US military dependents, contractors, and retirees participate in the Courageous Channel exercise in 2012. Photo: US Army/Sung-jun Lim

The US military is getting ready to hold evacuation drills in South Korea for military families and other American civilians against the backdrop of a statement by President Donald Trump that he will “totally destroy” North Korea if he is forced to defend the United States and allies.

Stars and Stripes, the US armed forces newspaper, reported Thursday that the exercise dubbed “Courageous Channel” will be held from October 23-27.

Though such drills are held semiannually in South Korea, they have become increasingly realistic and intense since last year. They are billed as dress rehearsals for removing US noncombatants in case of war or other emergencies.

According to Stars and Stripes, military spouses, children and others wearing backpacks and toting suitcases will file through assembly points on US bases in South Korea where wardens will make sure documents are updated and procedures are explained.

Family members have been told to keep first aid kits, flashlights and protective masks handy for such evacuations.

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