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What Are The Risks That North Korea Will Launch A Nuclear EMP Attack?

ArmchairPolitiicianNorthKorea, June 14, 2017, by Brad Peery, WWW. ArmchairPolitician.US, ArmchairPolitician.US@gmail.com

North Korea is testing only low-yield nuclear weapons, and have yet to attach them to ballistic missiles, and the missiles are not yet capable of reaching the U.S. West Coast. North Korea has expressed a desire to provoke a nuclear conflict with the U.S. We should take them at their word. It is estimated that the North Koreans have about 20 nuclear weapons, and are capable of producing about 5 per year.

An electromagnetic pulse can be produced by a nuclear weapon detonated at a height of 40 miles will provide widespread damage to electrical grids and electrical devices. A component of an EMP is a very brief but powerful electromagnetic field that can induce very high voltages in electrical conductors. Damage occurs by causing voltage limits in equipment to be exceeded and happens so fast that ordinary surge protectors cannot effectively protect computers and communications equipment. However, special transient protectors fast enough to suppress this part of an EMP exist and there has been significant progress in hardening critical systems against EMP.

South Korea is in immediate danger. Should North Korea detonate a nuclear weapon forty miles in the air above South Korea, it might knock out all of the electrical power in South Korea. Of course, the U.S. would also be capable of knocking out all of North Korea’s power grid. The U.S. has 28,500 troops in South Korea, and more at sea in the area.

Some Russian generals have said that EMP technology was transferred to North Korea in 2004. One of North Korea’s missile launches exploded in flight. It is possible that this was a test to see if a missile could be exploded at about 40 miles high. The nuclear weapons North Korea possesses are estimated to be in the 10-20 kiloton range, and are capable of producing EMP effects, with little damage on the ground. EMP technology is far simpler to use than developing an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that would need to be able to reenter the atmosphere.

A possible EMP attack on the U.S. needs to be taken seriously. A short-range missile launch from a submarine or freighter that reached a height of 40 miles could take out the power grid in the Eastern U.S., and disable the power grid for 75% of the U.S. Also, North Korea has two satellites that orbit over the U.S., and could serve as a platform for launching an EMP attack on the U.S.

ArmchairPolitician.US Opinion:
The nuclear threat from North Korea is real, and like Iran, it needs to be stopped. An EMP attack on the U.S. mainland by North Korea currently is the most likely scenario that needs to be addressed. The power grid in the U.S. needs to be upgraded to survive an EMP attack in the next few years, or in the longer term future.

See:
ArmchairPolitiicianChina, May 14, 2017, by Brad Peery, bradpeery007@gmail.com, www.ArmchairPolitician.US
China Is Enabling The North Korean ICBM And Nuclear Programs: Will This Change?

See Also:
ArmchairPolitiicianNorthKorea, April 22, 2017, by Brad Peery, ArmchairPolitician.US
What Are The U.S. Options In Dealing With North Korea’s Nuclear And ICBM Ambitions To Attack The U.S. With Nuclear Weapons?

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