The U.S. Congress has been informed of North Korea’s ability to carry out an EMP attack that could shut down power grids and wipe out 90 percent of all Americans within a year. The U.S. House of Representatives met for a hearing on Thursday in which members of the recently defunded EMP Commission explained the degree of destruction that an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) attack could inflict on the country.
In a commissioned report, William Graham, former EMP Commissions chairman, and Peter Vincent Pry, its former chief of staff, referred to North Korea’s EMP threats as a “doomsday scenario.” According to the report, “It [North Korea] could use its demonstrated satellite launcher to carry a nuclear weapon over the South Polar region and detonate it…over the United States to create a high-altitude electromagnetic pulse…The result could be to shut down the U.S. electric power grid for an indefinite period, leading to the death within a year of up to 90 percent of all Americans.”
This is not the first time that the United States’ vulnerability to EMP attacks has been discussed. In 2014, Peter Kelly-Detwiler wrote for Forbes claiming that this threat has the potential of making 9/11 look childish if acted upon. In another interview with Forbes, Graham said, “There has been an enormous increase in our dependency on electronics, computers, and microelectronics […] An attack may never happen. But the more vulnerable the U.S. is to such an attack, the more likely it is to be used against us.”
Graham and Pry have stated that the U.S. has previously ignored their warning about North Korea’s capabilities. Within the last six months alone, the EMP commission provided information in regards to North Korea’s nuclear weapon capabilities. This includes how many nukes it possesses, how far along with its ability to miniaturize weapons is, and how close it is to developing hydrogen bombs. Critics of the organization, however, dismissed these warnings. Soon after that, the organization was disbanded.
The EMP Commission’s predictions have now officially been confirmed by North Korea’s latest threat of turning the U.S into “ashes.” Even the Doomsday Clock has moved forward to reflect the recent tensions after North Korea’s nuclear tests. While there are many critics of the Doomsday Clock, it is undeniable that its inching forward is ominous.
Experts addressed the Homeland Security subcommittee stating: “It’s is critical, therefore, that the U.S. national leadership address the EMP threat as a critical and existential issue, and give a high priority to assuring the leadership is engaged and the necessary steps are taken to protect the country from EMP.”
Congress’ discussion regarding North Korea’s nuclear capabilities began soon after South Korea disclosed its own bombs that have the ability to destroy a nation’s electrical equipment. These bombs, according to South Korea, are “blackout bombs” and they have made it clear that they intend to use them against North Korea if the country appears to act on its threats.
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