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Fw: [VeteranIssues] Korea was sprayed with Agent Orange also

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  • ColonelDan
    ... From: ColonelDan To: Vet Issues By Colonel Dan Sent: Thursday, May 18, 2000 1:02 AM Subject:
    Message 1 of 1 , May 17, 2000
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      ----- Original Message -----
      From: ColonelDan <ColonelDan@...>
      To: Vet Issues By Colonel Dan <VeteranIssues@egroups.com>
      Sent: Thursday, May 18, 2000 1:02 AM
      Subject: [VeteranIssues] Korea was sprayed with Agent Orange also


      > Korean vets that can show exposure should be able to file claims for
      health
      > problems such as cancer.
      > ******************
      > From: <Ramsayavs8@...>
      > ***********
      > From: Korean Herald Newspaper, Korea
      > [Editorial]A toxic disclosure 11/19/1999
      > The news that Agent Orange, a toxic defoliant Koreans thought was used
      > only in the Vietnam War, was also sprayed along the southern edge of the
      > Demilitarized Zone in Korea in the late 1960s is startling. The
      disclosure,
      > made by SBS-TV Monday, is another sign of changing public perceptions in
      > this post-Cold War era.
      >
      > Although the use of the dreadful chemical and two other kinds of
      > herbicide in the strategic areas of the 155-mile truce line has been
      > established as a fact, details on who is responsible for its use have yet
      to
      > be determined. Defense Minister Cho Sung-tae appropriately reacted by
      > ordering an investigation to verify the report. The United States also
      > responded by confirming the use. But there are differences between the two
      > allies in explaining which side first decided to use the chemicals. This
      is
      > only part of the controversial issue that needs to be discussed by the two
      > countries. The Korea-U.S. security consultative meeting opening in
      > Washington next week will be a good place to start the dialogue.
      >
      > It appears both countries are responsible for the use of the
      defoliants,
      > whose effect on Korean soldiers who took part in the spraying operation is
      > yet to be fully determined. Already there is a claim by the wife of one of
      > the participants that she gave birth to a daughter with deformities in
      1969.
      > Her husband, a former chemical officer, reportedly said he has heard of a
      > few cases in which retired soldiers were suffering from defoliant-related
      > side effects.
      >
      > We fully understand that there was a need for the use of the
      defoliating
      > chemicals to help prevent the infiltration of North Korean soldiers and
      > agents. In fact, the first of the two spraying operations began on April
      15,
      > 1968, nearly three months after 31 North Korean commandos infiltrated the
      > barrier of the U.S. Second Infantry Division in an attempt to raid Chong
      Wa
      > Dae, the presidential mansion, in Seoul. All but one of them were killed.
      >
      > That first spraying ended May 30. The second was conducted between May
      > 19 and July 31 in 1969. The Korean government estimates that the amount
      > sprayed during the two years was equal to only 0.3 percent of the
      defoliants
      > used in Vietnam.
      >
      > According to the announcements, the Korean troops wore gauze masks and
      > gloves and used hand equipment in spraying the Agent Orange mixed with
      > diesel and the Agent Blue diluted with water. No such protective gear was
      > used in spreading powdered Monuron by hand. Questions are raised as to
      > whether those Korean soldiers were forewarned of the types and nature of
      the
      > chemicals and of the maximum precautions that needed to be taken in the
      > operations. Our assumption is that they might have regarded the chemicals
      as
      > benign as commercially available herbicides.
      >
      > The Defense Ministry recalled that it issued a press release on Jan.
      12,
      > 1968, about the decision for the spraying. But in those times, when people
      > were preoccupied with security concerns, the general public voiced little
      > concern. Now, the Koreans, like people elsewhere, are keenly aware of
      health
      > problems from the use of such chemicals as the toxic defoliants, which can
      > cause cancer, dysfunction of the liver and other organs and birth defects.
      > One example is the concern this country shared with other nations in the
      > recent controversy over dioxin-contaminated food imports. Dioxin is also
      > found in Agent Orange.
      >
      > It seems that Korea and the United States are putting forth different
      > views on the decision for the spraying, presumably because of the
      > compensation issue that may arise for victims. Regarding the question, the
      > Defense Ministry has responded by saying that the government will consider
      > providing the cost for the treatment of patients with related health
      > problems when they appear along the lines of the legislation enacted for
      > Vietnam War veterans. The remarks by a U.S. Defense Department spokesman
      > that he was not aware of any complaints of Koreans harmed by the use of
      > Agent Orange and the other chemicals are considered premature.
      >
      > Complaints from the Vietnam veterans suffering from illnesses from
      > exposure to toxic defoliants led to the legislation in 1997. Thousands of
      > those Koreans have been waging a legal battle for compensation from the
      U.S.
      > government and chemical companies, but only after the settlement of the
      > complaints of Vietnam veterans from the United States, Canada, Australia
      and
      > New Zealand.
      >
      > Korea and the United States should wisely resolve the latest
      differences
      > in a way that will not damage their solidarity.
      >
      >
      > Updated: 11/19/1999
      >
      >
      >
      > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
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      >
      > "Keep on, Keepin' on", Support Veterans
      > & Thanks.......Colonel Dan
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