WORLD REACTION TO THE COUP IN SOUTH VIETNAM

Created: 11/4/1963

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

OCI No.

CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY Office of Current3

CURRENT INTELLIGENCE MEMORANDUM

Reaction to the Coup in South Vietnam

COMMUNIST BLOC

Although there has been no direct official commentary on Diem's ovorthrow, bloc propagandaof the coup has followed predictable lines.

Bloc commentators claim that the US wasfor the coup and imply that the action was necessitated by the need to tighten control over the South Vietnam military machine and to step up the war effort, which has been meeting serious defeats.

Both Pravda and Izvestiya have attacked the new Saigon regime "Torontinuation of the war. Pravda compared Diem to Syngman Rhee, Nuri As-Said, Menderes, and other "imperialistointing out that his fate was sealed long ago. TASS claimed that all that really happened was that "new men" were called in to try to suppress the national liberation movement. Izvestiya noted that while there have been official US denials of involvement ln the coup, "nobody believes them." ommentary on the Soviet Home Service maintained that while PressSalinger will not comment on the timing of USof the new regime, "many agencies stress that it will happen very soon."

ovember, Moscow's commentator onAsian affairs claimed that there were grounds to believe that the CIAand in the coup, declaring that "the handwriting ls too familiar." He alleged that "several days before the putsch, units of the US Seventh Fleet" were sent to South Vietnam and that "on the evening" of the coup. Admiral Harry Felt arrived ln Saigon.

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Tho Polping press gives prominent attention to the appeal of the South Vietnamese Liberation Front to all Vietnamese to opposo the military clique. Peiping NCNA quoted Japanese newspapers to the effect that the coup was carried outwith American support and that President Kennedy bad ordered US troops to South Vietnam in support of theilitary coup leaders. The news service also quoted western news agencies to the effect that tbe new military regime "does not intend to expand democracyime when the state is concentrating all its efforts on the vital war against communism."

Hanoi Radio commented that the US-sponsored coup in South Vietnam reflected tho "bitter failure" of US policy. Tho coup leaders, the commentarymay have opposed Diem, but they also opposepeople.

Radio Havana described the coupbroadcast as brief, bloody, and US-backed, and noted tbat the Ngo brothers died undercircumstances. The broadcast also observed that, as in all US-promoted coups, whether in the Dominican Republic or in Honduras, tbe new junta in Southquickly proclaimed it had moved to save thefrom communism.

EUROPE AND CANADA

'I November that

ns odshed and tho "suicide" of the Ngo brothers was

described the rnment in Sai-

highly regrettable, but the quick and decisive action of the insurgents had brought about an outcome which

was "all to theivilians chosen to head nm no-

gongood lot" who should be more amenable and reasonable than their predecessors. He was confident

would be no difficulty about tion of the new government.

France apparently intends to "wait for the

)fuBt to settle" beforeeclaration,

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while obsorvmg that tne Vietnamese coup xeaaers oy and large seemed favorably disposed toward the West, had some preliminary reservations, and wanted more

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10.

Apparently mindful of the religious Issues involved. Pope Paulessage to the people of South Vietnamovember. The message made no reference to the coup, however, and merely expressed sympathy for the Vietnamese people.

The Indian press has given wide coverage to developments in Saigon, headlining the "success" of the coup. The only editorial to date says that the Diem regime had become so repressive that sooner or later something had to give. Most reporting, however, takes the line that the US instigated the coup. The Statesman correspondent in Singapore, for example, wrote that "although US officials have denied any American complicity in the coup, Washington willard time convincing the world of its altruistic motives."

The official Pakistan radio has beenfavorable to the coup, and yesterday quotedMinister Bhutto as saying that "the main cause Of the revolution appears to be the Indefensibleof the Diem government toward its own citizens."

SOUTHEAST ASIA

The Philippine press has welcomed the coup, expressing wishes for the success of the new The Malaysian deputy prime minister said that he was "very sorry" to hear that Diem and Nhu were dead, and stated that "we will have to wait and see" about recognizing the new government.

A leading Malaysian newspaper expressedover the coup.

CQNFIOFNTI4 f

In Cambodia, Prince Sihanouk has indicated that he hopes to trade recognition for agreement to certain concessions he was unable to extract from the Diem government. Cambodia broke relations with Saigon last August.

Laotian right-wing leader Phoumi Nosavan registered satisfaction over events in Saigon,that prospects were now improved for successful action against the Viet Cong. King Savang, however, has expressed doubt that the coup would substantially change the situation.

FAR EAST

Reuters from Singapore quotes UnnamedNationalist officials as having expressedregret" over Diem's reported death. Thegovernment, the dispatch said, isofficial comment pending confirmation of Diem's death.

Almost all Hong Kong papers editorialized yesterday on the coup, Communist and leftist papers generally comparing it to the deposition of Syngman Rhee by the military. Some, however, cautiously expressed the wish that the coup would bring new hope for the South Vietnamese people,

In Seoul, although the fall of the Diemwas generally welcomed, there were occasional digs at the US, one paper saying that "the alliance policy of the US Government ought to undergo are-evaluation in the light of the frequenttakeovers in its allied countries."

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