But of course there is a catch:
After a 2005 visit to Pyongyang, former U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Donald Gregg quoted North Korean officials as saying that they had no need to keep the ship if a top-level American official makes a trip to the communist country as a goodwill gesture towards normalizing relations between the two countries.
The latest North Korean gesture comes amid active international efforts to denuclearize North Korea. A Feb. 13 six-party agreement calls for improved ties between Pyongyang and Washington, aside from making the Korean Peninsula nuclear-free.
If the U.S. takes concrete steps to normalize relations with North Korea, the communist regime in Pyongyang may actually give back the ship, said the same source in Seoul.
First of all the USS Pueblo is not theirs to demand anything in return for.Â Secondly now seems hardly the time to talk about normalizing relations when the North Koreans have already violated the Agreed Framework 2.0 agreement by not freezing their nuclear program at the agreed upon time.Â
You can read a full account of the USS Pueblo Incident here.