US Military personnel and families in South Korea issued fake evacuation notice

A US soldier guards a military vehicle as mock victims are transported during a joint medical evacuation exercise as part of the annual massive military exercises, known as Key Resolve and Foal Eagle, at a South Korean Army hospital in Goyang, northwest of Seoul, March 15, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

The US military has denied ordering American troops and their families in South Korea to evacuate the country, after a number of them reported receiving mysterious text messages that told them to do so.

“Anyone receiving this false message should not click any links or open any attachments included in the correspondence,” US Forces Korea said in a statement on Friday.

US Forces Korea spokesman Colonel Chad Carroll said in an interview with Stars and Stripes that there was no way to find out the source of the texts.

“Incidents were ‘self-reported,’ and many people claimed the message disappeared as soon as they unlocked their phone,” Caroll said.

The official noted that none of the roughly 28,500 US troops stationed on the Korean Peninsula acted on the messages and departed South Korea.

The US Army’s counterintelligence officials based in the South had launched an investigation into the source of the fake evacuation orders and were yet to find out who was responsible.

The US military has an evacuation plan for the peninsula that it has tested on several occasions in order to maintain readiness.

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