North Korea and Kim Jong Un have been making the news lately, inciting fear and tension the world over. Just last month it was reported that the country had tested its most powerful nuclear weapon to date, a bomb that was seven times stronger than the bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima in 1945. This has prompted countries like South Korea,
This has prompted countries like South Korea, Britain, and the United States to start planning and preparing to deal with the worst-case scenario.
James Mattis, the Defense Secretary of the United States, delivered a keynote address at the Association of the U.S. Army’s annual meeting. When addressing what the future may hold in relation to North Korea he stated, “There’s one thing the U.S. Army can do, and that is you have got to be ready to ensure that we have military options that our president can employ if needed.”
South Korea is also preparing for the worst-case scenario with the development of graphite bombs, otherwise known as ‘blackout bombs.’ These non-lethal weapons contain carbon filaments which are released into the air when the bomb detonates. when the filaments make contact with electrical wiring their highly conductive makeup causes them to heat up to such an extreme that they melt the wiring causing the system to short out.
These bombs were originally used in the 1990 Gulf War. The U.S Air Force deployed the bombs over Iraq effectively knocking out up to 85% percent of the country’s electrical supply. They were then deployed again in 1999 by NATO forces over Serbia shutting down 70% of the power grid.
These bombs are part of a three-pronged strategy that South Korea originally planned to have in place by the mid-2020’s, however, the actions of North Korea are now forcing them to revise their timeline and prepare even earlier. Known as the ‘Kill Chain’ programme, it operates in conjunction with the Korea Air and Missile Defence system. It is designed to detect, identify and intercept incoming missiles in the shortest possible time.
A military official with the South Korean military explained that “All technologies for the development of a graphite bomb led by the ADD have been secured. It is at the stage where we can build the bombs at any time.”