November 23

This Day in History

Vietnam War

Nov 23, 1972:

Paris peace talks deadlocked

Secret peace talks resume in Paris between Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho, the North Vietnamese representative, but almost immediately reach an impasse.

The sticking points were the implementation of the international supervisory force and Saigon's insistence on the withdrawal of all North Vietnamese troops from South Vietnam. When the talks became hopelessly deadlocked, President Nixon ordered what became known as the "Christmas bombing" to force the North Vietnamese back to the negotiating table.

Nixon halted the bombing when the communists agreed to return to Paris; a peace agreement was signed in January 1973. Because the United States was in such a hurry to end American participation in the war, the insistence on the withdrawal of North Vietnamese troops from South Vietnam ceased to be an issue. More than 100,000 communist troops were left in the south when the cease-fire went into effect. This played a major role in the fall of South Vietnam to the communists in April 1975.

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