The Pueblo Incident: Locating the “Hidden” Spy Ship

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Independent Scholar
Affiliation: Independent Scholar
Address: United States, Lynn Haven, Florida
Journal nameVostok. Afro-Aziatskie obshchestva: istoriia i sovremennost
EditionIssue 6

On January 23, 1968, while the USS Pueblo was conducting intelligence off the coast of Wonsan, North Korea, this U.S. spy ship was seized and its crew interned. To prevent its recapture by the Americans, the North Koreans sailed the Pueblo up the North Korean coast. In 2013, in an article titled, “The Pueblo as a North Korean Monument,” Dr. Andrei Lankov, a graduate of Leningrad State University and Professor of History at Kookmin University in Seoul (who is considered a foremost authority on North Korea), wrote the following:

“In 1995, the Pueblo, hitherto safely hidden (and perhaps disguised) at some naval base, reappeared in public. The ship was moved to the East Coast city of Wonsan, a place near to where it was captured. It was held there for a few years, but in 1999 it suddenly disappeared, only to reappear on the banks of the Taedong River, in downtown Pyongyang (in 2013 it was moved to its current location).”

In May 1968, about four months after the crisis in North Korean began, U.S. State Department officials reported that the Pueblo had been moved north, but they provided no further details. A reporter for the Philadelphia Enquirer (Washington Bureau), however, wrote, “Pueblo is no longer moored in the North Korean port of Wonsan. Photographs taken by one of the satellites that make regular sweeps over the Asian mainland revealed in the last two weeks the vessel is no longer at the berth she had occupied since her capture [in January]”.

This paper reveals, for the first time, where the USS Pueblo was “hidden” and the efforts taken by the CIA and another U.S. intelligence agency to locate this elusive spy ship.

KeywordsUSS Pueblo, Panmunjom, North Korea, Vladivostok, USSR, Andrei Lankov, BLACK SHIELD, GAMBIT
Publication date27.12.2018
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