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The USS Pueblo, a Navy Spy ship and its crew was captured by North Korea in 1968. In the decades since its capture, the ship has been used by North Korea to spread anti-American propaganda. The Pueblo is expected to play a partin U.S. - North Korea diplomacy over its nuclear weapons program. (AP Photo/Korean Central News Agency via Korea News Service)

Pueblo Propaganda: A spy ship’s place in the North Korea negotiations

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It’s been 50 years since North Korea captured the USS Pueblo and its crew. Now, as President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un are on speaking terms, some hope it’ll mean the Cold War-era Navy intelligence ship will get to come home. Prior to the North Korean summit Congressman Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, sent a letter to th…

It’s been 50 years since North Korea captured the USS Pueblo and its crew. Now, as President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un are on speaking terms, some hope it’ll mean the Cold War-era Navy intelligence ship will get to come home.
Prior to the North Korean summit Congressman Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, sent a letter to the president asking that he negotiate the return of the USS Pueblo. It didn’t happen, but talking is progress, Tipton suggested in a June op-ed.
“While I did not receive a direct response from the president, I did receive assurances from his administration that the return of this ship would be addressed in future negotiations with North Korea,” Tipton wrote. “As the door to peaceful negotiations with North Korea continues to open, we all know that denuclearization must remain the top priority.
“It is vital that Kim Jong Un is held accountable and that he follows through on his promise to eliminate his entire nuclear arsenal. The security of this nation, and the world, depends on it.”
Since the summit between the two leaders, new evidence attests that North Korea isn’t reversing its nuclear capabilities, but rather beefing them up. It’s unclear what that means for the USS Pueblo. Talk about potential negotiations have centered around denuclearization. And foreign affairs experts believe convincing North Korea to give up its program will mean some concessions from Washington.
Local, state and federal lawmakers have been calling on the return of the ship for decades. Most recently Tipton authored a resolution that does the same. Colorado GOP Congressmen Doug Lamborn, Mike Coffman and Ken Buck have signed on as co-sponsors, too.
“For the past fifty years, the USS Pueblo has sat moored in the Potong River and remains the only commissioned vessel by the US Navy to be held in captivity. In that time, it has become one of North Korea’s most popular tourist destinations,” Tipton wrote. “It is disgraceful that this American ship – where an American life was taken – has become a tool for North Korean propaganda.”
In January 1968, the Pueblo names for Colorado’s Steel City was reportedly about 16 miles off the coast of North Korea attempting t…
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