Excerpts from Associated Press:

Korean War POW's in Siberia

Copyright 1996 The Associated Press

May 4, 1996 3:53 p.m. EDT

. . . Yuri A. Rastvorov, who defected to the United States in 1954 from his post at the Soviet mission in Tokyo, told

Eisenhower administration officials in a private Jan. 28, 1955 meeting that "U.S. and other U.N. POWs were being held

in Siberia" during the 1950-53 Korean War, according to the newly released memo, which is a one-page summary of what

Rastvorov said in the encounter.

 

. . . Donald Jameson, who was a branch chief in the Soviet division of the CIA's Operations Directorate in the 1950s,

recalled that Rastvorov told him, too, that a number of American POWs from the Korean War had been taken to the

Soviet Union. "My impression is that it was a few -- 10 to 15; they were aviators mostly," Jameson said in an interview.

 

. . . No mention is made in the memo of whether Rastvorov said how many American or other U.N. prisoners were in Siberia.

Philip Corso, a former Army intelligence officer who was a National Security Council staff member in the mid-1950s,

said it was he who arranged and conducted the interrogation of Rastvorov that is described in the 1955 memo.

Corso told a Senate investigations committee in 1992 that Rastvorov confirmed to him the transfer of POWs and told him

they were used for intelligence purposes. But no records verifying Corso's account had been made public until the

release last month (April 1996) of the formerly secret Jan. 31, 1955, memo.

 

. . . In telephone interviews in 1994 and 1995, Corso recalled in detail his encounter with Rastvorov and said the defector

told him several hundred American POWs had been sent to Siberia in rail cars during the war. Corso has maintained

that the Eisenhower administration chose not to force the issue with Moscow out of concern that a confrontation might

escalate into all-out war.

 

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