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April 27, 2019
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April 30, 2019
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Publication Date: 
February 7, 1968
PDF icon THE PRESIDENTS DAILY BRIE[15617895].pdf223.78 KB
� Approved for Release: 2019/04/17 C05974265 The President's Daily Brief Top Secret 7 February 1968 Approved for Release: 2019/04/17 C05974265 3.5(c) 23 Approved for Release: 2019/04/17 005974265 DAILY BRIEF 7 FEBRUARY 1968 1. Vietnam North Vietnamese regulars, spear- (as of 5:00 AM headed by nine armored vehicles be- EST) lieved to be Soviet T-34 tanks, were beaten back from the strategic Lang Vei Special Forces camp near Khe Sanh last night. The night-long assault was timed to coincide with a heavy bom- bardment of the Khe Sanh base. At last report the enemy force was pulling back. 2. Korea This is the first time the Commu- nists have used armor in South Vietnam. The North Vietnamese could be plan- ning another "first," this one using aircraft against allied positions near the Demilitarized Zone. Yesterday ,three of North Vietnam's eight IL-28 jet light bombers returned to Phuc Yen airfield from China, where they have been since last spring. Although the IL-28s are old and slow by today's standards, they could reach the Demili- tarized Zone from Phuc Yen. North Vietnam's AN-2 light trans- ports also have been unusually active. Some of these aircraft are adapted for ground attack. A number of South Koreans demon- strated against the Panmunjom talks this morning. The demonstration was at Free- dom Bridge on the road leading through US lines to the meeting site. Some of the demonstrators got across the bridge where they were met and turned back by US troops. There have been no significant de- velopments in North Korea overnight. Pyongyang is rebroadcasting the sixth alleged confession by a Pueblo crewman. Approved for Release: 2019/04/17 005974265 3.5(c) s'\' 3.5(c) Approved for Release: 2019/04/17 C05974265 LAOS PANHANDLE 15 NORTH VIETNAM h Hoa Enemy Controlled Territory 7 25sp 715 Miles 0 2�5 510 75 Kilometers GULF OF TONKIN DEMILITARIZED ZONE NA " ( THAILAND 69519 2.68 CIA 58 IVIETNA 110 19 CA BODIA 141 113 Kontum Pleikuo 14 Approved for Release: 2019/04/17 C05974265 3.5(c) 3.3(h)(2) TOP RET 3. Laos Approved for Release: 2019/04/17 C05974265 3.5(c) 4. Greece-Turkey 5. Chile OP A new series of Communist attacks on government positions in the Lao panhandle may be coming. A North Viet- namese defector reports the town of Saravane will be one of the first tar- gets. Saravane is the government-held position closest to the infiltration trails winding down to Cambodia and South Vietnam. Although it is not an important military base, its loss would have a serious psychological impact on the already nervous leadership in Vien- tiane. Frei's left-wing political oppon- ents in the Senate are so dedicated to seeing the Chilean President fail that they have sacrificed much-needed eco- nomic legislation to that end. Frei's enemies are looking ahead to the 1970 presidential election, but their deter- mined inaction leaves the economy drift- ing further into serious inflation. 3.5(c) Approved for Release: 2019/04/17 C05974265 Approved for Release: 2019/04/17 C05974265 3.5(c) 6. Communist China 7. Soviet Union TOP qErRFT Two party, veterans, both disgraced and dismissed early in the Cultural Revolution, were recently put in charge of Hopeh, the key North China province where Peking is located. This resur- rection suggests a loss of ground by the militant group in the capital. Fac- tional fighting, however, continues throughout China. The Soviets appear to be getting ready for another lunar probe. and the position ot Soviet space support ships suggest the launch will come today or tomorrow. 3.3(h)(2) 3.5(c) Approved for Release: 2019/04/17 C05974265 Approved for Release: 2019/04/17 C05974265 cret Approved for Release: 2019/04/17 C05974265 Approved for Release: 2019/04/17 005974265 ToOpertr FOR THE PRESIDENT'S EYES ONLY Special Daily Report on North Vietnam Approved for Release: 2019/04/17 005974265 5(c) ,Telrecret 3. 16 7 'February 1968 -1J11P�S":11EtT Approved for Release: 2019/04/17 005974265 3.5(c) Special Daily Report on North Vietnam for the President's Eyes Only 7 February 1968 I. NOTES ON THE SITUATION Viet Cong Press Conference: The Viet Cong at- tempted to capture foreign press attention on 6 Feb- ruary by calling an unusual press conference in Mos- cow. The purpose of the conference was to increase news coverage of the Communist version of the Tet of- fensive in South Vietnam. The Communists played up the conference by giving plenty of advance notice to the entire Moscow press corps, including US and other Western press representatives. 3.3(h)(2) 3.3(h)(2) 3.5c) Approved for Release: 2019/04/17 005974265 TOFf_S-ECRIT Approved for Release: 2019/04/17 C05974265 3.5(c) According to a Reuters dispatch, the head of the Liberation Front office in Moscow claimed that the current military effort would get "fiercer" and that the Front already had "large areas of the country under the control of revolutionary power." He said there was no hope of any change in Commu- nist demands for a peaceful settlement of the con- flict and that any move in that direction was en- tirely up to the US. The main Communist objective in the new offensive was to overthrow the Saigon government and under no circumstances would the Com- munists consider participating in a coalition gov- ernment with Saigon authorities. He closed the con- ference with a hard statement of Communist determin- ation to fight until the US withdraws from South Vietnam and until the Communists have achieved "final victory no matter how long that takes." The Communist spokesman also dredged up the old "foreign volunteers" issue. This has not been used extensively by the Communists for more than a year, and they appear to be using it at this time as they have in the past to dramatize their potential mili- tary strength. The Front man in Moscow said simply that the Communists have "every right to accept for- eign volunteers if the time comes." * * * .Communist Claims of Popular Support in South Vietnam: After more than a week of claiming that popular support for their "general uprising" is "surfing forward," the Communists have still failed to be specific, except in a few minor instances. The only new groups cited in Communist propaganda in the past three days are small groups of servicemen whom the Viet Cong claim have deserted from South Vietnamese Army units. In some cases both individ- uals and specific units are named. Most of these units are located in the northern coastal provinces, although one group of 31 was reported in a delta province. The only new nonmilitary groups claimed are an amorphous "federation of patriotic and peace- loving workers, farmers, and Buddhists in central Vietnam," cited in a Front broadcast of 3 February, and a "union of patriotic and peace-loving Buddhist servicemen in central Trung Bo" (coastal South Viet- nam) reported in Hanoi's Nhan Dan on 5 February. There is no information to coririFm the existence of these organizations. �T-G-P�SSCR-ET -2- 3.5c) Approved for Release: 2019/04/17 C05974265 Approved for Release: 2019/04/17 C05974265 3.5(c) Hanoi Blasts US Tactics in South Vietnamese Cities: The Foreign Ministry in Hanoi issued a statement on 6 February condemning the US and its South Vietnamese "henchmen" for their "savage bomb- ing" of heavily populated sections of Saigon, Hue, and other cities. The statement, which also charged that "poison gas" had been used in Hue, claimed that US and South Vietnamese attacks in the cities had caused death and injury to many civilians and the destruction of many homes and other buildings. The Hanoi statement went on to appeal to "pro- gressive mankind" all over the world to join the condemnation of the US and the "Thieu-Ky clique of traitors." II. NORTH VIETNAMESE REFLECTIONS OF US POLITICAL ATTITUDES ON THE WAR There is nothing of significance to report. -W-PRET -3- 3.5(c) Approved for Release: 2019/04/17 C05974265 Approved for Release: 2019/04/17 C05974265 --T-op�rserret-- Approved for Release: 2019/04/17 C05974265