A plan to return 13 disabled Communist prisoners of war to North Vietnam was called off yesterday (Friday) when Hanoi refused to accept them.
Truck with prisoners arrives at Danang wharf
Prisoners helped off truck
Prisoners wait by ship
Prisoners helped up gangplank
Tracking shot wharf as ship sails
LV North Vietnam coast
Prisoners on bed below deck
Ship's commander on deck
Two people look towards North Vietnam coast
Bow of ship returning to Danang
Prisoners carried off
Trucks with prisoners leaving
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Background: A plan to return 13 disabled Communist prisoners of war to North Vietnam was called off yesterday (Friday) when Hanoi refused to accept them.
The prisoners were aboard an American troopship off the Demilitarised Zone when news of Hanoi's rejection came through.
The carefully-arranged release began at Danang yesterday morning when the prisoners arrived to board the troopship, the Upshure. Some were so crippled that they had to be helped aboard.
Originally 570 prisoners were due to be repatriated. But all but 13 of them told Red Cross officials that they did not wont to go back to North Vietnam.
For this reason, Hanoi refused to accept the 13. It accused the Saigon allies of what it termed 'odious treachery' in returning only 13 of the prisoners and promptly annulled the agreement under which the captives were due to go home.
The prisoners, who were taken back to Danang, said they were very disappointed. The South Vietnamese told them they would be at the top of the list for any future release.
In Saigon, the South Vietnamese government accused North Vietnam of bad faith and going back on its word.