Pueblo incident Look into the past magSpace.ru

Pueblo Incident

The Pueblo Incident - the seizure of the American Pueblo reconnaissance ship by the DPRK naval forces on January 23, 1968. This incident was one of the most acute moments of the Cold War, since there was a real danger of using nuclear weapons.

Unfortunately, very little is known about this incident in our country - since the times of the Soviet Union, Russian historians have avoided this topic. However, in 2007, Mikhail Voznesensky’s book, On the Edge of a World War, was published, detailing the events of those years.

Prehistory

The American military vessel Pueblo (originally called the FP-344) was launched on April 16, 1944, and was originally used as a cargo ship that delivered the necessary cargo to US military units in the Philippines. Then, in 1966, the vessel was transferred to the US Navy and received the name "Pueblo". And on June 5, 1966 repair began already by that time of a fairly battered cargo ship.

In addition, it was decided to retool the vessel.An aluminum superstructure was installed on the ship, which housed electronic equipment intended for reconnaissance purposes. After the repair work was completed and the ship was reequipped, it was “commissioned” - admitted to the US Navy. Commissioning took place in the city of Bremerton on May 13, 1967. Captain Lloyd M. Boucher was appointed captain of the ship.

Now the ship "Pueblo" was listed as a reconnaissance ship. Officially, it participated in the AGER (Auxiliary General Enviromental Research) program and studied the seabed fauna, for which scientists-oceanographers were taken on board the vessel. But the real task of the Pueblo was the surveillance and gathering of information in the region of the Pacific Fleet of the USSR.

To do this, 29 scouts were on duty around the clock in shifts. The ship was installed ultra-sensitive equipment that was able to catch even weak electromagnetic signals at long distances. All captured signals were automatically recorded on a magnetic tape and transmitted to the US National Security Agency.


Crew "Pueblo"

 

Start of the Pueblo mission

On November 6, the Pueblo military intelligence vessel left San Diego and headed for the Japanese port of Yokosuka, which was located near the site of the upcoming patrol. The commander of the Pueblo was tasked to conduct radio and radio intelligence in relation to the ships of the USSR Navy operating in the area, monitor the radio situation on the east coast of North Korea, and also report on the units of the Navy of the USSR and the DPRK that could be dangerous USA.

Replenishing food supplies, and waiting for the completion of minor repairs that the ship needed after crossing the Pacific Ocean, the crew began to prepare for the assignment, and on January 11, 1968, the Pueblo military reconnaissance ship sailed to its destination area - the Korea Strait and Japan by the sea.


Route and place of capture of the ship "Pueblo"

Incident

January 23, 1968 at a distance of 8 miles seemed anti-submarine ship of the DPRK Navy, which sailed towards the "Pueblo". On board the ship were two 25-mm artillery mounts and 4 five-barreled Hurricane bombers, while the Pueblo was virtually unarmed.Soon, the crew of the American vessel spotted the approach of four North Korean torpedo boats, and literally over the head of the crew flew a squadron of North Korean MiG - 21 fighters.

With the help of the flag semaphore, the Koreans demanded to indicate their nationality and completely stop the ship’s course. In response to this demand, the Koreans received the signal "Hydrographic work is underway." Coming out of patience, the Koreans signaled: "Answer, or open fire." Pueblo had to raise the American flag. At the same time, the crew immediately began to destroy all the secret documents, which, in the words of Captain Butcher, would be enough for a good dozen new ships.

The Koreans opened fire on the American ship, and dangerously maneuvering, threatening with a collision, forced the Pueblo to enter the DPRK's territorial waters, where it was captured and towed to the North Korean port of Wonsan. Despite the fact that the Pueblo crew sent an “SOS” signal over the air, and to release the Pueblo, they were promised to send several F-105 Thunderchief fighter-bombers, but the help did not come ...

However, the ship’s crew managed to destroy far from all secret equipment (including encryption equipment), and it fell into the hands of the North Koreans, and then a certain part of it (in particular, encryption machines of the KW-7 class) was exported to the USSR. Starting in March 1967, the KGB received from the warrant officer Johnny Walker, who served as supervisor at the headquarters of the United States submarine forces in Norfolk, key tables and descriptions of US cryptographic systems. Thanks to this, Soviet cryptographers managed to decipher over a million messages from the US Navy.


The crew "Pueblo" captured by the North Koreans

The crew "Pueblo" in captivity

In Wonsan, the prisoners of the American sailors were treated very poorly: they were poorly fed, kept in terrible conditions, and they were beaten and tortured to try to beat them out of “confession” in espionage. They were also accused of illegally entering the territorial waters of the DPRK. Captain “Pueblo” Lloyd Boucher was the one who got the most out of it - the Koreans really wanted him to confess to spying, not being embarrassed by any methods.

However, during the torture, the captain refused to admit the fact of espionage and constantly insisted that the Pueblo was in international territorial waters and did not enter the territorial waters of the DPRK.Then he was threatened that if he refuses to sign a previously written "frank confession," he will witness the execution of the entire crew, and then die himself.

Only then did Bucher agree to sign this document. The recognition was written in accordance with the postulates of the Juche ideology (a kind of communist ideology with North Korean specifics, still dominant in the DPRK). When they got acquainted with this recognition in the USA, it became clear to them that no American could write such recognition.

On January 24, negotiations between representatives of the United States and the DPRK began at the Panmunjon Point of the Korean Demilitarized Zone. In the instructions that came to the US Embassy in South Korea from the State Department, the American delegation was ordered to insist that Pueblo was detained in international waters, to demand apologies for confiscating Pueblo and returning the vessel and crew intact and safe. The United States at the talks was represented by Rear Admiral John Victor Smith, and the DPRK was represented by General Pak Chung Gook. The general met the demands of the Americans with a rolling laugh, and then read out the position of the North Korean side:

“At about 12.15 am on January 23, the American side carried out a rude, aggressive act of unlawfully invading our territorial waters of the armed spy ship of the aggressive imperialist US fleet, Pueblo, which carried various armament and espionage equipment on board.

Our ships responded with fire to the pirate actions of the ship ... I express to the American side a strong protest against the repeated invasions of armed spy ships into our territorial waters ... and demand the immediate cessation of such illegal actions. ”

Also, the North Korean delegation made it clear to the US delegation that it would not release the captured Pueblo crew until the United States officially apologizes for the illegal passage of the American reconnaissance vessel into the territorial waters of the DPRK. At this stage of the negotiations, no compromises were reached - the United States flatly refused to apologize to the DPRK, and the North Koreans did not intend to release American prisoners. The negotiations stalled, causing the Pueblo crew to spend almost a year in a North Korean prison ...

Finally, the parties came to a compromise.The United States agreed to publicly apologize to North Korea in exchange for the promise of the DPRK authorities to release the captured American sailors. The agreement was signed at Panmunzhon on December 23, 1968 at 9:00 am Korean time. At 11:30 the same day, American sailors were released.


Crew members after release

 

After the incident

A medical examination revealed signs of ill-treatment of prisoners, all crew members lost weight due to malnutrition. However, the examination did not reveal a single case of severe mental disorder.

The crew of the ship “Pueblo” was greeted as a national hero - the whole of America empowered its compatriots in unison. However, in the command of U.S. Navy some did not share this view. They were outraged that the crew of the vessel in a personal letter to the president criticized the fleet command. Captain "Pueblo" it was decided to give a tribunal. He was accused of the fact that for the first time in 160 years, the American ship was surrendered to the enemy.

However, in the course of the investigation, new details of this case came up: the initial estimate for the repair and re-equipment of the ship was reduced by almost halfeven after the repair, the hydrocompass and the steering car could not be completely repaired, the crew consisted of one-third of the recruits, and, contrary to Lloyd Boucher’s requests, no means were installed on the ship to undermine the classified equipment.

Since January 20, 1969, the military tribunal has been sitting for about 200 hours, 140 witnesses have been heard. The commission of inquiry retired for a decision on March 13. On May 5, this decision was made public: the captain of the Pueblo ship was accused of failing to protect the ship entrusted to him, of obeying the demands of the North Koreans and of not having taught the crew to quickly destroy secret documents. However, immediately thereafter, on the order of the US Navy Commander John Chaffee, the case was closed. Chaffee said that the sailors had already suffered enough, so the case must be stopped.

This ends the story of the Pueblo incident. And the ship "Pueblo" is currently in the DPRK capital Pyongyang and is one of the main attractions of this city. Since his move to Pyongyang, the vessel has been visited (according to official North Korean statistics) by more than 840,000 visitors.

This exhibit is the subject of national pride of the North Koreans, a symbol of the victory of the Korean people over American imperialism. Curiously, the Pueblo is still officially listed as part of the US Navy. This is the only American warship that is currently held captive by another country.

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  • Pueblo incident Look into the past magSpace.ru

    Pueblo incident Look into the past magSpace.ru

    Pueblo incident Look into the past magSpace.ru

    Pueblo incident Look into the past magSpace.ru

    Pueblo incident Look into the past magSpace.ru

    Pueblo incident Look into the past magSpace.ru

    Pueblo incident Look into the past magSpace.ru

    Pueblo incident Look into the past magSpace.ru

    Pueblo incident Look into the past magSpace.ru

    Pueblo incident Look into the past magSpace.ru

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