Korean War POW/MIA Peace Treaty Initiative
Korean War POW/MIA Peace Treaty Initiative
Why this petition matters
Dear President Biden,
Before a peace treaty with North Korea can be signed there must be a full accounting of all POW/MIAs who were not released at the end of the war.
The ongoing denial by our government of these forgotten servicemen must stop now. Just as the South Korean government acknowledges and works for the release of their POWs still being held in the DPRK, the U.S. government must do the same.
You were elected to effect change and to date you have shown decisiveness in your actions. Please demonstrate more courage and do what no other President since the Armistice signing has done - acknowledge that American servicemen were left behind in Korea. As a family member of one of those servicemen left behind (Cpl. Roger A. Dumas), we need answers from the North Koreans.
My uncle, Cpl. Roger Dumas, is a Korean War POW known to be alive, along with hundreds of others, at the end of the war but were not returned, which is the main reason a peace treaty with North Korea was never signed. The U.S. allowed North Korean and Chinese POWs to defect during the war and therefore North Korea withheld American POWs. The U.S. government denies POWs were left behind while South Korea acknowledges their POWs who were left behind and actively seeks their release.
This petition endorses the "Korean War POW/MIA Peace Treaty Initiative," which calls for a full accounting of all unreleased POWs before a Peace Treaty with North Korea, officially ending the war, is signed:
Corporal Roger A. Dumas
Korean War Peace Treaty POW/MIA Initiative
Before a Peace Treaty between North Korea and the United States can be signed officially ending the Korean War it must be resolved that no American POW/MIAs are still being held against their will and that every effort be made on an ongoing basis to disinter or otherwise account for missing servicemen.
In 1953, the Korean War hostilities ended with a signing of the Armistice between North Korea (DPRK) and the United States. To this day, a peace treaty has never been signed to officially end the war because a final resolution to the exchange of POWs was never achieved during peace negotiations
Before a normalization of relations with the DPRK can occur, the Korean War Peace Treaty must be signed. This treaty must not be signed until the POW/MIA issue is resolved.
It is imperative that Congress mandate the Defense Dept. Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Accounting Office (DPAA) provide to any future peace treaty negotiations a list of all unaccounted for POW/MIAs including the list of 2058 Last Seen Alive. It is very possible that some of these servicemen may be alive in the DPRK, as the South Korean government believes over 400 South Korean servicemen are still alive in the DPRK.
In 1996 U.S. Defense Department analyst, Insung Lee distributed an internal report stating that there are too many live sighting reports from the DPRK to dismiss the idea that American POW/MIAs are still being held against their will.
CPL. ROGER A. DUMAS
Cpl. Roger A. Dumas was captured by Chinese and DPRK forces near the Yalu River on November 4, 1950 and imprisoned in POW Camp #5. During Operation Big Switch, the final release of UN Command POWs, Roger was seen being led away from the repatriation area by Chinese guards and never released. Roger Dumas’ name remains on the Last Seen Alive list. A U.S. Federal Judge in 1983 ordered the Secretary of the Army to reclassify Cpl. Dumas from “Missing, Presumed Dead” to “Prisoner of War,” an unprecedented judgement and thus Roger Dumas is today the only officially classified Prisoner of War in the U.S.
Evidence shows that not only Roger but hundreds of other American servicemen were also not released to the UN Command. Evidence collected by the DPAA reveals many of these POWs were transferred to China and the Soviet Union Gulag prison system.
On October 15, 2006, Bill Dumas, nephew of Roger A. Dumas met with Deputy Asst. Secretary of Defense for POW/Missing Personnel, Ambassador Charles Ray, and presented the idea that DPMO insure the POW/MIA issue be resolved before a peace treaty is signed to officially end the Korean War.
Ambassador Ray said this was an interesting approach that he would give serious consideration to. Amb. Ray advised that DPMO could provide a recommendation to the President but it would be up to the President to include a POW/MIA initiative to a peace negotiation.
Later that week Bill Dumas presented this POW/MIA resolution idea to the final plenary session of the annual DPAA Korean War Family Update Meeting. The DPMO moderator advised that this initiative be disseminated to all veterans, POW/MIA organizations and family members in order to gain support from members of Congress. He said it would be up to Congress to order the Defense Department to facilitate this initiative.
The issue of prisoner exchange was the final stalemate in the peace negations during the war. In fact, for over half of the three-year war, POW repatriation was the primary issue to be resolved.
South Korean President, Sygmund Rhee allowed thousands of DPRK and Chinese POWs that the U.N. Command was holding, to defect and not return to the DPRK or China. The North Korean government considered this tantamount to not returning all of their POWs and in retaliation would not return all of the U.N. Command POWs it was holding.
Without having resolved the POW repatriation issue, a peace treaty could not be signed and instead the hostilities ended by the signing of an Armistice.
Several months after the end of hostilities in Korea, Chinese General Lee Sang Cho wrote a letter to the Neutral Nations Repatriations Commission stating that POWs still being held by the Communists would not be repatriated until the final disposition of the entire prisoner of war issue.
To this day, the issue of POW repatriation has not been resolved, a peace treaty has not been signed and North Korea and the United States are technically still at war.
(NOTE: See the attached Addendum for a partial timeline of the Korean War POW repatriation issue)
THE NUCLEAR ISSUE
During the week prior to the 2006 DPMO Korean War Family Update Meeting, the U.S. public got an extremely rare occasion to hear the voice of DPRK U.N. Ambassador Pak Gil Yon expressing how the recent DPRK nuclear bomb test was a proud moment for his nation.
In 1985, Amb. Pak Gil Yon made a very unusual overture by calling Bob Dumas, (brother of POW Roger Dumas) at his home after reading in the newspaper about Bob’s federal court case to reclassify Roger a POW. Amb. Pak invited Bob to meet with him in New York to discuss how the POW/MIA issue could be negotiated on a presidential one-on-one level.
This was the start of a 10-year relationship between Bob Dumas and Amb. Pak, and other ambassadors at the North Korean Mission to the U.N. Bob had several meetings with Amb. Pak and Amb. Ho Jong. He had over 250 phone conversations with Pak, Ho and other DPRK ambassadors and embassy staff that were all recorded by permission.
Bob asked Amb. Pak in 1994, “Would your country ever use a nuclear weapon against South Korea, Japan or the U.S.?” Amb. Pak replied,
“If we used a nuclear weapon we know our country would be destroyed in 20 minutes and be reduced to water. We’re not that stupid.”
It is clear from these conversations with the DPRK ambassadors that North Korea has always desired direct one-on-one negotiations with the U.S. president, a non-aggression pact, a POW/MIA resolution and ultimately a signed peace treaty to officially end the Korean War.
The saber rattling in the form of nuclear bomb testing is clearly an extreme measure that seeks to force the U.S. into direct negotiations and because there really is no military option for the U.S. in Korea, these direct talks are going to happen and the Korean War peace treaty will be signed. In this process we will finally achieve a resolution to our POW/MIAs who were never repatriated after the Operation Big Switch prisoner exchange.
(UPDATE: In 2018 direct talks began between the U.S and DPRK)
Corporal Roger A. Dumas
Korean War Peace Treaty POW/MIA Initiative
REPATRIATION OF AMERICAN POWs FROM THE KOREAN WAR
A Partial Timeline
July 27, 1953 Korean War Armistice is signed.Exchange of POWs, the final unresolved issue of the peace talks, is not resolved and consequently, a peace treaty cannot be signed. (NOTE: To this day, a peace treaty has not been signed between the North Korea and the United States.)
January 26, 1954 Letter from North Korean General Lee Sang Cho to Chairman of the Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission.Gen. Cho's letter states: "The prisoners of war not for direct repatriation are held by our side pending the final disposition of the entire prisoner of war question."
May 16, 1954 Letter from Col. Weber to General Hewett of the United Nations Command Military Armistice Commission - analysis of Gen. Cho letter: "It is significant that such letter was occasioned by and was concerned with the 347 non-repatriated prisoners of war." Additionally, "(General Cho's statement) was intended as a reply to our demand for an accounting for more than three thousand of our prisoners which we had just leveled at the enemy."
1954 - All Korean War POW/MIAs are declared, Missing, Presumed Dead because, "Keeping these personnel in a missing status is costing over one million dollars annually." (From internal Pentagon memo.)
1954-7 U. S. Ambassador, Henry Cabot Lodge Jr., continues to address the General Assembly demanding the release of POWs still being held by N. Korea and China, and a full accounting of over 3000 UN Command POWs that were not repatriated after the war.
June 24, 1957 H. Res. 292 is submitted to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs demanding the U.S. government, "make the return of, or a satisfactory accounting for, the four hundred and fifty American prisoners of war, a primary objective of the foreign policy of the United States."1954 - 1957U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee conducts closed door sessions on Korean War POWs. Sen. John F. Kennedy states that repatriation of Korean War POWs is our country's top priority.
1982 Romanian engineer Serban Oprica reports he saw as many as 50 American POWs working on a North Korean collective farm in 1979.
1986 Bob Dumas arranges meeting between Presidential candidate Jesse Jackson and North Korean Ambassador to the UN, Pak Gil Yon where it is agreed a U.S. delegation will travel to North Korea on Christmas eve to negotiate for the release of live American POWs. The State Department forbids the delegation to travel to the DPRK.
1992 U.S. Senate Select Committee on Veteran AffairsSenate Armed Services Committees hears witnesses testify that American POWs have been left behind in North Korea, many having been transferred to the Soviet Union. Serban Oprica testifies he saw over 50 American POWs in 1979 near Pyong-yang. Resolution: Senate Select Committee disbanded before investigation was complete. Committee does not act on evidence of live American POWs in North Korea.
1996 U.S. Dept. of Defense Background Paper, "Accountability of Missing Americans From the Korean War: Live Sighting Reports" written by Pentagon analyst, Insung Lee."There are too many live sighting reports, specifically observations of several Caucasians in a collective farm by Romanians and the North Korean defectors' eyewitness of Americans in DPRK to dismiss that there are no American POWs in North Korea."
1996 U.S. House of Representative, Subcommittee on Veteran AffairsWitnesses testify on recent live sightings of American POWs in the DPRK including U.S. Dept. of Defense investigator, Insung Lee, whose internal memo recommends that numerous recent live sighting reports of American POWs in North Korea must be investigated.
1996 The National Alliance of Families for the Return of POW/MIAs hosts the North Korean Olympic Team and Ambassadors in Atlanta, Georgia. During the two-months of Olympic events, the North Korean Ambassadors offer to release as many as 11 American POWs if a meeting can be arrange with the Clinton administration. The National Security Advisor rejects any negotiations with the North Koreans for the release of American POWs.
June 7, 1999 Senate of Pennsylvania Resolution No. 25, which demands the federal government investigate live American POWs in North Korea, is passed:"WHEREAS, United States Intelligence reports include information on sightings of Americans in North Korea and on the existence of American POW/MIAs from the United States of America's involvement in the Korean War...""RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be transmitted to the President of the United States and to the presiding officers of each house of Congress.”
2003 North Korean defector, Lt. Col. Kim Yong arrives in the U.S. and states he saw several American POWs in a North Korean concentration camp in 1996.
November 2006 Congressman Ron Paul sponsors a Congressional screening of the award-winning documentary, “Missing, Presumed Dead: The Search for America's POWs” and distributes a copy of the DVD to every member of the House and Senate. (See Congressman Paul's cover letter attached to this addendum.)
December 2009 South Korea’s Unification Ministry creates task force to map out a plan to bring home South Korean POWs still being held in North Korea. Since 1990, 59 South Korean POWs have fled North Korea and returned to the South. And based on their accounts, around 560 more are still believed to be held. Yet North Korea is refusing to even acknowledge the existence of South Korean POWs there.
Unfortunately, it is virtually impossible for a Caucasian POW to escape unnoticed in North Korea.
Senator Richard Lugar, ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, sends letter to Sec. of Defense Leon Panetta regarding investigation and release of any POWs still being held by the DPRK.
It reads in part:
“Actual contact between U.S. and North Korean military officials will also provide clear opportunity to inquire as to whether American service personnel missing from the Korean War, involuntarily imprisoned or otherwise, remain in North Korea. This is especially relevant as South Korean officials estimate that an unknown number of South Korean military personnel continue to be forcibly detained in North Korea from the Korean War era.”