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#FailureToLaunch: Japanese city makes false alarm tweet about N. Korean missile launch

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The Japanese city of Yokohama sent a shocking tweet to its 40,000 followers on Wednesday when it accidentally posted a message saying that North Korea had launched a ballistic missile.

The southern Japanese city, which has a population of more than
3.5 million people, prematurely published a tweet on its
account saying that “North Korea has
launched a missile,”
Japan Daily Press reported.

The tweet had a blank space where the exact time of the launch
should have been pasted in, which was evidence that the message was
posted prematurely.

The tweet went online just before 12:00pm local time (03:00
GMT), and was visible for 20 minutes before the city retracted it.
“We received a call from one of our followers who had noticed
the mistake. We had the tweet ready and waiting, but for an unknown
reason it was dispatched erroneously,”
a city official

Twitter is a popular form of social media in Japan, and the city
has apologized for the mistake to its followers on its twitter
account and on the official city website.

The accidental tweet came as Japan remains on high alert, with
Patriot missiles stationed in its capital to protect against an
expected mid-range missile test launch by North Korea. The US and
South Korea have also stepped up their military surveillance
readiness in anticipation of the launch.

The Korean peninsula has seen tensions escalate since the
North’s third nuclear test in February, which resulted in toughened
UN sanctions and drew widespread international condemnation.

On Tuesday, Pyongyang has issued a warning urging foreign nationals to evacuate
South Korea, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported. The
statement was followed by threats from North Korea of
“thermonuclear” war on the Korean Peninsula.

Earlier, Pyongyang issued a separate warning advising embassies in North Korea to consider evacuating in the
event of war. Currently, about two dozen countries have embassies
in North Korea; most have said there are no immediate plans to
withdraw personnel.


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