TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - South Korea’s Yonhap news agency on Sunday cited a military source as saying that technologies had been secured for the weapon — also called a “blackout bomb” — and that Seoul could make it “anytime.”
“All technologies for the development of a graphite bomb led by the ADD (Agency for Defense Development) have been secured. It is in the stage where we can build the bombs anytime,” said the military official, whose name was not mentioned in the report.
Yonhap said the bomb “works by spreading chemically treated carbon graphite filaments over electric facilities to short-circuit and disrupt the power grid.” It is non-lethal and has previously been used by the United States in Iraq and by NATO in Serbia.
The bomb has been developed as part of what the news agency called “South Korea’s preemptive strike program called Kill Chain.”
South and North Korea have been long-time adversaries. They fought a war in the early 1950s, which ended with a truce, not a peace treaty. That means that while the two countries are not at war, they are not at peace either.
Tensions have recently skyrocketed in large part because of the United States’ amplified military posturing against North Korea in the region. The US, a South Korean ally, has long had military presence in the region but has adopted a more hostile stance vis-à-vis the North under President Donald Trump.
Speaking to world leaders and diplomats in his first speech at the United Nations General Assembly last month, the American president said the US would “totally destroy” North Korea if necessary, drawing audible gasps from some of the attendants in the hall.
North Korea said that speech amounted to a “declaration of war,” and later threatened to shoot down US planes flying near its borders.
Among other military activities, the US has been flying strategic bombers near the North’s skies, often escorted by South Korean fighter jets.
While Seoul publicly welcomes the US’s “firm and specific stance” in supporting South Korea, it is quietly worried that Trump’s rhetoric may provoke an actual war that the country may not be willing to fight. South Korean cities are well within the range of North Korea’s missiles.
The heated dispute with North Korea is over its missile and nuclear weapons programs, which the US firmly opposes. North Korea says its weapons programs act to protect it against hostility by its adversaries.