Dioxin, a Group 1 carcinogen, has reportedly been detected at a former US military base site in Busan that was returned four years ago.
“Dioxin has been detected at the US Forces Korea Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office (DRMO) in the Gaegeum and Danggam neighborhoods of the Busanjin district in the heart of downtown Busan,” Green Korea United said on June 12.
“The soil contamination is severe,” the group added. This marks the second time that dioxin has been detected at a returned US military base, after a previous discovery at Camp Market in Incheon’s Bupyeong district.
The group also alleged that the Ministry of Environment (MOE) failed to disclose the findings of an investigation into dioxin contamination last year, with the announcement of its detection coming only belatedly on June 10 during an on-site briefing by the Korea Rural Community Corporation (KRC). KRC has been commissioning a cleanup effort on the site. The MOE study detected dioxin at depths of up to one meter below the surface of the soil. A total of 817 cubic meters of soil was reportedly found to be contaminated, or over 50 25-ton dump trucks’ worth.