North Korea fired ballistic missiles on Wednesday to the south of the Northern Limit Line (NLL) for the first time. An air-raid warning rang on the Ulleung island, but test messages and broadcasts for evacuation were sent to residents belatedly. Controversy over the government’s response is rising as the people on the island failed to evaluate on time.
According to the Ulleung County office on the same day, the three minutes long sound of air-the raid alarm awakened the entire island at 8:55 a.m., right after the North’s missile fire. Everyone at the district office received the text message to go down to the basement, which they followed.
However, most residents failed to acknowledge whether the alarm was for an actual situation or training, leading to non-evacuation. A fisherman, Mr. Kim, said he thought the siren was for civil defense training or national mourning. “I realized the siren was an air-raid alarm later from news titles,” said Ms. Park, a restaurant owner. “Everyone was confused.”
The Ulleung County Office sent the test message to residents at 9:19 a.m., 24 minutes after the actual siren, via the Ulleung alarm application reading, “North Korea fired a ballistic missile to the East Sea. Please evacuate and take shelter in underground facilities.” Broadcasts across the village alarmed about the same time. No emergency text messages were sent by the central government or even from North Gyeongsang Province, the province the island belongs to. Some residents protested to the district office about the belated text messaging
“The text was sent to inform the residents that the situation was real, as it was the first time for them to experience such a raid,” an official at the Ulleung County Office. “In principle, everyone must evacuate whenever there is an air-raid alarm.”
Young-Hun Jang firstname.lastname@example.org