US Pueblo Incident Summary

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Henry D. Seum Professor Greenhaw AMH 3547 23 November 2009 Mission Impossible: A Historical Review of the U.S.S Pueblo Incident The events of January 23, 1968 have slipped away from the collective conscious of the American people. For the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK) that day’s proceedings are forever enshrined as a tourist attraction in Pyongyang and receive some 250,000 tourist annually (Gluck). On the morning of January 23, 1968 DPRK forces attacked and commandeered the U.S.S. Pueblo while in international waters. To add insult to injury the crew of the Pueblo were held in captivity for nearly a year and used as a propaganda tool by their communist captors. The comedy of errors surrounding the Pueblo incident…show more content…
The capture of the Pueblo was instigated by the Soviets in order to get the KL-7 encryption machine (Wood 4). John Walker, an American traitor, had provided the Soviets with the key to deciphering our ciphers and the only thing they were missing was the KL-7 machine (Wood 4). Now that the Soviets had both the key and the machine the American military was at a distinct disadvantage. When the United States changed the configuration of the KL-7 after it was taken from the Pueblo, Walker was able to provide the Soviets with the new configurations (Huchthausen 206). Politically the United States appeared impotent as a result of losing the Pueblo. Not only were we unable to prevent the North Koreans from taking one of our ships but we were then forced to make a written apology. Making a written apology is something school children do, not the United States of America. Yes, a military strike on North Korea following the capture of the Pueblo would have resulted in a larger military engagement on the peninsula at a time when we were already engaged in Vietnam. By doing what the United States did, we only emboldened an enemy that we are still battling
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