Wednesday, April 9, 2014

North Korea might just be able to deliver an EMP Strike against the US after all ? From WND - WASHINGTON – A long-suppressed report prepared by the Department of Homeland Security for the Defense Department concludes that North Korea could deliver on its threats to destroy the United States with a nuclear electromagnetic pulse attack...... The problem with North Korea if this is accurate - no one would say they are rationale actors , China seems to have lost the ability to manage North Korea and their people are still starving.... Did I mention they have a young and untested leader to boot ? ! Add them to the list of geopolitical concerns....

http://www.wnd.com/2014/04/dhs-study-north-korea-capable-of-emp-attack-on-u-s


WASHINGTON – A long-suppressed report prepared by the Department of Homeland Security for the Defense Department concludes that North Korea could deliver on its threats to destroy the United States with a nuclear electromagnetic pulse attack.
The report remains blocked from release to the American public.
However, a copy obtained by Peter Vincent Pry from sources within DHS finds North Korea could use its Unha-3 space launch vehicle to deliver a nuclear warhead as a satellite over the South Pole to attack the U.S. from the south.


Pry, executive director of the congressional advisory Task Force on National and Homeland Security, pointed out that the U.S. “has no early warning radars or interceptors” to stop a missile from the south.

Pry also was the staff director to the congressionally mandated EMP commission, which concluded that the damage from either a natural or man-made EMP event on the nation’s unprotected electrical grid would have a cascading impact on life-sustaining critical infrastructures as well as electronic components and automated control systems.
Along with the electrical grid system, the critical infrastructures include telecommunications, banking, finance, petroleum and natural gas pipelines, transportation, food and water delivery, emergency services and space systems.
DHS conducted the study after the spring 2013 nuclear crisis with North Korea in which the communist government’s leadership threatened a “preemptive” nuclear strike on the U.S. and then released videos depicting a nuclear attack on Washington.
Pry said North Korea successfully practiced the EMP attack scenario three months before the crisis.
During the crisis, he said, North Korea issued a general mobilization order to its “nuclear forces” that included “space forces.”
“The North Koreans are seeing what they can get away with,” Pry said. “It shows that Pyongyang is planning something big against the U.S.”
Vulnerable backside
In its suppressed study, DHS said that if North Korea attempted to deploy the Unha-3 space launch vehicle or the Taepodong-2 intercontinental ballistic missile, the Defense Department should destroy the missile on its pad before launch.
At the time, however, President Obama and the White House “repeatedly asserted that North Korea did not yet have the capacity to attack the United States or U.S. allies with nuclear missiles.”

Separately, former U.S. Ambassador Henry Cooper, who was the first director of the Strategic Defense Initiative under then-President George H.W. Bush, said that North Korea generally tests its missiles by launching toward the South Pole.
He said, however, that the U.S. does not have its missile defense system oriented toward an attack from a southern polar missile launch attack on the U.S. Instead, all missile defenses are positioned for an attack from the north.
In addition, he said, the U.S. lacks adequate missile defenses against an attack on the East Coast.
Cooper has called for the deployment of existing Navy Aegis missile defense systems, both on ship and on land.
He said the Aegis system is capable of intercepting a nuclear weapon approximately 150 miles above the Earth, the height at which a high-altitude nuclear EMP attack would be most effective.
Nationwide disaster
In its December 2012 test, North Korea was able to launch a satellite, Cooper and Pry told WND, that could have been a nuclear weapon capable of orbiting the Earth and detonating on command over the United States or anywhere else.
In his interview with WND, Pry said Pyongyang in April 2013 had launched a satellite that was tracked orbiting over the U.S., first in the middle of country and then over the eastern most populated corridor between Boston and Washington.
Pry said that if the satellite were a nuclear weapon exploded above the middle of the U.S., the EMP effect on the vulnerable grid system would have been nationwide.
In its numerous underground nuclear tests, North Korea has been testing low-kiloton nuclear weapons that Pry said was a “super EMP” device designed to emit a large number of gamma rays, a form of electromagnetic energy.
Devious intent
In an interview with WND, Pry said the revelations in the suppressed DHS report are only the latest indications of North Korean intentions aimed at a possible nuclear EMP attack on the U.S.
He said the prospect is the latest in a series of recent North Korean actions.
Pry referred to the revelation of a Soviet-era nuclear-capable ground-to-air SA-2 missile that was discovered on a North Korean ship detained in the Panama Canal in July 2013 after leaving Cuba, only 90 miles from U.S. shores.
U.S. intelligence believes the missile was headed back to North Korea for refurbishment.
Cuba is assessed to have some 100 of the ground-to-air missiles ostensibly designed to knock out aircraft. However, Pry said that armed with a nuclear weapon and exploded over the East Coast, one or two of the SA-2s being launched over the East Coast would knock out the Eastern grid, which services some 70 percent of the U.S. population.
At the time of the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, the SA-2s were not an issue of contention for elimination from the island. Instead, the focus was on the ground-to-ground missiles the Soviet Union then removed. However, the SA-2s remain in Cuba to this day.
Revelation of a Cuban SA-2 on a North Korean ship also brought into focus the increasingly close military ties Pyongyang is developing with Havana.
Pry said that an EMP attack on the U.S. would not have to originate from North Korea but could be a missile, such as the SA-2, launched from a freighter off the U.S. East or Gulf Coasts. At that point, there would be no missile defense capable of halting such an event.

With a missile launched from a freighter, it could be difficult to identify who is responsible for an attack








UPDATE 1-Japan ready to intercept any N Korea missile deemed a threat

Sat Apr 5, 2014 8:54am EDT

RELATED TOPICS


Japan to strike if fears missile might hit its territory
* Aegis carrier ordered to prepare intercept
* Fresh tensions come amid sabre-rattling, renewed talks (Adds conditions that would prompt intercept; recent developments)
By Nobuhiro Kubo
TOKYO, April 5 (Reuters) - Japan will strike any North Korean ballistic missile that threatens to hit Japan in the coming weeks after Pyongyang recently fired medium-range missiles, a government source said on Saturday.
Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera issued the order, which took effect on Thursday and runs through April 25, the day that marks the founding of North Korea's army, the source told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
Following the order, meant "to prepare for any additional missile launches," a destroyer was dispatched to the Sea of Japan and will fire if North Korea launches a missile that Tokyo deems in danger of striking or falling on Japanese territory, the source said.
Tensions have been building between North Korea and its neighbours since Pyongyang - in an apparent show of defiance - fired two Rodong missiles on March 26, just as the leaders of Japan, South Korea and the United States were sitting down to discuss containing the North Korean nuclear threat.
That first firing in four years of mid-range missiles that can hit Japan followed a series of short-range rocket launches over the past two months. The Rodong ballistic missiles fell into the sea after flying 650 km (400 miles), short of a maximum range thought to be some 1,300 km, Japan said.
Since then, North Korea has rattled sabres by firing artillery rounds into South Korean waters, prompting the South to fire back; South Korea has test-fired a new ballistic missile with a range of 500 km; and Pyongyang has threatened an unspecified "new form" of nuclear test.
At the same time, Japan and North Korea resumed talks - suspended since Pyongyang test-launched a long-range missile more than a year ago - over the North's nuclear and missile programmes, as well as the fate of Japanese abducted in the 1970s and 1980s to help train North Korean spies.
Onodera has avoided publicly announcing the new missile-intercept order so as not to put a chill on those talks, Japanese media said.
He also did not deploy Patriot missile batteries that would be the last line of defence against incoming warheads, the source told Reuters.
Japanese Aegis destroyers in the Sea of Japan are equipped with advanced radar equipment able to track multiple targets and carry missiles designed to take out targets at the edge of space. (Writing by Tim Kelly and William Mallard; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)










U.S. to Send Two Warships to Japan to Counter North Korea

TOKYO - Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel delivered a two-pronged warning to Asia Pacific nations Sunday, announcing that the U.S. will send two additional ballistic missile destroyers to Japan to counter the North Korean threat, and saying China must better respect its neighbors.
In unusually forceful remarks about China, Hagel drew a direct line between Russia's takeover of Ukraine's Crimea region and the ongoing territorial disputes between China, Japan and others over remote islands in the East China Sea.
"I think we're seeing some clear evidence of a lack of respect and intimidation and coercion in Europe today with what the Russians have done with Ukraine," Hagel told reporters after a meeting with Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera. "We must be very careful and we must be very clear, all nations of the world, that in the 21st century this will not stand, you cannot go around the world and redefine boundaries and violate territorial integrity and sovereignty of nations by force, coercion and intimidation whether it's in small islands in the Pacific or large nations in Europe."
Hagel, who will travel to China later this week, called the Asian nation a "great power," and added, "with this power comes new and wider responsibilities as to how you use that power, how you employ that military power."
He said he will talk to the Chinese about having respect for their neighbors, and said, "coercion, intimidation is a very deadly thing that leads only to conflict. All nations, all people deserve respect no matter how large or how small."
The announcement of the deployments of additional destroyers to Japan came as tensions with North Korea spiked again, with Pyongyang continuing to threaten additional missile and nuclear tests.
In recent weeks the North has conducted a series of rocket and ballistic missile launches that are considered acts of protest against annual ongoing springtime military exercises by Seoul and Washington. North Korea says the exercises are rehearsals for invasion.


UPDATE 2-North Korea tells world 'wait and see' on new nuclear test

Sat Apr 5, 2014 4:50am IST

(Adds view of nuclear expert; talks on North Korea next week, paragraphs 12-16)
By Michelle Nichols
(Reuters) - North Korea said on Friday that the world would have to "wait and see" when asked for details of "a new form" of nuclear test it threatened to carry out after the United Nations Security Council condemned Pyongyang's recent ballistic missile launch.
North Korea fired two medium-range Rodong ballistic missiles into the sea on March 26. Its first firing in four years of mid-range missiles that can hit Japan followed a series of short-range rocket launches over the past two months.
Members of the Security Council on March 27 condemned the move as a violation of U.N. resolutions and that it would continue discussions on an "appropriate response."
North Korea (DPRK) reacted on Sunday with a threat to conduct what it called "a new form of nuclear test."
"The DPRK made it very clear, we will carry out a new form of nuclear test. But I recommend you to wait and see what it is," North Korea's Deputy U.N. Ambassador Ri Tong Il said on Friday during the normally reclusive state's third U.N. news conference this year.
Ballistic missile launches are banned under U.N. Security Council resolutions adopted in response to North Korea's multiple nuclear tests and rocket firings. The council expanded its existing sanctions after Pyongyang's February 2013 atomic test, its third nuclear detonation since 2006.
The Security Council's sanctions on Pyongyang target the country's missile and nuclear programs and attempt to punish North Korea's reclusive leadership through a ban on the export of luxury goods to the country.
Ri accused the United States of being "hell bent on regime change" in North Korea by blaming its leaders for human rights violations. He also said Washington was blocking a bid for the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula by ignoring North Korean proposals, so it can maintain military presence in the region.
U.S. 'GOING AROUND CRAZY'
"The U.S. is hell bent on eliminating the DPRK politically, isolating DPRK economically and annihilating the DPRK militarily," Ri told reporters. "There is a great question mark why the U.S. is hell bent on increasing the tension, ignoring the DPRK proposals, very important for peace and security."
A U.S. diplomat said that Washington had long made clear that it was open to improved relations with North Korea if Pyongyang lived up to its international obligations.
"North Korea's nuclear programs will not make the country more secure. The only way for North Korea to achieve the security and prosperity it seeks is by complying with its international obligations and commitments," the diplomat said.
Nuclear expert Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in the United States, said North Korea's reference to a new form of nuclear test could mean simultaneous detonation of two or more devices as part of a program of more intense testing expected over the next few years.
Lewis said he thought it unlikely North Korean leader Kim Jong Un would move for the moment from underground to atmospheric testing - something he might do to demonstrate an ability to deploy nuclear armed missiles or artillery - for fear of inflaming Chinese public opinion.
"He's only likely to do that ... if he no longer cares what Beijing thinks," Lewis said. "Still, it is useful to remember that Kim Jong Un has a number of other unpleasant provocations from which he might choose."
While North Korea has detonated several nuclear devices, analysts have expressed doubt that it currently has the technical capability to reliably mount a nuclear warhead on a missile.
Senior officials of the United States, Japan and South Korea will meet in Washington on Monday to seek ways to persuade North Korea to give up its atomic weapons program. The discussions precede a visit to Asia by Obama from April 22, which will include stops in both South Korea and Japan, where the North Korea issue will be high on the agenda.
U.N. rights investigators said in February that North Korean security chiefs and possibly Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un himself should be tried for ordering systematic torture, starvation and killings, saying the crimes were "strikingly similar" to those committed in World War Two.
"There is no human rights situation existing in the DPRK," Ri said. "The DPRK has the best social system in the world, it is based on one family as a country, fully united around our leadership, the people and the party."
"The U.S. is behaving as if it is a human rights judge while it should be subjected to the International Criminal Court more than anybody else. They made a lot of crimes," he said, citing U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Ri criticized military drills by the United States and South Korea, called Foal Eagle and due to end on April 18. North Korea has traditionally called for the joint exercises to be called off, seeing them as a prelude to invasion.
"The U.S. is now going around crazy with these joint military drills without caring about peace and security on the Korean peninsula," Ri said.
The annual drills have been conducted for decades without a major incident. The United States and South Korea stress that the exercises are purely defensive and aimed at testing readiness against any possible North Korean aggression. (Additional reporting by David Brunnstrom in WASHINGTON; Editing by Grant McCool)