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SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea marked the anniversary on Wednesday of one of its rare Cold War victories over the United States by saying a U.S. spy ship it seized 40 years ago served as a lesson to show it can repel an invasion.
It is the paranoid state's latest dig at its long-time foe and which it still labels as an arch enemy despite Washington's pledge to provide aid and better diplomatic standing to Pyongyang in a disarmament deal.
"(The Pueblo) is historical evidence proving before the whole world the victory of the DPRK (North Korea) in the confrontation with the U.S. to protect the national sovereignty and dignity," the North's state media quoted an official as saying on the anniversary of the January 23, 1968 capture of the USS Pueblo.
The cash-strapped North, whose million-man army needs to ration its little fuel just to keep its jeeps, planes and tanks running, turned the Pueblo into a tourist attraction in Pyongyang several years ago to attract foreign currency.
"If the U.S. imperialists persistently pursue their hostile policy towards the DPRK and their design to invade it, they will suffer a more shameful defeat," it quoted a chief of an anti-imperialist group as saying.