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North Korean crisis: US missile submarine arrives in South Korea

25 Apr 2017 | Written by Abheet Sethi; Edited by Ramya

The USS Michigan, an American nuclear-powered guided-missile submarine, has arrived in Busan, South Korea in what US officials have described as a show of force amid escalating US-North Korea tensions.

The submarine's arrival also comes amid concerns of another North Korean missile or nuclear test.

The submarine's deployment follows that of the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson.

In context: US sends nuclear-powered missile submarine to South Korea

IntroductionAbout North Korea and its nuclear programs

For over decades now, North Korea has been the most secretive country; its nuclear weapons program has its roots in the 1950s.

It is believed that the country possesses over 1,000 missiles of different capabilities, including long-range ones that could strike the US.

The country's nuclear program progressed over decades; from tactical artillery rockets during the 1960-70s to the present day's nuclear warheads.

18 Apr 2017North Korea: Will test missiles every week, month, year

North Korea's Vice-Foreign Minister Han Song-ryol has stated to the media that the country would conduct missile tests "on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis," adding that US interference will lead to an "all-out war."

His statements were a response to US Vice-President Mike Pence's recent statements in Seoul.

While in Tokyo, Pence said "all options are on the table" in dealing with Pyongyang.

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25 Apr 2017White House calls US Senate for North Korea briefing

In an unusual move, the White House has invited the entire US Senate for a briefing on North Korea.

The briefing, to be held on Wednesday, involves Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defence Secretary James Mattis and 100 senators.

The US has become increasingly worried about the North's missile and nuclear tests and the threats they pose to America and its allies.

25 Apr 2017North Korea marks army's anniversary by conducting "large-scale artillery drill"

The North Korean military has conducted a "large-scale artillery drill" in the eastern Wonsan region to mark the 85th anniversary of country's army.

Experts believe the drill meant to be a strong message for South Korea that its population, including the capital Seoul, is well within the North's artillery range.

Nuclear and chemical weapons can be delivered via artillery.

25 Apr 2017North Korean crisis: US missile submarine arrives in South Korea

Submarine arrival coincides with Korean army's 85th anniversary

The submarine's arrival coincides with the day on which North Korea celebrates the Korean People's Army's 85th anniversary. North Korea is known to time missile or nuclear tests around important occasions and anniversaries.
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Naval drillsSubmarine won't participate in exercises with US aircraft carrier

The US has deployed the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson in the region to conduct joint exercises with South Korea and Japan navies.

The submarine is expected not to take part in the exercises.

However, US Naval Forces Korea said the USS Michigan's visit is "routine" and meant to highlight the US-South Korean alliance.

WarningTrump warned of sending "very powerful" submarine to North Korea

"We are sending an armada." Trump had said earlier this month. "We have submarines. Very powerful. Far more powerful than the aircraft carrier." Trump may have been referring to the Michigan.

The 560-foot-long and 18,000-ton USS Michigan carries up to 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles.

It can also stealthily deploy up to 66 Navy SEALs or other special forces groups and mini-subs.