December 23 - 1968 - The Crew of the USS Pueblo is Released From Custody
When the USS Pueblo, an American naval spy ship, was captured by North Korean vessels in January 1968, officials in Washington were unsure precisely what to do. The crew was all unharmed, but now a Communist nation had spy equipment. Almost immediately, it became apparent that the crew would be returned if the US agreed to apologize for spying and promised to never spy on North Korea again. Meanwhile, the crew of the Pueblo was being tortured and the negotiations between the governments were a confusing, circular mess. The crew decided to occasionally play along with their captors, but used prepared statements and photo opportunities to mock the North Korean government right under their noses. Finally, eleven months after its capture, the crew was released into South Korea. That did very little to sort out what actually went on with the capture of the Pueblo.