Japan’s public broadcaster sends erroneous N. Korea missile bulletin

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TOKYO — Japan’s public broadcaster NHK erroneously issued an online bulletin Jan. 16 saying that North Korea had fired a missile, as the country remains on high alert for provocations from the neighboring country.

The broadcaster sent out a news flash stating, “North Korea likely to have launched a missile. J-Alert. Government urges evacuation to inside of building or underground,” around 6:55 p.m. on its news site and app by mistake, quoting J-Alert, the government’s emergency warning system.

About several minutes later, NHK posted a message on its news site that the bulletin was an error and no J-Alert warning had been issued. A news presenter also acknowledged the mistake during the broadcaster’s “News 7” program. According to the broadcaster, an employee erroneously activated a device for sending out news flashes online.

The mistake comes after Hawai‘i’s Emergency Management Agency mistakenly sent an alert about an incoming ballistic missile Jan. 13 to residents across the state, where a Cold War attack warning system has been brought back in the wake of the growing North Korean missile threat.

The alert, caused by a human error, read, “Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill.”

 

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