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WASHINGTON – As the North Korean government cautions staffers at British and other Western diplomatic missions that it can’t guarantee their safety after “April 10,” the North Korean General Staff is warning the United States again that it had “better ponder over the prevailing grave situation.”
The statement threatened to unleash “cutting-edge smaller, lighter and diversified nuclear strike means” against what the North Koreans believe are U.S. preparations to wage a nuclear war against them.
“The merciless operation of its revolutionary armed forces in this regard has been finally examined and ratified,” the General Staff statement said, indicating that in addition to the threat of a missile attack, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, or DPRK, may deploy its million-man army.
“The responsibility for this grave situation entirely rests with the U.S. administration and military warmongers keen to encroach upon the DPRK’s sovereignty and bring down its dignified social system with brigandish logic,” it said.
The General Staff announcement was referring to recent flights by nuclear-capable B-52s and B-2 bombers from the United States mainland and Guam. They were dispatched on practice bombing runs on targets in South Korea, just 50 miles from the Demilitarized Zone separating North Korea from South Korea.
The statement pointed to the practice flights that simulated “conditions of a nuclear strike at the DPRK,” along with formations of F-22 stealth jet fights which took off from Japan and Okinawa to deploy to Osan Air Force Base in South Korea “to watch for a chance to make a surprise strike.”
As an indication of intelligence-gathering on the part of the North Korean General Staff, it also referred to the U.S. deployment of the Aegis destroyers USS John S. McCain and the USS Decatur, equipped with interceptor missiles and SBI-1, along with the introduction of the nuclear submarine, USS Cheyenne, into Korean waters.
The USS Cheyenne is capable of launching Tomahawk missiles from vertical launch tubes.
“The U.S. is now hurling latest nuclear war hardware into South Korea, pushing the situation on the Korean Peninsula to the brink of a war,” the statement said.
“The U.S. and the South Korean puppet group are getting ever-more frantic in their reckless moves to ignite a nuclear war against the DPRK by mobilizing huge armed forces for aggression,” it said. “This is a vicious challenge to the DPRK’s step for self-defense to defend the sovereignty and dignity of the nation and a revelation of a wild ambition for igniting a nuclear war at any cost.”
Meantime, U.S. intelligence has confirmed the transfer of long-range missiles to the East Coast of North Korea.
As WND previously reported, U.S. officials, particularly from the intelligence community, are concerned about any movement of North Korea’s “space launch vehicles,” which are assessed to be able to reach the West Coast of the U.S.
If North Korea were to engage in a suicidal undertaking with the launch of one of these vehicles, the concern is that it could explode a high-altitude nuclear device over the United States, creating an electromagnetic pulse that would destroy major portions of the U.S. electrical grid system as well as the nation’s critical infrastructures.
These officials point to the three-stage missile North Korea launched last December that also orbited a “package,” which experts say could have been a test to orbit a nuclear weapon that then would be deorbited on command anywhere over the U.S. and exploded at a high altitude, creating an EMP effect.
North Korea’s continuing threats of a pre-emptive nuclear strike against U.S. targets suggest to U.S. officials that its military is confident in its missiles and that its recent nuclear testing for miniaturization of a warhead to be placed on a missile similarly was successful.
These officials are looking at the prospect that upon launch of the missile and a potential nuclear payload, it would take a polar path.
The fact that U.S. military officials are expressing quiet but increasing concern that North Korea could launch an EMP attack has raised alarms over the preservation of the U.S. national grid and such critical infrastructures as communications, energy, food and water delivery and space systems.
In addition to elements within the U.S. intelligence community, retired Ambassador Henry F. Cooper has warned of the prospect of an EMP attack from North Korea.
He pointed to the recent orbiting of a North Korean satellite which weighed a few hundred pounds. When a nuclear weapon payload that fits that weight constraint is joined with its recently successful three-stage missile, he said it could be detonated above the atmosphere over any place on earth, including the U.S.
“Since this attack configuration would be above the earth’s atmosphere, the nuclear device would not require heavy shielding to survive re-entry and when detonated it would produce an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) that could have devastating consequences,” he said.
A founder of High Frontier, a non-governmental authority on missile defense issues, arms control and nuclear weapons, Cooper developed the framework for President Ronald Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative and was director of the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization, or SDIO, during the Bush administration.
Given the news that the North Koreans have moved some of their ballistic missiles closer to the East Coast from the West Coast of the country, Cooper said this will shorten their range and flight time to hit potential targets.
“North Korea’s threats deserve greater weight than they have been given thus far,” he said. “The EMP from a high altitude burst over the U.S. could collapse the electric power grid…and within a year lead to the death of hundreds of millions of Americans for lack of food, medicine, etc.
“The resulting chaos could reduce our society from its just-in-time economy for most if not all of the essentials of life to the ways of the 19th century, without local support from the agrarian society of that era,” he said. “In effect, it would level the playing field with the despotic North Koran economic situation – an ideal asymmetric attack strategy if ever there was one.”
Cooper called for an augmentation of U.S. missile defenses.
“In particular, we (High Frontier) recommend our sea-based missile defense capabilities be improved as quickly as possible to ‘be all they can be’ to borrow an Army phrase,” he said. “The Aegis BMD (Ballistic Missile Defense) system has an excellent test record – 26 hits out of 31 attempts, including shooting down a satellite in outer space, above the atmosphere.”
In this connection, the Aegis systems which are being deployed off of Korea would be essential to intercept any nuclear package the North Koreans could push into orbit to prevent the potential for a high-altitude nuclear explosion that would have devastating EMP results on the U.S. homeland.