Report: Nuclear-powered USS Michigan to arrive in South Korea

By Elizabeth Shim Contact the Author   |   April 24, 2017 at 11:28 AM
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April 24 (UPI) -- A nuclear-powered U.S. submarine is to arrive at the South Korean port city of Busan on Tuesday, the same day North Korea is expected to commemorate the 85th anniversary of the founding of the Korean People's Army.

The USS Michigan, the second Ohio-class nuclear-powered guided missile submarine in the U.S. Navy, is to make a visit to South Korea to send a strong message of warning to Pyongyang, South Korean newspaper Donga Ilbo reported Monday.

The U.S. supercarrier Carl Vinson is also expected to arrive near the peninsula this week, a move that is being met with threats from North Korea.

"Our revolutionary forces are combat-ready to sink a U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier with a single strike," the Rodong Sinmun stated in an editorial.

A South Korean military official who spoke anonymously said the Michigan will receive a hull inspection upon arrival at Busan port, then leave for training exercises in waters near the Korean peninsula.

According to a second source who spoke to the Donga, the submarine will join the Carl Vinson strike group and carry out surveillance missions.

It is also likely the submarine will conduct exercises with the South Korean navy, the source said.

The Michigan has a displacement of more than 18,000 tons when submerged and is one of the largest submarines in the world.

It can travel at speeds of 29 miles per hour and can stay submerged for up to three months.

The submarine is equipped with about 150 Tomahawk missiles that hit targets that are up to 990 miles away, and can carry out a range of missions including anti-submarine warfare and reconnaissance.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have said, "All options are on the table" regarding North Korea, in the event of a provocation.

The USS Michigan was last deployed to the peninsula in June 2015.

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