USFK 'Disposed of Dumped Chemicals Overseas'

      June 02, 2011 09:36

      The Eighth U.S. Army told the Korean government on Wednesday that it disposed overseas of drums of chemicals buried at Camp Carroll in Chilgok, North Gyeongsang Province in the late 1970s together with the contaminated soil.

      Based on a report by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1992, the Eighth Army earlier said the drums of chemicals that had been buried in Area D within the camp in 1979 and 1980, together with 40 to 60 tons of contaminated soil, were removed from the camp, but it did not know whether they were disposed of in Korea or abroad.

      Eighth U.S. Army Commander Lt. Gen. John Johnson told new Environment Minister Yoo Young-sook, who visited Camp Carroll Wednesday, that the contaminated materials buried in Area D was removed from Korea, Yoo told the Chosun Ilbo. But Johnson pledged to check whether there remains any contamination at the camp. U.S. veterans said earlier they buried the lethal defoliant Agent Orange at the camp.

      Environment Minister Yoo Young-sook (center) visits the suspected dumping site of Agent Orange at Camp Carroll in Chilgok, North Gyeongsang Province on Wednesday. /Yonhap

      Yoo said Johnson looked unconvinced that the contaminated materials had really been taken overseas, but was only reporting statements from those who worked at the camp at that time.

      In a press release on May 23, the Eighth Army said drums and contaminated soil were removed from Area D and disposed of somewhere else. On May 26, Johnson said he was trying to find out where and how the drums were disposed of.

      On Thursday, a joint team from both countries starts investigating Area D, a helicopter pad, and Area 41 within the camp.

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