KOREA

Created: 3/8/1968

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

shc/et

KOREA

North Koreans continue to act on the assumption that they can prolong the impasse over the Pueblo incident without incurring serious risks of US militaryto secure the release of the crew. Pyongyang's most recent maneuver toormal US apology was to broadcast an open letter to President Johnson,written by the entire Pueblo crew, urging the President to take the "necessary measures* tc obtain their release.

The main thrust of the letter was to emphasize the futility of denying that the Pueblo hadNorth Korean waters because Pyongyang has "irrefutablefrom the ship's documents and charts. The letter claimed for the first tine that the Pueblo had operated within North Korean waters for ten days, and disclosed that the crew hadeverything truthfully" and had apologized to the North Korean Government. Finally, the letter endorsed Pyongyang's right to insist on an apologyuarantee against further in-

trusions as the price forthe crew.

The Soviets promptlyon the open letter co the President, but commentary on the Pueblo incident is now quite sparse, reflecting Moscow'sdesire to play the affair in low key.

In South Korea, tensionfrom the capture of the Pueblo and the North Korean raid on tne presidential palace is

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