Saturday, January 06, 2018

"Why the Threat of North Korean EMP Weapon Is Overhyped" (by Defense Updates)

Defense Updates (sponsored by Patreon) provides a 7-minute short film “Why Threat of North Korean E.M.P. Weapon Is Overhyped?”

The film makes the threat of EMP damage quite alarming, although it doesn’t distinguish between E1 and E3.  It says the US military is well aware of the problem but refuses to talk about it publicly, and that commercial infrastructure is only partially prepared, and real hardening would be very expensive, after decades of stockholder driven cost cutting.  It is interesting that the film mentions specially designed EMP nukes as tactical nuclear weapons.

However, the political climate for Kim Jong Un makes a full nuclear attempt against the US more likely, the film argues, because any attack would result in an overwhelming nuclear retaliation from the U.S. anyway.  The film buys the argument that Kim only wants to stay in power as the third member of a family dynasty.  He got fat to fill it. But I do wonder about the dominoes. 
An E-3 EMP, if pulled off, could so cripple the US that Communist or radical Islamist groups could later land and rule by force.

It seems clear that North Korea has shown how dangerous asymmetry can be in the modern world.

It seems to me that there is a real risk that Kim uses EMP if he hasn't yet mastered the re-entry problem but has mastered exploding a device in flight before landing.  That could be the case already or soon, early in 2018.  That makes pre-emption right now dangerous for America directly as well as Korean peninsula.  Lindsey Graham is wrong in saying the war would stay in their backyard if we fought it now.