comments that in view of the fact that tas been known in the past to embroider informationaj own and his Government's purposes and the additional possibility that North Vietnamese officials are feeding him information for their own purposes, it is difficult to separate fact from speculation or misinformation in the report.
group of officials in the North Vietnamese regime who have generally tended toore open-minded position toward the possibility of negotiations wilh the American Government to end the Vietnam War recognized in7 that chances for early peace talks were very slim. The North Vietnamese Ambassador to Indonesia, Pham Binh, who has been of this clique, sent word to Suharto's| for secret talks on the Vietnam problem, that his (Binh's) optimism before departi at Hanoi inad proven unjustified; before leaving Djakarta Binh had told IB1'- was hopeful that talks might occur in August or
Indonesian Embassy Official in Hanoixplanation that Pham Van Dong, chief figure in the derate clique, firmly believes that the war Is going
flPPROWO FOR RELEASE1
so badly for the North Vietnamese that if It is not endedatter of months. North Vietnam would need massive Chinese intervention to prevent total collapse within eighteen months. Pham Van Dong and his sympathizers fear entry of Chinese combat troops almost aa much as they do American troops; they have been concerned that only North Vietnam is suffering from further prosecution of the war; thoy believe North Vietnam's negotiating position will deteriorate further as America has stepped up its military pressure; outside help from Russia and China to North Vietnam is sorely limited and North Vietnamese civilian and military manpowor is sorely pressed. Therefore, Dong's view was that the aooner negotiations could commence and relieve the military pressures On Hanoi the better for the North Vietnamese. Thisifference of viewpoint from Ho, however, not an open break. Dong has bowed to Ho Chi Minn's insistence that the war effort be continued.
Ho, who is aa fully in control of the Hanoi regime as ever, agrees with Dong that the war is going badly and costing North Vietnam heavily at present. He sees the winter months, however,hance to improve the military position in the South somewhat, to increase supplies to Viet Cong elements in South Vietnam( and then toid for peace talksreater position of strength shortly after the new year. He is confident that the North Vietnamese situation will improve over the next few months to permit this.
One factor influencing Ho is the change in the soviet attitude. Tho Russians, who were earlier suspected by Ho Chi Minh of wobbling in their supportilitant Hanoi position, have now strongly urged Ho not to negotiate at least until early noxt year. They have promised Ho an additional two hundred. dollars worth of military and economic aid for Calendar8 if Ho fights on; If he does not, they threatened to cut off the aid. Their position is now almost as militant as that of Peking. The Soviets, however, have stated that they wish to have Ho continue fighting until8 and then they will reassess the situation.
This conforms with Ho's own views, and the Pham Van Dong moderates also recognize that post-election political
instabllity could occur in South Vietnam and that Increased Soviet aid would help the war effort greatly. They are skeptical whether either factor or both would offset increased American military strength and North Vietnamese declining resources. Ho's decision, however, stands, and both he and Pham Van Dong are relieved that there will be less necessity to rely exclusively on Communist China. Ho's Chinese top advisors, of whom five out of seventeen have been killed during recent war action and bombings, advocate indefinite continuation of the war. So does the pro-Chinese element in the North Vietnamese politburo, who would agree to negotiations onlyuse to gain timeenewed war effort.
(Source Comment: The Soviet reasons for wanting the war to continue until8 are obscure unless they plan another military diversion in some other part of the world and want many American troops pinned down until then. The best way to increase the influence of the Pham Van Dong "peace-minded" clique and to convince them to strengthen their arguments with Ho in favor of negotiations is for the Americans to increase the pressure on Hanoi and prove that Ho is wrong in expecting military improvement before early next year.)
frequent contact in Djakarta with mian^ornnTTPcrnas been atin touch with Pham Van Dong and otherrs officiate overeriod of several months. His descriptionVan Dongelatively peace-minded North Vietnamese
leader and of existencemoderate'^lique may beprobably not consciously He himself is
fairly hawkish on Vietnamndonesian, and itlikely that Pham Binh and Pham Van Dong havethoir possible slight differences In view with Hothe Indonesians. adamant, however, in insisting
that the information on incffHecrTBoviet aid to Hanoi came from North Vietnamese officials themselves, whatever their motives for so advising him.
It Is extremely doubtful that North Vietnamese officials would discuss with any foreigners the extent of disagreement
the policy-making group at the top of the regime; It is equally improbable that they would reveal Soviet attitudes and conditions in granting aid or give precise Information on the amount of aid. On the other hand, it_is_po_*sible they havefl
anoTna^iTic^SovreTsriave^agreed to support them with additional aid. Other information on the status of Soviet/North Vietnamese aid negotiations indicate, however, that the aid agreements for the first six months6 ia stillin^otiatcd and hua not yet been signed. HmmBmmBmmmaaaaawmmmmmmmm