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U.S. decides not to use military bases in S. Korea for Afghan evacuees: report

By Oh Seok-min

SEOUL, Aug. 24 (Yonhap) — The United States decided not to use its military bases in South Korea to temporarily house Afghan evacuees, Reuters reported Tuesday.

U.S. officials “appeared to have figured out better sites” and decided to remove South Korea, as well as Japan, from the list “because of logistics and geography among other reasons,” Reuters reported, citing sources well-versed in the issue.

The U.S. is currently working to transport tens of thousands of Afghan evacuees following the Taliban’s seizure of power in Afghanistan.

The U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) has yet to comment on the latest report.

In response to an earlier Wall Street Journal report that Washington is considering USFK bases for those evacuees, USFK said, “To date, USFK has not been tasked to provide temporary housing or other support for anyone departing Afghanistan.”

On Monday, South Korea’s National Security Adviser Suh Hoon also said that the U.S. has decided to use its military bases in the Middle East or Europe to house Afghans.

“What has finally been concluded is that the U.S. will use its military bases in the Middle East or Europe in accordance with geographical conditions or conveniences,” he told a parliamentary session.

He added that the Seoul government is reviewing various options to provide refuge to Afghans who worked with South Koreans in Kabul, including the possibility of bringing them to Seoul.

This AP photo shows Afghan people who were transported as part of the evacuation process from Afghanistan walking after disembarking a plane at the Torrejon military base in Madrid on Aug. 23, 2021. (Yonhap)

This AP photo shows Afghan people who were transported as part of the evacuation process from Afghanistan walking after disembarking a plane at the Torrejon military base in Madrid on Aug. 23, 2021. (Yonhap)

graceoh@yna.co.kr
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Article: https://en.yna.co.kr/view/AEN20210824010100325?section=national/defense

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