Metallic objects detected underground at U.S. baseMetallic objects that could be drums were detected buried underground at the U.S. military base Camp Carroll, according to a joint investigation yesterday, raising suspicion that they might contain the Agent Orange defoliant claimed to be buried at the base three decades ago.
The Korea-U.S. investigation team yesterday announced a midpoint result of the geophysical survey in the helipad area inside the Chilgok, North Gyeongsang, camp and said they found metal objects buried under the area. The survey was done with ground-penetrating radar.
“The magnetic anomalies in red and blue may indicate metal objects buried underground,” the investigators said in a statement, which attached a slide of a map of the camp.
The investigators said they detected several areas on and under Helipad Area 1, a term referring to the left side of the helipad, but some of the areas, marked with circles, squares or straight lines on a map, had identifiable metal on the ground such as a fire training pit, wire mesh, water supply lines and metal fences.
“Other zones [in Helipad Area 1] might be from metal objects buried underground,” the statement read.
The helipad area, together with Area D and Area 41, are the three areas that Steve House and two other U.S. veterans claimed in May had 250 55-gallon drums containing Agent Orange buried in 1978.
An official of the Ministry of Environment played down the possibility that the metal objects are related to the existence of the drums in question.
“The areas assumed to have metal objects on the map do not seem large enough to have had that many drums,” the official said, adding that they would not make any conclusions before the investigation is over. The U.S. 8th Army did not respond to inquiry calls.
The investigators said based on the geophysical surveys of Helipad Area 1, they agreed to conduct coring tests in the venues.
The coring process was to begin yesterday afternoon and the result will be announced by the end of next month, they said.
The two sides started conducting the geophysical survey on June 2 using such methods as ground-penetrating radar, magnetic survey and electrical resistivity on the three suspicious areas. Several areas remain to be surveyed.
By Moon Gwang-lip [email@example.com]
한글 관련 기사 [중앙일보]
캠프 캐럴서 금속성 물체 매립 확인
“고엽제 드럼통” 지목된 지역
한·미, 40곳 토양 조사키로
고엽제 매립 의혹이 제기된 경북 칠곡의 미군기지 ‘캠프 캐럴’에 다수의 금속성 물체가 묻혀 있는 것으로 확인됐다. 한·미 공동조사단은 8일 칠곡 기지에서 이 같은 조사 결과를 발표했다.
조사단은 지난달 2일부터 지난 6일까지 기지 내 ‘헬기장 1’ 지역에 대해 자력탐사(MS)·전기비저항탐사(ER)·지표투과레이더(GPR) 조사를 실시했다. ‘헬기장 1’은 지난 5월 전역 미군 스티브 하우스가 현지 TV와의 인터뷰에서 “고엽제 드럼통을 묻었다”고 지목한 지역이다.
자력탐사 결과 이곳에선 ‘이상 징후를 보이는 지역(anomalous areas)’이 여러 군데 있었다. 이 가운데 흙벽돌·콘크리트로 된 2곳의 비투과지역(non-penetrable areas, 소방훈련지역과 자동차 바퀴 세척지역)과 급수관로, 금속성 울타리 지역을 제외한 나머지 지역은 “금속성 매설물에 의한 것(이상)으로 해석할 수 있다”고 조사단은 밝혔다. 조사단은 이상 징후 지역 등 총 40곳의 토양시료를 채취해 오염 여부를 조사하기로 했다. 최종 분석 결과는 다음 달 말 발표할 예정이다.
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