CBS Evening News for Monday, Nov 04, 1968
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(Studio) United States says South Vietnam balked at last minute in refusing to send delegation to talks. South Vietnam alleges ultimatums, implied threats, unilateral action and conflicting assurances. On October 13, Ambassador Ellsworth Bunker told President Thieu bombing to halt in 3 hrs. and South Vietnam to send delegation to Paris, France, in 24 hrs. Thieu rejects plan due to short notice. On October 16, Thieu rejects Bunker communique that said he and President agreed to halt. Thieu asked for reading of North Vietnam aims from Ambassador Averell Harriman. South Vietnam representative in Paris reports Harriman told him off; his words quoted. Thieu, Bunker, Vice President Nguyen Cao Ky and Dep. Ambassador Samuel Berger met. Berger and Ky conversation cited. Thieu government says, Hanoi not specific in assurances of military deescalation and wants pledge that Viet Cong won't be seated as separate entity. Thieu government dazed and surprised when halt reported November 1. Reporter Murray Fromson quotes South Vietnam representative as saying President put them against wall with fait accompli. Report from Saigon government circles conflicts with DC reports Washington, DC says Thieu agreed to halt on October 13, but government demanded DC obtain assurances Viet Cong wouldn't be separate entity 2 days before halt reported.
REPORTER: Walter Cronkite
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