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U.S.-South Korean Naval Exercise Underway with Heightened Tension

Oct. 16, 2017 (EIRNS)—The U.S.-South Korean joint naval exercise is underway somewhere in Korean waters, having begun earlier today. Besides the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Ronald Reagan and two destroyers, two U.S. submarines—the cruise missile submarine U.S.S. Michigan and the attack submarine U.S.S. Tucson—are both thought to be participating, since they both made high profile visits to South Korean ports last week. The Michigan has the capacity for up to 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles and it’s also rumored to have aboard a team of special operators tasked with carrying out "decapitation" operations. And the exercise is characterized as a "Maritime Counter Special Operations Force."

In addition to these forces and others already in the region, the carrier U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt departed San Diego on Oct. 6 for the Western Pacific and the Middle East. It’s to be joined by two destroyers out of Pearl Harbor.

The U.S. military also announced that it would practice evacuating noncombatant Americans out of South Korea in the event of war and other emergencies. The exercise, dubbed Courageous Channel, is scheduled to run from Oct. 23-27. There seems to be concern about being too alarmist about it, since according to the New York Times, the military is trying to assure Americans who won’t be participating in the exercise that they’ll hardly notice it and that it would be little different in scale from previous such exercises.

The South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff, meanwhile, reported to a parliamentary committee, this morning, that it is drawing up an offensive-defense strategy aimed at concluding a military conflict with North Korea within the shortest time possible, reports the Korea Herald.

"A war plan designed to enable early neutralization of critical targets, and to win within the shortest possible time within minimum casualties, will be established,"

the JCS revealed at the audit. The JCS said that as part of the plans, the military will reinforce its intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets in order to detect signs of provocation in advance. "Mid and long-range and high-power precision strike capabilities will be secured in order to neutralize the enemy’s asymmetric warfare capabilities."