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Groups want transparency in probe

Religious, civil groups want independent expert included in inquiry into alleged dumping

Benedictine friars protesting against alleged dumped defoliant (photo courtesy of Korean Federation for Environmental Movement of Daegu) Benedictine friars protesting against alleged dumped defoliant (photo courtesy of Korean Federation for Environmental Movement of Daegu)
  • Stephen Hong, Seoul
  • Korea
  • June 9, 2011
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Religious and civil groups including Benedictine monks are demanding transparency in an investigation into the alleged dumping of Agent Orange defoliant at a US military base in the 1970s.

Some 60 people including local residents, environmental activists and several Benedictine monks from a nearby abbey made the demands at a press conference on June 7 outside the Camp Carroll base in Waegwan, 216 kilometers southeast of Seoul.

They demanded the South Korean government and the US military reveal their findings so far and allow an independent expert to be part of the investigation.

The protesters also expressed concern about and doubted the credibility of a Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) investigation jointly carried out on June 2 by the US and South Korean governments.

Benedictine Father Isaac Koh Jin-seok from Waegwan Abbey said the GPR method is not reliable, especially in salty or muddy soil.

He suggested digging deeper to get soil samples to check for contamination.

Related report
Christians demand toxic chemical probe
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