People in Seoul, which is only 60km from the border, watch North Korean missile tests closely. Photo: Reuters

An analyst writing for 38 North, a respected website devoted to analysis of North Korea, says that a nuclear electromagnetic pulse attack (EMP) by Pyongyang is possible.

The commentary by William R. Graham on the site hosted by the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) also debunks other experts who say such an attack is “science fiction” because they believe the 10 to 20 kiloton nuke weapons currently possessed by the North are incapable of making an effective EMP attack.

“This dismisses the consensus view of EMP experts who have advanced degrees in physics and electrical engineering along with several decades of experience in the field–with access to classified data throughout that time–who have conducted EMP tests on a wide variety of electronic systems,” Graham wrote.

Graham says North Korea could make an EMP attack on the US by launching a short-range missile off a freighter or submarine or “lofting a warhead to 30 kilometers burst height by balloon.” He says North Korea could also deliver an EMP strike via satellite.

AN EMP attack is a high-intensity burst of electromagnetic energy from a nuclear weapon that can disable or destroy a nation’s computer networks and other electronic infrastructure.

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