Con­cerns Grow Over Po­ten­tial EMP At­tack on the US; Elec­tri­cal Grid Left Vul­ner­a­ble

The Jewish Voice - - FRONT PAGE - By: Fern Sid­man

North Korea said on Tues­day it had ad­dressed a re­cent “gift pack­age” to the United States and that more would fol­low, ac­cord­ing to a Reuters re­port. Han Tae Song, the am­bas­sador of the Demo­cratic Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of Korea (DPRK) to the U.N. in Geneva, was ad­dress­ing the U.N.-spon­sored Con­fer­ence on Dis­ar­ma­ment two days af­ter his coun­try det­o­nated its sixth and largest nu­clear test.

“The re­cent self-de­fense mea­sures by my coun­try, DPRK, are a gift pack­age ad­dressed to none other than the U.S.,” Han told the Geneva fo­rum.

“The U.S. will re­ceive more gift pack­ages from my coun­try as long as it re­lies on reck­less provo­ca­tions and fu­tile at­tempts to put pres­sure on the DPRK,” he said.

Prior to the veiled threat of nu­clear an­ni­hi­la­tion, U.S. Am­bas­sador to the United Na­tions Nikki Ha­ley said on Mon­day that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is “beg­ging for war,” and warned that the United States does not have un­lim­ited pa­tience.

“His abu­sive use of mis­siles and his nu­clear threats show that he is beg­ging for war,” Ha­ley said. “War is never some­thing the United States wants; we don’t want it now, but our coun­try’s pa­tience is not un­lim­ited; we will de­fend our al­lies and our ter­ri­tory.”

Ha­ley spoke at an emer­gency meet­ing of the U.N. Se­cu­rity Council called af­ter North Korea con­ducted its sixth nu­clear test on Sun­day. Py­ongyang claimed it suc­cess­fully tested a hy­dro­gen bomb that can fit onto an in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­sile (ICBM).

In­ter­na­tional ex­perts have not con­firmed that, but say it was larger than any pre­vi­ous North Korean nu­clear test.

For the first time, North Korea also specif­i­cally men­tioned the pos­si­bil­ity of a elec­tro­mag­netic pulse, or EMP, at­tack. Such a strike would in­volve det­o­nat­ing a bomb in the at­mos­phere, in­stead of fir­ing a long-range mis­sile at a ma­jor U.S. city.

"The EMP burst’s ob­jec­tive is to sat­u­rate the US power grid un­der­neath it with en­ergy flow­ing into the wiring. The goal is to burn out a por­tion of the three hun­dred or so high volt­age trans­form­ers that link the US to­gether as an in­dus­trial age econ­omy. By burn out, that means caus­ing the melt­ing of the trans­former cores ren­der­ing them use­less, " wrote Huff­in­g­ton Post con­tribut­ing writer Den­nis San­ti­ago on Mon­day.

An EMP can be de­scribed as a high-in­ten­sity burst of elec­tro­mag­netic en­ergy caused by the rapid ac­cel­er­a­tion of charged par­ti­cles. In an at­tack of this kind, these par­ti­cles in­ter­act and send elec­tri­cal sys­tems into chaos in three ways:

First, the elec­tro­mag­netic shock dis­rupts elec­tron­ics, such as sen­sors, com­mu­ni­ca­tions sys­tems, pro­tec­tive sys­tems, com­put­ers, and other sim­i­lar de­vices.

The sec­ond com­po­nent has a slightly smaller range and is sim­i­lar in ef­fect to light­ning. Al­though pro­tec­tive mea­sures have long been es­tab­lished for light­ning strikes, the po­ten­tial for dam­age to crit­i­cal in­fra­struc­ture from this com­po­nent ex­ists be­cause it rap-

“War is never some­thing the United States wants; we don’t want it now, but our coun­try’s pa­tience is not un­lim­ited; we will de­fend our al­lies and our ter­ri­tory.” – Am­bas­sador Nikki Ha­ley

idly fol­lows and com­pounds the first com­po­nent.

The fi­nal com­po­nent is slower than the pre­vi­ous two, but has a longer du­ra­tion. It is a pulse that flows through elec­tric­ity trans­mis­sion lines-dam­ag­ing dis­tri­bu­tion cen­ters and fus­ing power lines. The com­bi­na­tion of the three com­po­nents can eas­ily cause ir­re­versible dam­age to many elec­tronic sys­tems.

All of North Korea's six nu­clear tests in­clud­ing the one on Sun­day have taken place at its un­der­ground test­ing site in Pung­gye-ri, deep in moun­tain­ous ter­rain, and it is hard to in­de­pen­dently ver­ify the claims.

But ex­perts who stud­ied the im­pact of the earth­quake caused by the ex­plo­sion — mea­sured by the U.S. Ge­o­log­i­cal Sur­vey at mag­ni­tude 6.3 — said there was enough strong ev­i­dence to sug­gest the reclu­sive state has ei­ther de­vel­oped a hy­dro­gen bomb or was get­ting very close.

The det­o­na­tion pro­duced 10 times more power than the fifth nu­clear test a year ago, South Korean and Ja­panese of­fi­cials said. NORSAR, a Nor­we­gian earth­quake mon­i­tor­ing agency, es­ti­mated the yield at 120 kilo­tons, sig­nif­i­cantly above the 15 kilo­ton "Lit­tle Boy" bomb dropped on Hiroshima and the 20 kilo­ton "Fat Man" dropped on Na­gasaki at the end of World War II.

North Korea's Nu­clear Weapons In­sti­tute said Sun­day's test ver­i­fied the func­tion­ing of a hy­dro­gen bomb, in­clud­ing the "fis­sion to fu­sion power rate and all other phys­i­cal spec­i­fi­ca­tions re­flect­ing the qual­i­ta­tive level of a two-stage thermo-nu­clear weapon," ac­cord­ing to the of­fi­cial KCNA news agency.

"That scale is to the level where any­one can say it is a hy­dro­gen bomb test," said Kune Y. Suh, a nu­clear en­gi­neer­ing pro­fes­sor at Seoul Na­tional Univer­sity. "North Korea has ef­fec­tively es­tab­lished it­self as a nu­clear state. This is not just a game changer, it's a game over," Suh said.

In an ar­ti­cle en­ti­tled "Nu­clear Iran: he Sanc­tions Delu­sion writ­ten by Dr. Peter Vin­cent Pry in 2014, the au­thor in­di­cated that on Au­gust 31, 1998, "North Korea tested its first in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal mis­sile, fore­shad­ow­ing a dan­ger­ous new fu­ture when such rogue regimes could threaten nu­clear mis­sile strikes against the United States. That fu­ture ar­rived in De­cem­ber 2012 when North Korea suc­cess­fully or­bited a satel­lite over the South Pole, ap­par­ently prac­tic­ing a nu­clear elec­tro­mag­netic pulse (EMP) at­tack that would strike the U.S. from its blind­side in the south, where there are no bal­lis­tic mis­sile early warn­ing radars or mis­sile in­ter­cep­tors. Three months later, in March 2013, North Korea threat­ened nu­clear mis­sile strikes against the U.S. and its al­lies.

Iran has or­bited sev­eral satel­lites on sim­i­lar south po­lar tra­jec­to­ries, helped by their ally North Korea. If Iran does not yet have nu­clear weapons, they will be the first na­tion that went through the vast trou­ble and ex­pense of de­vel­op­ing long-range mis­siles with­out first hav­ing nu­clear war­heads to make them mil­i­tar­ily use­ful."

North Korea claims its in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­siles (ICBMs) tested twice in July can reach large parts of the main­land United States. But ex­perts say it likely achieved that po­ten­tial range only by top­ping the test mis­sile with a pay­load lighter than any nu­clear war­head it is cur­rently able to pro­duce.

Py­ongyang is also yet to prove that any war­head it places on a long range-mis­sile can sur­vive re-en­try into the earth's at­mos­phere af­ter an in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal flight. De­vel­op­ing a hy­dro­gen bomb would be key to have a lighter war­head, be­cause that would of­fer much greater ex­plo­sive yield rel­a­tive to size and weight.

"The time has come to ex­haust all diplo­matic means to end this cri­sis; that means quickly en­act­ing the strong­est pos­si­ble mea­sures here in the Se­cu­rity Council," Ha­ley said.

Ha­ley said the United States would be circulating a new draft sanc­tions res­o­lu­tion for the council to ne­go­ti­ate this week and that she hopes to put it to a vote next Mon­day.

One week would be a very quick turn­around for such a res­o­lu­tion; pre­vi­ous ones have taken be­tween one and three months of ne­go­ti­a­tions pri­mar­ily be­tween the United States and China to agree to new sanc­tions.

Both the South Korean and Ja­panese en­voys, as well as sev­eral council mem­bers, echoed the U.S. call for strong, ro­bust in­ter­na­tional sanc­tions.

Ha­ley also dis­missed a Chi­nese ini­tia­tive call­ing on North Korea to freeze its nu­clear ac­tiv-

ity in ex­change for the United States and South Korea freez­ing their an­nual joint mil­i­tary ex­er­cises in the re­gion. The ‘freeze for freeze’ as it is known, would be im­ple­mented to es­tab­lish an en­vi­ron­ment con­ducive to talks to re­solve the nu­clear is­sue.

“The idea that some have sug­gested a so-called freeze for freeze is in­sult­ing,” Ha­ley said. “When a rogue regime has a nu­clear weapon and an ICBM pointed at you, you do not take steps to lower your guard. No one would do that; we cer­tainly won’t.”

China is North Korea’s neigh­bor and clos­est ally. Chi­nese U.N. en­voy Liu Jieyi con­demned North Korea’s ac­tions and called for them to stop, but he also re­it­er­ated the Chi­nese po­si­tion that there is no mil­i­tary so­lu­tion to the cri­sis.

“China will never al­low chaos and war on the peninsula,” he said.

“There is no doubt that presently we are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing one of the gravest and most dra­matic stages of de­vel­op­ments on the Korean Peninsula,” said Rus­sian en­voy Vass­ily Nebenzi. “It is no ex­ag­ger­a­tion to state that peace in the re­gion is in se­ri­ous jeop­ardy and the threat of this con­flict mor­ph­ing into a hot stage looms larger than ever be­fore,” he added.

He urged par­ties “to main­tain a cool head” and re­frain from any ac­tion that could fur­ther es­ca­late ten­sions.

Ear­lier Mon­day, South Korea's De­fense Min­istry said it had de­tected signs North Korea was pre­par­ing to test an­other bal­lis­tic mis­sile or pos­si­bly an ICBM. The min­istry also an­nounced plans to tem­po­rar­ily de­ploy four more launch­ers for the THAAD mis­sile de­fense sys­tem.

Mon­day’s meet­ing was the sec­ond time in less than a week the Se­cu­rity Council con­vened to dis­cuss North Korean nu­clear and bal­lis­tic mis­sile ac­tiv­ity.

Py­ongyang launched a mis­sile that flew over Ja­pan early last week, prompt­ing strong cen­sure from the 15-na­tion council. On Au­gust 5, the council unan­i­mously adopted the strong­est pack­age of sanc­tions so far against North Korea, in­clud­ing bans on its coal, lead, iron and seafood ex­ports.

Diplo­mats are run­ning out of sec­tors to tar­get for sanc­tions. Oil is the coun­try’s most im­por­tant sec­tor, while tex­tile man­u­fac­tur­ing is also an im­por­tant rev­enue gen­er­a­tor. The council could also look at des­ig­nat­ing new in­di­vid­u­als and en­ti­ties for as­set freezes and travel bans.

Seen here are North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his mil­i­tary chief­tains as they ex­am­ine was a minia­ture nu­clear war­head in their ar­se­nal of weapons of mass de­struc­tion. North Korea also specif­i­cally men­tioned the pos­si­bil­ity of a elec­tro­mag­netic pulse, or EMP, at­tack. Such a strike would in­volve det­o­nat­ing a bomb in the at­mos­phere, in­stead of fir­ing a long-range mis­sile at a ma­jor U.S. city.

"The EMP burst’s ob­jec­tive is to sat­u­rate the US power grid un­der­neath it with en­ergy flow­ing into the wiring. The goal is to burn out a por­tion of the three hun­dred or so high volt­age trans­form­ers that link the US to­gether as an in­dus­trial age econ­omy. By burn out, that means caus­ing the melt­ing of the trans­former cores ren­der­ing them use­less, " wrote Huff­in­g­ton Post con­tribut­ing writer Den­nis San­ti­ago on Mon­day.

NORSAR, a Nor­we­gian earth­quake mon­i­tor­ing agency, es­ti­mated the yield at 120 kilo­tons, sig­nif­i­cantly above the 15 kilo­ton "Lit­tle Boy" bomb dropped on Hiroshima and the 20 kilo­ton "Fat Man" dropped on Na­gasaki at the end of World War II.

U.S. Am­bas­sador to the United Na­tions Nikki Ha­ley said on Mon­day that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is “beg­ging for war,” and warned that the United States does not have un­lim­ited pa­tience.

North Korea’s lat­est in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­sile could strike New York

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