President Thieu of South Vietnam flew to the Mekong delta on Friday (4 Jan.) to inspect army garrisons.
President Thieu of South Vietnam flew to the Mekong delta on Friday (4 Jan.) to inspect army garrisons. There had been heavy fighting in this region as government forces fought the Communists for the newly-harvested rice crop.
President Thieu took the opportunity to call for a government offensive against Communist-held areas throughout South Vietnam. It was his toughest speech since the ceasefire was signed nearly a year ago.
Mr. Thieu claimed that the very presence of Communist forces in various parts of the South was endangering national security. He urged the South Vietnamese army to take the initiative by striking into Communist-held areas.
The military parade included amphibious commando groups used in the delta fighting. There was also a display of armoured forces and infantry.
President told the troops that the Vietnam war had re-started. He called for the development of new military strategy to defeat the Communists, backed by new economic policies to strengthen the war effort.
While the president was speaking, government and Communist negotiators in Saigon were working out a new agreement to resume the exchange of prisoners of war. The prisoner exchange called for in the ceasefire agreement was suspended last summer amid accusations of bad faith on both sides. No details have yet been given of how the latest agreement will be carried out.