Days after Hawaii missile alert error; Japan broadcaster issues false alarm about North Korea’s missile 

Tokyo, Jan 16: Japan’s public broadcaster NHK today mistakenly flashed that North Korea appeared to have launched a ballistic missile, warning people to take cover before apologizing for the error only minutes later.

A news alert received by the subscribers saying: “It appears North Korea launched a missile… ‘Evacuate inside buildings or underground’: government” was published by the Tokyo headquartered NHK website and app at 6:55 pm local time.

A screengrab of the errant NHK alerts

Just five minutes after NHK admitted the alert was sent in error. “We’re very sorry” adding “the news alert sent earlier about NK missile was a mistake. No government J alert was issued.”

It comes just days after a false cellphone alert warning of an incoming ballistic missile terrified residents in Hawaii.

Japan and North Korea have a tense relationship, with Pyongyang routinely issuing verbal threats as well as firing missiles near or above Japan.

“Don’t scare me. It’s good that (North Korea) didn’t launch a missile,” one Japanese Twitter user said.

“I was surprised but it was a mistake. Do your work, NHK!” urged another.

The mistake also comes less than two weeks after a fake earthquake alarm in Tokyo, where millions of residents received an alert warning them that a strong quake was about to hit the Japanese capital.

In Hawaii, the notification was sent out on Saturday, lighting up phones with a disturbing alert urging people to “seek immediate shelter.”

Emergency management officials later admitted “the wrong button was pushed” during a shift change.

But it took nearly 40 minutes for a corrected message to be issued — with Hawaii’s governor saying there was no automatic way to cancel the false alarm, meaning it had to be done manually.