Kim Jong-un has vowed to wipe the United States from the map and many military thinkers are concerned with North Korea’s growing nuclear stockpile, but the real threat may be quite different.
Using technology and equipment already available to North Korea, the reclusive communist country could attack the U.S. with an electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, with devastating effects.
North Korea now has two satellites above the Earth that orbit south to north in an effort to evade our military countermeasures. No data stream has ever been detected coming from either satellite and it’s entirely possible both are nuclear armed and prepared for an EMP attack.
Earlier this year, two national security advisors wrote an editorial in the Washington Times warning about the danger these two satellites pose to the U.S. and the real possibility of an EMP weapon.
In the article, R. James Woolsey, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and Peter Vincent Fry, executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security said the public was being misled about the threat posed by North Korea.
“Both satellites, if nuclear armed, could make an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack that could blackout the U.S. electric grid for months or years, thereby killing millions.”
An EMP pulse is a burst of electromagnetic energy generated by a nuclear weapon that can knock out electronics and even damage physical objects like buildings, the two national security advisors wrote in the Washington Times.
“Technologically, such an EMP attack is easy, since the weapon detonates at high-altitude, in space, no shock absorbers, heat shield, or vehicle for atmospheric re-entry is necessary. Since the radius of the EMP is enormous, thousands of kilometers, accuracy matters little. Almost any nuclear weapon will do.”
We already know North Korea possess nuclear weapons, but until now, the U.S. hasn’t been concerned with the threat they pose because the reclusive communist country doesn’t have missiles that can reach the mainland.
Kim Jong-un was present in early September when North Korea conducted its fifth nuclear test, which registered 5.3 on the Richter scale, yet U.S. radiation sniffing-planes didn’t detect any fallout.
Experts agree that might be because the bomb was hydrogen based, which would make it thermonuclear, and because the radioactive element was sacrificed to produce more gamma ray emissions.
More powerful gamma ray emissions means a more powerful EMP that could potentially send the U.S. back to the Stone Age.
North Korea’s state run media, KCNA, agrees and carried the threat issued by Kim Jong-un to the United States.
“The scientists and technicians of the DPRK are in high spirit to detonate H-bombs of hundreds of Kt (kiloton) and Mt (megaton) level capable of wiping out the whole territory of the U.S. all at once.”
To make matters worse, North Korea just tested a rocket engine capable of putting satellites into orbit. The reclusive communist country claims the engine is intended to help North Korea reach the moon and plant their flag, a stated goal of Kim Jong-un, but some experts warn it could be used to carry military equipment as well.
The development comes as North Korea continues its saber rattling with recent videos threatening a nuclear strike against the U.S. depicting an explosion in Washington, D.C., and New York City.
The hermit nation and the U.S. remain technically at war since the armistice agreement of 1953 ended the Korean War without a peace treaty. Since that time, the reclusive nation has repeatedly threatened to destroy the U.S. and its own neighbor, South Korea. Despite famines and international sanctions, the country continues to develop its military technology.
What do you think of the threat posed by a North Korean EMP?
[Featured Image by Wong Maye-E/AP]