MIA talks in Vietnam end with no progress on Vessey visit
Washington — A team of US officials ended a round of talks in Hanoi on the issue of missing American servicemen but failed to reach agreement on a visit to Vietnam by a presidential envoy, the State Department said Friday. The US delegation, headed by National Security Council staff member Richard Childress, returned to Bangkok, Thailand at the end of last week after three days of talks in the Vietnamese capital. The purpose of the talks was to examine the feasibility of a mission to Vietnam by retired Army Gen. John Vessey, appointed last fall by President Reagan to speed up stalled contacts with Vietnam about the estimated 2,500 servicemen still missing.
General Vessey's mission has been set back by Vietnamese efforts to link the MIA talks to negotiations for improving overall ties between the two countries. The US has rejected such linkage. The US wants the MIA question resolved separately. Then, other subjects could be discussed. No date had been set for further meetings nor for a Vessey visit.