The Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarine USS Alaska (SSBN 732) returns to Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay following a patrol, in Kings Bay


  • The Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine can carry up to 20 Trident II missiles
  • Each of the submarine's Trident II missiles can carry at least four nuclear warheads
  • It will be the first time the U.S. deploys a nuclear-armed submarine to South Korea since the 1980s

The ballistic missile submarine the United States has pledged to deploy in South Korean waters has more than enough firepower to destroy the entire North Korea.

The Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine carries a maximum of 20 Trident II ballistic missiles, which have a range of 4,600 miles or 7,400 kilometers. Each missile can carry at least four nuclear warheads.

This means one Ohio-class submarine can carry up to 80 nuclear warheads, per CNN, citing estimates from the Nuclear Threat Initiative at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies. That is enough to completely obliterate North Korea, the outlet noted.

Washington's decision to deploy a ballistic missile submarine in South Korea was announced Wednesday by President Joe Biden. The deployment is part of the Washington Declaration deal between South Korea and the U.S.

"A nuclear attack by North Korea against the United States or its allies and partners is unacceptable, and will result in the end of whatever regime were to take such an action," Biden said Wednesday.

The planned deployment would mark the first time the U.S. has sent nuclear-armed submarines to South Korea since the 1980s.

The Washington Declaration comes as North Korea continues to violate a joint declaration with South Korea where both countries pledged not to "test, manufacture, produce, receive, possess, store, deploy or use nuclear weapons."

Pyongyang has carried out a record number of ballistic missile tests in 2022. Additionally, North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, has also made strides to develop its suspected nuclear weapons arsenal. In fact, he vowed an "exponential increase" in the production of nuclear warheads and intercontinental ballistic missiles during a New Year's Eve address.

"The currently established situation calls for our country doubling down our efforts to strengthen our military power overwhelmingly to safeguard our sovereignty, safety and basic national interest to cope with the dangerous military moves by the US and other hostile forces that target us," he added.

Kim also said South Korea has become his country's "undoubted enemy" and claimed that its main ally, the U.S., is working with Seoul to "isolate and stifle" Pyongyang.

Biden and Yoon
US President Joe Biden (L) hosted a state dinner in honor of South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol (R) at the White House GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA via AFP / CHIP SOMODEVILLA