VIET NAM: Extending a Hand to Hanoi

The Carter Administration early this month made a top-secret approach to Hanoi to determine whether Viet Nam would receive an American peace mission to discuss the reconciliation of the two countries. The diplomatic feeler, TIME has learned, was ordered by the White House and carried out by the State Department through contacts between the U.S. and Vietnamese embassies in Paris.

The Paris initiative was the clearest sign yet of President Jimmy Carter's determination to carry out a campaign promise to send such a mission to Hanoi. Carter reiterated that pledge in January at a confidential meeting with seven U.S. Congressmen....

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