A false North Korea missile launch warning has been announced by Japan’s public broadcaster NHK calling on the nation to take shelter.
“North Korea appears to have launched a missile…The government urges people to take shelter inside buildings or underground,” said the mistakenly published message on NHK’s website and online news distribution service late on Tuesday.
After some five minutes the message was removed and replaced by an apology and correction which said no such alert had been issued by the government.
“This happened because equipment to send a news flash onto the Internet had been incorrectly operated. We are deeply sorry,” it said.
No manner of panic or disruption was reported during the five minutes between the NHK’s messages.
North Korea regularly issues threats about nuking Japan and the US.
Tensions have been high in the region following nuclear test in September, and its November claims over successfully testing an intercontinental ballistic missile.
A similar mistake took place in Hawaii on Saturday, as an emergency alert warning of an incoming ballistic missile was sent across the US state urging people to seek immediate shelter before being called off by the state’s emergency management agency as a “false alarm.”
UN chief says North Korea war avoidable
Also on Tuesday, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres announced that he thinks that a war over the North’s nuclear weapons was avoidable, but that he was still “not yet sure that peace is guaranteed.”
“There is a window of opportunity” that I hope will “make the war avoidable, but it is important that we don’t miss the opportunities that windows can provide.”
He stressed that there are signs of progress towards calming tensions on the Korean peninsula and that it is of the outermost importance to utilize these “signals of hope.”