Remains believed to be of US MIA repatriated

A ceremony to repatriate two sets of remains believed to be of US soldier listed as missing in action (MIA) from the war in Vietnam was held at the Da Nang International Airport in the central city of Da Nang on April 16.

The ceremony, the 164th of its kind, saw the attendance of Deputy Defence Minister Hoang Xuan Chien, Assistant Foreign Minister Nguyen Minh Vu, representatives from the ministries of defence, foreign affairs and public security and the Vietnam Office for Seeking Missing Persons (VNOSMP). On the US side were US Ambassador to Vietnam Marc E. Knapper, US Defence Attaché to Vietnam Thomas Bouchillon and representatives of the US MIA Office in Hanoi.

The remains were found as the result of the 154th joint field activity which lasted from February to April 2024. Vietnamese forensic specialists examined the remains and determined that they might belong to US MIAs from the war in Vietnam.

The joint efforts of the two governments to search and account for US MIAs since the late 1980s have to date
identify over 720 US MIAs.

On this occasion, Deputy Defence Minister Chien hosted a reception for US Ambassador Knapper, during which he highly appreciated the US’ help for Vietnam to overcome the consequences of war, including raising the budget for the dioxin detoxification project at Bien Hoa airport to 300 million USD; supporting people with disabilities in localities affected by Agent Orange (AO)/dioxin; conducting mine clearance; and cooperating in searching for Vietnamese soldiers who died or went missing during the war.

He proposed that the two sides coordinate to early sign a memorandum of understanding on overcoming the consequences of war in Vietnam.

Ambassador Knapper affirmed that the US Government is committed at the highest level to supporting Vietnam in overcoming the consequences of war, especially in completely cleaning up dioxin contamination at Bien Hoa airport and transferring DNA examination technology for identifying Vietnamese martyrs’ remains.

He also expressed a wish to work clos
ely with Vietnam to hold activities to mark the 30th anniversary of the normalisation of relations and establishment of diplomatic relationship between the US and Vietnam (1995-2025), the 50th year since the end of the war in Vietnam (1975-2025) and 80 years since the first contact between Viet Minh and the US

Source: Vietnam News Agency

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