Thu, 05 Oct 2023

PYONGYANG, North Korea: North Korea attempt failed to launch a satellite on May 31, which prompted raid sirens and a mobile phone alert calling for evacuations in South Korea's capital, Seoul.

Despite ending as a failure, North Korea's sixth satellite launch still caused chaos in parts of South Korea and Japan.

"I was so panicked. 911 lines were busy and the internet was slow. So without knowing what was really happening, I was about to head down to a basement wearing a wrap carrier with my baby," said Seoul resident Lee Juyeon, 33, as quoted by Reuters.

As Seoul, a city of some 10 million people, issued a "Presidential Alert" telling citizens to prepare for a potential evacuation, sirens began sounding in Seoul at 6:32 a.m.

However, ten minutes later the Interior Ministry sent out another mobile message to say the city's alert had been issued in error.

Despite the Korean War ending in an armistice seven decades ago, the two countries are still at war and residents of Seoul have grown accustomed to living normally, despite threats coming from their neighbor.

Later on May 31, Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon apologized for confusion over the city's alert, but defended the decision to send the alarm as a precaution for public safety. He said the city would improve the wording of future warnings.

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