Japanese Public Broadcaster NHK Issues False Alarm Over North Korean Missile Launch
It’s deja vu, all over again.
Just four days after residents of Hawaii lived through 38 minutes of doomsday hell, after a false public broadcast alarm announced that a ballistic missile launch was headed for the island, only to reverse and announce later it was a mistake, moments ago Japan’s National broadcaster NHK’s app issued a false J-Alert to phones over a North Korean missile launch at 6:55 p.m. Tuesday evening local time.
The message, received by phone users with the NHK app installed on their devices, read: “NHK news alert. North Korea likely to have launched missile. The government J alert: evacuate inside the building or underground. “
It then promptly corrected the error just 5 minutes later, at around 7 p.m.
After the false alert, NHK issued an on-air apology on Tuesday evening local time, saying “the news alert sent earlier about NK missile was a mistake. No government J alert was issued.”
“Around 6:55pm earlier we reported on the NHK’s news site and NHK’s news disaster prevention application ‘Pattern of North Korean missile launch’ but this was incorrectly issued. J alert has not appeared. I must sincerely apologize,” the news outlet wrote.
The bizarre coincidence of two false alarms announcing the start of nuclear war is certainly suspicious.
The false alert came on the same day as the US and Canada planned to host talks in Vancouver over the crisis on the Korean Peninsula after a year of missile tests and threats from the North.
As a reminder, on Saturday, an emergency alert notification sent out to residents of Hawaii warning of an incoming “ballistic missile threat” turned out to be a false alarm. The error was blamed on an employee who “pushed the wrong button.” “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL,” the emergency alert read.
The warning went out on television and radio as well as cell phones, according to Hawaii Gov. David Ige, sparking panic amongst some residents. A second emergency alert was sent to phones in Hawaii 38 minutes after the initial message confirming the false alarm.
Japan issues false alarm over missile launch, days after Hawaii alert gaffe
TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese public broadcaster NHK issued a false alarm on Tuesday saying North Korea appeared to have launched a missile and urging people to take shelter, but it 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. A similar gaffe caused panic in the U.S. state of Hawaii at the weekend.
Japan’s public broadcaster NHK’s false alarm about a North Korean missile launch which was received on a smart phone is pictured in Tokyo, Japan January 16, 2018.
NHK’s 6.55 p.m. (0955 GMT) alert on its web site 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.
“This happened because equipment to send a news flash onto the Internet had been incorrectly operated. We are deeply sorry,” an NHK announcer said on its 9:00 p.m. news program, bowing deeply in apology.
Last Saturday, a false missile alert during a civil defense drill caused panic across Hawaii. A state emergency management agency spokesman attributed it to human error and a lack of fail-safe measures.