Japanese broadcaster NHK issues false alert of North Korean missile

Danny Woods
January 17, 2018

NHK, a public broadcasting station in Japan, accidentally sent a news alert to their website and app saying "North Korea appears to have fired a missile".

"North Korea likely to have launched a missile. The government J alert: evacuate inside the building or underground.".

At 8:07 a.m., the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency mistakenly sent out an all-caps push alert: "BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII". Jonathan Dworkin, an infectious diseases doctor, took shelter in his basement.

The mistake comes just three days after authorities sent Hawaiian residents into a panic when they sent a text to mobile phones mistakenly warning of an imminent missile attack.

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"The flash was a mistake", NHK said.

Five minutes later, the broadcaster posted another alert correcting itself, deleting its tweet after several minutes, issued a correction and apologised several times on air. "We are very sorry". NHK and other Japanese media generally alert each missile test, and the government has issued emergency notices when the missiles flew over Japan. A major drill is planned in downtown Tokyo next week. NHK was able to correct its error in a few minutes, far faster than the almost 40 minutes that lapsed before the Hawaii alert was withdrawn.

Ajit Pai, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission chairman, said on Sunday that Hawaii didn't have "reasonable" safeguards in place to prevent erroneous alerts like the one Saturday.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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