The electronic spy ship Pueblo, which sat in international waters off the coast of North Korea, was on its first voyage there when a group of North Korean ships and aircraft attacked it Jan. 23, 1968, and forced its captain to bring the ship to the port of Wonsan.
Jack Cheevers, Act of War: Lyndon Johnson, North Korea, and the Capture of the Spy Ship Pueblo. New York: NAL/Caliber Books, 2013, p. 58.
"Our saying goes, A mad dog barks at the moon," Pak began. "I cannot but pity you who are compelled to behave like a hooligan, disregarding even your age and honor to accomplish the crazy intentions of the war maniac Johnson for the sake of bread and dollars to keep your life. In order to sustain your life, you probably served Kennedy who is already sent to hell. If you want to escape from the same fate of Kennedy, who is now a putrid corpse, dont indulge yourself desperately in invectives " Pak shuffled his documents. "Around 1215 hours on January 23 your side committed the crude, aggressive act of illegally infiltrating the armed spy ship Pueblo of the US imperialist aggressor navy equipped with various weapons and all kinds of equipment for espionage into the coastal waters of our side. Our naval vessels returned the fire of the piratical group .. At the two hundred and sixtieth meeting of this commission held four days ago, I again registered a strong protest with your side against having infiltrated into our coastal waters a number of armed spy boats and demanded you immediately stop such criminal acts this most overt act of the US imperialist aggressor forces was designed to aggravate tension in Korea and precipitate another war of aggression ." Pak listed his governments demands. The United States must admit that Pueblo had entered North Korean waters, must apologize for this intrusion, must assure the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea that it would never happen again. "I will investigate any reasonable allegations" Smith replied, "but I will not be diverted by your tactics, I propose a recess." "I accept your proposal for a recess," Pak said. And so began the negotiations for the release of the crew of the USS PUEBLO.
Today, in San Diego, Lloyd Mark (Pete) Bucher and his crew from the spy ship Pueblo will get medals. Twenty-two years after their capture and 11-month imprisonment at the hands of North Korea, the Navy that tried to punish Bucher and some of his men after they were released will take part in formal ceremonies honoring them as prisoners of war.