Report claiming biological weapons deployed in Korea up for auction

The document is controversial, as Washington denies biological weapons were used during the Korean War.
By Elizabeth Shim Contact the Author   |   June 9, 2015 at 11:07 AM
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SEOUL, June 9 (UPI) -- The complete 1952 report alleging the United States conducted biological warfare during the Korean War is expected to be up for auction.

The document known as the Needham report was discovered in the U.K. in 2013 by South Korean filmmaker Lim Jong-tae, South Korean television network KBS reported on Tuesday.

Lim purchased the text, believed to have been permanently lost until the South Korean filmmaker found it by chance at a British bookstore.

American psychologist Jeffrey Kaye made approximately 64 pages of the 670-page report public in January. Yonhap reported the online posting ignited a wave of controversy.

Washington denies biological weapons were used during the war that lasted between 1950 and 1953 on the Korean peninsula.

The report, written by British sinologist and biochemist Joseph Needham in 1952, claims the U.S. learned to conduct biological warfare from Japanese scientists after the surrender of Japan in 1945.

The document includes detailed maps and diagrams from U.S. military personnel illustrating how such weapons could be deployed in Korea and in China.

According to Yonhap, the document includes evidence the U.S. Air Force learned techniques of biological warfare from Shiro Ishii, director of Unit 731, a biological warfare unit of the Imperial Japanese Army responsible for conducting cruel experiments on Korean and Chinese subjects in Japanese-occupied Manchuria.

The biological weapons were used against North Korean and Chinese troops during the Korean War, the document claimed.

The 200 photographs in the report included evidence of flea-spraying attacks and U.S. soldiers arrested for deploying biological weapons.

A statement from a U.S. Air Force pilot by the name of Floyd O'Neil testified of the weapons' use.

"As a citizen of the United States, I could not bear the use of biological weapons against the civilians of North Korea and northeast China," O'Neil wrote, according to Yonhap.

The South Korean filmmaker had kept the book for two years out of research interest, but is placing it on auction in order to raise funds for his next production.

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