The U.S. government is considering accommodating Afghan refugees at its overseas military bases including those in South Korea, The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday. The measure is being reviewed because U.S. military bases near Afghanistan including Qatar have already exceeded their capacities to accommodate refugees.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the U.S. Defense Department is considering military bases not only in the U.S. including Virginia, Indiana, California and Arkansas but also those in foreign countries including South Korea, Japan, Kosovo, and Italy as stations for housing Afghan refugees. The U.S. military bases in Qatar, Bahrain and Germany have already exceeded their accommodation capacities, and Washington temporarily halted operation of transport flights from the Afghan capital of Kabul due to overpopulation at the facilities in these nations.
Col. Lee Peters, spokesman for the U.S. Forces in South Korea, said Sunday, “The U.S. Forces Korea have not received any order to provide temporary shelters or other assistance to people who are departing from Afghanistan. If we receive any order, the U.S. Forces Korea will consult with the U.S. State Department, the Defense Department and the South Korean government.”
“There are about 400 Afghans who cooperate with South Korea, including engineers in various construction projects such as several hospitals and schools in an Afghan province, which the South Korean government took charge,” said Song Young-gil, the leader of the ruling Democratic Party. “It is necessary to bring them to South Korea safely, and we are seeking various diplomatic measures.”