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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russia to Examine Sinking of South Korean Warship

Russia will make an independent assessment of the sinking of a South Korean warship that a multinational investigation blamed on North Korea.

South Korea invited a Russian team to examine the evidence, the Kremlin said in an e-mailed statement late Wednesday. The United States and its allies hold North Korea responsible for the March 26 incident, in which 46 sailors died.

“President Dmitry Medvedev believes it is of the utmost importance to establish the true cause of the ship’s sinking and determine exactly who holds personal responsibility,” the Kremlin statement said.

Meanwhile, the Navy said Thursday that it would hold large-scale naval exercises near North Korea next month that were planned before the current standoff on the Korean Peninsula.

A flotilla of warships will set off for the Sea of Japan from Vladivostok, the home port of the Pacific fleet, its spokesman Roman Martov said.

For the first time, other fleets of Russia's Navy also will join in the war games. The Black Sea Fleet's flagship Moskva missile cruiser will take part alongside the heavy nuclear-powered cruiser Peter the Great, flagship of the Northern Fleet.

Martov did not say whether the planned show of force had any relation to the current precarious standoff on the Korean Peninsula.

(Bloomberg, Reuters)