US Department of Defense's POW and Missing Inventory Agency delegation visited and worked with Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology
Attending the reception, on the side of VAST, there were Prof. Chu Hoang Ha, VAST Vice President; Dr. Le Quynh Lien, Head of International Cooperation Department; Assoc. Phi Quyet Tien, Deputy Director of Institute of Biotechnology; Prof. Truong Nam Hai, Chairman of the Scientific Council of Institute of Biotechnology and former Director of the Institute of Biotechnology; and MSc. Hoang Ha, In charge of the DNA Testing Center of the Institute of Biotechnology.
The two sides exchanged and discussed opportunities to cooperate in scientific research related to the DNA examination of the remains of soldiers who died and disappeared without information during the war.
Prof. Chu Hoang Ha said that in the past period, VAST has cooperated with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in DNA testing to identify Vietnamese soldiers who died and disappeared during the war. During the cooperation process, VAST staff had the opportunity to study and interact with American experts, visit DNA testing laboratories of the US Department of Justice and the US Air Force, thereby increasing experience in operating and developing the assessment process of the DNA Assessment Center of VAST. Prof. Chu Hoang Ha hopes this working session will continue to open up more cooperation with US partners in the field of DNA testing.
Mr. Kelly K McKeague said that in recent years the US DNA testing technology has improved a lot, especially the quantity and quality of samples; the US side is willing to share and transfer this advanced technology. However, the biggest difficulty today is the control samples, the development of a data bank is absolutely necessary and must be carried out quickly with the contribution of many stakeholders. Ms. Ritu Tariyal, Head of Harmony Development and Healing, USAID, briefed on the upcoming project to support technology and strengthen inspection capacity for Vietnam; which emphasizes that they are negotiating with the International Committee for Searching for Missing Persons (ICMP) to develop an appropriate technical plan in the near future.
On the basis of long-term cooperation between DPAA and ICMP, DPAA wishes to jointly propose possible options to help not only in terms of technology transfer but also to evaluate all aspects related to DNA inspection work in Vietnam today; with the ultimate goal being to find the identity of the missing persons. Representatives of Institute of Biotechnology, the Center for DNA Assessment exchanged and proposed technical solutions to achieve this common goal.
At the end of the working session, Prof. Chu Hoang Ha expressed his desire to be willing to cooperate with US partners such as ICMP, DPAA, USAID and hoped that the US side would always support Vietnam to improve its capacity to assess war martyrs' remains.
Translated by Phuong Ha
Link to Vietnamese version