How North Korea could wipe out electrical networks across the US with a high-altitude EMP blast

Monday, September 4, 2017
By Paul Martin

North Korea warns of ‘super-powerful’ electro-magnetic pulse attack on US
The secretive state tested a 100-kiloton thermonuclear weapon on Sunday
That would be a ‘city killer’ bomb, five times larger than Nagasaki atomic bomb
But detonation in the high atmosphere could create devastating EMP attack
Potential to wipe out electrical grid over virtually all of the continental US

By KEITH GRIFFITH
DAILYMAIL.COM
4 September 2017

North Korea’s latest nuclear weapons test has renewed fears of a devastating electro-magnetic pulse, or EMP, attack that could wipe out electrical grids across the US.

For the first time, North Korea specifically mentioned the possibility of an EMP attack on the US following Sunday’s test of a 100-kiloton weapon, which the regime claims is a thermonuclear bomb.

The weapon could wipe out much of a city, but the pulse from a high-altitude blast could sow chaos and destruction far wider.

North Korea’s state news agency warned that the weapon ‘is a multifunctional thermonuclear nuke with great destructive power which can be detonated even at high altitudes for super-powerful EMP attack.’

An EMP is a burst of high-intensity radio waves emitted from nuclear explosions in the upper atmosphere that scrambles electronics, much like a sudden power surge can overload a power outlet.

But an EMP is far, far worse. A nuclear bomb detonated high in the atmosphere could knock out the power grid across a huge swathe of the continental US.

That would leave hospitals without power, civilian and government agencies unable to coordinate, and the fabric of society unraveling fast.

‘I think this is the principal, the most important and dangerous, threat to the United States,’ James Woolsey, former chief of the Central Intelligence Agency from 1993 to 1995, told the San Diego Union-Tribune in March.

‘If you look at the electric grid and what it’s susceptible to, we would be moving into a world with no food delivery, no water purification, no banking, no telecommunications, no medicine. All of these things depend on electricity in one way or another.’

The higher the bomb is detonated, the wider the EMP’s range of effect.

A bomb detonated 19 miles above the center of the country would affect all of Kansas and Nebraska, almost all of South Dakota, and substantial chunks of surrounding states.

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