According to the military in Seoul, the “US Navy” dispatched the nuclear-powered submarine “USS Michigan” to South Korea on Friday. The submarine arrived in Busan, a port city in South Korea, a day after North Korea conducted missile tests in response to the US-South Korea live-fire drills. This marks the first time in six years that the USS Michigan has been deployed to South Korea. Known as one of the largest submarines globally, the USS Michigan weighs 18,000 tonnes and stretches approximately 170 meters in length. It has the capacity to carry 150 Tomahawk missiles, which can reach targets up to 2,500 kilometers away.
This deployment is a component of the “Washington Declaration” signed by the leaders of South Korea and the United States in April, aimed at countering North Korea’s escalating nuclear threats. As a follow-up to the agreement, the two nations will convene a high-level meeting on cyber security in Washington on June 20, as announced by Seoul’s presidential office.
Both countries had agreed to increase the presence of US strategic assets on the Korean peninsula. Currently, relations between North and South Korea are strained, with diplomatic efforts at a standstill. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has declared his nation an “irreversible” nuclear state. In response to the US-South Korea firing drills, Pyongyang fired two short-range ballistic missiles on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the “South Korean Defence Ministry” reported that their military personnel had recovered parts of a North Korean rocket two weeks after its crash. These missile tests by North Korea are the first since the unsuccessful attempt to launch a spy satellite in May.
In the face of North Korea’s provocative missile tests, South Korea and the US have been expanding their joint military exercises since last year. When the “Washington Declaration” was signed, President Joe Biden emphasized that any nuclear attack by North Korea on the US or its allies would lead to the end of the regime responsible for such actions.
Kim Yo Jong, the influential sister of the North Korean dictator, criticized the agreement between the two countries and perceived it as a manifestation of the “most hostile and aggressive will of action” against Pyongyang. She issued a warning to strengthen North Korea’s nuclear capabilities even further.