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U.S. Team Going to Vietnam to Get Remains of 3 War Dead

September 24, 1987|Associated Press

BANGKOK, Thailand — A U.S. military team will go to Hanoi today to receive the remains of three people who Vietnam says were Americans killed in the Vietnam War, the U.S. Embassy said Wednesday.

The visit follows recent visits to Hanoi by American officials trying to break a deadlock on resolving the fates of 1,776 Americans listed as missing in Vietnam.

Embassy spokesman Ross Petzing said the 14-member group will fly to Hanoi aboard a U.S. Air Force jet, spend about three hours on the ground and go to Honolulu with the remains.

Petzing declined to reveal the possible identities of the dead but said the victims' next of kin have been notified. The remains will be taken to the U.S. Central Identification Laboratory in Honolulu for analysis and positive identification, he said.

Last month, a laboratory team met with officials in Hanoi and was told about the remains. At the same time, a U.S. medical team met with Hanoi officials to discuss the situation of Vietnamese disabled in the war.

The August talks were the first steps toward an agreement between U.S. and Vietnamese officials on resolving the MIA issue and ended months of deadlock. It is widely believed that Hanoi has agreed to resume the search for MIAs because of Washington's recent willingness to provide some humanitarian aid to the Vietnamese.

Vietnam last returned American remains to the United States in November.

The two countries have no diplomatic relations.

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