A perspective In the late 1990s the Clinton Administration attempted to negotiate with North Korea. At the time, the Koreans were in the process of constructing a nuclear reactor. It would be capable of producing nuclear weapons grade plutonium. The US government entered an agreement that stated in essence, if the Koreans stopped work on the reactor, the US along with some EU nations would provide them with a new light water reactor plus 500,000 tons per year of heavy fuel oil. The fuel oil to be used in the Korean oil fired power plants. US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright visited Pyongyang and met with Kim Jong Il. During the course of those "negotiations" the North Koreans felt they would be able to move USS PUEBLO from Wonsan on Korea's east coast to the Taedong River at Pyongyang on the west coast. This was a voyage of over 1000 nautical miles, all in INTERNATIONAL WATERS. The move of the ship from Wonsan to Pyongyang was handled by Secretary of Defense William J. Perry who had been appointed by President Clinton his North Korea Policy Coordinator. In that role he was in favor of negotiation and appeasement. He was instrumental in arranging Secretary Albright’s visit to NK. He allowed the ship relocation from East to West and told the US Navy - hands off.
USS PUEBLO starboard side 2012 at Taedong River dock (photo by Joseph A. Ferris III)
NORTH KOREA: What you see as a tourist is the exact opposite of what is real. These two photos of USS PUEBLO demonstrate the paradox. PUEBLO port side - is painted and appears pristine. The 2nd photo shows the reality of the "DPRK."
USS PUEBLO - starboard side Rust Bucket
Kim Jong Un visits USS PUEBLO at new berth on the Botong River, Pyongyang, North Korea. July 27, 2013