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Japan Goes Through False North Korean Missile Alert Similar To Hawaii

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On Tuesday, Japanese broadcaster NHK sent an alert warning that North Korea fired a missile. A similar mistake occurred in Hawaii days earlier.

The error was corrected almost immediately, unlike in Hawaii which took longer to correct.

Missile Panic

North Korea and the United States are currently locked in a war of words over the former testing new missiles. North Korea threatens the United States and close ally Japan with missile strikes.

NHK issued the warning adding that people should take shelter. There weren't any reports of panic among Japanese residents like there were when Hawaii received the missile warning over the weekend.

The alert appeared on NHK website and was also sent to phone users who subscribed to its updates.

"North Korea appears to have launched a missile..." said NHK. "The government urges people to take shelter inside buildings or underground."

The warning was corrected five minutes later with an announcer apologizing for issuing the news update.

"This happened because equipment to send a news flash onto the Internet had been incorrectly operated. We are deeply sorry," said the announcer while bowing deeply.

NHK also put out a statement apologizing for the news story on the English version of its website.

"NHK is apologizing after issuing a false alert that said North Korea had probably launched a missile and warned people in Japan to take cover," said NHK.

North Korea fired two missiles over Japan last year.

Hawaii Alert

On Saturday, Hawaii went through a similar panic when the emergency alert notification system sent out a warning to residents of Hawaii.

"BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL."

The alert went out on television, radio, and phones. A correction to the original message was sent to residents 38 minutes later.

Hawaii's Emergency Management Agency announced that the mistake took place during a routine drill run after a shift change. The agency did not name the officer responsible for the mistake. It did say that the officer selected the wrong template.

A spokesman for the agency said that the officer "selected the wrong menu option."

During this time there was a sense of confusion, alarm, and people generally not knowing what to do in this situation.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Trump are engaged in a war of words regarding the North Korean missile program.

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