North Korea Issues Threats On 49th Anniversary Of US Spy Ship Crisis

REUTERS/Korea Pool

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Ryan Pickrell China/Asia Pacific Reporter
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Pyongyang threatened to “pour further misery” on the U.S. Monday, the 49th anniversary of the capture of a U.S. spy ship.

The North Korean military seized the USS Pueblo, a U.S. naval vessel tasked with collecting electronic signal intelligence on North Korea, on Jan. 23, 1968. One crew member was killed in the initial attack, and 82 others were detained and tortured for months.

“The U.S. will face a position more miserable than that in the Pueblo case if it forgets that lesson and frantically pursues new ways to provoke war against the North,” Korean Central Television (KCTV) said Monday, according to Yonhap News Agency.

“Our republic has the mighty military power to counter any kind of war that the U.S. chooses,” the North Korean propaganda outlet Uriminjokkiri explained, adding that the U.S. would be wise to learn from the Pueblo incident, also known as the “Pueblo crisis.”

The report stated that the North has the ability to wipe the U.S. off the face of the Earth, the Korea Herald introduced.

The USS Pueblo was, according to U.S. reports, seized in international waters; however, North Korea claims that the ship violated its territorial waters. The North released the imprisoned crew members 11 months later, after the U.S. wrote an apology letter to the regime.

North Korea still has the USS Pueblo. It is on display in the War Victory Hall in Pyongyang and is used for propaganda purposes.

Pyongyang is eager to secure less hostile policies towards North Korea.

The North Korean government sees the current political shifts in South Korea and the start of a new U.S. administration under President Donald Trump as excellent opportunities; however, it is relying on harsh rhetoric and provocations to achieve its goals.

North Korea has conducted five nuclear tests and numerous ballistic missile tests, and it is believed to be close to testing an intercontinental ballistic missile.

Kim Jong-un revealed that the country is in the final stages of development during his New Year’s address. Since then, North Korean media reports have repeatedly made threats with references to an ICBM.

While it is unclear how far North Korean missile technology has progressed, North Korea is, nonetheless, expected to be one of the threats Trump will be forced to address early on in his administration.

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