Mistake comes just days after similar gaffe caused panic in Hawaii
Thomson Reuters · January 17
Japanese public broadcaster NHK issued a false alarm about a North Korean missile launch on Tuesday, just days after a similar gaffe caused panic in Hawaii, but the broadcaster managed to correct the error within minutes.
The mistake took place at a tense time in the region following North Korea’s largest nuclear test to date in September and its claim in November that it had successfully tested a new type of intercontinental ballistic missile that could reach all of the U.S. mainland.
Pyongyang regularly threatens to destroy Japan and the United States.
But there were no immediate reports of panic or other disruptions following the NHK report.
NHK’s 6.55 p.m. local time alert said: “North Korea appears to have launched a missile … The government urges people to take shelter inside buildings or underground.”
The same alert was sent to mobile phone users of NHK’s online news distribution service.
In five minutes, the broadcaster put out another message on the website correcting itself and said no government warning — called “J-alert” — had been issued.