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US Army Probes Report of Agent Orange Dumping in Korea

May 19, 2011

US Army Probes Report of Agent Orange Dumping in Korea

The U.S. Army says it is looking into a report that drums of the Vietnam War-era toxic defoliant Agent Orange were buried 33 years ago at an American military facility in South Korea.

Three U.S. Army veterans told the station they had been ordered to dig a ditch, nearly the length of a city block, to bury about 250 bright yellow or orange drums, each believed to contain 208 liters of the defoliant. They said the chemical was seeping through the barrels and gave off a "sickly sweet" smell.

The three men say they have developed health problems which they believe are linked to their exposure to the chemical.

The U.S. military used Agent Orange during the Vietnam War to get rid of dense jungle brush. Since then, the chemical has been linked to increased cancer rates and birth defects.

The U.S. Defense Department acknowledged in 1999 that Agent Orange and two other defoliants were sprayed in the Korean demilitarized zone (DMZ) during the late 1960s. U.S. officials say the surplus defoliant was incinerated and buried at sea.

Legacy of Our Veterans' Military Exposures
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