US, SKorea to Launch Major Navy Drill Next Week

   READY TO STRIKE The USS Michigan has arrived in the South Korean port city of Busan

GETTY READY TO STRIKE The USS Michigan has arrived in the South Korean port city of Busan

"Today, our relationship is stronger than it has ever been and our ironclad partnership is further reinforced by this visit from MI." said Rear Adm. Brad Cooper, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea.

The South Korean and USA navies will kick off high-profile joint drills off the coast of the Korean peninsula next week, the allies announced on Friday.

Earlier in October, South Korean media reported that the USS "Ronald Reagan" was in the South China Sea on its way to the shores of South Korea with almost 80 aircraft onboard.

The USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier and two US destroyers will be taking part in the drill alongside South Korean vessels, the US 7th Fleet said.

During the visit sailors will experience the culture and history of South Korea as well as foster outstanding relations between the US Navy, Korean military and the local Busan community.

Guam is a major military hub and home to USA bombers that periodically fly missions over the divided Korean Peninsula.

USS Michigan
GETTY MAKING PORT USS Michigan is greeted as it arrives in Busan South Korea

The nuclear-powered submarine is one of the world's largest, measuring 170 meters (560 feet) long and weighing more than 18,000 tons.

The USS Michigan, the world's biggest nuclear-powered ballistic missile sub, arrived at a naval base in Busan, South Korea carrying 150 Tomahawk cruise missiles.

The Navy said its guided-missile submarines provide the Navy with unprecedented strike and special operation mission capabilities from a stealthy, clandestine platform.

It's a "regular, joint and combined exercise to counter North Korea's maritime threats and sharpen the interoperability of South Korea and the US", said Vice Admiral Jung Jin-seop, Commander of the South Korean Navy's Operations. Armed with tactical missiles and equipped with superior communications capabilities, guided-missile submarines are capable of launching missile strikes and supporting Special Operation Forces (SOF) missions.

The United States has since ramped up military drills with South Korea and Japan, its two closest regional in the region.

The US also has sent Guam-based B-1B bombers over the peninsula twice in recent weeks in a show of force amid speculation the North is preparing to conduct another ballistic-missile test.

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