Senior North Vietnamese Politburo member Le Duc Tho arrived in Paris on Saturday (15 July) and said he was ready to meet President Nixon's National Security Adviser, Dr.
GV & SV EXTERIOR Le Bourget Airport building (MUTE)
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SV Le Duc Tho leading party down aircraft steps (MUTE)
SV Madame Binh, Le Dun Tho and Xuan Thuy walk to airport lounge (MUTE)
CU INTERIOR ZOOM BACK TO GV Le Duc Tho talks to reporters through interpreter into French. (SOUND)
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Background: Senior North Vietnamese Politburo member Le Duc Tho arrived in Paris on Saturday (15 July) and said he was ready to meet President Nixon's National Security Adviser, Dr. Henry Kissinger, in a renewed effort to end the Vietnam war.
The Hanoi emissary has had 13 secret meetings with Dr. Kissinger in the past two years. The two men last met on 2 May, two days before the Paris talks were broken off. Mr. Tho then went home for consultations with his government.
His return to the French capital, which followed that of North Vietnamese negotiator Xuan Thuy who flew in on Monday for Thursday's resumption of the semi-private talks, has led some diplomats to believe the talks are now entering a crucial phase and a breakthrough is possible.
The gulf between the two sides over the future of President Thieu's regime in South Vietnam remains the focal point of the disagreement. The communists are demanding President Thieu's resignation and put responsibility for his removal on the United States. The U.S. wants a cease-fire, leaving the communist side to negotiate with President Thieu, whereas Hanoi and the Viet Cong insist on President Thieu's departure first.
SYNOPSIS: The semi-public Paris Peace talks resumed on Thursday in a renewed effort to end the Vietnam war. But speculation has been high that a break-through may come through secret talks.
In Paris on Saturday, North Vietnamese Politburo member Le Duc Tho arrived and said he was ready to meet President Nixon's National Security adviser, Dr. Henry Kissinger. Mr. Tho was met by Xuan Thuy, North Vietnam's chief negotiator at the Paris talks and Madame Binh, leader of the Viet Cong delegation.
The Hanoi emissary, speaking to reporters in Vietnamese through a French translator, said, "If Mr. Kissinger has something new and expresses the wish to meet me, I am ready to see him to find a correct settlement of the Vietnam problem." Mr. Tho has had thirteen secret meeting with Dr. Kissinger in the past two years. When reporters asked Mr. Tho for details of his current mission to Paris, he declined to elaborate, asking them to "wait a few more days."