North Koreans continue to act on the assumption that they canhe ir.passe over thencident without incurring serious risks ofilitarytc secure tne release cf the crew. Pyongyang's most recent maneuver toS apology was to broadcast an ocen letter to President Johnson,written by the entire Pueblo crew, urging the President to ta.ne tne "necessary measures" to obtain their release.
The main thrust of the letter was to emphasise the futility of denying that the Pueblo had vi-
Pyongyang -de-ce" from
the ship's documents and charts. The letter claimed for the first time that the P'=ebIo 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 furtheras the price forthe crew.
The Soviets promptlyon the open le'tte'r to the President, but commentary on the Pueblo incident is new quite
sparse, reflecting Moscow'sdesire to play the affair in low key.
In South Korea, tensionfrom the capture of the Pueblo and tho North Korean raid on the presidential palace is iradually easina.
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