Both Sides Report Progress in Hanoi MIA Discussions

From a Times Staff Writer

Foreign Minister Nguyen Co Thach declared Sunday that the Vietnamese and a visiting American delegation have achieved a "better understanding" on talks aimed at resolving the fate of U.S. servicemen missing from the Vietnam War.

Midway through scheduled meetings between Thach and President Reagan's personal emissary, retired Gen. John W. Vessey Jr., both sides claimed that progress is being made.

"There is a better understanding between the two parties," Thach said. Vessey declared himself satisfied so far but told reporters, "We have more work to do."

The delegation leaders met for an hour and 20 minutes Sunday and indicated that a final session will be held this morning.

Neither side would reveal the specifics of the talks, other than describing them as "humanitarian."

Reagan sent Vessey to the Vietnamese capital in an effort to restart talks on American servicemen listed as missing in action or prisoners of war during the Vietnam conflict.

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