Pentagon officials say Vietnam has
agreed to give the United States some access to top secret files in an effort
to gather information about Americans who may have been held captive after the
Officials here at the Pentagon say Hanoi has agreed in principle to a highly
unusual arrangement to hire retired senior intelligence officers to search
through classified Vietnamese government files.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Jerry Jennings says details need to
be worked out.
He says the retired Vietnamese officials would submit regular summaries of
their findings, but the actual documents will not be turned over to the United
The Pentagon says nearly 1,900 Americans are still not accounted for from
the Vietnam War.
The soldiers are not listed as prisoners of war, but there have been reports
that some Americans remained in Vietnam after the conflict ended.
Officials in Hanoi have always insisted that no Americans were held after
Mr. Jennings says an arrangement like the one with the Vietnamese might also
work in Russia, where U.S. officials have been stymied for years in trying
to gain access to sensitive intelligence files of the former Soviet Union.