Korea to conduct joint naval drill amid tensions with N. Korea

According to the Navy, the Maritime Counter Special Operations exercise wil run from October 16 to October 26.

The US nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan was expected to arrive at South Korea in the near future as the South Korean navy announced the joint maritime drills with the US navy next week.

Pyongyang responded to the report through its state-run KCNA news agency, which said, "If the USA imperialists and the South Korean puppets ignite an aggressive nuclear war against us, it would only advance their own demise". The Ohio-class submarine's arrival in South Korea was publicized, however.

The nuclear-powered supercarrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) and the South's Sejong the Great-class guided-missile destroyers (KDX III) will participate in the maritime exercises, along with around 40 other vessels.

Rear Adm. Brad Cooper, commander of U.S. Naval Forces in Korea, said in a release that the United States and Republic of Korea (ROK) navies "have always enjoyed a strong relationship", and that the arrival of the USS Michigan further reinforces their partnership.

Washington has in recent days attempted to ramp up pressure on Pyongyang by deploying strategic military assets to the Korean peninsula.

A USA nuclear-powered submarine has arrived in South Korea.

The vessel is carrying Tomahawk cruise missiles, used by the U.S.in the early April attack on Syria's Shayrat airbase.

The 560-foot-long USS Michigan is armed to the teeth with tactical missiles and is capable of launching strikes and supporting missions by special operation forces, a statement said.

It replaced another U.S. 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. It is also equipped with about 150 Tomahawk cruise missiles with a range of more than two-thousand kilometers.

The US President has threatened to "totally destroy" North Korea if forced to defend the US or its allies.

Vanessa Coleman