Seizure of components reveals threat that could devastate American infrastructure
The recent seizure of a North Korean freighter carrying Cuban, nuclear-capable SA-2 missile components for refurbishment has resurrected the spectre of the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, when another communist nation developed nuclear dealings with America’s island neighbor.
Richard Fisher, a military affairs specialist, explained the significance of the shipment, which was captured in the Panama Canal: “North Korea, a country soon to be in a position to export nuclear warhead armed ballistic missiles, now has a missile relationship with Cuba.”
Until now, there has not been extensive military cooperation between Cuba and North Korea. However, a high-level North Korean delegation recently visited Cuba, possibly resulting in a deal for Cuba to send military equipment to North Korea for refurbishment in exchange for barter payment with some 10,000 tons of sugar that was declared as the cargo.
The missile components, however, were undeclared, resulting in the Panamanian seizure, which reportedly was prompted by a tip of drugs being on board the ship.
Fisher said the shipment was part of a Cuban-North Korean military cooperation effort to upgrade each country’s SA-2s with advanced tracking electronics.
“With such upgrades, these heretofore obsolete [surface-to-air missiles, or SAMs] have been given new hard-to-counter capabilities, and the prospect of such upgrades going into the still substantial population of these SAMs began to concern the U.S. military over a decade ago,” he said.
While the SA-2 was designed to shoot down high-altitude aircraft, national security experts are further concerned it could be used for something far more devastating: a high-altitude nuclear detonation that could cause a crippling electromagnetic pulse, or EMP.
Such an EMP attack would knock out the Eastern U.S. grid system and all unprotected electronics and automated control systems, which together form the backbone of the technology-based infrastructure of the U.S., according to these sources and recent studies on the financial impact of such an event.
Read the documentation that’s sparking the worry about the EMP threat, in “A Nation Forsaken.”
It was an SA-2 that downed an American U-2 on May 1, 1960, while undertaking a high-altitude reconnaissance over the then Soviet Union. The U-2 was flown by Francis Gary Powers, who was captured and put in prison for two years (another SA-2 shot down Major Rudolph Anderson’s U-2 over Cuba two years later, during the Cuban missile crisis).
Powers, who was employed by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency at the time, was aware that Soviet aircraft were not capable of reaching the altitude at which the U-2 could fly. The CIA, however, was unaware that the Soviets had developed the SA-2 or its high-altitude capabilities.
Since then, the SA-2 has been modified to make it more capable.
The SA-2 and its radar is “still in use in a lot of countries,” said James Hardy, Asia-Pacific editor of IHS Jane’s Defense Weekly, “and progressive upgrades to the radars and the missiles means it is not completely useless.”
Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2013/07/u-s-faces-brand-new-cuban-missile-crisis/#8TLLhARv5uYMlTLB.99