Pyongyang: Newt Gingrich said nuclear war is “only half of the threat” North Korea possesses and urged US military chiefs to prepare for so-called EMP rocket attacks. He said too much focus was being put on Kim Jong-un’s controversial missile tests when the hermit state is actually becoming more imaginative in its efforts to defeat its enemies.
Mr Gingrich said: “North Korea is already one of the most dangerous places in the world, and it’s becoming more perilous by the day.
“I’m glad we are honing our ability to stop intercontinental ballistic missiles over the Pacific, but I hope our military leaders recognise that traditional nuclear war is only half of the threat the Kim Jong-un regime poses.”
He said the US could be targeted using EMP rockets, which Mr Gingrich said could effect electrical device across hundreds of miles.
An attack of this nature would be “catastrophic” due to the dependence of the US on electricity and an out-dated grid system.
He said: “The North Koreans have another offensive option, which they may already be able to execute and would be devastating to the United States – a weaponised electromagnetic pulse.
“An electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, occurs when a relatively small but carefully designed nuclear warhead is detonated in the atmosphere. The explosion causes what can best be described as a massive power surge, which can damage or disable electrical devices for hundreds of miles on the ground below.
“As I told the Senate Committee, such an attack would be catastrophic to the United States because we are an electricity-dependent nation and our grid is ill-prepared to handle it.”
He said such an attack could take “months or years” to repair and would be beyond the “isolated, short-term” blackouts occasionally seen in America’s major cities.
The attacks could also prove fatal if they knock out services in hospitals and car centres. Mr Gingrich said: “Hospitals would run out of life-saving, temperature-controlled medications within days. Dialysis and other medical devices would stop working.
“Water systems that rely on electricity would stop pumping water and pipes would burst from the weight and pressure. The cascade of consequences of a protracted regional power outage would be devastating.”