Monday, 22 January 2018

Reflections on the 50th anniversary of the capture of the USS Pueblo-special article by Dr Dermot Hudson


 "The intrusion of armed spy ship Pueblo into our territorial waters was rank piracy , a flagrant encroachment upon the rights of a sovereign state and a link in the chain of premeditated US
manoeurvings aimed at unleashing a new war in Korea "
                                  KIM IL SUNG 8TH February 1968
I have visited the USS Pueblo 3 times . It is a unique experience because itt is the only US navy vessel in the whole world that is actually in the hands of another country , it is basically impounded by the DPRK and is a war trophy. The Pueblo is a floating anti-US museum .The DPRK holds the ship and there is nothing that the Americans can do about . It was captured by the heroic and daring Navy of the Korean People's Army on the 23rd of January 1968.It was captured just two days after south Korean armed guerrillas had launched an attack on the mansion of south Korean puppet fascist dictator Park Chung Hee,
   The first time I visited the USS Pueblo was in October 2008 when it was moored on the banks of the River Taedong near to the site where the Korean people , led by Kim Ung U(the great grandfather of the great leader President KIM IL SUNG ), sank the US warship the General Sherman that had invaded Korea in the 19th century .
  The Pueblo was moved to the renovated and expanded Victorious Fatherland Liberation War in 2013. It is moored on the bank of the River Potong ,basically given pride of place in the exhibition of captured Yankee war equipment.

  I found it very interesting to look around the Pueblo for a number of reasons. Firstly, because it symbolises the victory of the Korean people , guided by the Juche Idea , and led by the great leader President KIM IL SUNG , over US imperialism . Secondly, because provides evidence of US imperialist aggression and espionage against People's Korea and other socialist countries . Thirdly, by capturing the USS Pueblo with its espionage equipment intact , the DPRK performed an invaluable feat for the international communist movement and socialist camp, which some people forgot and overlook. Fourthly, I had a personal interest in looking at this ship because my grandfather , Timothy Lloyd, RN(Rtd) had been a Chief Petty Officer in the British Navy and taken part in a battle against German ships in the south Atlantic.
   Looking around the Pueblo several times  I could see that it was definitely a spy and an armed vessel. It had a mounted heavy machine gun at the back  and one at the front. The crew of the ship had been armed with automatic weapons and hand grenades. There was one whole room packed full of electronic equipment ,there was no way that it could have been an innocent 'oceanographic research ship' as the US imperialists ludicrously tried to claim at the time. The guides to the "Pueblo"  showed us a short documentary film which showed how the Pueblo was captured by the KPA navy as well as the response of the US and the world people to the incident .We were shown all the sophisticated electronic spying equipment , so much that it filled a whole room. We also saw the difference between the living quarters of the officers and ratings on the ship. The US imperialist armed forces and those of other imperialist countries have strong social and class differentiations within them and suffer from acute class and social contradictions.
    I was surprised to see an ice cream making machine on board on the ship .A mental picture of the Yankee spies scoffing ice cream came into my mind. Certainly it showed the softness of the US armed forces because this sort of thing would not been allowed on a British navy ship.

 The Pueblo had been captured on January 23, Juche 57 (1968) while spying on military and state secrets of the DPRK after intruding into its territorial waters in the East Sea of Korea up to 7.6 miles from Ryo Islet near Wonsan at latitude 39 degrees 17.4 minutes north and longitude 127 degrees 46.9 minutes east,The Pueblo was boarded by sailors of the navy of the Korean People's Army who captured 80 US spies ,one of them was killed. 
    The great leader comrade KIM JONG IL praised the KPA sailors saying ""Well done. Well done, indeed. Our bluejackets are brave," ...This is a world shocking incident. It is unprecedented that an armed spy ship of the US imperialists, who boast of being the 'mightiest' in the world, has been captured. This incident could only have occurred in Korea."
  The arrogant US imperialists were extremely outraged by the DPRK's just self-defensive  action which was obviously aimed  defending the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the DPRK  .The Yanks had been caught fair and square and banged to rights . However the US imperialists  ignored those and went as far as to  demand the immediate return of the ship and its crew., At the same time they brazenly denied it was an armed spy ship claiming it was an innocent civilian research ship . One can only chuckle at the nonsense that the US imperialists talk.They threatened the DPRK with bombing  and even nuclear war, dispatching a nuclear aircraft  the "USS Enterprise ".The great leader President KIM IL SUNG and the Korean people were completely unfazed by the threats and bravado of the US imperialists .Addressing the 20th anniversary of the foundation of the Korean People's Army President KIM IL SUNG said 
"If the US imperialists persist in their attempt to solve this matter by mobilising their armed forces ,threaten an blackmail us , they will get nothing out of it If they do get anything it will be only
corpses and death 
   We do not want war but were are not afraid of war ,Our people and People's Army will retaliate for the retaliation of the  US imperialists and return all out war for all out war "
 I remember reading this speech in Volume  5 KIM IL SUNG Selected Works   back in 1985 , it was one of the first works of the great leader comrade KIM IL SUNG that I ever read. I recall being extremely impressed by , I could not but help marvelling at the strong and militant anti-imperialist revolutionary stand of the great leader Marshal KIM IL SUNG .It stood out in stark contrast to the revisionism of the USSR with its 'peaceful co-existence ', it was like a breath of fresh air compared to the capitalulationism and bourgeois pacifism of the British left .
  The US imperialists found that their threats did not work .They resorted to other means to get the ship and its crew.The US imperialists were quite desperate .They asked British premier Harold Wilson (undoubtedly one of the most popular British prime minsters with his trademark pipe  and distinctive Yorkshire accent-we all used to go around trying to talk like Harold Wilson when I was
at school),who enjoyed good ties with the former Soviet Union , to ask Soviet Premier Koysgin
to ask the DPRK to release the ship and its crew. Of course this kind of indirect diplomacy , asking someone to ask someone else to ask yet another person to do something failed completely as it was doomed from the start.The US imperialists failed to understand the nature of the DPRK which was totally independent of the Soviet because it had the Juche idea and followed the line of independence and self-reliance.
   In fact the revisionist Soviet Union obsessed with 'peaceful co-existence ' and 'peaceful co-operation' always doing deals with US imperialism , had already put pressure on the DPRK to hand back the ship and its crew .The DPRK's action in capturing the Pueblo was totally independent of the Soviet Union and China, indeed the DPRK had done something that neither of these two big powers would dare to do.
  The crew of the Pueblo confessed to their crimes of spying on and aggression against the DPRK. In the US had no alternative but to apologise for its crimes and humbly ask for the crew to be returned. US general Gilbert Woodward handed over a letter of apology to DPRK representatives at Panmunjom.The Pueblo crew were duly expelled from the DPRK on the 23rd of December 1968 nearly one year after they had been captured.The tough and uncompromising stand of the great leader comrade KIM IL SUNG and the Korean people had been vindicated . The US imperialists had been 
defeated in their confrontation with People's Korea , they had to apologise , they got the crew but the ship remained in the hands of the DPRK forever . The capture of the Pueblo was a victory for Songun politics and the anti-imperialist ,anti-revisionist stand of the DPRK. It was a lesson to the world revolutionary people's to be uncompromising in their anti-US,anti-imperialist and to fight US imperialism to the last.

  Today ,the Pueblo stands as a monument to the stupidity and decadence of US imperialism , a symbol of the defeat of US imperialism . It is a portent of the final defeat of US imperialism. I am sure that the Korean people led by dear respected Marshal KIM JONG UN will inflict a defeat on the US imperialists  many times greater than the Pueblo and will achieve final victory.

Dr Dermot Hudson
President Association for the Study of Songun Politics UK
Chairman Juche Idea Study Group of England
Official Delegate Korean Friendship Association
Chairman British Solidarity Committee for Peace and Reunification in Korea

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