Seoul, July 24 (EFE).- A United States nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Annapolis, arrived in southwest South Korea’s Jeju island, just three days after another American submersible departed from the southeastern Busan port amid an escalation of regional tensions and the upcoming 70th anniversary of the end of the Korean War.
The USS Annapolis has arrived in Jeju to load supplies, a spokesperson for South Korea’s navy, Jang Do-young, said at a press conference on Monday.
The arrival of the submarine occurs amid recent weapons tests by North Korea and also follows the visit of USS Kentucky – which, unlike the USS Annapolis, has the capacity to fire nuclear warheads – which departed on July 21.
Jang said that the South Korean and US defense authorities were holding “close consultations” about the possibility of the navies of both countries holding a joint training to take advantage of the submarine’s visit.
The arrival of the submarine also occurs three days before the 70th anniversary of the end of the Korean War (1950-53), an event that is celebrated with a lot of pomp in North Korea, which has been preparing for months for a large military parade in the capital, Pyongyang.
An editorial in the country’s main newspaper, the Rodong, on Monday said that “there can be no end to strengthening military power” to ensure the country’s self-defense.
Tensions have soared again on the Korean peninsula following the failure of the 2019 denuclearization talks, with Pyongyang rejecting any offer for dialogue and conducting a record number of missile tests, and Seoul and Washington resuming their large-scale joint exercises and regularly deploying US strategic assets in the region. EFE