South Korea is in the midst of developing a bomb that can target electrical grids to essentially render an area’s electronics utterly useless.
Known as “blackout bombs,” these devices are designed to be dropped by a plane onto key power stations. Upon impact, they release carbon graphite filaments capable of short-circuiting and disrupting any nearby hardware that relies on electricity.
Blackout bombs were first used by the U.S. Navy in 1991 during the Gulf War and then by NATO against Serbia in 1999. Now, Seoul’s Agency for Defense Development (ADD) has plans to use these bombs against North Korea’s own power systems.
The bombs would be used as part of South Korea’s “Kill Chain” plan, in which the nation would preemptively launch missiles at North Korea if it detected the country was preparing to fire their own.
“All technologies for the development of a graphite bomb led by the ADD have been secured. It is in the stage where we can build the bombs anytime,” a military official told Korean news agency Yonhap.
This news of South Korea’s development of blackout bombs arrives at a time when no one knows for sure whether or not North Korea will act upon its threats of nuclear war. That said, the South Korean military has stated it doesn’t believe an attack is imminent.
“We have yet to detect any signs of immediate provocations from North Korea,” a South Korean military source told Yonhap. “We are maintaining an upgraded monitoring effort to guard against any developments.”
South Korea isn’t the only nation planning for the worst from North Korea. Britain is also revising its own battle plans for war with the dictatorship. Meanwhile, U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis said during his keynote address at the Association of the U.S. Army’s annual meeting today that the U.S. has “got to be ready” in case it must respond quickly to North Korean activity.
If North Korea were to launch a nuclear attack, the devastation could be catastrophic, so this is one instance when early preparation could truly be a matter of life or death.