Emergency Service officials in the Japanese city of Yokohama have been left red-faced after mistakenly announcing the launch of a North Korean missile to 40,000 followers on Twitter. The city, south of Tokyo, prematurely fired its tweet just before noon (local time), announcing “North Korea has launched a missile” with blank spaces to indicate the exact time.
South Korean and US forces have raised their alert status to “vital threat” before an expected North Korean missile test, with tensions high in the run-up to a key anniversary. Any launch could coincide with visits by US secretary of state John Kerry and NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who will both be in South Korea this Friday.
South Korean foreign minister Yun Byung-Se told parliament the launch could take place “any time” and warned Pyongyang it risked triggering a fresh round of UN sanctions ::::
Japan Tweets North Korean Attack
Seems emergency response workers in the Japanese city of Yokohama are a little trigger happy after mistakenly announcing the launch of a North Korean missile to 40,000 followers on Twitter.
“We received a call from one of our followers who had noticed the mistake,” a city official said. “We had the Tweet ready and waiting, but for an unknown reason it was dispatched erroneously.”
Apparently a worker at the Yokohama Crisis Management Centre had prepared a draft Tweet that was to be released IF North Korea launched a missile attack on the city – geez, who hasn’t pressed print too early – and mistakenly sent it live. The city retracted the tweet about 20 minutes later and apologised to followers of @yokohama_saigai, the official said. Japan is on full alert ahead of an expected mid-range missile launch by North Korea, with Patriot missiles stationed in its capital to protect the 30 million people who live there.
In addition to PAC-3 batteries, Aegis destroyers equipped with sea-based interceptor missiles have been deployed in the Sea of Japan. Twitter is wildly popular in Japan, where the ideograph and pictograph-based language is well-suited to the 140 character limit, allowing much more information to be imparted than alphabetic languages like English.
South Korea/US Raise Alert Status
South Korean and US forces have raised their alert status to “vital threat” before an expected North Korean missile test, with tensions high in the run-up to a key anniversary. Any launch could coincide with visits by US secretary of state John Kerry and NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who will both be in Seoul on Friday.
South Korean foreign minister Yun Byung-Se told parliament the launch could take place “any time” and warned Pyongyang it risked triggering a fresh round of UN sanctions. South Korean intelligence says the North has prepared two mid-range missiles for imminent launch from its east coast, despite warnings from ally China to avoid provocative moves at a time of soaring military tensions.
The North last week told foreign diplomats in Pyongyang they had until April 10 to consider evacuation, fuelling speculation of a launch between Wednesday and April 15 birthday celebrations for late founder Kim Il-Sung. On Tuesday the North reiterated a warning that the peninsula was headed for “thermo-nuclear” war and advised foreigners to consider leaving South Korea.
The South Korea-US Combined Forces Command raised its “Watchcon” status from 3 to 2 to reflect indications of a “vital threat”, Yonhap news agency said, citing a senior military official.
Watchcon 4 is in effect during normal peacetime, while Watchcon 3 reflects indications of an important threat. Watchcon 1 is used in wartime.
In a separate report, Yonhap quoted a government source as saying Pyongyang might be preparing “multiple” launches, after other launch vehicles were reportedly detected carrying shorter-range SCUD and Rodong missiles. US defence secretary Chuck Hagel says North Korea is “skating very close to a dangerous line” with its heated rhetoric.
“Our country is fully prepared to deal with any contingency, any action that North Korea may take or any provocation that they may instigate,” he said.
There is growing global concern that sky-high tensions might trigger an incident that could swiftly escalate. UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon said during a visit to Rome that he had spoken to the Chinese leadership to try to calm tensions, and would discuss the issue with US president Barack Obama.
“The current level of tension is very dangerous, a small incident caused by miscalculation or misjudgement may create an uncontrollable situation,” Mr Ban said.
North Korea has wielded the “thermo-nuclear war” threat several times in recent months despite expert opinion that it is nowhere near developing such an advanced nuclear device. The crisis on the Korean peninsula has been intensifying almost daily since the North’s nuclear test in February, which drew toughened UN sanctions.
Incensed by ongoing South Korean-US military exercises, Pyongyang has accused Washington and Seoul of preparing an invasion and threatened dire military actions ranging from artillery barrages to nuclear strikes. The mid-range missiles mobilised by the North are reported to be untested Musudan models with an estimated range of anywhere up to 4,000 kilometres. That would cover any target in South Korea and Japan, and possibly even US military bases on the Pacific island of Guam.
For a blow-by-blow on the escalating stand-off check: www.indeep-media.com/p1691
RELATED! North Korea Gets All Vocal
source: google translate