Tags: North Korea | south korea | kim jong un | denuclearization | tammy duckworth | chris murphy

Dem Senators Look to Block US Withdrawal From South Korea

Dem Senators Look to Block US Withdrawal From South Korea
Sens. Chris Murphy, D-Conn. (Alex Edelman/AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 13 June 2018 04:29 PM

Sens. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., and Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., have introduced an amendment to prevent President Donald Trump from withdrawing U.S. troops from South Korea.

Trump told North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday the U.S. would end its joint war games with South Korea as part of a deal to denuclearize the region, saying the exercises are "inappropriate" and "very expensive," in contradiction of the Pentagon's stance the war games are vital and routine readiness operations. He also revealed he is considering removing the nearly 30,000 U.S. troops stationed in South Korea altogether.

Sens. Murphy and Duckworth defended the troops' presence in the region by announcing an amendment Wednesday to the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act, which "would help prevent the president from making a rash decision about troop reductions on the Korean Peninsula that would harm our national security," according to their press release.

"As President Trump's actions cause us to grow more and more isolated in the world, Congress needs to show our allies that the United States won't throw them to the wolves," Murphy said in a statement.

He added "the president is already declaring that North Korea is no longer a threat. That is an Earth-shattering claim based only on a handshake agreement and a promise – a weaker promise than they've made and broken numerous times already. I'm freaked out that the president will order troops out of South Korea only for North Korea to, once again, break their word. I'm all for bringing troops home when North Korea no longer poses an existential threat to our friends, but that day is a long time from now – and Congress needs to have a say."

"U.S. troops are not bargaining chips to be offered up in an off-handed manner," Duckworth said in a statement. "The Kim regime is as dangerous today as they were six months ago, and they have done nothing to demonstrate that the threat they pose has lessened to where we should consider reducing our forces like Donald Trump has suggested. Any discussion of withdrawing our forces from the Korean Peninsula must be tied to concrete and verifiable changes in the DPRK's behavior as well as to changing security dynamics on the peninsula and throughout in the region, and it must be done in close consultation with our allies.

"Unilaterally ending our military's involvement on the Korean Peninsula would hand Kim Jong Un a significant victory and put our allies in the region at risk."

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An amendment to prevent President Donald Trump from withdrawing U.S. troops from South Korea was introduced by Sens. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., and Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill.
south korea, kim jong un, denuclearization, tammy duckworth, chris murphy
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2018-29-13
Wednesday, 13 June 2018 04:29 PM
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