Has America looked the other way long enough? Has the previous administration put President Trump and his administration in a no-win situation with North Korea by ignoring the serious threat Kim Jong Un posed for 8 years while President Barack Obama partied with Beyonce, and was laser focused instead, on domestic issues like discrediting our law enforcement and dividing our nation?
Yeah…About those crazy preppers…
WFB– North Korea for the first time this week revealed plans for using its nuclear arms for space-based electronics-disrupting EMP attacks, in addition to direct warhead ground blasts.
The official communist party newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, published a report Monday on “the EMP might of nuclear weapons,” outlining an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack produced by detonating a nuclear warhead in space.
“In general, the strong electromagnetic pulse generated from nuclear bomb explosions between 30 kilometers and 100 kilometers [18.6 miles and 62 miles] above the ground can severely impair electronic devices, electric machines, and electromagnetic grids, or destroy electric cables and safety devices,” said the article authored by Kim Songwon, dean of Kim Chaek University of Technology in Pyongyang.
“The discovery of the electromagnetic pulse as a source of high yield in the high-altitude nuclear explosion test process has given it recognition as an important strike method,” he stated.
The official discussion by North Korea of plans to conduct EMP strikes will likely fuel debate over the threat. Former CIA Director James Woolsey has said North Korea is capable of orbiting an EMP nuclear weapon in a satellite.
Some liberal arms control advocates have dismissed the EMP threat from Pyongyang as far-fetched, such as arms control advocate Jeffrey Lewis, who in April dismissed the threat of an EMP attack by laughing at a reporter’s question. “This is the favorite nightmare scenario of a small group of very dedicated people,” he told NPR.
Disclosure of North Korea’s intention to use its nuclear force for EMP attacks comes as U.S. intelligence agencies are continuing to analyze the latest underground nuclear test by North Korea on Sept. 3 that the regime said was its first hydrogen bomb explosion.
Senior administration officials said initial assessments of the nuclear blast in northeastern North Korea indicate it was the largest test detonation so far, and much larger than an underground test carried out last year. It was the regime’s sixth nuclear test.
U.S. nuclear technicians have not made a definitive conclusion about the specifics of the device. Specialists are trying to determine if the test involved a hydrogen bomb, as Pyongyang asserted, or a device designed for EMP attack. They are also assessing whether the test used boosted fission technology.
Hydrogen bombs are advanced devices that use a two-stage explosion process to produce a massive explosion. Boosted fission devices are less sophisticated technologically and require more nuclear fuel.
“We’re highly confident this was a test of an advanced nuclear device—and what we’ve seen so far is not inconsistent with North Korea’s claims,” a U.S. intelligence official said.
However, a final conclusion on the type and yield of the blast is not expected for several days. Data from the test is being analyzed by nuclear weapons experts at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.
Also, the large explosion—perhaps more than 100 kilotons, or the equivalent of 100 tons of TN—likely produced significant venting of radioactive particles into the air.
Special U.S. intelligence aircraft, including the WC-135 nuclear “sniffer” jets, are conducting flights near the test zone to gather samples of particles from the test.
EXPERTS ARE SAYING AN EMP ATTACK BY N KOREA IS A VERY REAL AND DARK POSSIBILITY
According to the Business Insider, some experts believe that the more realistic threat at this point in time is an EMP attack. To make that happen, all North Korea has to do is launch a low-yield nuclear missile from a submarine, ship, or even by balloon and explode it at high altitude, above the atmosphere.
The potential result: a blackout of the Eastern grid that supplies 75% of power to the United States.
If an EMP attack did take place, it would be beyond anything we have seen before. The Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse Attack, which was established by Congress in 2001, estimates that within 12 months following a nationwide blackout, “up to 90% of the US population could perish from starvation, disease, and societal breakdown.”
In practical terms, a catastrophic blackout would be worst in cities, because it would instantly deprive the population of access to drinking water, refrigeration, heat, air conditioning, and telecommunication. Food stores would be looted within a matter of days, and gas stations would cease to function without electricity.
Without Internet access and power, all commerce and advanced methods of communication would stop. There would be no TV, radio, phones. Credit card transactions and cash withdrawals at banks would be impossible. Paper money would become worthless, and Bitcoin would cease to exist, along with the stock market.
Newt Gingrich, speaking at the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources earlier this month, said an EMP attack “would send us back to the 18th century.”
But that’s not the only problem. If no outside help arrives, within days, chaos begins to reign. Civilization is a rather thin veneer that humans have acquired over centuries, a mask covering our hard-wired survival instincts. Once the mask slips, it could mean the end of the world as we know it.
We are Ill-Prepared For An EMP Attack
US politicians and major utilities have kicked the can down the road when it comes to EMP preparation. Edison Electric estimates that shielding transformers for the US grid system could cost $20 billion.
Granted, American power companies have been studying ways to protect our electronic grids against attack, but tangible results are slow in coming.
The only current option after an EMP attack would be to replace damaged or destroyed transformers. However, says Scott Aaronson, managing director for Cyber and Infrastructure Security at Edison Electric, replacements for those transformers must be procured from foreign suppliers, which could take up to 18 months.
Peter Vincent Pry, leader of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security, believes North Korea is closer to launching an EMP attack than many analysts believe. He wants Congress to work harder and cut the red tape to allow the innovation necessary to mitigate the threat.
In Pry’s opinion, an EMP attack would ultimately kill more Americans than a direct nuclear blast could. His book, The Long Sunday, describes several plausible EMP attack scenarios.
Pry thinks that “the first nation to use nuclear weapons today—even a rogue state like North Korea or Iran—will immediately become the most feared and credible nuclear power in the world, a formidable force to be reckoned with, and perhaps the dominant actor in a new world order.”
Is there a sensible way to prepare for an EMP attack?
Maybe not, but stocking some food, water, fuel, and batteries for emergencies is always a good idea—as well as owning a stash of gold coins as hard assets.
While “you can’t eat gold,” as some preppers say, it is the only kind of money that has prevailed over the millennia.
Kim, the North Korean technical university dean, stated that high-altitude explosions can be conducted in the stratosphere or in space where the blast wave is limited by the lack of air or the thinness of air.
“In explosions occurring at such altitudes, large amounts of electrons are released as a result of ionization reactions of high-energy instant gamma rays and other radioactive rays,” he said. “These electrons form a strong electromagnetic pulse (EMP) through interaction with the geomagnetic field.”
“The detonation would create a strong electric field of 100,000 volts per meter when it approaches the ground and “that is how it destroys communications facilities and electricity grids,” the report said.
The EMP report was published Monday, a day after the same state-run outlet reported on a visit by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to a nuclear weapons facility that also mentioned plans for using nuclear weapons in EMP attacks.
“Our hydrogen bomb—whose power as a nuclear bomb can be adjusted at will from tens of kilotons to hundreds of kilotons according to the targets of strike—is a multifunctional thermonuclear warhead which not only has enormous lethality and destructibility, but also can even carry out super-powerful EMP attack over an expansive area through detonation at high altitudes according to strategic goals,” the report said.