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Kennedy Talks Tough on Southeast Asia

Oct. 7, 1961 - The United States is considering sending troops to Southeast Asia to cope with the worsening situation in Vietnam and a possible new flare-up in Laos. President Kennedy bluntly told Andrei A. Gromyko, the Soviet Foreign Minister, yesterday that the U.S. would not permit Laos to be used as a Communist military base against South Vietnam. The Viet Cong (Vietnamese Communists), with some units organized in strength up to 1,000 men, has been infiltrating into South Vietnam through eastern Laos, while the North Vietnam regulars are poised on the boundary that was established in the Geneva accords of 1954. Officials in South Vietnam say that 171 Government troops and 374 guerrillas have been killed between Sept. 20 and Oct. 4.


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