WASHINGTON – Former U.S. ambassador Henry Cooper, who headed the Strategic Defense Initiative under President Ronald Reagan, has warned that the United States lacks any defense against a “back-door” attack by North Korea using a long-range missile with a nuclear warhead, according to a report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
Cooper said such a back-door attack would pass over the southern polar ice cap, where the U.S. has little or no defense.
“Our missile defense of the U.S. homeland is primarily deployed against a ‘front-door’ attack over the North Pole,” Cooper said. “It is critically (and) urgently important to assure that such a back-door attack cannot be carried out by North Korea, or in the future, Iran.”
Cooper has called for the deployment of the much-heralded Aegis anti-ballistic missile system to cover the Southern region.
The concern is that a satellite with a nuclear weapon on it could be exploded at a high altitude – between 150 and 300 miles over the U.S. – creating an electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, effect. The impact could be catastrophic to an already vulnerable U.S. electrical grid system, electronic components and automated control systems affecting critical infrastructures on which the U.S. greatly depends.
North Korea is known to have nuclear weapons and is assessed by the Defense Intelligence Agency to be capable of miniaturizing a nuclear weapon to be placed on one of its long-range missiles.
In addition, North Korea also has demonstrated that it can orbit satellites that potentially could threaten the U.S. from the south.
“There are disputes about whether North Korean ballistic missiles launched in a normal ballistic trajectory have sufficient range capability to reach the U.S. mainland, but there can be no dispute about whether a nuclear weapon on a satellite in a polar orbit can be detonated on-orbit above the United States, or anywhere else on the surface of the earth,” Cooper said.
“Unless destroyed before launch or intercepted afterward, such a satellite would approach America from the south and its payload could be detonated above Omaha – blanketing the entire United States with an EMP, the consequences of which [would cause], within a year, the death of a couple hundred million Americans,” he said.
The Obama administration has deployed Aegis to cover the California and Alaska regions as well as deployed two Aegis destroyers to the Korean Peninsula region. The U.S. also has supplied Aegis to the Japanese government to protect against any potential missile attack.
Cooper said that the Aegis anti-ballistic missile system would be capable of hitting the satellite swirling around the Earth at an altitude of 150 miles.
He referred to an episode in February 2008 in which then-President George W. Bush was looking for a way to shoot down a dying US. satellite that was traveling at a speed of 17,000 miles per hour that threatened to spread toxic chemicals over populated areas.
The Aegis system was selected over other options to conduct a mission “for which it had never planned.”
The Lake Erie Aegis Cruiser shot down the satellite, which was at an altitude of 150 miles.
Although classified, Aegis has an estimated operational range of some 270 miles. It has a flight ceiling of only 100 miles, however, even though the Aegis system was pushed to achieve the 150-mile satellite kill from the Lake Erie Aegis Cruiser.
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