Last week, the US sought from North Korea the return of the navy ship USS Pueblo which they seized on January 23, 1968. The House passed a resolution to get the vessel back after 55 years.
The US has maintained its position in the matter, terming the decision to seize the ship and its crew illegal as per international law, highlighting the vessel is the property of the US, and they want it to be returned.
Meanwhile, in a report published by Rodong Sinmun, North Korea’s official newspaper, the country has vowed to wipe out the US land, not just an airfield or port, if the USS Pueblo enters the country’s water again.
The vessel was gathering intelligence in the East Sea region when North Korean officials seized it. The ship had 83 crew members at that time. Of which one person named Duane Hodges passed away on the day of the seizure.
All 82 crew and the body of one deceased crew were repatriated in 1968 after undergoing 11 months of detention by North Korea, for which the families of crew members filed a “mental and physical abuse” lawsuit against North Korea.
In 2021, a US Court ruled in the victims’ favour and asked the state to compensate with $2 billion overall and at least $3.3.5 million to every crew member.
The House revealed that the vessel was instructed not to venture near North Korean territory and survey at a distance of 13 nautical miles or more, and no violations have been reported.
They also clarified that the ship didn’t launch any assault despite having three 50-calibre machine guns onboard.
References: Eurasian Times, Korea Times
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