Top-secret US nuclear sub seen for first time in DECADES in chilling show of strength to China and North Korea

A US Navy nuclear armed submarine has been spotted for the first time in decades, in a show of strength to North Korea and China.

The rare appearance of the top secret USS Nevada at the Guam naval base comes after missile tests by Kim Jong-un’s regime and rising tensions with Beijing.

The submarine is an Ohio class vessel – nicknamed boomers in the Navy – which are armed with 20 Trident nuclear missiles and normally lurk in the ocean on secret patrols.

Thomas Shugart, a former US Navy submarine captain and now an analyst at the Center for a New American Security said the Nevada’s presence sends a “message”.

"We can park 100-odd nuclear warheads on your doorstep and you won't even know it or be able to do much about it,” he told CNN.

Its deployment comes in the wake of a series of missiles tests by North Korea, the latest of which was of two tactical guided missiles.

New pictures released by North Korea show the missiles being fired from mobile launchers.

The tests come after Pyongyang test also recently fired a hypersonic missile capable of speeds Mach 10.

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In response, US has called on the secretive regime to “cease its unlawful and destabilising” tests.

Nevada’s mission also comes amid tensions with China over Taiwan and Beijing’s development of its own fleet of nuclear armed submarines.

The movements of the 14 boomers are a closely guarded secret and their patrols usually last for 77 days, before they return for maintenance and replenishment.

It is extremely rare for one to be photographed outside their home ports of Bangor, Washington, and Kings Bay, Georgia. 

Alessio Patalano, professor of war and strategy at King's College in London, said the deployment of such vessels is likely to be more frequent.

"The presence of this type of boat, especially in training and exercise, adds an important opportunity to learn how to hunt those of other actors in the region," he said.

We can park 100-odd nuclear warheads on your doorstep and you won't even know it or be able to do much about it

In a statement the Navy said the visit “reflects the United States’ commitment to the Indo-Pacific region”.

The vessel’s presence “complements the many exercises, operations, training and military co-operation activities conducted by strategic forces to ensure they are available and ready to operate around the globe at any time”.

It comes as China’s president Xi Jinping warned against a new Cold-War mentality in a speech widely seen as aimed at the United States.

“We need to discard Cold-War mentality and seek peaceful coexistence, and win-win outcomes,” he said in a speech to the World Economic Forum.

“Our world today is far from being tranquil – rhetoric that stokes hatred and prejudice abound.

“Acts of containment, suppression or confrontation arising thereof do all harm, not the least good, to world peace and security.”

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