Vietnamese officials told a U.S. military team they have preliminary "information or remains" in 32 more cases of Americans missing since the Vietnam War, the team leader said Friday.
"We had a positive and productive meeting focusing on the issue of Americans missing from the Indochina period," said Lt. Col. Paul Mather, who headed the five-man team that returned Friday from a three-day visit to Hanoi.Mather, in a statement released by the U.S. embassy in Bangkok, said the Vietnamese reported "they are now investigating 32 instances in which they have received information or remains which could be associated with missing Americans."
Mather, who is a Bangkok-based officer of the U.S. Joint Casualty Resolution Center responsible for determining the fate of the missing Americans, said the Vietnamese investigations were still in preliminary stages.
"No conclusions can be drawn at this time," he said.
Mather said his team provided the Vietnamese with specific information on other cases of missing Americans and reviewed progress in the efforts to resolve the fate of the 1,774 Americans still missing in action in Vietnam or off its coasts.
The meeting was the fifth round of technical talks on MIAs since the United States and Vietnam agreed to renew cooperation last August.
Since then Hanoi has turned over 52 sets of remains believed to be those of missing Americans despite Vietnamese charges that the United States was not living up to the August agreement.
In return for Vietnamese cooperation U.S. presidential envoy Gen. John Vessey agreed that the United States would "address the urgent humanitarian concerns of Vietnam."