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DATE=10/13/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=KOREA MASSACRE INVESTIGATION (L-ONLY) NUMBER=2-254967 BYLINE=ALISHA RYU DATELINE=SEOUL CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: U-S Assistant Secretary of State Stanley Roth, who is in South Korea for four-days of talks with government officials, says the two countries will most likely conduct separate but coordinated investigations into the alleged massacre of South Korean civilians by U-S troops during the Korean War. V-O-A's Alisha Ryu has details of Wednesday's meeting in the South Korean capital of Seoul. TEXT: In private discussions with South Korean Foreign Minister Hong Soon-young and Defense Minister Cho Seong-tae, Secretary Roth says he repeated the pledge made by the United States to thoroughly investigate the alleged shootings of some 300 civilian refugees nearly 50 year ago. He said both governments agree they have a duty to conduct the investigations in an impartial, transparent way. But Mr. Roth laid out a U-S plan that stopped short of launching a joint investigation as had been speculated in recent press reports here in Korea. He says the United States will announce shortly the formation of a high-level group that will conduct its own investigation in Korea alongside a task force already established in Seoul. The two teams are to meet periodically to exchange information and maintain close cooperation. The United States is prosing that these groups also have the power to conduct joint interviews or joint document searches if they are needed. Secretary Roth's visit follows on the heels of a letter sent by U-S Defense Secretary William Cohen to South Korean President Kim Dae-jung. In the letter, Mr. Cohen says South Koreans should have complete confidence that the investigation will uncover the truth. The alleged massacre gained international attention last month when the Associated Press reported that more than a dozen U-S Korean War veterans admitted having witnessed or taken part in the shooting of refugees under a bridge in the southeastern village of Nogun-ri in July, 1950. (Signed) NEB/AR/JP 13-Oct-1999 10:17 AM EDT (13-Oct-1999 1417 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .