Recently word came out of North Korea that said the regime was planning on using EMP (electro magnetic pulse) weapons in any future war with South Korea. EMP blasts have the ability to knock out most if not all electronic circuitry in the blast radius. Some of you may recall that this blog has done several stories about the effects of EMP blasts. Recently Newt Gingrich compared the power outages around the 4th of July as similar to what a small EMP blast would do. To sum it up an EMP blast can send the target area back to the stone age. North Korea already has nuclear weapons ( which when detonated produce a massive EMP blast wave) so the threat has to be taken seriously. However, for now it does not seem clear if they have a safe, effective way to deliver the nuclear warhead to the upper atmosphere to detonate it where it could cause the most damage to the south. This is because of their recent missile test failure, which has done real damage to the credibility to the North’s threats. The fact that China neighbors North Korea might actually keep them from using this until they can accurately fire the missile, can you imagine the Chinese reaction if the missile veered off course and detonated above their country sending half of China back to the dark ages? Having said that the North has had successful missile launches in the past so this is cause for concern.
You know Newt Gingrich can be a little weird, often saying wild, off the cuff remarks that leave you wondering if he just likes to hear himself talk? But, every now and again he does raise some critical points. Which is what I think he has done here by comparing all the power outages to what a small EMP (electro magnetic pulse) blast might inflict. If you have ever been without power for days on end you know how annoying it can be, factor in extreme heat or cold and it can turn down right dangerous quick. But what if the US was attacked with an EMP device that caused most of the country to go without power for an extended period of time like months? The result would be devastating, the economy would collapse along with pretty much society itself. More than likely millions would die by starvation, the effects would be catastrophic. It is something that is worth thinking about as more and more states get the bomb (think Iran). Really all somebody would have to do is put a warhead on a ballistic missile and launch it from a container ship out at sea. Detonate it in the atmosphere and the US is sent back to the stone age with minimal effort. States like North Korea and soon Iran already have the capability and unfortunately there is not much we could do to defend against this, kind of scary. The second link below will give you a more in depth look at what life would be like after an EMP blast.