Good morning, Netizens...
The North Koreans have successfully launched a new type of missile overnight according to the Associated Press. The North fired the missile from its Musudan-ni launch site on the east coast, a South Korean government official said. He spoke on condition of anonymity, citing the sensitivity of the matter. It is the sixth short-range missile North Korea has test-fired since Monday's nuclear test. Yonhap News Agency in South Korea, citing an unknown government source, stated this missile is an improved version of the SA-5 which North Korea purchased from the Soviet Union in the mid-60's.
In the meantime, Chinese fishing boats have been seen fleeing North Korean waters in what might appear to be attempts to avoid a battle at sea. U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said the situation was not a crisis and no additional U.S. troops would be sent to the region. Call me a paranoid, but I would call a loose cannon in charge of North Korea firing off missiles and testing nuclear weapons a crisis, but I could be wrong. I hold no hunches nor predispositions about North Korea's intentions; only that their actions and those of their despotic leaders are making me nervous.
First I have a reading assignment for those who have indicated by their participation in a discussion of nuclear weapons versus EMP explosions in near-space. If you browse to http://www.empcommission.org/docs/A2473-EMP_Commission-7MB.pdf you will read the full, rather extensive report of how much damage an atom bomb exploding in near-space could cause and how realistic such a scenario might be. Trust me, this report is extensive and rather pointed in its conclusions.
Read http://www.empcommission.org/docs/empc_exec_rpt.pdf this PDF to gain a better understand of what, in the words of this commission, those impacts might be like.
As I see it, the following questions apply:
Could North Korea launch an atomic weapon somewhere over the United States and explode it aloft? My opinion is yes. It could devastate our entire government including command and control over a wide area. The example given by the commission is that a nuclear weapon exploded in near space over Indiana could wipe out an area from Western Nebraska to New York City. Lights, water, telecommunications and some military site(s) would be severely impacted.
Does this need to be an EMP weapon? No, based upon the results of an above-ground explosion done above Johnson Island in the South Pacific. It knocked power and lights out in Hawaii, and by today's standards, it was a puny bomb indeed.
Should we take the threat of North Korea seriously? HELL YES. Given the instability of the current regime in control of North Korea, we need to take every step within reason to stop this madness.
These, of course, are strictly my opinions, and I hold no special qualifications to make such a determination, other than I have read the report(s) cited above in detail. Some of the information, particularly about switching mechanisms that control power and water I fully understand and am cognizant about the impact EMP might have upon their operation.
And, by all means, if you hold different opinions than my own about this sensitive matter, feel free to add any comments you may have.