U.S., Korea to jointly probe claims of agent orange burial

SEOUL Sun May 22, 2011 3:55pm IST

Related Topics

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, daughter of Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi, adjusts her flower garlands as she campaigns for her mother during an election meeting at Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh April 22, 2014. REUTERS/Pawan Kumar

Election 2014

More than 814 million people — a number larger than the population of Europe — are eligible to vote in the world’s biggest democratic exercise.  Full Coverage 

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea said on Sunday it has agreed with the United States military to jointly investigate claims made by U.S. veterans that they helped bury the toxic chemical defoliant Agent Orange at a U.S. army base in South Korea about three decades ago.

The issue could potentially rekindle anti-American sentiment in the country, which saw massive protests against the import of U.S. beef in 2008 and over the deaths of two South Korean girls in an incident allegedly involving U.S. soldiers in 2002.

The United States has nearly 30,000 troops stationed in South Korea, and the two countries are currently grappling with how to deal with North Korea's nuclear programme.

"South Korea and the United States agreed to proceed with a joint probe (into the case) as soon as possible for the quick and transparent resolution of the issue," Prime Minister Kim Hwang-sik's Office said in a statement on Sunday.

The controversy erupted last week, when South Korean media reported that U.S. veterans told U.S. television station KPHO-TV that they were ordered to dump the herbicide at Camp Carroll, in the southeastern part of South Korea, in the late 1970s.

The television station said the "toxic herbicide that was used to wipe out the jungles during the Vietnamese War," was used years later around demilitarized zones in Korea, which was divided after the 1950-1953 Korean War.

The South Korean government said it had formed a task force on Friday to address the issue and had been investigating the area around Camp Carroll, located in North Gyeongsang Province.

The United States Forces Korea said in a statement on Friday that "an on-going review of records has not revealed evidence of the movement or storage of Agent Orange at Camp Carroll, and we are expanding our search to more thoroughly investigate the claims."

Gen. Walter L. Sharp, Commander of United Nations Command, said in a statement: "I am aware of and concerned with news reports alleging burial of Agent Orange at Camp Carroll.

"Both Americans and Koreans live and work in and around Camp Carroll, and I share the concerns of the government of the Republic of Korea and the Korean people living near the installation."

(Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; Additional reporting by Jeremy Laurence; Editing by Alex Richardson)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Ukraine

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Obama's Japan Visit

Obama's Japan Visit

Obama to use Japan visit to reassure Asian allies.  Full Article 

Solar Dispute

Solar Dispute

Green groups urge U.S. to drop solar trade case against India.  Full Article 

Ferry Tragedy

Ferry Tragedy

Children's corpses in Korean ferry reveal desperate attempts to escape.  Full Article 

Reconciliation Deal

Reconciliation Deal

Hamas, Abbas's PLO announce reconciliation agreement.  Full Article 

Syria Crisis

Syria Crisis

U.N. chief demands Security Council action on Syria.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage