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Salient. Victoria University of Wellington Student's Newspaper. Volume 31, Number 6. April 9, 1968

North Vietnam Aims 'Well Beyond The South'

North Vietnam Aims 'Well Beyond The South'

The Foreign Secretary of Thailand has stated that North Vietnam has designs well beyond the borders and frontiers of South Vietnam.

Mr. Thanat Khoman gave this opinion when he spoke to the International Club last week.

Mr. Khoman said the expansionist aims of North Vietnam were evident in Laos, where North Vietnamese soldiers had been captured and displayed publicly.

In Thailand, also, some cadres of North Vietnamese had been found.

There was evidence that some Thais were being abducted to North Vietnam for Communist training.

Opening his address, Mr. Khoman said Thailand was a small nation of modest people.

"Thailand may be underdeveloped. developed, or developing, but it all boils down to the same thing—it is unprosperous," he said.

Thais may be lacking in affluence but, they were blessed with nature, he said.

Though clothing was in short supply, the dress was "short enough to make it interesting but long enough to cover the subject."

The answer to Asia's problem did not exist in the political systems of the West, Mr. Khoman said.

He thought that the truth lay in the heritage of Asian civilisation.

It had existed for thousands of years and should provide its own solution.

"Why go to the ghettoes of Europe?" he said.

Asian countries would find no solution by following the precepts of past colonialism. The tenets of new theories were the same as before.

"The whole system is based on subjection and domination," Mr. Khoman said. What was wanted was "something new, refreshing, and inspired."

Mr. Khoman was asked whether he thought North Vietnam would honour a negotiated peace settlement if America withdrew troops.

He replied that he hoped those calling for withdrawal would have proof of their past advocations.

However, he thought the Communists had not shown that they were very good at keeping promises.

Asked whether it was degrading to have foreign troops in Thailand, the Secretary admitted that it was.

However, he believed these troops had been imposed, in effect, by the Communists.

One questioner asked Mr. Khoman if he thought China was another Hitler.

The Secretary would not commit himself on this point, but quoted Mr. Krishna Menon: "China is expansionist."

He thought Mr. Menon'a opinion would have a great deal of support in Asia.