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Secretary of State Rusk Visits Saigon

Apr. 17, 1964 - Secretary of State Dean Rusk (center) conferred in Saigon today with senior U.S. officials on means of strengthening the South Vietnamese Government headed by Maj. Gen. Nguyen Khanh (left).

The Secretary arrived on a three-day visit with the intention of bolstering the internal position of Khanh and of trying to give added momentum to the campaign against the Communist Viet Cong insurgents.

Viet Cong battalions have recently assumed the initiative in undertaking pitched battles against South Vietnamese troops in the Communist-infested Mekong Delta region south of Saigon.

The ability of Khanh to prosecute the war successfully has been hampered by dissatisfaction among his political opponents in the army and some leading civilian personalities.

Rusk, who is paying his first official visit to Saigon, is scheduled to make a trip into the countryside tomorrow with Khanh to confer with representative Vietnamese officials and survey what can be done to strengthen the U.S. support program.

On arrival at Saigon Airport, Rusk said that the Vietnamese people and their allies must defeat the Communists’ efforts to “impose their own misery on you.” “This will be done, I have not the slightest doubt, and I am here to make it clear once again that we shall help you to do it,” he declared.

In a revival of terrorism in Saigon, a grenade was thrown into a U.S. military bus today, not far from where the Secretary of State was. Two Americans were wounded.

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