Michael Colunga (23 July 2013)
"North Korea and Iran--peas in an ICBM pod...RE:  Gail (20 July 2013)"

Hello, John and Doves,
In response to the reminder from Gail to watch North Korea,
I remembered Jon G's post from 28 February 2013:
Courtesy of Jon G, I would like to present excerpts from the article he cited from Israel National News [Arutz Sheva].
Here follows the article [edited for length].

Op-Ed: Underestimating North Korea and Iran


Published: Thursday, February 28, 2013 12:41 PM


Dr. Peter Vincent Pry

The writer is Executive Director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and Director of the U.S. Nuclear Strategy Forum, both congressional advisory boards, and served in the Congressional EMP Commission, the Congressional Strategic Posture Commission, the House Armed Services Committee, and the CIA. He is author of Apocalypse Unknown: The Struggle To Protect America From An Electromagnetic Pulse Catastrophe available through CreateSpace.com or Amazon.com.


[Concatenated excerpts (Headings are from the article.)]

North Korea and Iran are not re-inventing the nuclear wheel. They can draw on a vast treasure trove of declassified information about U.S. nuclear weapons development. And they cooperate with one another. And we are talking EMP....

Super-EMP Warhead--Nation Killer...

If North Korea's nuclear weapon is an ordinary nuclear warhead designed to create a big explosion, then it is not much of a threat. The lethal radius of "several kilotons" is so small, and the miss distance of North Korean missiles is so great, that such a warhead might well explode harmlessly in the countryside, and do little damage to the targeted city.

Yet North Korea is happy with its mysterious "nuclear device," has declared all its tests successful, and has weaponized it into warheads. Is North Korea arming its missiles with nuclear duds? Are they stupid?

In 2004, the Congressional Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Commission was warned by a delegation of Russian generals that Russia had developed a "Super-EMP" nuclear warhead, and that design information for this weapon had leaked to North Korea. A Super-EMP warhead is a nuclear weapon specially designed to produce an enormous burst of gamma rays that generates an extraordinarily powerful electromagnetic pulse, capable of destroying even the best protected electronics, thereby paralyzing military forces and blacking out power grids and collapsing critical infrastructures everywhere--across an entire nation the size of the United States.

One signature of a Super-EMP weapon is that it has a very low explosive yield, just several kilotons, or even less if it is more efficient, because the weapon is converting the energy of the nuclear warhead into gamma rays....

North Korea's ICBM...

A Super-EMP warhead does not weigh much, and could probably be delivered by North Korea's Fractional Orbital Bombardment System, successfully tested in December 2012, against any nation on Earth. Thus, North Korea already possesses an ICBM and poses a mortal nuclear threat to the United States, and to all nations on Earth--right now.

North Korea, during the successful test of its ICBM on December 12, 2012, orbited a satellite weighing 100 kilograms (about 200 pounds). One design of a Super-EMP warhead would be a modified neutron bomb, more accurately an Enhanced Radiation Warhead (ERW) because it produces not only many neutrons but also many gamma rays. As noted earlier, gamma rays cause the EMP effect. One U.S. ERW warhead (the W-82) deployed in NATO during the Cold War weighed, including its heavy casing, less than 50 kilograms. Since the EMP attack entails detonating the warhead at high-altitude, above the atmosphere, the warhead does not even need a heavy re-entry vehicle and heat shield.

North Korea's ICBM does not have to be accurate to make an EMP attack against the United States.

The EMP field is so large that detonating anywhere over the U.S. would have catastrophic consequences. North Korea orbited its satellite around the Earth at an altitude of about 500 kilometers. The trajectory of North Korea's satellite is no accident--they deliberately aimed for and achieved this orbit and altitude, as announced before their launch.

An altitude of 500 kilometers would be ideal for making an EMP attack that places the field over the entire lower 48 United States....

Surprise Attack...

The primary purpose of the Fractional Orbital Bombardments System [FOBS], that North Korea appears to have borrowed from Russia, is to make a surprise nuclear attack. FOBS is stealthy as it can strike from any direction, from unexpected directions, not just from the shortest direction or by using the trajectory that would be normal for an ICBM. Because FOBS looks like a Space Launch Vehicle, not an ICBM making a nuclear attack, this disguise optimizes chances for achieving surprise.

During the Cold War, Moscow experimented with a stealthy way of delivering a nuclear attack on the United States using a Fractional Orbital Bombardment System to elude radar detection. This would entail launching an ICBM southward, away from the United States, so it appears non-threatening, and delivering the warhead like a satellite on a south polar orbit, so the nuclear attack comes at the U.S. from the south.

During the Cold War--and today--the United States has no Ballistic Missile Early Warning Radars or missile interceptors facing south. We would not even see an attack from the south coming.

Two U.S. PAVE PAWS Large Phased Array Radars--designed to look for submarine missiles launched from the Atlantic and Pacific toward the U.S. east and west coasts--do look southward with the edges of their radar fields. However, there is a gap between the fields, a hole in the radar coverage, larger than the Yucatan Peninsula, and in that general location....


Might North Korea sell Super-EMP warheads and its stealthy Fractional Orbital Bombardment System with global reach to Iran? North Korea and Iran have been collaborating all along.

Iran may already have a FOBS capability, as it has successfully launched two satellites on polar orbits, assisted by North Korean missile technology and North Korean technicians.

Iran launched its satellites southward, over the Indian Ocean, flying them over the polar region to approach the U.S. from the south. Like North Korea, Iran did not fly its satellites over the U.S. But a slight adjustment in trajectory would have sent them over the geographic center of the lower 48 United States. Like North Korea, Iran orbited its satellites at about 500 kilometers altitude, optimum for placing an EMP field over the entire contiguous United States.

Iranian scientists were present at all three North Korean nuclear tests, according to press reports. North Korean scientists are known to be present in Iran. North Korea has been denounced by the United Nations for selling a facility to Syria for developing nuclear weapons, which was bombed by Israel. So if North Korea has sold nuclear weapons technology to Syria, why not Iran?

Conceivably, Iran could already have or be close to developing a Super-EMP warhead. Reza Kahlili, the only CIA operative to successfully penetrate the scientific wing of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, reports that Iran acquired several tactical nuclear warheads from Russia--including a neutron warhead. As noted earlier, a neutron or Enhanced Radiation Warhead would be well suited for making an EMP attack....

[End concatenated excerpts]