China says the islands are mainly for civilian purposes and to boost safety for fishing and maritime trade.
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Zukunft said he could provide few additional details about the Coast Guard's prospective role in a North Korea campaign.
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson also voiced no objection to South Korea's plan to develop a nuclear sub.
Haley used the charred remnants of an Iranian missile as a backdrop to call for action against Tehran's "malign influence."
Two U.S. F-22 Raptor stealth fighters intercepted two Russian Su-25 fighter jets Wednesday, firing warning flares