Radio Hanoi announces North Vietnam’s rejection of the latest U.S. peace proposal. Revealing more details of the secret Paris peace talks, Henry Kissinger responds publicly, condemning the North Vietnamese announcement and criticizing Hanoi’s nine-point counter-proposal, which had been submitted during the secret talks.
Kissinger took exception with the communist insistence on the end of all U.S. support for the South Vietnamese government. The communists maintained that “withdrawal” meant not only withdrawal of U.S. troops, but also the removal of all U.S. equipment, aid, and arms in the possession of the South Vietnamese army. Kissinger asserted that the abrupt removal of all U.S. aid would guarantee the collapse of the Saigon regime. With the peace talks at a virtual impasse, the North Vietnamese leadership decided to launch a massive invasion of South Vietnam in March 1972.