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U.S. Claims Hundreds Ofwere Taken To
By ROBERT BURNS Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP). government says itroad andvidence that the Soviet Union secretly and illegally moved hundreds. Korean War prisoners to its territory in thend never released them.
It is by Car the most dramatic and comprehensive assertion by Washingtonoviet connection to. servicemen since the Korean fighting ended
The allegation was madeetailed presentationenior State Department officialeeting with Russian officials in Moscow earlier this month.
The evidence is detailedpage report titled "The Transfer. Korean War POWs to the Soviet Union.'1 It was given to the Russians at the Moscow meeting but the Clinton administration has refused to publicly release it.
A copy of the report was obtained by The Associated Press.
"The Soviets transferred several. Korean War POWs to the USSR and did not repatriate them,'< the report said. "This transfer was mainly politically motivated with the intent of holding them as political hostages, subjects for intelligence exploitation and skilled labor within the camp system.11
It asserted that the evidenceonsistent and mutually reinforcing description" of Soviet intelligence services forcibly. POWs to the USSRime when Soviet forces, including anti-aircraft units, were active in (forth Korea.
It did not assess how long the Americanostly Air Forceay have lived, or whether any might still be
alive in the former Soviet Union.
Just last year. government said it had no evidence of such transfers, Washington has known, though, since the end of the war that some evidence existed. POWs from Korea had been taken to the Soviet Union. It asked Moscow for information on tjiis in4 and again inoth times the Soviet government denied any knowledgeU.S. POWs on its soil.
Russian President Boris Yeltsin said last year that Soviet records showed. servicemen in Korea were interrogated by Soviet officials, and thatrew members. aircraft shot down in reconnaissance missions unrelated to the Korea war were transferred to Soviet territory. But the Yeltsin government has yet to concede that Americans were taken from Korea,
In the three years of fighting in Korea, in which the United States. force on the side of South Korea against communist North Korea,6 Americans were killed. The governments unaccounted for, although the number of missing for which there is no direct evidence of oleath is estimated. Many ofnaccounted for'1 were not recovered because they were buried in battlefield graves in North Korea or died in pow
. report. Korean War prisoners taken to the Soviet Union gave no specific figure but the analysis seemed to indicate it is fewer.
It identified by nameissing Air6 fighter pilots who are among the most likely identifiable servicemen to have been taken by the Soviets for their knowledge of the plane's capabilities, plus six other Air Force aviators about whom. government believes Russia has additional information*
The reportop-secret program of the Soviet MGB (predecessor to the KGB) to capture American fliers and. and allied troops in Korea, interrogate them, and then transfer them into Joseph Stalin's notorious Gulag system of slave labor camps in Siberia and other parts of the Soviet Union.
^*The range of eyewitness testimony as to the fferesence. Korean War POWs in the Gulag is so broad and convincing that we cannot dismiss it,'1 the report said, adding that the prisoners probably were forced to assume new identities.
Since the report wasetired Russian colonel has come forward and told investigators forRussian Joint Commission for POWs-MIAsan he saw twiceiberian prison in theas described to him by the prison commander as an American brought there from the Gulag system.
The Russian colonel, Vladimir Malinin, said the man in the prisononvincing resemblance to Marine Corps Sgt. Philip Vincent Mandra, who disappeared on the northern Korean battlefield in2 after an encounter with Chinese. officials view Kalinin's testimony as credible, though not conclusive, evidence that Handra was in the Siberian prison.
The report given to the Russians this month is basedariety of. government records dating to the beginning of the Korean conflictocuments made available by Moscow since the collapse of the Soviet Union, and recent interviews. investigators with former Soviet official^, including retired officers who said they participated in the transfers.
The report said the Soviet intelligence apparatus had gained extensive experience with using POWs in the Gulag during World War II, and that when Stalin ordered the invasion of South Korea in0 it simply expanded the practice.
"By the middlehe Soviet Union had atast, well-practiced, efficiently operating and profitable system for the collection, incarceration and exploitation ofmerican, South Korean and others, it said.
One hub of the Soviet operation against allied POWs was Khabarovsk, in extreme southeastern Russia, the report said. Prisoners were taken there from Korea, interrogated by military intelligence agents and then shipped off to labor camps in the Soviet interior. It said at least one American was taken to Moscow.Original document.