Trump revealed submarine locations to Philippines president

A call transcript between President Trump and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte reveals that Trump boasted about two U.S. nuclear submarines near North Korea.

Trump, who spoke by phone with Duterte on April 29, addressed the possibility of a strike on North Korea using the submarines. A transcript of the conversation was published by The Intercept.

“We have a lot of firepower over there,” Trump said in the transcript, an official document of the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs.

“We have two submarines — the best in the world — we have two nuclear submarines — not that we want to use them at all,” Trump continues. “I’ve never seen anything like they are but we don’t have to use this but he could be crazy so we will see what happens.”

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The Defense Department historically does not reveal the locations of its submarines, since keeping the vessels’ movements secret is key to their missions.

The Navy does acknowledge that nuclear submarines are part of deploying strike groups — allowing the public a general idea of the deployment schedule and destination. To this end, the service announced April 25 the USS Michigan Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine was in Busan, South Korea, on a “routine visit” and on May 2 said the USS Cheyenne Los Angeles-class attack submarine arrived at a Navy base in Sasebo, Japan.

Buzzfeed News reported that Pentagon officials are alarmed by Trump’s disclosure. Revealing that submarines are in the region is not the same as addressing how many there are and that they are near North Korea, as Trump did.

The comments are also odd due to the fact the Philippines is not a part of Pentagon efforts to deter North Korea.

In addition, Trump and Duterte discussed using China to pressure North Korea to abandon its missile testing program. Trump has said, however, that “if China doesn’t do it, we will do it" and called North Korean leader Kim Jong Un a “madman with nuclear weapons.”

North Korea launched a medium-range ballistic missile Sunday and later said it is prepared to deploy the missile as part of an "answer" to Trump's policies.

North Korea's government has said it's ready to start mass-producing its new missile, which North Korea claims can reach Japan and major U.S. military bases, The Associated Press reported Monday.

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Trump was widely criticized by members of both parties for praising Duterte on the call for his handling of drug problems in his country, which has included the extrajudicial killing of thousands of drug users and dealers, and for inviting the controversial leader to meet with him in the White House.

“If you want to come to the Oval Office, I will love to have you in [the] Oval Office. Anytime you want to come,” Trump said, according to the transcript.

The White House readout of the call omitted Trump's mention of the submarines, saying only that “it was a very friendly conversation, in which the two leaders discussed the concerns of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) regarding regional security, including the threat posed by North Korea."