antonovich Zolotarev on the Russian side, the commission explored open questions in working groups that focused on the Vietnam War, the Cold War, the Korean War, and World War II. Clift, president of the Joint Military Intelligence College, served as U.S. chairman for this plenum.
In the two days of discussions, the U.S. queried the Russian side for assistance on four Cold War shoot downs in the Russian Far East. The Vietnam War group discussed ways in which the Russians could facilitate interviews with former KGB officials and other military and diplomatic personnel who served in Southeast Asia during that war. This group also discussed U.S. access to documents now classified that are believed to hold information about Americans who were held prisoners of war and who did not return from Vietnam.
During the plenum, Clift also met with Gen. Maj. Aleksandr V. Kirilin, chief of the Memorial Center of the Russian Federation Armed Forces. Kirilin, who represented Gen. Lt. (Ret.) Vladimir A. Shamanov, the new chairman of Russia's newly-established Interagency Commission for Prisoners of War, Internees, and Missing in Action, assured Clift that the Joint Commission's work will go forward, and Kirilin's organization will provide the staff to support the work of the Russian side.
The U.S. participants, including the senior staff of the Joint Commission Support Directorate (JCSD) from the Defense Department's POW/Missing Personnel Office, also asked for Russian assistance in arranging expeditions to the Far East in search of WWII downed aircraft.
The U.S. side cited the value of continuing archival access granted by the Russians to DoD researchers in the military archives at Podolsk. Since 1997, JCSD researchers have retrieved more than 45,000 pages from that archive, clarifying the fates of more than 250 U.S. airmen who were shot down during the Korean War. Soviet pilots flew more than 75 percent of the MiG-15 missions against U.S. pilots during that war.
Outside the working groups, the attendees also discussed with Russian archivists a U.S. initiative to expand archival research in Russia through contracted personnel.
For additional information on the Defense Department's mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO Web site at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call (703) 699-1169.
DPMO Head Investigated by Pentagon
12 July, 2005
Bush's POW-MIA Chief Accused of Abuse
By ROBERT BURNS, Associated Press Writer
The man leading the Defense Department's search for missing American service members is being investigated by the Pentagon for allegations of abusive management, The Associated Press has learned.
The accusations include reprisals against subordinates and sexual harassment of a female employee, according to Pentagon officials familiar with the inquiry.
Jerry D. Jennings, a deputy assistant secretary of defense, also has been accused by groups outside government of undermining his own office's mission of accounting for service members considered missing in action. They say he has alienated families of the missing and demoralized his staff.
In an e-mail response to written questions, Jennings wrote that he has cooperated fully in the inspector general's investigation. He declined to comment directly on the accusations, saying the inspector general asked that no one comment until the probe was completed.
Jennings said he was "aware of the complaints by a small number" of employees and pledged that they would be "handled appropriately." He did not comment directly on the sexual harassment allegation, which others said did not involve forceful physical acts.
Jennings, 65, defended his record of accomplishment and said that despite the opposition expressed by three MIA family organizations, "I am confident that their expression does not represent the will of the majority of the families."
His approach has so upset family groups that the boards of directors of three leading organizations, including the oldest, the National League of POW/MIA Families, each recently took the unprecedented step of voting "no confidence" in Jennings and urging his removal from office.
"We have lost faith in him," said Irene Mandra, national chairwoman of Korea-Cold War Families of the Missing. She called Jennings an ineffective leader who faces "a virtual mutiny" by members of his staff.
Mandra and others fault him for being unresponsive to their concerns, not working more smoothly with other elements of the government and not pressing harder for foreign cooperation on the MIA issue.
"The families' current alienation from (the Pentagon's POW/MIA office) is by far the worst I have seen since the Carter administration," said Richard T. Childress, who was director of Asian affairs at the National Security Council under President Reagan and now advises the National League of Families.
Some details of the inspector general's investigation were provided by six Pentagon officials with firsthand knowledge of the inquiry. They would not allow their names to be used, citing fear of reprisals. A Pentagon spokeswoman, Cheryl Irwin, said that as a matter of policy she could not confirm the existence of any investigation.
"Jerry Jennings is in a tough job where emotions understandably tend to run high," said Bryan Whitman, a senior Pentagon spokesman. "He is completely committed to the mission of full accounting of our service members missing in action."
The MIA accounting effort is far-flung, taking U.S. search teams to remote parts of China, Russia and elsewhere to excavate burial grounds, aircraft crash sites and long-forgotten battlefields.
There are more than 1,800 U.S. servicemen still missing from the Vietnam War, more than 8,100 from the 1950-53 Korean War, about 125 from Cold War spy-related aircraft shootdowns, and 78,000 from World War II. The work sometimes involves sensitive diplomatic efforts with countries like North Korea and Vietnam.
Jennings has undercut the role of U.S. ambassadors who work with Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, said an assessment by an affiliated Pentagon office, the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command.
"The result has been very destructive to the POW/MIA accounting mission," the 2004 report said, adding that "a lot of hard work and time will be required to mend the interagency fissures and to overcome foreign officials' perceptions."
Ray Burghardt, who was U.S. ambassador to Hanoi from December 2001 to September 2004, said in an e-mail exchange with the AP that Jennings did not damage the MIA mission but neither has he made any noteworthy contribution.
The Pentagon office's assessment said morale in Jennings' organization was "at an all-time low." The report was provided to the AP by a person outside the command who said the problems needed a fuller airing.
"There's a pervasive failure of leadership," Air Force Capt. Joseph Pilkus, an analyst there from July 2003 to August 2004 before being removed in a dispute with a supervisor, said in an interview.
Pilkus accuses Jennings of abusing his authority by directing retribution against those in the office who wrote statements in Pilkus' defense. He and others said an Army major was punished with an unfavorable performance report and denied a Defense Meritorious Service Medal for which she had been recommended.
Jennings has not appeared in his office for more than two months, with officials citing an undisclosed health problem. He declined through spokesman Larry Greer to be interviewed for this story.
Jennings held a variety of posts in the Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan and Bush administrations from 1973 to 1992 none related to POW or MIA issues. He was deputy director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency from 1990-92. An official biography says he was a CIA officer from 1965-68.
2005 Associated Press
US/Russian Commission August 2005
Korea-Cold War Families of the Missing Commentary
DPMOs Jerry Jennings has been out on sick leave for the last three months. Adrian Cronauer is in command. One thing I must say is that at least Mr. Cronauer will take your calls and meet with you. Thats an improvement. There is no one that is heading the US side of the Commission. At their last US/Russian meeting (19 Plenary) June 26, 2005 in Russia, Mr. Dennis Cliff substituted for Mr. Jennings.
At this meeting the Memoirs was brought up by our side and again the Russians had no information. They have not answered us on the Gulag Study. For that matter, in 1993 Peter Tsouras (DPMO) wrote a comprehensive 77-page report. Included in this report was the transfer of Americans to the Soviet Union. This was presented to the Russians, to which again the Russians have not responded .
The US sides of the Commission in Moscow consist of five to six people. Two of our men go to Podolsk, eight days a month. This may be increased in the future. Its quite clear, that more personnel are needed. At the present time a parts of a US aircraft from the Cold War have been found inVladivostok, the far eastern part of Russia. We are waiting for additional information on this find. They are looking for serial numbers. Hopefully another of our family members will receive information on this crash site.
The Russian side of the Commission is now a part of their Ministry, as far as I am concerned this is a downgrade. One good aspect is that Admiral Novvy is still working on the Cold War. It is very clear to those of us who have worked this issue for many years; that the Russians will not give us the information we want. This has been going on for many years and will continue unless the White House intervenes on the behalf of our MIAs. I am not criticizing this administration. The simple facts are that, every administration from President Truman through to the present administration have not taken action to bring these boys home, dead or alive. The White House does not think of our missing as a priority. If they did those in the State Department would have made their concerns known to the Russians.
The plain facts are that no one at a high level in DOD has taken the time to make an appointment and present the facts to the White House, to ask them to make this issue, the nations highest priority. When family members hear the statement that we as a nation leave no man behind, they know that it is just rhetoric. But the families still wait and hope.
We have waited long enough. Closure is what many of us want.
Is it any wonder that the youth of this country are not going into the service? They are well aware that men from the Korean War, Cold War, and Vietnam did not come home. Men that were still alive were captured and not returned. Shouldnt we put pressure on China? Why does our country have open trade with China when they are unwilling to cooperate with us and answer questions pertaining to our missing in China. It is very important that we family members must pressure our Congressional representatives to make this an important issue.
As of this writing there is no search going on for remains from North Korea. It is a shame that the White House chose to make this a political issue rather than a humanitarian one, as it was meant to be. I realize how important it is for Six Party talks to take place, however why use our issue of giving closure to the families that have waited over fifty years as a bargaining tool? Recovery operations with North Korea for 2006 are on hold, depending on what Secretary Rumsfeld decides based on the progress at the six party talks. DPMO, JPAC truly have no one to talk to about this issue, its up to Secretary Rumsfeld. It gets tiresome and aggravating that the Korean War is truly the Forgotten War. No pressure is put on China and Russia to give us the answers. No thought is given to our Korea/Cold War MIAs except for their families and the organizations that support them.. What is it going to take to make the White House do the honest and honorable task to demand answers from these countries? Is this not expected from our Government?
In March 2005 we wrote to Senator Hillary Clinton on the MIA issue to this day, we have not received a response from her. I hope you all will remember that if she decides to run for the presidency.
• N E W S • N E W S • N E W S • N E W S •
JPAC is putting a 10 man team into South Korea in Sept. for approximately 30 daysas they have indications of remains at 2 sites.
Korea-Cold War Families of the Missing wishes to extend our heart felt condolences to the following families
Cold War Family Member Bess Bergman - May 2nd, 2005
Former wife of Francisco J. Tejeda, Air Force shoot down on July 29, 1953 RB 50
Cold War Family Member Pat Service - May 30th, 2005
Daughter In Law of Capt. Samuel Service, Air Force shoot down on June 13, 1952. RB 29
Chuck Barnes, Veteran - July 31st, 2005
Chuck was active in Veterans Affairs and a POW-MIA Supporter
John David Murray - July 31st, 2005
Dave Murray was an extremely active POW-MIA and Veterans issues advocate
Each of these four wonderful people played a significant role in seeking answers and bringing about public awareness. They will be greatly missed.
To their families and friends, May the Love of Friends Bring Them Comfort, May the Love of God Bring Them Peace.
We wish to thank the family and friends of the late Pat Service for their kind donations made to Korea/Cold War Families Organization in memory of Pat. We appreciate your thoughtfulness.
An Open Letter to Our Government
To Whomever is Responsible:
The above salutation includes many people going as far back as Presidents Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and all the administrations past and present.. This includes people like Brent Scowcroft , Col. Philip Corso, (with his own admission) Henry Kissinger, Charles Trowbridge and Col. Joseph Schlatter. I could go on, but you know who you are. You are the nay sayers, collaborators in the no live prisoners left behind theory. You are the faint at heart who have said, We dont want to go to war over a handful of men. You are the elected officials, who once in office broke the promises that were made to POW/MIA families, That OUR GOVERNMENTS NUMBER 1 PRIORTY is the POW/MIA ISSUE.
You are the cowards, the ones that are afraid to speak out for our missing, because its not the politically correct thing to do for you. You are the ones who are afraid of losing their jobs at DPMO, because security in a job to you is worth more than doing the honorable thing. You also are the Russian, Chinese and North Vietnam governments. And last, but not least you are those who just dont care.
Would any person within our administration, past or present liketo change places with any of our POW/MIAs? I think not. But if situations were reversed, what would you want your country to do for you?
I amthe sister of a POW/MIA from the Cold War and the sister of a KIA of WWII. My father served in the Infantry in WWI, and another brother served in Korea/Cold War. I am a proud American and proud of my family, and their service to our country.
I have watched how our government has told us lies, half truths and given us misinformation. I have lived to see promises it had made to my family and other POW/MIA families broken. The government wrote us letters that were filled with condescending rhetoric, which was sometimes hard to take. For more than fifty years all we have ever wanted was the truth about our loved ones. AND yes, we can handle the truth. We may not like it, but we can handle it.
Over the years, the parents of the POW/MIAs, along with some of the wives, some of the children, sisters and brothers have passed without knowing the fate of their loved ones. Is that what you, our government is waiting to happen? Are you waiting for the families to die off, and not be around to hold your feet to the fire? Well, that is not going to happen! There will always be organizations made up of relatives and people of honor who will continue to search for the truth and closure.
If you do not answer to us, remember there is a higher being you must answer to. And it is not your leaders here on earth. If and when you arrive at the Gates of Heaven, or wherever you will be, you will have to answer to over 87,000 men from WWII, Korea. Cold War, Vietnam, Gulf and Iraq Wars that will be waiting for you. All asking the same question, Why did you forsake us? What will your answer be?
Charlotte Busch Mitnik
Sister of Major Samuel Busch MIA
Sea of Japan 06/13/52
and Staff Sgt. Morris Busch KIA - France, August 1944
President Putin set up a Commission to resolve the Russian POW-MIA issue. We already have the US-Russian Joint Commission to find US POW-MIAs, yet they havent answered most of our questions.
BBC International Reports (Former Soviet Union)
May 16, 2005
Putin sets up commission on POWs and missing persons. Text of report by Russian news agency Interfax
Moscow, 16 May: Russian President Vladimir Putin has decreed the creation of an interdepartmental commission on POWs, interned and missing persons. The decree - its text has been posted on the head of state's Internet site - appoints Gen Vladimir Shamanov, former governor of Ulyanovsk Region and former commander of an assault group of federal forces in Chechnya's mountains, as chairman of the commission.
Vladimir Shamanov was asked to submit a draft provision on the interdepartmental commission and make proposals with regard to its members within two months.
The decree emphasizes that the commission is being set up "in order to comprehensively resolve issues related to finding out about Russian citizens who went missing when defending state interests as well as about foreign citizens who went missing in the Russian Federation". By the same decree Vladimir Putin abolished the commission on POWs, interned and missing persons under the Russian president. The decree was signed on 30 April this year and came into effect on the same day.
NEWS - Monday, June6, 2005
New MIA hunt chief emphasizes families
Brig. Gen. Michael Flowers assumed command of the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command at Hickam Air Force Base on Friday.
Flowers last served in Kosovo where he was the chief of staff of the NATO force for the past year.
He said he would continue the work of his predecessor, Maj. Gen. W. Montague Winfield, to recover and identify remains from around the world.
NEWS - Remains of Korean War soldier coming home
By BLAKE NICHOLSON
BISMARCK, N.D.- Dorothy Friskop's brother is finally coming home. The remains of Pfc. John Strom, who died in Korea more than half a century ago, are being returned to the family. After arriving with a military escort Friday on a commercial flight to Fargo, the remains will be turned over to the family for burial, said Sgt. 1st Class Pete Christiansen, a casualty assistance officer with the North Dakota National Guard.
"It's sad, and yet it's good, because we know where he is, and we know where he will be," said Friskop, of Fargo, who remembers her brother as "a typical brother, a little mischief ... adventurous."
NEWS - June 30, 2005
Remains of Gary soldier killed in Korea returning home
GARY, Ind. - The body of a soldier from Gary killed during a Korean War battle is heading home nearly 55 years after he was killed.
The remains of Pfc. Lowell W. Bellar will be buried July 15 with military honors at a Schererville cemetery. Bellar's family pretty much gave up hope of recovering his body decades ago, said his brother, George Bellar Jr., 75, of Munster. "I couldn't believe it," he said.
NEWS - Interfax News Agency June 29, 2005
U.S.-Russian commission seeks to account for U.S. POWs, MIAs
MOSCOW. June 29 (Interfax) - Members of the U.S.-Russia Joint Commission on Prisoners of War and Missing in Action concluded a series of meetings in Moscow on Wednesday aimed at assisting the U.S. in accounting for more than 88,000 Americans missing from all conflicts, the U.S. Embassy in Moscow reported on Wednesday. In two-day discussions, "the U.S. pressed the Russian side for assistance on four Cold War shoot downs in the Russian Far East," the press release says. The commission members also discussed "ways in which the Russians could facilitate interviews with former KGB officials and other military and diplomatic personnel who served in Southeast Asia during" the Vietnam War, the press release says. "This group also discussed U.S. access to documents now classified that are believed to hold information about Americans who were held prisoners of war and who did not return from Vietnam," it reads. The U.S. participants "also asked for Russian assistance in arranging expeditions to the Far East in search of WWII downed aircraft," it says. The Joint Commission was established in 1992. The Moscow meeting was chaired by Commissioner A. Denis Clift, the president of the Joint Military Intelligence College, and Lt. Gen. (ret.) Vladimir Zolovaryov.
NEWS - BBC International Reports (Asia)
June 27, 2005
Seoul, 27 June: South Korea plans to raise again the issue of its soldiers taken prisoner by North Korea during the Korean War during forthcoming inter-Korean Red Cross talks, a government official said Monday [27 June].
South Korean records show that 41,971 of its soldiers were taken to the North during the 1950-53 Korean War, with at least 538 believed to be still alive in the communist state.
North Korea has never admitted that it is holding any South Korean POWs. The communist country maintains that it returned all South Korean POWs when the war ended but its officials did not object when South Korean negotiators raised the issue last year.
NEWS - Recovery Efforts in N. Korea Halted
25 May, 2005
By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer
The Pentagon on Wednesday abruptly suspended U.S. efforts to recover the remains of American soldiers from North Korea, accusing the Koreans of creating an environment that could jeopardize the safety of U.S. workers.
No specifics were provided, but the move came amid rising tensions with the North Korean government over its nuclear weapons and missile programs. The recovery program was suspended once before, from October 2002 to June 2003, after the North Koreans disclosed to a State Department envoy that they had secretly been running an active nuclear weapons program.
On the Internet:
Marty OBriens Casualty Book
The amount of research that went into the production of this project was tremendous and meticulous.
Marty is a member of our friends, Korean War Veterans Association. http://www.kwva.org/
NEWS - U.S. suspends hunt for troop remains in N. Korea
May 25, 2005
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon on Wednesday suspended joint efforts to recover the remains of U.S. troops in North Korea and accused Pyongyang of creating an atmosphere that threatened the safety of American workers.
"It is a force protection issue," said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Jason Salata, a spokesman for the U.S. Pacific Command in Hawaii, shortly after the command issued a terse, surprise announcement on the suspension.
"We are concerned that the environment that North Korea has created is not conductive to the effective operation of the missions and we want to ensure the safest conditions for our recovery teams," Salata told Reuters by telephone.
Comment on the North Korea-US Flap:
It is generally believed that the cancellation of the US mission in North Korea did NOT come from Pentagon. It was a State Department/White House measure to put pressure on North Korea during the six-party talks. Pentagon and JPAC - Joint Personnel Accounting Command - were used as an excuse.
From Frank Metersky:
Is Congress going to sit quietly by and watch President Bush continue to move this country toward another war with North Korea?
The Pentagons decision, under a false pretext, to stop the recovery of remains of Americans still missing from the Korean War sends the wrong message to North Korea ("N. Korea cancels search for American MIAs," News, Friday).
As of last week, the U.S. Pacific Command and the Department of POW/Missing Personnel Office still did not have a clear understanding of how to address this supposed temporary halt as they were never advised of the true reasons for cutting off operations. They have been unable to give a clear and believable explanation to the families of the missing.
The Pacific Command had a team in Beijing ready to start another recovery operation andits equipment had preceded them into North Korea. A team that just finished a mission had not encountered any security issues and recovered U.S. remains at the two sites it worked.
What Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has now done is effectively fold this humanitarian issue into the current failed foreign policy of this administration. For four years, all we have heard about is six-party talks. Without the slightest bit of progress, doesnt anyone think maybe our current approach isnt working?
In the past,recovery operations were kept on a separate track so as not to encumber the political negotiations and vice versa. For nine years, it has been the only continually successful negotiations with North Korea.
It is about time we put a peaceful end to the Korean War. Unfortunately, I do not think this president, vice president and secretary of Defense have a clue on how to successfully engage North Korea and are focused only on regime change.
Good young men always die when stupid old men make bad decisions. As the one veteran who, along with dedicated members of our government, was responsible for the negotiations that began the returning of our honored dead from the Korean War, I am deeply saddened and troubled by the current turn of events.
Korean War veteran
Remains of American MIAS Found in North Korea
May 24, 2005
Specialists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) have recovered remains believed to be those of American soldiers missing in action from the Korean War. The remains will be repatriated to U.S. control at Yongsan Military Compound in Seoul on May 26.
From Seoul, the remains will be flown to Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, where the forensic identification process will take place in the JPAC laboratory to determine the precise number of recovered American soldiers. This is the first repatriation of remains from this year's recovery operations in North Korea, and marks the beginning of the 10th consecutive year for the mission there.
Since 1996, 33 joint operations have been conducted in North Korea, during which remains believed to be those of more than 220 soldiers have been recovered. Of the 88,000 U.S. servicemembers missing in action from all conflicts, more than 8,100 are from the Korean War.
The JPAC specialists' consisted of a 27-man U.S. element divided into two recovery teams. The first team operated near the Chosin Reservoir where the 1st Marine Division and the Army's 7th Infantry Division fought Chinese forces November-December 1950. Approximately 1,000 Americans are missing in action from battles of the Chosin campaign.
The second team recovered remains in Unsan County about 60 miles north of Pyongyang. This area was the site of battles between communist forces and the U.S. Army's 1st Cavalry and 25th Infantry divisions in November 1950.
The joint remains recovery work resulted from negotiations with North Korea led by the Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office.
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.
NEWS - Philadelphia Inquirer (PA) May 29, 2005
MIA hope spans half a century
As remains arrive in the U.S., local families and others wonder if they could be loved ones.
By Tom Infield, Inquirer Staff Writer
After five weeks of digging on old battlefields, American military teams emerged from North Korea on Tuesday carrying the remains of U.S. servicemen lost 55 years ago in the Korean War. After five weeks of digging on old battlefields, American military teams emerged from North Korea on Tuesday carrying the remains of U.S. servicemen
lost 55 years ago in the Korean War.
N O T I C E :
This, our second anniversary issue, will be the last newsletter our Editor, Ki Ceniglio, sends to print. In 2 weeks, Ki will leave to begin her Freshman year at UMBC Honors College in Maryland as a Sondheim Publics Affairs Scholar. We are proud of her accomplishments, her scholarship and all the wonderful work she has done on behalf of our Korean and Cold War POWs, MIAs, their families and loved ones. We wish her much luck and Gods Blessings.
Beginning with the next isssue we will continue to make some changes to make reading more pleasurable and easy. We are in the process of making The Front Page the best and most informative newsletter available to Korea and Cold War Families.
We always welcome submissions, Op-Eds, Letters to the Editor, Personal Stories and Bios of our Members Missing loved ones. We thank you all for your tremendous support the past two years and look forward to many more years of service to the Families of our beloved POWs and MIAs.
Some Headlines You May Have Missed:
• Deserter arrives for first U.S. visit in 40 years
Tuesday, June 14, 2005 - Charles Jenkins arrived back in the US for the first time in 40 years.
• 'Missing, Presumed Dead' is a film about American POWs abandoned in North Korea. It is about the search by Bob Dumas for his brother, Roger, a known POW from Korea.
To order the DVD: www.MissingPresumedDead.com
• HR 123 Campaign for POW/MIAs - Contact your Congressional Leaders and ask them to sign on to HR 123 - to establish POW-MIA Hearings in the House. Phone numbers are listed on the front page.
• SEOUL, June 8 (Yonhap) -- The South Korean opposition leader proposed making it compulsory that the two Koreas discuss the repatriation of South Korean POWs the North still holds durimg their high-level talks.
Board of Directors and Staff:
National Chair - Irene Mandra, Family Member
Vice-Chair - Joe McNulty, Family Member
Treasurer - Gail Stallone, Family Member
Secretary - Emma Skuybida, Family Advocate
Membership Chair - LuAnn Nelson, Family Member
Cold War Advocate - Charlotte Mitnik, Family Member
Washington Liaison - Frank Metersky, Korean War Veteran
Korean War Historian - Irwin Braun, Korean War Veteran
Research and Outreach - Debbe Petro, Family Member
Newsletter Editor - Ki Ceniglio, firstname.lastname@example.org