The arrival of the US missile submarine USS Kentucky (SSBN-737) in South Korea makes China and North Korea sit up and take notice. As reported by 19FortyFive, the Ohio-class submarine equipped with ballistic missiles has surfaced in the South Korean port city of Busan. This is the first visit by a US submarine to the region in nearly four decades.
According to 19FortyFive, the US Strategic Command announced the visit just days after a suspected missile launch by North Korea. Amid Pyongyang’s escalating provocations, Seoul and Washington then began talks to coordinate their responses.
Deterrence visit to South Korea
The Ohio-class, often referred to as the “Boomers,” play a significant role in the US nuclear deterrent triad. These submarines carried nearly half of America’s active thermonuclear warheads.
A similar situation occurred in 2010: According to 19FortyFive, three Ohio-class submarines appeared in the Indo-Pacific at the same time, which China interpreted as a warning. With current tensions in the South China Sea and growing North Korean aggression, US missile submarines may appear in the region again in less than 14 years.