April 25, 2017 10:16
The USS Michigan, a nuclear-powered submarine armed with some 150 guided missiles arrived in Busan on Tuesday while a separate U.S. Navy strike group also makes its way into nearby waters.
The deployments are intended as a dire warning to North Korea against carrying out another nuclear test or missile launch as the isolated state on Tuesday marks the anniversary of its 1.3-million-strong military.
U.S. President Donald Trump said in an interview earlier this month, "We are sending an armada, very powerful. We have submarines, very powerful, far more powerful than the aircraft carrier, that I can tell you."
The Michigan was commissioned in 1982 and is one of the biggest in operation. It is armed with 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles capable of striking targets 1,600 km away, enough fire power to destroy major North Korean nuclear and missile bases.
It can travel up to 46 km/h and remain submerged for three to four months. At the moment it carries around 60 special operations troops as well as mini-subs to assist in clandestine infiltration missions.
The last time the Michigan came to the Korean Peninsula was in June 2015. Officially it will be involved in training exercises in nearby waters.
Meanwhile, Defense Ministry spokesman Moon Sang-gyun said South Korea is "currently in talks" about joint drills with the "armada," which is headed by the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson.
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