Friday, April 14, 2017
By Paul Martin

Amber William
April 14, 2017

North Korea Can Kill 90 Percent of Americans
Pyongyang isn’t going to knock out the electrical grid and cause riots at the supermarket.

Via : By Kyle Mizokami

Earlier this week, the former director of the CIA penned an apocalyptic article in The Hill describing the end of American civilization. The article warns of the threat of a North Korean electromagnetic pulse attack, claiming such an attack would kill “9 out of 10 Americans.”

Okay. While North Korea does pose an increasingly serious nuclear threat to the United States, the claim it could kill 300 million Americans by depriving them of electricity is not realistic.

Scientists have known about the threat of electromagnetic pulse (EMP) for decades. EMP is a burst of electromagnetic radiation sent flying through the atmosphere by a nuclear or thermonuclear explosion. This radiation gradually fizzles out, but electrical objects near the detonation can suffer effects ranging from simply being turned off to having their circuitry shorted out.


EMP first caused a stir in 1962 with the STARFISH PRIME weapons test. STARFISH PRIME was conducted to determine the effects of nuclear weapons at high altitude. A Thor missile lofted a 1.4 megaton nuclear warhead 250 miles above the Pacific Ocean, where it detonated off Johnson Island. The test sent an electromagnetic electrical surge as far Hawaii, more than eight hundred miles away. The surge knocked out streetlights, damaged some local telephone company equipment, and reportedly caused burglar alarms to go off and garage doors to open by themselves.

In 2008, a Congressional commission looked into EMP claims. The report stated:

“A single EMP attack may seriously degrade or shut down a large part of the electric power grid in the geographic area of EMP exposure effectively instantaneously. … Should significant parts of the electrical power infrastructure be lost for any substantial period of time, the Commission believes that the consequences are likely to be catastrophic, and many people may ultimately die for lack of the basic elements necessary to sustain life in dense urban and suburban communities.”

Jeffrey Lewis, an arms control scholar, wrote in Foreign Policy in 2013, “(the) EMP Commission exposed 37 cars and 18 trucks to EMP effects in a laboratory environment. While EMP advocates claim the results of an EMP attack would be “planes falling from the sky, cars stalling on the roadways, electrical networks failing, food rotting,” the actual results were much more modest. Of the 55 vehicles exposed to EMP, six at the highest levels of exposure needed to be restarted. A few more showed “nuisance” damage to electronics, such as blinking dashboard displays.”

Back to The Hill article, which claims an EMP attack by North Korea would kill “9 of 10 Americans by starvation and societal collapse.” The first clue that something is amiss with this claim is that, if you trace the link provided in the article, it cites the words of Congressman Roscoe Bartlett, who describes a novel he had read called One Second After. Bartlett says:

“I read a prepublication copy of a book called One Second After. I hope it does get published; I think the American people need to read it. It was the story of a ballistic missile EMP attack on our country. The weapon was launched from a ship off our shore, and then the ship was sunk so that there were no fingerprints. The weapon was launched about 300 miles high over Nebraska, and it shut down our infrastructure countrywide. The story runs for a year. It is set in the hills of North Carolina. At the end of the year, 90 percent of our population is dead; there are 25,000 people only still alive in New York City. The communities in the hills of North Carolina are more lucky: only 80 percent of their population is dead at the end of a year.

The Rest…HERE

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