While North Koreans celebrate April 25, the day its founder Kim Il-Sung established its guerilla military forces; the U.S. Navy sent a force of its own to the reclusive nation’s doorstep.
On Monday, the USS Michigan, a 16,000-ton nuclear-powered submarine, docked in South Korea.
— U.S. Navy (@USNavy) April 25, 2017
According to Stripes:
The Navy said the port visit by the USS Michigan, which is more than 560 feet long and weighs more than 18,000 tons when submerged, was routine and part of a regularly scheduled deployment to the Western Pacific.
The submarine is equipped to carry as many as 154 Tomahawk missiles and more than 60 special operations forces. Its homeport is Bremerton, Wash., but it is forward deployed from Guam.
The USS Michigan is 560 ft long and has a crew of 155 on board at any given time. Before it was an Ohio-class submarine, it was a trident sub focused on Cold War deterrence.
According to the Kitsap Sun, it cost roughly a billion dollars to convert the trident into an Ohio-class sub.
North Korea spends 7.5 billion on its entire military per year. In comparison, the United States spends 581 billion. While North Korea may talk tough, at the end of the day the American military is superior in every way.
In 2015, the following photo of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in one of the country’s submarines surfaced:
— James Jeffrey (@James_Jeffrey) February 11, 2015
Compare North Korea’s sub to the USS Michigan:Image Credit: USN Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jermaine Ralliford/Getty Images
Meanwhile, as the nuclear submarine sits at the port in South Korea, the North Korean military is conducting live fire exercises.
CNN reported how the exercises are affecting the United States’ allies in the Pacific:
In a statement after the artillery drills were confirmed, the South Korean President’s Office said an emergency meeting had been held to discuss the situation.
Separately, envoys from South Korea, Japan and the US have been meeting in Tokyo to discuss North Korea’s refusal to abandon its nuclear program.
The Trump administration appears to see North Korea as a priority, as well. On Tuesday, the Guardian reported that President Trump is hosting the entire Senate Wednesday to discuss North Korea at the White House.