South Korea may not seek a full U.N. Security Council resolution against the North over the sinking of a South Korean warship because of fears over rising tensions on the peninsula, the United States said on Friday.

Washington also does not see the North preparing new provocations for an attack on the South but is prepared for a confrontation, the top U.S. military commander in the region said. Pyongyang has said war could erupt at any time.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said planned joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises may not take place until it becomes clear what action the United Nations will take.

“It is not clear exactly what path the Republic of Korea intends to pursue in the U.N., whether it’s a resolution or a president’s letter, whatever,” Gates told reporters in Singapore on the sidelines of a major security conference.

” … it may be that there’s a desire first to see what can be accomplished at the U.N. and then think about next steps beyond that,” he said.
A North Korean envoy said in Geneva on Thursday war could erupt at any time on the Korean peninsula and that the North’s troops were on “full alert.”
Admiral Robert Willard, head of the U.S. Pacific Command, said there were no signs North Korea was preparing a nuclear test or moving troops toward the South, a major U.S. ally.

“Right now we’re not seeing indications that North Korea is intending the next provocation,” Willard said in Singapore.

“The rhetoric from North Korea is not unusual. But I think everyone in the region is watching North Korea very closely given their unpredictability.”

Source: Adam Entous for Reuters.

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