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The US state department says there "will definitely be consequences" for North Korea following the sinking of a South Korean warship in March.
The North is facing international condemnation after investigators blamed it for the sinking of the ship, in which 46 sailors died.
Pyongyang has rejected the claim as a "fabrication" and threatened war if sanctions were imposed.
The US has some 28,000 troops stationed in the South following the 1950-53 Korean War.