S Korea to look into potential environmental damage at former U.S. military bases

14:38, May 30, 2011      

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South Korea's defense ministry formed Monday a task force for an environmental probe into former U.S. military bases in the country, as fresh allegations of environmental damage created by U.S. forces emerge, local media reported.

The task force, comprising officials from the defense ministry, the Army, Navy and Air Force, will look into 85 former U.S. military installations handed back to South Korea between 1990 and 2003, according to Yonhap News Agency.

The move comes as South Korea and the United States are conducting a joint investigation into an allegation that the U.S. forces secretly dumped over 30 years ago the toxic defoliant Agent Orange at one of their bases in Chilgok, some 300 kilometers southeast of Seoul.

The allegation rattled the country with more than 33,000 Vietnam War veterans who has suffered numerous after-effects from exposure to dioxin and led to other new claims of similar charges, prodding the government into action.

Some 28,500 American troops are currently stationed here, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War.

Source: Xinhua
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