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Defense Dept. Denies Use of Poison Gas in Vietnam

Mar. 10, 1963 - Soviet charges that the United States was using poison gas in the war in South Vietnam have been branded “wholly false.” A Defense Department spokesman said yesterday that the charges were “without foundation,” and added: “Of course we’re not using any poison gas.” The State Department said that the accusation, printed in the official Soviet Defense Ministry publican Red Star, was absurd. Officials indicated that the Communists had been making similar charges for about a year, roughly since the United States began using a chemical defoliant similar to commercial weedkiller in Vietnam. Officials indicated that the weedkiller was designed to remove leaves from vegetation to guard against ambush by Viet Cong Communists and to deny Communists easy hiding places.

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