Tag Archives: North Korea

The threat of a Super-EMP

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The threat is thanks to North Korea, but Iran is reported to have a base just south of the Chinese border.

James Hyde co-authored this two-part article. For part one, click here.

It’s a staggering prediction, something reminiscent of a post-apocalyptic, mega-disaster movie that has the winnowing characters scavenging for anything they can in a desperate search for water and food. But this is no movie, and it isn’t fiction. This frightening estimate has the consensus of the U.S. government, well-known, pro-electric-grid “protectionists” screaming into the winds of congressional resistance, and a number of think tanks that follow this issue closely.

Peter Pry, a former CIA analyst and executive director of the congressionally chartered EMP Commission shared the estimate withNewsmax:

“‘Within 12 months of an EMP attack or a massive solar flare between two-thirds to 90 percent of the U.S. population would perish’ from lack of electricity, Pry said, quoting the conclusions from the EMP Commission’s two public reports.”

That’s well beyond a stunning and chilling augury, one that should make Congress take the threat so seriously that it puts aside all else and acts immediately to protect our electric grid. But so far—and we’ve known about the effects of this weapon since the Starfish Prime nuclear test in 1962—it hasn’t generated the kind of legislation that would help prevent an extinction-level event.

In this, the second of two articles about the threat, we discuss how the threat comes from the detonation of a Super-EMP device 300 miles in our exo-atmosphere and right over the center of the United States. Because a Super-EMP is an EMP “device” as opposed to a conventional nuclear weapon, the nuclear yield is far less, while its load of gamma rays is far greater. That is what makes it so utterly destructive. The damage caused by the E1 pulse to our electric infrastructure is complete, long lasting (a decade or more) and incalculable cost-wise. It’s the aftermath of the impact that would open the door wide to the grim reaper carrying an enormous, razor-sharp scythe, especially for city and suburban dwellers.

The gamma rays focused on the center of the country radiate out horizontally, not into the ground. They then form a circular impact on the nation’s entire electric grid depending on its altitude (300 miles up seems optimum).  The E1 wave is an extremely fast electrical pulse that will take out objects dependent upon electrical conductivity, such as many cars (save for those manufactured before 1974), most of the technological gadgets to which we are addicted, and, unfortunately, far too many military assets that will be useless after the attack. Importantly, greater damage is done to such targets when they are powered on at the time the pulse hits the earth.

The truly existential threat of a Super-EMP attack on the U.S. comes courtesy of North Korea, a disgruntled and paranoid rogue state that has been trading nuclear secrets with Iran in a mutual pact to destroy us. As we pointed out in Part One of these two articles, Iran has pulled a brilliant end run around Obama, Kerry and the P5+1, and is reported to have a base just south of the Chinese border.

Kim Jong Un harbors schizophrenic delusions, chief among them is his belief that an imminent attack is coming from the U.S. and South Korea. Kim, likely with Iran nuclear physicists standing beside him, tested what may have been a hydrogen-based Super-EMP on January 6 of this year. Evidence of its highly efficient and destructive power came in just three words from North Korean news broadcasts. Their experts contend that they will destroy us, “all at once.”

All at once? The phrase struck us like an epiphanic sledge hammer when we read the story on Breitbart:

“In a commentary feature on its website, North Korea’s state media outlet boasted that its nation’s scientists are in ‘high spirits’ to detonate nuclear weapons capable of destroying America ‘all at once.’”

No nuclear or any other kind of attack could destroy the entire country “all at once” except a Super-EMP with the core component being hydrogen. A thermonuclear bomb is 1,000 times more powerful than the strongest conventional nuclear weapon. But the North Koreans were not acting on their own and the yield from the test was minimized.

At first, the reports from those testing air samples in the area claimed that it wasn’t a hydrogen bomb test. However, retesting had scientists saying that there was evidence of elements decidedly hydrogen in origin, but it was not a major thermonuclear bomb. So what was tested?

We realized when that question arose that the test hadn’t been of a full-blown hydrogen bomb, but a far smaller thermonuclear device that would serve as a Super-EMP weapon possibly developed by the North Koreans and the Iranians working together.

That degree of evil-axis cooperation brings a wintry chill up and down the spines of those of us who have studied this threat in depth. Those doing all they can to get Congress to take action on this issue include: R. James Woolsey, ex-CIA director, and Peter Vincent Pry, who established theEMP Task Force, a site where you’ll find a map detailing the EMP threat from North Korea.

The video highlights how North Korea’s KSM-3 satellite  (already circling the globe) which has, “the capability to deliver a small nuclear warhead to intercontinental ranges–against any nation on Earth.” It’s small enough to put into a faux satellite. The KSM-3 already passes over the U.S. from south to north, instead of west to east. That’s due in part to the absence of a strong missile defense system protecting our southern flank.

There are many other experts worthy of mention, in particular, Frank Gaffney, author of Guilty Knowledge, a book that highlights the U.S. government’s knowledge of the vulnerability of the grid, but willfully neglects to address the threat.

Rep. Trent Franks (R-A.Z.), a member of Congress has been tireless in his efforts to pass a number of bills to fix the problem. He has carried the torch to illuminate the issue in Congress numerous times, including his introduction of HR 2417, the Secure High-Voltage Infrastructure for Electricity from Lethal Damage Act (Shield Act), which has stalled in the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

The cost to protect the grid is modest at $20 to $30 billion. But there’s an added problem. Some 3,200 utility companies who would have to cooperate are risk averse to pass the cost onto ratepayers. If they did so, the actual cost would be $3.30 per month, according to Testimony of George H. Baker before the Joint Hearing on “The EMP Threat: The State of Preparedness against the Threat of an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Event” May 13, 2015. Considering the nature of the threat, that’s a tiny price for a huge problem. A story published by The Hill explains the difficulty of getting serious legislative action to the president’s desk.

A Super-EMP attack or a cyberattack that takes out the grid is extremely serious. It’s made all the more so because the North Koreans are about to test launch another missile. They could very easily be launching a new satellite, this one carrying a Super-EMP device, in which case, if it is detonated over the center of the country, it could leave us in the dark “all at once” for as long as a decade or more.

James Hyde began his journalism career as managing editor of Financial Computing and Analytical Instruments and Computers magazines. He later became managing editor of United States Banker magazine, and won a Jesse H. Neal Award in 1986. Since then he has written one book and two syndicated columns that were circulated worldwide. He is a political analyst and has worked for a number of major political figures.

Amil Imani is an Iranian-American writer, poet, satirist, novelist, essayist, literary translator, public speaker and political analyst who has been writing and speaking out about the danger of radical Islam internationally. He has become a formidable voice in the USA against the danger of global jihad and Islamization of America. He maintains a website at http://www.amilimani.com. and wrote the book Obama Meets Ahmadinejad and a new thriller Operation Persian Gulf

Amil Imani can be reached at Amil@amilimaniinitiative.com.James Hyde can be reached at James@amilimaniinitiative.com

New North Korea Submarine Missile Allows Covert Nuclear Strike on US, Iran will follow..

Regime tests nuclear-capable missile from underwater for first time, as officials blame Obama for allowing ‘tragedy.’
 Iran will have this next week now too…
Military submarine (illustration)

In a worrying step showing North Korea’s rapidly expanding nuclear strike capabilities, the Communist regime recently held a test of a new submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), the first time it has launched a missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead from underwater.

According to US defense officials cited by the Washington Free Beacon on Tuesday, the test took place on April 22 from an underwater test platform near the coastal city of Sinpo in the southeast of the country, and tested what the US is calling a KN-11 missile.

The test appears to have been successful, and is the third KN-11 test showing the high-priority of the nuclear missile program for North Korea. Previous tests in January and last October were from a sea-based platform not underwater and a land-based platform.

The KN-11 joins the KN-08 mobile intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) as being part of a varied North Korean missile arsenal on platforms that would be hard for the US to detect, and consequently allow a strike that would be difficult to shoot down.

Admiral Bill Gortney, Commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and US Northern Command, admitted last month that North Korea could hit the continental US with a nuclear strike. That admission accompanied the announcement that NORAD is reopening its nuclear-EMP-proof Cheyenne Mountain bunker, apparently amid renewed concerns of an EMP attack by which a nuclear weapon would be detonated over the US, knocking out all of its electronic devices, and thereby rendering it defenseless to secondary nuclear strikes.

The latest launch test also comes after Chinese experts warned the US last month that American estimates are wrong and North Korea actually has 20 nuclear weapons, with that arsenal to double next year thanks to the regime’s higher than anticipated advanced enrichment capabilities.

Nuclear strikes the US won’t see coming

Admiral Cecil D. Haney, commander of the Strategic Command, confirmed the SLBM launch test in comments to the Senate on March 19, reports the Washington Free Beacon. The program is in violation of UN Security Council resolutions.

Regarding the UN, it was reported last month that US President Barack Obama hid intel from the UN about North Korea transferring rocket components needed to create a nuclear missile to Iran even during the nuclear talks, to try and prevent the UN from acting on the information with increased sanctions.

Former US Defense Intelligence Agency official Bruce Bechtol, Jr. told the paper that North Korea’s SLBM program is meant to give it the ability to strike the US, and to not have the strike be detected in advance.

“With an SLBM they get both,” said Bechtol. “The submarine can get the platform to launch the missile within range of the continental United States, Alaska, or Hawaii. Thus, once operational, this immediately brings key nodes in the United States within range of what would likely be a nuclear armed missile.”

He noted that once the KN-11 and mobile KN-08 “systems go operational, it potentially gives North Korea a dual threat for attacking the United States with nuclear or chemical weapons – a threat generated from difficult to detect mobile platforms on both land and sea.”

Obama is bringing the US to “tragedy”

A number of American officials responded sharply to the KN-11 test, placing the blame squarely on Obama’s shoulders.

“This missile, along with the KN-08, happened on Obama’s watch and nothing has been done,” one US intelligence official told the Washington Free Beacon.

Former US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton added his criticism, saying, “by utterly ignoring North Korea’s growing missile threats, Obama has allowed the threat of rogue state proliferators to fall out of the center of the national political debate.”

“This is a potential tragedy for the country,” Bolton warned.

Air Force Lt. Gen. (ret.) Thomas McInerney said that the KN-08 and KN-11 programs constitute “threats to the continental United States and have been developed under the Obama administration’s leadership.”

“Leading from behind is a failed strategy as evidenced by this very dangerous strategic threat to the continental United States of nuclear attack by a very unstable North Korean government,” said McInerney.

The general also spoke about Obama’s admission that the nuclear deal being formed with Iran will allow it to obtain a nuclear weapon in under 15 years if it doesn’t breach conditions and obtain it sooner, noting that the deal “puts the United States in the most dangerous threat of nuclear attack since the height of the Cold War but from multiple threats – North Korea, China, Russia, and Iran.”

Opponents of the nuclear deal being formulated with Iran ahead of a June 30 deadline have warned it follows in the footsteps of the failed deal sealed by then-President Bill Clinton with North Korea in 1994.

Despite the deal, North Korea tested its first nuclear weapon in 2006, just over ten years after the agreement.

North Korea Transfers Missile Goods to Iran During Nuclear Talks

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BY:   North Korea supplied several shipments of missile components to Iran during recent nuclear talks and the transfers appear to violate United Nations sanctions on both countries, according to U.S. intelligence officials.

Since September more than two shipments of missile parts have been monitored by U.S. intelligence agencies as they transited from North Korea to Iran, said officials familiar with intelligence reports who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Details of the arms shipments were included in President Obama’s daily intelligence briefings and officials suggested information about the transfers was kept secret from the United Nations, which is in charge of monitoring sanctions violations.

Critics of the U.S.-led nuclear framework agreement reached in Switzerland earlier this month have said one major deficiency of the accord is its failure to address Iran’s missile program, considered a key nuclear delivery system for the Islamist regime.

CIA spokesman Ryan Trapani declined to comment on the missile component shipments, citing a policy of not discussing classified information.

But other officials said the transfers included goods covered by the Missile Technology Control Regime, a voluntary agreement among 34 nations that limits transfers of missiles and components of systems with ranges of greater than 186 miles.

One official said the transfers between North Korea and Iran included large diameter engines, which could be used for a future Iranian long-range missile system.

The United Nations Security Council in June 2010 imposed sanctions on Iran for its illegal uranium enrichment program. The sanctions prohibit Iran from purchasing ballistic missile goods and are aimed at blocking Iran from acquiring “technology related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons.”

U.S. officials said the transfers carried out since September appear to be covered by the sanctions.

Other details of the transfers could not be learned. However, U.S. intelligence agencies in the past have identified Iran’s Islamic Republic of Iran

Shipping Lines (IRISL) as the main shipper involved in transferring ballistic missile-related materials.

A U.S. report to the United Nations sanctions committee in 2010 stated that Washington closely cooperates with partner states in monitoring IRISL and other Iranian merchant shipping companies that pass through airports, seaports, and other international borders. The report said the United States takes “steps to prevent transfers of items prohibited by this and by previous Iran-related resolutions.”

The American efforts to block arms transfers are carried out under the George W. Bush administration’s international Proliferation Security Initiative.

A classified State Department cable from October 2009 reveals that Iran is one of North Korea’s key missile customers.

The cable, made public by Wikileaks, states that since the 1980s North Korea has provided Iran with complete Scud missiles and production technology used in developing 620-mile-range Nodong missiles.

Additionally, North Korea also supplied Iran with a medium-range missile called the BM-25 that is a variant of the North Korean Musudan missile.

“This technology would provide Iran with more advanced missile technology than currently used in its Shahab-series of ballistic missiles and could form the basis for future Iranian missile and [space launch vehicle] designs.”

“Pyongyang’s assistance to Iran’s [space launch vehicle] program suggests that North Korea and Iran may also be cooperating on the development of long-range ballistic missiles.”

A second cable from September 2009 states that Iran’s Safir rocket uses missile steering engines likely provided by North Korea that are based on Soviet-era SS-N-6 submarine launched ballistic missiles.

That technology transfer was significant because it has allowed Iran to develop a self-igniting missile propellant that the cable said “could significantly enhance Tehran’s ability to develop a new generation of more-advanced ballistic missiles.”

“All of these technologies, demonstrated in the Safir [space launch vehicle] are critical to the development of long-range ballistic missiles and highlight the possibility of Iran using the Safir as a platform to further its ballistic missile development.”

A spokesman for Spain’s mission to the United Nations, currently in charge of the world body’s sanctions committee, said the committee has not received any communications from the United States since Spain took charge of the panel in January.

Security and arms control analysts said the North Korean missile components shipped to Iran highlight the deficiencies of the Iran framework agreement announced earlier this month.

The framework is under fire from Congress. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday held a meeting to discuss legislation that would require the administration to submit a final Iran nuclear agreement to the Senate.

The committee voted to approve a bipartisan bill that would require Senate approval for any final Iran nuclear  agreement. The legislation would block the administration from lifting any sanctions on Iran until after Congress approves the formal accord that is to be worked out before June 30. The White House has threatened to veto the legislation if it passes both the House and Senate.

Joseph DeTrani, former director of the National Counterproliferation Center, a U.S. intelligence agency, said North Korea has maintained “close and long term” relations with Iran on the transfer of missiles and missile-related technology.

“U.N. Security Council resolutions prohibit this type of activity, and continued missile-related transfers from North Korea to Iran would be in violation of these Security Council resolutions,” said DeTrani, a former CIA officer and special envoy to North Korea nuclear talks.

“The Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), comprised of over 100 countries, was established to monitor such activities and assist with the interdiction of such proscribed transfers. To date, PSI has been relatively successful,” he added.

Former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton also said the missile transfers would violate U.N. sanctions on both Iran and North Korea.

U.N. sanctions imposed on Pyongyang in 2009 for North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests prohibit the export of missiles and related technology.

“And if the violation was suppressed within the U.S. government, it would be only too typical of decades of practice,” Bolton said. “Sadly, it would also foreshadow how hard it would be to get honest reports made public once Iran starts violating any deal.”

Bolton, who also served as undersecretary of state for arms control in the George W. Bush administration, said he remembers the difficulty of getting the bureaucracy to use the word “violation” instead of diplomatic euphemisms such as “non-compliance.”

Former CIA analyst Fred Fleitz also criticized the administration for not publicizing the sanctions violations.

“While it may seem outrageous that the Obama administration would look the other way on missile shipments from North Korea to Iran during the Iran nuclear talks, it doesn’t surprise me at all,” Fleitz said.

“The Obama administration has excluded all non-nuclear Iranian belligerent and illegal activities from its nuclear diplomacy with Iran,” he said. “Iran’s ballistic missile program has been deliberately left out of the talks even though these missiles are being developed as nuclear weapon delivery systems.”

Fleitz said Iran’s role as a state sponsor of terrorism also has been excluded from the nuclear talks, along with Iranian aggression and subversion in the Middle East.

“Since the administration has overlooked this long list of belligerent and illegal Iranian behavior during the Iran talks, it’s no surprise it ignored missile shipments to Iran from North Korea,” he added.

Thomas Moore, a former Senate Foreign Relations Committee arms control specialist, said if the recent missile component transfers are confirmed, “it certainly points out the glaring omission present in the Iran deal: the total lack of anything on its missile threat.”

“If true, allowing proliferation with no response other than to lead from behind or reward it, let alone bury information about it, is to defeat the object and purpose of the global nonproliferation regime—the only regime Obama may end up changing in favor of those in Tehran, Havana and Pyongyang,” Moore said.

Henry Sokolski, head of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center, also said the latest report of North Korean missile technology exports to Iran “more than suggests why the administration had to back away from securing any ballistic missile limits in its negotiations” with Tehran.

White House National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan declined to comment. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf did not return emails seeking comment.