Biden Administration Signs Agreement with Republic of Korea to Dock U.S. Nuclear Missile Submarines in Korean Ports
This provocative move will likely incentivize China to destroy them before invading Taiwan, thus starting World War Three
USS Nevada (SSBN-773) docked in port in Guam
Last week, the Biden administration signed an agreement with the Republic of Korea (ROK) to dock U.S. nuclear missile submarines to Korean ports. This move was ostensibly intended to assure the ROK government that the US would defend them against the increasing threat of North Korean nuclear attack as well as to prevent the ROK from developing nuclear weapons in response to North Korea’s largescale nuclear buildup. It is also considering nuclear bomber deployments to the Korean peninsula. Unfortunately, this agreement will not provide increased security to the ROK but rather will make it much more likely to be attacked and destroyed by both Communist China and North Korea when the People’s Republic of China (PRC) invades Taiwan most likely next year.
This also appears to be an attempt by the Biden administration to signal its resolve to defend both the ROK and Taiwan from Chinese and North Korean aggression. However, nuclear missile submarines are not meant to be used for strategic signaling. The U.S. has obsolete B-52 nuclear bombers that can carry out that role far more effectively. The only way to protect our nuclear missile submarines is to keep them submerged at sea where no one knows where they are. Every time one of them surfaces or docks in a foreign port they lose their invulnerability.
The problem with this action is that there is a major risk that this provocative move to station US nuclear submarines (and potentially nuclear bombers) within 400 miles from China will provoke China to change its calculus to preemptively attack U.S. military forces and perhaps the US homeland itself rather than risk a U.S. nuclear response to its invasion of Taiwan rather than to refrain from attacking the U.S. unless it defends Taiwan militarily. If the U.S. were to station both of its Ohio nuclear missile submarines in Korean ports, China could destroy them using hypersonic missiles with as little as five minutes warning in a Pearl Harbor surprise attack. Even if they were fully-crewed, which they almost certainly would not be if they were docked in port, it would take at least 15 minutes for them to fire their nuclear missiles even if Biden gave the order as soon as China’s hypersonic missiles were launched.
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