The Pentagon sent a warship near a disputed island in the South China Sea occupied by China on Sunday, U.S. defense officials told The Japan Times, following a series of moves that appeared to highlight the White House's growing frustration with Beijing.

The patrol, the second known "freedom of navigation" operation under U.S. President Donald Trump, involved the Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture-based USS Stethem guided-missile destroyer and was conducted earlier Sunday within 12 nautical miles (22 km) of Triton Island in the Paracel archipelago, the officials confirmed.

The tiny islet is also claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam, and is not one of the seven fortified man-made islands, which are located in the South China Sea's Spratly chain farther south.