TOKYO — Japan's public broadcaster NHK sent out a false alarm about a North Korean missile launch Tuesday — days after a similar mistake caused widespread panic in Hawaii. The error was corrected within minutes.
An NHK alert reading, “It appears that North Korea has launched a missile,” was sent to app users just before 7 p.m. Tuesday (5 a.m. ET). A banner with similar wording appeared at the top of its website. The information was not released on the broadcasters TV channel, according to local reports.
Within five minutes, NHK deleted the push alert and stories related to the warning, and issued an apology on its website.
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Seemingly due to the quick response from the broadcaster, there was limited social media commentary regarding the incident in Japan. It was not immediately clear what triggered the mistake.
Regional tension soared after North Korea in September conducted its largest nuclear test and in November said it had successfully tested a new type of intercontinental ballistic missile that could reach all of the U.S. mainland. It regularly threatens to destroy Japan and the United States.
Arata Yamamoto reported from Tokyo. Nick Bailey reported from London.
Arata Yamamoto has been a NBC News producer in Tokyo, Japan, since 1993. He has worked on an array of stories, including the 2004 Asian tsunami, the 2011 tsunami and Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, and Haiyan typhoon that struck The Philippines in 2013.
Nick Bailey is an editor on NBC News' London-based international desk.