Pentagon Says It Has No Plans to Move US Military Dependents Out of South Korea

In response to Senator Lindsey Graham’s recent comment that the Pentagon should consider moving military dependents out of Korea, the Defense Department says they have no plans to do so:

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 U.S. 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 U.S. should stop sending military dependents to South Korea and transfer those that are already there.

“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.  [Yonhap]

You can read the rest at the link.

Senator Graham Wants the Pentagon to Remove US Military Dependents from South Korea

I am not sure if the Pentagon is ready to sign up for this yet because removing US military dependents even gradually from South Korea would cause huge concern in South Korea:

Senator Lindsey Graham

Sen. Lindsey Graham said Sunday that he believes it’s time to start moving the families of American military personnel out of South Korea as North Korea pushes the U.S. closer to a military conflict.

Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said he will also urge the Pentagon not to send any more dependents to South Korea.

“It’s crazy to send spouses and children to South Korea, given the provocation of North Korea. South Korea should be an unaccompanied tour,” the South Carolina Republican said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” ”So, I want them to stop sending dependents, and I think it’s now time to start moving American dependents out of South Korea.”  [Stars & Stripes via a reader tip]

You can read the rest at the link, but I think the South Korean government would be highly concerned if dependents are removed because it could be taken as a sign that the US is preparing for military action even if that is not the case.  Additionally will foreign investors keep their money invested in South Korea if they feel a potentially destructive war appears to be coming with the US removing dependents?  This is why I think the Pentagon will be very careful about if and when they remove dependents from South Korea.

Senator Graham Says President Trump Told Him He Would Attack North Korea

It will be interesting to see if this statement from Lindsey Graham gets China attention or not to reign in North Korea’s nuclear ambitions:

Senator Lindsey Graham

U.S. President Donald Trump has said he will go to war with North Korea if the communist regime continues to threaten the U.S. with its nuclear and missile programs, an influential Republican senator said Tuesday.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) relayed his discussions with the president on NBC’s “Today Show.”

“There will be a war with North Korea over the missile program if they continue to try to hit America with an ICBM,” the senator said. “He’s told me that. I believe him. If I were China, I would believe him, too, and do something about it. You can stop North Korea, militarily or diplomatically.”  [Yonhap]

You can read more at the link.

Senator Lindsey Graham Backs A Pre-Emptive Strike On North Korea

The comments from Senator Lindsey Graham are probably not going to go over very well in South Korea that would take the brunt of any war with North Korea:

A ranking U.S. senator said the U.S. should launch a preemptive strike on North Korea if that’s what it takes to stop Pyongyang from building a missile capable of hitting America, even though such military action would mean war.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) made the argument during an interview with NBC News, saying that war would be bad for South Korea, Japan and other countries in the region, but won’t reach the U.S., while an intercontinental ballistic missile could do.

“It would be terrible but the war would be over here (there), wouldn’t be here,” Graham said with a gesture with his fingers. “It would be bad for the Korean Peninsula. It would be bad for China. It would be bad for Japan, be bad for South Korea. It would be the end of North Korea. But what it would not do is hit America and the only way it could ever come to America is with a missile.”

Asked if he would support a preemptive strike on the North, Graham said, “If that’s what it would take.”  [Yonhap]

You can read more at the link.