North Korea is capable of killing millions of Americans by launching a nuclear attack, two high ranking US intelligence officials have claimed, arguing that the secretive republic has already mastered the technology needed to fire massive atomic bombs at the US mainland.
“The mainstream media, and some officials who should know better, continue to allege North Korea does not yet have capability to deliver on its repeated threats to strike the US with nuclear weapons,” James Woolsey, a former CIA director, and Peter Vincent Pry, head of the Congressional EMP Commission, wrote in an article published by The Hill on Wednesday.
The EMP (ectromagnetic pulse) Commission is tasked with assessing the EMP threats against the US and address the country’s vulnerabilities to such threats. “False reassurance is given to the American people that North Korea has not ‘demonstrated’ that it can miniaturize a nuclear warhead small enough for missile delivery, or build a reentry vehicle for an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of penetrating the atmosphere to blast a US city,” added the article, titled How North Korea could kill 90 percent of Americans.
According to Woolsey and Pry, the CIA’s top East Asia analyst publicly confirmed in 2008 that Pyongyang had successfully miniaturized a nuclear warhead and tested it using the Nodong medium-range ballistic missile. Three years later, then Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) Lieutenant General Ronald Burgess told the Senate Armed Services Committee that North Korea “has weaponized its nuclear devices into warheads for arming ballistic missiles.”
Admiral William Gortney, then Commander of North American Aerospace Defense (NORAD), repeated the same claim in 2015, warning that the North could strike the US with a nuclear-capable KN-08 mobile ICBM. The article goes on to warn that North Korea’s KMS-3 and KMS-4 satellites have been orbiting the US “on trajectories consistent with surprise EMP attack.”
The authors referred to North Korea’s successful satellite launch and testing of an alleged Hydrogen bomb, warning that Pyongyang had everything it needed to cause chaos in the US. Concluding that a large part of America’s population was vulnerable to a surprise nuclear attack, Woolsey and Pry made several recommendations to protect them. “The US must be prepared to preempt North Korea by any means necessary—including nuclear weapons,” they wrote, adding that the US electric grid and national missile defenses should also be hardened against EMP attacks.
Tensions have been running high between the US and North Korea for months now. Last week, Pyongyang warned Washington that a preemptive strike was always a possibility, after the US and South Korean military forces simulated attacks on North Korean targets during joint military drills that involve 17,000 American troops and more than 300,000 South Koreans. Washington has been sending sophisticated weapons to the South in order to prevent Seoul against what it calls the North’s “aggression.”