Second Report (First Report posted following this one)
Korea, U.S. begin Agent Orange probe
U.S. tested highly toxic defoliants in 5 countries including Korea in 1960s
South Korean and U.S. officials on Friday began collecting groundwater samples near a U.S. army base in the south, a day after agreeing on a joint probe into the alleged burial of the toxic defoliant Agent Orange by American troops about three decades ago.
The investigation began after former U.S. soldiers told a U.S. television station early this month that they buried large amounts of the dangerous chemical in 1978 at a heliport inside Camp Carroll in Chilgok, 300 kilometers southeast of Seoul.
Experts from the Environment Ministry and the National Institute of Environmental Research began taking groundwater samples at 10 locations around Camp Carroll with U.S. officials present.
“The groundwater samples will be analyzed by different environmental labs such as the NIER,” a ministry official said.
“It will take more than two weeks for the results to come out.”
Korea and the U.S. are set to begin a joint inspection inside Camp Carroll next week as soon as U.S. environmental experts arrive here. The survey within the U.S. army bases will be led by the USFK with the Korean officials watching.
Lt. Gen. John D. Johnson, commander of the 8th U.S. Army and lead investigator into the allegations, said Thursday that ground-penetrating radar devices will be mobilized next week to identify the substances buried at Camp Carroll.
“If we get evidence that there is a risk to health, we are going to fix it,” Johnson told a local radio station.
Early this week, U.S. Forces Korea said a 1992 study showed a “large amount” of pesticides, herbicides and solvents were buried at Camp Carroll in 1978, but were removed and taken to an unknown site during the following two years.
The USFK also said its review of records found “trace amounts” of dioxin in a 2004 test at the site, but the findings do not “directly” indicate that Agent Orange was buried there.
It has been confirmed, in the meanwhile, that the U.S. had conducted tested highly toxic defoliants in five other countries including South Korea in the 1960s.
According to a U.S. government document disclosed by a U.S. veterans group called “Vets Helping Vets,” a botanical research institute in Fort Detrick, Maryland, sent various kinds of defoliants to the frontline units in South Korea in 1968.
Fort Detrick is a U.S. Army Medical Command installation which was historically the center for the country’s biological weapons program between 1943 and 1969.
According to the document, the U.S. also sprayed Agent Orange in Cambodia in June 1969, sprayed or experimented defoliants in Canada in June 1967, Laos in December 1965, Thailand in 1965.
The U.S. forces also experimented defoliants in India between 1945 and 1946, Puerto Rico in 1956 and burned 2.22 million gallons of Agent Orange in the ocean in 1977.
By Kim So-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org)
S. Korea, US to probe reported Agent Orange burial
– Sun May 22, 4:39 pm ET
SEOUL (AFP) – South Korea and the United States will launch a joint probe of a site where US troops allegedly buried leftover Agent Orange, a highly toxic defoliant used in the Vietnam War, a Seoul official said Sunday.
The investigation follows a report by a US TV station that the substance was buried in 1978 at Camp Carroll, a US army logistics base at Waegwan, 216 kilometres (135 miles) southeast of Seoul.
"The United States... recognised the urgency and significance of the issue and actively sought discussions with us," Yook Dong-Han, a senior official at the Prime Minister's Office, told reporters.
The US military will share with Seoul internal records related to environmental conditions at Camp Carroll and allow a group of experts and area residents to visit the base for inspection, he said.
"We will soon have another discussion to determine... the length and scale of the joint investigation," Yook said.
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During the Vietnam War US aircraft sprayed Agent Orange and other herbicides containing potentially cancer-causing dioxin to strip trees of foliage, in a bid to deprive communist forces of cover and food.
Vietnam says three million of its people have suffered the effects of wartime herbicides.
Citing three veterans who were once stationed at Waegwan, KPHO CBS 5 News, based in the Arizona city of Phoenix, reported on May 13 that an unspecified amount of Agent Orange was dumped in Waegwan.
One veteran insisted that there were about 250 drums of the defoliant in storage at that time.
Steve House, one of the three interviewed, said he received orders to dig a ditch nearly the length of a city block. "They just told us it was going to be used for disposal," he was quoted as saying.
The news prompted Seoul's environment ministry to send last week a team of officials and experts to the site to check soil and underground water around the camp.
Some 28,500 US troops are stationed in South Korea under a mutual defence pact signed during the 1950-1953 Korean War.
If you are unaware of what damage Agent Orange can inflict on humans, hereunder are some graphic / horrifying and extremely tragic vids:
Agent Orange - Vietnam
Vietnam - Agent Orange -narration in German but images are plain and self-explanatory
When War has Passed - Vietam
Al Jazeera - Agent Orange (1of3)
2/3 of the series is missing from YouTube. if you can find it, grateful if you can post it on this thread!
Al Jazeera - Agent Orange (3of3)