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USS Tucson, supersonic bomber deployed to South Korea

By Elizabeth Shim
The USS Tucson was deployed to South Korea on Saturday. File Photo by Mass Communication Spec. 2nd Class Mark Logico/U.S. Navy
The USS Tucson was deployed to South Korea on Saturday. File Photo by Mass Communication Spec. 2nd Class Mark Logico/U.S. Navy

Oct. 11 (UPI) -- A Los Angeles-class attack submarine made a stop in the South Korean port of Jinhae, the U.S. Navy and South Korean officials confirmed Wednesday.

The USS Tucson, based in Hawaii, is capable of anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship warfare, strike, surveillance and reconnaissance, Stars and Stripes reported.

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The Tucson left Korea on Wednesday -- the same day military officials confirmed its deployment to waters south of North Korea. It had arrived on Saturday.

Yonhap quoted a South Korean official who said the Tucson "had left" and that the U.S. Navy "did not disclose its next destination."

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Cmdr. Chad Hardt, commanding officer of the Tucson, said the deployment gives the Navy an "opportunity to strengthen the outstanding relationship that exists between the U.S. and the Republic of Korea."

The nuclear-powered USS Michigan, a Ohio-class submarine, is expected to arrive in the South Korean port of Busan this weekend and is expected to take part in joint exercises with the USS Ronald Reagan and South Korean forces, Yonhap reported.

A second South Korean official who spoke anonymously said U.S. forces are "irregularly" being deployed to the peninsula to participate in drills and joint training, and without disclosing deployment ahead of time, according to Yonhap.

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The submarine deployment to Korea occurred around the same time the United States deployed a B-1B bomber, with two F-15K fighter jets, to the peninsula for joint drills, South Korean news service Money Today reported Wednesday.

The U.S. aircraft trained in the East Sea, also known as the Sea of Japan, where they conducted "virtual air-to-air missile fire drills," according to Seoul's joint chiefs of staff.

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