Lawmakers Unite in Return of USS Pueblo

Colorado House and Senate lawmakers unanimously endorsed a joint resolution that makes Jan. 23 "USS Pueblo Day" and repeats the demand that North Korea return the Navy spy ship that they surrounded and seized on that day in 1968.

The resolution was passed in the House last Friday and in the Senate Monday.

In the House, the resolution was co-sponsored by Rep. Clarice Navarro, R-Pueblo; Rep. Daneya Esgar, D-Pueblo; and 17 other representatives. In the Senate, it was co-sponsored by Sen. Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo; Sen. Larry Crowder, R-Alamosa; and four other senators.

Navarro presented the joint resolution on Friday.

The Pueblo was a small ship, packed with electronic eavesdropping equipment, that was sailing alone on the North Korean coast in January 1968, listening to North Korean radio signals. On Jan. 23, it was attacked by North Korean patrol boats, which fired on the ship for several hours while the crew tried to destroy the cryptographic equipment and classified papers on board.

One crewman was killed and the other 81 captured and held for 11 months. They endured beatings and torture before finally being released in December of that year.

The General Assembly as well as Congress has repeated passed measures demanding that North Korea return the ship, which is now docked on the river front in Pyongyang and kept as a war trophy.

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