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Press Release of Senator Lugar

U.S. Has Ongoing Korean War POW/MIA Obligations

Friday, September 30, 2011
U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar made the following statement on the release of the Congressional Research Service (CRS) Report regarding identification of American Service Members from the Korean War.

Earlier this year, I submitted questions to the Congressional Research Service for review and investigation related to the status of efforts to identify remains of American servicemembers from the Korean War interred in the National Memorial Cemetery (Punchbowl) in Honolulu. The comprehensive report provides answers to my questions and consequently raises others. It reveals that while progress has been made, so much more work needs to be accomplished. Soon I will ask the CRS for further review of this topic.

The government of the United States has an ongoing obligation to American personnel listed as Prisoners of War or Missing in Action in all wars. As more persons are identified whose remains are interred in the Punchbowl and as the U.S. - North Korea joint recovery operation eventually restarts, more American families will be informed about their loved ones listed as missing in the Korean War for six decades.

However, any negotiations between North Korea and the United States on the joint recovery operation are incomplete if they do not also include American POWs from the Korean War. South Korean officials estimate that an unknown precise number of South Korean military personnel from the Korean War continue to be held in North Korea against their will.