October 01, 2023

Seoul under fire for issuing ‘wartime alert’ over North Korean satellite launch

Experts say sirens and evacuation warnings don’t reflect real danger and risk eroding public trust in alert system

Seoul awoke early Wednesday morning to blaring air raid sirens and “wartime alert” messages sent to all mobile phones, advising the capital’s 10 million recipients to prepare to evacuate. 

“At 6:32 a.m. today, a warning is issued for the Seoul area,” the Korean-language “presidential alert” read. “Please prepare to evacuate and give priority to children and the elderly to evacuate first.”