June 13, 2018

Duckworth-Murphy Amendment Would Prevent Trump from Withdrawing U.S. Troops from South Korea

Trump has suggested he is considering withdrawing nearly 30,000 U.S. troops from South Korea


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – In light of Donald Trump’s comments that he is considering unilaterally withdrawing the nearly 30,000 U.S. troops who are stationed in South Korea, combat Veteran and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) introduced an amendment to the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2019 that would help prevent the President from making a rash decision about troop reductions on the Korean Peninsula that negatively impacts our national security. The Senators’ amendment would prohibit President Trump from withdrawing U.S. forces from South Korea unless the U.S. Secretary of Defense certifies it is in our national security interest and would not significantly undermine the security of our allies in the region.

“U.S. troops are not bargaining chips to be offered up in an off-handed manner. 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,” said Senator Duckworth. “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.”

“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,” said Senator Murphy. “After a week spent humiliating our closest friends and heaping praise on Kim Jong Un, 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.”