WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Obama announced today that a deal had been struck with North Korea to trade the South Korean capital of Seoul to secure the safe return of the USS Pueblo, a U.S. Navy spy ship held captive since 1968.
Standing next to the ship’s christener, Mrs. Dorothy Duvall of Palm Beach, Florida, the president told reporters at the Rose Garden ceremony he decided to act when he learned of the ship’s “rapidly deteriorating condition.”
“Could we someday regret handing over the capital city of an important ally to its mortal enemy? Absolutely. Might this encourage more mischief by North Korea? Maybe. Was it worth it? You betcha,” the president said.
“Let me be clear. It has been an ironclad tradition of the Navy, going back to when the USS Chesapeake struck to HMS Leopard in spite of Commodore Barry’s order not to ‘give up the ship,’ that we make a promise to never leave a ship behind.”
The USS Indianapolis could not be reached for comment.
National Security Advisor Susan Rice promised a speedy reunion between the families and crew members, who she noted had “served with honor and distinction” during their many years in captivity.
When reporters told Rice that the crew had returned to the U.S. decades ago, Rice covered her ears and said, “I’m not listening! La la la la LA LA LA!” before loudly beginning to sing “Yankee Doodle.”
The Naval Shipyard in San Francisco is preparing to receive the Pueblo after more than 46 years in captivity. The ship is expected to undergo “reintegration” for several months, where its former sailors will allege it was a communist sympathizer as it gets a fresh coat of paint before decommissioning.
Questions to the Joint Chiefs went unanswered as they were busy gnawing on their chew toys.
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