Again?! Japan's NHK Sends Out False North Korean Missile Alert


Again?! Twice in less than a week?!

For the second time in four days an alert went out that warned people of an incoming missile threat from North Korea. The latest instance happened in Japan when Japan’s largest broadcaster NHK sent out an alert Tuesday warning the Japanese people of a “likely” threat in the form of a missile launch from North Korea.

The message for those that have the NHK app read, “NHK news alert. North Korea likely to have launched missile. The government J alert: evacuate inside the building or underground.” Within minutes NHK issued an on-air apology for raising a false alarm about the imminent attack that wasn’t so imminent after all.

The cause of the false alarm hasn’t been released, but at least all is seemingly well in Japan.

"We are still checking," an NHK spokesman told Reuters.

This latest false alarm came four days after another false alarm was enacted in Hawaii this past Saturday alerting Hawaiian residents of an imminent missile attack, again by North Korea. The snafu was dealt with within the next half hour, and the announced error was said to be caused by an employee who pushed the wrong button.

I’m sorry, but that’s not acceptable.

Could we please devise a system where a single click of the mouse doesn’t cause international hysteria? Whether the person in charge of the system at the time makes a mistake or is truly trying to send out an alert, at least make it a two-pronged process where the system will ask, “Are you sure?” Or come up with some sort of security question clearance.

Heck, even my bank’s app asks me security questions when I’m simply trying to login.

Whatever the case is, these alert systems need some sort of failsafe where the person can go back and cancel the alert should they “push the wrong button.” If more of these false alarms happen people aren’t going to take them as seriously when the alert is the real thing.


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