Japanese public broadcaster NHK tweets fake North Korean Missile alert

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The NHK building in Osaka (Credit: Wikipedia/Mc681)

A North Korean missile heading to Japan? Japanese public broadcaster NHK terrified millions of people on Jan. 16 when it announced that North Korea had “probably” fired a missile heading for Japan. NHK tweeted and posted on its website an announcement about the alleged missile,  the Associated Press reported.

In a statement on its website, NHK explained it issued corrections within “a few minutes” and that “a switching error is to blame” for the fake North Korean missile alert. The full NHK statement reads:

“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.

“The false message was sent in Japanese shortly before 7 PM local time on Tuesday. It went out through the public broadcaster’s Japanese apps and website.

“A few minutes later, NHK corrected the wrong information. There are no reports of problems caused by the mistake. NHK says a switching error is to blame.

“The incident comes just days after officials in the US state of Hawaii issued a false missile alarm and caused panic.”

iMediaEthics has written to NHK through its website to ask how the error occurred and if any employee will be disciplined. NHKs PR department wrote, in an e-mail to iMediaEthics, “We sent out the false J-alert by mistakenly switching the equipment for the spot news over the internet. We had issued the J-alert instead of the different news item. We deeply apologize for false missile alert which we sent out through the apps and website of NHK. We are sorry for this incident.”

Over the weekend, Hawaiians erroneously received an emergency alert claiming a North Korea missile was about to hit Hawaii after the emergency alert was sent out by mistake.

UPDATED: 1/18/2018 3:06 AM EST

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Japanese public broadcaster NHK tweets fake North Korean missile alert

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