by Bill Gertz, Free Beacon:
North Korea for the first time this week revealed plans for using its nuclear arms for space-based electronics-disrupting EMP attacks, in addition to direct warhead ground blasts.
The official communist party newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, published a report Monday on “the EMP might of nuclear weapons,” outlining an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack produced by detonating a nuclear warhead in space.
“In general, the strong electromagnetic pulse generated from nuclear bomb explosions between 30 kilometers and 100 kilometers [18.6 miles and 62 miles] above the ground can severely impair electronic devices, electric machines, and electromagnetic grids, or destroy electric cables and safety devices,” said the article authored by Kim Songwon, dean of Kim Chaek University of Technology in Pyongyang.
“The discovery of the electromagnetic pulse as a source of high yield in the high-altitude nuclear explosion test process has given it recognition as an important strike method,” he stated.
The official discussion by North Korea of plans to conduct EMP strikes will likely fuel debate over the threat. Former CIA Director James Woolsey has said North Korea is capable of orbiting an EMP nuclear weapon in a satellite.
Some liberal arms control advocates have dismissed the EMP threat from Pyongyang as far-fetched, such as arms control advocate Jeffrey Lewis, who in April dismissed the threat of an EMP attack by laughing at a reporter’s question. “This is the favorite nightmare scenario of a small group of very dedicated people,” he told NPR.