If the brinksmanship being played out by Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un wasn’t already terrifying enough, fresh warnings about a North Korean ‘doomsday weapon’ could ramp up the fear levels even further.
At a recent US Homeland Security hearing, two experts warned officials that an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack by North Korea posed “the biggest threat” to the United States and that the government was largely ignoring the danger.
William Graham and Peter Vincent Pry said that an EMP bomb exploded at high altitude above the US could “shut down the electric power grid for an indefinite period, leading to the death within a year of up to 90% of all Americans.”
A nuclear EMP is a burst of electromagnetic radiation created by a nuclear explosion. If the explosion occurs at a high enough altitude, the resulting surge could destroy all electronics over a vast area.
Speculative scenarios suggest such an event would wipe out critical infrastructure – no refrigeration for food and medicine, water processing plants grinding to a halt, the total disruption of communication systems and planes falling from the sky.
Graham and Pry, who previously headed up the Congressional Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse, claim the weapons currently being developed and tested by the rogue state make a catastrophic EMP attack a real possibility.
Their calls for the government to take the threat more seriously appear to be falling on deaf ears however – the commission has been defunded by the Trump administration and it closed its doors in September of this year.