Pentagon To Probe "Evacuation Hoax" Messages Sent To US Soldiers In South Korea

The Pentagon announced Friday that it would be launching an investigation into a series of fake messages sent to US soldiers stationed in South Korea and their family members on Thursday. In what probably sent a temporary chill down the spines of recipients, the messages warned that all "non-essential" (i.e. non-combat) personnel must evacuate the Korean Peninusla - suggesting that the long-dormant Korean War was about to explode once again into violence, Reuters reports.

The hoax, which was spread via fake SMS messages and Facebook posts, was carried out during a particularly tense period in the ongoing standoff between the US and North Korea over the latter's insistence on developing a nuclear weapon capable of striking the US. Also on Thursday, the North's foreign minister warned that the regime was considering a test of a nuclear weapon over the Pacific – something that would represent an unprecedented escalation and possibly force the US to respond with a military strike. A military spokesman said there was no way of knowing how many soldiers or family members received the messages, but said the chain of command quickly acted to shut down the hoax.

“We have no accurate way to know how many people received it,” the spokesman said. “Incidents were ‘self-reported’ and many people claimed the message disappeared as soon as they unlocked their phone.”

The spokesman added that the “good news here” is that the hoaxer's attempt to create an outbreak of chaos was foiled.

“The good news here is: informed, savvy family members plus an engaged chain of command means no panic or over-reaction,” he added. “We had no reports of anyone acting on message other than notifying the appropriate authorities.”

Stars and Stripes reports that the hoax was reported by soldiers less than an hour after the alerts were sent. The hoax was spread via fake text messages and Facebook posts, the military said.

The USFK posted a statement on its official Facebook page on Thursday making clear that the US military did not issue any evacuation-related alerts. It has also instructed all US Department of Defense personnel and their family to confirm any evacuation-related communications before acting.

The notice alerted soldiers and their family members that the USFK did NOT issue the alert: “On Thursday, 21 SEP, we received multiple reports of a fake text-to-cell and social media message regarding a  “real world noncombatant evacuation operation (NEO) order issued” which instructed DOD family members and non-emergency essential DOD civilians on the Korean peninsula that an evacuation order had been issued.”

Warnings were also posted on the 8th Army’s official Facebook page.


As Stars and Stripes explains, the messages referred to what is known as a noncombatant evacuation operation, or NEO, which would affect family members of the 28,500 U.S. servicemembers stationed in South Korea and non-emergency essential Defense Department civilian employees. According to Reuters, the USFK holds biannual NEOs to prepare soldiers and their families for just such an eventuality.


Gead curbjob Sat, 09/23/2017 - 17:54 Permalink

For God's sakes!!! Facebook? Are you figgin' kidding me? Facebook? What type of absolute moron would believe ANYTHING they read on Facebook? I feel so sorry for the lemmings, the 'socially' correct and oh-so connected idiots who even would tender for a moment that there was some bit of truth found on Facebook. Grow up people. Get lives. Look up from your itsy-bitsy teensey-tiny little screens and notice there is a real world around you.

In reply to by curbjob

Son of Captain Nemo Sat, 09/23/2017 - 16:47 Permalink

And even if it's a hoax?...

I'd be making good on it given all the damage the U.S. military has done to itself and knowing the truth of this ( if any of them are still in this game that long outside of the JCS that have made a "successful career" out of it!

Wouldn't want to be anywhere on this planet outside CONUS wearing an American military uniform at this juncture!!!

Jambo Mambo Bill Sat, 09/23/2017 - 16:53 Permalink

Its a kind message from NK... "fuck off Yankees back to your country... you do not belong here and have NO business being here"... me thinks :-)US personnel that fails to leave the Korea peninsula will become the sacrificial lambs for the Neocons...NK is a proxy of China and Russia, its is being prepared for decades... they are not Iraqis... these freakes are kamikazes 10x over... this is a big trap to suck US and Japan into a war they cannot possibly win... once hundreds of thousands US, South Koreans and Japanese start dying then China and Russia will come to finish it off.I think after decades of US hunting down countries that could not defend themselves, now it find itself being hunted it seems...I think Russia and China are preparing a scenario irresistible to Pentagon's war mongers, only for them to find themselves in a 100x worse Vietnam situation...kneck deep in pure shit...I wouldn't be comfortable serving now, specially knowing the true colors we know today...and who and for what folks are really serving these days...Just watch and prepare according, US hubris will end up killing the west prosperity for good...and in the process a lot of young fellaws... be careful out there!

JoeSoMD Sat, 09/23/2017 - 16:54 Permalink

The article states "family members of the 28,000 service members stationed in SK".  Why are family members of soldiers stationed overseas?  Is this typical at US military bases in foreign countries?  Is it common?  Do all ranks get to do this or is it just higher-ups?  Is it considered a benefit or is it something done for basic moral and retention?  I tried to surf for answers on-line but drew a blank.

83_vf_1100_c JoeSoMD Sat, 09/23/2017 - 17:41 Permalink

It is spelled morale. It is commonplace. When you send a servicemember off to some foreign base for 3 yrs you send the family along as well to avoid divorce and the member saying fuck that and seperating at the end of his term of enlistment. They do have short tours of 1 to 1-1/2 yrs that are unaccompanied. These are great for single guys, not so much for married folks. It costs a good deal of money and time to train many specialties. For retention purposes sending the family along is a bargain. Tis a sweet deal for the adventurous wives. See the world, learn new cultures. Unless it is some shithole like Turkey.

In reply to by JoeSoMD

Downtoolong Sat, 09/23/2017 - 17:44 Permalink

 It’s enough to make you wonder if the opposition wants to demonstrate how big, centralized, world-scale social media is a greater threat to their national identity and existence than nuclear bombs. Maybe they’re not as stupid as we like to think?  

dunce Sat, 09/23/2017 - 20:50 Permalink

Why do we have 28,000 family and other so called non essential peple in that country when they have one of the largest economies in the area. The are one the largest steel makers, auto makers, ship builders, electronic manufacturers in the world.

Schmuck Raker Sat, 09/23/2017 - 23:50 Permalink

What makes this news?The Pentagon's embarrassed enough to announce they'll "DO SOMETHING!!!!!!"Fuck 'em.OH, boohoo, American soldiers were hoaxed...... unlike every other American since 1777???

Gohigher Sun, 09/24/2017 - 14:42 Permalink

Why I am done:

Isn't it obvious ?
Everyone knew it was bullshit because they were NOT told to duck and cover. FakeFuckbookNews. The "hacker in training" kid in Langly's basement never saw those awesome CIA-MIC training videos.