While there’s no question that a nuclear strike on the Continental US would be utterly devastating, it’s not the only way a rogue state like North Korea could kill millions of American civilians in one fell swoop.
Another possibility that is being studied by lawmakers and Pentagon officials is – like North Korea itself – a vestige of the Cold War. We’re of course referring to an electromagnetic pulse. By detonating a hydrogen bomb in just the right spot miles above the Earth’s surface, the North could permanently damage the US power grid – maybe even take it offline completely. By robbing entire swaths of the US of electricity, the North could precipitate thousands – if not millions – of deaths.
The North first threatened an EMP attack over the summer, and North Korean media and its people have mentioned it several times since.