US Nuclear-Powered Submarine Docks in South Korea in Latest Provocation

North Korea fired two missiles into the sea after the submarine arrived

A US submarine arrived in South Korea on Monday, less than a week after the US sent a nuclear-armed submarine to the Korean Peninsula for the first time since 1981.

The USS Annapolis, a Los Angeles-class submarine, which is nuclear-powered but not nuclear-armed, docked at a South Korean naval base on Jeju island. A few hours later, North Korea launched two suspected ballistic missiles into the sea off its coast.

“Our military detected two ballistic missiles North Korea fired from areas near Pyongyang into the East Sea at 11:55 pm on the 24th and at midnight of the 25th,” South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said, according to Yonhap News Agency.

CIA map of South Korea

The US deployment of a nuclear-armed submarine last week also provoked North Korean missile launches as the two sides continue tit-for-tat escalations with no end in sight. Since early 2022, North Korea has conducted around 100 missile tests as the US and South Korea resumed massive war games.

The US also began sending strategic assets to South Korea for the first time since 2017. In 2022, US bombers began regularly flying to the peninsula, and now it appears US submarines will be a common sight in the region.

In response to the US sending a nuclear-armed submarine to South Korea, which marked the first US nuke deployment to the Korean Peninsula since 1991, North Korea warned the provocation could potentially justify the use of nuclear weapons.

“I remind the US military of the fact that the ever-increasing visibility of the deployment of the strategic nuclear submarine and other strategic assets may fall under the conditions of the use of nuclear weapons specified in the DPRK law on the nuclear force policy,” North Korean Defense Minister Kang Sun-nam warned.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.