June 6 (UPI) — A U.S. attack submarine arrived in the South Korean port city of Busan on Tuesday, less than a week after the Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Olympia docked in neighboring Yokosuka, Japan.
The USS Cheyenne, a 360-foot-long attack submarine was on a routine visit, the Stars and Stripes reported.
Rear Adm. Brad Cooper, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Korea, said the submarine’s presence at the port is a symbol of the strength of the bilateral alliance.
“We are honored to host the crew of USS Cheyenne for a much deserved port visit,” Cooper said. “[Our two navies] routinely work shoulder to shoulder with one another and this port visit is an opportunity for Cheyenne sailors to enjoy Busan and explore the Korean culture.”
North Korea may issue a response condemning the deployment.
Pyongyang has claimed bilateral exercises with regional allies pose a threat to the regime, and that Kim Jong Un can order the launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile “at any time and place.”
The USS Cheyenne, named after the capital of Wyoming, is visiting South Korea more than a month after the USS Michigan was deployed.
The Michigan docked in Busan in April, during a period of high tensions with North Korea. Analysts expressed concern Pyongyang might conduct another nuclear test.
North Korea has not conducted a test of a nuclear device but has test-launched several ballistic missiles, resulting in heavier sanctions at the United Nations Security Council.
U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis has said North Korea is a “clear and present danger” and the United States is “trying to exhaust all possible alternatives to avert this race for a nuclear weapon.”