Northeast AsiaPartnershipsWeapons Proliferation

Submarine visit strengthens ROK-U.S. alliance


In a move emphasizing the strength and vitality of the 70-year-old Republic of Korea (ROK)-United States alliance and its unwavering commitment to security and stability in Northeast Asia, the U.S. ballistic missile submarine USS Kentucky (SSBN 737) arrived at Busan Naval Base, South Korea, for a port visit July 18, 2023.

The visit, by the world’s stealthiest and most powerful nuclear deterrent platform, is a strong reminder of the two nations’ unbreakable bond and trust. It also signifies the U.S. dedication to safeguarding South Korea’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The submarine port visit follows an April 2023 South Korea-U.S. alliance meeting in Washington D.C. where the two nations’ leaders committed to engaging in deeper dialogue, information-sharing efforts and the establishment of the Nuclear Consultative Group to strengthen nuclear deterrence efforts on the Korean Peninsula.

“It is meaningful and reassuring to visit the USS Kentucky, one of the most powerful strategic assets in existence,” South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol said. “South Korea and the United States will continue to respond overwhelmingly and resolutely to North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats through the regular deployment of strategic assets, such SSBNs, and the Nuclear Consultative Group.”

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol looks through the periscope of the Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarine USS Kentucky (SSBN 737) during the port visit that represents the ironclad U.S. ironclad extended deterrence commitment to South Korea. PETTY OFFICER 2ND CLASS ADAM CRAFT/U.S. NAVY

During that meeting in April, Yoon declared that South Korea has full confidence in U.S. extended deterrence commitments and recognizes the importance, necessity and benefit of its enduring partnership.

U.S. President Joe Biden reaffirmed that the U.S. commitment to South Korea and the Korean people is ironclad, and any nuclear attack by North Korea against South Korea will be met with a swift, overwhelming and decisive response.

President Biden highlighted that the U.S. promise to extend deterrence to South Korea is backed by the full range of U.S. capabilities, including nuclear. The ROK-U.S. alliance underscores their unity and resolve to support regional and global security objectives.

The arrival of the USS Kentucky is a demonstration of the U.S. standing by its promise and complements the many exercises, training events, operations and military cooperation activities conducted between the ROK and U.S. militaries.

The Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarine USS Kentucky (SSBN 737), center, proceeds on the surface to Busan for a port visit while escorted by Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS John Finn (DDG 113) and USS Ralph Johnson (DDG 114) on July 18, 2023.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button