South Korea news outlet Chosun reported recently that the USA has been considering using this armada to test North Korea like never before, by sailing the aircraft carrier north of the Northern Limit Line, the de facto maritime border of North Korea.
It replaced another USA submarine, the Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Tucson (SSN 770) that had stayed in Jinhae, a city in South Korea's southeastern region, on October 7-11.
The United States and South Korea are preparing for joint military exercises in the East and West Sea.
The exercise will provide a visible and coordinated engagement for the U.S. - ROK alliance.
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"We have already warned several times that we will take counteractions for self-defense, including a salvo of missiles into waters near the U.S. territory of Guam", states North Korean state media, KCNA. The president banged out a tweet Friday wishing the US Navy "happy birthday", while adding he has "no greater privilege than to serve" as commander-in-chief of the US military.
It does not appear that the USS Michigan's arrival in South Korea is related to the military exercises.
Yonhap quoted a South Korean official who said the Tucson "had left" and that the U.S. Navy "did not disclose its next destination". The nuclear-armed vessel offers the United States fleet "unprecedented strike and special operation mission capabilities from a stealthy, clandestine platform", a Pacific Fleet statement says, adding that it carries "tactical missiles", "superior communications capabilities" and provides assistance to special operation forces missions.
The Ohio-class USS Michigan made a port call at the Fleet Command in Busan on Friday for its second visit to the country's southeastern port city this year following April. In April, South Korean media reported that Navy SEALs aboard the MI had trained with a local force to decapitate North Korea's Kim Jong Un regime.