Fw: [VeteranIssues] Korea was sprayed with Agent Orange also
----- 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
> 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
> 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
> 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
> 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
> 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
> 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
> chemicals to help prevent the infiltration of North Korean soldiers and
> agents. In fact, the first of the two spraying operations began on April
> 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
> 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
> 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
> chemicals and of the maximum precautions that needed to be taken in the
> operations. Our assumption is that they might have regarded the chemicals
> benign as commercially available herbicides.
> The Defense Ministry recalled that it issued a press release on Jan.
> 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
> 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
> government and chemical companies, but only after the settlement of the
> complaints of Vietnam veterans from the United States, Canada, Australia
> New Zealand.
> Korea and the United States should wisely resolve the latest
> in a way that will not damage their solidarity.
> Updated: 11/19/1999
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