The USS Michigan, an Ohio Class Guided Missile Submarine, pulled into the South Korean port of Busan on a “routine visit” to “experience the culture of the ROK”…or was it for a “hull check.” It’s just routine. Nothing to see here.
“During the visit sailors will experience the culture and history of the ROK [Republic of Korea], as well as foster outstanding relations between the U.S. Navy, ROK military and the local Busan community.” US Navy press release
Sure. We believe that. Kim Jong-Un, who has begun conducting live-fire drills with long-range artillery, apparently doesn’t buy it.
The nuclear-powered submarine is the latest addition to the show of naval force that Trump referred to back on April 11 as an “armada.” Two Japanese Destroyers have joined the USS Carl Vinson and should be in the area soon. Now with the addition of a submarine that carries those highly accurate Tomahawk missiles, North Korea is getting nervous.
Kim apparently thinks his butt is about to get kicked. But it’s all just routine. Oh and remember those crappy missile launches he’s had lately? They’re nothing to worry about. IF we or one of our allies have the capability to wreck up the launches (as has been speculated) then the North Korean despot won’t get to play with his toys.
Maybe we can make him give us back the Americans he’s arrested and thrown in the prison camp somewhere.
Defense News noted,
The Michigan is one of four missile and special operations submarines converted from Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines, designated SSGN. While they no longer carry ballistic missiles, the SSGNs carry up to 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles and other weapons and gear in the former ballistic missile tubes.
Perhaps even more significant, the SSGNs can embark up to 66 special operations personnel, who can use the two foremost former missile tubes as lockout chambers to carry out surveillance and clandestine insertion and recovery missions. The submarines are the largest ever built in the U.S. — 560 feet long and displacing 18,750 tons submerged — but they are capable of precise navigation in close waters, a legacy of the highly-capable navigation systems needed for the original ballistic missile mission.
For its part, the Navy is insisting all of this firepower is “routine.” Sure, a coordinated effort like this before the full U.S. Senate is invited to the White House for a briefing…yep it’s all just “routine.”
“U.S. Navy ships and submarines routinely make port calls in a variety of locations. As a matter of routine, we do not discuss future operations or the details regarding the operations of our submarines. USS Michigan is currently on a routine deployment to the Indo-Asia-Pacific.” Lieutenant commander Matt Knight, US Pacific Fleet