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U.S., N. Korea To Discuss Remains

December 6, 1999

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) _ The United States and North Korea will meet next week to plan joint recovery efforts for the remains of U.S. soldiers, South Korea said Monday.

Envoys will talk about the number of operations for next year, their methods and a schedule at the three-day meeting to open in Berlin on Dec. 15, a foreign ministry official said. He said a North Korean demand for more money for helping recover the remains also would be discussed.

The U.S. Embassy in Seoul declined to comment.

In the past, the United States has paid $200,000 for a recovery operation in North Korea.

North Korea began repatriating American remains from the Korean War in 1990. In 1996, it began allowing U.S. forensic experts to search for the remains in its territory, assisted by North Korean workers.

Six recovery operations had been planned for this year, but only three were carried out because of heightened military tension on the Korean peninsula following a gunbattle between the Korean navies in June.

Thirteen sets of what were believed to be the remains of American soldiers were handed over to the U.S. side this year.

The 1950-53 Korean War left about 55,000 American soldiers dead. About 8,100 more were reported missing in action.

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