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Two U.S. aircraft carrier groups have entered the disputed South China Sea for training, the Department of Defense said on Monday in what a senior commander said was to reassure allies and demonstrate resolve to "counter malign influence".

Beijing has issued a strongly-worded complaint to the United States and Japan for "baselessly" attacking China at a virtual meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said on Monday.

North Korea fired two suspected ballistic missiles into the sea Monday in its fourth weapons launch this month, South Korea’s military said, with the apparent goal of demonstrating its military might during paused diplomacy with the United States and pandemic border closures.

  • Launch is fourth test in less than two weeks
  • Tests condemned by Japan as threat to regional peace
  • South Korea urges talks to defuse tension
  • Tests demonstrate depth of North Korean arsenal - analyst

North Korea fired at least two ballistic missiles on Friday, the third test in two weeks, just hours after criticising a U.S. push for new sanctions over the previous launches as a "provocation" and warning of a strong reaction.

China on Thursday defended its “historical rights” to virtually the entire South China Sea, following a new U.S. government report saying Beijing’s claims are almost entirely invalid.

China has accelerated settlement-building along its disputed border with Bhutan, with more than 200 structures, including two-storey buildings, under construction in six locations, according to satellite image analysis conducted for Reuters.

North Korea said Wednesday its leader Kim Jong Un oversaw a successful flight test of a hypersonic missile he claimed would remarkably increase the country’s nuclear “war deterrent.”

  • Launch detected on Tuesday by Japan, S.Korea
  • Kim officially at test for first time since March 2020
  • U.S., EU condemn tests as threat to peace
  • Tests follow Kim's vow to boost military forces
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