North Korea could wipe out 90 per cent of US population

  • US sustains 320m population because of technology, Peter Vincent Pry says
  • High frequency EMP attack could cause damage to a wide range of electronics
  • EMP warhead does not need to be precise to cause vast damage, Pry warns 
  • Food in grocery stores would be eaten with three days in the worst-case scenario
  • Food in warehouses would rot due to lack of electric, he says 

Americans could start to starve in just three days as grocery shops would lose power if North Korea launched an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack, a former CIA agent has warned.

Nuclear strategist Peter Vincent Fry added that a month’s worth of national food supply in warehouses would begin to turn due to the lack of electricity, which could lead to 90 per cent of the population dying, he said. 

Along with starvation, vast swathes of the US population could also be wiped out by the spread of disease and societal collapse, he added.  

Mr Pry said: ‘The US can sustain a population of 320 million people only because of modern technology.

‘An EMP that blacks-out the electric grid for a year would [decimate] the critical infrastructure necessary to support such a large population.’

Mr Pry, who previously worked for the CIA, testified before a Homeland Security subcommittee that an attack would have dire consequences on America.

He was the chief of staff to the congressional EMP commission and helped write the October report.

North Korea could wipe out 90 per cent of the US population if it launched a EMP attack


An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) is a short burst of electromagnetic radiation, which can be natural or man-made. 

Nuclear blasts generate high-intensity radio waves that can disrupt electronics.

These EMP blasts travel along line-of-sight, which means the effects extend only to the visual horizon.

A powerful enough blast at an altitude of 249 miles could impact most of the continental US. 

The higher the bomb is detonated, the wider the EMP’s range of effect. 

A bomb detonated 19 miles above the center of the country would affect all of Kansas and Nebraska, almost all of South Dakota, and substantial chunks of surrounding states. 

He told Forbes that an EMP warhead would not need to re-enter the atmosphere before exploding – meaning it would not have to be as precise as a nuclear warhead.

Mr Pry added that the EMP would generate a high-frequency pulse which could damage a wide range of electronics.

Yet other experts have dismissed the North Korea’s ability to hit the US with a Super-EMP weapon.

Professor of national security affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School in California, James Clay Moltz, claimed that such predictions of near-extinction in the US ‘seem unjustified at this time’.

The EMP commission was discontinued after 16 years on September 30, even though North Korea claimed it had developed thermo-nuclear weapons designed to detonate at high altitudes to create an electromagnetic pulse.

Republican and former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, one of the main advocates of taking the threat of EMP seriously, said that the slow rate at which Trump’s appointments were being appointed made it very difficult to keep the commission going.

The Trump loyalist said he did not oppose the closure of the commission as people who he trusted believed that a ‘fresh start’ was needed in the approach to EMP.  

Power grids could be brought down if an EMP attack is launched

Food supplies in grocery stores would be consumed within three days and a 30-day national food supply in warehouses would begin to turn

If the power grid was to be take down, food supplies in grocery stores would be consumed within three days and a 30-day national food supply in warehouses would begin to turn, Peter Vincent Pry said