In a move that predictably provoked the North Korean government, the Pentagon acknowledged that U.S. forces would be conducting naval exercises with their South Korean counterparts as a show of solidarity with Seoul following the sinking of the warship Cheonan in March. –KA

BBC:

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said the decision to start joint naval exercises was “a result of the findings of this recent incident”.

Analysts describe the joint exercises as a statement of US commitment to help Seoul rather than an attempt to intimidate Pyongyang.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said earlier that her country was working hard to avoid an escalation.

After talks in China, she urged countries in the region to contain “the highly precarious situation created by North Korea”.

China – North Korea’s closest trading partner and a permanent member of the Security Council – has urged “restraint”.

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