A large increase in the number of Viet Cong and North Vietnamese attacks was reported in South Vietnam on Sunday (7 January) on the eve of the resumption of the vital Paris Peace Talks.
GVs & SVs Saigon street scenes - people buying newspapers; people at market; people coming out of cinema-house; people on pavements & in park (13 shots)
GVs Girl students coming out of school (2 shots)
GV Peasants in fields, ploughing & sowing seeds (3 shots)
GV Peasants loading vegetables from field onto truck (4 shots)
SVs Police and soldiers checking passes at military checkpoint (4 shots)
GVs Soldiers in patrol at Highway One (4 shots)
Initials ESP/0032 ESP/0055
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Background: A large increase in the number of Viet Cong and North Vietnamese attacks was reported in South Vietnam on Sunday (7 January) on the eve of the resumption of the vital Paris Peace Talks.
In the South Vietnamese capital of Saigon, there are few marks of the war. People eagerly buy newspapers for information about the new series of Communist attacks, and news of the pending Paris negotiations between the North Vietnamese envoy, Le Duc Tho, and President Nixon's negotiator, Dr Henry Kissinger.
But, even as the war rages outside Saigon, citizens in the city go about their daily routine - going to the theatre, children attending school and farmers sowing and harvesting their crops.
Despite the relaxed life within the capital, heavy security is maintained by the army along Highway 1 - the main link between Tay Ninh and Saigon.
SYNOPSIS: Every day in Saigon, people congregate around news stands to read of the latest moves towards peace and attacks by Viet Cong and North Vietnamese forces. On the eve of the resumption of the Paris Peace Talks between North Vietnam's envoy Le Duc Tho and President Nixon's adviser, Dr Henry Kissinger, a series of attacks were launched by Communist forces across South Vietnam. But, in the South Vietnamese capital, there is little evidence of the war that is raging outside.
Hopes are high in the city that peace will come shortly to their country... But the Vietnamese people are patient, and, if necessary, they are prepared to wait still longer.
Children in the city still go to school while their fathers and brothers fight in the war outside.
Even in the farming areas around the city, there is sufficient security to allow farmers to sow their crops. These farms and rice fields supply much of the produce and rice to feed the citizens of Saigon.
Each day, farmers load their trucks and carts with goods, and drive to the city's markets to sell their goods. These farms lie along Highway One - the road that connects the South Vietnamese capital with Pnom Penh, the Khmer Republic capital to the west.
Highway One is an essential life-line into Saigon. It is constantly patrolled by police and army units. ...Road blocks are set up to check all persons entering the capital, to guard against possible infiltration along the route. All papers are checked and cars and vehicles searched.
Army patrols around Saigon have brought relative security to the capital. The city has been virtually untouched, except for a rocket attack on an ammunition dump in mid-December. Even the renewed attacks by Viet Cong and North Vietnamese forces in the rest of the country have not dampened hopes that a settlement may yet come from the Paris negotiations.