The Democratic People's Republic of Korea is a country in East Asia, located in the northern half of the Korean Peninsula bordering South Korea and China. Its capital, Pyongyang, is the country's largest city by both land area and population. It is a single-party state led by the Korean Workers' Party (KWP), and governed by Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un since 2012. It has a population of 24,052,231 (UN-assisted DPRK census 2008) made up of Koreans and a smaller Chinese minority. Japan 'opened' Korea in 1876 and annexed it in 1910. The Republic of Korea (ROK) was founded with US support in the south in August 1948 and the Soviet-backed Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in the north in September that year.
US spy ship captured in in 1968 to go on display in North Korea
If there was ever any doubt about what happened to the only US Navy ship that is being held by a foreign government, North Korea has cleared it up. It is in Pyongyang. And it looks like it is there to stay.
With a fresh coat of paint and a new home along the Pothong River, the USS Pueblo, a spy ship seized off North Korea's east coast in the late 1960s, is expected to be unveiled as the centrepiece of a renovated war museum to commemorate what North Korea calls "Victory Day", the 60th anniversary today of the signing of an armistice that ended the fighting in the Korean war.
The ship is North Korea's greatest cold war prize. It hopes the Pueblo will be a potent symbol of how the country has stood up to the power of the United States, once in an all-out ground war and now with its push to develop the nuclear weapons and sophisticated missiles it needs to threaten the US mainland.
Many of the crew who served on the vessel, then spent 11 months in captivity in North Korea, want to bring the Pueblo home. Throughout its history, they argue, the navy's motto has been "don't give up the ship". The Pueblo, in fact, is still listed as a commissioned US Navy vessel.
But with relations generally fluctuating in a narrow band between bad to dangerously bad, the United States has made little effort to get back its ship. At times, outsiders were not even sure where North Korea was keeping the ship or what it planned to do with it.
The planned display of the ship by North Korea hangs over the heads of the crew members who have long campaigned for its return.