The North Vietnamese delegation threatened to call off the regular Paris peace negotiations on Tuesday (19 December) in protest against renewed United States air strikes over North Vietnamese targets.
The North Vietnamese delegation threatened to call off the regular Paris peace negotiations on Tuesday (19 December) in protest against renewed United States air strikes over North Vietnamese targets. Mr. Xuan Thuy, delegation leader, told a news conference that he reserved the right to call off the regular talks and the separate technical negotiations.
Mr. Xuan Thuy said that if the United States really wished to settle the Vietnam conflict, it would have to abide by the October 20 accord reached between U.S. Presidential adviser Dr. Henry Kissinger and Hanoi envoy Mr. Le Duc Tho calling on both parties to refrain from acts of war while negotiations were under way.
Mr. Xuan Thuy called the news conference after Hanoi and Viet Cong delegations in Paris denounced the resumption of bombing.
Despite the threats, United States and North Vietnamese technical experts met on Wednesday (20 December) to work out details of a ceasefire settlement.
SYNOPSIS: At the Paris residence of Mr. Xuan Thuy, North Vietnam's Peace delegation leader, it was announced on Tuesday that the regular peace negotiations may be called off. Mr. Xuan Thuy organised the news conference to denounce the resumption of United States bombing of North Vietnam. He said that if the United States wished to settle the Vietnam conflict, it would have to abide by the October 20 accord.
Mr. Xuan Thuy claimed that the United States had engaged in an extremely grave escalation of the war despite the pledge made by U.S. Presidential adviser Kissinger and Hanoi envoy Mr. Le Due Tho, to refrain from acts of war while negotiations were under way.
Mr. Xuan Thuy's conference was translated to pressman through a French interpreter. He demanded an immediate halt to the bombing of North Vietnam and the mining of its coastline. He said the aim of the news conference was to answer points made in Washington last weekend by Dr. Kissinger when he announced the breakdown of the main negotiations.
Xuan Thuy claimed that on December 13 the United States insisted on introducing 126 modifications to the October 20 second. He charged that these modifications affected questions of principle and were not mere details. In Dr. Kissinger's account of the breakdown, the U.S. envoy charged that it was Hanoi who demanded a series of negations which made it impossible to continue serious discussions.