Days after Hawaii alert mishap, Japan sends false alarm about North Korea launch

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.

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.

NHK's error came just days after thousands of tourists and residents in Hawaii received mobile alerts on their phones warning of an imminent ballistic missile strike. Tensions are running high over North Korea's missile program and after President Donald Trump recently warned North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un, that he has the bigger "nuclear button."

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Social reactions to Hawaii's false alarm ballistic missile alert
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Social reactions to Hawaii's false alarm ballistic missile alert

**Click through the following slides to see how people reacted to the false alarm ballistic missile alert in Hawaii**

(REUTERS/Hugh Gentry)

You need to know the story of KAL-007, a Korean airliner shot down in 1983, to understand why those 38 minutes in H… https://t.co/ZJibpcgoHH
This was my phone when I woke up just now. I'm in Honolulu, #Hawaii and my family is on the North Shore. They were… https://t.co/PNzlvH18sz
So sorry for all the people in Hawaii who went through that — we know someone who’s there with her family. Crying i… https://t.co/koYJPZemis
I woke up this morning in Hawaii with ten minutes to live. It was a false alarm, but a real psychic warning. If we… https://t.co/GuqRCIALgG
We often forget -- and shouldn't -- that Hawaii, though thousands of miles from the continental US, is very much pa… https://t.co/LIsXzrpzQl
Who is being fired for mistakenly sending out an emergency alert of an incoming ICBM headed towards Hawaii? What if… https://t.co/YRM3WoaV2N
Footage of children entering storm drains in Hawaii after the false incoming missile alert https://t.co/qttVDn7dXu via @NatsecPack
In a world where unstable leaders wield weapons of mass destruction, Hawaii is a wake up call. Nuclear buttons and… https://t.co/cE2bW3nLqJ
The missile launch warning also went out over TV in Hawaii. Note how it directly states “US PACOM has detected a mi… https://t.co/2pB9vnYHR3
Hawaii missile alerts were a false alarm, a human error. Thank God. A real threat: Trump is unstable and cavalier.… https://t.co/lsGimQNyd8
I really can’t imagine how terrifying those minutes must have been for the people of Hawaii this morning
legit thought I was about to die in hawaii. at a goddamned doubletree.
Hawaii's nuke alert button guy. https://t.co/27gYUGYKNa
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It was a different reaction to that seen on Saturday, when Hawaii's Emergency Management Agency didn’t correct the faulty message for 38 minutes.

There was no indication that North Korea reacted after the Hawaii error, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Monday.

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.

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