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N. Korea yet to develop 'EMP' bombs: S. Korea

All Headlines 13:41 July 28, 2014

SEOUL, July 28 (Yonhap) -- North Korea appears to have not yet developed electromagnetic pulse (EMP) bombs despite its push to secure related technology, South Korea's defense ministry said Monday.

An EMP bomb refers to a nuclear weapon designed to be detonated at a high altitude so as to generate powerful electromagnetic pulses that can destroy electronic and electrical devices on the ground. The communist North has long been believed to be developing EMP weapons.

Reponding to the speculation, James Woolsey, a former director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), said last week that Pyongyang "will soon match Russia and China in that they will have the primary ingredients for an EMP attack."

He made the comments in a statement submitted last Tuesday to the House Armed Services Committee.

"It is yet to be confirmed if the North has secured the technology related to the EMP. But it is our analysis that it has yet to have success in making EMP bombs," defense ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok told a regular briefing.

"We see that North Korea has yet to reach a technological level high enough to develop the bombs, as building (the bombs) requires advanced skills," he added, while declining to confirm the intelligence the former CIA chief put forth.

EMP bombs are considered critical in new types of warfare for their ability to neutralize or damage radar, airplanes, naval fleets and aerial defense systems.

graceoh@yna.co.kr
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