http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080508/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/us_myanmar WASHINGTON - Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday the U.S. military was moving forward with plans to mount a relief mission in Myanmar, but he said he couldn't imagine air dropping aid without permission from the Asian nation's government. ADVERTISEMENT His comments followed those earlier Thursday by Ky Luu, the director of the U.S. Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, that an air drop was one of the options being considered as Myanmar's junta continued to stall on accepting assistance from the United States. Gates says the military is moving aircraft and ships into place to help deliver humanitarian supplies once permission is granted. "I cannot image us going in without the permission of the Myanmar government," Gates said at a Pentagon press conference with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen. Asked if it would not be helpful to victims for the U.S. to drop supplies, Mullen said: "We could. Typically, though, it's sovereign airspace and you'd need their permission to fly in that airspace." "It's all tied to sovereignty, which we respect whether it's on the ground or in the air," Mullen said. THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below. WASHINGTON (AP) Defense Secretary Robert Gates says he can't imagine dropping relief aid into Myanmar without the military junta's permission. Another U.S. official says the U.S. is looking at that possibility anyway, to help victims of a devastating cyclone in Myanmar. Gates says the military is moving aircraft and ships into place to help deliver humanitarian supplies once permission is granted. But he says he can't imagine doing it without the Myanmar government's go-ahead. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen says it's a matter of Myanmar's national sovereignty. Peh, the International Community needs to force Burma to accept aid. I doubt the US will agree to that though and so foreign aid will be slow in coming to them.