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San Francisco Police Chief Mistakenly Announces Korean Invasion

May 1, 1994

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ The police chief announced that North Korea had invaded South Korea, sending reporters scurrying for the phones only to find out the report was all wrong.

Chief Tony Ribeira said Saturday his mistake grew out of a request by the FBI to beef up security at the South Korean consulate, the site of a 1991 firebombing. The bureau mentioned increased tension between the two nations.

The request somehow turned into a full-scale military invasion by the time it had reached the chief’s ears, Ribeira said.

Ribeira announced the invasion Friday during a routine police awards ceremony. He asked for 30 seconds of silence and a prayer for peace.

Reporters contacting the Department of Defense and the FBI were told the report was false.

″Certainly there wasn’t any significant damage done, and the 30 seconds of silence probably helped,″ Ribeira said.

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