US Freezes Funds for Vietnam MIA Recovery

Posted September 30th, 2011 at 12:10 am (UTC-5)
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A U.S. senator says the State Department has agreed to stop funding the recovery of Vietnamese troops missing in action from the Vietnam War until Vietnam agrees to use the money to also search for war dead from the former South Vietnam.

Senator Jim Webb, chair of the East Asian and Pacific Affairs Subcommittee, said in a press release Thursday that Congress had appropriated $1 million for the recovery of Vietnamese MIA's from both sides of the conflict.

But USAID, which administers the program, says the Vietnamese government has indicated the money would not be used to return Army of the Republic of Vietnam war dead.

Webb called last week for USAID to suspend the program until Vietnam agrees to apply funds to fallen soldiers from the North Vietnamese Army, the Viet Cong and the Army of the Republic of Vietnam.

Web fought as a U.S. Marine in Vietnam and has visited the country regularly since 1991.