Visit the US Navy Ship Held Prisoner for Over 30 Years in North Korea
In 2012, a Japanese man was allowed to take a supervised tour of the secretive country of North Korea, we’ve reported some of his observations about their fine dining, public transportation, and more. And now we bring you coverage of one of the most unique tourist spots in the world: the only currently captured United States Navy Ship, the USS Pueblo.
Our correspondent’s tour guide and government appointed escort took him to the ship moored in Pyongyang where the guide told him “even today, America continues to beg the ship be returned.”
Throughout the ship bullet holes are clearly marked, hoping to be seen as clear evidence of a violent struggle as the ship was taken and lend support to North Korea’s claim that the Pueblo was actually a warship rather than the observation ship that the US maintains it was.
There was also an old man who was said to be a veteran of this “battle” and told the story of how the boat came into North Korean waters and was subsequently captured leaving one crew member dead and the rest prisoners. A video in Japanese could also be seen outlining the heroic deeds of North Korean sailors against the “savage” Americans.
“I’ve always had my suspicions about the North Koreans, so as I listened to their stories I had a hard time buying all of it. The tour guide and escort were both very kind, but I still could shake this doubt coming from somewhere inside me. As a Japanese person I have a long history of not believing their actions, but I’m also willing to change my tune if they start doing honest things from now on. I think it’s not only the Japanese who feel this way either. After giving it a lot of thought though I still can’t trust everything they are telling me.” (Japanese visitor’s account)
The Japanese people may be the ones who wear their distrust on their sleeves the most. Japan’s news outlets all have bluntly referred to North Korea’s recent rocket program with the word “missile.” As politically incorrect as that may be, it probably is what most people in the world are thinking to themselves.