Agent Orange – Some facts

Agent Orange victims are seen at a hospice in Danang


On a serious note:

The US sprayed 12 million gallons of the defoliant over jungles between 1961 and 1971 during the Vietnam war.
Millions suffered deformities as a result of the herbicide sprayed over Vietnam
The United States have taken the first step towards cleaning up Agent Orange contamination.

Vietnamese experts say more than three million people have suffered the effects of the herbicide, of which some 400,000 died.

The development is being hailed as one of the most significant in relations between Washington and Hanoi.

A ceremony to launch the programme was held at the Danang airport where the defoliant was stored before being sprayed over forests hiding fighters from the Viet Cong, guerrillas backed by the Communist government of North Vietnam.

US-Vietnam ties have blossomed since diplomatic relations were established 16 years ago and steps to resolve issues left over from the war have formed a cornerstone of progress, say correspondents.

US Air Force planes spray Agent Orange over dense vegetation in South Vietnam, 1966
The US sprayed Vietnam’s jungles to deprive the enemy of places to hide. For years, Hanoi and Washington argued about questions of compensation for victims of the defoliant. But now the US recognises that dioxin, found in Agent Orange, is a highly toxic substance.
The US Congress appropriated an initial $3m (£1.8m) in 2007 for the effort and the figure has since risen to $32m

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