Defoliant Spray Operation

The US command in south Korea mapped out a defoliant spray plan in early 1967, saying that the plants in the DMZ should be effectively removed to check “north Korea’s invasion”. On March 20 1968 the US 8th Army Commander issued an order to perform the spray operation till April 15. According to the order the south Korean army was to spray defoliant under the technical guidance and support of the US military advisory group.

The main ingredient of defoliant is dioxin and one gram of dioxin can kill as many as 20 000 people. The US imperialists had already used the defoliant in the Vietnam War and applied it on a field experimental basis in south Korea. The operation was performed under the guise of planting beans, rice, corn and other cereals.

The GIs enlisted the south Korean army in spraying 21 000 gallons (about 95 470L) of defoliant over the area of 22 million phyong in the south Korean region within the DMZ from 1968 to 1969.

They ensured that the operation was kept strictly confidential and did not inform the south Korean side of anything about it. They only provided guidance and support to avoid contamination, while the south Korean soldiers sprayed the defoliant without any means of protection, as they knew it was just weed killer. Some of them scattered the powdered defoliant with bare hands in their buckets or helmets.

The operation is a heinous crime of the US imperialist forces to annihilate the Korean nation.

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