Agent Orange probe in S. Korea finished

Dec. 30, 2011 at 2:45 PM
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SEOUL, Dec. 30 (UPI) -- A U.S.-South Korean team said it found no evidence of Agent Orange during its probe of claims the toxic defoliant was buried on a U.S. facility in South Korea.

Army Col. Joseph F. Birchmeier, the lead U.S. investigator, said the investigation found no evidence Agent Orange was buried on Camp Carroll and discovered no risk to public health on the Army post, the Pentagon said Friday in a release.

"I want you to know that we have found no definitive evidence that Agent Orange was buried or stored on Camp Carroll," Birchmeier said during a joint news conference with Gon Ok, a biomedical professor at Pokyong National University in Busan, South Korea.

The investigation began in May following a report by a Phoenix television station during which U.S. veterans claimed they buried Agent Orange on the military complex in southeastern South Korea in 1978.

A review of documents indicated all 380 barrels of Agent Orange brought to South Korea in 1968 were used by the Korean army to reduce areas where the enemy could hide inside the Korean Demilitarized Zone, the Pentagon said.

"Nothing is more important than the health and safety of our people and our Korean neighbors in the surrounding communities," said Army Brig. Gen. David Conboy, deputy commanding general for 8th Army. "This joint investigation was thorough, scientific and complete, and I'm happy to report that there is no threat to public health and no evidence that Agent Orange was buried on the post."

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