WASHINGTON -- The United States currently has no plan to move military dependents out of South Korea despite rising tensions with North Korea, the Pentagon said Tuesday.
About 28,500 US troops are stationed in South Korea to deter North Korean aggression after the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.
Commenting on North Korea's latest launch of a long-range missile last week, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) argued Sunday that the US should stop sending military dependents to South Korea and transfer those that are already there.
In this photo taken during a joint exercise to counter WMDs held in Pocheon, just north of Seoul, South Korean and U.S. soldiers march at a training site. (Yonhap)
"The Department of Defense currently has no intent to initiate departures for military dependents, whether on a voluntary or mandatory basis, and no intent to modify the policy authorizing military dependents to accompany military members being stationed in South Korea," Lt. Col. Chris Logan, a Pentagon spokesman, said in emailed remarks to Yonhap.
"The United States has many contingency plans in place all over the world to keep our military families safe."
The readiness, safety, and welfare of US service members, employees and family members are essential to the strength of the bilateral alliance, he added.
The senator had told CBS that South Korea should be an unaccompanied tour.
"It's crazy to send spouses and children to South Korea, given the provocation of North Korea," he said. (Yonhap)