SEOUL, South Korea -- An American general has been replaced after reports quoted him as saying U.S. and South Korean special forces have been parachuting into North Korea on espionage missions.

Brig. Gen. Neil Tolley was quoted as making the comments during a conference in Florida last month. Both he and the military later said that no special operation forces have been sent into North Korea.

The U.S. military command in Seoul said Tuesday the departure of Tolley is a routine personnel change.

Tolley started his job as chief of U.S. special forces in South Korea in October 2010, and officials say the posting usually lasts about two years.