Former S Korean soldier talks about spraying of Agent Orange by U.S. military

14:36, May 30, 2011      

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A former South Korean Army first sergeant revealed that the U.S. military sprayed the toxic defoliant Agent Orange over the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in the mid-1950s, Seoul's Yonhap news agency reported Monday, amid an ongoing investigation into allegations of chemical dumping by the U.S. military over three decades ago in South Korea.

According to Yonhap, Eum Do-nam said that Agent Orange was sprinkled over the DMZ from aircraft by the U.S. military three to four times in a month in 1955. The retired 77-year-old first sergeant served his duty near the DMZ around that time.

Eum said the spraying of the toxic chemical was carried out only by the U.S. military, without participation from South Korean troops.

In 1967, he had to scatter Agent Orange powder with his bare hands at places where enemies could pass through, while being watched by the U.S. military, according to Yonhap.

Eum has suffered crooked fingers and paralysis of his left leg since 20 years ago and was acknowledged as a victim of Agent Orange exposure in 2007.

Eum's account is the first made by a South Korean regarding the allegations of chemical dumping by the U.S. military in South Korea.

The allegations came to the surface after three U.S. Army veterans claimed on a U.S. television program that they buried about drums of Agent Orange at Camp Carroll in Chilgok, southeast of Seoul, in 1978.

South Korea and the United States have launched a joint investigation into the allegations.

Source: Xinhua
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