January 31, 2019
President Donald J. Trump
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President,
As President of the Colorado State Senate and a proud Puebloan, I am writing on the 51st anniversary of the capture of the U.S.S. Pueblo to assert in the strongest possible terms the importance of the return of this ship from the Republic of North Korea.
As you may know, the U.S.S. Pueblo is a United States Navy ship, named for the city of Pueblo, Colorado, that was attacked by the North Korean military while on an intelligence mission on January 23, 1968. One crew member was killed during the attack while 80 others and two civilian oceanographers were captured and held for 11 months by the North Korean government.
The U.S.S. Pueblo is not just a symbol of the courage and honor of the crew who were captured — it remains a symbol of the strength and pride of our Navy and the American people. As a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, I am grateful for the bravery demonstrated and sacrifices made by the crew of the U.S.S. Pueblo.
Every year, the Colorado General Assembly passes a resolution asking for the President and our national political leaders to ensure the Republic of North Korea returns what is rightfully ours. Despite the efforts of leaders before you, 51 years later the U.S.S. Pueblo remains the only ship held captive by a foreign government – a government that continues on a trajectory to develop long-range nuclear arms capability, according to recent testimony from leaders of the national intelligence community.
The recently announced second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that will take place in February 2019 presents a unique opportunity to demand the return of the U.S.S. Pueblo.
Given your renowned reputation for negotiations, I am hopeful that you will join our efforts in calling for the return of the U.S.S. Pueblo. Its return from North Korea would represent a meaningful step forward for our two nations, and I look forward to seeing your leadership on this issue at the summit in February.
Leroy M. Garcia
President of the Senate
Colorado State Capitol
200 East Colfax Ave
Denver, Colorado 80203