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Report: Papers Show Kennedy Sought Diplomatic Settlement in Vietnam

A U.S. newspaper says there is new evidence that former President John F. Kennedy sought a diplomatic solution to the conflict in Vietnam.

The Boston Globe says newly uncovered documents show that Mr. Kennedy planned to reach out to North Vietnam in 1962 through his ambassador to India, John Kenneth Galbraith.

The Globe quotes a memo from Mr. Kennedy's secretary of state, Averell Harriman, saying the United States would withdraw its military personnel from South Vietnam if North Vietnam stopped its guerrilla activity.

The paper says the Kennedy administration never followed through with the plan. Later, Mr. Galbraith had a discussion about a possible cease-fire in Vietnam with the foreign minister of Poland, then a close Soviet ally. This attempt also did not succeed.

Historians have long debated President Kennedy's intentions toward Vietnam. The number of U.S. troops there escalated soon after Mr. Kennedy's assassination in November, 1963, eventually topping half-a-million.