The United States said it had sent a nuclear-armed submarine to South Korea for the first time in more than four decades on Tuesday, fulfilling a pledge in the wake of North Korea's continued missile launches, after the allies held the inaugural meeting of their Nuclear Consultative Group (NCG) earlier in the day.

"As we speak, an American nuclear submarine is making port in Busan today," U.S. National Security Council Coordinator for Indo-Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell said.

The move realized a key U.S. pledge at an April leaders summit to send a nuclear-capable ballistic missile submarine to the South, and the two allies also used Tuesday's first NCG meeting to discuss information-sharing, coordination and planning in the event of a North Korean nuclear attack, which officials said would prompt an "overwhelming" allied response.