A North Korean EMP Attack: The Dark Possibility

Authored by Shannara Johnson via HardAssetsAlliance.com,

As the tension between North Korea and the US continues to grow, the possibility of war is rapidly evolving into a probability. Now some military experts worry that an attack via EMP (electromagnetic pulse) on the US mainland might be a feasible option for Pyongyang.

The signs are certainly there: Having recently completed the ninth missile test of 2017, Kim Jong-un promised to send the US an even bigger “gift package.”

Adding to Kim Jong-un’s antics and inflammatory rhetoric, the recent death of American college student Otto Warmbier after his 17-month imprisonment in North Korea has certainly fanned the flames of antagonism between the US and the rogue regime.

Han Tae Song, North Korea’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva, firmly rejected the accusation of misconduct and declared North Korea operates “according to our national laws and according to international standards.”

To add insult to injury, Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) also denies any wrongdoing or torture of Otto Warmbier—even going as far as to say North Korea is the “biggest victim” in this situation.

EMP: Is This The Real Threat?

Most analysts believe North Korea is not yet capable of a direct missile strike on the US mainland, but Kim Jong-un’s dogged determination to make this a reality is quite disconcerting.

Some experts believe that the more realistic threat at this point in time is an EMP attack. To make that happen, all North Korea has to do is launch a low-yield nuclear missile from a submarine, ship, or even by balloon and explode it at high altitude, above the atmosphere.

The potential result: a blackout of the Eastern grid that supplies 75% of power to the United States.

If an EMP attack did take place, it would be beyond anything we have seen before. The Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse Attack, which was established by Congress in 2001, estimates that within 12 months following a nationwide blackout, “up to 90% of the US population could perish from starvation, disease, and societal breakdown.”

Electronic Armageddon

In practical terms, a catastrophic blackout would be worst in cities, because it would instantly deprive the population of access to drinking water, refrigeration, heat, air conditioning, and telecommunication. Food stores would be looted within a matter of days, and gas stations would cease to function without electricity.

Without Internet access and power, all commerce and advanced methods of communication would stop. There would be no TV, radio, phones. Credit card transactions and cash withdrawals at banks would be impossible. Paper money would become worthless, and Bitcoin would cease to exist, along with the stock market.

Newt Gingrich, speaking at the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources earlier this month, said an EMP attack “would send us back to the 18th century.”

But that’s not the only problem. If no outside help arrives, within days, chaos begins to reign. Civilization is a rather thin veneer that humans have acquired over centuries, a mask covering our hard-wired survival instincts. Once the mask slips, it could mean the end of the world as we know it.

We Are Ill-Prepared For An EMP Attack

US politicians and major utilities have kicked the can down the road when it comes to EMP preparation. Edison Electric estimates that shielding transformers for the US grid system could cost $20 billion.

Granted, American power companies have been studying ways to protect our electronic grids against attack, but tangible results are slow in coming.

The only current option after an EMP attack would be to replace damaged or destroyed transformers. However, says Scott Aaronson, managing director for Cyber and Infrastructure Security at Edison Electric, replacements for those transformers must be procured from foreign suppliers, which could take up to 18 months.

Peter Vincent Pry, leader of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security, believes North Korea is closer to launching an EMP attack than many analysts believe. He wants Congress to work harder and cut the red tape to allow the innovation necessary to mitigate the threat.

In Pry’s opinion, an EMP attack would ultimately kill more Americans than a direct nuclear blast could. His book, The Long Sunday, describes several plausible EMP attack scenarios.

Pry thinks that “the first nation to use nuclear weapons today—even a rogue state like North Korea or Iran—will immediately become the most feared and credible nuclear power in the world, a formidable force to be reckoned with, and perhaps the dominant actor in a new world order.”

Is there a sensible way to prepare for an EMP attack?

Maybe not, but stocking some food, water, fuel, and batteries for emergencies is always a good idea—as well as owning a stash of gold coins as hard assets.

While “you can’t eat gold,” as some preppers say, it is the only kind of money that has prevailed over the millennia.


Joe Trader erkme73 Thu, 07/06/2017 - 00:44 Permalink

Of course....this story got twisted into a promo for goldbugs....sorry but self-defense is higher on my priority list than gold coins...I would have recommended a faraday cage to store small electronics - at least you won't have to replace them, despite things like cellphones being useless. Now imagine building a giant faraday cage inside your garage for your cars..that's a lot of chicken fence... 

In reply to by erkme73

HockeyFool Joe Trader Thu, 07/06/2017 - 07:57 Permalink

"You can't eat gold" is what preppers who cannot afford gold say to rationalize their lack of holding it.But it does make sense to cover all other bases first. Food, water, self defense. But once you have guns and 20,000 rounds of ammo, 2 years worth of food, and a relaible clean water source, what do you spend your money on?By the way, the author completly forgets about the real problem following a grid down scenario: nuclear plants. After 2 weeks the backup diesel generators run out of fuel. Then the real fun starts as the spent fuel pools begin to overheat...

In reply to by Joe Trader

ModernMusket erkme73 Thu, 07/06/2017 - 19:51 Permalink

Exactly right. Buy gold, silver and freeze dried food (loaded with empty carbs).Made a lot of fear sellers a lot of money.Researching EMPs over the last couple of years it sees that the only people capable of delivering an effective one would be a superpower. Only large sets of wiring would get an impulse. The magnetic fields of earth will divert a lot of it.A solar storm will cause much more damage.

In reply to by erkme73

Cman5000 GUS100CORRINA Thu, 07/06/2017 - 01:02 Permalink

The book one second after covers this narrative. They would have to hit us with multiple EMP weapons both Coasts and the Midwest. The only scenario i see is container ships that park off the coast and quickly build a rail system and launch them or they use Subs.  We respond with our Subs nuking who ever did it.It would cause a collapse of the world order and quickly wars would break out everywhere.

In reply to by GUS100CORRINA

HRH Feant2 (not verified) Cman5000 Thu, 07/06/2017 - 01:20 Permalink

I agree about the use of cargo ships. If three cities were hit the US would be brought to its knees. Which cities? DC, NYC, and LA.

Imagine any of those cities without electricity for 30 days.

Shutting down NYC and DC would shut down Wall Street, the US banking system, and our government.

It would be a fast way of disrupting people's normalcy bias. Sadly most wom't know what happened. They won't have a clue. I would be able to diagnose the situation in about five minutes. How? No electricity? Check. No internet service? Check. No cell service? Check. Radio kept outside of galvanized garbage can doesn't work but the spare inside does? Check. It was an EMP.

What next? If you aren't ready when it happens it is going to be a bumpy ride.

In reply to by Cman5000

A_Huxley CosmicSauce Thu, 07/06/2017 - 01:16 Permalink

If your country can do a 1950's Switzerland?  Have all mechanical, optical systems hidden in mountains with pre set ballistics charts ready?Bunkers and some food for all under every home by law?  A pre set system to use every truck and van to move food and war material?EMP might stop the small train or elevator that brings up supplies from deep in the mountain for a short time.Most modern military and navy bases or ports would be build to a good standard in the West given the nuclear reality of 1960-90.Power girds in most nations are built for profit and would fail due to age or parts used.All parts failing after EMP is not really considered given the numbers of parts that would have to be kept safe.So new parts to rebuild that grid would have to get requested and sent by just in time methods.A nuclear power plant would be ok if it gets it fuel for cooling on time after it's own emergency storage is low.How long can good citizens in a normal nation sit in the dark for?  How long before groups go house to house looking for food to share with the community?  Any home that fails to share is of special interest to large groups who know a few years of food in one home will last the community days?EMP exists, has been seen to work on a grid and has been tested.  

In reply to by CosmicSauce

SoDamnMad Schmuck Raker Thu, 07/06/2017 - 03:11 Permalink

The Carrington Event of 1859 was 3 times more powerful than the solar storm of 1989 which struck and blacked out Quebec causing power outages in New England too. By todays numbers it would cause $3 trillion in damages. And it came from the sun and NOT little fat boy. Thanks to today's satelittes monitoring the sun you would have 2 days to prepare. Sure hope Walmart has enough shit stored away. Don't think EBT cards will be working that last day.https://www.space.com/7224-150-years-worst-solar-storm.html

In reply to by Schmuck Raker

HoyeruNew Thu, 07/06/2017 - 00:12 Permalink

oh wowo fear porn! be scared and allow the government to do whatever it wants to do to protect you!forget the facts that North Krea has been begging to sign an agreement to end the war, and all North Korea is asking is for USA to stop parading in front of its doors with 30000 solders armed to the teeth. Make North Korea the bad guy and make USA the innocent little lamb thATS JUST PROTECTING ITSELF!The first time I heard about EMP was back in the '80s in John Shirley trilogy cyberpunk A Song Called Youth Series (also known as Eclipse series. SO far nobody has used it because it;s juts a fantasy  and not a real fact.

Toronto Kid Thu, 07/06/2017 - 00:08 Permalink

Any f'ing attack on the US mainland will result in 100,000 years of North Korea (and anything nearby) turning into a radioactive parking lot. Full stop. To believe otherwise is lunacy.

If China, Russia, and North Korea believe otherwise they won't have long to regret their mistake.

Toronto Kid HRClinton Thu, 07/06/2017 - 01:10 Permalink

Go on then, put together a reasoned rebuttal on why I'm wrong. Or you could take the easy route and just start the name calling.

The Japanese made the same mistake the North Koreans are repeating. They are assuming the US is a population of fat uneducated ditherers who will never do anything about the blatant violence they're being threatened with.

What most Americans are doing is ignoring the blatant violence they're being threatened with. But once their daily lives are mucked with, and EMPing the North American continent will most certainly screw with their day, they will come alive with determination.

At that point the US has two options: a conventional war that will get very very ugly, or a quick nuke and then a heartfelt apology to China for the mess. Vietnam is still remembered, its veterans are still alive, so they won't want a conventional war.

It'll be a nuclear response, particularly as North Korea will have launched their nukes first.

The only way I see the US not using their nukes on North Korea is if China nukes North Korea first.

In reply to by HRClinton

Andre Thu, 07/06/2017 - 00:09 Permalink

The entire US and Canadian female population (and at least half the male population) will go raving batshit crazy in less than 24 hours.Bring on the cheese dip! (h/t Sergio Aragones)

. . . _ _ _ . . . Thu, 07/06/2017 - 00:18 Permalink

"Pry thinks that “the first nation to use nuclear weapons today—even a rogue state like North Korea or Iran—will immediately become the most feared and credible nuclear power in the world, a formidable force to be reckoned with, and perhaps the dominant actor in a new world order.”"Nonsense. "Is there a sensible way to prepare for an EMP attack?"Yeah. Spend $20B on shielding your networks. Two words: Faraday, cage. What's that, $60 per person?If your government doesn't think that an American's life is worth $60 then maybe you should consider a revolution. If it would save 90% of your  population, why aren't they getting this done?(Not that this scenario isn't bullshit, but if they want to sell the possibility, they should be taking steps.)