(SEOUL, South Korea) — The ongoing tense situation on the North Korean peninsula has led the top American general in South Korea and South Korea’s top general to cancel long-planned trips to Washington this week.
On Sunday, Col. Amy Hannah, a U.S. Forces Korea spokesperson, said that Gen. James Thurman, the commander of U.S. and U.N. forces in South Korea, would not be traveling to Washington this week for previously scheduled congressional budget hearings.
“Given the current situation General Thurman will remain in Seoul next week as a prudent measure. He has asked the Senate Armed Services Committee,” said the statement.
The statement says that Thurman had asked three congressional committees to ” to excuse his absence until he can testify at a later date. He looks forward to appearing before the committee at the earliest possible date.”
Earlier on Sunday it was announced that South Korea’s top military officer was rescheduling a planned visit to Washington because he could not be away while North Korea was making bellicose threats.
South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Jung Seung-jo was to have visited the Pentagon on April 16 to meet with his American counterpart, Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, for regular consultative meetings.
The meeting in April had been scheduled during their previous meeting in October.
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Ralph Ellis and Steve Almasy, CNN
Ivana Kottasova and Armelle De Oliveira, CNN