Academic journal article Military Review

FLASH POINT NORTH KOREA: The Pueblo and EC-121 Crises

Academic journal article Military Review

FLASH POINT NORTH KOREA: The Pueblo and EC-121 Crises

Article excerpt

FLASH POINT NORTH KOREA: The Pueblo and EC-121 Crises, Richard A. Mobley, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD, 2003, 216 pages, $29.95.

Richard A. Mobley's Flash Point North Korea rolled off the press just as North Korea (NK) was once again proving intransigent in international negotiations by protesting legitimate U.S. intelligence-gathering activities. North Korea's current behavior parallels that of 35 years ago when it attacked the USS Pueblo and an EC121M, an American surveillance aircraft. Both are subjects of Mobley's book.

Numerous accounts of the Pueblo's capture have been published; however, considerably less has been released about the EC-121M's shoot down. Dividing his book between the two crises, Mobley has made a major contribution in his account of the military's diplomatic policymaking processes.

Several serious problems within the U.S. military, intelligence, and diplomatic communities stand out. At the time of the Pueblo incident, the United States knew little about NK leadership other than that its actions were unpredictable. America's risk assessment was deficient, and its forces were not fully prepared to execute timely retaliatory operations.

The downing of the EC-121M presented different challenges for the North Koreans. …

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