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Public Papers - 1992

Statement by Press Secretary Fitzwater on Russian Action To Resolve Questions Concerning the Korean Airlines Flight 007 Incident


Russian President Boris Yeltsin met today in Moscow with U.S. Ambassador Robert Strauss and family members of Americans killed in the Soviet shootdown of Korean Airlines flight 007 in September 1983. President Yeltsin offered his condolences to the American people, the American families of the victims, and the other countries involved. He also transferred to the United States important documents and information concerning the shootdown from Soviet archives, including information pertaining to the aircraft's black box.

The President is deeply grateful to President Yeltsin for this courageous effort to resolve the many questions which still linger from one of the cold war's greatest tragedies. President Yeltsin's actions demonstrate once again the benefits from the new U.S.-Russian relationship which is grounded in cooperation, respect, and a commitment to forge together a new era of peace.

Today's meeting followed years of discussion of the KAL tragedy between the United States and the Soviet and Russian Governments. The President and other senior American officials have raised this issue repeatedly during the last 2 years in an effort to discover the truth concerning the deaths of 63 American citizens who were aboard the flight.

The delegation of American family members will continue discussions with the Russian Government in Moscow this week on the important issues that remain to be resolved, including disposition of the remains and personal effects of the victims which may have been uncovered during the Soviet search effort, the families' desire to hold a memorial service near the crash site, and ex gratia payments to each American family. The administration supports the family members in their efforts to reach a final resolution of all issues concerning this tragedy.

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