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Complex Negotiations.

US State Department records show that the negotiations for the release of the Pueblo crew were very complex. The North Koreans sought to place these talks at the Government-to-government level, which would entail the US recognizing the regime in Pyongyang. Also, the North Koreans demanded an apology and compensation from the US. None of these were acceptable to US officials. Moreover, the negotiations had been complicated by increased North Korean incursions into the ROK, including an infiltration by a 31-man hit squad into Seoul in an attempt to assassinate both Korean President Park and the US ambassador there. The attempted assassinations were foiled only when the hit squad was intercepted about a block from the Blue House, home of the Korean president. This raid occurred only 40 hours before the seizure of the Pueblo, and its crew was never informed of the North Korean incursion. Thus, the crew was not aware that they were in an increased state of danger. (The mission had originally been estimated by head quarters to be of minimal risk, since, according to the mission orders, the Pueblo was to "be operating in international water for [the] entire deployment.") Also, this close call, according to US State Department communiques, had made President Park extremely uneasy and angry, calling for something to be done to strike back against the North. Such a retaliatory strike, however, would have almost certainly meant the death of the Pueblo crew.

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Title Annotation:between the U.S. and North Korea in 1968
Comment:Complex Negotiations.(between the U.S. and North Korea in 1968)
Publication:Journal of Electronic Defense
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2001
Words:239
Previous Article:North Korea Seizes US Navy Vessel, Detains Crew.
Next Article:Crew in Captivity.
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