October 25

This Day in History

Vietnam War

Oct 25, 1972:

Nixon suspends bombing of North Vietnam

The White House orders a suspension of bombing above the 20th parallel as a signal of U.S. approval of recent North Vietnamese concessions at the secret peace talks in Paris.

According to Nixon administration officials, the principal obstacle to a cease-fire was in Saigon. South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu broadcast a denunciation of the cease-fire treaty, calling all peace proposals discussed by Kissinger and Hanoi in Paris unacceptable, and urged his troops to wipe out Communist presence in the South "quickly and mercilessly."

Thieu feared the peace treaty because it did not address the 160,000 North Vietnamese troops that were currently in South Vietnam. Ultimately, he would sign the accords, but only after repeated promises by President Nixon that he would come to the aid of South Vietnam if the North Vietnamese violated the terms of the agreement. However, the Watergate scandal erupted and Nixon was forced to resign. His successor could not make good Nixon's promises and the South Vietnamese government fell in 1975.

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