Trump Told Philippines’ Duterte The Navy Has 2 ‘Nuclear Submarines’ Near North Korea

news
SEALs and divers from SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team (SDVT) 1 swim back to the guided-missile submarine USS Michigan (SSGN 727) during an exercise for certification on SEAL delivery vehicle operations in the southern Pacific Ocean in February 2012.
Photo via DoD

President Donald Trump told Phillipine President Rodrigo Duterte in a phone call last month that two nuclear submarines were somewhere in the waters near North Korea.


"We have a lot of firepower over there," Trump said of the Korean Peninsula, according to a transcript of the call obtained by the New York Times and verified by White House officials.

"We have two submarines — the best in the world," Trump said, according to The Times. "We have two nuclear submarines, not that we want to use them at all."

Business Insider previously reported that the nuclear-powered USS Michigan submarine would head to North Korea's coast, joining the USS Carl Vinson carrier strike group. The Michigan does not carry nuclear weapons, but it does carry Tomahawk missiles — the same type used in the April 7 strike on a Syrian air base. It also carries special forces, and South Korean media has reported that Navy SEALs are in the region and may be training to take out North Korea's leadership.

All U.S. submarines are nuclear-powered, though at any time, four or five of those submarines are nuclear-armed and on "hard alert, in their patrol areas, awaiting orders for launch," Stephen Schwartz, the author of "Atomic Audit: The Costs and Consequences of US Nuclear Weapons Since 1940," told Business Insider.

It is unclear whether Trump was referring to the USS Michigan or the USS Cheyenne, another nuclear-powered, but not nuclear-armed submarine in the region, or if he was referring to another submarine that is armed with nuclear weapons. The locations of nuclear-armed submarines have to remain a secret to even the highest commanders in the U.S. military.

However, even if Trump was discussing nuclear-armed submarines, it is highly unlikely his disclosure was inappropriate because he did not appear to give specifics.

Nuclear-armed submarines make up the most secretive part of the U.S.'s nuclear deterrent. Essentially, even if an attacker could somehow neutralize all the U.S.'s nuclear weapons on land, they'd be unable to find the submarines. As a matter of national security, only the captains and crew of the submarines know for sure where they're located.

"In fact, we don't even know where they are — they run silent," Schwartz said.

More from Business Insider: 

(Task & Purpose photo illustration by Paul Szoldra)

Jordan Way was living a waking nightmare.

The 23-year-old sailor laid in bed trembling. At times, his body would shake violently as he sobbed. He had recently undergone a routine shoulder surgery on Dec. 12, 2017, and was hoping to recover.

Instead, Jordan couldn't do much of anything other than think about the pain. Simple tasks like showering, dressing himself, or going to the bathroom alone were out of the question, and the excruciating sensation in his shoulder made lying down to sleep feel like torture.

"Imagine being asleep," he called to tell his mother Suzi at one point, "but you can still feel the pain."

To help, military doctors gave Jordan oxycodone, a powerful semi-synthetic opiate they prescribed to dull the sensation in his shoulder. Navy medical records show that he went on to take more than 80 doses of the drug in the days following the surgery, dutifully following doctor's orders to the letter.

Instinctively, Jordan, a Navy corpsman who by day worked at the Twentynine Palms naval hospital where he was now a patient, knew something was wrong. The drugs seemed to have little effect. His parents advised him to seek outside medical advice, but base doctors insisted the drugs just needed more time to work.

"They've got my back," Jordan had told his parents before the surgery, which happened on a Tuesday. By Saturday, he was dead.

Read More Show Less
T-38 Talon training aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Two airmen from Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma, were killed on Thursday when two T-38 Talon training aircraft crashed during training mission, according to a message posted on the base's Facebook age.

The two airmen's names are being withheld pending next of kin notification.

A total of four airmen were onboard the aircraft at the time of the incident, base officials had previously announced.

The medical conditions for the other two people involved in the crash was not immediately known.

An investigation will be launched to determine the cause of the crash.

Emergency responders from Vance Air Force Base are at the crash scene to treat casualties and help with recovery efforts.

Read the entire message below:

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. – Two Vance Air Force Base Airmen were killed in an aircraft mishap at approximately 9:10 a.m. today.

At the time of the accident, the aircraft were performing a training mission.

Vance emergency response personnel are on scene to treat casualties and assist in recovery efforts.

Names of the deceased will be withheld pending next of kin notification.

A safety investigation team will investigate the incident.

Additional details will be provided as information becomes available. #VanceUpdates.

This is a breaking news story. It will be updated as more information is released.

The commander of the Marine Corps' Wounded Warrior Regiment has been relieved over a loss of "trust and confidence in his ability to lead" amid an investigation into his conduct, a Corps official told Task & Purpose on Thursday.

Col. Lawrence F. Miller was removed from his post on Thursday morning and replaced with his executive officer, Lt. Col. Larry Coleman, who will serve as interim commander of the Quantico, Virginia based unit.

Read More Show Less

President Donald Trump has nixed any effort by the Navy to excommunicate Eddie Gallagher from the SEAL community.

"The Navy will NOT be taking away Warfighter and Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher's Trident Pin," the president tweeted on Thursday. "This case was handled very badly from the beginning. Get back to business!"

Read More Show Less
The Medal of Honor (U.S. Navy photo)

A pair of Texas congressmen have introduced legislation to the House to create a monument "to honor the valiant service" of Medal of Honor recipients in Washington, D.C.

Read More Show Less