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US plans naval exercises with South Korea


WASHINGTON (AFP): The US military has said it will carry out anti-submarine and other naval exercises with South Korea in the "near future" after a North Korean sub sank a South Korean warship.

The announcement came after an international investigation last week concluded that a North Korean submarine fired a heavy torpedo at the Cheonan on March 26, sinking the South Korean vessel and killing 46 sailors.

The decision to conduct anti-submarine as well as maritime interdiction exercises with Seoul's military "are a result of the findings of this recent incident," Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told reporters.

He declined to offer more details of the "important" exercises but said they would take place "in the near future."

The White House said earlier that President Barack Obama had directed his administration to review North Korea policy and commanded his armed forces to work closely with South Korea "to ensure readiness and to deter future aggression."

The United States and numerous other nations have condemned the attack, seen in Seoul as one of the worst provocations since the 1950-53 Korean War.

The North's ally China, which wields a Security Council veto, has called on all sides to show restraint.

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