US Navy guided-missile sub calls in South Korea

Updated 2:03 PM EDT, Tue April 25, 2017
101224-N-5581S-004
BUSAN, Republic of Korea (Dec. 24, 2010) The Ohio-class guided-missile submarine USS Michigan (SSGN 727) arrives in Busan for a routine port visit. Michigan, homeported in Bangor, Wash., is on a deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Logistics Specialist 2nd Class Raymond Solis/Released)
Raymond Solis/U.S. Navy
101224-N-5581S-004 BUSAN, Republic of Korea (Dec. 24, 2010) The Ohio-class guided-missile submarine USS Michigan (SSGN 727) arrives in Busan for a routine port visit. Michigan, homeported in Bangor, Wash., is on a deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Logistics Specialist 2nd Class Raymond Solis/Released)
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Story highlights

The US Navy submarine docked in the port city of Busan, South Korea

The USS Michigan is meant to send a strong message to Pyongyang

(CNN) —  

The USS Michigan – a guided-missile submarine – arrived in South Korea for what a US defense official described as a show of force amid tensions between the US and North Korea.

The US Navy sub arrived in the port city of Busan, South Korea, on the same day that North Korea celebrates the 85th anniversary of the founding of the Korean People’s Army.

Publicly the US Naval Forces Korea called the sub’s visit to the region “routine” and said the scheduled port call was a chance to highlight the alliance between the US and South Korean navies, but quietly officials told CNN that the timing is not a coincidence.   

While the USS Michigan is not expected to take part in the joint exercises, its presence in the region is meant to send a strong message to Pyongyang.

US President Donald Trump told Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo earlier this month that the US was sending an “armada” with submarines to the region.

“We are sending an armada. Very powerful,” Trump told Bartiromo. “We have submarines. Very powerful. Far more powerful than the aircraft carrier. That I can tell you.”

Analysts at the time suspected Trump might be referring to Ohio-class subs like the Michigan.

Armed with tactical missiles and equipped with superior communications capabilities, the Michigan is one of four US Navy subs that began service as a ballistic missile submarine, loaded with nuclear missiles as part of the US strategic nuclear deterrent.