Navy Spy Ship Still Being Held Hostage by North Korea

The USS Pueblo, the second-oldest ship commissioned in the Navy, is currently still being held hostage as it floats at a river dock in Pyongyang. The ship was seized by North Korea in a January 1968 raid.The Pueblo was a spy ship assigned to monitor North Korean communications and was equipped with top-secret intelligence machinery. 

The North Koreans detected the Pueblo and sent a flotilla to surround it as they demanded surrender. A boarding party bombarded the ship with gunfire wounding several crew members and the captain, one crew member was killed. North Koreans captured the ship and crew, who were tortured and held for 335 days only to be released when the U.S. signed an apology, which they then revoked once all the American personnel were safely returned. 

The U.S. insists the Pueblo was in international waters, but North Korea insists it was inside the country’s boundaries. 

After one version of a resolution calling for the ship's return passed 10 years ago, a state lawmaker received a postcard featuring a photo of a North Korean soldier smashing his rifle butt against the head of a Western-looking man in a blue uniform. 

The card had a North Korean postmark and a message. In flawless English, the writer urged the politician to “come and take it, you dirty American.”

The White House did not respond to any questions on the suspected return of the spy ship. 

“This year marks the 50th anniversary of North Korea’s seizure of the USS Pueblo and I, like many others in our state, want to see the ship returned home,” Rep. Scott R. Tipton, Colorado Republican, wrote to President Trump last month. “The historic summit that is to be held … presents a rare opportunity to directly make this request.”

Now, coming up on the 50th anniversary of the ships capture, the families of the crew and some of the crew themselves would like to see the return of the ship after the summit. They feel an 'emotional attachment' to the now tourist attraction that floats in a berth along the Potong River. 

Photo: Getty Images

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