The USS Michigan, a nuclear-powered submarine armed with guided Tomahawk cruise missiles, will join the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier off the Korean peninsula, UPI reports.
The Michigan, which is armed with more than 150 Tomahawks, should arrive in the area on Tuesday, the same day that North Korea will commemorate the 85th anniversary of the founding of its army. The Vinson is also expected to be in the area sometime this week.
Some North Korea watchers speculate that the Kim regime may use this occasion to test a nuclear device, which experts say they could do at any time.
North Korean media has already reacted harshly to the Vinson’s deployment, calling it “an extremely dangerous act by those who plan a nuclear war to invade,” adding that “what’s only laid for aggressors is dead bodies.”
North Korea is the only country to have tested nuclear weapons in the 21st century, and such a step would be seen as a major provocation to US forces in the area and South Koreans, who have placed their military on high alert. North Korea fields a single, antiquated submarine, showed off an advanced submarine-launched ballistic missile at a recent military parade.
US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke on the phone about North Korea’s “continued belligerence” on Monday. The White House plans to host all members of the Senate for a briefing on North Korea on Wednesday.
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