"Gathered now in the Cabinet Room, LBJ and his men tried to fathom the meaning of the seizure and devise a suitable response," Mr. Cheever writes. "They faced a minefield of dangerous unknowns. Why had North Korea grabbed the spy ship in the first place? Were the Russians involved in planning or executing the operation? Now that the North Koreans had the vessel and crew, what were they likely to do?"
Mr. Cheever later quotes LBJ adviser Clark Clifford as saying that although he felt sorry for the ship and crew, he didn't think it was worth a resumption of the Korean War.