8. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the Soviet Union 1

112967. Ref: Moscow 2887.2 You should seek appointment directly with departing NVN Ambassador and deliver the following message:3

“Although the USG has attempted to deliver the following message to the North Vietnamese authorities indirectly in the last few days, we would appreciate it if he would make sure that those authorities are informed directly by him upon his return to Hanoi as follows: The USG places the highest priority on finding a mutually agreeable, completely secure arrangement for exchanging communications with the government of the DRV about the possibilities of achieving a peaceful settlement of the Vietnamese dispute. If the DRV is willing to explore such possibilities with us we will attempt to meet any suggestions they have to offer regarding the time and place of such discussions and we will be prepared to receive such information directly from the North Vietnamese through direct diplomatic contacts at any capital where we both maintain posts or otherwise.”

Slug any reply Nodis/Sunflower.

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27–14 VIET/SUNFLOWER. Top Secret; Priority; Sunflower. Drafted by Read; cleared by Bundy, Kohler, Rostow, Katzenbach, and Walsh; and approved by Rusk.
  2. Dated January 5. (Ibid., POL US-USSR)
  3. Chargé John Guthrie requested that the Soviet Embassy’s First Secretary, Alexander Akalovsky, deliver a request to the DRV Embassy for an appointment with North Vietnamese Ambassador Kinh. Hoang Man’ Tu, First Secretary of the DRV Embassy in Moscow, received the request and promised to pass it on to the North Vietnamese Ambassador. (Telegram 2916 from Moscow, January 6; ibid., POL 27–14 VIET/SUNFLOWER) It read: “Dear Mr. Ambassador: I have been instructed to deliver to you personally a confidential message from my government. I am prepared to call on you for that purpose at your earliest convenience. Please let me know when you would be available to receive me.” On January 9 Kinh responded that his Embassy’s Minister-Counselor, Le Chang, would meet with him the next day. On January 10 Le Chang accepted the message Guthrie was forwarding, which indicated the U.S. desire to engage in confidential discussions leading to a peaceful settlement. Le Chang stated that it would be passed on to his Ambassador (Telegram 2966 from Moscow, January 10; ibid.)