United States President richard Nixon suspended the bombing and shelling of North Vietnam and the mining of its coastline on Monday (15 Jan).
SV Mr. Ronald Ziegler at microphone
SCU Ziegler speaking (SOUND)
ZIEGLER: "Dr. Kissinger, as you know, arrived in Florida from Paris early Sunday morning, and since that time the President and Dr. Kissinger have had extensive consultations and discussions regarding the progress of the negotiations taking place in paris.
"This morning I have the following announcement to make.
"Because of the progress made in the negotiations between Dr. Kissinger and special adviser Le Duc Tho, President Nixon has directed that the bombing, shelling and any further mining of North Vietnam be suspended. This order went into effect at 10am today, January the 15th, Washington time.
"This decision by the President applies to actions north of the 17th parallel, throughout all of North Vietnam. This is a unilateral decision, a unilateral step taken in light of the progress made in the current negotiations. This action was not an element of the negotiations. The North Vietnamese, however, were aware of the fact that once progress was being made in the negotiations, that the United States was prepared to take a unilateral step such as announced this morning, to make a unilateral gesture.
"We have, as you know, over the past months, and of course over the past year, been in constant contact with President Thieu and have consulted with President Thieu fully. President Thieu was fully advised and consulted on the decision which I am announcing this morning."
Initials ES. 16.10 ES. 1620
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Background: United States President richard Nixon suspended the bombing and shelling of North Vietnam and the mining of its coastline on Monday (15 Jan). Mr. Nixon's order was announced by his press spokesman, Mr. Ronald Ziegler, following progress made in peace negotiations in Paris between Dr. Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho of North Vietnam.
Mr. Ziegler told newsmen at Key Biscayne, Florida, that Dr. Kissinger would be returning to Paris 'in the relatively near future' presumably for a final round of talks with Mr. Tho. Diplomatic observers in Washington believe it was extremely unlikely that Mr. Nixon would have taken such a step without good indications that it could help away North Vietnam into agreeing on a ceasefire accord.
This item consists of Mr. Ziegler's announcement of the bombing halt.
SYNOPSIS: Presidential spokesman Ronald Ziegler announced on Monday President Nixon's decision to stop the bombing and shelling of North Vietnam.