The public broadcaster NHK issued an on-air apology after it mistakenly sent the alert to its website and to users of its app on Tuesday, Sputnik reported.
The message received by mobile phone users at 6.55pm local time said: "NHK news alert. North Korea appears to have launched a missile. The government urges people to take shelter inside buildings or underground."
The error was corrected within minutes and the NHK spokesman said they're investigating what caused the mistake.
Tensions remain high on the Korean peninsula after North staged a serious of nuclear and missile tests in violation of UN Security Council resolutions.
This comes just days after a similar incident in Hawaii when an employee mistakenly sent a ballistic missile alert that caused panic across the US state.
Residents received a warning to seek immediate shelter sending panic across Hawaii.
To make matters worse officials took 38 minutes to correct the false alarm.