Skip to comments.Remember the Pueblo ((( "The Middle Finger" )))
Posted on 07/18/2005 8:01:19 PM PDT by Tumbleweed_Connection
...The Pueblo is the Navy ship that North Korea seized in 1968 in waters off the country's east coast, setting off an international crisis. One American sailor was killed and 82 others were imprisoned for nearly a year and tortured into writing confessions. To signal that the confessions were forced, the sailors listed accomplices like the television character Maxwell Smart.
When forced to pose for a photo, some crew members extended their middle fingers to the camera, explaining to the North Korean photographer that this was a Hawaiian good luck sign. After the photo was published and the North Korean guards realized they'd been had, the sailors suffered a week of particularly brutal torture.
As the first Navy vessel to surrender in peacetime since 1807, the Pueblo was a humiliation for America. And it has become a propaganda trophy for North Korea, with ordinary Koreans paraded through in organized tours to fire up nationalist support for the Dear Leader, Kim Jong Il.
Then Mr. Kim decided the propaganda would be even better if the ship was moved from the east coast to the capital. So the Korean Navy disguised the Pueblo as a freighter, ran up the North Korean flag and sailed it for nine days through international waters around South Korea to the west coast of North Korea, and then up a river to Pyongyang. In 1999, the Pueblo opened triumphantly to crowds in Pyongyang.
"When this ship left Wonsan port [on the east coast], Japanese ships mobilized to check it," said Col. Kim Jung Rok, who as a 28-year-old sailor helped storm the Pueblo and is now in charge of it. "But then they saw it was an ordinary freighter and withdrew."...
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...