North Korea threatens to sink US nuclear submarine

Samuel Osborne
North Korea test-fires an underwater strategic submarine ballistic missile (file image): EPA

North Korea has threatened to sink a US nuclear submarine deployed in South Korean waters.

“The moment the USS Michigan tries to budge even a little, it will be doomed to face the miserable fate of becoming an underwater ghost without being able to come to the surface,” the North’s propaganda website Urminzokkiri said.

“The urgent fielding of the nuclear submarine in the waters off the Korean Peninsula, timed to coincide with the deployment of the super aircraft carrier strike group, is intended to further intensify military threats toward our republic.”

The guided missile submarine USS Michigan has been joined by the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier group in waters near the Korean peninsula.

The website added that “whether it’s a nuclear aircraft carrier or a nuclear submarine, they will be turned into a mass of scrap metal in front of our invincible military power centred on the self-defence nuclear deterrence.”

The aircraft carrier group began exercises with the South Korean navy on Sunday after it completed drills with the Japanese navy.

The dispatch of the Carl Vinson was a “reckless action of the war maniacs aimed at an extremely dangerous nuclear war,” the Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of North Korea's ruling Workers' Party, said in a commentary.

It comes after the hermit kingdom test-fired another ballistic missile in a clear message of defiance aimed at Washington and its allies.

However, US officials said the medium-range ballistic missile disintegrated mid-flight, minutes after launch, and fell into the Sea of Japan.

President Donald Trump, asked about his message to North Korea after the latest missile test, told reporters: “You’ll soon find out”, but did not elaborate on what the US response would be.

The North has been conducting missile and nuclear weapons related activities at an unprecedented rate and is believed to have made progress in developing intermediate-range and submarine-launched missiles.

Tension on the Korean peninsula has been high for weeks over fears the North may conduct a long-range missile test, or its sixth nuclear test, around the time of the 15 April anniversary of its state founder’s birth.

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