U.S.

August 21, 2012

News Briefs – August 21, 2012

USS Constitution sets sail again in Boston Harbor

 

The 215-year-old USS Constitution has sailed for the first time since 1997, taking a 17-minute cruise across Boston Harbor.

The short trip Aug. 19 was to commemorate the Navy ship’s victory over a British warship of a similar size in a fierce battle during the War of 1812. Following the battle, the Constitution was nicknamed “Old Ironsides.”

Chief Petty Officer Frank Neely says 285 lucky people were aboard as the Constitution reached a maximum speed of 3.1 knots.

The trip marks the first time the Constitution has set sail under its own power since turning 200 years old. The Navy ship is periodically tugged into the harbor for historical display. AP

 

South Korea-U.S. war drills begin amid North’s protest

 

South Korea and the United States have begun annual military drills that North Korea calls a precursor to war.

The U.S. says the two-week Ulchi Freedom Guardian drills started Aug. 20 with more than 80,000 troops from the U.S., South Korea and seven countries that fought with them in the 1950-53 Korean War.

Pyongyang has repeatedly threatened to attack Seoul over perceived insults and denounces the exercises as preparation for a pre-emptive attack.

Seoul is still angry over a North Korean rocket launch in April that the United Nations called a front for a banned long-range missile test. North Korea says it was a satellite launch.

Pyongyang’s official media says leader Kim Jong Un recently visited a military unit involved in a deadly 2010 artillery exchange with South Korea.

In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the exercises are routine and urged North Korea to refrain from “bellicose statements.” AP

 




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