“The maiden voyage of the newly recommissioned USS Pueblo in January 1968 was not a well-planned operation. The ship’s preparation was hurried, and the crew was not adequately trained to meet the emergency that confronted them. The SIGINT detachment did not know how to conduct aspects of its mission and, more importantly, did not train in emergency destruction measures. There were numerous highly classified documents aboard the ship that were outdated, some were not needed to carry out the mission, and still others were in unnecessary duplicate copies. When the destruction order finally came, the Pueblo crew was thrown into complete disorder. By at least 20 January, North Korean military authorities were aware of the Pueblo‘s presence off North Korea. Visual reconnaissance of the Pueblo began shortly thereafter. Once the Pueblo was confirmed by the North Koreans as an American vessel and as an intelligence collector, the North Korean purpose was to force the ship into submission and to seize it.” – Robert E. Newton, The Capture of the USS Pueblo and Its Effect on SIGINT Operations

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