North Korea's 'electronic bomb' technology of Russian origin, experts say

By Elizabeth Shim  |  Sept. 14, 2017 at 1:30 PM
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Sept. 14 (UPI) -- North Korea obtained "electronic bombs" from Russia capable of jamming electronic signals and disabling technology on enemy planes, ships and missiles, according to a Japanese newspaper.

The Sankei Shimbun reported Thursday North Korea's cutting edge technology was sourced from Russia, and in past periods, the former Soviet Union.

Pyongyang had claimed it possessed electromagnetic pulse, or EMP technology, capable of neutralizing radar and satellite from detecting North Korean targets.

That claim is supported by a report in 38 North published in June, stating the Russians may have "accidentally" transferred the design of Russia's super-EMP warhead to North Korea before 2004.

The Sankei reported Russian engineers in the collapsed Soviet state of the '90s began to help overseas contacts with obtaining native technology, because they had no other source of income in a failing economy.

In 2009, South Korea's military said Russian scientists were in North Korea, assisting the regime with the development of an EMP nuclear weapon.

"Super-EMP weapons are low-yield and designed to produce not a big kinetic explosion, but rather a high level of gamma rays, which generate the high-frequency E1 EMP that is most damaging to the broadest range of electronics," wrote William R. Graham in 38 North.

North Korea mentioned its EMP attack capabilities on Sept. 4 on the pages of the Workers' Party newspaper Rodong Sinmun, a day after its sixth nuclear test.

Russia may have also played a role in delivering rocket engines used to launch North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missile, according to a statement from Ukraine's space agency.

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