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A US Ohio-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (SSB...

A US Ohio-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) arrives at the Busan Base of Operations

- The SSBN’s first port call to Korea in 40 years, since 1980s
- Based on “regular deployment of US strategic assets on the Korean Peninsula” agreed at the summit in the Washington Declaration
- A case in point demonstrating that US extended deterrence for South Korea will be firmly implemented

USS Kentucky (SSBN-737), an Ohio-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN), arrived at the Busan Base of Operations on the afternoon of July 18.
* SSN: nuclear-powered submarine (Los Angeles class, Virginia class, Seawolf class / used for anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare),
 SSGN: nuclear-powered cruise missile submarine (Ohio class / performs strike operation missions armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles),
 SSBN: nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (Ohio class / performs strategic missions and is capable of deploying submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs))

This USS Kentucky (SSBN-737), the 12th Ohio-class SSBN, is equipped to deploy 20 Trident-Ⅱ ballistic missiles. Measuring about 170 m in length, it is among the largest SSBNs in the world.
* General characteristics include: length of 170 m, beam of 13 m, a submerged displacement of 18,750 tons, a speed of greater than 25 knots, a complement of 150, and an armament of 20 Trident II ballistic missiles
** The range of a Trident-Ⅱ ballistic missile is approximately 12,000 km.

This is the first time in 40 years that a US nuclear ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) has made a port call to Korea, with the last visit occurring in the 1980s. The visit was organized in close coordination with South Korean and US defense authorities, and is part of the regular deployment of US strategic assets on the Korean Peninsula as agreed upon during the Korea-US summit in the Washington Declaration.

Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup commented, “The deployment of a US SSBN on the Korean Peninsula demonstrates the unwavering execution of the US extended deterrence in South Korea. It further showcases the overwhelming capabilities and posture of the alliance to North Korea and exhibits a strong South Korea-US combined defense readiness to our citizens and the international community.”

The captain of the USS Kentucky stated, “This port call of the US strategic submarine to Korea is intended to assure the Korean people of the US's iron-clad commitment to extended deterrence, as stipulated in the Washington Declaration. Looking ahead, we plan to further reinforce South Korea-US coordination to effectively counter North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats”

The Defense Ministry will discuss ways to enhance the execution of US extended deterrence while the SSBN is docked at the Busan Base of Operations.


  • (Presentation and Follow-on discussion)