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N. Korea uses sunken U.S. merchant ship to stir up anti-Americanism

All News 12:10 April 08, 2016

SEOUL, April 8 (Yonhap) -- North Korea has used the story of an American commercial ship that sank 150 years ago in an apparent move to arouse hostility toward the United States.

The North's Central Television aired a children's program on Sunday on the General Sherman called "American imperialists -- our resentful foes -- are coyotes."

In the TV program, an actor said the General Sherman came to Korea out of hostility, adding that the ship's captain, crew and ship owner looted and killed many Koreans.

The U.S. commercial ship caught fire in a clash with Koreans in 1866 after it sailed into the Taedong River flowing through Pyongyang, now the North Korean capital. The ship apparently sought to open trade with Korea, then a hermit kingdom, but Koreans opposed.

In the past, North Korean working people and school children, on occasion, held big rallies in front of the monument dedicated to the sinking of the ship. It is located close to where Pyongyang has anchored the USS Pueblo on the Taedong River.

The 906-ton U.S. Navy intelligence ship was caught by North Korean ships while carrying out a mission in the East Sea in January 1968.

Earlier last month, North Korea's weekly Tongil Sinbo touched on the General Sherman incident and claimed that North Korea is no longer a small and weak country helplessly sandwiched by big countries.

The North's weekly media made the claim on March 12, immediately after the United Nations Security Council resolved to impose tougher sanctions on the North for its fourth nuclear test and long-range rocket launch earlier this year.

Pyongyang mentioning the historic incident is seen as a response to U.N. sanctions led by the United States and South Korea, while fueling hatred against United States, according to North Korea analysts.

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