The aggressive and illegal development of ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons makes North Korea the greatest threat to the United States. Moreover, the diplomatic tension between these nations is not helping the already escalated situation. A potential nuclear electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack by North Korea would spell a doomsday scenario in the US. According to the United States of America Department of the Army (2014), North Korea might be able to develop or acquire an EMP enabled nuke and attack the US.1 Moreover, its side effects could last for at least three years. This weapon also has the capability of shutting down the US power grid. Thus, a successfully launched EMP nuke by North Korea into the US would rewind the American time machine to the eighteenth century in a matter of milliseconds.
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In the last three years, North Korea has tested a series of intercontinental ballistic missiles and a miniaturized hydrogen bomb. If this weapon was successfully launched into the US, especially in a high altitude region, it would destroy most of the technological networks and cause an imaginable crisis. For instance, a complete shutdown of power, communication, and the Internet for an unknown period of time would make America lose its current strategic position as the world peace leader.2 This means that the daily activities of Americans would stop as supplies and communication would be cut. In addition, direct and indirect impacts could actually affect up to 80% of the US population.
The current BMD systems of the US are not programmed to be effective in defending even a small ICBM approaching the border from the Southern Polar region. Unfortunately, North Korea’s trial weapons and satellites are launched in this direction. Although the US communication systems are EMP-hardened, it will not be sufficient to detect and intercept a hydrogen bomb launched from the southern region.3 For instance, if North Korea attacks the US with blackout bombs, which work by dispersing graphite filaments that are carbon treated over a power grid, it will weaken America’s strategic security position.
The North Korea’s cyber power is a threat to the US financial systems and internet security. The increasing cyber-attacks by trained and government-backed hackers from North Korea present real threats of unknown proportion. Over the years, Pyongyang’s administration has been aggressive in developing a secret cyber program that is believed to be capable of unleashing global havoc and hit America the most. For instance, if North Korea succeeds in developing a program that could intercept the US communication systems, it could release classified information on sensitive security operations and arsenal.4 A potential cyber-attack from North Korea could hold for ransom large swathes of private and state-owned communication and financial infrastructures in the US. At present, any major cyber-attack in the US territory is a grave technical exposure that it might not quickly recover from since most systems are wired to the Internet.
In summary, the excessive focus on development of nuclear, hydrogen, black bombs and other ballistic warheads by North Korea is a threat to the strategic US security leadership position. Moreover, Pyongyang’s secret cyber program has a potential of a high magnitude cyber-attack of the US’s financial power and other infrastructures. These attacks would seriously compromise the US homeland security.
The Air University. “Student Text 22-2: Writing and Speaking Skills for Leaders at the Organizational Level”. The Air University.org, Web.
United States Government US Army. Training Circular TC 7-100 Hybrid Threat November 2010. Washington: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2012.
United States of America Department of the Army. “Win in a Complex World”. TRADOC Pamphlet 525-3-1, Web.
US Army. “FM 3-0 Operations (October 2017).” US Army.org, 2017. Web.
- United States of America Department of the Army, “Win in a Complex World”, TRADOC Pamphlet 525-3-1, Web.
- The Air University, “Student Text 22-2: Writing and Speaking Skills for Leaders at the Organizational Level,” The Air University.org, Web.
- United States Government US Army, Training Circular TC 7-100 Hybrid Threat November 2010 (Washington: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2012), 45.
- US Army, “FM 3-0 Operations (October 2017),” US Army.org, Web.