South Korea’s military said on Monday that a U.S. nuclear submarine arrived in South Korea this month, the second deployment of a major U.S. naval asset to the Korean peninsula, further stepping up the allies’ show of force against the North Korean nuclear threat.
The USS Annapolis arrived at a port on Jeju Island about a week after the USS Kentucky docked at the port of Busan on the mainland.
Kentucky was the first US nuclear submarine to visit South Korea since the 1980s. North Korea has test-launched ballistic and cruise missiles that clearly indicate the possibility of a nuclear attack on South Korea, responded to South Korean arrivals, and deployed US naval vessels.
Between these launches, North Korea’s defense minister issued a veiled threat alleging that the Kentucky’s entry into South Korea could be grounds for North Korea to use its nuclear weapons. North Korea has used similar rhetoric before, but the statement highlights just how tense relations are now.
Primarily tasked with destroying enemy ships and submarines, Annapolis is powered by a nuclear reactor but is also armed with conventional weapons. The Annapolis, which is docked mainly on Jeju Island to load supplies, said South Korean Navy spokesman Jang Do-yeon said the US and South Korean forces were discussing whether to conduct exercises with the ship.
Meanwhile, North Korea has publicly remained silent about US Private Travis King, who crossed the border last Tuesday. U.S. officials have expressed concern about King’s safety, saying North Korea has ignored requests for basic information about King’s whereabouts and condition.
Analysts say North Korea is waiting weeks, even months, for meaningful information about Mr. Some speculate North Korea is trying to extract concessions from the United States, such as tying his release to a reduction in U.S. military activity with South Korea.
The United States and South Korea are expanding joint military exercises and increasing regional deployments of US strategic asset bombers, aircraft carriers and submarines in a show of force against North Korea, which has launched about 100 missiles since early 2022.
https://www.voanews.com/a/us-sends-another-sub-to-south-korea-adding-to-show-of-force-against-north-korea-/7193329.html US sends new submarine to South Korea to step up show of force against North Korea