The U.S. military in South Korea is preparing to hold evacuation drills for military families and other civilians, weeks after President Donald Trump pledged to “totally destroy” North Korea if he is forced to defend the United States and allies.
Stars and Stripes reported Thursday that U.S. Forces Korea would hold the drills in late October.
The exercise, Courageous Channel, will simulate the evacuation of U.S. civilians. It was also conducted about a year ago.
In 2016, for the first time in seven years, the training was held in the most lifelike setting, should war erupt on the peninsula.
Spouses and children of U.S. servicemen in Korea have been advised to keep first aid kits, flashlight, batteries and protective masks on hand in the event of an evacuation.
In late October and early November 2016, families were sent to an airbase where they boarded a C-130 aircraft that departed from South Korea for Japan.
In the upcoming exercise, the United States will send a pre-selected group to be transported to Japan, simulating a real evacuation in the event of an emergency.
North Korea has frequently threatened to turn parts of South Korea into “powder” and a “sea of flames.”
Pyongyang agreed to an armistice in 1953 that brought an end to the armed conflict of the Korean War, but a peace treaty was never signed.
The Kim Jong Un regime has demanded recognition as a nuclear weapons state and a peace treaty from the United States.
Washington has offered several security guarantees in exchange for denuclearization of the peninsula.
North Korea has violated or ignored offers of past U.S. deals.
By Elizabeth Shim