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Hanoi Denies U.S. to Join in Hunt for MIAs

July 05, 1986|United Press International

BANGKOK — Vietnam accused a high-level U.S. delegation Friday of "sheer fabrication" in reporting that Hanoi agreed to allow U.S. experts to accompany Vietnamese officials investigating reports of Americans still alive in Vietnam.

The official Vietnam News Agency quoted Hanoi's Office for Americans Missing in Vietnam as saying the delegation's statements, carried by Western news agencies, were false.

The agency summarized the Western news reports as saying that in the meetings held Tuesday and Wednesday in Hanoi, "The Vietnamese side agreed to let U.S. officials participate in the investigation into reports about Americans allegedly still alive in Vietnam."

"This is sheer fabrication prompted by ill intention," the Vietnamese agency said.

"The Vietnamese side has time and again affirmed that there (are) no more live U.S. prisoners of war in Vietnam," it said.

Reports of Investigations

The U.S. delegation, led by Richard K. Childress, director of Asian affairs of the National Security Council, said that Vietnam had agreed to provide written accounts of its investigations into the "live sighting" reports provided by the United States.

An official U.S. Embassy transcript of Childress' remarks to the press after the two-day talks in Hanoi said:

"Vietnam will permit American experts to accompany its officials on investigations in accessible areas. . . . They made it clear that in accessible areas, both crash site evacuations and some of the sighting reports, that they agree in principle for our people to accompany them."

Childress was not immediately available for comment.

The official U.S. position is that there is no proof that there are Americans still alive in Vietnam, but the possibility cannot be ruled out.

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