VIETNAMESE COMMUNIST ATTITUDES ON A PHASED WITHDRAWAL OF US FORCES FROM SOUTH V

Created: 6/25/1968

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CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY Directorate of Intelligence

SUBJECT: Viatr.amese Communist Attitudeshased Withdrawal of US Forces from South Vietnam

Since the opening of the Paris talks, tho North Vietnamese have been holding out the prospect that they wouldhased withdrawal of US troops from South Vietnam if theyirm eojrxit-ment that the us intended ultimately to disengage completely. Such hints have appeared withfrequency in private conversations between North Vietnameseide variety of sources over the past two months.

This is not the first time that Hanoi has indicated that it is prepared to be flexible on troop withdrawal. The hints are now appearingate, however, which sugjests that the Communists wish to emphasize the subject. In contrast to the current initiative shown by the North Vietnamese in raising this issue. Communist leaders in the past offered such hints onlyery selected basis to questions from prominent westerners or to newsmen who were probing Communist demandsolitical settlement. In those instances Hanoi spokesman were making every effort to plead their cause effectively without spelling out North Vietnam's basicposition. They have been, however, fairlyin maintaining that they would make the withdrawal process as easy as possible.

Since April of this year, Hanoi sookesmen have both taken the initiative and been morein hintingide variety of sources that the Communists were prepared tohasedof American troops which would last as long

Beveral years. The earliest report of this na-

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talked to important butrs North tuId

Hanoi was prepar.-d lo mak^cohcess^ns

on the withdrawal isBue, such as permitting the US to retain certain military bases in South Vietnam. He did not volunteer any time frame, but used the US base at Guantamar-o, Cuba, as an example of the kind of arrangement the Vietnamese could live with.

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_ftne North Vietnamesetalked to his staff aboutupcoming Paris peace talks and told themonly concession that the Northrs mattQ would be to allow some time for thethe US "as was done in the case of the French."

ia North Vietnamese propaganda official,

told his hosts privatelyto be flexibletalks.

He gave as an example the fact that his country was prepared to see American withdrawal froa Southaccomplished in phases.

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Since the opening of the Paris talks, such comments havo also come from sources close to the North Vietnamese negotiating team. Their chief western press contact, Wilfred Burchett, is quoted as saying onay that the North Vietnamese would "in the end show themselves surprisinglydating." He was specifically talking about American

"disengagement" from South Vietnam. Hanoi's diplo-

'that if the US cannot , canew years to complete the withdrawal. The US can close one baseime, said Bo, and the timetable forand "similar problems" will raise no

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statements of Liberation Front offi-III troop withdrawal are genorally in line s. Pront spokesmen

the modalities of withdrawal were In recent months they, too.

been more specific and have discussed the issue in terms of phases and enclaves.

7. ontains specific examples ofNorth Vietnamese statements on US troopandites examples of Liberation Front statements on the subject.

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ANNEX A

Representative North Vietnamese Statements on US Troop Withdrawn' from South Vietnam

stated tha; the time of the withdrawal of the American troops wasecisive question. In this connection, he pointed to the agreement on the withdrawal of the French troops.

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A pro-Communist Japanese, who was in Hanoi for three years prior to his return inlaims that in late7 Nguyen Duy Trinh said peace talks could only be entertained if the US and its alliesfrom Vietnam oret date before whichithdrawal would be completed.

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said "Therereat many intermediary solutions between the extremes of total US victory and total US withdrawal andis negotiable except the bombing of North Vietnam."

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Jurm 6V, Trar. Hgoc Kha told

'in Paris:"What we want is the :inai unification of the Vietnamese people. We ace fully aware of the fact that this will take time. North Vietnam is notthe imraadiate withdrawal of US

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forces, but the withdrawal of US forces after the conclusion of peace negotiations and within an "approporate period of time.

Ending the war for us has two meanings: an end to the bombingsithdrawal of US forces. He like the formula of President de Gaulle. Some US troops would have to stay until the end of the process of polit ical settlement. We do not want tothe US.

Nguyen Van Hieu, Pront <NFLSV) rep in Cambodia,

A Vietnamese writer-journalist known to have contacts within the Alliance.

"Hieu stated that the NPLSV would negotiate only with the Americans and only to determine thef an American ailitoryfrom Vietnam andhe recognition of thethe principle ofis not negotiable. The NFLSV is, however, ready to negotiate the terms ofithdrawal (timing,

"The end of the presentwill coma in threehehalting of the bombing of North; of tho NFLSV ina cease-fire will probably com in this phaso, with the withdrawal of US forces, possibly into enclaves; tho third phase will consist of tho formation in South Vietnam of agovernment."

'iat Cong reps inpiy iaj tnatis well down on

theirthat

in exchange for agreement to negotiate with them, Viet Cong, unlike Hanoi, would nots prior condition withdrawal of US forces; (C) that, in event of US-Viet Cong political settlement, US troop evacuation might he spread over considerable period of tine; <D) give impression that they nis-trust Hanoi and Chicons but are unable to takestend unless this would pay off in settlementto Viet Cong.

Burchett inaid that he believed the Liberation Front was quite prepared to discuss the icodalitiesilitary withdrawal with US.

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must be along lines4 Genevawith withdrawal of US forces from SVN. There would be interim period of two governments in Vietnam.

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