Electronic warfare is the new worry in the battle for the greatest weapon. North Korea has been working on building an Electromagnetic pulse (EMP) bomb, according to ABC News. Military exercises that are testing EMP have knocked out South Korean military equipment and affected some cities. The tests are just practice for North Korea's EMP bomb, claimed to be near completion, that will irreversibly knock out all electronic devices if detonated just 25 feet off the ground.
An EMP bomb does not need to be nuclear to cause just as much damage. EMP bombs are dangerous because the United States is dependent on technology to the degree that we expect it to protect us. An EMP bomb can turn our "protection" against us. When an EMP bomb goes off, a high-density electrical field bursts throughout the atmosphere. The electrical burst will damage any device that needs a power source, which is everything.
What devices would an EMP bomb destroy? According to Global Security, all electric power would be gone, as well as all telecommunications and electric appliances such as microwaves or refrigerators. Computers will not work, including the smallest laptop and the largest military computer. Cars will not start. Our emergency services rely on electric power, as does our food and water. Our energy resources will fail. Pacemakers will stop working. In the end, after an EMP blast, the United States will return to the 1800s, but our enemies will still be living in the 21st century.
Imagine sitting at a computer reading this article. There is a bright lightning-like light from outside and then every goes dark. The computer is dead and all lights and electronics are off. Perhaps power has gone out and will return. The weird thing is that a fully charged cell phone is not working, laptops don't run on battery and radios provide nothing as well. There is no way to contact anyone or learn what is happening because the entire country is wondering the same thing.
This might sound like an "end of the world prophecy," and it very well could be. Will North Korea succeed in finishing their bomb and actually use it? Will the EMP bomb actually work well enough to destroy all electronic equipment? The answer is unknown. Fear of EMP blasts has been discussed for years, according to Global Security, but little has been done to protect the country from electronic warfare. It has even been tested, according to United States Action, and proven that a simple EMP bomb can be built for as little as $400. That is much cheaper than a nuclear bomb, and could be just as devastating.
While the government isn't preparing for electronic warfare from North Korea, individuals can take a few precautions is they so wish. There is a simple object called the "Future Science, some electronics, such as a shortwave radio, can be wrapped in aluminum foil as protection. Other items can be placed inside unplugged microwaves. Of course, the radio will only pick up signals from other countries unaffected by the EMP bomb.
People must decide for themselves whether electromagnetic pulse bombs are something to fear or not. North Korea claims they are, but the United States government doesn't seem worry as much.