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  Lyndon Johnson - Remarks on the Cessation of Bombing of North Vietnam (October 30, 1968)
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ContributorThomas Walker 
Post Date ,  12:am
DescriptionGood evening, my fellow Americans:

I speak to you this evening about very important developments in our search for peace in Vietnam.

We have been engaged in discussions with the North Vietnamese in Paris since last May. The discussions began after I announced on the evening of March 31st in a television speech to the Nation that the United States—in an effort to get talks started on a settlement of the Vietnam war—had stopped the bombing of North Vietnam in the area where 90 percent of the people live.

When our representatives—Ambassador Harriman and Ambassador Vance—were sent to Paris, they were instructed to insist throughout the discussions that the legitimate elected Government of South Vietnam must take its place in any serious negotiations affecting the future of South Vietnam.

Therefore, our Ambassadors Harriman and Vance made it abundantly clear to the representatives of North Vietnam in the beginning that—as I had indicated on the evening of March 31st—we would stop the bombing of North Vietnamese territory entirely when that would lead to prompt and productive talks, meaning by that talks in which the Government of Vietnam was free to participate.

Our ambassadors also stressed that we could not stop the bombing so long as by doing so we would endanger the lives and the safety of our troops.

For a good many weeks, there was no movement in the talks at all. The talks appeared to really be deadlocked.
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