Captured USS Pueblo spy ship disappears from longtime mooring in North Korea

Ship captured in 1968, never returned by N. Korea

DENVER - The USS Pueblo,  a U.S. naval intelligence ship that was captured by North Korea in 1968, is no longer at its tourist attraction spot in Pyongyang, North Korea.

On Friday, North Korea tour operator Koryo Tours reported the disappearance of the boat on their Facebook page following the return of staff from a recent trip, NKNews.org reported.

The capture of the USS Pueblo on Jan. 23, 1968 led to a year-long cold war standoff between the United States and North Korea.  The ship was captured on the East Sea outside the 12-mile territorial international limit, but North Korea claims a 50-mile limit.  One member of the crew of 83 was killed when North Korean warships fired on the ship.

The remainder of the crew were held until just before Christmas before they were released.

The ship, named for Pueblo, Colorado, was never returned to the United States and was made into a tourist attraction by North Korea.  The ship remains a commissioned vessel in the U.S. Navy -- the oldest in the Navy.

A tourist was told by guides that the ship was being renovated before being moved to an unspecified museum, NKNews reported.  The North Korean Economy watch blog suggested there was "a small chance" that the ship will be moved to Pyongyang's Fatherland Liberation War Museum.