North Korea says it might be willing to engage in diplomacy with the United States over its missile program – but only after it has an ICBM capable of reaching “all the way to the East Coast of the mainland U.S.”

The comments, made Monday, followed shortly after word that a congressional subcommittee on homeland security heard from two experts who have been studying America’s vulnerability to an existential threat – a real-life “doomsday scenario.”

That’s the threat of a North Korean nuclear attack on the U.S. that would be unimaginably worse than turning a city like Chicago or Denver into ashes, they testified. If just one of the nuclear weapons North Korea is now known to possess could be directed toward the heartland of the U.S. and detonated in the upper atmosphere, it could fry the electrical grid with an electromagnetic pulse (EMP), paralyze communications and transportation nationwide, instantly plunge the country back into a 19th century-style existence and cause 90 percent of Americans to starve to death in one year.

On Monday, CNN quoted a North Korean official affirming Pyongyang’s dedication to acquiring a long-range ICBM.

Diplomacy remains an option, the official told CNN, but “before we can engage in diplomacy with the Trump administration, we want to send a clear message that the DPRK has a reliable defensive and offensive capability to counter any aggression from the United States.”

The CNN report did not identify the official.

“The comments offer a sobering challenge to the U.S. and the Trump administration, which has offered mixed messages regarding diplomatic efforts with North Korea,” CNN said.

It noted White House Chief of Staff John Kelly said last week that Americans should be concerned about North Korea’s ability to reach the United States with an ICBM. He said at the time, should the threat grow, “Well, let’s hope that diplomacy works.”

The apocalyptic scenario of a nuclear blast and the cascading failure of America’s grip systems was delivered Thursday by William Graham, chairman of the Commission to Assess the Threat to the U.S. from an EMP Attack, and Peter Pry, chief of staff to the commission, to the homeland security Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency.

In fact, Graham and Pry suggested permitting the U.S. to become so vulnerable to an attack like this from a rogue nation could be one of the gravest oversights in the history of American security.

It’s a warning Graham has been delivering to Congress about the EMP threat for a decade, as first reported by WND in 2008.

The difference today, however, is that North Korea, at least theoretically, has the ability to deal a deathblow to America by employing this relatively simple, low-tech attack.

“With the development of small nuclear arsenals and long-range missiles by new, radical U.S. adversaries, beginning with North Korea the threat of a nuclear EMP attack against the U.S. becomes one of the few ways that such a country could inflict devastating damage to the United States,” they wrote in a prepared joint statement.

Related column: ‘How North Korea could destroy America’ by Joseph Farah

There’s little doubt North Korea is preparing for just such an attack.

In September 2017, North Korea detonated a hydrogen bomb that is described as a capable of a “super-powerful EMP” attack and released a technical report called “The EMP Might of Nuclear Weapons.”

Ironically, that was the same month the Department of Defense terminated funding of the EMP Commission, which has spent 17 years attempting to alert Congress and the White House to this catastrophic vulnerability – one, the commission says, is not expensive to remediate.


In 2013, WND Books published “A Nation Forsaken” that detailed the specifics of the EMP threat to the U.S., as well as the way the U.S. government was ignoring it. Now this prophetic book is more timely than ever.

“And today, as the EMP Commission has long warned, the nation faces a potentially imminent and existential threat of nuclear EMP attack from North Korea,” the report by Graham and Pry said. “Recent events have proven the EMP Commission’s critics wrong about other highly important aspects of the nuclear threat from North Korea.”

The report points out:

Six months ago, most experts believe North Korea’s nuclear arsenal was primitive and limited to as few as six H-Bombs. Now the intelligence community estimates the number at 60. And with an EMP attack, it only takes one success.

In fact, six months ago, many of the experts believed North Korea’s ICBMs were fake, or, if real, incapable of striking the U.S. mainland. Now the intelligence community acknowledges that North Korea’s missiles can strike Denver, Chicago and perhaps the entire U.S.

High-altitude EMP blast

High-altitude EMP blast

Again, six months ago, most experts thought North Korea was many years away from developing an H-Bomb. Now, the commission says, it appears North Korea has H-Bombs comparable to sophisticated U.S. two-stage thermonuclear weapons.

What do you do when the lights go out? Learn the best way to keep “Lights On”

North Koreas has tested an H-Bomb that could produce a devastating EMP attack – even issuing a public statement about it a year ago: “The H-bomb, the explosive power of which is adjustable from tens of kilotons to hundreds of kilotons, is a multi-functional thermonuclear weapon with great destructive power which can be detonated even at high altitudes for super-powerful EMP attack, according to strategic goals.”

Graham and Pry suggest the impact of just one nuclear weapon used to produce a strategic EMP-style attack makes it far more likely that North Korea, or even terrorists, would prefer to use it in a mid-air detonation than to simply destroy one American city.

In 2004, two Russian generals, both EMP experts, warned the U.S. EMP Commission that the design for Russia’s super-EMP warhead was “accidentally” transferred to North Korea. They also said Russian scientists were in North Korea, as were Chinese and Pakistani scientists, helping them with its nuclear weapons programs.

In the kind of EMP attack the commission fears, no one is killed. It’s possible most Americans would not even be aware that it happened, unless they were following the news. The impact is felt in the electrical grid when circuits are fried. Power could be down indefinitely – certainly up to a year. With America’s transportation and communications systems down, food shortages would be seen within days. Within weeks, people in cities would begin to starve.

North Korea’s missile test on April 29 actually detonated at an altitude of 72 kilometers, the optimum altitude for an EMP test. Had it been carrying a nuclear weapon, it would have wiped out all digital communications and power over a 930-kilometer radius.

What’s the best defense against a catastrophic EMP attack for the average American? Long-term, emergency food. The blast won’t hurt you, but the aftermath of chaos and disruption of food supplies will.

The commission’s recommendations include:

The creation by President Trump of a new cabinet secretary to oversee the management of a U.S. national infrastructure protection and defense system against such existential threats.

The establishment of a joint presidential-congressional commission

The issuance by President Trump of a new executive order to counter the threat.

The protection of U.S, military forces and critical national infrastructure as outlined by the commissions reports in 2004 and 2008.

The issuance of a declaration by President Trump stating that EMP or other attacks that threaten to black out the national grid constitute pre-emptive and retaliatory responses by the U.S. using all possible means, including nuclear weapons.

A call on the president to the secretary of defense to use technical means to determine if there is a nuclear weapon aboard North Korea’s satellites that obit the U.S. If it found that one of them do, they should be destroyed when they are over a broad ocean area where it will do the least damage.

A recommendation to the president to direct the secretary of homeland security to harden the FirstNet emergency communications system against EMP.

A recommendation to the president to harden the more than 100 nuclear power reactors and their spent fuel storage facilities against an EMP attack, as well as the national grid.

See the complete report.

As WND reported in 2008, an EMP attack is devastating because of the unprecedented cascading failures of major infrastructures that could result. Because of America’s heavy reliance on electricity and electronics, the impact would be far worse than in a country less advanced technologically. Graham and the commission reported almost 10 years ago that the potential for failure in the financial system, the system of distribution for food and water, medical care and trade and production.

“The recovery of any one of the key national infrastructures is dependent upon the recovery of others,” Graham said. “The longer the outage, the more problematic and uncertain the recovery will be. It is possible for the functional outages to become mutually reinforcing until at some point the degradation of infrastructure could have irreversible effects on the country’s ability to support its population.”

The earlier report also said that preparation could avoid a disaster.

Graham and Pry also warned about the catastrophic impact of an EMP attack in 2012, but that was before North Korea was known to be preparing for just such a scenario.

In 2013, WND Books published “A Nation Forsaken” that detailed the specifics of the EMP threat to the U.S., as well as the way the U.S. government was ignoring it. Now this prophetic book is more timely than ever.

What’s the best defense against a catastrophic EMP attack for the average American? Long-term, emergency food. The blast won’t hurt you, but the aftermath of chaos and disruption of food supplies will.


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