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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

KPA Holds US Side Responsible for Leaving Remains of GIs

Korean Central News Agency of DPRK via Korea News Service (KNS)

Pyongyang, April 5 (KCNA) -- The representative of the Panmunjom Mission of the Korean People's Army released following statement Monday as regards the fact that the U.S. side turned away from the good faith and efforts made by the DPRK side to take a prompt measure for a number of remains of the GIs randomly left, after being pushed aside by bulldozers and picked up by farming implements in different parts of the DPRK for such preposterous political reason as "six-party talks":

On 27th Jan. and on 26th Feb. Panmunjom Mission of the KPA informed the U.S. Department of Defense through a south Korea stationed-U.S. Army delegate of the detailed realities related to the Korean War U.S. remains in the DPRK, most of which were damaged and randomly left in the process of large-scale land realignment and farming preparations in over ten places including Kujang County, Unsan County and Jangjin area in the DPRK.

At the meeting, our side also handed over several photos taken of typical remains and dogtag bearing the name of Ackly Philip W. and service number 20139638 and then urged the U.S. DoD to take urgent steps.

However, U.S. DoD has sent no reply until now when scores of days have passed, merely saying: "Returning the remains of U.S. servicemen back home is an important policy of the U.S. government. But, because of the internal affairs, no determination has been made yet. So, please wait a bit."

Besides, the U.S. Department of State openly turned its face away from our humanitarian sincerity, asserting: "Any bilateral negotiation between the U.S. and North Korea would not be possible out of the context of the six-party talks. The same can be said of such humanitarian issue as the U.S. remains recovery. This is a viewpoint of the United States."

We are very surprised at the U.S. which is turning away from the fact that its servicemen's remains are being spoiled and scattered here and there in the DPRK due to the political reason, because the U.S. has so far justified itself, insisting that a humanitarian issue would never go together with politics.

As for the U.S. remains buried in the DPRK, they are the remains of the U.S. servicemen who had killed recklessly our people and committed hostile acts against our Republic.

Therefore, we have neither responsibility nor obligation to recover and transfer those remains, the mark of the towering grudge of our people.

However, taking into fullest account the humanitarian nature of U.S. remains recovery and the earnest requests of Korean War bereaved families and the former U.S. administration, and especially the fact that during his visit to Pyongyang former U.S. President Carter had personally asked the respected President Kim Il Sung to help over that issue and had this matter resolved, our side, even if the DPRK-U.S. hostile relations have continued, specially permitted the Joint Field Activities of the U.S. remains.

So far, our side recovered and transferred 229 sets of U.S. remains to the U.S. DoD by conducting 33 Joint Field Activities.

Not only the U.S. DoD officials concerned, the U.S. veteran organizations, and bereaved families but also even the then U.S. President Clinton repeatedly expressed thanks for our humanitarian sincerity and efforts.

But, as soon as it took office, the Bush administration labeled the DPRK as "axis of evil" and "outpost of tyranny" and committed inhuman acts of suspending the JFAs of U.S. remains unilaterally in violation of the agreement reached between the KPA and the U.S. DoD, though it has been conducted smoothly for ten years.

As for "personal safety assurance", which the U.S. regarded as a pretext for suspending the JFAs unilaterally, our side did its best to ensure the personal safety of the U.S. team members.

That was why not a single abnormal case has occurred in ten years of the JFAs.

Rather, the Americans who took part in the JFAs of U.S. remains in the DPRK frankly said several times that they worked in much better conditions as compared with those in other countries.

In fact "the problem of ensuring personal safety" was no more than sheer sophism deliberately spread by the U.S. to cover up its sinister political purpose.

Our standpoint is clear.

If the U.S. turns away from our sincerity and efforts to take urgent steps concerning the U.S. remains now being damaged and randomly scattered by bulldozers and farming tools in various parts of our country for such a groundless political reason as "six-party talks", there will be no way for us, too.

The disposal of remains of the U.S. servicemen is up to the U.S. DoD, the party concerned.

Though lots of U.S. remains are being dug out and scattered here and there in our country, our side will no longer be concerned about it.

If thousands of U.S. remains buried in our country are washed off and lost due to the U.S. side's disregard, the U.S. side should be wholly responsible for the consequences as it has developed the humanitarian issue into a political problem.

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