A nuclear-powered submarine that can launch more than 150 precision-guided cruise missiles is due to visit South Korea this week. The guided missile submarine USS Michigan will visit the port of Busan this weekend for the second time this year, in what is a clear warning to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
The Michigan last visited Busan in late April of this year, at which time North Korean state media reportedly warned “the USS Michigan won’t even be able to rise to the surface when it will meet a miserable end and turn into an underwater ghost.”
The Michigan’s visit comes at a time when the United States is putting increasing pressure on North Korea in response to nuclear and long-range missile tests. Analysts now believe Pyongyang can strike as far as New York City with a nuclear weapon—maybe. In addition to the submarine visits, the U.S. Air Force has repeatedly flown B-1B heavy bombers near North Korea, with the latest flight occurring earlier today.
Years ago, the Navy converted four Ohio-class submarines from carrying 24 nuclear-armed Trident ICBMs to carrying 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles. One of the quietest subs ever constructed, the Michigan and her sister boats can sneak in very close, then very quickly unleash a whole lot of hell — before sneaking back away.