Feb. 20 (UPI) -- The U.S. Pacific Command is working on continued improvements to its evacuation strategies for U.S. noncombatants residing in South Korea, despite an ongoing détente between Seoul and Pyongyang that has reduced tensions during the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.
Col. Chris Garver, chief of public affairs for U.S. Army Pacific in Hawaii, said the military is focusing on the plans, with special attention being paid to tactical and strategic measures, Voice of America reported Tuesday.
The U.S. evacuation strategy includes comprehensive measures that provide details like places of assembly in South Korea for U.S. noncombatants, and evacuation drills for the people involved.
Garver's statement comes after Head of U.S. Pacific Command Harry B. Harris recently said he thinks North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has ulterior motives that are dangerous.
"I do think that he is after reunification [of the Korean peninsula] under a single communist system," Harris had said. "The Republic of Korea and Japan have been living under the shadow of [North Korea's] threats for years, and now the shadow looms over the American homeland."
Harris also said there are about 200,000 U.S. civilians residing in South Korea.
In parallel to the evacuation plans, the U.S. 8th Army in South Korea has conducted tactical and operational exercises several times a year, according to Newsis.
Previously disclosed plans for evacuation from the Japanese government have been criticized in South Korea for stoking fears of a potential war on the peninsula.
In January the Yomiuri Shimbun reported Tokyo was working on evacuation plans that would involving taking Japanese and U.S. citizens to Japan's Tsushima Island in the event of an emergency.
The Japanese newspaper also reported last month Tokyo's Self-Defense Forces could station a warship in Busan port.