South Korea to probe US base for anthrax delivery blunder

Seoul, July 24 (IANS) South Korea’s defence ministry said on Friday that it will conduct an on-spot investigation into a US air base in Osan for a wrong delivery in April by a US military laboratory of live anthrax samples to the Osan Air Base.

The joint task force will visit the Osan Air Base of the US Forces Korea (USFK), some 50 km south of Seoul, at an earliest possible date to thoroughly probe the accidental delivery of the deadly anthrax samples, the ministry said in a press release.

The task force, composed of military and diplomatic officials from both sides, was launched on July 11 to look into the case, reported Xinhua.

The ministry said the joint investigation team will investigate into whether the treatment of anthrax samples was conducted according to rules, whether anthrax spores remained at the air base and the ways of treating and destroying anthrax agents.

Based on the on-spot investigation, the ministry will take measures to prevent the recurrence of such accidents.

The ministry’s announcement came after the Pentagon unveiled a report on the accidental delivery, which said a military laboratory in Utah had sent live anthrax samples in the past 10 years to 86 facilities in the US territory as well as in seven other countries, including the Osan Air Base.

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