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February 12, 1967 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1967-02-12

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Hanoi Forsees Long-Range

Vietnam Reunification

EDITOR'S NOTE -- What is ahead
for Vietnam, in the view of the Ha-
noi regime? The Associated Press,
thus far refusedhpermisonto station
a correspondent in North Vietnam,
asked Wilfred Burchett, an Austra-
lian writer, to report the strategy of
Hanoi and the Viet Cong as he, had
been able to discern it in his trips to
Vietnam. Burchett has often been a
Communist spokesman in Korea, Viet-
nam and Germany. This article, then,
presents a Communist viewpoint and
should be read in that light.
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (R) -
How Hanoi and the Viet Cong
view a future Vietnam which
might emerge out of any negotia-
ted settlement was revealed in a
series of talks I recently had with
top Vietnamese leaders of North
Vietnam plus Liberation Front Vi-
et Cong representatives in Hanoi!
and talks last August with the
Front's president, Nguyen Huu
Tho, whom I met for the fourth
time in his jungle headquarters in
South Vietnam.
The general idea is that Viet-
nam as such must be an indepen-
dent country without any foreign
presence. Reunification is a long-
rane project realizable only in
the far distant future, which Viet-
namese leaders in the North and
Liberation Front leaders in the
South privately agree may be 10
or 20 years away.
Meantime, the North would re-
main a Socialist country and a
member of the Socialist iworld but
without military alliances or for-
eign military bases, militarily but
not politically neutral. The South
would be nol-Socialist and neutral
militarily, politically and diploma-
The seeds- for all this are pro-
vided for in North Vietnam's four-
point plan enunciated by Premier
Pham Van Dong in April 1965 and
acceptance of which until very re-
cently had been thought in Wash-
ington to be a precondition for
But in Foreign Minister Nguy-
en Duy Trinh's replies to my ques-
tions, in which he said talks
could start if bombings stopped,
it was made clear that acceptance
of the four points was not posed
as a precondition, and far less
was withdrawal of U.S. troops
from South Vietnam made a prior
condition, as seems to have been
thought over a long period in

The formula used by Foreign I dent and neutral. But explicit inI

Minister Trinh was that the "four1
point stand and correct attitude
the government of the democratic
republic of Vietnam enjoy were
sure of ever stronger approval and
support from all peace-and jus-
tice-loving peoples and govern-
ments in the world."
No Precondition
That this is not being posed as
a precondtion is one of the most
important of the clarifications in
the foreign minister's statement.
But if Washington took a long,
hard look at the four points, one
top Vietnamese official said, it
would find they entail important
concessions compared to the Ge-
neva agreements.
The latter provided reunifica-
tion by 1956, with the assumption
that the pro-Communist Vietminh
would rule over the whole country.
,The four points, which neatly
dovetail into the five-point plan
of the National Liberation Front,
were specifically formulated, ac-
cording to the same official, to
facilitate American disengage-
ment, as while they contain noth-
ing contrary to the Geneva agree-
ments it makes an important con-
cession on the indefinitie post-
ponement of reunification, halts
the spread of communism south
of the 17th parallel, and the North
accepts certain restrictions on her
New Regime
What type of regime could the
North and the Liberation Front
accept in the South. The Libera-
tion Front considers it is in a
strong enough position militarily
and politically to have a "decisive
place and voice" in any settlement
of the southern half of the prob-
In fact, as the Front's President
Nguyen Huu Tho told me last Au-
gust, he envisages that a "broad
coalition government of national
union" could be formed which,
while excluding personalities like
Generals Nguyen .Cao Ky and
Nguyen Van Thieu, the present
premier and president respective-
ly, it would not exclude some mem-
bers of their cabinet or others who
served in previous Saigon govern-
ments far back, even including
that of Diem.
Such a government must be ir-
revocably committed to an auton-
omous South Vietnam, indepen-

the Liberation Front and thet
North's five and four points is thatf
independence means withdrawal
of all U.S. forces and the dismant-
ling of bases.E
Front Leaders
The Front's leaders, including
those of the Marxist revolutionary
party, insist that although theyj
would carry out the distribution of
land-this has already been done
in areas administered by the
Front-they do not intend the
collectivation of land or the so-1
cialization of industry and com-
merce, will accept aid from the
West and East, protect existing
foreign interests, and would accept'
foreign investments to help re-
build and develop the country
when this did not infringe nation-
al sovereignty.
In this connection it is inter-
ing to note that Nhan Dan, The
People-which is North Vietnam's
Pravda-commenting on the for-
eign minister's statement on the
possibilities of talks, seven times
mentioned the term "peace and
independence" as defining the Vi-
etnam main aims, but not a single
mention of Socialism.
This fact is noted by foreign
diplomats in Hanoi. This certain-
ly does not imply any intention
of abandoning Socialism in the
North, but does mean that the
emphasis is on national aims,
which do not foresee a Socialist
regime for the South. And "So-
cialism for the North, democracy
in the South" was the title of
a speech by Le Duan, secreatry of
the North's Communist party, ear-
ly in January.
New Bureau
A few months ago a bureau of
the National Liberation Front was
established in Hanoi - housed in
the repainted, refurbished former
American Consulate.
Unlike other diplomatic mis-
sions it is not accredited to the
government of the democratic re-
public of Vietnam, but in careful
political distinction is called the
"representation of the National
Front for the liberation of South
Vietnam in North Vietnam."
The desired implication of this,
as carefully explained by gray-
haired NFL central committee
member Nguyen Van Tien, who
heads the "representation." is that
it is a "concrete image of reun-

ification" with the clear implica-
tion of South and North enjoyingc
equal status.l
Future of Vietnam
When I asked if there was notf
a contradiction b e t w e e n thet
North's stated aims of "defend-,
ing the North, liberating the
South and reunifying the coun-
try,' the Front's program of inde-
pendence and neutrality, and his
own statement that reunification
is nearing, he said "No" and then
gave the clearest exposition of how
the North and South-as repre-
sented by the Liberation Front-
viewed the future of North and
South relations if the war ended
and the Front was the dominant
element, of a government in the
His views are summed up as
North and South Vietnam re-
main autonomous in internal and
foreign affairs. The North would
remain Socialist and a member
of the Socialist bloc The South
would be neutral, unallied to any
blocs. Each would have its own
foreign ministries and own diplo-
matic representatives abroad. The
Front already has over a dozen
de facto embassies abroad.
General Assembly
For regulating North-South re-
lations, there would be a type
of general assembly, presumably
nominated by the respective par-
liaments to handle questions im-
portant to both zones such as
trade, post and telegraphs, inter-
zonal travel, including sports and
cultural exchanges. The assembly
in fact would have some resem-
blances to the inter-German coun-
cil, an idea being toyed with by
the West German Social Demo-
crats as a means to handle cur-
rent practical problems between
East and West Germany.
The question of negotiations
between Hanoi and the Ky gov-
ernment in Saigon is seen as an
impossibility. The latter is con-
sidered as representing no na-
tional interests or any sections of
the population and would die a
natural death the moment serious
negotiations started.
It is assumed Ky and a handful
of his top supporters would make
suitable dispositions, as so many
of their predecessors did, for a
comfortable exile. But it is also

considered that national recon- thing in exchange for an Ameri-
ciliation is entirely possible with can withdrawal, shrugged his,
personalities and groups less en- shoulders, laughed and said:
gaged, if they are prepared to take "What do they want?
a clear stand on the question of "Do they want us to invite into
complete national independence. the north 400,000 Chinese, 40,000
On that belief everyone is ada-
mant. Ho Chi Minh told a group, North Koreans
including myself, "The United sand Cubans and then propose
States is offering us the choice their withdrawal as a counterpart
of colonial slavery or victory. Ob- for withdrawal of the United
viously we fight till the end." States and her allies from the
Another personality, in reply-Sa
ing to a question whether North South? Is that what they are
Vietnam is prepared to offer any- after?"
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U.S. Officials Examine Burchett Outline

You had a
pretty good reason
for going on
for your Master s.


AP Special Correspondent
WASHINGTON (,P)-U.S. offi-
cials examined with interest today'
a Communist blueprint which in-
dicates flexibility in planning for
the postwar future of Vietnam.
The outline of political arrange-
ments being discussed by North
Vietnamese and by Viet Cong
leaders in South Vietnam was
sketched by Wilfred Burchett, an
Australian Communist correspon-
dent, on the basis of his recent
conversations in Vietnam.
NASA Denies
isk Charges
officials have vigorously denied
th'at they risked the safety of
astronauts in an effort to beat the
Soviet Union to the moon, or will
do so in the future.
"That charge is completely un-
founded," Robert C. Seamans Jr.,
deputy National Aeronautics and
Space Administration director,
said in testimony made public yes-
terday by the Senate Space Com-
mittee. He said Dr. George E.
Mueller, head of NASA's manned
space office, agrees with that view.
Their testimony about the tragic
inferno inside an Apollo space
capsule - which snuffed out the
lives of astronauts Virgil I. Gris-
som, Edward H. White II and
Roger B. Chaffee on a launch pad
Jan. 27-included these points:
-Three previous fires in tests
of pressured pure oxygen were
traced to mishaps in electrical
systems. Men inside two of these
simulated capsules recovered from
burns and the faults were cor-
rected in the space capsules them-
--Soviet cosmonauts ride in an
atmosphere similar to that on
earth-about 21 per cent oxygen
and the balance nitrogen-which
is much less dangerous at sea level
than pressurized pure oxygen.
--It will be a month or longer
before the meticulous NASA in-
vestigation into causes of the
Apollo accident can be completed.
And even then the exact cause
may never be determined.
-The tragedy may not delay
the Apollo timetable which aims
at landing U.S. astronauts on the
moon and returning them safely
to earth by 1970 or earlier.

Burchett projected an indefinite
division of Vietnam, suggesting
that leaders in Hanoi are prepared
to forego early capture and com-
munization of the South through
He pictured North Vietnam was
a kind of independent Communist
country and South Vietnam as a
neutralized non-Communist coun-
try under some kind of coalition
and Democratic government.
Officials here said Communist
acceptance of the idea of a long-
term, non-Communist regime in
the South was an interesting in-
dication of flexibility toward un-
derlying peace problems. The no-
tion of a coalition government
also was described as interesting.
The American and Vietnamese
Communists' views of what the
future in that ravaged country
might be like clashed head-on,
however, over the role of the Na-
tional Liberation Front, the polit-
ical arm of the Viet Cong guerrilla
Communist Concept
Under the Communist concept,
as reported by Burchett, the Lib-
eration Front would have to have
"a decisive place and voice" in
settlement of the problems of
South Vietnam.
In the U.S. view this would be
tantamount to turning South Viet-
nam over to Communist control
and would therefore be unaccept-
able, officials here said.
Secretary of State Dean Rusk
told a news conference Thursday
that the U.S. aim in the war is "to
assure for the people of South
Vietnam the right to decide their
own political destiny, free of
Peace Points
Rusk also emphasized in releas-
ing a summary of U.S. "points
for peace" that this country would
not try to "exclude any segment
of the .South Vietnamese people

from peaceful participation in
their country's future."
But officials said privately this
does not mean acceptance of a
role for the Viet Cong as an or-
ganization, but rather participa-
tion in political life by individual.
Viet Cong leaders who would be
prepared to suport loyally an in-
dependent government in the
The United States views the Viet
Cong as largely a creature of North
Future Problems
Problems of Vietnam's future
are intimately connected with the
task .of trying to get peace talks
started. Some authorities here feel
that until these fundamental is-
sues of the country's future are
clarified, any talks are unlikely
and meaningful talks would be al-
most impossible.
Such problems of peace-making
evidently are understood by all the
top policymakers on both sides of
the conflict, but seldom are dis-
cussed publicly.
From the Communist side the
public emphasis for several months
has been on getting the United
States to stop bombing of the
North with the lure of possible
peace talks as a reward but with-
out an offer of parallel de-escala-
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The United States has stressed
publicly a readiness to engage in
a balanced scaling-down of the
war or to start peace talks without
But points such as those raised
by Burchett are constantly being
examined in Washington for evi-
dence of movement toward a ne-
gotiable position.
It is understood that ideas sim-
ilar to those described by him
have been communicated privately
through diplomatic channels.
at the
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