As a move to counter North Korea’s nuclear weapons in case of war, the South Korea’s military is developing a new weapon that is capable of taking down Pyongyang’s power system. According to a military source in South Korea, the Agency for Defense Development obtained the technology to develop non-lethal blackout bombs from graphite.
The source confirmed the acquisition of the tech by ADD on Sunday where he said that everything was ready and the process would begin anytime.
Planes will drop cluster bombs over a power station; then the warheads will split into sub-munitions in the form of canisters. The canisters will release filaments of carbon graphite that will short circuit the power station and cause a blackout, earning the name “blackout bombs.”
How effective is the Blackout Bombs?
U.S Navy successfully used the blackout bombs during the gulf war to cut down Iran’s power system in 1991. The warheads were also used against Serbia in 1999 during the Balkan conflict.
NATO spokesperson Jaimie Shea says that the impact of the bombs is mostly psychological, as the target country feels wholly decapitated. If hit with the blackout bombs, the powerlessness will lead to North Korea’s surrender.
The new weapon is an addition to South Korea’s “kill chain” program designed to detect any North Korea’s missile launch and react with a per-emptive strike. The “kill chain,” as reported by the Korea times includes the 2016 Korea Air Defense program which is designed to track and strike any missile launched towards S. Korea. The Air Defense Program was dubbed the Korean Massive Punishment and Retaliation system.
The program was initially aimed at completing in 2020, but due to North Korea’s rapid nuclear development, South Korea has had to speed up the development to be ready in case a war erupts. North Korea has tested a total of 19 missile bombs in 2017, two of which are intermediate range ballistic missiles and a hydrogen bomb.
South Korea has said that they have not detected any imminent nuclear threat yet. However, according to the country’s military source, they have upgraded the monitoring effort of North Korea’s nuclear development.