There was no war with North Korea when the spy ship "Pueblo" was seized, the men were mistreated, beaten and detained for months.
True, but tensions between the North and the South were boiling over at the moment. Given that the Pueblo was armed, and the tactic for spy ships back then was to cross into territorial waters to gather intelligence on the mobilization of forces (in this case North Korea) it seems plausible that North Korea (and legally speaking they would be correct) would view an armed naval ship in their territorial waters is an act of war.
Since we do not really know the exact location of the Pueblo when it was seized, this is all guesswork, but I would not be surprised if it had been crossing into territorial waters at some point, since this was typical for intelligence gathering missions.
The Pueblo was supposed to be covered by fighters based on a carrier in the area. However, the fleet was too far away to intervene when the Korean patrol boats fired on and boarded her.
This is the true, the 7th fleet knew she was under attack and failed to do anything.
The Pueblo was listed as a scientific research ship. Such ships fool nobody. China knows exactly what that ship was doing. The Koreans knew what the Pueblo was doing.
True, but that is not the point, the point is the legal distinction between unarmed research ships with a civilian crew, and an armed ship (technically) such as the Pueblo.
Spy ship is a spy ship, there is no distinction. Nevertheless, it was a U.S. ship that should have had timely cover. It did not. The Pueblo should have had timely cover. It did not.
I think there is a legal distinction to be made. If anyone buys it is not the point, as long as it can be made. That said, the 7th fleet should have come to their aid.
All intelligence ships (spy ships) should be covered by sufficient resources to prevent such disasters as the Pueblo. This current incident is not the first...it could have ended much worse.
It sounds good, but doing that also eliminates any possible deniability.
The issue here in my opinion is that China is trying to claim the EEZ as territory, when it is not. North Korea did the same thing by trying to claim a 50 mile area instead of the normal 12.
Should we send in a destroyer with these "spy ships" there is no wiggle room, it is either nothing or war. That is something we should work to avoid in my view.