250. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Korea1
108281. 1. We do not know what North Korean Senior Member may propose as terms for release of Pueblo. We guess that it may be signing of receipt similar to helicopter case. On that you have guidance …i.e. that you have no authority to sign statement. You can also say that soon as we have access to the crew, we will make an investigation. And if the facts should prove contrary to our data that the Pueblo was at all times in international waters, we shall express regrets.
2. Admiral Smith should keep emphasizing accepted international law and procedures for any warship that infringes territorial waters. We are sending you relevant texts septel to be sure you have them.2[Page 576]
3. Should they make bargaining gambits such as exchanging prisoners of war, or ask for reduction of US forces in South Korea, etc. you should listen but say you have no authority to discuss these matters.
- Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 33–6 KOR N–US. Secret; Immediate; Nodis; Cactus. Repeated to the White House. Drafted by Berger, cleared by Read, and approved by Katzenbach.↩
- See Document 251. Telegram 108367 to Seoul, February 1, contained detailed information relative to legal issues affecting the seizure of the Pueblo. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 33–6 KOR N–US)↩