On January 23, 1968, the KPA (Korean People’s Army) naval ships captured a US armed spy ship, Pueblo, and its 80-odd crew members. It had intruded into the territorial waters of the DPRK, or 7.6 miles away from Ryo Island off Wonsan at latitude 39 degrees 17.4 minutes north and longitude 127 degrees 46.9 minutes east, and had been conducting acts of espionage.
The ship was dispatched by the US Central Intelligence Agency and equipped with modern and precision radar facilities that could detect the locations of foreign military bases.
The locations of the military bases of the DPRK were marked on the map of the crew members. According to its logbook, the ship left the Sasebo Port of Japan in December 1967 on the superior’s order and intruded several times into the territorial waters of the DPRK on reconnaissance missions.
In capturing the spy ship the DPRK was exercising its sovereign rights. It was also a natural punishment to the US aggressors, a menace to peace in the Far East and the rest of the world.
Nevertheless, the United States claimed that the ship had been in the international waters and had never committed acts of espionage, while attempting to threaten the Korean people militarily in a bid to bring them to their knees.
It convened the National Security Council on January 24 and 25 and adopted a decision to launch “military retaliation”. According to the decision, it hurled its ground, naval and air forces into threatening the DPRK.
Due to these frantic attempts a grave situation in which a war could break out at any moment was created on the Korean peninsula.
With the situation having reached such a pass, President Kim Il Sung delivered a historic speech on February 8, 1968, in which he clarified the steadfast determination and revolutionary stand of the Workers’ Party of Korea and the Korean people.
Inspired by the principled and firm stand, the Korean army and people turned out to prepare for combat with a determination to defeat the enemy at a stroke if they dared to attack.
In the face of the DPRK’s resolute stand and might, the US had no choice but to kneel down and recognize its crimes.
The US signed a letter of apology for the acts espionage and hostility by the Pueblo and of guarantee about no further intrusion of its any war vessels into the territorial waters of the DPRK.
Through the Pueblo incident the Korean people demonstrated to the whole world their invincible might as people who were solidly united around Kim Il Sung, and the justness and validity of the self-defensive line of the Workers’ Party of Korea.