Tag Archives: North Korea

Could North Korea Destroy the US?

As both Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson have stated, the Clinton-Obama era of “strategic patience” with North Korea is over. The usual suspects in the mainstream media have been warning that Trump is provoking Pyongyang into war on the Korean peninsula. The counter is that the administration isn’t willing to wait till North Korea has the operational capability to nuke an American city like Seattle or Honolulu.

What is not being discussed is a much bigger and more imminent threat that makes action imperative, an existential one for the United States.

The nightmare scenario of an America sent back centuries in time before electricity, refrigeration, and smart phones has grown unnervingly closer with the presence of two North Korean satellites with orbits over a blissfully unaware American populace and an Obama administration that was indifferent to the apocalyptic threat of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack.

On Feb. 7, 2016, North Korea launched a second satellite, the KMS-4, to join their KMS-3 satellite launched in December of 2012. In an article in the Washington Times on April 24, 2016, 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 as well as director of the Nuclear Strategy Forum, both congressional advisory boards, warned of the dangers of an apocalyptic EMP attack that these and similar satellites pose:

Both satellites now are in south polar orbits, evading many U.S. missile defense radars and flying over the United States from the south, where our defenses are limited. 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.

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.

Moreover, North Korea probably has nuclear weapons specially designed, not to make a big explosion, but to emit lots of gamma rays to generate high-frequency EMP. Senior Russian generals warned EMP Commissioners in 2004 that their EMP nuclear warhead design leaked “accidentally” to North Korea, and unemployed Russian scientists found work in North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.

Woolsey and Pry, along with former Reagan science adviser William R. Graham, chairman of the Congressional EMP Commission, Ambassador Henry Cooper, director of the Strategic Defense Initiative and chief negotiator at the Defense and Space Talks with the USSR; and Fritz Ermarth, chairman of the National Intelligence Council; warned of the North Korean EMP threat an article in the February 12, 2016, issue of National Review:

Naïve reliance on their transparent disavowals could end up costing millions of American lives.

North Korea launched its second satellite on Saturday, yet the national press continues to ignore this existential threat. The White House has not recognized that a nuclear-armed North Korea has demonstrated an ability to kill most Americans with an electromagnetic-pulse (EMP) attack. And White House spokesmen and the media have misled the public with unjustified assurances that North Korea has not yet miniaturized nuclear warheads for missile or satellite delivery.

We, who have spent our professional lifetimes analyzing and defending against nuclear-missile threats, warned years ago that North Korea’s Unha-3 space launch vehicle could carry a small nuclear warhead and detonate it a hundred or so miles over the United States to create an EMP, leading to a protracted nationwide blackout. The resulting societal chaos could kill millions.

The image of an America gone dark, an America suddenly transported from an era of iPads to an era of horse and buggy travel, recently depicted in the NBC series “Revolution” is not science fiction but a very real possibility. As Investor’s Business Daily described the threat in an aptly titled April 2013 editorial, “How North Korea Could Destroy The United States”:

The three-stage missile North Korea launched last December that also orbited a “package,” which experts say could be a test to orbit a nuclear weapon that then would be de-orbited on command anywhere over the U.S. and exploded at a high altitude, releasing an electromagnetic pulse (EMP). That would fry electronic circuitry and the nation’s power grid.

This concern recently has been reinforced by a little-publicized study released in May 2011, titled “In the Dark: Military Planning for a Catastrophic Critical Infrastructure Event,” by the U.S. Army War College that said a nuclear detonation at altitude above a U.S. city could wipe out the electrical grid for hundreds, possibly thousands, of miles around.

The satellite launched by Pyongyang coincided with a third round of nuclear tests described as a “nuclear test of a higher level,” most likely referring to a device made from highly enriched uranium, which is easier to miniaturize than the plutonium bombs North Korea tested in 2006 and 2009, said Cheong Seong-chang, an analyst at the private Sejong Institute in South Korea.

Such an EMP device would not have to be particularly high yield. It would not be designed to create a big explosion, but to convert its energy into gamma rays, that generate the EMP effect.

Any nuclear weapon detonated above an altitude of 30 kilometers will generate an electromagnetic pulse that will destroy electronics and could collapse the electric power grid and other critical infrastructures — communications, transportation, banking and finance, food and water — that sustain modern civilization and the lives of 300 million Americans…

Nobody is harmed or killed immediately by the blast. But life in the U.S., the world’s only superpower and the world’s largest economy, would come to a screeching halt as a country dependent on cutting-edge 21st century technology regresses in time almost a century instantaneously.

North Korea has also been working on a submarine launched ballistic missile, which would put the continental U.S. with striking distance. While North Korean submarines are not yet as sophisticated as our ballistic missile submarine fleet, it would only take a sub modified to launch a single missile, or even one launched from a disguised container cargo ship off our West Coast, to pose an apocalyptic threat.

As Woolsey and Pry note in the March 29 edition of The Hill, the threat of North Korean sending the U.S. back to the Stone Age is real and imminent:

The mainstream media, and some officials who should know better, continue to allege North Korea does not yet have capability to deliver on its repeated threats to strike the U.S. with nuclear weapons. False reassurance is given to the American people that North Korea has not “demonstrated” that it can miniaturize a nuclear warhead small enough for missile delivery, or build a reentry vehicle for an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of penetrating the atmosphere to blast a U.S. city.

Yet any nation that has built nuclear weapons and long-range missiles, as North Korea has done, can easily overcome the relatively much simpler technological challenge of warhead miniaturization and reentry vehicle design….

…on October 7, 2015, (Admiral William) Gortney again warned the Atlantic Council: “I agree with the intelligence community that we assess that they [North Koreans] have the ability, they have the weapons, and they have the ability to miniaturize those weapons, and they have the ability to put them on a rocket that can range the [U.S.] homeland.”

In February and March of 2015, former senior national security officials of the Reagan and Clinton administrations warned that North Korea should be regarded as capable of delivering by satellite a small nuclear warhead, specially designed to make a high-altitude electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack against the United States. According to the Congressional EMP Commission, a single warhead delivered by North Korean satellite could blackout the national electric grid and other life-sustaining critical infrastructures for over a year — killing 9 of 10 Americans by starvation and societal collapse.

Deploying THAAD missile defense system in South Korea and and the GMD system in Alaska, developed under Republican administrations, is a start, but more force or other moves might be necessary. Fortunately, unlike President Obama, President Trump is unwilling to keep whistling past our own graveyard.

Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared inInvestor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the ChicagoSun-Times among other publications.

We Must Go to War With North Korea and Iran if Necessary

I know many of you will disagree. But there are two existential threats to our country that President Trump must deal with. Militarily if necessary, and it will not be pretty if it comes to that.

Secretary of State Tillerson warned Congress that Trump may pull out of the Iran deal. Now that’s welcome news. But I’d milk this one along for a time, while not letting the goal of ending the deal get out of sight.

From the Washington Examiner:

Tillerson certified that Iran is in compliance with the nuclear deal negotiated by former President Barack Obama’s team in a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan that was released late Tuesday night. But he hastened to add that Iran’s role as “a leading state sponsor of terror through many platforms and methods” has the Trump team debating whether to stick with the agreement.

I am not an interventionist. We should not be in Syria except to fight ISIS. Abandoning Mubarak, our longtime ally, was a dumb idea. I supported the overthrow of Qaddafi, but it was a mistake, we should have left him right where he was. I think I let myself get carried away by the fact that he killed so many Americans in the skies over Lockerbie. And the brutal reality that he was set to slaughter thousands of his own people. But that, unfortunately, is how these countries work.

But a nuclear Iran or a nuclear North Korea is simply, as a previous president put it without understanding the term, a red line. We cannot be in a position where the insane, terrorism-supporting rulers of either of the countries are in a position to destroy us with nuclear weapons. And once they have the capability, we may never be able to rid them of it.

In short, we must do everything short of war to end their hopes of a first-strike capability against the United States. But if everything short of war comes up short, then there must be war. Our survival, and perhaps that of the world, depends on it.

The reason I say to “milk it” with Iran is that North Korea already has nuclear weapons and is developing ICBMs with which to strike us. That is, North Korea must be dealt with first. And if we have to strike North Korea, it might just convince Iran to make a verifiable deal to end its nuclear weapons program, and it may even encourage those in Iran who want to overthrow a regime hell-bent on confronting the United States with nukes.

But I doubt it.

This country has big problems, both domestic and foreign, courtesy of the previous administration. People don’t want to hear that we can’t pay for entitlements and the government must be massively cut, wiping out service many people depend on, or think they depend on. Or that we have obligations to defend ourselves that will result in grievous violence and loss of life.

But those are the facts.

The threat of a Super-EMP

legacy 5
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