North Korea Dreams of Turning Out the Lights
Pyongyang doesn’t need a perfect missile. Detonating a nuke above Seoul—or L.A.—would sow chaos.

In 2001 Congress established a commission to study the danger of an electromagnetic pulse generated by the detonation of a high-altitude nuclear weapon. It concluded that while there would be no blast effects on the ground, critical electricity-dependent infrastructure could be rendered inoperable. The commission’s chairman, William R. Graham, has noted that several Russian generals told the commissioners in 2004 that the designs for a “super EMP nuclear weapon” had been transferred to North Korea.