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U.S.S. Pueblo Incident

Kim Il Sung's crowning achievement was probably the hijacking of the USS Pueblo in January 1968. North Korea fired on and boarded the American reconnaissance vessel in international waters. It had been outfitted with antennas and signal-gathering equipment, and tasked with eavesdropping on DPRK military communications. The North Koreans captured the ship and its crew, along with sensitive mission documents and cryptographic equipment. They charged the American crewmen with spying and detained them for eleven months, until Washington finally issued a formal apology. Once again, Kim had defied the U.S. and won.


18 Oct 1968 Time magazine prints North Korean propaganda photos of the USS Pueblo crewmen, in which several of the captured servicemen discreetly brandish the middle finger.

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