US deploys nuke-armed submarine to North Korea’s doorstep for the first time in 40 years as they ‘plan for nuclear war’

AMERICA has deployed a nuke-armed submarine to North Korea’s doorstep for the first time in 40 years amid fears of a nuclear war.

Washington and South Korea have ramped up defence talks after Kim Jong-un fired his most powerful ballistic missile yet last week.

MC2 Samantha OblanderThe USS Kentucky arriving at a naval base in Busan, South Korea[/caption]

Kim Jong-un fired his most powerful ballistic missile yet last weekEPA

AFPKim Jong-un watching the test firing of a new intercontinental ballistic missile[/caption]

The allies are staging joint war drills with advanced stealth jets and US strategic assets as tensions mount in the region.

And for the first time since the 1980s, a US nuclear-armed ballistic missile submarine arrived in South Korea on Tuesday.

Seoul confirmed the 18,750-tonne USS Kentucky entered a key naval base in Busan – 320 kilometres southeast of Seoul.

The 170-metre long USS Kentucky is one of the largest nuke-capable ballistic missile submarines in the world – and can carry more than 20 Trident-II ballistic missiles.

Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup said the deployment demonstrates a united force against Kim Jong-un.

“To North Korea, it shows the overwhelming capabilities and posture of the alliance, while it demonstrates the solid combined defence posture of South Korea and the United States to our people and the international community,” he said.

The move came as the US and South Korea held their first meeting of the Nuclear Consultative Group (NCG) in Seoul – aimed at “bolstering nuclear deterrence against North Korea”.

White House Indo-Pacific coordinator Kurt Campbell told reporters: “As we speak, an American nuclear submarine is making port in Busan today.

“That’s the first visit of an American nuclear submarine in decades.”

The last time Washington deployed a nuclear-capable submarine to South Korea was in 1981.

Washington announced it would be deploying the sub back in April.

The US has also vowed to deploy more assets to South Korea to deter North Korea – such as aircraft carriers, submarines and long-range bombers.

On Sunday, Japan, South Korea and the US held joint navy war drills in a show of force against North Korea.

A South Korean naval officer said the exercise focused on detecting and tracking a computer-simulated ballistic target.

It came after North Korea fired its most powerful ballistic missile yet last week – the solid-fuel Hwasong 18 intercontinental ballistic missile.

It was not clear how far the missile went – but it was launched toward North Korea’s eastern waters.

Seoul, Tokyo and Washington said it was as a “clear, flagrant violation” of many UN Security Council resolutions.

Meanwhile, US troops are staging “Operation Bully Stick” to practice loading a nuclear missile.

The drills aims “to load an intercontinental ballistic missile into a launch facility as safely, efficiently, and quickly as possible”.

During Tuesday’s meeting, South Korea and the US agreed to share information, establish a secure comms network – and coordinate and plan for a possible North Korean nuclear attack.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol said: “Through a South Korea-US alliance upgraded to a new nuclear-based paradigm, we will make substantial efforts to fundamentally block North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats.”

But North Korea blasted the bold manoeuvre.

Kim Yo Jong, the powerful sister of leader Kim Jong-un, said such actions would “make North Korea go farther away” from possible talks.

She dismissed the idea of talks with the US as “a daydream”.

“It is a daydream for the US to think that it can stop the advance of the DPRK… and achieve irreversible disarmament through the interim suspension of joint military exercises,” she said.

The best way to ensure peace was to deter the US with force “rather than solving the problem with the gangster-like Americans in a friendly manner,” Kim Yo Jong said.

China also slammed the new Nuclear Consultative Group for raising tensions in the region.

ReutersSouth Korea, Japan and the US Navy are holding drills in a show of force against North Korea[/caption]

APKim Yo Jong, Kim Jong-un’s sister, dismissed the idea of talks with the US as ‘a daydream’[/caption]

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