U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says the U.S. and South Korea may wait to hold new joint military exercises until the United Nations considers accusations that North Korea sank a South Korean warship.
South Korea asked the U.N. Security Council to look at the case on Friday. The council could condemn or punish North Korea for the sinking that killed 46 sailors.
Gates suggested that what had been a fast-moving push for a U.S. show of force has slowed. He says that there are concerns about not provoking the North further, and that the U.N. should have a chance to decide what it will do.
Gates met Friday with the South Korean defense minister during a security conference in Singapore.