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PTTUZYUW RUEKJCS3990 1140046-UU W --RUEALGX
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P 230046Z APR 92
FM JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
INFO RUEAIGX/SAFE
P 212030Z APR 92 ZYB
FM CDR JTF-FA HONOLULU HI
TO RUHQHQA/USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI//J3/J30-M//
INFO RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC//J5/PW-MIA/J3-JOD//
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC//OASD- ISA/PW-M IA//
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHINGTON DC//EAP/VLC//
RUEKJCS/DIA WASHINGTON DC//PW-MIA//
RUMTFS/AMEMBASSY VIENTIANE
RUEHBT/CJTFFA DET ONE BANGKOK TH
RUHVAAA/CDR USACILHI HICKAM AFB HI//TAPC-PED-H//
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SECTION 01 OF 02
STATE PASS TO USMISSION PHNOM PENH

/*********** THIS IS A COMBINED MESSAGE ************/

BODY
MSGID/SYS.RRM/CDR JTF-FA//
AMPN/SUBJ: SUMMARY REPORT OF INTERVIEW OF PAVN COLONEL NGUYEN MINH
Y (MR. Y)//

RMKS/1. FOLLOWING RECEIVED FROM JTF-FA, DET 2 AND IS RETRANSMITTED
FOR YOUR INFORMATION.

2. BACKGROUND: SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM (SRV) FOREIGN
MINISTER NGUYEN MANH CAM MET WITH UNITED STATES (U.S.) ASSISTANT
SECRETARY OF STATE SOLOMON IN HANOI ON 4 MARCH 1992. FOREIGN
MINISTER CAM AGREED THAT THE VNOSMP COULD ARRANGE FOR SPECIALISTS
FROM THE VNOSMP AND DETACHMENT 2 TO MEET WITH A QUOTE MR. Y UNQUOTE
WHO SOME SOURCES HAD DESCRIBED AS ONE OF VIETNAM'S PREMIER
AUTHORITIES ON WARTIME RECORDS CONCERNING U.S POWS AND MIAS
DET 2'S RESEARCH SPECIALIST, MR. [XXXX] [XXXX], PRESSED FOR THE
INTERVIEW AT THE EARLIEST POSSIBLE DATE. IT IS OUR UNDERSTANDING
THAT MR. Y WAS ABROAD DURING LATE MARCH AND EARLY APRIL 92, AND
RETURNED TO HANOI LATE ON 16 APRIL 92. ON 16 APR SRCOL TRAN VAN
BIEN (VNOSMP'S SENIOR MINISTRY OF DEFENSE REPRESENTATIVE AND SENIOR
RESEARCH SPECIALIST) INFORMED DET 2'S RESEARCH OFFICER (RO) THAT MR
Y WOULD BE AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEW ONLY DURING 0800-0930 HOURS,
SATURDAY 18 APR. RO NOTED THAT SINCE SRCOL BIEN AND RO WERE
SCHEDULED TO TRAVEL TO HCM CITY SATURDAY AFTERNOON ON A PRIORITY
TASK, WE WOULD NOT HAVE ANY FLEXIBILITY TO EXTEND OUR INTERVIEW OF
MR. Y ON SATURDAY MORNING SHOULD WE NEED MORE THAN 1 5 HOURS SR

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COL BIEN PROMISED T0 SEE WHAT COULD BE DONE TO RESCHEDULE THE
INTERVIEW. SRCOL BIEN TELEPHONED RO EARLY ON 17 APR FROM MR. Y'S
OFFICE, INFORMED RO THAT MR. Y HAD AGREED TO MEET WITH US DURING THE
AFTERNOON OF 17 APR, TURNED THE PHONE OVER TO MR. Y TO DIRECTLY
CONFIRM THE ARRANGEMENTS. DURING THIS PHONE CONVERSATION, SRCOL
BIEN AND MR. Y NOTED THAT MR. Y HAD ONLY LIMITED KNOWLEDGE OF SOME
TOPICS RO HAD PREVIOUSLY OUTLINED FOR DISCUSSION; THEREFORE, THEY
HAD INVITED TWO KNOWLEDGEABLE VMOSMP SPECIALISTS, LTC PHAM TEO AND
MR. DDUONG NGOC, TO PARTICIPATE IN THE INTERVIEW. THE INTERVIEW
WAS CONDUCTED AT A CONFERENCE ROOM IN THE GOVERNMENT GUEST HOUSE (LE
THACH GUEST HOUSE) FROM 1430-1730 HOURS, 17 APRIL 1992.
PARTICIPANTS WERE MR. [XXXX] [XXXX]. [XXXX](DET 2 JTF-FA/DIA
RESEARCHER/HISTORIAN); PEOPLES ARMY OF VIETNAM (PAVN) COLONEL
NGUYEN MINH Y (MR. Y; DEPUTY DIRECTOR, CIVILIAN PROSELYTING
DEPARTMENT, GENERAL POLITICAL DIRECTORATE, PAVN); PAVN SENIOR
COLONEL TRAM VAN BIEN (VNOSMP); PAVN LIEUTENANT COLONEL PHAM TEO
(VNOSMP RECORDS AND REMAINS SPECIALIST); AND MR. DUONG VAN NGOC
(MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS REPRESENTATIVE ON THE VNOSMP). THIS
REPORT IS BASED ON FIELD ANALYSIS ALONE AND IS NOT INTENDED TO
PROVIDE FINAL ANALYTICAL CONCLUSIONS.

3. SUMMARY OF INTERVIEW. PAVN COL NGUYEN MINH Y (NGUYEN MINH Y)
WORKED AS AN INTERPETER FOR PAVN ELEMENTS RESPONSIBLE FOR U.S
POWS. IN THE HANOI POSITION AS AN INTERPRETER DURING THE WAR GAVE
HIM ONLY GENERAL KNOWLEDGE OF PAVN'S SYSTEN FOR REPORTING AND
PERSEVERING IMFORMATION ABOUT U.S. POWS AND MIAS; HOWEVER, HE
DISCUSSED THE TOPIC FREELY WITH RO HE SUMMARIZED THE HISTORY OF
THE PAVN'S SYSTEM FOR HAMDLING U.S. POWS IN NORTHERN VIETNAM AND
THE RELATIONSHIP OF PAVN'S ENEMY PROSELYSING DEPARTMENT TO PAVN
ORGANIZATIONS RESPONSIBLE FOR U.S. POWS IN MAJOR PAVN FORWARD
COMMANDS (B.1, B.2, B.3, AND B.4 FRONTS, AND MILITARY REGION 4).
HE AND LTC PHAM TEO WERE MEMBER OF PAVN GROUP 875 AND SUMMARIZED
THE HISTORY OF GROUP 876 AND ITS RESPONSIBILITIES RELATIVE TO U.S.
POWS AND MIAS. AS  THE NUMBER OF U.S. POWS HELD IN NORTH VIETNAM
INCREASED, PAVN FOUND IT NECESSARY TO CREATE A SEPARATE DEPARTMENT
TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE HANDLING OF THE U.S. POWS -- THUS
PAVN FORMED GROUP 575 (AKA BRIGADE 575/LU DOAN 57S), UNDER THE
GENERAL POLITICAL DIRECTORATE. COL Y AND HIS COLLEAGUES DID NOT
RECALL THE DATE GROUP 875 WAS CREATED; HOWEVER, IT HAD THE STATUS
OF A DEPARTMENT (CUC) AND, AS SUCH, WAS EQUAL TO AND SEPARATE FROM
THE EMEMY PROSELYTIMG DEPARTMENT. GROUP 875 WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR
MAINTAINING RECORDS RELATED TO U.S. POWS AND MIAS. GROUP 875 WAS
DISBANDED IN 1973, AFTER OPERATION HOMECOMING. THE GROUPS FILES
SOME OF ITS PERSONNEL WERE TRANSFERRED TO THE NEWLY FORMED
DEPARTMENT OF MILITARY JUSTICE (CUC QUAN PHAP). THE FILES WERE
MAINTAIMED AT AN OFFICE OF GROUP 875 AND, LATER, THE DEPARTMENT OF
MILITARY JUSTICE LOCATED AT NO.3 DUONG THANH STREET, IN HANOI. COL
Y AND HIS COLLEAGUES SAID INSECTS INFESTED AND DESTROYED THOSE
RECORDS ON U. S. POWS  AND MIAS IN 1979, FORCIMG PAVN TO BURN THE
RECORDS. COL Y AND HIS COLLEAGUES AND RO CANDIDLY DISCUSSED THE
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE LARGE VOLUME OF DOG TAG REPORTS WE HAVE
BEEN RECEIVING SINCE 1975 AND THE CENTRAL RECOKDS ACCUMULATED AND

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PRESERVED BY THE  ENEMY PROSELYTING DEPARTMENT AND GROUP 875. COL Y
AND HIS COLLEAGUES ACKNOWLEDGED THAT SOME PRIVATE CITIZENS IN VIETNAM
ATTEMPT TO USE U.S. DOG TAGS AN,D OTHER ARTIFACTS TO EXPLOIT U.S. EFFORTS
TO RECOVER REMAINS. THEY WERE RELUCTANT TO BELIEVE THAT CENTRAL OFFICIALS
MIGHT PLAY A ROLE IN THIS ACTIVITY. COL Y INSISTED THAT SUCH ACTIVITY NOT
ONLY WOULD-BE ILLEGAL AND CONTRARY TO THE HUMANITARIAN PRINCIPLES TO
WHICH PAVN'S LEADERS SUBSCRIBED; BUT, IN HIS JUDGEMENT, WOULD BE QUOTE
STUPID UNQUOTE. HE ASSURED TO THAT IS HE (COL Y) SHOULD DISCOVER THAT
ANY SRV OFFICIAL IS USING REMAINS OR PERSONAL EFFECTS OF U.S. MIAS TO
EXPLOIT THE POW/MIA ISSUE, HE WILL ENSURE APPROPRIATE ACTION IS TAKEN TO
PROSECUTE THE PERSON(S) IN THE VIETNAMESE COURTS. COL Y SAID THAT TO HIS
KNOWLEDGE, OTHER THAN THE INSTANCE ALREADY MADE PUBLIC (CASE 1016, [XXXX]
NO MEMBERS OF THE KGB OR GRU WERE EVER ALLOWED TO HAVE DIRECT CONTACT
WITH U.S. POWS IN VIETNAM. COL Y CONFIRMED THE HAD PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE
THAT TWO CUBAN ENGLISH LANGUAGE INSTRUCTORS HAD ACCESS TO A SMALL NUMBER
OF U.S. POWS DURING A PERIOD OF SEVERAL MONTHS--LESS THAN ONE YEAR. HE
EMPHASIZED THESE CONTACTS WERE ASSOCIATED WITH AN ENGLISH LANGUAGE
TRAINING PROGRAM TAUGHT BY THE TWO CUBANS. HE SAID THEY WERE NOT
INTERROGATORS. HE RECALLED ONLY THEIR VIETNAMESE NICK NAMES, VIET AND
NAM. HE DID NOT RECALL THE DATES OF THIS SHORT-LIVED LANGUAGE TRAINING
PROGRAM. HE SAID THAT WHILE ONE OR MORE EARLY RELEASES MIGHT HAVE
TRAVELED TO THE  U.S. VIA RUSSIA AND WESTERN EUROPE--WITH FULL PUBLICITY
IN THE INTERNATIONAL PRESS--VIETNAM NEVER TRANSFERRED ANY POWS TO THE
SOVIET UNION, THE PRC, OR ANY OTHER COUNTRY. COL Y SAID VIETNAM RELEASED
ALL U.S. POWS IT WAS HOLDING AT THE TIME OF OPERATION HOMECOMING IN 1973.
RO EXPLAINED THE IMPORTANCE OF WARTIME RECORDS AS A MEANS TO DOCUMENT THE
FATE OF U.S. SERVICEMEN WHO ARE STILL UNACCOUNTED FOR; EXPRESSED HOPE
THAT SOME OF PAVN'S WARTIME FILE STILL SURVIVE; AND URGED COL Y AND HIS
COLLEAGUES TO EXPLORE POSSIBLE SOURCES OF SUCH RECORDS.


/****** BEGINNING OF SECTION 002 ******/

4. F.0 WILL PREPARE DETAILED REPORT OF THE INTERVIEW WITH COL Y AND
HIS COLLEAGUES AFTER TO RETURNS FROM TRIP TO SOUTH VIETNAM TO
SEARCH FOR SOURCES WHO MIGHT BE ABLE TO HELP JOINT U.S./CAMBODIAN
TEAMS LOCATE GRAVES OF AMERICANS WHO DIED IN THE CAMBODIAN BORDER
AREA. ESTIMATED DATE OF RETURN IS O/A 2R APRIL 1992.//

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