USS Pueblo

Posted: March 23, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags:

A long-standing annual tradition in the Colorado Legislature to urge North Korea's return of the USS Pueblo elicited a feisty response on 2 MAR. Rep. Keith Swerdfeger, R-Pueblo West, received a postcard that emphatically announced the Asian nation has no intention of giving the ship back to the United States. Swerdfeger said instigating a fierce reaction was not the intent of the resolution. "The intent of the resolution is remembrance of the ship and the captivity of the sailors and the two we lost," he said. "The purpose is not to start another confrontation. Maybe we can have a conversation with North Korea about better relations and resolution of getting the ship." The postcard referred to the USS Pueblo as a "spy ship" and said, "No, Never, Not in a million years!" in response to the General Assembly's plea for its return. The author of the postcard dared Swerdfeger, one of several Pueblo lawmakers who sponsored the resolution, to "Come and get it! The Korean People's Army is ready to offer you full hospitality!" It bears an illustration of two Korean soldiers battering a man with the butts of their rifles. Rep. Sal Pace, D-Pueblo, also sponsored the resolution and took issue with the response. "The North Koreans might think schoolyard taunts are funny, but they should know that the people of Pueblo and Colorado never forget," Pace said.
This year's resolution, adopted on 23 JAN, marked the 44th anniversary of the capture of the USS Pueblo, named after the city in Colorado. The naval vessel was on an intelligence mission in international waters in 1968 when the North Korean military attacked it. One crew member died and 10 were injured. Eighty crewmen were held captive along with two civilian oceanographers for 11 months. Although the ship is still in commission with the U.S. Navy, North Korea's government continues to hold it. It is on display as a museum in Pyongyang, North Korea. "Unfortunately, it has been used as a propaganda tool for the North Koreans for 44 years," Swerdfeger said in support of the resolution. "Let us continue to always remember the sacrifice of the crew and continue our efforts to return the USS Pueblo to its rightful home — the United States." Swerdfeger was startled to receive the correspondence bearing North Korean postage with a return address in Pyongyang. He does not believe it was sanctioned by the North Korean government and does not intend to pursue further investigation of its origin through the U.S. Department of State. "I don't think it's a hoax. I think it's sincere," he said. "I think it's just an individual. The point is people do pay attention to our resolutions." [Source: Pueblo Chieftain Patrick Malone article 3 Mar 2012 ++]

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s