12:34 GMT02 July 2020
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    US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter extended his apology to his South Korean counterpart Han Min-goo for incident of sending a live anthrax bacteria samples to US military base in the country and vowed to take appropriate measures to prevent a recurrence.

    TOKYO (Sputnik) — US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter offered Saturday an official apology to his South Korean counterpart Han Min-goo over sending a live anthrax bacteria samples to US military base in the country, local media reported.

    On Wednesday, the US authorities said they were investigating into the anthrax samples shipment to laboratories in eleven US states, Australia and to Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, south of Seoul, from a Pentagon laboratory in Utah. Instead of deactivated samples, the packages sent between March 2014 and March 2015 contained live spores.

    "Carter extended his apology to Minister Han for the incident and vowed to take appropriate measures to prevent a recurrence," a source in the Korean Ministry of National Defense said as quoted by the Korea Times.

    The meeting happened on the sidelined of the Shangri-La Dialogue security conference in Singapore.

    According to a statement, published by the Osan Air Base on Wednesday, 22 personnel “may have been exposed” to the hazardous material, but nobody has shown signs of a disease so far.

    US Department of Defense (DoD) spokesperson Colonel Steven Warren told Sputnik in a statement Wednesday that DoD used the anthrax samples to develop a field-based test to “identify biological threats in the environment.”


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    South Korea, anthrax, US Defense Department, Han Min-goo, Ashton Carter, United States
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