Two radio stations in Guam on Tuesday reportedly startled residents by conducting an unscheduled emergency alert during rising tensions between the U.S. and North Korea.
CNN reported that KTWG and KSTO tested the Emergency Alert Broadcast System around midnight local time, frightening people throughout the U.S. territory in the Pacific Ocean.
Guam Homeland Security/Office of Civil Defense (GHS/OCD) on Tuesday then explained that the pair of broadcasters had made a mistake earlier that morning.
“The unauthorized test was NOT connected to any emergency, threat or warning,” the agency wrote in a Facebook post.
“GHS/OCD has worked with KTSO to ensure the human error will not occur again,” the statement added. “There is no scheduled test of the EAS or All Hazards Alert Warning System sirens today.”
CNN reported that Tuesday’s alert also appeared on some of Guam’s television stations and said a “civil danger warning” had been issued for the island.
Guam’s homeland security adviser said Tuesday, however, that the alert should not be cause for alarm.
“Residents and visitors are reminded to remain calm, even with the continued unconfirmed reports throughout the media,” George Charfauros said.
“Remember, there is no change in threat level, we continue business as usual and know there are U.S. Department of Defense [DOD] capabilities in place,” he added.
“We continue communication with our federal and military partners and have not received official statement warranting any concern for imminent threat to Guam or the Marianas.”
The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has ruled out a previously threatened missile strike against Guam.
North Korean state media reportedly said Tuesday that Kim had decided against the move after examining a plan presented to him by senior military officers.
“If the Yankees persist in their extremely dangerous reckless actions on the Korean Peninsula and in its vicinity, testing the self-restraint of the DPRK, the [North] will make an important decision as it already declared,” Kim reportedly said, using an abbreviation for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, North Korea’s formal name.
North Korea reportedly threatened to attack the area around Guam earlier this month, vowing a plan for doing so would be finished by mid-August.
President Trump last week promised North Korea would meet “fire and fury” should it continue threatening the U.S. and its allies.