Copyright © 2010 USS PUEBLO Veteran's Association. All rights reserved.
provided by Rose Bucher
the North Korean propaganda machine
Frame grabs from North Korean propaganda films.
courtesy CBS News Archives
Captain Bucher bore the brunt of the brutality as the Koreans had to get a confession to justify their act of piracy. At the end of the second day they threatened to begin killing his crew starting with the youngest. After the boy was brought into his cell Bucher capitulated with "Let him go, I'll sign your damned confession" Within a day of capture the North Koreans attempted to force the crew to write "personal histories." It was discovered they had captured a US Navy ship made up entirely of cooks & "line handlers!" The personal histories were judged, "not sincere." The Koreans expected a US military response so time was of the essence. They needed confessions and they need them now. The beatings intensified in their severity. PUEBLO carried personnel files as well as pay records for all aboard. They were captured intact. It was easy to compare the written "personal history" to the US Navy's complete record on a man. Back they came; no holds barred. The forced confessions were presented at Panmunjom as "Irrefutable proof of crimes by US Imperialist Aggressor forces." These confessions would be updated periodically. Attila the Hun began appearing in them. "Our crimes against the DPRK are worse than those committed by Attila the Hun against humanity! Hitler appeared in one but apparently the Koreans had heard of him. The whole thing culminated in;
Captain Bucher's Final Confession!
Letters to home!
Their next project was a letter to President Johnson detailing our crimes against the peace loving Korean people!to "speed your repatriation!" A good amount of the language was stilted, and grammatically screwed up. It seemed to indicate it was written by a fourth grade elementary student. Another North Korean campaign that would appear with regularity was letters to "famous American's who can help you be repatriated to your families." They got letters to a garbage commissioner, a few dead people and Sen. Barry Goldwater (R) AZ, the famous peace loving senator!
Official PUEBLO charts proved the ship always operated outside the Korean 12 mile limit. But the Koreans found some working charts, and then they went to work. PUEBLO operated in electronic silence so the navigational radar could not be use to determine her distance from land. Like all US Navy ships, as well as commercial vessels of the time, used LORAN-C, Long Range Radio Navigation. Unlike todays satellite GPS systems, LORAN-C was a worldwide system of Low Frequency (LF) radio beacons. Positions were determined by taking a number of directional radio "fixes" from as great a number of beacons as could be received. The fixes, or direction angles, were then transferred to a paper "working" chart. The greater the number of fixes, the better in determining your position. LORAN-C beacons that were receivable in the Sea of Japan were located around the Western Pacific from Alaska to the Philippines. Due to radio wave propagation, it is very dependent on where you are as well as the time of day to what locations are receivable. Some of these "fixes" using only a couple of bearings located PUEBLO on a mountain top in North Korea! They also showed PUEBLO could move between "intrusion A to intrusion B" at the astronomic speed of 2500 knots! PUEBLO's flank speed was 12.6 knots. When all the bearings that were received were plotted the fix showed that PUEBLO was indeed, outside NK waters by over 13 miles. But that did not stop the North Koreans. Take a couple of bearings when plotted show the ship is in "the territorial waters of the DPRK!" (Some - two miles off shore!)They proceeded to "manufacturer" evidence which was then presented as "proof" of PUEBLO intrusions! They forged charts and records by changing dates and times. See US Navy analysis of North Korean evidence video.
The first press conference placed the officers in front of a row of North Korean reporters. There, the first demonstration of the "intrusions" was presented. At the same time, the forged charts and maps were presented by Gen Pak Chung Kuk at Panmunjom. They were photographed and published in western newspapers. Now it was the US Navy's turn to analyze the "intrusions."
The second press conference to include enlisted men was held August 13th. Again it was held for the North Korean press. Each man was forced by beatings to write, rewrite then re-write again a statement on how they missed their families and wished the US government would admit, apologize and assure for intruding in DPRK territorial waters! By this time, the Koreans had discovered many more intrusions!
One month later on September 12th, an international press conference, communist countries only, was held. Both times innuendo, archaic and corny language and phraseology, some with a sexual reference "penetration no matter how slight is sufficent to complete the act," when referring to the "intrusions" were inserted into the prepared statements to thwart the propaganda.