A few weeks ago, Dr. Peter Vincent Pry shocked the world when he warned that North Korea could possess EMP weapons and that the rogue nation could be now readying to unleash its high-tech weaponry. However, the main consensus is that such potential is not a source of concern that North Korea’s ability to launch an EMP attack is only theoretical at the moment. But is such dismissal of a potential threat the best course of action for the nation’s top brass? Perhaps not, according to Dr. Pry, and one only need to look at the 9/11 attacks to be reminded of what the nation could be facing if it continues to ignore the new threat.
In a previous report by the Inquisitr, Dr. Peter Vincent Pry warned that North Korea could be preparing to launch an EMP attack against the United States. Dr. Pry, executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security, warned that Pyongyang could be secretly developing the capability to detonate nuclear devices high up in the atmosphere to unleash the devastating effects of an electromagnetic pulse generated by the blast.
Potential Effects of EMP
Just how devastating could an EMP attack be? Well, not everyone agrees on the answer to this question. For instance, there are those who believe that an electromagnetic attack denotated over the United States could be very problematic indeed. According to Fox News, a large EMP triggered at just the right altitude could wipe out anything with electronics from coast to coast.
In fact, EMP effects from a nuclear detonation in the upper atmosphere could kill more people in the long run than a direct nuclear blast on a city itself, according to Dr. Peter Vincent Pry writing for The Hill. Indirectly, an EMP attack could mean millions of fatalities, agonizing deaths mostly due to slow starvation. Since modern infrastructures are dependent on electronics, an EMP attack could render electric grids, cellphones and communications, banking, transportation, food and water distribution systems practically useless. It might take months for the full effects to be felt, but with food rotting away in refrigerators and no means to get produce from farms, millions will eventually perish.
But not everyone is convinced that an EMP could result in a devastation of such magnitude. For instance, Jeffrey Lewis, a nuclear non-proliferation expert, labeled projections of complete societal collapse from an EMP attack as “silly,” according to Daily Mail.
— Daniel John Sobieski (@gerfingerpoken) May 16, 2017
North Korean EMP Threat Assessment
Debates on EMP effects aside, there are those who are not too seriously concerned about the potential North Korea EMP threat. For instance, John Tierney, an executive director of the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, expressed his position that the threat is not real.
“It’s not real and it’s something out of a James Bond movie,” John Tierney claims. “The general consensus is it’s not a real threat imminent by any stretch of the imagination.”
U.S. Stance on EMP Threat Too Relaxed?
However, America’s apparent disinterest in the potential North Korea EMP threat is now being compared with the way it handled the terrorist threat leading to the 9/11 attack. According to Fox News, the same “failure of imagination,” which was used to describe the intelligence’s inability to prevent the 9/11 attack, could be describing the United States’ seemingly relaxed stance on the EMP threat it is facing today.
Dr. Pry believes that there is a “nuclear taboo” that makes it easier for the United States and its allies to dismiss the North Korea EMP threat. Simply put, generations of Americans grew up believing nuclear war is unthinkable. This explains the policy of deterrence, many do not expect any nation to attack the United States with nuclear weapons because of the absolutely devastating retaliation that is sure to follow.
However, the same thinking may not be present among totalitarian and authoritarian states. In fact, a totalitarian nation would be willing to sacrifice itself for an ideology. For them, using nuclear force is not unthinkable. In fact, winning a nuclear war is part of their military doctrine.
In addition, there is a worrying development that should worry the United States. Recently, North Korea successfully tested a new solid-fueled ballistic missile. Compare to their liquid-fueled counterparts, solid-fueled rockets require less preparation which ultimately means decreased warning time.
Sadly, the United States is unprepared for an EMP attack. While numerous bills have been put forth with the intention of strengthening the country’s electric grid for such scenario, none have been approved mainly due to the cost of such measures.
[Featured Image by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images]