Sunday, September 03, 2017

"North Korean EMP Threat: Real of Ridiculous?"

On the Sunday afternoon where Trump and the media reacted to Kim Jong Un’s claims of having a miniaturized hydrogen bomb, I watched the 13-minute short film,  “North Korean EMP Threat: Real or Ridiculous” by Anon Z, July 8, shortly after North Korea’s first “ICBM” test.

The woman who narrates this video sounds quite balanced. She says she voted for Trump, but she says she loves this country.

She traces some warnings to Congress about the EMP threat back between 2004 and 2006 in some conservative newspapers (like The Washington Times). 

She points out that a small nuclear weapon would much more likely to be used.  She presents James Woolsey’s claim that the “Shining Star” satellite already in orbit might be used when over the US.  Vut she believes it is more likely that a weapon would be launched from a submarine or from a hijacked commercial ship off shore.  She mentions smuggling of North Korean parts through Cuba and Panama. It isn’t hard to imagine connections between North Korea and Islamic fascists (including Iran) and even, on a downloadable personal level, ISIS ideology that ensnares young Muslim adults who feel “left behind”. 

A Twitter handle called “ResilientGrid” says that a thermonuclear hydrogen bomb can execute the third phase of the EMP pulse, but fission bombs can execute the first phase; so “EMP Deniers” could have been rebutted even before North Korea’s claims today.

She presents Newt Gingrich’s testimony before Congress earlier this year, where Gingrich compares this thereat to 9/11 but considers it a threat to civilization (as in the 2009 book “One Second After”).
She says that an attack would likely be regional, from an offshore source.  The US might recover.  But it would not recover from a high-altitude blast blanketing the entire country.  She says China would then come in an conquer the US, and remaining survivors would face moral judgment on their ability to function in a communist totalitarian society.

She also points out that North Korea has unusual hatred for the U.S. because of the way it conducted itself during the Korean War of the 1950s. It cares less about reunification of Korea, she says. 
Resilient Grid claims that the power grid can be protected for about $5 per American (for less than $2 billion), but I don’t know what that technology is or the reference.  One issue is to make more transformers at home (a case where keep industry at home – as Trump claims he wants – is critical for national security).
This reminds me of the "domino theory" of the Cold War, where the draft and the ability to fight conventional war sacrificing young men was seen as a buffer to nuclear war.
Is this an “I told you so” post? 

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