Three military planes to bring Afghan evacuees to South Korea

Evacuation in Afghanistan

South Korean military aircraft were carrying out operations to bring to the country Afghan people who aided Seoul’s efforts to help rebuild the war-torn nation, the foreign ministry said Tuesday.

“Three military planes were sent to Afghanistan and a neighbouring country to bring to South Korea Afghan workers, who supported our government’s activities in Afghanistan, and their family members,” the ministry said.

The Afghan people worked at South Korea’s embassy, hospital and job training centre for years, the ministry said without providing further details, including the number of Afghan people to be airlifted to South Korea.

The evacuation came after the Taliban’s seizure of power amid the ongoing U.S. troop pullout had raised fears of retaliation against Afghans who worked for America and its allied countries.

After the U.S. engaged in the war on terror in Afghanistan in 2001, South Korea conducted various military and relief operations, including the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) activities from 2010 to 2014.

Earlier this week, Rep. Song Young-gil, the head of the ruling Democratic Party, said South Korea should take to Korea some 400 Afghans who joined South Korea’s reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan.

His remarks then sparked a debate pitting those favouring the acceptance of Afghan evacuees in line with the country’s enhanced national stature against those raising potential security and other risks. (Yonhap/NAN)