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DPRK allows first repatriation of war US dead in five years
Updated: 2004-02-21 09:26

For the first time in five years the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is to allow the repatriation of the remains of US soldiers killed in the Korean war of 1951-53.

The DPRK will allow the US to transport the remains overland via the truce village of Panmunjom, a spokesman for the Panmunjom Mission of the Korean People's Army was quoted as saying by the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

However, the DPRK has turned down a United States' request to transport the remains by US planes and flatly rejected US requests to discuss the issue of American survivors, the spokesman said.

The decision was reached following DPRK-US talks on the issue in Bangkok, Thailand on Feb. 11.

"The US was misleading the public by asserting that the talks served as a platform where its unilateral demand was met," said the spokesman, adding that "the DPRK side rejected talks on the issue of American survivors, raised by the US side."

The Pantagon announced the DPRK agreed in the talks to transport the remains of the US soldiers through the demilitarized zone.

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