267. Editorial Note

Contacts between the United States and the National Liberation Front (NLF) regarding military issues occurred at the end of 1968. On December 19 the NLF offered to release three American prisoners of war. Following meetings on December 25, 1968, and January 1, 1969, between Viet Cong and U.S. military officers in an area of Tay Ninh Province where a temporary stand-down had been ordered, the three soldiers were released. Seven North Vietnamese seamen were subsequently released by the U.S. Navy on December 16. Despite this successful “exchange,” the U.S. and South Vietnamese Governments refused to recognize a Viet Cong-sponsored New Year’s truce due to enemy violations of an earlier Christmas truce. Documentation on the prisoner release is in the Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, 3 D (1), Prisoners of War (General Material), 1/66-1/69; and in National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, POL 17-5 US-VIET S and POL 27-7 VIET.