North Korea's claim that it has successfully detonated a test hydrogen bomb was greeted with scepticism by some analysts and even the White House, citing the low-kiloton yield and relatively small seismic wave caused by the blast.
However, one top specialist disagrees with the initial assessment, saying that the recorded results of the explosion and the claims made by North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-un were in keeping with the expected results following the detonation of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weapon, which is "another kind of hydrogen bomb."
Peter Pry, a leading expert on EMP weapons, told WND that what the North Koreans just tested had all the hallmarks of a super-EMP explosion, which produces enhanced amount of devastating gamma rays despite its low yield.
Pry said the latest North Korean weapons test followed three others each in the range of 10 kilotons or less, adding that Pyongyang has been conducting underground nuclear tests since February 2013, all of which have been of low-kiloton yield.
All these point to North Korea working on a low-yield radiation bomb with very high emissions of gamma rays that could devastate the United States once Pyongyang resorts to using this kind of weapon in a conflict with the U.S., said Pry, who is the executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security, and served on the Congressional EMP Commission, the House Armed Services Committee, and the CIA.
Pry and other EMP experts said North Korea has the capability to launch a satellite carrying a super-EMP weapon into space that could be triggered to explode on command at a high altitude over a highly populated area in the United States.
The explosion and the resulting gamma ray emissions would result in the destruction of food supply chains, fuel supply systems, communications, banking and all other grid-dependent systems, the experts said.
According to a U.S. government commission that investigated this doomsday scenario, approximately two-thirds of the U.S. population could potentially die from starvation, disease and societal chaos within one year following a super-EMP blast, Info Wars said.
Frank Gaffney, the president of the Center for Security Policy, is even more pessimistic, saying that a single EMP blast could potentially end up killing almost the entire population of the United States.
"Within a year of that attack, nine out of 10 Americans would be dead, because we can't support a population of the present size in urban centres and the like without electricity," he said.
Dr. William Graham, the chairman of the government commission that studied this matter, said a giant EMP explosion could knock the United States back into "the late 1800s."
Life after an EMP attack "would probably be something that you might imagine life to be like around the late 1800s but with several times the population we had in those days, and without the ability of the country to support and sustain all those people," Graham said. "They wouldn't have power. Food supplies would be greatly taken out by the lack of transportation, telecommunication, power for refrigeration and so on."
So how would life look like after a super-EMP attack? According to Info Wars, all these would happen: No heat for your home; water would no longer be pumped into most homes; computers would not work; no Internet, telephones, television and radio; ATM machines would shut down; no more banking and no use for debit cards and credit cards; without electricity, gas stations would not function; most people would be unable to do their jobs without electricity and employment would collapse; commerce would be brought to a standstill; hospitals would not be able to function; medicine supplies would run out; all refrigeration would shut down and frozen foods in homes and supermarkets would start to go bad; some vehicles would no longer be able to start at all; traffic lights would no longer be working; airplanes would not be able to fly; Wall Street would not be able to function at all; and government services would collapse.
The first 24 – 48 hours after a super-EMP attack will lead to confusion among the general population as traditional news acquisition sources like television, radio and cell phone networks will be non-functional, according to an article by Mac Slavo.
Within a matter of days, once people realise the power might not be coming back on and grocery store shelves start emptying, the entire system will go into chaos.
Within 30 days a mass die off will have begun as food supplies dwindle, looters and gangs turn to violent extremes, medicine can't be restocked and water pump stations fail, Slavo said.