The Washington Post

Damages Awarded In USS Pueblo Case


A federal judge awarded more than $65 million to several men who were captured and tortured by North Korea after the communist country seized the U.S. spy ship USS Pueblo during the Cold War.

In entering the judgment against North Korea, which had never responded to the lawsuit, U.S. District Judge Henry H. Kennedy Jr. in Washington called the abuse of William Thomas Massie, Dunnie Richard Tuck, Donald Raymond McClarren and Lloyd Bucher “extensive and shocking.”

The Pueblo was seized off North Korea while it was on an intelligen­ce-gathering mission on Jan. 23, 1968. The North said the ship was inside its coastal zone, while the U.S. Navy contended it was in internatio­nal waters.

One of the ship’s 83 crew members was killed, and 10 were wounded. The crew, led by Bucher, who died in 2004, was released after 11 months of captivity and sometimes torture.

The ship is still in North Korean hands, the only active-duty U.S. warship in the hands of a foreign power.

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