Thursday, April 12, 2012

North Korean Rocket Launch

North Korea and weapons of mass destruction
North Korea and weapons of mass destruction (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I was sitting here tonight with my son watching Wheel of Fortune on television when ABC News broke in to announce that North Korea had attempted to launch a rocket into orbit today.  It is not sure at this time whether or not the launch was successful or not.  It is news that gives me great concern.

North Korea states that the rocket is needed to launch a weather satellite into orbit.  One report I read on CNN stated that many view the launch as cover for a ballistic missile testing.  Many in the international community had warned North Korea not to go through with the rocket launch.

You might be wondering why I would have concern for North Korea developing rockets when countries are launching various satellites into orbit on a regular basis.  The main reason is that North Korea also has nuclear weapons, and let's face it, North Korea doesn't exactly have the best reputation among countries out there.

The combination of a rocket and nuclear weaponry is the perfect combination for a rogue country such as North Korea to launch an electromagnetic pulse attack against the United States or another country.  An EMP attack could have a devastating effect on our country.

For those not aware of what would be involved in an EMP attack, the scenario would be as follows.  A nuclear weapon would be launched into orbit.  It would then be detonated above the United States.  With the detonation above the atmosphere, there would be no danger of nuclear fallout.  However, the electromagnetic pulse from the explosion would essentially fry our electrical grid.

The potential exists that the country could be without electricity for not just days, but potentially months.  With so much of our existence tied into having reliable electricity, most Americans would not be prepared for such a catastrophe.  Pandemonium would reign supreme throughout the land.  It would be devastating.

A couple years ago, I read a book by William Fortschen called "One Second After" that painted one potential scenario if the US were to be attacked by an EMP attack.  It was frightening to say the least. I also recently downloaded another book for my Kindle called "77 Days in September" by Ray Gorham which I will be reading after I finish the current book I am reading.

In 2001, the government created the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States From Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack.  In that same year, we were attacked in the 9/11 attacks.  Much of our attention has been towards protecting us from other such attacks.  However, we also have to be keenly aware of any other potential threats that could be on the horizon.

We need to be prepared for the very real threat of an EMP attack.  There are steps that need to be taken to harden our electrical grid to protect us from the vulnerability that exists.  Instead of the usual political bickering, this is one area that should be addressed by both sides of the political aisle.  We can not afford to wait until after an attack to address the issue.
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