Government to send N. Korean missile launch alerts to cellphones

March 29, 2014

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN

The Fire and Disaster Management Agency will start sending e-mail alerts to residents on North Korean missile launches via cellphones from April 1, using the current earthquake early warning system, the agency said March 28.

The service is aimed at users of NTT Docomo, KDDI au and Softbank Mobile mobile phones and marks the first time that the government is sending a missile alert via e-mails to individuals.

The alerts will be sent to residents in areas likely to be affected by the launch. Users do not have to register to receive the warnings.

When Pyongyang launches a missile, the agency will issue information such as notification of the launch, the direction it is headed and if evacuation is needed. Recipients will hear a different alarm from that used for early warnings of a massive earthquake or tsunami.

Under the current system, the central government uses J-Alert, a satellite-based early warning system, in the event of a missile launch. Through J-Alert, local governments automatically and quickly relay the message to residents through municipal disaster-prevention wireless systems.

The agency’s decision to send e-mail alerts to residents’ cellphones came partly because Pyongyang’s missiles have passed over Japan in the past.

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
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People watch TV reporting North Korea's missile test at Seoul Railway Station in Seoul on March 4. (AP photo)

People watch TV reporting North Korea's missile test at Seoul Railway Station in Seoul on March 4. (AP photo)

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  • People watch TV reporting North Korea's missile test at Seoul Railway Station in Seoul on March 4. (AP photo)

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