Skip to comments.North Korea Nuke Tests Further EMP Bomb
Posted on 09/06/2017 11:51:36 AM PDT by TroutGuy
North Korea for the first time this week revealed plans for using its nuclear arms for space-based electronics-disrupting EMP attacks, in addition to direct warhead ground blasts.
The official communist party newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, published a report Monday on "the EMP might of nuclear weapons," outlining an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack produced by detonating a nuclear warhead in space.
"In general, the strong electromagnetic pulse generated from nuclear bomb explosions between 30 kilometers and 100 kilometers [18.6 miles and 62 miles] above the ground can severely impair electronic devices, electric machines, and electromagnetic grids, or destroy electric cables and safety devices," said the article authored by Kim Songwon, dean of Kim Chaek University of Technology in Pyongyang.
"The discovery of the electromagnetic pulse as a source of high yield in the high-altitude nuclear explosion test process has given it recognition as an important strike method," he stated.
(Excerpt) Read more at freebeacon.com ...
Also, it's simply not known how severe the damage to large power station transformers would be. That's the most serious concern since those transformers are custom built for power plants and take on average 4 years to rebuild. Very powerful EMPs were tested near Kakzhastan and Hawaii in the early 60s, and there was no significant damage to power stations in Hawaii and only moderate and temporary damage in Kazhakstan.
We should ‘revive’ our Neutron Bomb from the 70’s......................
Would be pleased if you are right.
You are the only person I’ve seen suggesting not nearly the harm from these devices as has been suggested.
This should be named their “Suicide Bomb!”
Just finished reading ‘One Second After’....pretty scary stuff guys; I hope you are right ‘fishy’
You have to look hard to separate the hype from reality on this issue. Here’s a good article by a Harvard astrophysicist.
I’ve read several other reliable articles.
Now, don’t get me wrong- an EMP detonated over the northeast might be devastating to our economy. But how devastating really depend on how the large power station transformers survive. Like I said, they survived ok in Hawaii and Kazhakstan, and (unlike computers) the basic transformer technology hasn’t changed that much since the 60s.
I think it’s likely that a whole bunch of computers would get fried in the affected area, but you can send in new computers pretty rapidly. It’s the power station transformers which will decide how devastating it is, long-term. At any rate, at the very worst this would only affect a 1k kilomoter radius area of the US. There might be cascading power failures outside of that area, but not resulting in any permanent damage outside the affected area.
Every single bit of modern electronics would potentially be damaged: all TVs, radios, car and truck ignition systems, telephones, and pretty well everything else. Without working transportation, food can't be distributed and without power, most food can't be preserved for any length of time.
EMPs eat solid state circuits. The NKs know that an EMP would be a crippling, humiliating blow. Our military stuff is designed to withstand an EMP but the civilian infrastructure is not.
Thanks for the additional comments.
The power station related, and other parts of it sound rather reasoned.
It would be good, if you were on target here, not to infer you absolutely aren’t.
“Every single bit of modern electronics would potentially be damaged: all TVs, radios, car and truck ignition systems, telephones, and pretty well everything else.”
This article notes minor damage to automobiles in testing:
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.”
What you need to understand is that there are a whole host of inside the beltway consultants in DC who are looking for the next contracting bonanza, and EMP hyping provides infinite trolling opportunities.
Even such a “limited” EMP impact would be devastating. Consider the consequences of even just, say, NYC or SF or Seattle being completely shut down indefinitely - that’s, say, 10 million people with no transportation & limited supplies, all major internet data traffic thru there shut down, extensive power grid damage, etc. National resources would be devoted to recovering & re-routing around the problems. Maybe not TEOTWAKI, but that doesn’t make it trivial.
The problem with comparing 1960s era consequences is electronics of the time were relatively very robust (and still suffered lots of problems from EMP). Wouldn’t take much to destroy all the electronics you rely on daily now.
And who would be stupid enough to actually attack us in such a manner?
NK is a lot of bluster and hot air. If they are stupid enough to actually attack us, they will cease to exist (assuming we have a POTUS who will not cower in fear).
A lot of worrying for no practical reason.
If the balloon goes up, hundreds of millions of humans will die all over the world. No different from the situation we’ve been in my entire life. When I was a child, I worried about these things a little, but in the end, there was no point in being constantly frightened of the possibilities that faced us concerning nukes.
Life is too short to waste a lot of time and energy worrying over these potential attacks. It will happen, or it will not happen. Worrying about it is pointless, IMO.
“I think the Norks are aware of the Soviet Project K EMP tests done in October 1962. The Russians actually found out far more about the effects from EMP from those tests than the American Starfish Prime test, because the Russians actually built a test range with both above and below-ground power lines and detonated a 300 KT nuclear bomb over it at an altitude around 160 KM (99 miles). The EMP resulted in blowing out of every protection fuse system on those electrical lines and even shut down a nearby electrical generation plant.”
Correct. But that’s really pretty moderate damage. I mean, you don’t recall reading about power failures lasting years in Kazhakstan, do you?
Power plants are damaged by the E3 pulse, which is similar to that caused by solar storms. There’s just no empirical data suggesting that the E3 pulse, will inflict irreparable damage on large power station transformers, and there’s a good bit of evidence (i.e. the Hawaii and Kakhak tests) suggesting that they won’t.
Also, peak E3 pulse intensity takes about 20 seconds, which would give a power station operator (who would have no doubt heard about an incoming NK attack) some time to react.
“Even such a ‘limited’ EMP impact would be devastating.”
I agree. But in this context you have to define what you mean by “devastating.” There’s some hype studies out there that talk about 90% of the US population being killed, which is utterly ridiculous.
Maybe an EMP over the northeast would fry most computers in a 700-1000 km area. That’s not proven, but maybe that would occur. Still, that would leave buildings, roads, bridges, etc intact, and the world would not doubt rush in a lot of replacement computers to protect the US economy.
A couple of comments:
1) Asymmetric warfare: NK is practically immune to EMP itself because its infrastructure is so limited and backwards, as shown by the space photographs of NK at night. Virtually no lights.
2) The grid is a problem whose immunity I don’t know about.
Device immunity may be much different. I can tell you that even at the commercial level, EMC hardening must have a major protective effect against EMP. Hardening equipment to electrostatic discharge (ESD), and to various other radiated and powerline conducted electromagnetic insults is mandated by various international standards and is common practice.
Realistic analysis of non-extreme scenarios is interesting.
But “OMGWTFBBQ we’re all gonna die!” is so much more...fun...to consider.
Seriously, there are some here who believe an EMP attack would be as or more devastating that an actual nuke strike on a city. Utter nonsense as you state.
I am so screwed.
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