Still actively commissioned today, the USNS Pueblo currently remains the only captured ship in the US fleet. The incident occurred Jan. 23, 1968, but on this day in 2011 our guide was one of the North Korean sailors who boarded and helped capture the Pueblo. Attractive young ladies in military uniforms usually give this tour but our western guide informed us that we were lucky to have this man as our guide – he normally only gives tours to dignitaries and foreign leaders.
I knew about the Pueblo incident before coming to the DPRK. I’m a Chief Mate of a US Navy ship (on long tern charter to UCSD), I know my history, and I did plenty of research pre-trip – so I was pretty amazed to learn that many people in my group were not even aware that North Korea holds a captured US ship. But these guys were quick learners, and at the end of the trip many remarked that the visit to the Pueblo and interacting with our guide was the highlight of their trip.
Young North Korean sailor on duty.
Small arms damage clearly marked out on interior bulkheads.
Our North Korean Pueblo guide and myself – what a smile!
- Our guide “love(s) American civilians!” at the North Korea Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum (americaninnorthkorea.com)