The South Korean Nuclear Horn (Daniel 7)

U.S. nuclear attack submarine deployed forward in S. Korea
The USS nuclear submarine (SSN) Louisville (6,300 tons), the U.S. Navy’s Los Angeles-class attack submarine, entered the South Korean port city of Jinhae in South Gyeongsang Province on Thursday, it was confirmed on Friday. The arrival of the U.S. submarine in the South is believed to be a measure taken to help deter North Korea’s possible provocation taking advantage of a political crisis in the wake of President Park Geun-hye’s impeachment in the South.
“The USS Louisville will carry out diverse military exchange activities with the South Korean Navy, including joint anti-submarine drills, during its visit to South Korea,” Seoul’s defense ministry source said. The U.S. Navy said forward deployment of the Louisville is a regular visit as part of military operation in the Asia-Pacific region. However, many analysts say that the visit is a military measure taken to prepare for North Korea’s possible surprise attack on South Korea by taking advantage of chaotic political situation in the South after Park’s impeachment.
“The military authorities of South Korea and the U.S. are paying attention to the unleashing of a flurry of threats by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during his recent inspection visits to fortresses around northwest islands,” a source in the South Korean military said. “(The Louisville’s deployment in South Korea) will be a strong warning to Kim Jong Un to never make ill-advised judgment (to launch an attack).”
Earlier, as Kim Jong Un intensified his threat to attack the South around the day of the North’s foundation day (September 9) when Pyongyang conducted a nuclear test, Washington sortied a string of B-1B Lancer supersonic strategic bomber fleets to South Korea from the Anderson Air Force Base in Guam in succession to stage armed protest against Pyongyang. It is the first time since then that Washington has deployed forward a nuclear attack submarine to South Korea.
With about 130 crew members on board, the Louisville is armed with dozens of submarine-to-ground Tomahawk missiles, which are capable of making precision strikes at a target within a range of two to three meters from 2,500 kilometers away, as well as the submarine-to-battleship Harpoon missile, and the MK 48-heavy weight torpedoes.
“If the Louisville fires a Tomahawk missile at waters in the South Sea, it can make precision attack at Kim Jong Un’s office in Pyongyang,” a source in the South Korean Navy said. “The North will naturally feel heavy burden just with the Louisville’s deployment in South Korea.”
The US SSN Louisville was deployed in the Red Sea, some 14,000 kilometers from the U.S. mainland in “Operation Desert Storm” during the Gulf War in 1991, and the Iraq War in 2003, and carried out missions in which it fired Tomahawk missiles to destroy key targets including Iraq’s communications network, and Saddam Hussain’s palace.
Meanwhile, the U.S. military authority is reportedly set to put in place all possible measures to maintain strong South Korea-U.S. joint defense readiness irrespective of President Park’s impeachment. “If North Korea conducts a nuclear test or fires a long-range missile, or launches local provocations, the U.S. will instantly deploy strategic weapons including nuclear bombers and aircraft carrier fleets to South Korea to counter,” a source in the U.S. Forces Korea said.
Sang-Ho Yun ysh1005@donga.com

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