Saturday 23 June 2018

First Hawaii, now Japan sends missile alert in error

"NHK news alert. North Korea appears to have launched a missile," NHK said in a notification sent through its app to mobile phone users at 6.55pm Tokyo time. (stock photo)

Anna Fifield

Japanese public broadcaster NHK mistakenly sent an alert yesterday warning that North Korea had fired a missile, just days after a similar mistake caused panic in Hawaii.

Unlike in the Hawaii case, which took 40 minutes to correct on text, this error took only five minutes to put right.

"NHK news alert. North Korea appears to have launched a missile," NHK said in a notification sent through its app to mobile phone users at 6.55pm Tokyo time. "The J-alert urges people to take shelter inside buildings or underground."

Japan has an advanced warning system, known as J-alerts, that has traditionally been used for earthquakes but has, over the past year, increasingly been used to warn about North Korean missile activity.

Five minutes later, NHK sent another notification to say it was a "mistake" and then apologised on the air. It said that a "switching error" was to blame.

It came just four days after the wrong button was pressed during a training exercise in Hawaii that sent a "missile alert". (© Washington Post)

Irish Independent

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