A nuclear-powered Type 094A Jin-class ballistic missile submarine of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy is seen during a military display in the South China Sea April 12, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Deepening Chinese activities in the Arctic region could pave the way for a strengthened military presence, including the deployment of submarines to act as deterrents against nuclear attack, the Pentagon said in a report released on Thursday.

The assessment is included in the U.S. military's annual report to Congress on China's armed forces and follows Beijing's publication of its first official Arctic policy white paper in June.

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The U.S. Coast Guard on April 23, 2019 tapped VT Halter Marine, Inc. to build, for $750 million, the service's first new heavy icebreaker in four decades.

With the contract award, the Coast Guard finally is getting serious about strengthening its presence at Earth's rapidly-melting poles. Human industry adds carbon to the atmosphere that traps heat and causes rapid change in the global climate.

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