TEXT:*EUR512   12/16/94


(Text: DOD News Release) (690)

Washington -- Following is a December 9 news release from the Department of


(Begin news release):

U.S. and Russian delegations completed the eleventh plenary session of the

U.S.-Russia Joint Commission on POW/MIAs (USRJC) on December 9, 1994.  This

session was the second to be held in the United States.  At their recent

summit in September, President Clinton told President Yeltsin that the

USRJC has become an important part of the U.S.-Russian relationship.

The USRJC was established in March 1992 by agreement between Presidents Bush

and Yeltsin to determine the fates of American service people from World

War II, the Cold War, the Korean War, and the conflict in Vietnam, who were

believed to be missing on the territory of the former Soviet Union or about

whom the Russians may have information.  The second goal of the Commission

is to determine the fates of Russian servicemen who are still missing from

various conflicts, including Afghanistan.


During the plenary session, the USRJC continued its steady progress in each

of the four working groups.  The World War II working group met for the

first time as a separate group at this plenary session.  It established a

firm foundation for the work to be conducted for the USRJC to publish an

initial report in May 1995.  This report is intended to commemorate the

fiftieth anniversary of the end of World War II and to serve as a gesture

to the memory of American and Russian servicemen who fought a common enemy.

The Cold War working group agreed on new lines of inquiry relating to

several shoot down incidents, identified additional witnesses to be

interviewed, and received new information from the Russian Border Guards'

Archives which provides a fuller picture of several shoot down cases.  The

Korean War working group received four sets of documents on aircraft

shootdowns.  They also determined the search for missing U.S. Air Force

personnel should remain a priority topic for future work since the Soviet

Union had the most technical interest in aircraft and had anti-aircraft

regiments in both China and North Korea.

The U.S. side of the Vietnam Working Group was greatly encouraged to learn

that the Russian side will conduct an aggressive search to locate newly

identified documents with detailed information on American POWs in North

Vietnam.  Location of any such documents would greatly assist the U.S.

efforts in Vietnam.

The U.S. side declared that it will continue its work to find information on

the 290 servicemen Russia has listed as MIA from its involvement in

Afghanistan.  The U.S. side will increase its efforts to help the Russian

side determine what happened to its missing citizens from World War II, the

Cold War, and the Korean War.

During the plenary session, U.S.POW/MIA family members asked questions of

the Russian side.  The Russian delegation also visited the United States

Naval Academy and the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland.  Their visit to

the Naval Academy was significant as this was the alma mater of Captain

John Robertson Dunham.  After a year of effort, the USRJC located remains

on Yuiry Island believed to be those of Captain Dunham.  These remains are

now at a forensic lab in Hawaii for conclusive DNA testing.

The U.S. side of the Commission is headed by Ambassador Malcolm Toon.  Other

members include Senators John Kerry and Bob Smith; Congressmen Sam Johnson

and Pete Peterson -- both former POWs in Vietnam; Deputy Assistant

Secretary of Defense for POW/MIA Affairs James Wold; President of the Joint

Military Intelligence College Denis Clift; Principal Deputy Assistant

Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Peter Tomsen;

Department of State Director for the Office of Independent States and

Commonwealth Affairs John Herbst; and Acting National Archivist Dr. Trudy

Peterson.  The Russian side, headed by General Volkogonov, includes

parliamentarians, heads of major Russian archives, and officials from the

Ministries of Defense, Foreign Affairs, Interior and Security Services.

(End text)