viet nam; north

Tuesday, February 17, 1967

  • President Johnson says that the bombing of North Viet Nam is resumed because the communist government insisted on using the truce period to move supplies into South Viet Nam. “Under the circumstances, in fairness to our troops and those of our allies, we had no alternatives but to resume full-scale hostilities after the cease-fire,” the President says in a statement released by the White House. The resumption was delayed, the Pentagon announces, to avoid any possibility that earlier resumption would be misconstrued in relation to Mr. Kosygin’s visit to London. Premier Alexei Kosygin of Russia ended a seven-day visit to Britain yesterday.
  • President Ho Chi Minh of North Viet Nam tells Pope Paul VI that unless his country’s peace terms are fulfilled, real peace cannot be restored in Viet Nam, Hanoi reports. Ho repeats Hanoi’s old stand in a reply to a papal expression on Feb. 8 of hope for an early peaceful settlement of the Viet Nam war. The main points are the cessation of bombing of North Viet Nam and the withdrawal of troops from South Viet Nam.

Monday, February 13, 1967

  • Viet Cong gunners fire a mortar barrage at United States military headquarters in the heart of Saigon but miss the compound and kill at least 16 Vietnamese and wound 40. The house the Viet Cong used to shoot from blows up when one round apparently explodes in the basement. 
  • The United States military forces fail to bomb North Viet Nam for the second day since the lunar New Year’s truce ended. United States sources say the United States has temporarily suspended the raids in a dramatic bid to get the Communists to talk peace.
  • Twenty-one Latin American and Caribbean countries approve a treaty designed to ban nuclear weapons in a huge area of the western hemisphere between the United States and Antarctica. The immediate effect of the treaty is uncertain. It will not be binding for all countries in the zone until all have signed, and Cuba did not take part in the negotiations and has said it will not sign.
  • Arthur J. Goldberg, United States ambassador to the United Nations, is repeatedly interrupted by hissing and laughter as he defends the administration’s Viet Nam policy in the face of hostile questions from a Harvard university audience. Goldberg stops in the middle of a sentence to tell the group of 1,200 students and faculty members, “You know, it will do no good until you hear the whole sentence." 
  • Richard D. Tristman, 24, is barred from teaching his spring semester course in English at Columbia university because he gave "A” marks to all his students. The English instructor said his grading policy could be taken at least in part as a protest against the selective service system and the war in Viet Nam.

Thursday, February 9, 1967

  • Pope Paul VI sends personal messages to the presidents of the United States, North Viet Nam, and South Viet Nam entreating them to utilize the lunar new year truce as an opportunity to start peace negotiations. In his message to President Johnson, the pontiff says his previous messages for return of peace in South Viet Nam always arc received favorably in tho United Stales, and that this encouraged him to renew his appeals for an end to the war.
  • The United States is trying strenuously to get an extension of the present four-day truce in the Viet Nam war, President Johnson tells Pope Paul VI. This country hopes the lull will lead to peace negotiations, he says. His comments are made in a reply to a personal message from the pope. Johnson indicates the United States stands firm on its demand that some sign of reciprocal action come from North Viet Nam before American air raids in the north are ended.
  • The lunar new year cease-fire enters its second day with relatively few incidents to mar the pause in the Viet Nam fighting. In the first 24 hours of the holiday truce period starting yesterday, the United Slates and South Vietnamese military commands report 30 incidents but listed only half of them as “significant.” The rate appears much lower than those of the Christmas-New Year truce periods.
  • Sen. Robert F. Kennedy says here that the United Slates must forge a policy on Southeast Asia based on a careful reassessment of history and a new, more open attitude toward Red China. “Policy demands a conscious and open recognition that we live in the same world and move in the same continent with China, with its dangers and possible strengths and terrible frustrations,” Kennedy says.
  • President Johnson sends Congress a message asking expanded programs to assist children, and the price tag would exceed 650 million dollars for the first year. The biggest item would be a 350 million outlay to increase social security benefits to 3 million children of dead, retired, or disabled workers covered by social security. The President asks enlargement of the Head Start program of education for disadvantaged children and favors experimenting with including infants in tho program. Other proposals would set up child and parent centers and summer camp programs and would deal with problems of juvenile delinquency, dental care, health, mental retardation, and aid to dependent children.
WE’LL TALK IF BOMBS STOP: HANOI

uncredited writer, Chicago Tribune, 6 February 1967

TOKYO — Hanoi said today peace talks could start with Washington if the United States terminates permanently its bombing of North Viet Nam. A withdrawal of United States military forces from South Viet Nam was not demanded as a precondition to opening talks.

Hanoi’s stand was discussed in a long article in the official, party newspaper Nhan Dan commenting on President Johnson’s news conference statements on Viet Nam peace prospects. The article was signed “Commentator,” and was broadcast internationally by Hanoi’s Viet Nam news agency.

Refers to Statement
Nhan Dan referred to a statement recently by North Vietnamese Foreign Minister Nguyen Duy Trinh to a foreign journalist. It described Trinh’s statement as “full of good will.”

"A serious statement which fully corresponds to reason, to the effect that only after the United States ends definitely and unconditionally the bombing and all other acts of war against the democratic republic of Viet Nam, can there be talks between the democratic republic of Viet Nam and the United States.”

Nhan Dan said: “The arrogant and bellicose statements of Johnson at the press conference on Feb. 2, and especially the actions of the United States imperialists in continuing to intensify their ag- gressve war in Viet Nam, have fully exposed the deceitful ‘good will for peace’ of the United States.”

Johnson Reports Feeler
Johnson said Thursday that “we have made clear” to the other side in the Viet Nam war that “we would be very happy” to arrange talks. But he said “I am not aware at this moment of any serious effort that the other side has made in my judgment to bring the fighting to a stop or to stop the war.”

On Friday, a North Vietnamese diplomat in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, said a bilateral conversation between the United States and North Viet Nam could be held “but only after an unconditional halt in bombing and all other American war-like acts against [North Viet Nam].”

Tells Basis for Talks
Nguyen Thuy Vu, North Viet j Nam’s interim representative Phnom Penh, told newsmen talks were possible under the conditions outlined by Trinh in an interview with Wilfred Burchett, Australian journalist. Nhan Dan’s broadcast claimed: “public opinion in the world and in the United States is more and more strongly pressing the United States government to settle the Viet Nam problem; end definitively and unconditionally the bombing of North Viet Nam; withdraw its troops from South Viet Nam; and recognize and hold talks with the South Viet Nam national liberation front for liberation [Viet Cong], the sole genuine representative of the South Vietnamese people.”

“Whatever wily language he may use, Johnson cannot hide the aggressive design and the stubborn attitude of the United States government in the Viet Nam question,” Nhan Dan said.