[Congressional Record: January 23, 2008 (Senate)]
[Page S159]

                   U.S.S. ``Pueblo''--40th Anniversary

   Mr. ALLARD. Mr. President, I rise now, 40 years since the North 
Korean government unlawfully captured the lightly armed U.S.S. Pueblo 
while it was on a routine surveillance mission in international waters. 
The U.S.S Pueblo was the first ship of the U.S. Navy to be hijacked on 
the high seas by a foreign military force in more than 150 years, and 
is currently the only commissioned U.S. naval vessel that is in the 
possession of a foreign nation. Forty years ago today, 83 crew members 
were kidnapped and 1 sailor was killed in the assault. Following the 
capture, our men were held in deplorable, inhumane conditions for more 
than 11 months before being released. While we were grateful to see the 
return of our brave sailors, 40 years later we are still waiting for 
the return of the U.S.S. Pueblo.
   The U.S.S. Pueblo remains a commissioned naval ship and property of 
the U.S. Navy. Currently, the North Korean government flaunts the 
Pueblo as a war trophy and a tourist attraction in Pyongyang, North 
Korea's capital. We must not continue to remain silent about North 
Korea's continued violation of international law by possessing our 
ship, the U.S. Navy's ship. Each day tourists visit and tour the U.S.S. 
Pueblo, similar to the way visitors see retired naval ships in New York 
and San Diego. Americans in particular are encouraged to be 
photographed by the U.S.S. Pueblo. As recently as April 2007, it was 
reported that President Kim Jong Il stated that the Pueblo should be 
used for ``anti-American education.'' North Korea's capture of the 
U.S.S. Pueblo is in blatant violation of international law and the 
further exploitation of the Pueblo is tasteless and disingenuous. I 
believe 40 years of relative silence on this issue is far too long, and 
it is important that the Senate take action and denounce the current 
  The U.S.S. Pueblo bears the name of the town of Pueblo, CO, a city 
with a proud military tradition and is the only city to be home of four 
living Medal of Honor recipients simultaneously. In fact, in 1993 
Congress deemed Pueblo the ``Home of Heroes'' for this unique 
distinction. Many in our State and all over the country want to see the 
vessel returned to its proper home. To this end, I am reintroducing a 
resolution seeking the return of the U.S.S. Pueblo to the U.S. Navy. 
This bill is cosponsored by my good friend and proud veteran, Senator 
Daniel Inouye, and I encourage all of our colleagues on both sides of 
the aisle to support this legislation and see to it that the U.S.S. 
Pueblo is returned to the U.S. Navy.
  Mr. President I ask unanimous consent to have printed in the Record 
an editorial that appeared in the Pueblo Chieftain today regarding the 
   As that editorial says, ``Mr. President, bring back the U.S.S. 
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

               [From the Pueblo Chieftain, Jan. 23, 2008]


       Today marks the 40th anniversary of what for Puebloans is a 
     day that shall live in infamy. On Jan. 23, 1968, naval and 
     air forces of North Korea attacked and took hostage the USS 
     Pueblo and its crew.
       The Pueblo was a Navy intelligence ship operating in 
     international waters. Despite that, the Stalinist regime in 
     Pyongyang decided on a bold course of action and sent patrol 
     boats and MiG fighters to harass the lightly armed U.S. 
       This was during the height of the Vietnam War, and the 
     North Koreans correctly figured that American military brass 
     weren't focused on the American spy ship's mission. They were 
       Armed only with one .50-caliber machine gun, the Pueblo 
     crew tried to fend off the advancing Communist forces, to no 
     avail. One crewman was killed while comrades tried to destroy 
     as much equipment and paperwork as possible.
       But the die was cast. The North Koreans boarded the Pueblo 
     and took the rest of the crew hostage.
       For the next 11 months, the crew was subjected to cruel and 
     inhumane treatment at the hands of their captors. But the 
     American spirit was not to be tamed.
       During propaganda photo sessions, the Yanks dutifully 
     smiled for the Koreans' cameras--and flashed ``the bird,'' 
     that one-finger salute that Americans know too well but was 
     above the heads of the Communists.
       But that did not last. When the Reds figured out what that 
     sign of defiance meant, the men of the Pueblo were subjected 
     to more severe beatings.
       The man who took the worst of the pummeling was Cmdr. Lloyd 
     Bucher, the Pueblo's skipper. After each torture session, 
     he'd crawl back to his cell--and surreptitiously give his 
     comrades the high sign.
       He, and his men, were not to be beaten.
       It was exactly 11 months after the seizure when the North 
     Koreans freed their American captives. They were allowed to 
     walk one by one across the Demilitarized Zone separating 
     North and South Korea.
       While the Pueblo crew was free, their ship was and still is 
     not. It is being held as a trophy of war in a river near 
     Pyongyang--a tourist attraction and propaganda piece for the 
       North Koreans have been forced at times to eat grass, so 
     poorly is their economy run by central planners. But they 
     have ``bread and circuses'' in the form of the American 
     intelligence ship which bears this city's name.
       Many attempts have been made to persuade the North Koreans 
     to give the ship back to its rightful owners. When he was 
     governor of California, Ronald Reagan urged Washington to 
     bomb North Korea in order to force the ship's release.
       Over the years since, numerous diplomatic moves have been 
     tried. Recently, at the behest of Colorado's U.S. Sen. Wayne 
     Allard, a Korean battle flag on display at the U.S. Naval 
     Academy was returned to the Hermit Kingdom as a sign of this 
     nation's goodwill.
       That and all other overtures have thus far been fruitless. 
     But this incident of four decades ago remains an ugly scar on 
     the history of this nation, one which cannot be allowed to 
     continue to fester.
       We realize that with the War on Terrorism in Iraq, 
     Afghanistan and elsewhere across the globe, there are other 
     pressing international security issues. But if this nation 
     were to show the world its resolve by getting the USS Pueblo 
     back, by whatever means, we would show those who think they 
     can bring us to our knees that we are not to be cowed.
       Mr. President, bring back the USS Pueblo.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from North Dakota is recognized.


                           UNITED STATES NAVY

  Mr. ALLARD (for himself, Mr. Inouye, Mr. Biden, and Mr. Salazar) 
submitted the following resolution; which was considered and agreed to:

                              S. Res. 423

       Whereas the USS Pueblo, which was attacked and captured by 
     the Navy of North Korea on January 23, 1968, was the first 
     ship of the United States Navy to be hijacked on the high 
     seas by a foreign military force in more than 150 years;
       Whereas 1 member of the USS Pueblo crew, Duane Hodges, was 
     killed in the assault, while the other 82 crew members were 
     held in captivity, often under inhumane conditions, for 11 
       Whereas the USS Pueblo, an intelligence collection 
     auxiliary vessel, was operating in international waters at 
     the time of the capture, and therefore did not violate the 
     territorial waters of North Korea;
       Whereas the capture of the USS Pueblo resulted in no 
     reprisals against the Government or people of North Korea and 
     no military action at any time; and
       Whereas the USS Pueblo, though still the property of the 
     United States Navy, has been retained by the Government of 
     North Korea for 40 years, was subjected to exhibition in the 
     North Korean cities of Wonsan and Hungham, and is now on 
     display in Pyongyang, the capital city of North Korea: Now, 
     therefore, be it
       Resolved, That the Senate--
       (1) desires the return of the USS Pueblo to the United 
     States Navy;
       (2) would welcome the return of the USS Pueblo as a 
     goodwill gesture from the North Korean people to the American 
     people; and
       (3) directs the Secretary of the Senate to transmit copies 
     of this resolution to the President, the Secretary of 
     Defense, and the Secretary of State.