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Digital Archive International History Declassified

April 14, 1958

RECORD OF CONVERSATION WITH DRV MINISTRY OF STATE SECURITY OFFICIAL TKHUM

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    Tkhum informed Kadymov that the Ministry of State Security held deliberations where the question of Vietnamese unification sparked a debate on whether or not the country could be reunited through peaceful means. Many Southerners employed at Democratic Republic of Vietnam agencies believe that only armed means will achieve results.
    "Record of Conversation with DRV Ministry of State Security Official Tkhum," April 14, 1958, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Translated for CWIHP by Daniel Rozas. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/121078
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USSR EMBASSY IN DRV. SECRET.

Copy # 1
14 April 1958
Out. # 0110

From the journal of USSR
Embassy in DRV field worker
G. KADYMOV                                                                                                                                                     

Record of Conversation with DRV Ministry
of State Security Official, cde. Tkhum.

During the reception held by the Hungarian chargé d’affaires in Hanoi on the occasion of the country’s national holiday “Day of Hungarian Liberation by the Soviet Army” on 4.4.1958, I met with an official from the DRV Ministry of State Security, cde. Tkhum, who told me the following:

On April 4, 1958, the Ministry of State Security completed deliberations on 2 documents adopted at the Moscow Conference of Worker and Communist Parties.  During the course of these deliberations, there unfolded a particularly spirited debate on the question of the unification of Vietnam.  The personnel of the Ministry of State Security include many comrades who had evacuated from South Vietnam and who, in the course of discussing the aforementioned documents, openly expressed their opinions on the question of the country’s unification.  According to cde. Tkhum, a significant number of Southerners employed both at the Ministry of State Security and at other agencies are losing faith in the possibility that Vietnam can be reunited in the near future through peaceful means.  In the course of debating the documents of the fraternal communist parties, some comrades stated directly that they do not believe in the possibility of peaceful reunification of the country because the powers in South Vietnam will not agree to this.  At the same time, these comrades are aware that the only acceptable policy of the socialist camp countries - including the DRV - is the policy of resolving all disputed questions through peaceful means.

Thus, considering that the powers in the South will not agree to a peaceful settlement, and since the DRV can pursue only such a path, some comrades from South Vietnam see in this an irreconcilable contradiction and are losing faith that the country will be reunited at all.  At the same time, a majority of them have wives, children and parents in the South, whom they saw only occasionally during the struggle for independence, and are now losing all hope of ever seeing again.  This situation is leading them to think that the matter of the country’s reunification must be resolved through armed means, for which, according to cde. Tkhum, they are even prepared to sacrifice their lives.

On the other hand, during the course of discussing the aforementioned documents, some Southerners expressed the wish that they be sent to the South in order to kindle the underground struggle there to overthrow the current regime and reunite the country.  To this demand, the DRV leaders, particularly the CC PTV [Central Committee of the Vietnamese Workers Party] member cde. Le Zuang, replied that their brothers in the South have significantly improved their methods of struggle, bearing in mind the country’s altered situation, while the Southerners residing in the DRV are not fully informed of these new methods.  Therefore, such proposals are not realistic.  All this, continued cde. Tkhum, is causing despair in the hearts of the Southerners residing in the DRV, making their lives aimless and pointless.  Their morale is deteriorating; they are beginning to be critical of the DRV propaganda regarding the South and are not finding answers to their questions.  Moreover, they believe that in the economic sphere the powers of the South have been successful in reaching certain achievements, while in the political sphere, Diem’s position is rather weak, which is allowing the struggle against his regime to broaden by including the most diverse segments of the population, both in North and South Vietnam.

FIELD WORKER OF THE USSR EMBASSY IN DRV

[signature]
(G. KADYMOV)

Typ. 3 cop.
1 - YuVA
2 - UVI
3 - to file
cor. Kadymov
typ. Barinova
11.4.58
m/b # 169