Monday, February 24, 2014


EDITOR'S NOTE: Since we published our posts on the USS PUEBLO back in July a new book is out on this still unresolved incident at sea. In case you mised the author's recent comment describing his book in the comments section of this post where it originally appeared in the line up we thought we'd provide you with a link and a description and rerun the post in case you missed it. Technically a state of armed conflict still exist between the United States and North Korea. Legally the ship remains U.S. property and a sort of North Korean prize of war. We have every legal right to take the ship back by force, but the ship itself doesn't have that kind of value. We also have every legal right under international law to "scuttle" it, thus denying the enemy the propaganda value they apparently now place on it. Unless you are older than 44 it is likely this ship was taken before you were born. A blog post can't do the history of the incident justice. But the book suggestion posted below may. 

Saturday, July 27, 2013 (Original publication date:


N Korea to Put Captured US Ship on Display

PHOTO: The USS Pueblo
The USS Pueblo is North Korea'­s greatest Cold War prize, a potent symbol of how the country has stood up to the great power of the United States. (USN/AP Photo )
PYONGYANG, North Korea July 25, 2013 (AP)
If there was ever any doubt about what happened to the only U.S. Navy ship that is being held by a foreign government, North Korea has cleared it up. It's in Pyongyang. And it looks like it's here to stay.
With a fresh coat of paint and a new home along the Pothong River, the USS Pueblo, a spy ship seized off North Korea's east coast in the late 1960s, is expected to be unveiled this week as the centerpiece of a renovated war museum to commemorate what North Korea calls "Victory Day," the 60th anniversary this Saturday of the signing of the armistice that ended the fighting in the Korean War. 
To Read The Full AP Story click here:

EDITOR'S NOTE; We were among the few early reporters of the disappearance of the USS Pueblo from its usual berth in North Korea. The ship was out of sight of U.S. satellite surveillance for months. There was quite a bit of speculation about its whereabouts. With the AP report linked above (the mainstream media finally tuned in) we close our file on the issue until the next episode erupts. We will however express an opinion. Frankly we should deny this lost ship as a symbol to North Korea by the equivalent of scuttling it. Since we apparently can't take it back we should destroy it.  Our last dispatch concerning the Pueblo's disappearance is reprinted below the link to our suggested back ground reading. ACT OF WAR by Jack Cheevers Which illustrates a second opinion that we firmly hold. Those with maritime interests need to follow maritime media, depending on the main stream media for accurate and timely reporting of naval/maritime stories is a non starter.. To depend on America's infotainment media outlets for maritime news is, to borrow a phase from General Schwarzkopf, "like going hunting without your violin". Our "NEWS SECTION" carries links to most of the world's English language maritime media. Click on the "NEWS SERVICE" for in the special interest pages listings in the right hand column opposite our daily "STATION IDENTIFICATION AND NOTICE BOARD.  

 Look Inside:LOOK INSIDE

"Act of War tells the riveting saga of Bucher and his men as they struggled to survive merciless torture and horrendous living conditions in North Korean prisons. Based on extensive interviews and numerous government documents released through the Freedom of Information Act, this book also reveals new details of Johnson’s high-risk gambit to prevent war from erupting on the Korean peninsula while his negotiators desperately tried to save the sailors from possible execution. A dramatic tale of human endurance against the backdrop of an international diplomatic poker game,Act of War offers lessons on the perils of covert intelligence operations as America finds itself confronting a host of twenty-first-century enemies."

2/ 23/2013


File:USS Pueblo (AGER-2).jpg

Officially the USS Pueblo, a U.S. Navy intelligence gathering ship captured by North Korea in 1968, is still a commissioned vessel of the United States Navy. She was captured by the North Koreans in International waters in 1968 and crew held captive and tortured. This low point in the Cold War known as the Pueblo Incident dragged on for 11 months before the crew was repatriated. The ship has never been returned and the United States has never relinquished any rights in it, it remains as we said, a commissioned ship of the U.S. Navy. The North Koreans had previously docked it on the Taedong River in Pyongyang as a museum. Then, as we reported several months, ago it mysteriously disappeared. There was quite a bit of speculation over what was being done with it. 

 We learned today ( 2/23/2013)  that the ship has undergone some work and is being returned to Pyongyang where it will be a center piece for a new museum. The new museum has the rather pretentious name of  Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum, according to the official government news service. North Korean President for Life Kim Jong Un visited the construction site recently and referred to the planned museum as a base for "anti U.S. education.

Well, we're happy to know where our ship is and to know that it still floats, even though what we want to see happen is a scuttling of the ship by U.S. agents.. Letting the North Koreans have it and exploit it while still commissioned is unacceptable. This is unfinished business. In the midst  of the other tensions in the area we don't need to invade and recapture we should have done that in 1968. There isn't enough intrinsic value in the ship to risk American lives over it, but if we can kill a terrorist with a drone strike we ought to be able to sink a museum ship. Its time to scuttle her and strike her from the naval list. By keeping her in commission and allowing North Korea to display her we dishonor American sailors. Scuttle her now!

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