Episode 2434 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will feature a story about the stops and starts and the final signings of the Paris Peace Accords on January 27, 2023. The featured story is titled: Fifty years since the beginning of the end of the Vietnam war and was submitted by Dr. Jeffrey Guterman.
The story appeared on the RFI website. RFI is a French news and current affairs public radio station that broadcasts worldwide in French and in 13 other languages. RFI is broadcast on 156 different FM frequencies, via medium and short wave relays, on 30 different satellite signals throughout the world and also on the internet and dedicated apps. RFI is also broadcast across the globe via more than 1400 partner radios.
According to the story byline, on 27 January 1973, all the protagonists in the protracted Vietnam conflict, the Ten Thousand Day War, agreed to end hostilities, and signed the Paris Accords. That did not stop the fighting.
The writer, Dr. Guterman describes how the rocky road to peace that began on 13 May 1968 led by Le Duc Tho, special adviser to the North Vietnamese communist regime, and US National Security Adviser, Henry Kissinger.
The recalcitrant North Vietnamese negotiators continued to delay the process and make more unreasonable demands. In addition to that situation, wartime events continued to change the dynamics of the peace talks.
For instance, there was the Tet Offensive where the Vietnam Cong and North Vietnamese Army suffered a terrible losses but victory was snatched from the jaws of defeat with the help of Walter Cronkite, et al. Then there was the invasion of Cambodia that stirred up all the anti-war protestors back home. Add to these events Operation Lam Son 719 where the South Vietnamese Army invaded Laos with the help of American airpower.
In December of 1972, the North Vietnamese negotiators were getting a little horsey and refused to go forward with the talks. A perturbed President Nixon executed Operation Linebacker II where waves of B-52 bombers carpet-bombed Hanoi and Haiphong. The Northern negotiators saw the light and the Accords were signed on January 27, 1973.