U.S. nuke sub arrives in South Korean port amid tensions on peninsula

Elias Hubbard
October 13, 2017

In August, North Korea threatened to fire a salvo of intermediate range missiles toward the U.S. Pacific island territory.

Kim Jong-Un's government warned that a joint exercise with Japan and South Korea has "hardened our determination that the USA should be tamed with fire".

Meanwhile, the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76), an aircraft carrier, is scheduled to conduct joint drills with South Korea's warships in the East Sea next week.

The ROKN said the allies would seek to boost their capability to carry out concerted and combined operations through anti-submarine warfare (ASW), missile alert drills, maritime interdiction operations (MIOs), and air defense operations, among others.

And Washington has agreed to deploy so-called strategic assets in and around South Korea on a more regular basis to provide better deterrence against the North.

For the exercise, the South Korean military will also mobilize P-3 anti-submarine aircraft, F-15K, FA-18, A-10 fighter jets and Lynx, AW-159, UH-60, MH-60R helicopters.

The US Navy said in a statement that the drill is created to promote "communications, interoperability, and partnership" between the two militaries.

Guam is a major military hub and home to US bombers that periodically fly missions over the divided Korean Peninsula. The arrival one of the largest subs in the world comes amid growing tensions on the Korean peninsula.

The USS Michigan, the world's biggest nuclear-powered ballistic missile sub, arrived at a naval base in Busan, South Korea carrying 150 Tomahawk cruise missiles.

Michigan is the second submarine of the Ohio-class of ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) and guided missile submarines (SSGNs), and the third U.S. Navy Michigan to bear the name.

The U.S. Navy said the submarine is capable of "supporting Special Operation Forces (SOF) missions" and providing "unprecedented strike and special operation mission capabilities from a stealthy, clandestine platform".

According to United States military data, the Ohio-class submarines are armed with "tactical missiles and equipped with superior communications capabilities".

Six US planes - including a "nuclear sniffer" and two Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers - took part in the military exercise on Tuesday night.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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