US Ambassador: North Korea Behind US Blackouts with EMP Attack
Former presidential advisor warns the US has no defence against such attacks
Unites States Ambassador Henry Cooper has warned that North Korea has been working on ways of causing mass blackouts across the US using Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) technology for years and the government has no defense against such an attack.
The former advisor to President Ronald Reagan also stated that Kim Jong-un has the capability to shut down the entire North American power grid with devastating consequences.
North Korea has been developing ways of triggering an EMP device for "some time", according to Copper, by means of launching one through a missile or triggering it from a satellite.
As Kim Jong-un's military capabilities become increasingly sophisticated, they have also been working on ways of shutting down power grids through hacking or launching a cyber attack.
This week, San Fransico, Los Angeles, and New York were all plunged into darkness by simultaneous blackouts, causing chaos across the cities.
At first, the power grid failure in San Fransisco was initially thought to have been caused by a fire in a substation, but power companies have been scrambling to find a link between the blackouts in all three major cities.
Experts are now fearing that power outages could have been caused intentionally by an attack, with this first wave being merely a test.
Ambassador Cooper claims if North Korea were to launch an EMP attack, it would be impossible to distinguish a missile test from an actual attack, and the best way to counter such a threat to the U.S. homeland is to knock out the missile.
But he acknowledged such an action would be politically unpalatable.
However, if the North Korean regime were to launch a cyber attack against the U.S, it could destroy all life-sustaining critical infrastructures that rely on the national electric grid, potentially leading to the death of most Americans within the following year.
All grid-dependent systems could suffer, including food and water supply chains, fuel-supply systems, communications, banking, and finance.
"It’s long past time to counter this threat," Cooper said.
Ignoring the threat
The North Koreans have been continuously upgrading the Sohae launch complex to handle larger, longer-range rockets with heavier payloads, Cooper pointed out.
He disputes the contention of most experts that Pyongyang is still years away from a credible intercontinental ballistic missile capability that could threaten the U.S. mainland.
He said "these experts usually ignore the threat from a nuclear weapon carried on a satellite – a capability demonstrated years ago," when North Korea first succeeded in launching an ICBM in December 2012.
At that launch, Pyongyang successfully orbited a satellite assessed to be large enough to contain a nuclear weapon.
He said the Japanese Ministry of Defense already has ordered its military to be prepared to destroy any missile fired by North Korea that poses a threat to Japan.
He said U.S. leaders could do the same to protect Americans from an "already demonstrated de facto North Korean Fractional Orbital Bombardment System (FOBS) first developed by the Soviets during the early days of the Cold War."
"The resulting attack from the south could create an EMP that would shut down the electric grid indefinitely – potentially leading to the death of most Americans with a year," Cooper said.
A functioning hydrogen bomb would be perfectly suited to detonate in space, 100 miles above the US, generating a massive EMP that would utterly wreck the entire US electrical grid, without harming anything on the ground from the blast wave itself.
The only effect Americans would see is the lights going off — for years.
What is an "EMP"?
An electromagnetic pulse (EMP), is a short burst of electromagnetic energy.
Such a pulse’s origination may be a natural occurrence or man-made and can occur as a radiated, electric or magnetic field or a conducted electric current, depending on the source.
The term "electromagnetic pulse" is commonly abbreviated EMP (which is pronounced by saying the letters separately, "E-M-P").
EMP interference is generally disruptive or damaging to electronic equipment, and at higher energy levels a powerful EMP event such as a lightning strike can damage physical objects such as buildings and aircraft structures.
The management of EMP effects is an important branch of electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) engineering.
Weapons have been developed to create the damaging effects of high-energy EMP.
These are typically divided into nuclear and non-nuclear devices.
Such weapons, both real and fictional, have become known to the public by means of popular culture.
Minor EMP events, cause low levels of electrical noise or interference which can affect the operation of susceptible devices.
For example, a common problem in the mid-twentieth century was interference emitted by the ignition systems of gasoline engines, which caused radio sets to crackle and TV sets to show stripes on the screen.
Laws had to be introduced to make vehicle manufacturers fit interference reducing suppression systems.
At a high voltage level, an EMP can induce a spark, for example from an electrostatic discharge when fuelling a gasoline-engined vehicle.
Such sparks have been known to cause fuel-air explosions and precautions must be taken to prevent them.
A large and energetic EMP can induce high currents and voltages in the victim, damaging electrical equipment or disrupting its function.
A very large EMP event such as a lightning strike is also capable of damaging objects such as trees, buildings, and aircraft directly, either through heating effects or the disruptive effects of the very large magnetic field generated by the current.
An indirect effect can be electrical fires caused by heating.
Most engineered structures and systems require some form of protection against lightning to be designed in.
A huge EMP sends out electromagnetic waves that induce electric currents in wires; from power lines to speaker wires, to the tiniest copper leads inside microchips.
The induced currents are so powerful, they instantly overheat and melt whatever they’re attached to.
Circuit boards all fry themselves. Anything plugged into an electric socket, explodes into flame from the surge of power.
Anything using electricity, from wrist watches to toasters, to refrigerators, to cars, to buildings, to factories to hospitals to power plants, all get severely damaged, instantly.
The damaging effects of EMP have led to the introduction of EMP weapons, from tactical missiles with a small radius of effect to nuclear bombs tailored for maximum EMP effect over a wide area.
This is the type of EMP that could be generated by North Korea detonating a nuclear bomb 250 – 300 miles above the U.S., in space.
A nuclear EMP weapon
A nuclear EMP is the abrupt pulse of electromagnetic radiation resulting from a nuclear explosion.
The resulting rapidly-changing electric fields and magnetic fields couple with electrical/electronic systems to produce damaging current and voltage surges.
The intense gamma radiation emitted can also ionize the surrounding air, creating a secondary EMP as the atoms of air first lose their electrons and then regain them.
NEMP weapons are designed to maximize such EMP effects as the primary damage mechanism, capable of destroying susceptible electronic equipment over a wide area.
An NEMP warhead designed to be detonated far above the Earth’s surface is known as a high-altitude electromagnetic pulse (HEMP) device.
The explosion releases a blast of gamma rays into the mid-stratosphere, which ionizes and the resultant energetic free electrons interact with the Earth’s magnetic field to produce a much stronger EMP than is normally produced in the denser air at lower altitudes.
If that same device were to be detonated slightly higher, at around 312 miles, and over Kansas City instead of North Dakota, the ENTIRE USA would be impacted, with every electric or electronic device being instantly destroyed by the voltages from 5,000 to 25,000 volts slamming into them!
Three years to get electricity back
In the event of an actual EMP, electrical power would not be back in ANY area for at least one year and it would actually take closer to three years to get power back everywhere in the USA.
The reason for this is quite simple: The national power grid has massive transformers throughout the network, to step-down voltages from the 500,000-volt lines that carry energy from power plants to the 120 and 240-volt power used in most homes and businesses.
We are not talking about the transformers you may see on electric utility poles along your street, we’re talking massive transformers that are so heavy, they require a trailer with twenty-four (24) Axles and ninety-six (96) wheels to bear the weight of it.
It takes two years to build one of these transformers and here’s the worst part: There are NO manufacturing facilities anywhere in the United States that can do it.
The work has to be done overseas, with the product placed on a large ship and sent here one at a time.
Kim Jong-un said he will destroy the United States in one attack
After their January 6, 2016, hydrogen bomb test, North Korea’s official state-run media reported:
"North Korean scientists are in high spirit to detonate H-bombs of hundreds of kilotons and megatons, capable of wiping out the whole territory of the US all at once."
Instead of taking any action at that time, the Obama Administration requested that China use their influence on their southern neighbor.
During the parade, which Kim Jong-un used to show the world his military firepower, a simulation was shown that depicted the United States being destroyed by North Korea.
The video, which was played on big screens during the celebrations, and proudly watched by leader Kim Jong-un, showed entire US cities wiped out by North Korea.