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This North Korean doomsday weapon could kill up to 90% of Americans, experts warn

Mirror logo Mirror 17-10-2017 Jeff Parsons
Credits: REUTERS/KCNA/Files © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: REUTERS/KCNA/Files

US officials have been given a stark warning about the potential dangers of a nuclear electromagnetic pulse (EMP) bomb triggered by reclusive North Korea .

According to experts, such a blast could end up killing 90% of Americans indirectly by knocking out the power grid and all electrical devices within the blast radius.

Dr. William R. Graham and Dr. Peter Vincent Pry from the EMP Commission outlined to the US House of Representatives the dangers faced by a detonation - which is when a hydrogen bomb is detonated at an altitude of between 30 and 400km above a target. Such a weapon would knock out things like refrigeration for food storage, electrical lights and communication and water processing.

Credits: Rex Features © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: Rex Features

"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," the pair warned in a written statement .

"It is critical, therefore, that the U.S. national leadership address the EMP threat as a critical and existential issue, and give a high priority to assuring the leadership is engaged and the necessary steps are taken to protect the country from EMP."

Dr. Graham, a former science advisor to president Reagan and Dr. Pry, a former CIA officer, urged president Trump to prepare for a possible EMP strike.

They also warned that North Korea's weaponry is becoming more of an issue as the reclusive nation continues to schedule ICBM missile tests.

"The EMP Commission finds that even primitive, low-yield nuclear weapons are such a significant EMP threat that rogue states, like North Korea, or terrorists may well prefer using a nuclear weapon for EMP attack, instead of destroying a city."

The higher an EMP bomb is detonated, the wider the range of destruction.

At 400km (250 miles), an EMP bomb would be just under the orbit of the International Space Station and the resulting detonation would be enough to affect the majority of the US mainland.

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The resulting lack of power would have catastrophic consequences.

The West's knowledge of North Korea's nuclear arsenal is patchy, but the country claims to have intercontinental ballistic missiles, which are thought to be capable of covering 6,000 miles. It is also rumoured to have developed miniature nuclear warheads that could be fitted to these missiles.

In his most recent warning, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un threatened to send four Hwasong-12 missiles to Guam, which is located 2,000 miles from North Korea in the western Pacific Ocean.

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