Pacific Panic

Days After Hawaii, Japan Public TV Sends Mistaken North Korean Missile Alert

NHK state TV deleted its tweet after several minutes, issued a correction and apologized several times on air

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits the national science centre in this photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang on January 12, 2018
KCNA/via REUTERS

 Japans public broadcaster mistakenly sent an alert warning citizens of a North Korean missile launch and urging them to seek immediate shelter, then retracted it minutes later, days after a similar error in Hawaii.

NHK television issued the message Tuesday on its internet and mobile news sites as well as on Twitter, saying North Korea appeared to have fired a missile at Japan. It said the government was telling people to take shelter.

The false alarm came two days after Hawaiis emergency management department sent a mistaken warning of a North Korean missile attack to mobile phones across the state, triggering panic.

NHK deleted its tweet after several minutes, issued a correction and apologized several times on air. It said a mistake in using the alert system caused the error.