US Commander in South Korea Ousted After Parachute Report

Officials Insist Surprise Departure 'Routine'

Just a week after he was quoted in the media claiming US troops had been parachuting into North Korea on spying missions, the Pentagon has announced that the top US commander on the Korean Peninsula, Brig. Gen. Neil Tolley, is being removed from his position.

Brig. Gen. Tolley made the comments to a defense industry, magazine, claiming that US and South Korean troops were parachuting into North Korea to conduct surveillance on hidden tunnels.

It was apparently something he wasn’t supposed to say, because within hours the Pentagon was lashing the media for covering the story, insisting they had “made up” the quote and that Tolley had never really said anything of the sort.

The Pentagon insists Tolley’s surprise removal from his position is purely coincidental, and that it was “routine” to swap him out without any prior warning. This is certain to fuel more speculation that his ouster was indeed retaliation for his statements.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.