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North Korean Missile Alert Sparks PANIC In Japan

(Image: Reuters//ABC)

Japanese public broadcaster NHK has mistakenly sent an alert yesterday warning citizens of a North Korean missile launch and urging them to seek immediate shelter.

The announcement comes just days after a similar gaffe caused panic in Hawaii and it was not immediately clear what triggered the mistake.

"We are still checking," an NHK spokesman said.

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


The same alert was sent to mobile phone users of NHK's online news distribution service.

In five minutes, the broadcaster put out another message correcting itself.

Regional tension soared after North Korea in September conducted its sixth and largest nuclear test and in November said it had successfully tested a new type of intercontinental ballistic missile that could reach all of the US mainland. It regularly threatens to destroy Japan and the United States.

There were no immediate reports of panic or other disruption following the Japanese report.

Human error and a lack of fail-safe measures during a civil defence warning drill led to the false missile alert that stirred panic across Hawaii, a state emergency management agency spokesman said.

with AAP

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