KCNA handout Pyongyang Vows to Finish Nuclear ‘Sword of Justice
13 October, 2017, 14:35
President Donald Trump has engaged in an increasingly escalating war of words with North Korean strongman Kim Jong-Un, trading insults amid rising tensions between the two nuclear-armed rivals.
The drill is slated for October 16 and will include the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier as well as South Korean vessels.
Washington has agreed to deploy so-called strategic assets in and around South Korea on a more regular basis to provide better deterrence against the North.
The nuclear-powered supercarrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) and the South's Sejong the Great-class guided-missile destroyers (KDX III) will participate in the maritime exercises, along with around 40 other vessels.
The drill, called Maritime Counter Special Operations Exercise, is aimed at defending the infiltration of enemy special forces, according to the navy.
During the visit sailors will experience the culture and history of South Korea as well as foster outstanding relations between the US Navy, Korean military and the local Busan community.
There has been a flurry of U.S. military hardware movement around the Korean peninsula in recent days.
The Navy said the Ohio-Class guided-missile submarine was making a routine visit during a regularly scheduled deployment to the region, in the second visit of its kind past year.
The USS Michigan, the world's biggest nuclear-powered ballistic missile sub, arrived at a naval base in Busan, South Korea carrying 150 Tomahawk cruise missiles.
Reportedly armed with more than 150 Tomahawk tactical missiles with a range of around 2,000 km, the 18,000-ton MI is one of the largest submarines in the world.
"Measuring more than 360 feet long, Tucson is one of the stealthiest and most advanced submarines in the world", the navy said in a written statement.
According to U.S. military data, the Ohio-class submarines are armed with "tactical missiles and equipped with superior communications capabilities".
Two U.S. B-1B Lancer bombers flew over the Korean peninsula in a show of force on Tuesday night, conducting air-to-surface missile-firing drills over the Sea of Japan (known in Korea as the East Sea) and the Yellow Sea.
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